FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) – While the past year has not been without its hurdles for businesses around the world, private sector companies have continued to announce job-creating projects across the Commonwealth as the Kentucky team is working to build a stronger economy for the long term.
As proof, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 placed Kentucky at the top of the South Central region, and third nationally, for eligible projects per capita. The Commonwealth also ranked seventh overall in total number of projects, the highest of any state with populations under 5 million.
“The past year has been a year of undeniable challenges and difficulties, but 2020 has also proven just how resilient Kentucky is, and that virtue most certainly applies to our business community,” Governor Andy Beshear said. . “Even with all the uncertainty of the pandemic, companies have announced thousands of quality opportunities for Kentuckians. Building an economy that works for everyone remains a top priority. We made progress last year and we have already seen encouraging signs that our economy is poised for a big leap forward in 2021.”
In addition to Kentucky’s statewide accolades, a number of communities across the state were recognized for their economic growth in 2020.
The Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati region ranked seventh per capita and ninth in total number of projects for metro areas with populations over 1 million, while Louisville ranked eighth in the per capita category. . Lexington ranked in the top 10 in the per capita and overall rankings for metros with a population between 200,000 and 1 million, and Bowling Green earned a tie for sixth place in the total number of projects for metros with a population of less than 200,000.
Kentucky is tied for fifth in the total number of projects for micropolitan areas – cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 – which included seven projects in Richmond and Berea, ranking Madison County in the top 10 nationally. .
Site Selection ranked AppHarvest’s project near Richmond third by land area on its list of 2020 American Giants. Construction of AppHarvest’s second high-tech mega greenhouse, a 2.76 million sq. square feet in Madison County, began in October.
Last year, Kentucky announced 233 new construction and expansion projects, according to data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. These projects are expected to create nearly 8,000 jobs with the highest average hourly wages in years.
In 2020, rural counties attracted 121 – or more than 52% – of the 233 private sector projects announced, while 112 went to the 10 most populous counties; Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton, Boone, Warren, Hardin, Daviess, Campbell, Madison and Bullitt. Urban counties will claim 4,372 of the new jobs announced — about 55% — and rural counties hold 3,567, or nearly 45%.
Of Kentucky’s 233 announcements, Site Selection has 152 projects in its ranking. To be included in the magazine’s database, eligible projects must meet at least one of the following criteria: a minimum capital investment of $1 million, 20 or more new jobs created, or 20,000 or more square feet of new space.
Site Selection, an Atlanta-based publication, has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988 to the US state with the newest and most extensive corporate facilities, as indicated by the Conway Projects Database.
Corporate real estate analysts view the ranking as an industry scorecard. The magazine’s circulation reaches 48,000 executives in corporate site selection decision making.
The full ranking can be viewed at SiteSelection.com.
Information about Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov. Cabinet for Economic Development fans can also join the discussion on facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Find other key updates, actions and information from Governor Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
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