DANVILLE, Ky. —Kentucky Crossroads, a regional economic development partnership in central Kentucky, is celebrating its business growth achievements during 2018, a year in which a record nearly $800 million in new capital investments were announced within its 11-county borders. The amount more than doubles the previous highest investment year set back in 2010.
Making the year even brighter is the nearly 830 new jobs announced within the region, representing an 85 percent increase over 2017.
Comprised of Anderson, Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Lincoln, Marion, Mercer, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Taylor and Washington counties, Kentucky Crossroads continues its collaborative effort to market the region as a business destination for new and expanding industries. The partnership has resulted in more than 4,500 new jobs and $1.7 billion in new investments over the past five years.
“Economic development is a globally competitive endeavor and taking a regional approach is important now more than ever before,” said Jody Lassiter, president and CEO of Develop Danville and spokesperson for Kentucky Crossroads. “Our 11 communities have found that by banding together for the betterment of the entire region, we ultimately create a win-win for all involved.”
This year’s economic activity was boosted by significant growth in the bourbon industry, a sector in which the Kentucky Crossroads region shines. Maker’s Mark, located in Marion County, tops the list with two expansions this year adding 36 new jobs and investing $495 million to greatly increase its barrel warehousing capacity to meet future product demand. Wild Turkey, in Anderson County, and Wilderness Trail Distillery, in Boyle County, also underwent expansions.
Four additional distilleries, Whiskey Service LLC and Luca Mariano Distillery, both in Boyle County, Diageo in Marion County and Michter’s Distillery, in Washington County, are establishing a new presence in the region, bringing a combined investment of nearly $180 million.
“The bourbon industry is booming and our region, home to five world-renowned distilleries with more on the way, is thriving because of its global popularity,” said Tom Lund, director of the Marion County Industrial Foundation. “We recognize the economic benefits this important industry brings to our communities and will continue to support its growth for years to come.”
Kentucky Crossroads’ job growth was further propelled by two newcomers in Pulaski County with the locations of RSTUSA and Extiel-Advantage. Mexico-based RSTUSA is relocating to Somerset creating 400 new jobs and investing $22 million to enhance its manufacturing capabilities, which will include metals and foam products for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Extiel-Advantage is set to create 60 new jobs for its new gas conversion facility, representing a $75 million investment.
“Centrally located within Kentucky and the eastern United States, the Kentucky Crossroads region offers all the amenities businesses need to be successful,” said Martin Shearer, executive director of Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation. “Not only does our labor market area expand to nearly 1.5 million people, we provide easy access to more than 60 universities, colleges and area technical schools, offer a low-cost of living matched with a high quality of life, and demonstrate a sense of urgency and collaboration in our business growth initiatives.”
Kentucky Crossroads is home to a diverse industry base with more than 240 manufacturing, supportive service and/or technology facilities engaged in aerospace, agriculture, animal health, automotive, consumer goods, customer support, food and beverage, rubber and plastics, warehousing and distribution, wood products and more.
To accelerate its business attraction efforts, Kentucky Crossroads underwent a marketing and branding transformation in 2018. Armed with a new logo, website, video and numerous marketing materials, the region is poised to reach a larger audience with its message of economic development opportunity and collaboration.
“Our regional partners have taken a big step forward this year to further brand our area as a hub of economic opportunity within the commonwealth,” said Ron McMahan, executive director of Team Taylor County. “We’re sharing our message with businesses, community partners, site selection consultants, real estate advisors and more through direct outreach and enhanced marketing efforts.”
A complete list of 2018 new and expanding industry projects in the Kentucky Crossroads region includes:
New Locations: $275,917,840 total investments / 518 new jobs
- Boyle County, Whiskey Service, warehousing for distilled spirits industry
- Boyle County, Luca Mariano Distillery, bourbon distillery
- Boyle County, Gypsy Run Brewery, beer microbrewery
- Marion County, Central Kentucky Grain, grain storage and drying
- Marion County, Diageo, bourbon distillery
- Pulaski County, RSTUSA, metals and foam products for residential, commercial and industrial buildings
- Pulaski County, Extiel-Advantage Somerset, natural gas conversion into high-value synthetic waxes, oils and solvents
- Washington County – Michter’s Distillery, warehousing for distilled spirits industry
Expansions: $521,475,347 total investments / 311 new jobs
- Anderson County, Wild Turkey Bourbon, distillery spirits/visitor center
- Boyle County, American Greetings, distribution and paper product packaging center
- Boyle County, Dana Incorporated, diesel, gas engine gaskets
- Boyle County, Hobart Corporation, commercial dishwashers
- Boyle County, USA Signs, sign manufacturing
- Boyle County, Wilderness Trail Distillery, spirits distillery
- Garrard County, Marksbury Farm Foods, processing facility
- Marion County, Fuel Total Systems Kentucky Corp., automotive plastic fuel tank systems and fuel filler pipe systems
- Marion County, Maker’s Mark Distillery, bourbon distillery
- Marion County, Maker’s Mark Distillery, bourbon distillery
- Pulaski County, Prairie Farms Dairy, liquid milk and juice drinks
- Pulaski County, Modern Distributors, headquarters and distribution services for food and beverage industry
- Taylor County, Fluortubing, Teflon and plastic tubing
- Taylor County, Frost-Arnett, medical billings
- Taylor County, Ingersoll Rand, vacuum pumps, air and gas compressors
- Taylor County, J&K Tool, general machining, tool & die
For more information about the region, its communities, workforce, available industrial properties and other business amenities, please visit www.KyCrossroads.com.