Thursday, October 21, 2010

Owensboro’s Share of New Kentucky Jobs, Investment and Economic Development Projects Increases

Greater Owensboro’s share of Kentucky economic development projects, jobs created and investment has increased over the past five years, according to data collected from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for the 2010 “We the People” Town Meeting.

Since 2006 the region has had 51 projects that have created 2,859 jobs and brought $301 million in new investment. The region's share of projects compared to the rest of the state increased by 31 percent since 2006 when compared to the first five years of the decade.

The Owensboro region share of jobs increased by 104 percent from 2.4 percent share of all new Kentucky jobs from 2000-2005 to 4.9 percent of all jobs created in Kentucky since 2006. The area's share of investment during that same time increased by 72 percent.

New manufacturing locations have declined statewide this decade compared to the last, yet Owensboro's share of new manufacturing jobs and new plants has remained the same from 2000-2010 compared to the 1990s.

In Kentucky overall, new manufacturing locations went from 727 projects in the 1990s to 342 projects since 2000. Owensboro’s share remained relatively constant, from 21 projects in the 1990s (2.8% of all state projects) to 9 since 2000 (2.6% of state projects.

Owensboro's share of new manufacturing jobs from 2006-2010 compared to the first five years of the decade remained steady at around 3 percent share of all new manufacturing jobs in Kentucky.
The data on economic development projects was collected by the EDC from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, KBIIS Location/Expansion Database available at The data collected for the Greater Owensboro region include counties where the EDC markets industrial property, including Daviess, Hancock, and Ohio counties.

Funding for economic development in Owensboro has increased in the past five years, including higher levels of private investment. Despite these increases, funding for economic development in Owensboro is still lower than most of Owensboro’s peer and benchmark regions.

In the past five years, the EDC budget has increased from $348,000 in 2005-2006 to nearly $600,000 in 2010-2011. Private investment has doubled from $100,000 in 2006 to $190,000 in 2010. The EDC has also succeeded in obtaining state funding for the newly created eMerging Ventures Innovation Center, which is part of the state network of 13 innovation and commercialization centers focusing on business startup and high tech development.

A survey, conducted by the EDC, of the economic development funding of Owensboro’s 10 peer and benchmark regions indicated that EDC ranked 7th in overall funding. The average level of funding for the 10 regions, including Owensboro, is $829,000 annually, compared to the 2010 EDC budget of $596,000. The top two regions were Dubuque, IA and Kokomo, IN which spend $1.7 million and $1.3 million respectively on economic development each year.

Despite the funding challenges, Owensboro ranked among the top of its peers in five year job growth (3rd), job growth over the past year (3rd), and the retention of manufacturing jobs (2nd).

To access the complete report on Kentucky Business Location and Expansion Data and Economic Development Funding, please visit

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