Kentucky remains a leader in attracting foreign direct
investment, with nearly 40 percent of announced new
investment in 2013 due to FDI activity. Today, about 410
foreign-owned firms from 30 nations employ nearly 82,000
people in the state.
Companies such as Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems
(Germany), L’Oreal (France), Funai Electric Co. (Japan),
Birtley (China), and INFAC (Korea) have all made recent
investments in the state, showing Kentucky can compete
globally for jobs and investment.
Kentucky manufacturers are having great success and
their numbers are growing, especially in the automotive
Ford Motor Company recently announced it would
boost production capacity at the Kentucky Truck Plant in
Louisville to meet surging demand for F-Series Super Duty
trucks. The $80 million investment will create 350 new jobs.
Ford will also start producing the Lincoln MKC at its other
Kentucky facility, the Louisville Assembly Plant, this year.
Toyota is upgrading its facility in Georgetown, Kentucky,
to be the first-ever U.S. production site for the Lexus ES
350 model, the top-selling Lexus sedan in the world. The
project entails a $530 million investment and the creation
of 750 new jobs.
The General Motors plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky,
produces the Chevy Stingray Corvette, voted the 2014
North American Car of the Year.
Large On Logistics
In addition to its manufacturing strength, Kentucky is a
logistical paradise, located within 600 kilometers of 65 percent
of the U.S. population. Five commercial airports and
two top air cargo hubs (UPS and DHL) help rank Kentucky
third in air cargo shipments. Kentucky also offers major rail
and river ports, 19 interstates and major highways, and the
most miles of navigable rivers in the lower 48 states.
The need for highly skilled workers is more critical than
ever. Kentucky puts a high priority on bringing industries
and schools together to provide apprenticeship training.
Apprenticeship is an industry-driven concept that focuses
on on-the-job training and is supplemented by technical
classroom instruction. This nationally recognized certification
offers programs for a variety of careers and industries.
Kentucky is also one of the first states to implement a
Work Ready Communities program, which certifies the quality
of the workforce based on six criteria specified by site
selectors, business and industry leaders, economic developers,
and local officials. Work Ready Communities must meet
goals for graduation rates, soft skills development, educational
attainment, community involvement, digital literacy,
and National Career Readiness certificate holders.