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Why are companies picking Kentucky?

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 22, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Over the last few weeks, a lot of money has poured into Kentucky. But no deal is bigger than the one with Ford.

Ford is putting in $5.8 billion to build electric battery plants in Kentucky.

Since that huge announcement, there has been talk that another car company is potentially looking into Kentucky for its own expansion into electric cars. This time, it's Toyota - a company that already has deep roots in Kentucky.

When asked about the speculation, Governor Andy Beshear said that is something he cannot talk about.

"Any talks - if there are any - are confidential," said Beshear.

One thing is clear: Kentucky is currently a big competitor when it comes to attracting companies. The question is: how is Kentucky beating out all the other states?

The governor says a lot of things play into that reason.

"We've heard a number of different things from those who have looked at us," said Beshear. "1. That we're aggressive in marketing ourselves. 2. That we are easy to work with and talk to. 3. That we create confidence."

But Beshear says the biggest thing Kentucky has done to get these companies is invest in mega sites years in advance.

"You look at Ford and we had an incredible mega site that already had most of its utilities brought to it, that was in the road plan for a new exit," said Beshear. "It had millions of dollars rightfully spent on it over the years - with a lot of foresight."

Beshear said this allows Kentucky to market itself better.

"We can make things as build-ready as possible because we believe that one of our best selling points is being first to market - meaning we can get them up and running faster than just about any other state," he said.