Job growth in Jeffersontown boosted by JOBS Program incentives

A worker at Kentuckiana Curb Co.’s HVAC manufacturing facility in Jeffersontown.

JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. — Employment in the City of Jeffersontown is set to grow by 1,074 new jobs through projects approved in 2019 as part of the Jeffersontown Occupation Business Savings (JOBS) Program.

That’s the largest number of jobs created by approved projects in one year since the program began in March 2014, said Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf.

“More businesses are recognizing the benefits of locating in Jeffersontown with our support service infrastructure, interstate access, moderate property prices, on-site parking and other advantages,” Dieruf said.

The JOBS Program is a business-development tool that provides an inducement equivalent to 50 percent of the new occupational taxes generated over a five-year period. It was created by Jeffersontown officials to help retain and attract businesses to the community, said Mike Kmetz, director of the Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority, the city agency that manages the JOBS program.

Of the six approved JOBS Program projects in 2019, 598 jobs have been retained by providing the incentives to three growing Jeffersontown businesses. Those businesses expect to have an aggregate increase of 1,074 employees by the end of the five-year period of JOBS Program participation, according to Kmetz.

With retained jobs and employment growth combined, the six JOBS Program projects are expected to account for a total of 1,672 jobs if all participating businesses reach their employment goals, he added.

The jobs generated by these projects are well-paying ones, Kmetz said, noting that the average annual pay per new job from the 2019 projects is $72,720. Total project payroll by year six is expected to reach almost $114.5 million with about $78 million of that payroll coming from new jobs.

Total company investment by the six companies is more than $74 million.

The six businesses that qualified in 2019 for JOBS Program incentives are Baptist Healthcare System Inc., Chewy Inc., Kentuckiana Curb Company Inc., Mortenson Family Dental Holdings Inc., Wilson Controls Inc. and YPG LLC.

“As indicated by this year’s JOBS Program participants, we have all types of businesses operating here — corporate offices, manufacturing facilities, logistics centers, industrial operations and traditional business services,” said Dieruf, who currently serves as president of the Kentucky League of Cities. “If workplace population was used to calculate a city’s population, Jeffersontown would be one of the largest cities in Kentucky.”

The single largest JOBS Program project since its inception is tied to the recently announced move by Baptist Health to consolidate its information-technology operations at one site in Bluegrass Commerce Park in Jeffersontown. The IT department is moving into an 85,000-s.f. property that formerly housed the corporate headquarters of PharMerica, a full-service pharmacy corporation.

That project is expected to bring a total of 460 jobs to Jeffersontown over the five-year period of Baptist Health’s participation in the JOBS Program. When the facility opens following renovations, almost 400 employees will report to work there. The additional jobs are anticipated new positions within five years, Kmetz said.

The 20 JOBS Program participants to date have invested or are in the process of investing almost $66 million in their Jeffersontown operations, and they will have retained/attracted a total of 3,140 jobs with projected total annual payroll of more than $53.5 million following program participation.

A business-friendly approach in Jeffersontown has been an intentional objective in recent years, according to city officials. And it’s paying off.

The mayor pointed to a resurgence of the Plainview office corridor that has occurred as Appriss Inc. and Statewide Mortgage have continued to grow corporate headquarters operations in that part of Jeffersontown while the business parks along Interstate 64 attract businesses to newly built and redeveloped properties.

“We’ve worked hard to make Jeffersontown an appealing place to live, work and play,” said Dieruf. “It’s not uncommon for communities to use that terminology to describe themselves, but in our case it could not be more on point. Restaurant and entertainment options have opened in all parts of Jeffersontown with more in the pipeline. We have plentiful recreation and arts opportunities. And the selection of homes here stretches across a broad price and style spectrum.

“With JOBS Program incentives, a strong transportation corridor and so many amenities, it’s easy to see why Jeffersontown is thriving as an appealing business center in the metropolitan area,” Dieruf added. “We anticipate continued economic growth in Jeffersontown as 2020 unfolds.”

2019 Jeffersontown JOBS Program Participants

• Baptist Healthcare System Inc.: 460 total project jobs at a new 85,000-square-foot information-technology operations center;

• Chewy Inc.: 230 total project jobs at a pet pharmacy fulfillment center employing veterinary pharmacists, technicians and fulfillment workers;

• Kentuckiana Curb Company Inc.: 912 total project jobs with 400 new jobs at an HVAC manufacturing facility;

• Mortenson Family Dental Holdings Inc.: 43 total project jobs at a relocated corporate office (added to the 140 operational jobs that relocated to Jeffersontown in 2017);

• Wilson Controls Inc.: 8 total project jobs at a relocated operations base for the company that monitors and services manufacturing equipment and operations;

• YPG LLC: 19 total project jobs for an expansion of a purchasing co-op that services YMCA districts nationwide.