Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Friday, December 01, 2006  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

FRANKFORT, KYAfter 15 years of service to the Cabinet for Economic Development, Secretary Marvin E. “Gene” Strong, Jr. announced today he will resign from his position as Secretary effective January 31, 2007. 


“It has been a privilege and distinct honor to serve as Secretary of the Economic Development Cabinet for nearly 14 years,” said Secretary Strong. “I appreciate the support I have received over the years from three Governors, the Kentucky General Assembly, the Partnership Board, a host of global business leaders and the Kentucky economic development community.  I am especially thankful for the outstanding and talented staff that serves the Cabinet.” 


Strong began his tenure with the Cabinet for Economic Development as Deputy Secretary in December 1991, under former Governor Brereton Jones and was named Secretary of the Cabinet in March 1993 by the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board.  Since becoming Secretary, new manufacturing and supportive industry jobs in the Commonwealth have soared to record levels with more than 274,500 new jobs being created.  Total estimated capital investment in the state has increased by more than $34.5 billion.


“Secretary Strong has done an outstanding job of bringing jobs and economic development to Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher. “I have worked with Gene going back to my days in Congress, and he has done an exemplary job of representing Kentucky around the world.”


“I’m proud to have been a part of Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration over the last three years,” said Strong. “I’ve had the privilege to travel all over the world with him in pursuit of new and expanding business opportunities for the state.  He is a tremendous asset to the state’s economic development efforts and I truly am grateful for his support.”


Numerous economic development awards have been bestowed upon the state throughout Strong’s career.  Kentucky has been ranked as high as second in the U.S. in the number of new and expanded facilities, and consistently as one of the top ten states in new job creation, investment, and business retention. 


Kentucky’s workforce training programs and overall business climate have also consistently garnered national recognition.  Exports from the state have increased 253.7% since 1993, moving the Commonwealth into the top 10 among all states in total per capita exports.


Prior to joining the Cabinet, Strong spent eleven years as executive vice president for a national real estate development company based in Lexington, Kentucky, where his duties included marketing and negotiating office and industrial real estate transactions throughout the U.S.  He successfully negotiated and finalized real estate transactions with many of America’s Fortune 500 companies.


“I feel the time has come to enjoy the next stage of my life,” added Strong.  “The time commitment required to successfully perform this position is more than I want to continue at this point.  I am very much looking forward to spending more time with my family, especially the opportunity to enjoy my grandchildren.”                           


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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 2005 totaled more than $1.6 billion with the creation of over 16,700 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at