Three South Central Kentucky Projects Contribute to Commonwealth's Silver Shovel Award
Kentucky Earns Silver Shovel Award for Economic Development Excellence
Three South Central Kentucky Projects Contribute to Award Recognition
Jessica M.L. Thompson, Marketing & Communications Director
BOWLING GREEN, KY-Area Development magazine announced its Gold and Silver Shovel Awards today, recognizing Kentucky as one of the Silver Shovel winners for 2011 (3+ to 5 million population). These awards acknowledge states that were the most successful in creating jobs and securing investments in expanding and new companies in 2011.
Three economic development projects in South Central Kentucky contributed to Kentucky's Silver Shovel Award. Barren, Butler and Warren Counties were recognized for the following projects:
Having three of Kentucky's Top 10 announced projects in South Central Kentucky is a testament to the many economic development assets available in the region. The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce played an integral role in two of the three projects. 2012 Chamber Board of Directors Chairman D. Gaines Penn said, "It was an honor for the Chamber to assist with the General Motors and Sequa projects, and we are dedicated to continuing to support them, as well as Akebono Brake and all South Central Kentucky businesses, throughout the years to come."
- Sequa Automotive Group: 280 jobs and $7.2 million investment
- General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant, 250 jobs and $131.1 million investment
- Akebono Brake: 224 jobs and $20.6 million investment
Sequa Automotive Group's attraction project in Morgantown was the fifth largest announcement in Kentucky for job creation during 2011. Sequa announced plans to create 280 new jobs by 2014 and to invest more than $7.2 million in Butler County. The manufacturer produces airbag safety system inflators.
General Motors officials began a major refurbishment to the one million square-foot Bowling Green Assembly Plant to add a new vehicle product program-the next-generation Chevy Corvette-creating 250 new jobs and a capital investment of more than $131 million in Warren County. This announcement was the third largest announced investment in Kentucky in 2011.
Akebono Brake Corporation's expansion was yet another large project for South Central Kentucky in 2011. The company added 60,000 square feet to its existing Glasgow facility and announced plans for 224 new jobs with a planned investment of $20.6 million. When complete, the expansion project brings employment at Akebono to more than 900 South Central Kentucky residents.
These projects contributed to an impressive year of economic growth in South Central Kentucky last year. The Chamber-along with elected officials, community leaders and business executives-supported economic development projects involving 16 announcements totaling a potential capital investment of more than $226 million and 1,597 planned new jobs. Those projects will materialize over the next three years, bringing significant investment and income to the region.
Additionally, Bowling Green - Warren County has received significant recognition, including the following:
"Accolades such as these are impressive examples of how Bowling Green, Warren County and South Central Kentucky work together to create a better economy for our residents and our businesses," said Chamber President & CEO Ron Bunch, CEcD. "And this would not be possible without the continued support of our government, business and community leaders. The Chamber prides itself on strong relationships with these leaders and our partners, and we thank them all for their commitment to our organization.
- Kentucky's No. 1 county for private sector job growth from 2001 to 2010.
- Ranked 3rd in the nation for job creation and projects in 2011 by Site Selection.
- Ranked 5th in the nation for business and careers in 2011 by Forbes.
- Listed in the top 25% of MSAs for economic development efforts by gross domestic product.
- Ranked 9th in the nation by the Fourth Economic Community Index for small-sized counties that are ideally positioned for investment and growth.
- Awarded one of the first three Work Ready Community certifications by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board.
- Received a CSX Select Site designation for the Kentucky Transpark, one of only five CSX Select Sites on the railroad's 23-state network, one of only two designated sites in the southeastern United States, and the only designated site in Kentucky.
Click here to read the news release published by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and visit www.thinkkentucky.com to learn more about Kentucky's economic development efforts. For the article and more on Area Development, visit www.areadevelopment.com/awards.
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 1,300 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.