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Gov. Beshear making business development trip to Europe

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Gov. Andy Beshear

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear is taking an economic development trip to this week to Germany and Switzerland to meet with leaders at existing Kentucky companies and businesses considering future investment in the United States.

Beshear’s first term included the highest private-sector investment figure of any administration in state history. Kentucky jobs grew by 9,400 in March for a new record-high of 2,036,900 jobs filled.

“As we continue to build on our record economic momentum of the past few years, it is critical that we continue to nurture partnerships with our existing employers and also develop new relationships with successful companies around the globe,” Beshear said. “This visit will provide a valuable opportunity for us to continue to share the message that there is no better place to do business in the United States than right here in the commonwealth.”

Gov. Beshear will attend the Hannover Messe trade fair and has speaking engagements at the Hanse Lounge in Hamburg and IHK Düsseldorf. He will be joined by First Lady Britainy Beshear, Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Jeff Noel and other members of the staff as Team Kentucky meets with companies and trade organizations to determine future investment and job-creation opportunities in the state.

The Kentucky delegation will meet with the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as existing Kentucky employers and potential prospects and aims to raise the state’s profile by engagement with companies there.

Jeff Noel, Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Photo by Shelly Dawn Fryman Mahan Multimedia

“We have benefited from a tremendous amount of international investment in our state in recent years,” Secretary Noel said. “As we look to position Kentucky for even more success in the future, we need to make connections with company leaders across all of our target sectors to ensure they recognize our commitment to the future. We are very fortunate to have the governor join us on this trip to personally bring the message of Team Kentucky to business decision makers and give our state a significant advantage.”

Kentucky has nearly 540 internationally owned operations that employ more than 117,000 people statewide. Of those, 238 facilities represent ownership from 16 European countries and employ over 40,000 residents. German-owned companies employ more than 15,000 people across 80 facilities in the commonwealth.

On Friday, Gov. Beshear joined U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary David Turk in Shelbyville to visit Wieland North America’s copper recyclery. Wieland is considering a large expansion of its U.S. recycling capacity and capabilities through significant investments in advanced, state-of-the-art copper scrap metal processing technology. The project, supported by up to $270 million in DOE Industrial Demonstrations Program funding, could be the largest investment in Shelby County’s history and is expected to create as many as 200 permanent jobs.

“Investments like what we are seeing in Shelbyville and across the state from our international partners are a critical part of Team Kentucky’s success,” Gov. Beshear said. “These companies are betting on us, and these visits allow me to look company executives in the eyes and tell them, ‘We will not let you down.’”

Since he took office, Beshear has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $30.6 billion in publicly announced investments, creating more than 52,500 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in commonwealth history.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

In March, Site Selection magazine ranked Kentucky third nationally and first in the South Central economic development projects per capita in its 2023 Governor’s Cup rankings. Previously, Site Selection placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top 5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects.

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