CINCINNATI (May 18, 2012) — Duke Energy Kentucky, over the next five years, will contribute $250,000 to the Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED) to enhance existing business retention and expansion efforts in Kenton, Boone and Campbell counties, and $75,000 to the Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) in Pendleton, Grant and Gallatin counties.
Tri-ED and NKADD will partner with local city and county economic development leaders, utilities and government officials to coordinate proactive visits with existing Northern Kentucky businesses to gather information to understand and recognize needs, challenges and barriers to growth.
Information being gathered includes: workforce challenges, training needs, facility plans, growth opportunities, regional infrastructure needs, energy efficiency initiatives, and other ideas for business growth.
The data will be used to identify overarching needs in workforce training, utility reliability, facility needs, municipal services and quality of life.
“In 2011, 82 percent of all economic development projects in Northern Kentucky were from existing companies and this funding will keep that momentum going,” said Julie Janson, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.
“We are committed to building strong, vibrant communities through retaining and growing existing businesses and new projects across the communities we serve,” she said.
This retention and expansion initiative was developed out of the Vision 2015 Economic Competitiveness Working Group in concert with TRI-ED’s existing business retention and expansion program.
The Economic Competitiveness Working Group develops comprehensive strategies to address needs to improve economic development, retention and expansion in Northern Kentucky. It is comprised of Northern Kentucky economic and workforce development professionals working in collaboration to improve the region.
“Business retention and expansion plays a critical role in the overall economic development success of our region,” said Wade Williams, vice president, for Northern Kentucky Tri-ED.
“As one of Tri-ED’s core strategies, this funding will further enhance Northern Kentucky’s efforts to collaborate with the community on opportunities that cultivate, accelerate and grow the region’s existing businesses,” he added.
Duke Energy Kentucky’s operations provide approximately 1,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 140,000 customers. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 100,000 customers in Northern Kentucky.