FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — In a clearly buoyant mood, Governor Andy Beshear told a crowd gathered at the Capitol Tuesday that this is a transformative moment for the state.
"After today," Beshear said. "Everything will be different because our future is now."
Governor Beshear spoke at a ceremony Tuesday, along with Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley. It came a day after the company announced it would invest $5.8 billion for two battery assembly plants in Glendale.
The announcement is part of a larger project to invest $11.4 billion in three new plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, as the company shifts toward a future where electric vehicles are prevalent. The company projects that by 2030, 40% of its global sales will be electric vehicles.
"Floods and extreme temperatures that threaten food and water supplies here in Kentucky are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception," Bill Ford said. "And we see all of this as a call to action."
The company has pledged to create 5,000 jobs at the two Kentucky plants. Governor Beshear said that is the largest jobs announcement in the state.
"These enormous plants will capture the attention of the entire world," he said. "Every nation will know exactly where Kentucky is and who we are because we know horsepower and it's about to be generated in a whole new way."
The governor also said it was fitting that the ceremony was held outside the Capitol.
"Right under the Capitol dome sits a grand statue of Abraham Lincoln," Beshear said. "President Lincoln reminded us to act with urgency. He said, 'Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.'"
"We are not waiting until tomorrow," he continued. "We are meeting our future today."