Celebrating Manufacturing Month in Kentucky's I-71 Corridor
23 Oct 2023
October is celebrated as Manufacturing Month across the United States, a time when we recognize the critical role that manufacturing plays in our economy. This month holds special significance in Kentucky's I-71 Corridor, which encompasses Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Oldham, Trimble, and Owen Counties. This region, represented by the Kentucky I-71 Economic Development Alliance (KIEDA), is a shining example of how a favorable business environment, skilled workforce, and strategic location can create a manufacturing powerhouse. Kentucky’s I-71 corridor is home to manufacturing companies producing goods using the latest technologies and raw materials. Kicking off on Manufacturing Day — Friday, October 6 — and continuing throughout the month, we at KIEDA celebrate these companies’ employment opportunities and innovations that grow our economy.
The Manufacturing Landscape
Kentucky boasts a rich manufacturing heritage, with over 5,000 manufacturing-related facilities across the state. These facilities employ over 250,000 Kentuckians, underlining the sector's importance as a significant source of employment and economic activity. In the I-71 Corridor, this legacy is alive and thriving.
Manufacturers have been the driving force behind Kentucky-made exports, sending products valued at a remarkable $34.4 billion worldwide in 2022. The ability to export goods globally is a testament to the quality and innovation of products by the state. This boosts the state's economy and solidifies Kentucky's position as a vital player in the global manufacturing industry.
The I-71 Corridor: A Manufacturing Hub
Kentucky's I-71 Corridor has emerged as the new Steel Capital of the United States. With proximity to automotive and aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), this region has become a magnet for manufacturers. The I-71 Corridor's strategic location, which is between Louisville and Cincinnati, offers an unparalleled advantage for businesses looking to expand or set up shops.
The region's distribution, manufacturing, and back office sectors are witnessing remarkable growth thanks to the supportive business ecosystem created by KIEDA and local authorities. The presence of major highways and a well-connected transportation network facilitates the efficient movement of goods, ensuring that products can swiftly reach every corner of the globe.
A Skilled Workforce
One of the key factors driving the manufacturing success of the I-71 Corridor is its skilled workforce. With a strong foundation in manufacturing, the local labor pool is well-prepared for the industry's demands. The region's educational institutions, vocational programs, and workforce development initiatives further enhance the skills and knowledge of the workforce.
KIEDA's collaborative efforts with local educational institutions have led to the creation of tailored training programs, ensuring that the labor force remains adaptable and up-to-date with the latest industry advancements. This commitment to workforce development sets the I-71 Corridor apart as an ideal destination for manufacturing companies seeking a reliable, skilled labor force.
Quality of Life and Agriculture
The I-71 Corridor is not just about business; it's also a region offering exceptional quality of life. Nestled within the Corridor is the largest winery in the state, showcasing the region's strong agricultural roots. Residents and employees enjoy the perfect blend of urban amenities and a relaxed, picturesque environment.
With vibrant communities, excellent schools, and a lower cost of living than many urban areas, the I-71 Corridor is an appealing place to call home. The region's diverse recreational opportunities, cultural attractions, and friendly neighborhoods add to its allure.
Manufacturing Month in Kentucky is a time to celebrate the tremendous success and growth of the manufacturing industry in this region. With over 900 facility location or expansion projects announced in the past five years, a reported capital investment exceeding $28 billion, and nearly 39,000 additional jobs created, it's evident that this is a dynamic and thriving sector.
The I-71 Corridor is the heart of manufacturing in Kentucky, attracting businesses from various industries to its strategic location, skilled workforce, and supportive ecosystem. KIEDA welcomes all companies to explore the opportunities in this thriving region, where the best manufacturing and quality of life come together. Whether you're an established manufacturer or a newcomer looking to make your mark, the I-71 Corridor is the place to be, where innovation and tradition unite to drive economic growth and prosperity. Businesses, site selectors and developers are encouraged to contact KIEDA to learn more about the benefits of locating within Kentucky’s I-71 Corridor.