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Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in Top 20 Utilities in Economic Development

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have been named in the top 20 U.S. utilities in economic development by Site Selection magazine.

In 2021, the 17 electric cooperatives facilitated business recruitments and expansions that resulted in 2,600 job announcements and $2.3 billion in projected investment in the communities they serve.

Site Selection magazine’s recognition highlights the efforts of people from all 17 of our electric cooperatives, working alongside local, state and federal officials to bring jobs and investment to rural Kentucky,” said Rodney Hitch, Director of Economic Development.

Brad Thomas, Manager of Economic Development, noted the cooperatives are member-owned, not-for-profit organizations headquartered in Kentucky and owned by the Kentucky residents they serve.

“This recognition is particularly gratifying because, when we are successful, it truly benefits the people and communities of Kentucky,” he said.

In addition to job creation and new capital investment announcements, Site Selection magazine considers utilities’ website tools and data, innovative programs and incentives for business, and the utility’s own job-creating infrastructure and facility investment trends.

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have deployed novel tools to market business sites in Kentucky communities, including PowerVision, which uses drones to capture detailed mapping and infrastructure data for rural industrial parks, and produces videos that can be shared instantaneously with prospects anywhere in the world. They have also developed innovative programs to help businesses access renewables to meet corporate sustainability goals.

“The elite Top 20 we named this year earned the honor amid a field of around 3,300 electric utilities across the country, including around 900 cooperatives,” says Managing Editor Adam Bruns of the rankings Site Selection has published since 1999. “Like the power they generate, their robust economic development teams and programs are well distributed throughout the country. And just as their generation and distribution portfolios turn toward renewables and smart technologies, these utilities’ economic developers are helping their communities pursue sustainable growth by cultivating smart capital and talent flow.”

Site Selection’s announcement continues a streak of awards and recognition for the economic development efforts of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. They won the 2021 Projects With A Purpose Award from the Site Selectors Guild and are past winners of Excellence in Economic Development awards from the International Economic Development Council, the Southern Economic Development Council and the National Rural Economic Developers Association.

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