Wednesday, June 30, 2010

$25 Million Awarded to Local Firms for OMHS Construction

OWENSBORO, KY – Since the building of the new OMHS hospital began in early April, Turner Construction estimates approximately $25 million worth of the work associated with the new hospital has been committed to area firms. It is anticipated that bidding opportunities will extend into 2011, said Merrill Bowers, senior project manager for Turner now living in Owensboro.

“The procurement process for this project is different than the traditional design-bid-build manner where the design is completed prior to starting construction and all contracts are awarded early in the construction phase,” Bowers said. “We are still in the design development stages for the facility and there is still a lot of work yet to award.”

More than two-thirds of the new hospital’s $385 million price tag will be spent on construction—some $270 million. Turner expects that the economic spin-off could fuel another $139 million into the regional economy over the next three years.

“We anxiously await our 2013 opening so our patients can begin receiving care at the new facility, but we’re excited that we can provide the region with economic benefits now,” said Jeff Barber, president & CEO for OMHS. “The demand for contract workers is expected to create 1,000 to 1,500 jobs during the next three years.”

Turner has awarded a number of contracts since April. Those include electrical, mechanical, structural steel, fire protection, structural concrete, drywall, exterior masonry and exterior glass. Owensboro contractors, material suppliers, vendors and labor will be used for much of the work.

In some cases, local businesses have partnered with larger firms to increase their chances of securing work. Beltline Electric is subcontracting with Down’s Electric. Wilkerson Plastering & Acoustics, another Owensboro firm, teamed up with Nashville’s Cage Drywall to offer the most competitive proposal for drywall. Owensboro’s RL Wilson Masonry and Kentucky Mirror & Plate Glass joined forces with ProClad and RC Aluminum to submit a winning proposal for the exterior cladding. Pilot Steel, American Stair and All American Fabrication recently secured subcontracts for fabrication of stairs and a portion of the structural steel.

Additional requests for proposals, commonly called RFPs, will be solicited for remaining work. Those include: landscaping, site concrete, roadway improvements, interior masonry, flooring, ceilings, general carpentry, window treatments, millwork, casework, kitchen equipment, interior glazing, doors, hardware, and fire alarms to name only a few, Bowers said.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Public: GO-EDC is on the Right Track

The Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. is on the right track, according to those who turned out Monday night to give the group feedback on shaping its work for the next five years.

A crowd of 50-60 people at the EDC's meeting at Owensboro Community & Technical College told the EDC staff and board members that their strategic plan should find ways to help small businesses and focus on work force development issues.

But the meeting attendees also want leaders to continue to nourish existing big industries and go after more of those.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Economic Development Strategic Planning Session Tonight

The public is invited to join the staff and board of directors of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation for a public input session on the regional economic development strategy tonight at 7 pm in the Advanced Technology Center at Owensboro Community and Technical College.  For more information about the EDC Strategic Planning process please visit

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kuegel Assumes Role as EDC Board Chair

Daviess County farmer and agri-businessman Rod Kuegel will take over duties as Chairman of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation  next week.  Kuegel succeeds Darrell Higginbotham, the Daviess County President of Independence Bank, who served as EDC Chair since 2007.

Kuegel is excited to take over as chair and recognizes the contributions of Higginbotham in leading the organization through its current strategic plan which greatly expanded the scope of the region's economic development efforts.  "I am taking over the role of chair at a time when the EDC is well positioned for the future thanks to the leadership and accomplishments of Darrell during the two and a half years he served as chair," he said.

"From the revitalization of downtown to our work in supporting existing businesses and new entrepreneur-based startups, I anticipate much of that work will begin to pay dividends with private investment in the coming years," said Kuegel.

Higginbotham said it has been an honor to serve as chair of the EDC Board during such an exciting time.  "I am most proud of the fact that whatever the issue the tenor of conversation and actions taken by the EDC board and staff have always been about what is in the best interest of moving this region forward. I have been blessed to serve with a committed and engaged board. Our EDC staff is truly one of the best in the state."

EDC President/ CEO Nick Brake said Kuegel is the eighth chair of the organization in the 17 years in which the private sector has provided leadership at the board level.  Kuegel is the first board chair from the agriculture sector of the economy.

EDC Strategic Planning Public Meeting Scheduled for June 28 at 7 pm at OCTC

The GO-EDC is currently working on a new strategic plan and comprehensive economic development strategy for the region.

The public is invited to attend a public input session on June 28, 2010 at 7 pm in the Advanced Technology Center at Owensboro Community and Technical College for a presentation and discussion of the regional economy.

Please visit the following link on the EDC Website Strategic Planning Page to access background materials about the EDC stategic priorities and planning process.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

EDC developing New Strategic Plan, seeking Public Input

The board of directors and staff of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation are setting priorities and objectives for the region’s economic development strategy. The EDC is holding several sessions to receive input from, investors, stakeholders, and the general public throughout June and July.

A public meeting will be held on June 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Center at OCTC. EDC Strategic Planning materials are available at the following link.  An additional public meeting will be held in July in coordination with the Region of Opportunity Team (ROOT).

The current EDC Strategic Plan, adopted in 2006, significantly broadened the scope of work of the organization.   The 2006-2010 plan focused heavily on nurturing and helping existing companies grow and remain competitive in the region.  The plan also created infrastructure to support the growth of high tech companies, including state funding for the Emerging Ventures Center for Innovation, a seed capital fund and a business incubator, the Center for Business and Research, which will open this year.

"The primary accomplishment of our plan of work over the past five years has been to add significant amounts of infrastructure to make Owensboro more competitive," said EDC Board Chair Darrell Higginbotham.  "Moving ahead over the next five years, we hope to capitalize on the infrastructure with new private investment."

EDC President/ CEO Nick Brake said the plan has also positioned Owensboro to be successful in marketing to expanding companies.  Lead generation has increased 80 percent due to enhanced web presence and marketing activities with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky United, an organization that promotes all regions of Kentucky to prospective companies.

With the new strategic plan the EDC will look to build on the development of existing clusters of industries in the region such as aluminum, food processing, transportation and logistics, and plant pharmaceuticals.

"From the revitalization of downtown to our support for existing industries and entrepreneurs, we definitely have gotten the attention of people statewide and nationally about all the development happening in Owensoboro," said Brake.

The new EDC Strategic Plan is expected to be in place by September.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Budding Biotech" Program Motivates the Future Biotech Workforce

A partnership between the Owensboro Museum of Science and History the Owensboro Community and Technical College and the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden is motivating young students in the Owensboro region to explore careers in biotech and health care.

The "Budding Biotech" partnership is hosting a camp at the museum for elementary school age students and an biotech expo for middle school students on June 10 from 6-8 pm at OCTC. The programming is funded through a grant from the Owensboro Medical Health System.

"We believe it is our responsibility as a community to foster an understanding of the growing biotech discipline and alert our citizens to biotech and health care educational and employment opportunities in the region," said the organization's website. "In doing so we create tomorrow’s scientists, doctors and health innovators, improving the health of our community and the global community through education"

For more information about the Budding Biotech program, visit

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

General Assembly approves funding for Final Leg of Interstate Connector

The road plan the Kentucky General Assembly approved just before midnight Saturday has $88.2 million worth of projects for Daviess County over the next two years, Rep. Tommy Thompson and Sen. David Boswell said Monday.

That includes $34.62 million to complete the 4.9-mile bypass extension in eastern Daviess County. Once complete, the bypass extension will form a four lane connector between Interstate 64 in southern Indiana and Interstate 65 in Bowling Green.

"This is our interstate," said Nick Brake, President/CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. "We are creating a four lane highway between I-64 and I-65, and the main center is going to be Owensboro. The area around the new hospital will grow with retail and commercial development much like you would see around an exit from an interstate. This is Owensboro's exit on the interstate highway system!"