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Less than five months into 2017, Kentucky is about to break its all-time, full-year corporate capital investment record of $5.1 billion. Moreover, 2017 job creation numbers should surpass the nearly 16,200 announced in 2016, which was the most in a decade[1]. To ensure Kentucky’s workforce can keep up with business projections, leaders across state government are reforming the commonwealth’s workforce development systems. So, how will this impact your business or site location decision? Find out more by reading our exploration of Kentucky’s 2017 workforce training plan.

Currently, Kentucky is in the middle of a workforce development revolution, with an emphasis on workforce training and a new $100-million Work Ready Skills Initiative. Governor Bevin claimed this initiative as, “one of the most transformative and powerful tools we have added to the tool chest[2].” In short, everybody needs a job and Kentucky politicians see this as something that is nonpolitical.

Since the Bevin Administration took office, more than 300 new or expanding manufacturing, service or technology-related facilities have been announced. Together, they are expected to create more than 17,500 new jobs and result in some $3.4 billion in investments in Kentucky.

What to Know

Companies considering a move to or an expansion in Kentucky should know the state has committed to training the next-generation workforce. In 2016, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Workforce Solutions program served 5,579 companies and trained 41,513 people. To build on these numbers, a workforce game changer came along with the passage of the $100-million Work Ready Skills Initiative.

In the first round of grants in early 2017, 25 projects were approved for funding, totaling about $65 million. The program allows for an award to meet specific company plans. From as little as $30,000 for simple equipment upgrades to as much as $15 million for a new training facility, the main takeaway is that all approved projects can potentially qualify if they are involved in the construction and renovation of facilities or the purchase of new equipment.

This implementation was intentional. New secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Terry R. Gill, stated “In most early-stage companies, capital becomes one of the primary constraints. There is traditional capital and there is human capital. You must have the right capital structure on both sides of the equation. We must make sure the Cabinet is paying attention to both. Financial capital is easier to solve than the human capital side.” Given this ambition and the similar details in the 25 approved projects, it is clear the Bluegrass state wants to help growing companies with a balanced incentives approach.

Could Kentucky Incentives influence your site location decision?

It is evident that Kentucky wants to be more competitive. The state has recognized an area in which they want to improve and is certainly moving in the right economic development direction to bridge a site selection gap. A skilled workforce is always at the forefront of a site location decision. Knowing the workforce climate and what gaps need to be covered in order to fill new jobs resulting from new investment or relocation is an area that a competitive state will always look at to provide support.

For companies considering any type of Midwest expansion or investment, Kentucky has recently shown that providing payroll incentives and training dollars is at the top of their list. Nevertheless, knowing how the Bluegrass state stacks up to other state tax plans is critical to the site selection process. McGuire Sponsel’s services focus on identifying key value drivers, comprehensive site and cost comparison, multi-state incentive program education and ongoing opportunity assessment. If your company is investing, expanding or adding jobs – incentives in Kentucky could significantly impact your decision process. To schedule your incentive planning session, call McGuire Sponsel at 317-564-5000 or email and

Who's Growing & Locating in Kentucky?

Whitworth Tool approved for $800,000 in tax incentives for plans to create 50 new jobs in Hardinsburg. The company, a manufacturer of precision-machined components, plans to invest $3.58 million into its headquarters for building modifications and the purchase and installation of specialized machinery.

Credit Bureau Systems Inc. approved for $300,000 in tax incentives for Paducah location. The company will invest $1.67 million to construct a 10,000 square-foot office building. The project is expected to create 40 new full time jobs, as well as another 10 new jobs that will be relocated to the new office.

Care Innovations LLC awarded approximately $500,000 in tax incentives for expansion plan in Louisville. The company, a telehealth firm specializing in remote care delivery, plans to invest $1.7 million and hire 24 new employees to move from a 1,900 square-foot office to a new 7,000 spare-foot office space on Fourth Street in Louisville.






Stephen Brunson

Stephen Brunson

As a Principal at McGuire Sponsel, Steve Brunson helps growing businesses across the country through location decisions while negotiating valuable economic incentives. He works closely with advisors to coordinate strategies that bring the greatest benefit to each client he serves. View Steve's bio.

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