CEO Guide to Site Selection



While the Bluegrass State has seen its share of challenges in recent years, it is flush with business opportunities and is becoming known as a manufacturing hub, for everything from bourbon to electric vehicle batteries. In 2021, of the 21,000 jobs that were created statewide, 90% were in manufacturing, according to the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers. That momentum continued in 2022. Toyota, Ford, GE Appliances and AESC have made new investments or expansions here in the past couple of years.

“Manufacturing is at the heart of everything we do in terms of economic development in this state. This sector has been a driving force behind our recent success and will continue to be a pillar of our economy for generations to come. I want to thank every manufacturer across the Commonwealth for their part in our continued success, as well as every single resident who works to produce Kentucky-made products that are distributed around the world.”
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.


Team Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Lexington

Greater Louisville Inc.

Louisville Forward


In July 2022, Gov. Andy Beshear rolled out the Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI), a collaboration between the Team Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky Association for Economic Development, which makes $100 million in state fund- ing available to support potential upgrades to sites and buildings statewide. KPDI provides an opportunity for local governments and EDOs to seek funding for trans- formative site and infrastructure improvement projects.


  • Ford and SK On announced in September 2021 the BlueOval SK Battery Park. The $5.8 billion investment will create 5,000 full-time jobs in Glendale.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky announced in October 2021 a $461 million investment and 1,400 new jobs for future vehicle electrification.
  • Pratt Paper announced in December 2021 a $500 million paper mill and box factory with 321 new jobs in Henderson.
  • Japan-based Envision AESC announced in April 2022 a $2 billion gigafactory in Bowling Green that will create 2,000 jobs.
  • Ford Motor announced in September 2022 a $700 million investment and 500 new jobs at the Louisville Kentucky Truck Plant.


  • Humana (Fortune 500 headquarters)
  • Yum! Brands (Fortune 500 headquarters) 
  • Tempur Sealy International
  • Texas Roadhouse Brown

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

We are in a period of rapid change. Customer needs, technologies, competitors and internal capabilities require companies to review and update their strategies for the new realities. In this workshop, strategy experts Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison will show you a systematic approach to strategic planning to help you refine or redefine your business strategy and approach including:

  • Learn what you need to know to develop an effective strategic plan. Put the right players on the strategic planning team.
  • Develop strategies that leverage your company’s unique position in the marketplace. Lift your management team beyond “business as usual” thought processes and activities.
  • Translate your strategies into action. Achieve your vision for success and generate superior financial results.
  • Identify exactly what you need to do now to position your company for future success.

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.