Bowling Green, Warren County is attracting the top investments in the state, according to the July edition of the Lane Report. The article featured a ranked list of Economic Development announcements in the Commonwealth from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014. Bowling Green and Warren County claimed the top investment and the third largest investment, as well as three others on the list.
While the article spoke of the overall number of announcements in the Commonwealth being significantly down from the past year, the Bowling Green, Warren County region experienced a nearly 30 percent increase in the number of announcements.
“We have experienced a truly remarkable 18 months in economic development,” stated Chamber Board Chairman John Mark Fones. “We have seen a total of 11 announcements bringing a capital investment of more than $430 million and the creation of over 700 jobs. This success is due in part to the outstanding support we have received from all of our community partners, including the City of Bowling Green and Warren County. We are grateful for the leadership that exists in our community and would like to extend a sincere thank you to those organizations they represent.”
Compared to the previous 12 months, the overall capital investment in the Commonwealth dropped 33 percent and saw more than 2,000 fewer jobs created. However, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce reported that the amount of capital invested in the region more than tripled from the previous year and the number of jobs more than doubled.
“Despite the economic downturn and the impact that has had on a number of communities, our region continues to see continuous growth with each passing year. The strategic location, the low cost of doing business and our skilled and motivated workforce continues to attract companies from around the world and we couldn’t be happier to see our community growing at such an astounding pace. It will be exciting to see what the next year has in store for us,” stated President and CEO, Ron Bunch.
The Contellium-UACJ Body in White Plant, an international joint venture between a European and Japanese aluminum company that announced their intentions to locate in the Kentucky Transpark earlier this year and celebrated a groundbreaking in July, was the largest investment in the state in the past 12 months. The project will bring a capital investment of $150 million to the region and create 80 jobs.
“We celebrated a landmark year in Economic Development at the close of 2013. And just five months into the new year, we welcomed the largest capital investment in South Central Kentucky in more than a decade,” stated Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. “We are truly fortunate for the leadership and support in Bowling Green, Warren County that continues to propel our community forward. It’s the hard work of a number of individuals and organizations that make such impressive economic growth possible and it is an honor to be a small part of it.”
German-based Bilstein North America claimed the spot for the third largest investment, investing $120 million in their production plant and U.S. headquarters that will be located in the award-winning Kentucky Transpark. This was the largest capital investment by a new firm in the Commonwealth for the year 2013 and the third largest overall. Prior to the announcement of the Constellium-UACJ Body in White Plant, this was the largest announcement for the South Central Kentucky region in more than a decade.
The expansion of existing industries ShopHQ and AEP Industries also made the list with a collective capital investment of more than $40 million.
“Not only are we attracting new companies to our region but it’s the expansion of our existing industries that truly speaks to the benefits Bowling Green offers its corporate citizens. Our community is growing because of the confidence and investment that every business here places in the city. When our businesses succeed, our community as a whole succeeds and the quality of life here grows that much more. This truly is a great place to live, work and play,” stated Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.
The Logan County Economic Alliance for Development also had an announcement in the top ten. The addition of Champion Petfoods USA will bring $85.3 million to their county and 147 new jobs. Logan County is part of the ten-county region known as South Central Kentucky which made up 34 percent of the total capital investment of the top 10 announcements on the list.
“We are very pleased about Champion’s plans to make such a significant financial investment in their Logan County kitchen,” said Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick. “Logan County is truly fortunate to welcome Champion Petfoods. It is known as an outstanding corporate citizen and committed to pet lovers worldwide, and we want to support economic growth by bringing these good jobs to our region.”
This acknowledgement follows two notable rankings the area received earlier in the year. Among metropolitan areas with populations less than 200,000, the city of Bowling Green ranked 6th on Site Selection’s Top 10 Metro Areas for New and Expanded Facilities in 2013. Bowling Green was also featured on Southern Business & Development’s “Ten More Shining Examples of Economic Development that’s working in the South” list in the Winter 2014 edition released at the end of February.
In 2014, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has celebrated a total of five announcements for a total capital investment of more than $187 million and the creation of over 330 jobs.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,100 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.