Economic development bringing more jobs to Kentucky

Published 3:02 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Economic development efforts topped Gov. Andy Beshear’s weekly press conference on Thursday, including the announcement of another new company locating in Kentucky that is part of the electric vehicle battery industry.

Five companies received preliminary approval for incentives to locate in the state during Thursday morning’s meeting of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Agency.

LioChem e-Materials LLC, a subsidiary of Japanese-based Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co. Ltd, will locate a new facility in Simpson County, with a $104.4 million investment creating 141 jobs for Kentuckians in electric vehicle battery production.

North American Stainless is investing $244 million adding 70 more positions at its facility in Carroll County.  Beshear says the company is the largest fully-integrated stainless steel producer in the U.S., and marks their 13th expansion since opening there in 1990.

Email newsletter signup

Carter Lumber is building a new facility in Warren County with an $8.1 million investment that will create 86 jobs.  It will be a key part of the company’s efforts in the rebuilding process, after the deadly tornado outbreak in December 2021, that affected much of western Kentucky.

Precision Sonar and Outdoor LLC will invest $2.2 million to expand their current operation in Marshall County, with a new building which will include adding 12 more jobs.  The company makes GPS and sonar mounting systems for boats, which are produced from solid aluminum.

Henderson Distilling will establish a new bourbon distillery with a $5 million investment initially employing 12 people.  It will locate on the former Henderson Municipal Power & Light campus in downtown Henderson, creating a full production distillery, along with  tourism and retail space.

“With all of these new jobs and new industries locating here,” Beshear noted, “we’re getting ever closer to reversing that trend of our kids leaving Kentucky to go somewhere else.  Instead, we’re having the most talented moving to our Commonwealth. I think that is all our collectives dream, that our kids never have to leave Kentucky if they don’t want to, because no matter how big they dream, they can chase those dreams right here in the commonwealth.”

Regarding one failed economic development project approved before he took office, Beshear said not only have they recovered the $15 million awarded to Braidy Industries, now known as Unity Aluminum, they are also in the process of acquiring all the land at the site near Ashland, including additional land purchased by Unity and buildings that were erected.

He added, “We do believe that it won’t be long before we start locating jobs on that land.  We have a couple companies that are already interested.”