Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Celebrates Governor’s Cup Award in London

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 07, 2015  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

Region named among Site Selection magazine’s top communities for economic successes

LONDON, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear hoisted Kentucky’s historic Governor’s Cup trophy in London 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 London among the nation’s top metropolitans/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.”

London/Laurel County and its surrounding region has played a significant role in growing Kentucky’s economy. Since January 2008, the region announced 18 new and expansion projects, which are projected to create 2,491 jobs and $60,595,352 in new investment. Projects include:

  • Vangent (2013): 1,000 jobs and $13.8 million investment
  • Serco (2013): 1,000 jobs and $15 million investment
  • ABC Automotive Systems (2015): 75 jobs and $7.3 million investment
  • Hearthside Food Solutions (2012): 80 jobs and $1.5 million investment
  • Kentucky Dairy Product Innovations (2014): 20 jobs and $4 million investment

The Laurel 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. Laurel County’s 2014 tourism economic impact was $152.9 million, which is largest in this region and a 1 percent increase from the previous year. The county’s 2014 tourism employment was the equivalent of 2,474 jobs.

“London is one of the fastest-growing communities in Kentucky, and is an important economic engine for our region of the state,” said Sen. Albert Robinson of London. “I am happy to see Gov. Beshear visit us here, and am pleased with the positive news of business investment and job opportunity throughout Kentucky.”

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 London’s award, visit