FT. MITCHELL, Ky. — The Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) announced the results of a comprehensive target industry and employment analysis. The report shares that the resiliency of the Northern Kentucky economy is strong and that employment in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties increased by 11,000 from 2015 to 2020, the strongest growth in Kentucky during that period, with the majority of jobs created in the Transportation & Logistics sector.
Four target industry clusters are identified for the region for their employment momentum and growth potential – Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Life Sciences, and Supply Chain Management & Support Services – with 13 subclusters. Employment gains in these four clusters outperformed the regional and national averages from 2015-2019. Annual wages for jobs in these clusters are $10,000 above the regional average.
“Now that we have data on the industries that are driving growth in the region, we will tailor our attraction and workforce development strategies to meet the needs of new and existing companies in these clusters,” said Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume. “The finding that our region produces IT talent at a faster pace than the growth of air cargo is great news. We know that we need to accelerate the pace even more to meet the needs of our corporate citizens across all four industry clusters.”
The report states that the four target clusters are diverse in nature and that companies in those sectors vary in size which creates opportunities for a wide spectrum of businesses from startups to Fortune 500. The growth of the distribution and logistics industry and its consumption of labor and land in Northern Kentucky is called out as a potential threat to the success of niche subclusters such as automotive and aerospace manufacturing – which pay higher wages and are less prone to automation.
“Over the last year, we have been educating our communities about what a valuable resource our land is and that they have a choice in the types of development and jobs they can incentivize,” noted Crume. “The report echoes the premise that our communities should evaluate development opportunities in partnership with Tri-ED. We can provide analysis of historical project data, wage and tax comparison research so that informed decisions can be made.”
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