Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Owensboro-Daviess County Work Ready Certification

The Daviess County delegation receives Work Ready Certification from the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gov. Beshear awards Work Ready Community certification to Daviess County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (February 16, 2012) – Governor Steve Beshear announced today that Daviess County is one of the first Kentucky counties to be certified in the Work Ready Communities program. The new certification program from the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet assures employers that a local workforce has the talent and skills necessary to staff existing jobs and to master the innovative technologies new jobs will require.

“We are excited that Daviess County has achieved Work Ready Community status and we look forward to certifying many others in the future. Work Ready status is not an easy accomplishment. Daviess County leaders are to be commended for working together to achieve this goal,” said Crystal Gibson, chair of the Kentucky Work Ready Communities Review Panel and vice president of Communications and Public Affairs at Citigroup.
“This is an affirmation of all of the partnerships and hard work that has taken place in this region for the past decade in focusing our efforts on workforce development,” said Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly.

Kentucky is the third state to begin certifying counties as Work Ready Communities based on the quality of their labor force. To become certified, communities must gather local support and commitment and apply for the Work Ready Community designation. Counties have to meet criteria in six areas including high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certificate holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft-skills development and digital literacy.

“Daviess County is a role model for other communities that want to demonstrate a commitment to reaching education, workforce and economic development goals that make their communities a desirable place for businesses,” said Joseph U. Meyer, secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Applications for the certification were reviewed by a panel appointed by the KWIB. The panel recommended certification by the board for the counties that met the criteria. The panel will meet three times a year to review applications, which can be submitted at any time.

For more information about the Work Ready Communities program, go to http://kwib.ky.gov/workreadycommunity.htm.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fwd: Owensboro Announces Riverfront Grand Opening Schedule


The City of Owensboro invites the region to celebrate the new Owensboro riverfront with a grand opening celebration starting Thursday, August 23 and lasting through Saturday, August 25.  The tentative schedule is as follows:

Thursday, August 23

7:00 p.m. - Shelton Memorial Rededication Ceremony

Friday, August 24

6:00 p.m. - Launching of the Fountains (first public display of the interactive fountains in

    Smothers Park) to kick-off FA5


Saturday, August 25

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 am - Static display and open house at the airport

11:00 a.m. - Grand opening of the playground and spray park

1:00 p.m. - Owensboro Air Show (viewing locations at Smothers Park and English Park)

 Mayor Ron Payne commented, "The City of Owensboro has been working to restore our glorious riverfront, and now we're finally ready to celebrate with the nation."  Please visit http://www.owensboro.org and click on the 2012 Riverfront Grand Opening Schedule button for more information.

 For more information about downtown and riverfront projects go to www.owensboro.org.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Owensboro Receives Another Top 100 National Ranking

The city of Owensboro has received a ranking of 58 out of 100 from Forbes Top 100 Small Best Places for Business and Careers. Forbes’ ranking of Best Places for Business and Careers looks at the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. They consider metrics relating to job growth, costs, income growth, educational attainment and projected economic growth as well as quality of life issues like crime rates, cultural and recreational opportunities and net migration patterns and the number of highly ranked colleges in an area.

Mayor Ron Payne commented, “This is outstanding news and indicative of the investment and progress being made within our city and especially downtown. Our citizens, infrastructure, amenities and culture are shining examples of what makes this a great community in which to live.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gov. Beshear Announces Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline to Expand Headquarters Footprint in Owensboro, Add up to 20 New Jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2012) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline will expand its presence in Owensboro, constructing a second facility for its headquarters expansion. The nearly $5.3 million project will help create up to 20 new jobs over the next few years.

"The expansion of Southern Star's headquarters operation in Owensboro is great news," Gov. Beshear said. "Not only does it add up to 20 new jobs and an almost $5.3 million investment in the community, but it also enhances Kentucky's reputation as an ideal place for a corporate headquarters. The Commonwealth is pleased to have played a role in helping make this growth possible and look forward to Southern Star's long-term success."

Southern Star is an interstate natural gas transmission and storage system spanning approximately 6,000 miles and serves customers in seven states. The Owensboro headquarters, located at 4700 Highway 56, currently employs 167 Kentuckians full-time. The expansion project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, will include additional office space, training and conference facilities and records storage in eastern Daviess County.

"The incentives provided by the Commonwealth help ensure we can continue to grow here," said Jerry Morris, president and chief executive officer for Southern Star. "We've found Owensboro to be a good location for our corporate headquarters. This community provides a great quality of life for our employees. From Owensboro, we are able to provide effective support to our Midwest-based customers and employees. We're proud to provide so many professional-level positions for the community and excited about adding to those numbers."

To encourage the investment in Owensboro, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $275,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved Southern Star for tax benefits up to $100,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment.

"Southern Star's presence in Owensboro is appreciated and significant," said Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. "The fact that they plan to invest more than $5 million and provide employment shows a commitment to our community."

"Southern Star has been a great asset to our community, so I'm certainly happy to see it decide to expand its headquarters," said Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Owensboro. "These are exactly the type of jobs the General Assembly and Gov. Beshear envisioned in 2009 when we revamped our economic development incentives – legislation I was proud to sponsor."

"Thank you Southern Star for your confidence in our community," said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. "This capital investment will create new good-paying jobs for our citizens, and the resulting increase in the tax base will help all concerned."

For more information on Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, visit www.sscgp.com.

Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.

A detailed community profile for Owensboro (Daviess County) can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=044.