BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – June 10, 2015 – Kentucky’s record-shattering economic development efforts in 2014 were recently lauded by industry-leading publications Site Selection and Area Development magazines, and today the Chamber celebrated South Central Kentucky’s contribution to these recognitions. Last year, Bowling Green touted the third largest capital investment in the state of Kentucky with the announcement of international joint venture Constellium-UACJ, which brought more than $155 million in capital investment and 80 new jobs.
In March, Gov. Steve Beshear announced that Kentucky placed first in Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup national rankings for new and expanded industry activity per capita for the year. Today, local officials and members of the community gathered at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce for a special visit by Beshear to celebrate South Central Kentucky’s contributions to the state’s Governor’s Cup win.
“It’s an honor to receive the Governor’s Cup, but it’s the meaning behind the award that’s so significant,” said Beshear. “Think about where we were seven years ago when Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 11 percent and business growth was at a near standstill. We’ve come so far. Our statewide unemployment rate is now 5 percent, and the Governor’s Cup is further proof of the fruits of our labor. This success would not have been possible without this community’s dedication to supporting businesses, creating jobs and making Kentucky a better place for all of us.”
The city of Bowling Green also ranked fourth on Site Selection’s list of “Top 10 Metros of 2014” for new and expanded facilities among metropolitan areas with populations less than 200,000. This is Bowling Green’s second consecutive year on this list, climbing two spots from sixth place in 2013.
Additionally, last week, Area Development magazine announced that Kentucky is a recipient of their 10th annual Silver Shovel award for states with populations between 3 and 5 million. Constellium-UACJ was ranked in Area Development’s top 10 projects for the state. In total, Kentucky experienced more than $750 million in capital investment with more than 3,350 jobs created in 2014.
Gold and Silver Shovels are awarded to states that have produced the best and most jobs per capita and broke ground in 2014. Each state is rated based on the following weighted factors: direct job creation numbers, new jobs per capita, amount of new investment, number of new facilities and number of projects creating high value-added jobs. One Gold Shovel and up to three Silver Shovels are awarded in five population categories.
“Kentucky has seen tremendous economic development growth in recent years with projects from our region making an indelible impact,” said Tommy Adams, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce board chairman. “I’m honored to say to say we contributed to two prestigious state rankings for 2014, and I’m so grateful for the support we received from the community to make this happen.”
In 2014, South Central Kentucky experienced a capital investment of more than $211 million and the creation of over 660 new jobs. Constellium-UACJ’s announcement was the largest capital investment for a manufacturing firm in the Commonwealth in 2014 and the largest capital investment in South Central Kentucky in a decade. 2014 marked the second year in a row that South Central Kentucky has attracted the largest capital investment for manufacturing in the state.
“Over the years, Bowling Green has proven to be a great community for those industries looking to do business, and last year alone is a shining example,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “International companies who have decided to establish their headquarters here have further paved the way for our community’s national recognitions.”
South Central Kentucky is on track for another record-setting year in economic development. Currently, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce’s announced projects will bring a total capital investment of $739,989,600 and create 610 new jobs in the region.
For more information on Site Selection magazine, visit http://www.siteselection.com.
For more information on Area Development magazine, visit http://www.areadevelopment.com.
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 1,200 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. Learn more about South Central Kentucky’s advantages at http://www.southcentralky.com/.
Caitlin Greenwell, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce