In its highest ranking ever, Kentucky has been rated eighth in the nation for new and expanded industry activity in 2011 by Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings. The Atlanta-based publication has rated the states annually since 1978.
The ranking is based on a state’s total number of qualified projects as tracked by Conway Data Inc.’s New Plant database.
Qualified projects include those that meet at least one of one of the three criteria:
- Involve a capital investment of at least $1 Million
- Create 50 or more jobs
- Add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor space
During 2011, Kentucky generated 198 projects that met the database requirements. In total, 326 location or expansion announcements were reported in Kentucky resulting in 13,230 projected new full-time jobs. Capital investment was estimated at more than $2.6 Billion.
Conway Data’s rankings are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” The magazine’s circulation base consists of 44,000 executives involved in corporate site selection decisions.
In addition to the Governor’s Cup, eight Kentucky micropolitan areas are recognized for their economic development successes. The magazine’s Top Micropolitan Ranking includes Danville (tied for 13), Somerset (tied for 13), Glasgow (21), Paducah (tied for 32), Madisonville (tied for 48), Corbin (tied for 48), Mount Sterling (tied for 48), and Richmond (tied for 48).
The top five industries for corporate facility projects in 2011 showed substantially more expansions at existing sites than at new locations — as good a sign as any that companies not consolidating outright are at the very least sticking to what they know.
That’s one conclusion to be drawn from the data collected year-round in Site Selection’s proprietary New Plant Database, which qualifies private-sector facility projects that meet one of the following three criteria: at least US$1 million invested; at least 50 new jobs created; or at least 20,000 new sq. ft. (sq. m.) of new or refurbished space.
According to the Site Selection website for the Governor’s Cup: “China, India and South Korea continue to garner strong shares of projects across multiple industries, but project evidence also indicates that the U.S. reshoring phenomenon is more than media-driven hype.
While the automotive industry projects again lead the way in annual project tallies over chemicals/pharmaceuticals, machinery and fabricated metal, one thread running throughout all the top-ranking industries is energy, whether associated with electric vehicle batteries, turbines, polysilicon and solar cells and modules, or natural gas.”