Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 06, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Kentucky continues its streak in Top 10 for seventh consecutive year


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 6, 2009) – Site Selection magazine (, a leading international economic development publication, has ranked Kentucky 5th in the United States in its 2008 Annual Competitiveness Award, which is featured in the May 2009 issue.   

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.” 

Businesses in most industries are scaling back expansion plans, so state economic developers must double their efforts to attract capital investment," said Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection magazine. "Kentucky's fifth-place finish in our annual ranking of Most Competitive States should indicate clearly to corporate location decision makers that its economic development strategy is delivering results, even in a challenging economic climate.” 

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.    

“We’re honored to be recognized once again by Site Selection magazine in its annual Competitiveness Award,” said Gov. Steve Beshear.  “I have set a clear strategic vision for Kentucky’s economic future, and we are actively implementing that vision to ensure that Kentucky remains competitive even during this national economic downturn.  I am confident that Kentucky will emerge even stronger in the future.” 

Categories used to calculate the ranking include per capita jobs and investment numbers for 2008; the number of top metros and micropolitans in Site Selection’s 2008 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 to compete for the award. 

Kentucky has been very aggressive in its economic development strategy under the leadership of Gov. Beshear, and this ranking demonstrates our work is seeing results,” said Economic Development Cabinet Interim Sec. Larry Hayes.  “We have a great team at the Cabinet for Economic Development, as well as a wonderful network of local economic development professionals across the state.  This honor is a testament to their hard work and dedication to creating economic opportunities for the citizens of Kentucky.” 

To view the Site Selection article in its entirety, visit 


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The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2008 totaled over $1.8 billion with the creation of more than 11,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at