Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Celebrates Governor’s Cup Award in Madisonville
Region also named among Site Selection magazine’s top areas for economic successes
MADISONVILLE, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear hoisted Kentucky’s historic Governor’s Cup trophy in Madisonville today.
Gov. Beshear joined community officials to celebrate Site Selection magazine naming Kentucky the top state for economic development projects per capita last year. The nationally acclaimed publication also ranked the Madisonville area among the nation’s top micropolitans in business creation.
“It’s an honor to receive the Governor’s Cup, but it’s the meaning behind the award that’s so significant,” said Gov. Beshear. “Think about where we were seven years ago when Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 11 percent and business growth was at a near standstill. We’ve come so far. Our statewide unemployment rate is now 5.1 percent, and the Governor’s Cup is further proof of the fruits of our labor. This success would not have been possible without this community’s dedication to supporting businesses, creating jobs and making Kentucky a better place for all of us.”
Madisonville/Hopkins County has played a significant role in growing Kentucky’s economy. Since January 2008, the region announced 24 new and expansion projects, which are projected to create 891 jobs and $150 million in new investment.
Major projects include:
- Berry Plastics: 420 jobs and $96 million investments
- Carhartt Customer Service Center: 150 new jobs, 550 retained jobs and $11 million investment
- B&K Wood Products: 39 jobs and $1.3 million investment
- Ahlstrom Filtration: 13 new jobs and $18.4 million investment
- Clark Associates: 95 jobs and $3.3 million investment
The unemployment rate in Hopkins County continues to decline. In March 2014 the county rate was 8.1 percent. The rate for March 2015 is 5.8 percent.
The Hopkins County area is also seeing an increase in tourism. A report released Monday showed that the economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry topped $13 billion in 2014, with growth in every tourism region of the state. Hopkins County’s 2014 tourism economic impact was $81.4 million, a 5.5 percent increase from the previous year. The county’s 2014 tourism employment was the equivalent of 769 jobs.
“Receiving this recognition represents a culmination of efforts by Gov. Beshear over eight years and his substantial success in bringing industry and jobs to Kentucky, thus improving the lives of all Kentuckians,” said Rep. Brent Yonts, of Greenville. “Receiving this recognition is an acknowledgment of his two-term dedication to moving Kentucky forward. It comes just as he ends his long journey of making Kentucky stronger.”
“I appreciate Gov. Beshear visiting the city of Madisonville, which is a major contributor to western Kentucky’s industrial and economic engine,” said Sen. C.B Embry, of Morgantown. “The community is also dedicated to educational opportunities with Madisonville Community College and its partnerships with other higher learning institutions, which is an attractive asset to potential newcomers. Congratulations to all of those who work hard to make Kentucky a great place to invest and grow a business.”
Speaking at the event today were Tim Teel, chairman of the Madisonville/Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation; Madisonville Mayor David Jackson; Hopkins County Judge-Executive Donald Carroll and Gerald Cook, president of the Madison-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation.
The Governor’s Cup is just one of the Commonwealth’s recent economic development successes.
- Kentucky announced more than 350 new industry location and expansion projects last year, which are projected to create nearly 15,000 jobs and more than $3.7 billion in new investment. That is the most business investment since the state started keeping track nearly 30 years ago.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Coincident Index, which measures wages, unemployment rates and payrolls, indicates Kentucky’s economic activity not only recovered from the Great Recession, but has also reached an all-time high.
- Kentucky’s jobless rate is below the national average and is half of what it was during the height of the recession.
- Kentucky exports reached an all-time high of more than $27.5 billion last year. It’s the fourth straight year Kentucky has set a state record.
Site Selection, an Atlanta-based publication, rates states, metropolitans and micropolitans annually for its Governor’s Cup. The rankings are based on the number of projects that involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create 20 or more jobs or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor space. For more on Kentucky’s Governor’s Cup and Madisonville’s award, visit www.siteselection.com.