Kentucky Is a Global Business Center
Kentucky remains a leader in attracting foreign direct investment, with nearly 40 percent of announced new investment in 2013 due to FDI activity.
Location USA 2014
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 industry.
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.