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Gov. Beshear: Kentucky Jumps to No. 1 in South Central Region for 2023 National Economic Development Rankings

Commonwealth rises to No. 5 in Site Selection’s 2023 Prosperity Cup

                                     

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 25, 2023) – Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted Kentucky’s continued economic success as Site Selection magazine placed the commonwealth at No. 1 in the South Central region of its newly released 2023 Prosperity Cup rankings, moving up two spots from last year’s third place position. Kentucky also placed in the top five nationally after ranking sixth in 2022.

The rankings recognize the competitiveness of state-level economic development agencies and their success in landing capital investment projects according to a 10-point index.

“Our state’s strong placement in this and other recent rankings for economic growth showcase what we in Kentucky already know – the commonwealth is the best place to do business as we focus on building a future that works for all Kentuckians,” Gov. Beshear said. “We have much more work to do to meet our goals, but our efforts are gaining recognition at the national and international level. That success is due to the tremendous work of everyone who is part of Team Kentucky.”

In addition to Kentucky’s improved national and regional rankings, one company and three communities across the state were recognized for their growth and success over the past year.

AESC, formerly known as Envision AESC, placed in the top 20 of the Top Deals in North America list, which is determined based on a points system driven by corporate investment and job creation. The company tied for 14th based on its commitment to invest $2 billion and create 2,000 full-time jobs at a state-of-the-art electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Bowling Green. The project, announced in April 2022, broke ground in August of last year and is expected to power up to 300,000 vehicles annually by 2027 at the approximately 3 million-square-foot facility. AESC builds on Kentucky’s incredible momentum in the growing EV sector, which includes over $10 billion in announced investment since 2020.

Kentucky’s strong placement in the 2023 Prosperity Cup rankings reflects recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of more than 46,300 full-time jobs and nearly 860 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $26 billion in announced investments.

The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.

That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.

Gov. Beshear also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration secured the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever such upgrade from Fitch Ratings.

Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.

Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

The Governor also recently announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. On May 18, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky set a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%, which is the lowest rate ever recorded in the commonwealth.

For the full 2023 Prosperity Cup rankings and more information on methodology, visit SiteSelection.com.

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