#23 Kentucky

From the Governor

“My vision for this state is simple, and that is that we will be the center for engineering and manufacturing excellence in the United States of America.” —Gov. Matt Bevin

Reducing Red Tape

Kentucky continues to expand on its manufacturing assets while also pursuing new sectors in urban areas and trying to encourage more opportunity in rural communities. Gov. Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative aims to identify and review costly, ineffective or outdated regulations. Walmart, AgTech Scientific, Takigawa and Novelis have all made notable investments in Kentucky in the past year.

Key Contacts

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Terry Gill, Secretary
Old Capitol Annex
300 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601

Key Incentives

Commonwealth Seed Capital: Offers debt or equity investments in early-stage business entities to facilitate the commercialization of innovation ideas or technologies.

Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) Program: Offers income tax credits and wage assessments to new and existing businesses in multiple industries.

Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act: Offers a refund on Kentucky sales and use tax for building and construction materials permanently incorporated as an improvement in property.

Kentucky Reinvestment Act: Offers tax credits to existing companies engaged in manufacturing or related functions that invest at least $2.5 million in eligible equipment or related costs.

Kentucky New Energy Ventures Fund: Offers seed stage capital to support development and commercialization of renewable energy products, processes and services.


Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development: thinkkentucky.com

Kentucky Association for Economic Development: kaedonline.org

Commerce Lexington: locateinlexington.com

Louisville Forward: louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs is a new initiative to attract companies and support entrepreneurs through partnerships with universities, companies, accelerators and incubators.

Big Deals

  • AgTech Scientific announced in January 2018 it will create 271 jobs at a new hemp products manufacturing center in Paris.
  • Takigawa broke ground in April 2018 on its first factory in the U.S. The $46 million flexible packaging and high-performance films plant is expected to create 180 jobs.
  • Novelis broke ground in May 2018 on a $305 million automotive steel processing plant in Todd County. It will create 125 full-time jobs.
  • Sunroof supplier Webasto Roof Systems announced in August 2018 a $15 million investment and 183 jobs.
  • Walmart announced in August 2018 a $41 million e-commerce facility in Bullitt County that will create 400 jobs.
  • Nucor announced in September 2018 a $650 million expansion at its steel mill near Ghent and the creation of 70 jobs.

Big Companies

Ashland Global Holdings
Diversified Consultants

Three Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state:

Kindred Healthcare
Yum! Brands

C-Suite Testimonials

“With a strong, highly skilled workforce in Kentucky, we believe our culture and commitment to building a sustainable world together will have a lasting and positive impact on this community.” —Steve Fisher, President and CEO, Novelis

“We have been targeting locations that will allow us to serve our existing customers, as well as expand our business in the Southeast, and Kentucky lets us do that…. The Lexington facility also made it possible to reach parts of the Midwest and East.” —Greg Klemenswics, President, Tru-Tone

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