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CEO Guide to Site Selection



The Bluegrass State is emerging as a national leader in electric vehicle transformation, announcing more than$10.6 billion of investments and over 10,000 full-time jobs since 2020. CNBC recently noted that Kentucky, Georgia and Michigan are poised to dominate EV battery manufacturing by 2030. Ford Motor Company and SK is currently building the BlueOval SK Battery Parkin Glendale. The $5.8 billion project, one of the largest in the state’s history, will create more than 5,000 jobs and will start production in 2025. The facility will build advanced batteries for Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles and can produce more than 80-gigawatt hours annually.

“It’s no secret why companies continue to choose to locate their business here in the commonwealth. Kentucky’s business-friendly environment and talented workforce make it an ideal option for any company seeking to improve access to their consumer base and increase competitiveness within their market.”
Andy Beshear


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top corporate income tax

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on the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranking


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of adults 25 years of age and older graduated high school

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of adults age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher


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increase between 2010 and 2020


Kentucky Business Investment Program: Offers income tax credits and wage assessments to eligible companies that locate or expand operations in the state.

SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program: Matches, on a competitive basis, up to $150,000 for Phase 1 and up to $500,000 for Phase 2 federal SBIR and STTR awards.

Kentucky Small Business Credit Initiative (KSBCI): Offers credit enhancement programs to help lenders finance creditworthy small businesses that would typically fall just outside of normal lending guidelines.

Bluegrass State Skills Corporation Skills Training Investment Credit (STIC): Offers grants and tax credits to businesses that sponsor skills training programs for their employees.

Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act: Offers sales and use tax refunds for eligible companies investing at least $500,000 for construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit: Encourages small business growth and job creation by providing nonrefundable tax credits to eligible businesses increasing employment and investing at least $5,000 in qualifying equipment and technology.


Cabinet for Economic Development

Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Lexington

Greater Louisville Inc.

Louisville Forward


In March 2023, the state launched Supply Kentucky with a goal of creating a more interconnected economy by matching the state’s manufacturers and suppliers. The hope is to improve job growth, reduce manufacturing costs and create more secure supply chains. Supply Kentucky features a free searchable database Kentucky manufacturers and suppliers can register with and use to search for other companies with which to to do business.


  • In January 2023, North American Stainless announced a $244 million expansion and 70 new jobs in Carroll County.
  • EnerVenue announced in March 2023 a $264 million manufacturing facility and 450 new jobs in Shelby County.
  • Toyota Boshoku America Inc. announced in March 2023, a $225 million facility and 157 new jobs in Hopkinsville.
  • Rivian announced in April 2023 a $10 million facility and 218 new jobs in Bullitt County.
  • Thai Summit Kentucky Corporation, a sheet metal stamping company, announced in July 2023 a $131 million expansion and 78 jobs in Nelson County.
  • Hitachi Astemo Americas announced in July 2023 a $153 million expansion of its operation in Madison County.


  • Humana Inc. (Fortune 500 headquarters)
  • University of Kentucky
  • Toyota Kentucky
  • Baptist HealthConduent
  • UPS
  • Hyster-Yale Group

No 17: Kentucky

No. 17


Taxation and Regulations
Workforce Quality
Living Environment

Based on CEO Survey by

Key Metrics
Taxation and Regulations

  • State Corporate Income Tax Rate: 6%
  • Highest Personal Income Tax Rate: 6%

Workforce Quality

  • % with High School diploma or more: 81.3
  • % with Bachelor’s degree or more: 19.7
  • % with Advanced degree or more: 7.9
  • Patents per 100K: 12.42
  • % of Employed Represented by Unions: 10.1

Quality of Life

  • Hopsitals per 10K: 0.247
  • Elementary/Secondary Schools per 1000 people: 0.345
  • Violent Crimes per 100K: 256.44
Key Companies
  • Humana
  • YUM! Brands
  • Ashland
Other Highlights
  • Kentucky rose to #17 from #23 in 2009 and 2010
  • Kentucky ranks 28th in state debt per capita with $3107

Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education


Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.