Number of projects dropped significantly last year
Western Kentucky is attracting more of the state’s largest new and expanding industries investments with four of the six largest projects last year locating in Bowling Green and Hopkinsville.
Quiver Ventures is putting nearly $156 million into Bowling Green’s Transpark to open an aluminum sheet-producing plant with 80 new, full-time jobs. The city also landed a steel-production mill, Bilstein North America, which promises to invest $120 million and create 90 full-time jobs.
US Smokeless Tobacco Co. is investing $125 million in Hopkinsville and creating 42 full-time jobs, while PTC Seamless Tube Corp. is creating 283 jobs there and investing nearly $109 million for a new facility to produce seamless tubes for the energy industry.
Compared to the previous 12 months, overall announcements were down significantly during the past year. From June 1, 2013, to May 31, 2014, there were 282 announcements of new and expanding industry in Kentucky, which is 73 fewer than the previous year. Total capital investment was $2.7 billion (a 33 percent drop from last year’s $4.05 billion) and 12,764 jobs were created, more than 2,000 fewer than the previous year.
The state’s main economic engine, the Louisville-Jefferson County area, had 75 announcements totaling $507 million and 2,943 new jobs. Louisville had the fifth largest project in the state. In September, Lubrizol Corp. announced plans to spend $108 million for a facility to produce CPVC resins and compounds, and PVC emulsions.
The Lexington-Fayette County area had 15 announcements totaling $42 million and 482 new jobs. The largest of those announcements was from Alliance Coal, which is investing $8.3 million and creating 25 new jobs at a new regional headquarters in Lexington.
The Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Kenton and Campbell had 29 announcements totaling nearly $180 million in investment with 1,503 new, full-time jobs. The largest is a $52 million investment by eBay Enterprise, which is creating 354 new jobs for the expansion of its Richwood facility.