Louisville, Ky., – Mayor Fischer joined Gov. Beshear and community officials to celebrate Site Selection magazine naming Kentucky the top state for economic development projects per capita last year. The nationally acclaimed publication also recognizes Kentucky’s top metropolitan areas for their economic development successes, ranking Louisville ninth in the top tier category for population over 1 million.
“We are always proud to have Gov. Beshear visit Louisville, especially today as we celebrate the economic development achievements made by the state of Kentucky and in Louisville,” said Mayor Fischer. “Louisville is thriving and with the recent investments made by quality companies, we are happy to announce that we are seeing the lowest unemployment rate since April, 2001. This award is the result of the hard work of the people all across the commonwealth and will continue to pay dividends that will grow our communities for years to come.”
“It’s an honor to receive the Governor’s Cup, but it’s the meaning behind the award that’s so significant,” said Gov. Beshear. “Think about where we were seven years ago when Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 11 percent and business growth was at a near standstill. We’ve come so far. Our statewide unemployment rate is now 5 percent, and the Governor’s Cup is further proof of the fruits of our labor. This success would not have been possible without this community’s dedication to supporting businesses, creating jobs and making Kentucky a better place for all of us.”
Louisville has played a significant role in growing Kentucky’s economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisville has added 40,000 jobs in the past five years. More than a fourth of those jobs are in advanced manufacturing, while lifelong wellness and aging care has created more than 3,600 jobs during that time. The largest percentage of business starts has occurred in the business services sector, up 66 percent.
Major projects include:
• Kindred Healthcare (2014): 400 jobs, $36 million investment
• Omni (2014): 765 construction jobs, 320 permanent jobs, $289 million investment
• Computershare (2014): 250 jobs, $12 million investment
• Ford Motor Company (2008, 2010, 2011, 2014): 3,650 jobs, $1.4 billion investment
• General Electric Appliance Park (2014): 5,263 retained jobs, $280 million investment
• TPUSA (2014): 750 jobs, $13.3 million investment
• AT&T (2013): $800 million investment
The city partnered with Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) for business attraction and expansion efforts for the first half of 2014, before being brought under the Louisville Forward umbrella. In total, there were 70 announced projects in 2014, representing 5,369 jobs and $700 million in investment. This includes 48 projects consisting of 2,126 jobs and $213 million in investment that GLI worked on in the first half of the year.
The unemployment rate in Louisville continues to decline. In April 2014, the county rate was 6.2 percent. The rate for April 2015 is 4.5 percent.
The Louisville area is also seeing an increase in tourism. A report released recently showed that the economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry topped $13 billion in 2014, with growth in every tourism region of the state. Louisville’s 2014 tourism economic impact was $3.16 billion, a 4.2 percent increase from the previous year. The county’s 2014 tourism employment was the equivalent of 26,086 jobs.
Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development organization, is named one of the Top U.S. Economic Development Groups for 2014 by Site Selection magazine. Since its creation in July, Louisville Forward has helped businesses create nearly 3,500 new jobs in Louisville, representing an investment of more than half a billion dollars.
The city also received other accolades, such as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Cities,” by Entrepreneur.com and one of America’s “Breakout Cities for 2014” by CNN Money.
The Governor’s Cup is just one of the Commonwealth’s recent economic development successes.
• Kentucky announced more than 350 new industry location and expansion projects last year, which are projected to create nearly 15,000 jobs and more than $3.7 billion in new investment. That is the most business investment since the state started keeping track nearly 30 years ago.
• The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Coincident Index, which measures wages, unemployment rates and payrolls, indicates Kentucky’s economic activity not only recovered from the Great Recession, but has also reached an all-time high.
• Kentucky’s jobless rate is below the national average and is half of what it was during the height of the recession.
• Kentucky exports reached an all-time high of more than $27.5 billion last year. It’s the fourth straight year Kentucky has set a state record.
Site Selection, an Atlanta-based publication, rates states, metropolitans and micropolitans annually for its Governor’s Cup. The rankings are based on the number of projects that involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create 20 or more jobs or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor space.
For more on Kentucky’s Governor’s Cup and Louisville’s award, visit www.siteselection.com.