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Kentucky business climate ranked third nationally

State was ranked eighth last year by Site Selection Magazine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2015) — Kentucky has been ranked third nationally in the 2015 Business Climate Ranking by Site Selection magazine. Kentucky was ranked eighth last year. Georgia grabbed the top spot, with North Carolina ranked second.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.50.28 PM“This ranking reflects the culmination of my administration’s focus on economic development,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Since January 2008, we announced nearly 2,300 new or expanding facilities, bringing more than 86,000 jobs and a total investment of $19.2 billion into Kentucky. From Kentucky’s automotive-related manufacturing to our thriving aerospace industry to our world-renowned bourbon distilleries, business leaders recognize the Bluegrass State as a premier location for commerce and this ranking by Site Selection magazine underscores that fact.”

The results are based in part on a survey of corporate real estate executives, who considered existing workforce skills, state and local taxes, transportation and utility infrastructure, and land/building prices and supply as the most important factors.

Within the Business Climate Ranking’s methodology, 50 percent is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them. The other 50 percent is based on an index of seven criteria: performance in Site Selection’s annual Competitiveness ranking; total New Plant Database compliant facilities in 2014; total new facilities in 2014 per capita; total 2015 new projects year to date; total 2015 projects year to date per capita; state tax burdens on mature firms and on new firms according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG Location Matters analysis.

Kentucky placed first in the ranking’s new plants-per-capita category, which measured 2015 through August, and ranked fourth in the 2014 new plants-per-capita category.

The ranking provides further evidence of Kentucky’s continuing momentum. In just the past month, two aluminum-related companies—Logan Aluminum, a casting and rolled-coil producer in Logan County, and Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products in Bowling Green—announced expansions that will collectively add more than 300 jobs to the state’s metals sector.

Shipping giant UPS last week announced it would invest nearly $310 million in its Centennial Ground Hub facility in Louisville, roughly doubling its capacity for handling packages. Another logistics leader, DHL Express, in May committed to a $108 million expansion of its hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which is creating 50 new jobs.

And last month, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky began producing the Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan, the first U.S.-built Lexus. That project is creating 750 new Kentucky jobs with an investment of $360 million.

“Our goal at the Cabinet for Economic Development is to provide jobs for Kentuckians by helping existing businesses expand and new businesses locate in our commonwealth,” said Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes. “Kentucky’s low business costs, robust shipping and logistics options, dedicated workforce and network of state and local economic development experts and resources make our state the clear choice as a top location for businesses.”

A comprehensive report, through October 2015, of new and expanding companies in Kentucky is available here. News releases on the latest announcements are available here.