Gov. Beshear: Kentucky No. 2 in South Central Region for 2024 National Economic Development Rankings

Commonwealth ranks No. 8 nationally in Site Selection’s 2024 Prosperity Cup


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 9, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted new recognition of Kentucky’s economic success as Site Selection magazine placed the commonwealth at No. 2 in the South Central region of its 2024 Prosperity Cup rankings. Kentucky also placed No. 8 nationally, maintaining a top 10 ranking in every year of the Beshear-Coleman administration.

“Kentucky has placed strongly in this and other recent rankings for economic growth, and that showcases what we already know: The commonwealth is the best place to do business,” said Gov. Beshear. “These rankings highlight the success we have had statewide and the major investment and job creation projects the state continues to attract. We still have work to do to meet our goals, but our efforts are gaining recognition at the national and international level. That success is due to the tremendous work of everyone who is a part of Team Kentucky.”

The Prosperity Cup recognizes the competitiveness of state-level economic development agencies and their success in landing capital investment projects according to data from 2023. It includes new and expanded facilities, total capital investment, new jobs created, corporate real estate rankings, state tax climate and the number of National Career Readiness Certificates per capita.

These rankings follow the announcement of 180 private-sector new-location and expansion projects in 2023.

Those projects totaled over $4.6 billion in announced investments and more than 8,500 jobs. Among the announced projects:

  • North American Stainless, which in January announced a $244 million expansion to its Ghent facility, creating 70 new full-time jobs in the Carroll County area.  
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, which in May committed to retaining 700 full-time Kentucky jobs and investing $591 million to establish the company’s first U.S.-assembled battery electric vehicle in Georgetown. 
  • Toyota Boshoku America, which in October celebrated the announcement of the company’s new $225 million “smart plant” in Hopkinsville, a project creating 157 new quality jobs for Kentuckians.  
  • Stellar Snacks, which in October announced the largest economic development project in West Louisville in over 20 years, a $137 million investment creating 350 full-time Kentucky jobs at the new pretzel manufacturing facility.
  • INFAC North America, which in June broke ground on a $53 million expansion of its automotive-related manufacturing facility in Campbellsville, creating 220 Kentucky jobs.

Earlier this year, the publication announced Kentucky’s strong placement in Site Selection magazine’s 2023 Governor’s Cup rankings, coming in third nationally in economic projects per capita and first in the South Central region. The commonwealth also secured the second spot in the South Central region for overall projects, building on the previous year’s strong rankings. Kentucky has placed in the top 3 nationally and atop the South Central region in the per capita rankings each year of the administration.

Kentucky’s top 10 placement in the 2024 Prosperity Cup rankings builds on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $30.6 billion in announced investments, creating more than 52,500 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in the commonwealth’s history.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 topped $26 in consecutive years for the first time.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.

Gov. Beshear announced a “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

For the full 2023 Prosperity Cup rankings and more information on methodology, visit

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.