A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

State to employ new stategy in attracting innovative new high-tech startups, assisting small businesses

To better serve, attract and develop innovators and startups, Kentucky will deploy a new regional approach to developing high-tech, high-potential-growth businesses, while continuing to assist small businesses seeking support. KY Innovation, the state’s recently launched initiative supporting businesses founders and growing companies, will soon begin implementing Regional Innovation for Startups...

Kentucky chosen for prestigious entrepreneurship development program — MIT REAP

Kentucky has been chosen as one of nine regional members in the 6th Cohort of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program. MIT REAP, an initiative of MIT Sloan Global Programs, is an intensive process designed to engage partners from throughout the state in developing a plan to support entrepreneurs. “We are thrilled to have been selected,” said Luke...

U of L’s Ichor, Pikeville’s K2 Medical take home top honors at Idea State U competition

A product that helps top athletes bounce back through cold therapy and a startup working on an innovative way to assist first responders in lifting patients each won first-place prizes at the 11th annual Idea State U finals in Lexington. Idea State U, a statewide business concept competition, encourages entrepreneurship and innovation among Kentucky’s college and university students. This year’s...

Cynthiana’s E-Z Pack Refuse Hauling Solutions plans $6.8 million expansion, to create 100 new jobs

E-Z Pack Refuse Hauling Solutions LLC, a manufacturer of commercial truck bodies, will invest more than $6.85 million and create 100 jobs with an expansion at its Harrison County facility. E-Z Pack’s parent company, Commercial Specialty Truck Holdings LLC (CSTH), is negotiating to purchase the 350,000-square-foot facility where it has operated the past dozen years, as the company currently leases...

Gov. Bevin: Kentucky Opportunity Zone Initiative holds promise of economic growth for local communities

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday the U.S. Department of the Treasury certified 144 Opportunity Zones in 84 Kentucky counties under a program in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that aims to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. Gov. Bevin The designation offers significant federal tax breaks and deferrals to entities and individuals investing in Opportunity...

Amazon names 20 finalists for HQ2, Cincinnati/NKY, not on the list; Columbus, OH, Indianapolis are

Amazon has announced 20 finalists to be the host region for its second world headquarters, HQ2 and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky was not among those chosen, but Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis did make the cut. There was a strong presence of cities/regions in the Midwest and on the East Coast, with Denver and Los Angeles the only U.S. locations west of the Rockies named as finalists. Amazon accepted...

Packaging manufacturer Takigawa Corp. Japan to establish first U.S. operation in Bardstown

Takigawa Corp. Japan, a flexible packaging and high-performance films producer, will create 180 full-time jobs with a nearly $46 million investment to locate a manufacturing operation in Bardstown, its first in the United States. “After conducting a lengthy national site selection process, Takigawa is excited to have selected Bardstown, Kentucky as the home of our new US facility,” said Hiroyuki...

ABB Optical Group announces plans for new $27 million Northern Kentucky distribution center

ABB Optical Group, a distributor of optical products, has chosen Florence for its new distribution center and optical laboratory. The company plans to invest as much as $27 million in the project, which is expected to create up to 223 full-time jobs. “To better serve our customers, we are expanding our footprint in the central part of the United States,” said Brad Weinbrum, president of ABB Optical...

Murray State University’s Kentucky Innovation Network earns award from technology institute

Murray State University’s Kentucky Innovation Network was recently recognized as a Creating a Better Future award winner by the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) for its The Next Big Thing (NBT) young entrepreneurial competition. With support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Kentucky Innovation Network office at Murray State University created NBT. Working with...

Wisdom Tree Technologies awarded contracts to support Kentucky Air National Guard, U.S. Army

Wisdom Tree Technologies LLC (WTT) has been awarded a contract with the Kentucky Air National Guard (KYANG) in Louisville to provide operational management support to the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron (STS). WTT’s work with the 123rd STS will see the company take on the role of coordinating the missions and activities of the 123rd across the Continental United States, requiring a wide knowledge...

Following devastating 2016 fire, Blue Grass Stockyards resumes business in new facility

A 70-year Lexington tradition, interrupted by a devastating fire in January 2016, will be back in business next week, as sales begin at the new Blue Grass Stockyards in Fayette County. Mayor Jim Gray, Councilmembers and members of the Blue Grass Stockyards family cut a ribbon to officially open the new facility Friday. “This is a proud day in our city,” Gray said. “This $600-million-a-year business,...

Bevin to join state economic development officials at investment summit in Washington D.C.

Gov. Matt Bevin, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development leaders Secretary Terry Gill and Executive Officer Vivek Sarin, and officials from KentuckyUnited will attend the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C. this week, engaging with executives from companies around the world and working to develop opportunities for investment and job creation in the state. Bevin is scheduled to speak...

Kentucky earns Gold Shovel Award recognition for 2016 achievements in economic development

Kentucky received a 2017 Gold Shovel award today from Area Development magazine, recognizing the commonwealth’s success last year attracting corporate investments that create jobs and grow the economy, Gov. Matt Bevin and the publication’s editors announced. The honor, a first for Kentucky, follows the recent announcement that, in only five months of 2017, the state shattered its all-time, full-year...

STEP grants available for small businesses in Kentucky looking to grow international sales

For Kentucky small businesses looking to begin or grow their international sales, funds are still available through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). STEP grants, administered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, reimburse up to $5,000 in expenses of small businesses as they seek foreign trade opportunities. “For small businesses...

Kentucky places second in Site Selection magazine for 2016 economic development success

Kentucky placed second nationally in economic development projects per capita last year and first in the South Central region according to Site Selection magazine, Gov. Matt Bevin announced. The rankings – part of Site Selection’s annual Governor’s Cup awards – make 2016 the third consecutive year Kentucky has placed first or second in the per-capita competition. Numerous Kentucky metropolitan...

LIFT, FAME roll out on-the-job teacher externships pilot program with manufacturers statewide

LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow and the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) announced the pilot of a statewide rollout of a teacher and instructor externship program with the state’s manufacturers. The statewide pilot follows the successful 2015 externship program in which LIFT and KY FAME teamed with the Northern Kentucky Industry Council. In the statewide...

Kentucky delegation headed by Bevin headed to Japan for economic development, trade mission

Gov. Matt Bevin will lead an economic development and trade mission to Japan over the coming days, joined by other state and local officials, to meet with executives, strengthen ties and encourage international investment and job creation in Kentucky. Bevin, Secretary Terry Gill of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and other members of the delegation will promote Kentucky in meetings with...

Bevin selects Terry Gill as new secretary of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday the appointment of Terry R. Gill, Jr. as Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The Cabinet is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. Bevin said Gill is the right choice to help lead the Commonwealth to new heights. “Kentucky is poised for unparalleled success in the years ahead,” said...

State receives $467,000 grant to aid small businesses export Kentucky products, services abroad

Gov. Matt Bevin announced that Kentucky has received a $467,000 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, saying it will help the Commonwealth’s small businesses find broader markets for their products and services. “STEP funding is an important part of our efforts to help Kentucky’s small businesses thrive by marketing their goods and services outside...

Bevin, Heiner unveil $100 million Work Ready Skills Initiative to modernize state workforce

Gov. Matt Bevin and Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner Wednesday announced the launch of the Kentucky Work Ready Skills Initiative. The new $100 million statewide bond program is aimed at developing a highly trained, modernized workforce in the Commonwealth to meet the needs of employers and promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians. Gov. Matt Bevin “As I travel the state,...