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Economic Development News2023-11-16T23:04:41+00:00

Economic Development News

Opell Meats Ribbon Cutting & Grand ReOpening

Tuesday, July 25th @ 11:30AM 22515 Bear Creek Road Catlettsburg 606-254-4950 Opell Meats has been family owned and operated since 1969. Laura Maggard and her husband Brad took over the family business in the spring of 2023. They saw an opportunity to keep the family business going and decided to hit the ground running. The main goal at Opell Meats is to offer the area farmers a local slaughterhouse that provides top notch service, is trustworthy, and delivers back a quality product. Opell Meats has several decades of experience in the butchering business and takes great pride in the products they deliver. The butcher shop also has a storefront with top quality fresh beef and pork cuts. Opell Meats is honored to continue on the family tradition of providing their customers with quality service and quality meats.

July 19, 2023|Economic Development|

Business After Hours

The City of Ashland, The Ashland Water Treatment Plant along with the Ashland Alliance Invite you to Business After Hours at The Water Treatment Plant 4040 Winchester Avenue, Ashland Thursday, June 8, 2023 5:00PM - 7:00PM Please join us as we celebrate, not only the completion of our new SCADA project & Filter Rehab, but also receiving recognition as Eastern Kentucky’s Outstanding Water Treatment Plant for 2022! This will be a behind the scenes offering of what goes in to producing the highest quality drinking water in our area. From compliance issues a few short years ago to Award Winning Water Treatment. Please be our guest to learn more about the intricacies of what it takes in make your drinking water. Parking is available at the Water Treatment Plant, on 41st Street or Oliverio Park (there are ballgames that evening, so spots may be limited.)    

May 25, 2023|Economic Development|


GREENUP, Ky. — There is a new doghouse on Main Street in Greenup, and it has been packed so far, owner Mike Sark said. The Doghouse Pizza & Pub, located in downtown Greenup across from the courthouse offers fare people have come to expect in a pub setting. Sark said patrons can come in and have a meal with their families and friends, watch some sports, and enjoy an alcoholic beverage if they are so inclined. Sark and his wife are from Coal Grove, and he said that he has been looking for a place to open a pub for quite some time. “We love pizza, we love sports, and we like to have a cold beer from time to time,” Sark said about him and his wife. Sark said he connected with Jeremy Bates, who had been a prominent advocate of passing the new alcohol ordinances, and Bates convinced [...]

June 11, 2021|Economic Development|


The U.S. Small Business Administration is including additional counties in the disaster declaration in Kentucky for businesses and residences affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides from Feb. 27 through March 14, according to a press release. The declaration covers Boyd, Greenup, Johnson, Lawrence and Morgan counties, among others. The counties are eligible for both physical and economic injury disaster loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organziations in the following counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Carter, Elliott, Lewis and Rowan, among others. Also included are Lawrence and Scioto in Ohio. Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Contact the Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center for more information. Reach the center at or (800) 659-2955. Visit for more information.

June 7, 2021|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — A series of traffic roundabouts and rear-angled parking are on the menu for renovations on Winchester Avenue in the coming years, per a presentation made Thursday at the Ashland City Commission meeting. The idea behind the move is to continue the push toward making downtown Ashland a destination spot for the area, where people could spend an afternoon dining and shopping. On Thursday, that idea got a bit more concrete when Stephen Sewell, an engineer with Palmer Engineering, presented finds and proposed plans made from a recent traffic study. Mayor Matthew B. Perkins said the updates have been needed for a long time. “For years, people have said Ashland needs to update its image and look to keep up with the times,” Perkins said. “I think this project is a symbol of our dedication to that and making downtown more walkable and accessible for all.” Perkins continued, “I [...]

April 9, 2021|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — In a whirlwind meeting Thursday detailing big moves in downtown Ashland, the city commission said it is looking into tearing down the old Ashland Oil building to make way for a convention center in the city’s core. While traffic was the biggest topic of the meeting, the plans for the property played a strong second fiddle. The job has been on the docket since 2013, when plans were drawn up to turn the blighted property into an attraction — Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs said a convention center is “a part of the jigsaw puzzle for our downtown.” Located at 1401 Winchester Avenue, the plan is part of an overall push that Mayor Matthew B. Perkins said is to renovate the downtown. In addition to making way for the convention center, which would be across the street from the Delta Hotel, Perkins said tearing down the building is important due [...]

April 9, 2021|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Growth and convenience were the driving reasons behind Desco Federal Credit Union’s move to downtown Ashland. A new building opened for business on Monday, with refreshments to welcome customers, Sharon Asbury, marketing director, said. “(It) was more of a quiet opening or soft opening, although we were open with full services to the public and to our members, since the employees and equipment were moved from the branch on Armco Road to the new office at 1211 Carter Ave.,” Asbury said. The Ashland Alliance ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for May 6. The new building was needed, she said, because the business had grown. “Our original branch was built about 15 years ago, and we soon outgrew that building and started looking for a more visible site with enough room for a larger facility,” she said, noting it took about 14 months, including a six- to eight-week delay because [...]

April 5, 2021|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — King’s Daughters Health System is set to purchase the Bellefonte Pavilion for $3 million. According to KDMC, the move will result in relocating 300 jobs and creating 150 new jobs. The Greenup Fiscal Court opened sealed bids on Monday for purchase of the Pavilion. The special meeting was called, not because of the bids, but because one of the court members had previously communicated to the court that they would not be able to attend the regularly scheduled court meeting. Two bids were offered for the pavilion building and all property involved with it — the property was donated to Greenup County by Bon Secours Health System. It was declared surplus in December. Greenup County Judge-Executive Robert Carpenter said there were several people interested in the property, but ultimately only two of the interested parties submitted a bid. Jack R. Patterson submitted a bid of $1,000,100, but [...]

January 29, 2021|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland has been in the forefront of one restaurant’s franchisee’s scope for half a decade. Jacob Stauffer, of North Fork Holdings, LLC, is finally seeing his wish reach fruition. Sonic is coming to town. Demolition is currently taking place between the Ben Williamson Memorial and Simeon Willis Memorial bridges on Winchester Avenue. According to Stauffer, a Sonic will be up and running by late spring or early summer of 2021. It will sit across from Starbucks and Burger King. “It’s prime location on Winchester right between the two bridges,” Stauffer said. “We have been looking for a spot in Ashland for about five years. We kicked around several different spots, but they weren’t quite right for a variety of reasons. This one hit the market in the spring. We loved the location, so we jumped on it.” Sonic Drive-In was founded in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It [...]

January 25, 2021|Economic Development|


CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — A new animal shelter, public park revamps, a remodel of the convention center and a proposal to house the majority of county government services under one roof are among the many trailblazing projects the Boyd County Fiscal Court laid out at a Thursday work session. In a continuation of the wish list Judge-Executive Eric Chaney rattled off at the last Fiscal Court meeting, commissioners dove into the nitty-gritty of the proposed projects and the financing behind it. Perhaps the biggest news — and the most exploratory in terms of where they’re at — is Chaney’s proposal to swap some county land at Paul Coffey park with the owners of the Addington Building over in Cannonsburg, a former coal mine equipment facility. Depending on how the property at Paul Coffey would appraise, the county would still have to put in some cash money to seal the deal, Chaney [...]

January 11, 2021|Economic Development|


SUMMIT, Ky. — Changes are coming to Giovanni’s Pizza in Summit, with a new, pub-style atmosphere. Jesse Hunt, owner of The Greater Kentucky Corp. which owns several Giovanni’s Pizzas, said the Summit store will move into the building that used to house Active Day Adult Day Care. Hunt said the day care said it wasn’t feasible to remain open in light of COVID-19. The current Giovanni’s building will be razed and the space used for parking for the restaurant. The space will make it possible to offer three times the parking as was offered previously. Hunt said the new store will be called Giovanni’s Pizza and Pub, unique to the Giovanni’s brand. "We’re trying to provide people in Boyd County a place they can go dine as a family and where they can be comfortable and to create an atmosphere similar to B-Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) or something like that," [...]

January 11, 2021|Economic Development|


Gov. Andy Beshear announced a $1.5 million Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant for site work at EastPark during Ashland Alliance’s annual meeting, held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday evening. The grant is linked to the construction of a 65,000 square-foot building project in the industrial park where Greenup and Boyd counties meet. The project, according to a press release from the governor’s office, will allow Northeast Kentucky Industrial Development Authority Inc. (EastPark) to compete for tenants that could create new jobs for the region. “This is another huge step forward for Northeast Kentucky, EastPark and Ashland Alliance,” Beshear said. “This AML grant is another solid building block for job creation and a healthier future for this area as we emerge from this pandemic and create a better commonwealth for all Kentuckians.” Beshear called it “100% shovel-ready.” U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (District 5) and Senate Majority [...]

December 18, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) is offering Healthy at Work Online Training in an effort to provide up-to-date training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective actions that prevent the spread of the virus to local area businesses. The interactive online course helps business owners and organizations educate employees and document their efforts to ensure a safe and healthy environment during the current pandemic and beyond. “This training came from a collaboration with Owensboro Community & Technical College and we felt that companies might find a need for this,” said Robin Harris, Director of Workforce Solutions at ACTC. “We can keep records for companies to show which of their employees have taken the training in case they need documentation in the future.” ACTC hopes that by providing this training, it can help educate the community on safe and healthy workplace practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The training [...]

December 2, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Kentucky Power recently awarded a $25,000 gift to the City of Ashland.  The grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power will go toward supporting the downtown redevelopment efforts outlined in the Ashland Downtown Development Plan. The Destination Ashland team was created from the plan designed specifically for Ashland by downtown revitalization specialist Roger Brooks last year.  The team is a temporary steering committee working with the City of Ashland, Visit Ashland, and Ashland in Motion to schedule and facilitate 250 days of activity in Ashland’s central business district (The District) including the branding and marketing plan. The City of Ashland will use the funds to purchase outdoor games and additional seating for Broadway Square.  Signage and string lights are also included in Ashland’s plan for the gift.  “The Destination Ashland team is working toward providing a creative and inviting space to spend time [...]

December 1, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Introduced as Unity Aluminum, the company will continue to play a leading role in the 21st-century aluminum industry by addressing a substantial global aluminum shortage impacting American jobs and economic growth. The new name, a replacement for Braidy Industries, signifies the company’s steadfast commitment to its customers, innovative technologies and local community in Ashland, Kentucky. Unity Aluminum also unveiled a reenergized vision, “Together. Lighter. Stronger. Greener.” Unity Aluminum’s leadership team, led by globally recognized metals expert Don Foster, has accelerated its plans to build the world’s most technologically advanced aluminum rolling mill at a time when global capacity is significantly constrained. They are currently working to finalize fundraising and begin construction. “Unity Aluminum has a bright future. Based on the market needs, the initial positive customer response, and the shovel-ready position we are in, I am extremely optimistic,” said Don Foster, president and chief executive officer of [...]

October 16, 2020|Economic Development|


MOREHEAD, Ky. — AppHarvest is now hiring for 300+ jobs at its 2.76-million-square-foot indoor farm in Morehead, KY. AppHarvest is working with universities, community organizations and governments at all levels to build America’s AgTech capital from within eastern Kentucky. The company is putting the agriculture worker first with benefits including paid time off, educational up-skilling initiatives, custom apparel, movie nights and nutritious snacks. Employees will help grow nutritious, delicious tomatoes that will be sold at the top 25 U.S. grocers. The company’s AgTech farmers use advanced technology, as the farm will reduce water usage by 90% compared to outdoor farming. The farm also uses $15 million in LEDs that are 40% more efficient than typical lighting in indoor farms. Visit ​​ to view job opportunities. Positions, range from crop care specialists and harvesters to forklift drivers and maintenance technicians. THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT TENCOCAREERCENTER.COM

September 21, 2020|Economic Development|


FLATWOODS, Ky. — The sale of The Oaks property has been finalized, Flatwoods Mayor Ron Fields said. The new owners, Dr. Barnard Pigassou, Martine Pigassou-Duzer and Caroline Pigassou, bought the property “sight unseen,” Fields said. The purchase was finalized Friday with the help of several attorneys, Kentucky Farmers Bank and others, he said. The buyers are from France and the corporation they have established in Kentucky is called French Oaks Village LLC. They plan to prep lots for sale in a subdivision to be called Whispering Oaks and already have submitted deed restrictions to the Greenup County Planning and Zoning Board, Fields said. The new subdivision will be Phase 3 of the subdivision; Phases 1 and 2 are complete and the deed restrictons are expected to be similar to the previous two. Fields said Phase 3 is expected to include condominum-style housing. “It’s not going to be cheap stuff," Fields said. [...]

September 14, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the governor uttering the name of your hometown has been something to avoid. Gov. Andy Beshear, though, announced positive happenings in Ashland on Thursday afternoon. Danieli USA, the American subsidiary of Danieli & C. SpA (Buttrio, Italy), is coming to northeastern Kentucky. Pronto. Danieli signs are already displayed on the ESM building located between Members Choice Credit Union and AK Steel’s Ashland Works, which is no longer in operation and under the ownership of Cleveland Cliffs. Danieli is renting its 130,000 square-foot space from a private owner — it is not associated with Cleveland Cliffs or AK Steel. Danieli’s service facility in Ashland brings with it 61 total jobs, eight of which have already been filled. The 53 new jobs feature an average wage of $31 an hour plus benefits. The investment in the facility is projected to be more than $12 million. Danieli [...]

August 31, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — New businesses are helping offer a clean look at Ashland Town Center. WASH: Handmade Body Care enjoyed a ribbon-cutting and grand opening on Friday. The store, adjacent to Maurice’s, features a mix of personal hair and skin care products, including soaps, shampoos, bath bombs and more, according to a mall press release. WASH brand products are handmade in the tri-state area and are vegetarian. Friday’s first-day special was as follows: the first 50 customers who spent $30 or more received a limited edition “Bluegrass” shower steamer ($5.95 value). Set to join WASH as new stores at Ashland Town Center are Rose & Remington, Curve & Cloth and Burlap & Birch. The trio are sister stores. Rose & Remington, according to the press release, is an Ohio-based, family-owned retailer that specializes in luxury boho-chic-style clothing, accessories and home decor. The store, which will be near the food court, [...]

August 27, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Destination Ashland had its first meeting since the economic shutdown in March. The team built to revitalize downtown Ashland has been on hold since COVID-19 spread across the United States. The team came together after the presentation downtown revitalization expert Roger Brooks gave to the city in November. The group held its first meeting to remind members of their goals and plans for this year, and they are hoping to go in front of the city commission on July 23 to present the plan they’ve been developing. The plan will include different programs and events that will bring citizens downtown. “Everything was on hold because of all this stuff,” said team member Blake Gillum. “All (of the) stuff we were trying to work on and plan wasn’t allowed (because of the pandemic). There was no reason to meet because we weren’t allowed to have it.” The team [...]

July 6, 2020|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. – Truck Equipment & Body Co. of Kentucky Inc. this week began a $2 million project renovating and equipping a facility in Stanton to establish a 43-job custom dump truck body and truck equipment manufacturing operation. “Ensuring Kentuckians have quality job opportunities is perhaps more important than ever, and we at the state level are doing all we can to create and strengthen new and existing business relationships to make that possible,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “TEBCO of Kentucky has been a reliable employer in the commonwealth for nearly 30 years, and its continued growth is a clear boost to the Eastern Kentucky region. Our thanks go to the company for its commitment to the state and its dedicated workforce.” Located at 100 Reed Court in Stanton, the new 40,000-square-foot operation will allow TEBCO of Kentucky to better support its rapidly growing customer base. The operation will use [...]

July 2, 2020|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Monday, April 27, the state will begin the gradual restart and reopening of our Phase 1 health care services and facilities, although they will operate vastly different than they did before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). “To do this safely, make sure you are going above and beyond. This is our proof of concept in the medical community. We have to prove that we can do this the right way,” Gov. Beshear said. On March 23, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order ceasing all elective procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and increase hospital capacity to treat patients. Thanks to Team Kentucky’s extraordinary efforts to flatten the curve up to this point, Gov. Beshear and the Department for Public Health feel safe easing some restrictions on health care procedures and facilities. The Governor said the phased [...]

April 24, 2020|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday ordered nonessential retail businesses to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Beshear said the move is effective at 8 p.m. Monday and includes businesses such as entertainment, clothing, bookstores, jewelry stores and car dealerships. He said auto repair and parts shops are exempt. He said businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, liquor stores and gas stations will remain open. “This is the next step that we need to take to reduce the contacts to Kentuckians until we defeat this virus,” the Democratic governor said. Beshear also said he is mandating that all hospitals cease elective procedures. He said the vast majority already have. Some other states have ordered residents to shelter in their homes, but Beshear said that has not been discussed. “Shelter in place evokes emotions in us that (there is) a deadly chemical spill near our [...]

March 23, 2020|Economic Development|


CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The Boyd County Fiscal Court approved a $100,000 economic development plan on Tuesday. With the first two months of 2020 consisting of unfortunate news such as the closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and Cleveland-Cliffs’ dwindling interest in the blast furnace at AK Steel Ashland Works — on top of questions surrounding Braidy Industries — Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney approached Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs regarding the area’s economic future. “We have all seen the blows over the last couple weeks and to be honest they have been hard to stomach and wrap our head around,” Chaney said. Chaney said the county had been judicious with its finances, and there was $100,000 in savings with which it would part in order to help the community move forward. The plan entails lead generation services, which will champion a marketing effort for Ashland and surrounding areas. “With this [...]

March 9, 2020|Economic Development|


EASTPARK — Graduates of two of Ashland Community and Technical College’s high-tech programs will be among the first to benefit from a partnership formalized Monday between the college and the Manpower job placement agency. Students in the programs, Applied Process Technologies and Advanced Integrated Technology, were on hand during a signing ceremony for the Tri-State Recruitment Initiative, under which Manpower will provide job-preparation and job-placement services to them when they graduate. Under the partnership, Manpower will: provide career coaching, including resume assistance and mock interviews. arrange interviews with employers. work with area employers to hire through the initiative. permit student access to free online training classes. The Manpower assistance will not cost ACTC or the students anything. Instead, the company contracts with employers to find them workers. ACTC expects the partnership will increase the number of job opportunities for graduates. “We have career services here at ACTC, but this is another [...]

February 26, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Three stores are opening this summer at the Ashland Town Center. The three family-owned retailers will offer fashion, accessories and home décor. Those stores are Rose & Remington, Curve & Cloth and Burlap & Birch. It will be each of the store’s first location in the Tri-State. “We are thrilled to welcome the first tri-state-area Rose & Remington, Burlap & Birch, and Curve & Cloth locations to Ashland Town Center,” said Vicki Ramey, General Manager at the mall. “Our goal is to add diverse tenants, to enhance the overall experience for our guests and further strengthen Ashland Town Center as the gathering place for the community.” Rose & Remington caters to customers who enjoy luxury boho-chic-style clothing, accessories, and home décor at affordable prices. Curve & Cloth, a sister store to Rose & Remington, carries trendy and affordable curvy fashion for women, in addition to accessories, and [...]

February 24, 2020|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. – In 2019, Kentucky worked with private businesses to announce the planned creation of more than 10,700 full-time jobs for state residents across the coming years, part of 234 expansion and new-facility projects in which private-sector companies plan invest over $5.3 billion into the state. Gov. Andy Beshear said those results indicate continued economic growth and corporate confidence in Kentucky as a location for business and workforce investment. As well, he highlighted the importance of the state’s efforts to create jobs for Kentuckians. “Kentucky’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, logistics and tech innovation continue to grow jobs and attract corporate investment,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our skilled workforce, high quality of life and low costs of conducting business will help us continue to create jobs in the future. I look forward to a strong focus on increasing wages for our families and focusing on our counties who are not seeing [...]

February 12, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — The grand opening of the new Gillum’s Service & Repair showroom will be a moment Michael Gillum and his family will remember for a lifetime. Less than a year after breaking ground on the property, the Gillum family celebrated the store expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday. They broke ground on Feb. 27, 2019, on the property where the company warehouse formerly sat. “It was a whirlwind,” said Gillum. “We are very excited and we are glad this day is here.” Gillum’s Service & Repair has served the community for the last 25 years and will celebrate its 26-year anniversary in business in March. It employs nine full-timers and it has up to 17 seasonal part-time employees. “This shows there is growth and hope in the economy in Boyd and Greenup County,” said Susan Callihan, Membership Development Manager for Ashland Alliance. What started as a [...]

February 10, 2020|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. – Dump truck bed manufacturer Logan Corporation will expand its Eastern Kentucky plant with a $1.2 million investment, setting the stage for improved workflow, greater employee retention and increased production volume. “Logan Corp. reinvented its business model when faced with a market shift, and the company’s innovation has been rewarded with solid growth and the ongoing creation of much-needed jobs for Eastern Kentuckians,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Logan embodies a forward-looking approach, one we Kentuckians should embrace in the years to come. I’d like to thank Logan for this investment and wish the company well as it continues to grow.” Logan Corp. began production of high quality dump truck bodies at the company’s Martin County facility in 2015 in response to the nationwide downturn in the coal industry. Logan quickly outgrew the Martin County facility and relocated to a facility five times larger in Magoffin County. That move [...]

February 7, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — A convention center and parking structure will be added to Winchester Avenue. The city of Ashland received $6.8 million in Tax Increment Financing funds through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, according to a press release Thursday. The city was awarded the funds to encourage economic development, business expansion and job creation. The convention center will be located at the former G.B. Johnson building at 1401 Winchester Ave. “The heart and the health of a community is its downtown business district,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “This is a progressive and responsible course which captures state tax revenue and returns it (to) our community.” Economic Development Specialist Katherine Utsinger said the city is looking at having a structure capable of holding 1,000. The city wants to add a space to hold bigger conventions. “Right now we don’t have a facility that can host a large-scale convention,” said Utsinger. [...]

January 31, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard will step down from his position, the company announced Thursday. Bouchard, the company founder, will remain a member of the Braidy Industries Board of Directors. The company is named after one of Bouchard's daughters.  The company still plans on building the $1.7 billion rolling aluminum mill near Ashland. President Tom Modrowski, who has been on the management team since the beginning in 2017,  has been named interim CEO of Braidy Industries and current board member Charles Price is the new chairman of the board of the company. As a native of Kentucky and successful entrepreneur, Price is well positioned to focus the company on the completion of the aluminum mill initiative in Ashland, according to a release on Business Wire. “The board is grateful to Craig for his vision, energy and dedication to the Kentucky operation,” said Price. “Tom and [...]

January 31, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Two local business owners have purchased the former C.R. Thomas building. Billy Bare attended an auction on Jan. 14 and purchased the property under his and his wife’s company, Bare Properties. Some of their area businesses include Bare Arms Indoor Gun Range, Bombshells Burgers & BBQ (in Huntington) and more. “We are going to do everything in our power to make something fun and positive for Ashland,” said Billy Bare. Christy Bare said she loved the building, but didn’t know her husband would purchase the property. “I have always been in love with this building,” said Christy Bare. “We hope we can restore it into something the residents of this area will enjoy. I’m excited for the downtown area to be coming alive again.” Bare Properties employees 70 people in the Tri-State. “We have some ideas we are working on,” Billy Bare said. “It will be a [...]

January 28, 2020|Economic Development|


Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced the award of a $4 million grant for infrastructure improvements to Rush Off-Road Park. The grant is a Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant. The funds will be used to add a new access road and extensions of sewer and water lines to its trailhead, which can allow full service campsites and cabins on the 7,000-acre ATV/UTV park. Park owner E.B. Lowman said right now riders are permitted to camp at an open space at the trailhead. Monday’s annoucement is the first of many steps to improving the park, Lowman said. “We worked really hard with the Boyd County Fiscal Court to find the best approach for this grant,” Lowman said. “It will definitely benefit the park, the community and increase economic development potentially.” Open since 2012, the Rush Off-Road Park saw appromately 40,000 visits last year, [...]

January 28, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — The third annual Gravy Bowl will be heating up Ashland on Saturday, Feb. 8. The popular cooking event will be pulling into the station at 10 a.m. and will be taking over the Ashland Train Depot on 99 15th Street. The “Bowl” game allows those attending to sample biscuits and gravy dishes from dozens of local restaurants, organizations and at-home chefs. The gravy entries featured will be in three categories: sawmill gravy (meat gravy), country gravy (meatless gravy) and a freestyle category. The biscuits for the event will all be prepared and generously provided by local McDonald’s restaurants. In addition to an area-wide selection of fine gravy and amazing biscuits, there will also be a brunch bar and live sets performed by the duo Baylee Morgan & David Austin and Sheldon Road. Admission to the Gravy Bowl will be $5 per person, with children 12 and under [...]

January 17, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — A new branch of Shaping Our Appalachia Region is now available for entrepreneurs in the region. Jared Arnett and Sabrina McWhorter, of SOAR, gave a brief presentation at the Rotary Club meeting on Monday and shared SOAR Innovation, which aims to support the growth of entrepreneurs in Appalachia. Arnett explained that one of the next steps in building the area was through entrepreneurship. “I think two critical things come out of this,” said Arnett. “One is to push through these difficult economic times in Appalachia and we need to push through this together. We need to have multiple organizations with a common agenda, which is our blueprint for the future. We have to be working on that collectively.” SOAR Innovation is free for those seeking help with consulting. “We want to get the next generation of entrepreneurs thinking and realizing (they can) do that here,” said Arnett. [...]

January 7, 2020|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Self-proclaimed ice cream connoisseurs Richard and Shelly Ritchie were constantly exploring how to best satisfy their sweet teeth any time they’d visit a new place. “We always look for the ice cream place — what’s the best ice cream out there? We’ve tried from gelato to whatever, rolled ice cream, the whole 9 yards,” Shelly Ritchie said. Their oldest son Andrew and his fiancée’s engagement took the Ritchies to Lebanon, Ohio, where their future daughter in-law, Hannah Huffman, is from. Lebanon happens to house the Whit’s Frozen Custard headquarters. Whit’s Frozen Custard immediately became the Ritchies’ favorite treat. As a result, Whit’s is coming to Ashland. “Every time we go to Lebanon, we gotta go to this place called Whit’s,” Shelly Ritchie said. “Then we found ourselves looking for Whit’s everywhere we went. It’s just a completely different product. It’s the creamiest, it’s got a more rich [...]

January 7, 2020|Economic Development|


BELLEFONTE, Ky. — State investment in infrastructure upgrades is essential to economic development, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts said Thursday. Watts called on area business and civic leaders to lobby for infrastructure spending during the 2020 legislative session. She spoke during the Ashland Alliance’s annual legislative preview luncheon. “There is nothing more critical we can do in this session than increase infrastructure investment, and I think it could be done in a bipartisan manner,” Watts said following her presentation. “For us, it is the key to economic development. It’s the number one thing businesses look at in locating to Kentucky,” she said. Watts walked Alliance members and guests through a handful of priorities, including hot-button issues like pension reform and tax reform. Kentucky needs additional spending for infrastructure upgrades because current spending levels are not sufficient to maintain its roads and bridges, much less build new ones, Watts said. A Chamber infrastructure [...]

December 18, 2019|Economic Development|


PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Sabrina McWhorter has been named a Business and Innovation Champion of SOAR Innovation. She will serve Rowan, Boyd, Carter, Greenup, and Lawrence counties. SOAR Innovation is a partnership between Shaping our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation office. SOAR Innovation assists existing small businesses and entrepreneurs whose business or idea has the capability to expand in existing markets or create new markets by leveraging technology. “As a small business owner herself, Sabrina understands the challenges and complexities that fellow entrepreneurs may face,” said Ryan Jones, director of SOAR Innovation. “She is passionate about the region and is excited to use her experience and knowledge to help advance Appalachia Kentucky forward.” McWhorter spent almost a decade as a Veterinary Technician before she took the plunge and decided to open and run a small business. With no background in business ownership, she [...]

December 18, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — An experienced leader in the aluminum industry will join Braidy Industries as chief operating officer in January. Braidy announced the move that will bring Mike Otero to the Kentucky-based manufacturer effective Jan. 6, 2020. He replaces Blaine Holt, who resigned as COO in October to “pursue new opportunities.” Otero was the CEO of Oman Aluminum Rolling Mill Company, a $500 million greenfield aluminum rolling mill and plant line facility in Sohar, Oman. He was able to strategically position itself as the world's largest off-shore supplier of aluminum flat rolled products (common alloy and foil) to the United States. Prior to OARC, Mr. Otero served as Commercial and Supply Chain Manager for Sohar Aluminum, a $2.7 billion greenfield construction smelter and power plant project. “Mike’s extensive executive experience in the aluminum industry will be of unique advantage to Braidy Industries as we move forward with the construction of [...]

December 10, 2019|Economic Development|


CLEVELAND & WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) and AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Cliffs will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of AK Steel common stock. Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Cliffs, will lead the expanded organization. Under the terms of the merger agreement, AK Steel shareholders will receive 0.40 shares of Cliffs common stock for each outstanding share of AK Steel common stock they own. Upon completion of the transaction, Cliffs shareholders will own approximately 68% and AK Steel shareholders will own approximately 32% of the combined company, respectively, on a fully diluted basis. The fixed exchange ratio implies a consideration of $3.36 per share of AK Steel common stock and represents a premium of 16% based on the closing share prices [...]

December 4, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — City Manager Mike Graese is ready for downtown Ashland to flourish, and he’s not about to be a hindrance. “At the end of the day, it’s about getting this Destination: Ashland team together, and the city’s gotta get out of the way,” Graese said in the The Daily Independent’s conference room a couple hours prior to presenting his thoughts at the Ashland Rotary Club weekly meeting on Monday. The focus of Graese’s speech was Roger Brooks’s “Shift Happens” presentation from earlier this month at The Delta Hotel by Marriott. Brooks captured the city manager’s attention during his weeklong stay in the city. The downtown revitalization expert highlighted a bevy of key ingredients a city must possess in order to properly revive. Graese agreed with the bulk of Brooks’s assessments and ideas. “It wasn’t just charisma, it was common-sense stuff,” Graese said of Brooks’s thought offerings. Graese said the city will [...]

December 2, 2019|Economic Development|


Tim Gibbs has been named chairman of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development for 2020. Gibbs, the President & CEO of Ashland Alliance, said he was honored to be selected for the role. KAED works within three service pillars: education, advocacy and collaboration. They aim to lead missions within the nation and internationally to market Kentucky for business and economic opportunity. The KAED is a membership association. Its stakeholders are interested in economic development in Kentucky. In 2019, it launched the Kentucky Product Development Initiative. It was a multi-million dollar grant-making program that would distribute funds to capital improvement projects. The group established 2020 deployment, a professional education and certification program designed for economic developers and stakeholders. The newly elected officers and directors of KAED are John Bevinton, LG&E and KU. They have taken on responsibilities as Chair-Elect. Bob Helton was also introduced as Secretary-Treasurer. READ MORE AT DAILYINDEPENDENT.COM

December 2, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky has launched a new program offering farmers incentives for selling their property to beginning farmers, an effort to further sustain one of the state’s most important industries. Gov. Matt Bevin and partner organizations announced the Kentucky Selling Farmer Tax Credit (KSFTC) program, which will begin accepting applications Monday, Dec. 16. “Farmers are a vital part of Kentucky’s economy, and this new program will help ensure our state benefits from its bountiful supply of agricultural land to the fullest extent possible,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are thankful for all who partnered in creating the KSFTC program, and we encourage selling farmers to take advantage of this exciting new opportunity.” Eligible selling farmers could receive tax credits up to 5% of the purchase price of qualifying assets, with a $25,000 cap per calendar year and a $100,000 lifetime cap. “The Kentucky Selling Farmer Tax Credit program is an [...]

November 27, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, KY – Following the creation of 200 jobs at the newly-opened Marriott Delta Hotel in downtown Ashland near Braidy Industries, Inc.'s headquarters, Braidy has announced that 15 graduates from the company’s Ashland Community & Technical College Advanced Integrated Technologies (AIT) program will be hired to full-time positions at Braidy subsidiaries NanoAl and Veloxint. Each of these positions will pay base salaries of $65,000 per year, an increase of 45% relative to the average employee income in Kentucky. Massachusetts Institute of Technology-incubated Veloxint provides high performance products and parts using novel nanocrystalline metal alloys and fundamental science, resulting in performance improvements two to five times better than current metals. Northwestern University-incubated NanoAl produces pioneering aluminum superalloys using advanced materials and nanotechnology research to develop products that offer improved strength, toughness, high temperature strength, creep resistance, electrical conductivity and manufacturability. Veloxint and NanoAl are locating their manufacturing operations at the EastPark Industrial [...]

November 12, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Fifteen students at Ashland Community and Technical College will have jobs starting at $65,000 following their May graduation. Braidy Industries announced these 15 new positions through two of their subsidiary companies. These positions were not included in the original 600 announced spots at the aluminum mill. “Manufacturing was already a part of my blood, and this program I felt would just help polish the knowledge I already had,” said Christopher Jackson, a student in the Advanced Integrated Technology program. Jackson is a former employee of AK Steel, and joined the program for the same reason the others did — because he wanted to be a part of something big, but also so he could provide a better life for his family. “I feel like it is getting us ready for the rest of our futures,” he said. “Those guys coming in and interviewing us meant a whole [...]

October 28, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Data traffic began flowing through a major segment of the commonwealth’s fiber optic cable network, KentuckyWired Oct. 23. Although cable construction of Ring 1A was complete in June, the flow of data could not begin until work was complete inside the main data base centers in Frankfort and Florence. Data traffic is now flowing between those data base centers in a 2-week testing stage. Ring 1A is the Louisville-to-Lexington-to-Cincinnati segment of the network, and is the first of six rings to be completed. Deck Decker, interim director of the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the state agency overseeing KentuckyWired, says, “Government sites will soon begin lighting up along 1A, which means state offices will have faster service.” In addition, says Decker, “Half of the fiber in the 288-strand cable will be available for lease to private companies, helping to pay for the construction and maintenance of the network.” Completion of fiber [...]

October 28, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power has announced plans to ask regulators to extend a program that helps struggling coal businesses reopen and puts miners back to work in eastern Kentucky. The company plans to file an application to extend the Coal Plus program with the Kentucky Public Service Commission. First approved in 2017, the Coal Plus program is set to expire December 31, 2019. The proposal, posted here, would extend the program through December 29, 2020.  More details are posted online at Coal Plus allows Kentucky Power flexibility in three of its tariffs to offer special contracts with coal companies and coal processing businesses. Companies that agree to operate under an interruptible rate, for example, receive a discount. Several coal-related businesses have taken advantage of the program’s provisions under Coal Plus and others have expressed interest in the program. “Coal Plus is helping to spur economic development and revitalize our communities,” said Kentucky [...]

October 23, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Small businesses in Kentucky looking to begin or increase their export opportunities are encouraged to apply for State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) funding as soon as possible, as grants are awarded to eligible companies on a first come, first served basis. Qualifying companies can use STEP grants to cover or lower the cost of international trade missions, sales trips and subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additionally, the funds can assist companies with export trade show exhibit costs, training workshops, travel expenses, translation services and product compliance testing. Thus far, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development has received 60 applications for the current round of STEP funding. Approximately $170,000 remains available from the FY2019 funding pool. The Cabinet also was recently approved for an allocation of $300,000 in funding for the upcoming FY2020 funding cycle. Since its 2011 inception, STEP has provided funding for [...]

October 21, 2019|Economic Development|


CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — It’s a maritime tradition, christening a boat before its first voyage. Marathon Petroleum owns a network of refineries all over the United States and several of those refineries are dependent on inland waterway transportation. On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, three brand new members of the transportation joined the ranks. The addition of the Kenova, the Mt. Vernon, and the Patoka, each named for Marathon terminals, or cities where they have terminals, means jobs. Approximately 50 new jobs came along with these new towboats. David Earl is Manager of Operation for Marathon and he says the christening ceremony isn’t just to welcome the boat, but to also give well-wishes to the crews aboard. “We really do it to celebrate the hard work, and the men and women that crew these vessels that move America’s energy up and down the river every day,” Earl said. “Inland river towing is [...]

October 10, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries’ economic impact won’t be contained to Kentucky, according to a report assembled by Dr. James Koch of Old Dominion University. Ohio and West Virginia will be substantially and favorably affected as well, which is detailed in Koch’s study. Koch, who serves as the Board of Visitors Professor Emeritus of Economics and President Emeritus of Old Dominion University, has put together nearly 50 economic impact studies. “It’s scientifically done,” said Braidy CEO Craig Bouchard of the study. “There’s an accepted methodology to it. We’re not inventing anything there.” Koch and Bouchard co-authored a book entitled “America For Sale” in September 2009. The book explored the dangers of foreign ownership of corporate America. IT focused primarily on the steel industry. The two partnered up to pen “The Caterpillar Way: Lessons in Leadership, Growth and Shareholder Value” as well. The book’s subject is Caterpillar Inc. The numbers in Koch’s latest [...]

October 9, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — The vision, commitment and careful planning that revitalized a South Carolina city can do the same for Ashland, one of Ashland’s commissioners said Monday. The civic turnaround of Greenville, South Carolina, over the past 40 years presents a model Ashland can use in its own efforts, said Amanda Clark, who visited the town in May with Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs and a group of city and civic leaders. The group presented its findings to the city commission and Clark made a similar presentation to the Ashland Rotary Club Monday. Greenville (population approximately 70,000) is substantially larger than Ashland but otherwise similar, having lost its major industry, Clark said. “We’re not going to be what Ashland was, ever ... but we have a new Ashland. A new Ashland is on its way,” Clark said. Its transformed downtown has drawn the attention of other cities hoping to replicate its [...]

October 9, 2019|Economic Development|


GRAYSON, Ky. — Sen. Rand Paul was in the area on Monday, meeting with leaders from Carter, Boyd, Greenup, Elliott and Lawrence counties at the FIVCO offices on the Industrial Parkway. Paul discussed the state of the economy as well as plans to improve outdated infrastructure by reallocating funds from other federal programs and from money spent on “nation building” in the Middle East. Paul said the state — and specifically the northeastern Kentucky region — is doing well economically. He touted national unemployment rates and said, as he went around the area, one of the issues he heard from employers was that they had more work than they could find employees for, which is “a good problem to have.” Despite negative attention from national media, Paul said, “amazing things are happening” across the nation. He said that one of the complaints from critics of the current administration is that [...]

October 8, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Each of Kentucky’s 10 Local Workforce Areas (LWA) is expected to have at least 33 occupations grow by 20 percent or more in the next 10 years. This growth will account for more than 280,000 total job openings, according to the Occupational Outlook Dashboard (2016-2026) from the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS) within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). Kentucky’s projected occupational information is available through the KYSTATS Occupational Outlook Dashboard. The interactive dashboard displays wide variety of occupational information including job openings, growth rate, educational requirements, and earnings by occupation. Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to be the fastest growing occupational group in five LWAs from 2016-2026. Transportation and material moving jobs are expected to account for the largest share of new jobs in three of the LWAs. Across all 10 Local Workforce Areas, more than 553,000 projected job openings in the next 10 [...]

October 1, 2019|Economic Development|


Braidy Industries Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard has repeatedly said the Braidy Atlas aluminum mill will demonstrate to the world how large scale manufacturing can be done with a low carbon footprint. That commitment to reducing Braidy’s carbon footprint prompted an invitation for Bouchard to speak to the United Nations Climate Action Summit last week. Bouchard’s message, that Braidy will offer the lowest carbon footprint of any aluminum rolling mill in the United States, was well received in New York City. "It was truly an honor," Bouchard said of speaking at the UN. "The meetings are going on for like three days. There are thousands of people there for many good reasons. They are from all over the world. So it was a complete was fantastic." Reducing carbon is a priority for the Braidy mill, slated for EastPark Industrial Center, and the approach os earning praise and attention from [...]

October 1, 2019|Economic Development|


PIKEVILLE, Ky. – U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) and Gov. Matt Bevin announced 20 grants totaling $34.4 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. Projects impacting 14 counties were selected for grants through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region through economic development. All projects were unveiled at the 2019 Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Summit in Pikeville by Gov. Bevin and Congressman Rogers, who has championed $425 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, alongside U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). $105 million of those program funds have been awarded to Kentucky. “These grant announcements target the regional scope of SOAR and the importance of collaborating across county boundaries by highlighting the success we can create when we [...]

September 16, 2019|Economic Development|


Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and LG&E and KU were ranked among the U.S. Top 20 Utilities in Economic Development by Site Selection, the international economic development magazine. The co-ops were ranked 14th and LG&E and KU were ranked 15th. See the complete rankings here: In a profile in the magazine’s September edition, the co-ops are lauded for using innovative technology to market sites in the co-ops’ Kentucky communities. The rankings are based on corporate facility investment and job creation, and honor organizations that are taking economic development to the next level. “The economic development community around the globe is taking notice of the emphasis Kentucky is putting on drawing jobs and investment,” said Rodney Hitch, economic development director for the co-ops. “Hard work is being done at every level, from local economic development agencies to the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet and our many federal partners. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are [...]

September 13, 2019|Economic Development|


PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Speaking at the SOAR Summit in Pikeville today, Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers announced the completion of the construction phase of the KentuckyWired project in Eastern Kentucky. The announcement is another major milestone for the KentuckyWired project which, when completed, will be the first statewide high-speed broadband network in the nation. The completion of KentuckyWired’s 1B and 2 rings will provide the infrastructure for broadband connectivity in 39 counties, including: (Ring 1B) Bath, Bourbon, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clark, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wolfe, and (Ring 2) Bell, Harlan, Knox, Letcher, McCreary, Pike, Wayne and Whitley. “Today, we are excited to announce the continued forward progress of the KentuckyWired project under our administration,” said Gov. Bevin. “With construction of the 1B and 2 rings complete, Eastern Kentucky is poised to benefit [...]

September 11, 2019|Economic Development|


PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Proud program has added 17 Kentucky counties to Appalachia Proud, the brand that designates agricultural products from Appalachian Kentucky, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced at the SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) Summit on Friday in Pikeville. “Now more Kentucky producers can use the Appalachia Proud brand to show their pride in their Appalachian heritage,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Consumers identify Appalachia Proud products with the unique culture and fiercely independent spirit of the region. Agriculture can and will generate additional economic activity in the area at every level, from small family farms and farmers’ markets to the giant AppHarvest greenhouse complex that’s under construction in Rowan County. Agriculture has a bright future in Appalachia.” The new counties were added to conform Appalachia Proud to the definition of Appalachia adopted by SOAR and the federal Appalachian Regional Commission. The counties added to Appalachia Proud are Adair, Casey, Clark, [...]

September 10, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Kentucky Power has purchased the Old Post Office in Ashland to use as its company headquarters. The purchase will allow Kentucky Power to move all of its company headquarters employees to one location, while freeing up space for other employees, including operations personnel, who will continue to work at Robert E. Matthews Service Center near Cannonsburg. Some headquarters employees have been working in rental space in the Citizens Bank Building on Carter Avenue, while some others are at the service center. "Kentucky Power has been looking for a permanent office headquarters since moving from Frankfort back to Ashland in 2017,” said Brett Mattison, Kentucky Power president and chief operating officer. “We have been very blessed to lease office space from Citizens Bank. However, we simply do not have enough space in our current leased space. We are proud to be moving back to downtown Ashland where our company [...]

September 7, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Some exciting new changes are in store for attendees of the Ashland Alliance's regional business celebration this year. Tim Gibbs, chief executive officer of the Alliance, said the yearly gathering of business leaders throughout the region will be held in downtown Ashland at the brand new Delta by Marriott. "We want to highlight downtown and highlight what is going on," Gibbs said. "We will be centered at the new Delta Marriott. We think there is a story to be told and not just with the hotel but also what's going on across the street, at the five and dime, what's happening everywhere with this rebirth of this proud town. We really want to highlight that." Gov. Matt Bevin and friends are confirmed as speakers. The event will also be different than years past in that it will not feel like a traditional banquet. "We are going to [...]

August 29, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Commonwealth of Kentucky has received more than $7.1 million in AmeriCorps federal funding for 21 programs with over 900 members. AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by Serve Kentucky, an agency within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Members serve faith-based and nonprofit groups, educational institutions, local government entities and state agencies. Organizations are selected for grants based on their plans to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. Funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service. This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served their country through the national service program. Organizations are currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall. Those interested in serving can learn more at “AmeriCorps members [...]

August 29, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Visitor spending and visitation growth in Kentucky both increased in 2018 according to a study from Tourism Economics, the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s new research partner. Visitor trips to and within the Commonwealth topped 71.6 million in 2018, with visitor spending climbing to nearly $7.6 billion, a 3.7% increase over the prior year and 21% increase since 2013. “Tourism continues to play a vital role in Kentucky’s economy,” said Jay Hall, acting commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism. “The growth shown in this new report is a testament to the authentic visitor experiences offered across the state, and we look forward to using this data to help increase visits, visitor spending, and tourism employment for the Commonwealth and our local partners in the future.” Using the Tourism Economics model, the economic impact of the tourism industry in Kentucky went from $10.9 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion [...]

August 16, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries, Inc. announced today the completion of Regulation CF “crowdfunding” of its common stock offering, having received commitments for in excess of 100% of the statutory limit of $1,070,000 allowed, in parallel to its $500 million Wall Street private placement offering. The Regulation CF offering was launched by Braidy via the Netcapital portal allowing main street Kentuckians classified as non-accredited investors the opportunity to make a pre-IPO purchase of stock. At Braidy’s current valuation implied by the terms of the completed offering, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s initial $15 million investment made at $5 per share has increased to $18 per share, giving taxpayers a 250% appreciation on its investment. Braidy recently announced a $200 million strategic equity commitment made by United Company Rusal into its subsidiary company, Braidy Atlas LLC (of which $60 million has already been funded), and a 10-year supply agreement of in-demand low carbon prime [...]

August 13, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Imagine downtown Ashland with just two lanes running through it instead of four. Ashland Board of Commissioner Amanda Clark thinks the idea could work. Clark floated the idea during a discussion on revitalizing downtown Ashland at a June meeting. She presented her fellow commissioners with a report that showed how Ashland could move in a similar direction as Greenville, South Carolina. One of the main points she mentioned was renovating Winchester from four lanes to two, expanding the sidewalks and adding diagonal parking. “We don’t want to build a city for the sake of attraction. We want to revitalize the downtown for the people who live here,” said Clark. The area Clark mentioned bringing down to two lanes was 13th to 18th streets. There would be no renovations done to 14th street where the traffic from the bridges merges with downtown. One of the main complaints Clark has [...]

July 29, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — More than 750 Kentuckians have invested in Braidy Industries through a crowdfunding equity Main Street offering that closed on Thursday. “Over 750 main street investors, primarily Kentuckians, invested their hard-earned money in Braidy to build a healthy community and a healthy company,” said Chairman and CEO Craig T. Bouchard. “These individuals each voted with their wallets. In doing so, they join our relentless pursuit to bring prosperity to Appalachia with high-paying advanced manufacturing jobs.” The crowdfunding of common stock offering was in was capped at $1 million and is parallel to its $500 million Wall Street private placement offering. Also Braidy announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s initial investment of $15 million is reaping dividends. At current valuation implied by the terms of the completed offering, Kentucky taxpayers’ investment two years ago made at $5 per share has increased to $18 per share, giving taxpayers a 250% appreciation on [...]

July 29, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard expressed confidence Tuesday that the company is in perfect position to open its $1.7 billion Braidy Atlas mill in northeastern Kentucky in 2021 - and it has done it faster than anybody expected. As of Tuesday, he said, $300 million has been raised and the majority of the capital needed is now in hand either in cash, binding commitments or letters of intent. In other words, he said, it’s coming. "Our progress building one of the largest mills in the world has gone faster than any project of this size in memory," Bouchard said. "We couldn’t be more excited about our future and the positive impact we will have on the economy of eastern Kentucky.” The plant, scheduled to be built at the EastPark Industrial Center near Ashland, would be the largest greenfield aluminum rolling mill in the world and the first [...]

July 19, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard said the company is on track for opening its Atlas mill in 2021 with the company also on schedule for raising the necessary capital. Bouchard said Tuesday the mill's projected total cost is $1.7 billion. As of Tuesday $300 million has been raised and the majority of the remaining capital needed is now in hand in cash, binding commitments or letters of intent. "Between the debt and equity markets the total cost of the mill is $1.7 billion," Bouchard said. "In essence that is the raise between debt and equity to pay for it. Braidy Industries has raised over $300 million of cash equity to date. So we have had a tremendous amount of success and we have a very strong interest level from people in negotiating with us for the final pieces." Bouchard said Braidy is going to be [...]

July 17, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Economic growth in Kentucky passed another milestone as Gov. Matt Bevin today announced the commonwealth eclipsed $20 billion in announced corporate investment since December 2015 – an all-time record for any four-year administration – spurring the ongoing creation of nearly 54,000 Kentucky resident, full-time jobs. “This record-breaking investment of private capital is driving our local economies and will revitalize communities across the commonwealth for decades to come,” said Gov. Bevin. “Policies implemented by our administration and legislative partners — including right-to-work, Red Tape Reduction and transformative workforce development training — have made this accomplishment a reality. Kentucky’s tremendous geographic, logistical, cost of living and workforce advantages, amplified by strong support from local leaders, utilities and higher education institutions, have enabled us to unleash unprecedented economic success and create long-term opportunities for Kentucky families.” The $20 billion in pledged investment comes across 1,180 individual projects, wherein private-sector companies [...]

July 15, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — The newly renovated Delta Hotel by Marriott opened on Wednesday to great fanfare in downtown Ashland. The long-term project turned the former Ashland Plaza Hotel into a lavish, four-star hotel in the heart of the city. Those staying in the hotel were able to check in when they opened this morning. “I am over the top (with excitement),” said developer Jimmy Nizzo. “It is just so wonderful to be at this point right now. We promised it would be beyond everyone’s expectations, and we did it.” The Delta Hotel is the first full service hotel in all of Ashland, providing guests with a Starbucks, two bars and one restaurant.  The restaurant offers a fine dining experience through Winchester Steak, Seafood and Bourbon Bar on the second floor. It will also include 152 guest rooms, free high speed Internet, hydration stations on every floor, a fitness center and [...]

July 5, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Community representatives visited the Paris Air Show last week with the intent of bringing more of the aerospace industry to the area. Those from the region who went included Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs, Kentucky Power External Affairs Manager Amanda Clark, Ashland Community and Technical College President Dr. Larry Ferguson and Integrated Technology Program Coordinator Michael Tackett, and One East Kentucky President and CEO Chuck Sexton and Project Manager Ivy Stanley. “This is the biggest trade show in the world and also one of the best opportunities for us in the world,” said Gibbs. The air show takes place every two years and the Ashland Alliance attended last time as well. Gibbs said the group attended meetings with several different companies—all of which had an active recruitment project ongoing, looking for expansion. One of the companies was GE Aviation, a company that makes aircraft engines. “The first 48 [...]

July 1, 2019|Economic Development|


WURTLAND, Ky. – A global company with a facility in Wurtland has acquired one of its largest competitors, translating into an expansion of both production and its workforce in the area. Joshua Blanton, plant manager for Wurtland facility Vesuvius, said Vesuvius recently purchased one of their largest competitors in the United States, CPPI. Vesuvius is a large metal flow engineering company. The acquisition of Comat by Vesuvius will have a direct impact on Vesuvius’s Wurtland facility, said Blanton. “Basically Comat is one of our biggest competitors in the U.S. Market for the products that are made in this plant and our Chicago plant,” Blanton said. “We make about 60,000 tons per year of product, shipped all over North America and some to South America. We ship basically to every steel-maker all over North America. Comat in Blanchester, Ohio, ships to the same customers. We're closing that plant down and taking [...]

July 1, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — In what is viewed as a landmark day for Ashland, the Delta Hotel by Marriott will open for guests on July 3. Nonstop work on the hotel is now almost complete. Renovations have transformed the property from the Ashland Plaza into a top-notch, upscale hotel offering much needed hotel rooms in downtown Ashland. Workers are currently adding finishing touches to the building and a ribbon cutting is planned for July 2. Guest will be welcome to stay in the hotel the night following the soft opening. “This is going to be a major boost (for the city of Ashland) because there is no full service hotel for people to stay at,” said co-developer Jim Nizzo. “With Braidy (Industries) coming to town and both hospitals we are expecting a significant occupancy.” Nizzo and Andy Spiros purchased the property in September 2017 for $3.6 million. They city helped with construction [...]

June 21, 2019|Economic Development|


Since assuming office on Dec. 8, 2015, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has pursued two goals with a single-minded purpose: overhauling the state’s business climate and turning Kentucky into an engineering and manufacturing hub of excellence. On March 27 of this year, he secured a win that confirmed progress on both fronts. Nucor Corp., the largest steel producer in America, announced that it would invest $1.35 billion to construct a new steel mill in Brandenburg in Meade County and create 400 jobs over 15 years. The 1.5-million-sq.-ft. plant will be built along the Ohio River southwest of Louisville on land that currently hosts a grain shipping port. The average annual wage at the new plant will be $72,000. “Nucor is a proven, longtime corporate citizen in Kentucky and a key partner in our world-class primary metals industry,” Bevin said. “This massive project will transform the region’s economy and provide high-quality jobs [...]

June 10, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Nearly 70 investors, bankers, business owners and members of the community gathered Tuesday to set their sights on learning about options within Opportunity Zones during a comprehensive seminar at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. Opportunity Zones are federally designated areas in which investors and entrepreneurs can pursue business opportunities and receive significant tax breaks. The event was hosted by Northeast Kentucky Development. The forum explained the technical side of how Opportunity Zones work as well as their relation to Kentucky’s recent P3 statute and the Tri-State Angel Investment Group.e “Opportunity Zones are completely different to what anyone has really worked with before,” said Sam Howard of Northeast Kentucky Development. Howard has helped develop a master plan for property on an Opportunity Zone in South Shore Industrial Park. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 went through Congress with the goal of furthering economic development in rural [...]

June 6, 2019|Economic Development|


Nearly 100 people gathered on KY 801 North Tuesday to witness the Independent Stave Company break ground for their Commonwealth Cooperage, expected to create 220 jobs with a $66.5 million investment. The groundbreaking celebrated the onset of the new cooperage’s construction near the Morehead-Rowan County Airport at 201 Rodney Hitch Blvd. Using locally manufactured staves, Commonwealth Cooperage will produce white oak barrels for the bourbon and whiskey industries. With construction complete, the cooperage will become the company’s third in the state, joining its 500-employee Kentucky Cooperage in Lebanon and a used barrel cooperage in Louisville, which refurbishes and provides freshly dumped whiskey barrels to breweries and wineries. In the last four years, ISC has opened two stave mills within the state, Benton Wood Products in Marshall County and Morehead Wood Products off Cranston Road, a 120-employee operation with a more than $11 million investment. Morehead Wood Products will supply the [...]

June 5, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Furthering growth in areas that need an economic boost. That is the goal of the federally designated Opportunity Zones, which seek investors to further economic growth in designated areas that include locations in Boyd and Greenup counties. On Tuesday community members will have the chance to learn more about the Tri-State Opportunity Zone, P3 as well as the Angel Investing Forum. The forum, hosted by the Ashland Alliance, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. It will feature a session about Opportunity Zones and public-private partnerships (P3s), a networking lunch and an introduction to Angel Investin. The Tri-State Angel Investment Group is made up of local investors with a vision to bring jobs to the area and better the community. Sizable sectors of Boyd and Greenup counties were designated as new business investment Opportunity Zones by the federal [...]

June 4, 2019|Economic Development|


CATLETTSBURG, Ky.  Boyd County officials are continuing efforts to enhance economic development. The new fiscal court has tripled the county's economic development personnel, including a new Boyd County Economic Development director, TJ Morrison, and a digital content consultant, Zach Daniels, who’s role includes creating business profiles and live streaming fiscal court meetings. Morrison said the video profiles have been extremely successful. Businesses have to ask the economic development department to create the videos, which are posted to the Boyd County Community and Economic Development Facebook page. Morrison said there are currently around 40 businesses on the waiting list. “We've heard time and time again from our participants that the profiles are generating views and generating customers, which is at the end of the day what we were really wanting to do with this service,” he said. One video has even gained over 27,000 views. Chaney said the videos have also [...]

May 28, 2019|Economic Development|


Braidy Industries, Inc. and En+ Group subsidiary United Company RUSAL plc confirmed Thursday morning the Boards of Directors of both companies have approved a $200 million lead investment in the Braidy Atlas mill by Rusal. The investment gives Rusal a 40 percent share in the Braidy Atlas mill in northeastern Kentucky. The mill will be the first greenfield aluminum rolling mill built in the U.S. in 37 years. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. Rusal will supply 200,000 tons of certified low-carbon prime aluminum ingot and slabs each year for a 10-year period, allowing Braidy to target 20% lower carbon emissions than its nearest competitor. This will be the world's largest order for one mill of high-quality, pre-alloyed and low-carbon primary aluminum slabs. In a press release issued Thursday morning Braidy Industries Chairman and CEO, Craig Bouchard, said, “This is a sustainability match made [...]

May 17, 2019|Economic Development|


CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — Kim Jenkins-McClements' legacy lives on. McClements — who started the Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards — passed away last year. On Thursday morning a very successful Small Business Awards ceremony was held at the Boyd County Community Center, and everyone in attendance made sure to remember McClements was the driving force who made it all possible for many years. McClements' husband, Steven McClements, was present for the event and was impressed with the tributes to his late wife. "It was her goal to get all the small businesses together and recognize everything (small business owners) have achieved and how hard they've worked," Steven McClements said. "To get them in a room like this...they get to meet each other, and get ideas from each other." "I loved that everyone remembered Kim," he said. "This was her baby. She started it and it is still going." The centerpiece moment of [...]

May 10, 2019|Economic Development|


Braidy Industries' Atlas mill has announced a cooperative plan with international manufacturer BMW Group. A press release from the company issued this morning states: Braidy Atlas (“Braidy”) announced the creation of a mile-stone plan for cooperation with the BMW Group (“BMW”) on sustainability and technical/qualification for the future supply of series 5000x and 6000x automotive aluminum sheet. Included is a comprehensive closed-loop recycling strategy leveraging Braidy Atlas’ logistically optimal location in Ashland, Kentucky and in closed proximity to BMW´s car production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Braidy Atlas recently announced its intention to become the first North American rolling mill to use 100% green inputs from inception. As the first US rolling mill to obtain a low-emissions air permit from the Federal EPA, Braidy has targeted 20% lower emmissions than competitors. Craig Bouchard, Chief Executive Officer of Braidy said: “Our low cost, high quality, low carbon footprint allows material improvement in [...]

April 29, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — A report assessing Braidy Industries’ estimated economic impact on the Commonwealth of Kentucky was released by Dr. James V. Koch, board of visitors professor emeritus of economics and president emeritus of Old Dominion University. Dr. Koch and his team modeled the regional effects produced by the introduction of Braidy Atlas into the economy, from construction through the first year of production in 2021, and found that Braidy will catalyze $2.8 billion in economic growth in Kentucky and $1.54 billion within the six-county Eastern Kentucky region. The report also details 1,500 construction jobs and 650 new permanent, advanced manufacturing jobs, creating approximately 3,600 additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Dr. Koch stated, “Braidy is delivering on its vision to revitalize Appalachia through the production of low-carbon, high-quality aluminum.” Utilizing the U.S. Department of Commerce’s RIMS-II economic impact model, the study forecasts substantial economic prosperity generated by Braidy through 2021, including: [...]

April 29, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, in partnership with the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, has initiated an effort to create more ideal sites that allow companies to locate in Kentucky and begin construction immediately. Kentucky’s new Product Development Initiative (PDI) is an investment program through which up to $6 million may be available to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments via grant awards to supplement their site or building improvement projects. Additional funding may be available in the future, depending on the availability of state funds. PDI will supplement local investment to address a shortage of top quality locations in the commonwealth. Grants may be awarded for utility infrastructure upgrades, property acquisition, facility enhancement or the diligence necessary to prepare sites and buildings for investment. The initiative will enhance quantity and quality of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings, address lack of capital in a market and [...]

April 26, 2019|Economic Development|


NEW YORK — Braidy Industries, Inc. (“Braidy”) and London Stock Exchange listed En+ Group plc, announced the execution of a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) specifying basic terms for a potential $200 million lead investment for its Braidy Atlas mill by En+ Group subsidiary, United Company RUSAL plc (“Rusal”). Rusal is the world’s largest producer of aluminum outside of China and historically, has been the U.S.’ number two non-domestic supplier of prime aluminum. The LOI becomes binding subject to the final approval by the respective boards of both companies. In exchange for its investment, Rusal will obtain a 40% share in the project. Rusal will serve as Braidy’s exclusive supplier of low-carbon aluminum, providing close to 2.0 million mtons over 10 years. This will be the world's largest order for one mill of high-quality, pre-alloyed and low-carbon primary aluminum slabs. Braidy Atlas mill’s primary aluminum purchase has a market value of [...]

April 18, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries, Inc., may be having its greatest day Monday. A letter of intent outlining basic terms for a $200 million lead investment for its Braidy Atlas mill is officially in the works with United Co. Rusal, a Russian aluminum giant and one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum outside of China. The letter of intent becomes binding upon approval from the boards of both companies. In exchange for its investment, Rusal will obtain a 40% share in the project and serve as Braidy’s exclusive supplier of low-carbon aluminum, providing close to 2 million metric tons over 10 years. It will be the world's largest order of high-quality, pre-alloyed and low-carbon primary aluminum slabs for one mill. Braidy Atlas mill’s primary aluminum purchase has a market value of approximately $500 million per year. Rusal is a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange-listed En+ Group, whose executive chairman is Lord [...]

April 15, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — The Tri-State Angel Investment Group is making a $100,000 investment in The Winchester Steak, Seafood and Bourbon Bar — the restaurant that will operate in the Marriott-brand Delta Hotel. The investment is a part of a more than half-million dollar grant given to the group through the Appalachian Regional Commission last fall, allowing members to further help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in the area. The ARC tasked the group with working with 50 companies over the next three years, all of which the group does not necessarily have to make an investment in. Jason Camp, a partner in The 3 J Group — alongside John Vorndran and Jimmy Blanke — that owns the restaurant, said the funding will make the opening process easier as hotel construction continues. The hotel is now set to open around mid-June and Camp said both it and the restaurant must open concurrently. “For us it’s additional [...]

April 12, 2019|Economic Development|


Kentucky Power Chief Executive Officer Brett Mattison said he wants to emphasize four principles in his role as the new chief executive officer of Kentucky Power. Those principles are safety, company culture, the customer and community growth. For the latter Mattison said he and Kentucky Power are committed to doing what is necessary to foster a climate of economic growth in the Tri-State, including making it possible for Braidy Industries to access the electric infrastructure needed to build a state-of-the-art aluminum mill at EastPark Industrial Center. "We know it is vitally important to be an integral part of economic development and growth,” Mattison said in a recent interview with The Daily Independent. “And we will continue to do so. We’ve had some good successes with Braidy and we want to continue to see that success grow. We want them to be as large as they can be and knock it [...]

April 9, 2019|Economic Development|


SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — Sam Howard looks out across the nearly 400 acres of land stretching from U.S. 23 to the rolling waters of the Mighty Ohio River in Greenup County and he sees more than just rural beauty. He also sees opportunity. "This tract here in South Shore is especially attractive," said Howard, managing member of an entity known as Northeast Kentucky Development, or NEKYD. This past week Howard and NEKYD announced they've purchased the 385 acres of property once slated to be the location of Braidy Industries in South Shore. When Braidy subsequently chose to locate its planned aluminum mill in nearby Eastpark Industrial Center, the NEKYD group saw more opportunity, and they stepped in. They saw the chance to pursue their own goals of creating new jobs in northeast Kentucky by purchasing the land for the purpose of development and creating their own industrial park known as [...]

April 1, 2019|Economic Development|


BRANDENBURG, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin and executives from Nucor Corp. today heralded the company’s plans to build a $1.35 billion steel plate manufacturing mill in Meade County as both an immediate and long-term economic development achievement, creating more than 400 well-paying, full-time jobs in the coming years and ranking as one of the state’s largest-ever single investments. “Nucor is a proven, longtime corporate citizen in Kentucky and a key partner in our world-class primary metals industry,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are grateful for the company’s decision to construct a new state-of-the-art mill in Brandenburg. This massive project will transform the region’s economy and provide high-quality jobs to Kentuckians for generations to come. Thanks to Nucor’s strong commitment to the commonwealth, we are taking another momentous step toward solidifying our reputation as America’s engineering and manufacturing center of excellence.” The 1.5-million-square-foot facility will sit on 900 acres in the Buttermilk Falls [...]

April 1, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries says it is on schedule to meet its anticipated target of bringing its new aluminum rolling mill at EastPark Industrial Center to full commercial operation in 2021. The company has reported spending $15.7 million on construction so far on the estimated $1.68 billion project in eastern Kentucky. Braidy Industries will be an advanced manufacturer of metals for the global transportation and defense industries. The company broke ground on the proposed mill in June 2018. Braidy officials said then the company has completed engineering and architectural plans for the mill and has substantially completed negotiations on its engineering, procurement and construction contract. The massive project is backed in part by state taxpayers after the Kentucky state legislature approved a $15 million investment in Braidy Industries in 2017. Company officials have said in previous reports that they expect the mill to create about 600 jobs for the economically depressed [...]

March 28, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard took 45 minutes on Wednesday morning to encourage and enlighten potential future employees of the Braidy Atlas aluminum rolling mill. More than 110 students in the Advanced Integrated Technology program at Ashland Community & Technical College listened intently to Bouchard for 45 minutes. He told them 10,000 applications had been taken for the plant’s 600 jobs, calling it a “tough, tough environment.” “Now for the good news,” Bouchard said. “Guess who’s at the front of that line? Everybody sitting in this room.” The associate degree program was developed especially for Braidy and equips graduates for a manufacturing environment. Students are in the second semester of the program. “If you can get the employee to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, it will make for a much more successful plant,” said Mike Tackett, the coordinator for the Advanced Integrated Technology [...]

March 21, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Tim Gibbs told Ashland Rotarians on Monday there are now more job openings than people looking for jobs in the local area. Gibbs, president and chief executive officer of the Ashland Alliance, said he came across this information while visiting the Ashland Unemployment Career Center Office, noting a lot of the available jobs may require traveling or commuting to areas like Huntington, W.Va. and may require skills that many lack, but that there are jobs available. “What we have is we have a mismatch between the talent of our people and the opportunities and the jobs that are out there in the area… but things are changing,” said Gibbs. He added that the Ashland area had more jobs than the demand about six months ago. Gibbs said the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent in Boyd County and 5.9 percent in Greenup. He added the worker participation in [...]

March 8, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. — KentuckyWired, a broadband project installing high-speed fiber optic cable in every county, has now completed over 1,000 miles of its planned 3,000-mile network, with 1,090 miles of fiber either on aerial poles or in underground conduit, and another 500 miles ready for fiber deployment in the coming weeks. The head of the state agency overseeing the project says it is an important milestone. Phillip Brown, executive director of Kentucky Communications Network Authority, said, “Obtaining the necessary pole attachment agreements to use over 70,000 utility poles owned by over 70 different entities was a slow process. Now, with all of those agreements finalized and make-ready construction increasing, the actual process of hanging fiber cable is picking up rapidly.” The project is currently on track for completion in October 2020, with portions of the network activated before that scheduled completion date. Brown said, “We expect to activate the first [...]

February 28, 2019|Economic Development|


An eastern Kentucky business has secured a large supply contract with a federal agency and that means new jobs are on the way. The Department of Homeland Security has entered into a deal with Dropbox Incorporated, a business based in Worthington, Kentucky. The development process between Dropbox and DHS took a little less than a decade to finalize but they are now in the production phase. The $2 million contract will not only call for more supplies but also dozens of jobs in the area. ”Well, we currently have about 110 employees and I think we’re going to at least add another 30, 40.  Probably mostly welders, there’s a lot of steel that goes in these, in this project.  A lot of big, heavy plate steel.  So we’re going to be buying a lot of local steel,” said CEO Robert Slagel of Portable Solutions Group. The new production will bring in on-deck rail [...]

February 14, 2019|Economic Development|


FRANKFORT, Ky. – Eligible Kentucky small businesses can now receive even more funding to help them begin exporting or expand their export market through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). Each company selected may now receive up to $10,000 in grant funding, twice the amount available the past several years. Businesses previously awarded a $5,000 grant in the FY2018 cycle, now have an additional $5,000 to use by Sept. 29. STEP grants provide businesses reimbursement for a variety of trade-related costs, including travel expenses, market research and matchmaking, translation services, export education, trade advisory services, compliance, international marketing media design and other associated costs. SkiSkootys, a Louisville family owned startup, used STEP funding to establish international markets for its slip-on ski-boot soles. Using STEP funds, Reid Lawler, SkiSkootys vice president, traveled to Beijing in September as part of a Snowsports Industries America trade mission to China. “Going to Beijing was an [...]

February 6, 2019|Economic Development|


Recent changes in the manufacturing process have brought more efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the industry. Automation in both the manufacturing process and in quality control continues to revolutionize the industry, creating a more consistent product while cutting down on costs. The Internet of Things connects new machinery and allows employees to control more of its functions. All of these changes go hand-in-hand with eco-friendliness, making industries more sustainable and reducing waste. Companies like Braidy Industries are poised to take advantage of these exciting advances, decreasing their costs while upping their productivity. Automation For the past twenty years, automation has made an outsized impact on the manufacturing industry. Automated processes allow for more productivity while reducing the number of employees needed to complete a task. In recent years, automated machinery has become even more advanced, with machine learning and artificial intelligence becoming more commonplace. Manufacturers have begun to adopt automation as [...]

January 29, 2019|Economic Development|


FLATWOODS, Ky. — The Oaks Golf Course’s scorecards billed it as “Kentucky’s best-kept secret!” Joe R. Pyle is hoping to get the secret out by Feb. 7. That’s the date The Oaks Golf Community is up for sale at auction. It’s composed of the 18-hole, par-72 course, as well as 25 ready-to-build lots for houses, a 68-acre and 15-acre tracts for development and a 482-acre wooded tract. The course and parcels are offered individually and as a package. Pyle, the auctioneer, declined to reveal the asking price, citing company policy. He did say he believes the auction will be successful. “It needs to be sold. They’re planning on selling it,” Pyle said. “They’re not gonna sell it for $100,000, but we feel confident. We don’t take these assignments if they’re not sellable. “There’s been some inquiries, and I think it’ll make some people some very good buys.” The course, designed [...]

January 28, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries, Inc., has named a veteran of the steel industry to head its Braidy Atlas mill operations, the company announced Monday. Tom Modrowski, who served as executive vice president of construction for Braidy Industries since 2017, will oversee mill completion and integrated aluminum sheet production. Modrowski brings nearly 40 years of experience in aluminum and steel processing and has unique experience with greenfield construction in the steel industry. “Tom’s expertise is ideal to lead Braidy Atlas to rapid automotive qualification with our OEM partners,” said Braidy CEO Craig Bouchard. “He is a proven contributor to our executive management team and has kept us on-track and on-budget in our ongoing construction.” Modrowski has extensive leadership experience at leading steel, coating technology and merchandizing companies. As an employee of US Steel from 1985-1995, Modrowski managed a team that directed the design, installation, setup and subsequent management of Double [...]

January 15, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Anticipation of a new Toyota dealership in east Ashland is stoking development plans in the area, city officials said. The dealership’s co-owner, Mike Ayres, said Toyota of Ashland is now scheduled for a spring opening. Weather has pushed back the target date for opening by a couple of months. “We had hoped for February but now we’re looking at April,” said Ayres. Bad weather slowed some early steps in the construction, he said. The 30,000-square-foot building is under roof and workers are pouring floors and doing other tasks now, he said. The steel-beam framework has risen over the past couple of months in the 3500 block of Winchester Avenue, just south of the intersection with Greenup Avenue. The dealership is on the site of what once was Hecks Department Store. Plans remain to hire most employees locally and the number of applications has been “overwhelming” for the 50 [...]

January 14, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. — Andy Spiros and Jim Nizzo are following through on their vision of creating a beautiful, upscale hotel in downtown Ashland. The owners of WB Hospitality LLC walked through the under-construction hotel this past week, offering a tour of the high-end rooms and future locations of luxurious bars, a restaurant and fitness center. The vast majority of the hotel is now expected to be complete by early Spring, transforming the old Ashland Plaza into a newly rebuilt Delta Marriott on Winchester Avenue. It is a project that was on the developers’ radar for years. “We’ve always been aware of the hotel,” Spiros said. “The first time we came here 14 or 15 years ago we stayed here at (what was formerly known as) the Ashland Plaza. Back then, we spoke about it, saying, ‘Hey, this could be a nice place.” The developers believe when the hotel is finished [...]

January 14, 2019|Economic Development|


ASHLAND, Ky. – Braidy Industries Inc. took its first official step toward becoming a public company by submitting a draft resale shelf registration statement to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 31 on a confidential basis. The statement relates to possible resale from Braidy’s stockholders, including by investors purchasing shares in connection with Braidy’s current crowdfunding offering being conducted on the Netcapital portal. The resale shelf registration statement is also intended to facilitate the listing of Braidy’s common stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Unlike a traditional initial public offering, any resale of Braidy’s shares would not be underwritten by any investment bank. Braidy would not receive any proceeds from any sale of its shares by the selling stockholders. The ability of stockholders to commence sales under the resale shelf registration statement would be subject to Braidy publicly filing with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-1 in [...]

January 8, 2019|Economic Development|


Braidy Industries has filed more paperwork indicating it intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq stock market. The latest filing is called a draft resale shelf registration statement. A shelf registration is defined by Nasdaq as a procedure that helps clear the way for a public offering of securities. “With the registration ‘on the shelf,’ the corporation, by simply updating regularly filed annual, quarterly, and related reports to the SEC, can go to the market as conditions become favorable with a minimum of administrative preparation,” according Nasdaq’s website. In Braidy’s case the company has filed a draft resale shelf registration as an update on its Netcapital fundraising portal. The filing states: “The resale shelf registration statement relates to the possible resale from time to time by certain of Braidy’s stockholders, including by investors purchasing shares in connection with Braidy’s current crowdfunding offering being conducted on the Netcapital portal,” the document [...]

January 7, 2019|Economic Development|


The promise of the Braidy Atlas plant in EastPark Industrial Center and other new industries led the Greenup County Fiscal Court to create an industrial authority board to help coordinate such growth in the county. The commissioners gave final approval to the board's creation at a recent monthly meeting. Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter then announced that he is appointing Doug Collins, Tim Gibbs, Connie Crum, Phil Biggs and John McGinnis to the board. "The purpose of the board is primarily to guide growth along the Industrial Parkway," Carpenter said. "This is something that is definitely needed." Carpenter said having a guiding board will keep development from happening will-nilly, and also protect against annexation by other bodies without consideration of the long-term effects of such action. State law allows the creation of non-profit industrial boards as part of economic development. Having a board may make it easier for new companies to obtain [...]

December 31, 2018|Economic Development|
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