State Awards $500,000 Grant to Support Site Upgrades and Economic Growth in Berea |
Kentucky continues to invest in the development of sites and buildings across the Commonwealth, as today Governor Andy Beshear announced a $500,000 state grant, coupled with a local Berea Industrial Development match Authority to provide $1 million in upgrades to Mayde Road Industrial Park in Madison County.
“Site and building development is central to our statewide efforts to create the foundation for continued economic growth in the future,” he said. “This investment in Berea’s Mayde Road Industrial Park is the latest example of the willingness of local and state leaders to work together to move our state forward. These upgrades will provide another incredible option for a growing company to locate and create jobs for Kentuckians. »
Investment through the state’s PDI pilot program will accommodate a 150,000 square foot pre-designed, ready-to-use site and allow work to begin on road infrastructure, utility extensions and the deforestation on a 35 acre parcel in the 87 acre industrial park. As growing businesses constantly seek properties and buildings of around 100,000 square feet or more, this site will provide the last option for a potential business to quickly establish a foothold in Central Kentucky while mitigating the risks associated with the building process.
The PDI pilot program was created in partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED). KAED President and CEO Haley McCoy said the program has had an impact on communities across the state.
“Working at the Mayde Road Industrial Park is a wonderful project for Berea, Madison County and Kentucky,” she said. “This is yet another example of the impact of the PDI program and what can be achieved through stakeholder collaboration. At KAED, we look forward to working with Site Selection Group and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development under the PDI. We thank our PDI sponsors for their support of this impactful program.
Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said the investment will help position the community to land a major employer in the near future.
“The City of Berea and the Berea Industrial Development Authority are very grateful for the funding provided by the Kentucky Economic Development Fund and all of the support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development throughout the PDI grant process. It is a great example of partnership between the Commonwealth and local communities to help bring to life projects that would not otherwise have happened,” said Mayor Fraley. “This joint investment will allow us to begin development of a 35-acre parcel well positioned on I-75 and connected to our existing industrial park. With rapidly rising construction costs, this grant will bring an undeveloped site to life, which will eventually employ the citizens of Berea and those of the surrounding areas. I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Cabinet for Economic Development to make Kentucky more attractive to potential business and industry. This investment should make us all very optimistic for our collective future.
Lucas Witt, co-founder and partner of MWM Consulting, which helps the town of Berea through economic development initiatives, noted the partnerships needed to make the investment possible.
“At MWM Consulting, our #1 goal with community clients is to put them in a better position than they were before we began our work. It is safe to say that this goal has been achieved with this PDI announcement for the town of Berea,” said Witt. “Berea is a long-time client of ours and under Mayor Fraley’s leadership, their economic development opportunities have reached record levels. It has been an honor for us to have helped Berea through these opportunities, especially regarding today’s PDI announcement. Finally, I would like to thank the Cabinet for Economic Development, KAED and the Site Selection Group for their continued efforts to support the PDI program. As our business works across the state, we have seen firsthand the need to reinvest in venues and buildings. The PDI program has and will continue to play an indispensable role in positioning Kentucky for success.
Established in 2019, the PDI Pilot Program enhances the Commonwealth’s ability to attract a diverse base of businesses of all sizes. This is in addition to the state’s many other advantages, including its ideal geographic location with its borders less than a day’s drive from two-thirds of the U.S. population, some of the lowest industrial electricity costs in the nation, and a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of any company.
Investment in the Madison County site adds to recent economic momentum in the Commonwealth as the state rebuilds stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the Commonwealth broke all economic development records in the books. Announcements for new locations and private sector expansion included a record total planned investment of $11.2 billion and commitments to create a record number of more than 18,000 full-time jobs over the next few years. Kentucky’s average incentive hourly wage for statewide projects in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
Last year, the Beshear administration announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Governor Beshear and leaders of Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation made a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. and in April of this year, the Governor was joined by Envision AESC management to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements cement Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Economic momentum continued through 2022, with S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings raising Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the Commonwealth’s booming economy.
And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investment.
Kentucky has posted new record unemployment rates for three consecutive months, rising from 3.9% in April to 3.8% in May and 3.7% in June.
In July, the Governor announced the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. and for the second consecutive year, Kentucky’s general fund budget surplus exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Governor Beshear reported that the state’s Rainy Day Fund reached a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the governor took office. .
To encourage future investment and the location of an economic development project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June approved a grant agreement with the City of Berea under the Economic Development Fund Program. The grant agreement can provide up to $500,000 in funding on a reimbursement basis based on the project’s investment of $1 million.
The Commonwealth recently unveiled the Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI), which builds on the foundation established by the PDI pilot program. The newly established statewide effort supports the retrofitting of industrial sites and buildings throughout Kentucky to promote economic growth and job creation.