July 10, 2017

Kentucky Earns First Gold Shovel Award

Area Development magazine recognizes commonwealth for 2016 economic development achievements


Kentucky has made a name for itself with its economic development accomplishments in recent years, having earned Area Development magazine’s Silver Shovel Award seven times over the past decade. Though the state has already broken its all-time investment record this year, 2016 set a gold standard in its own right as Kentucky earned its first Gold Shovel award for attracting corporate investment and job creation.

The recently announced award recognized Kentucky for its more than $3 billion in investments and 16,000 jobs created in 2016 across more than 300 new facility and expansion projects.

Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Terry Gill noted that the achievement has been a group effort.

“This Gold Shovel award not only highlights policy achievements at the state level, but also recognizes the dedicated work of our cabinet staff and our partners,” Sec. Gill said. “Without enthusiastic participation from regional, county and city economic development organizations, the state’s business community, utilities, non-profits and educational institutions, the recent successes that drew this award and those that are propelling our current record-breaking performance wouldn’t be possible.”

The annual Shovel Awards by Area Development, a leading trade publication, recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers and investments in new and expanded facilities.

Area Development invited all 50 states to submit information about its top-10 job creation and investment projects initiated in 2016. Based on the number of high-value-added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity of the 10 submitted projects, Kentucky was given the Gold Shovel award among states with populations between 3 million and 5 million. The top-10 projects and associated job creation figures are listed here and a full report of 2016 corporate investment is available here.

Kentucky has previously received seven Silver Shovel awards, including the first in 2007 and six consecutive years from 2011 to 2016.

The full list of Gold and Silver Shovel award winners is available at www.areadevelopment.com.

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