Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 03, 2006  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

FRANKFORT, KY – Site Selection (, a leading international economic development publication, has ranked Kentucky 4th in the United States for the second year in a row in its 2006 Annual Competitiveness Award.  The benchmark that measures state economic development agencies' competitiveness -- the most important factor in an agency's ability to attract capital investment and expand economic activity in the state -- is regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard”.


“States must perform well in 10 criteria related to actual business expansion activity as tracked by our New Plant database,” says Mark Arend, Editor of Site Selection.  “The fact that Kentucky appears near the top of the list each year is evidence that its economic development team is delivering what location decision makers are looking for.”


Open only to state-level economic development agencies, the states were ranked according to an indexing system based on 10 criteria for measuring business-expansion activity that took place in the previous calendar year.  Kentucky has consistently ranked in the Top 10 since the inception of the award in 2003.   


"Kentucky’s economic development achievements are outstanding,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher.  “Our success in attracting new industry to Kentucky as well as helping existing businesses expand is nothing short of remarkable.  The recognition by Site Selection magazine is an honor and tribute to the business climate we’ve cultivated in Kentucky.  Economic Development Secretary Gene Strong and staff are to be commended.”


 Categories used to calculate the ranking include per capita jobs and investment numbers for 2005, the number of top metros and micropolitans in Site Selection’s 2005 rankings, rates of growth in new and expanded facilities and ranking in the annual business climate survey.  The indexing system for determining the state rankings is set up to ensure that all states have the same opportunity at competing for the award.


 “The recognition of Kentucky’s economic development efforts as a national leader year after year by Site Selection magazine speaks volumes about the hard work and experience of our Cabinet employees,” said Secretary Gene Strong, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.  “Because of the support of Governor Fletcher and the Kentucky General Assembly, our ability to compete for new location and expansion projects continues to be strong.  By strengthening the partnerships we’ve established with the private sector and aggressively pursuing high-quality economic opportunities everyday, we continue to create new jobs and investment in the commonwealth.”


During 2005, 365 manufacturing and or supportive/service companies located or expanded in Kentucky resulting in nearly 16,700 net new jobs created.  Investment was estimated at more than $1.6 billion.  To view the Site Selection article in its entirety, visit