FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 11, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the City of Bowling Green and its officials will implement upgrades at the Kentucky Transpark behind a $1 million investment, building on one of the fastest-growing industrial parks in Kentucky.
“The economic momentum we are seeing in Kentucky does not happen without the resources, sites and buildings to support companies looking to grow and expand in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “With each investment and upgrade in our industrial sites across the state, we are ensuring future economic growth and sustainability. I congratulate the local leadership in Bowling Green and Warren County for their efforts to keep Kentucky moving forward.”
On behalf of the City of Bowling Green, the Inter-Modal Transportation Authority applied for $500,000 in funding to extend utility service in the Kentucky Transpark to support its continued growth. This money will be used to extend utilities along Production Avenue, which will help bring over 600 acres of property to market including the future homes of both Tyson Foods and Envision AESC, the 3 million-square-foot electric vehicle battery gigafactory that will create 2,000 new jobs in the community. The state funding accounts for half of the $1 million project cost, with the rest funded locally.
The Bowling Green location was selected for funding through the Product Development Initiative (PDI) in 2022. PDI was created through a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) to provide competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects. PDI aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. As well, it encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders with an emphasis on speed-to-market to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.
Matt Tackett, president and CEO of KAED, said PDI helps communities take a major step forward to quickly bring in new business.
“Like the commonwealth, the economic momentum in Warren County continues to soar. Kentucky is breaking records for corporate investment and jobs created, in part, because of the historic success of this community,” said Tackett. “Global enterprise is well aware of Kentucky’s business advantages and leadership in critical markets, and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development commends the leadership team in Bowling Green/Warren County for winning a PDI grant and aggressively preparing the nurturing and risk-free environments companies demand. PDI signals the commonwealth is serious in our endeavor to quickly locate and operationalize corporations, and the Bowling Green/Warren County community is a world-class example of Kentucky’s economic development capability.”
PDI boosts the commonwealth’s ability to attract a diverse base of businesses of every size. This adds to the state’s numerous other advantages, including its ideal geographic location with its borders within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, the lowest industrial electric costs east of the Mississippi River and a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of any company.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon is excited about the direction of the community and continuing to invest in the future.
“This award is huge for our community as it will help bring over 600 acres of property to market in the newly expanded areas of the Kentucky Transpark,” Judge/Executive Buchanon said. “Over the last several years, the county and city have made investments in the Transpark at a time when many communities were retreating due to the pandemic, but the fortitude of our community leaders to continue to invest in these future parcels enabled us to land these award-winning projects.”
Todd Alcott, mayor of the City of Bowling Green, is grateful for the opportunity to continue building and growing the community.
“We are grateful to be awarded a grant of this magnitude by KCED so that we are able to invest in infrastructure to land projects that will improve the condition of the community as a whole,” Mayor Alcott stated. “More available land means more future jobs for our residents and a stronger overall economy.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said he understands the importance of developing properties in the region for future economic growth.
“We have been blessed to welcome many world-renown companies to South-Central Kentucky in recent months,” Bunch said. “It is through investing in the development of these properties that we are able to create prime locations that enable us to compete and win these large-scale projects that bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the region.”
The continued investment in the Bowling Green site furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2021 placed Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022. On Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings upgraded Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive and affirmed its “A-” credit rating. S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy-day fund as primary factors influencing the change. And at the end of April, Fitch Ratings also elevated its outlook on Kentucky from “stable” to “positive,” recognizing the commonwealth’s surging economy.
In recent months, the commonwealth has announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. Last month, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the national leader in EV battery production.
And for April 2022, the State Budget Director reported the highest-ever monthly General Fund receipts of $1.84 billion. That is up 34.9% over last April’s collections, bringing Kentucky’s year-to-date growth rate to 16.4%.
To encourage future investment and location of an economic development project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March approved a grant agreement with the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce under the Economic Development Fund program. The grant agreement may provide up to $500,000 in funding on a reimbursement basis based on the project investment of $1 million.
For more information on the Product Development Initiative, click here.
A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.