5 Reasons Why Aerospace Companies Should Choose Northeast Kentucky

Thursday, September 27, 2018

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NE Kentucky has a growing aerospace cluster. The areas assets make it ideally suited for aerospace companies looking to grow or to increase profitability. This has led to 183% growth in state aerospace exports since 2012(1).

The Kentucky aerospace ecosystem is strong and currently there are 80 aerospace related facilities employing more than 18,500 people in the state (1). Here are five reasons many of them have chosen to locate here.

#1 NE Kentucky is ideally located

Our area is…

  • Within a day’s drive of 65 percent of the US population and businesses
  • Within a day’s drive of 40 percent of the Canadian population
  • Within 200 miles of 7 Automotive OEMs and 430 auto supply companies

Additionally, NE Kentucky offers businesses quick access to the Wurtland Riverport, rail transport, and four regional airports. Companies can also access the Port of Huntington Tri-State – the largest port in the U.S. per tonnage, and part of a Free Trade Zone. NE Kentucky is also home to numerous Opportunity Zones where there are hundreds of acres on the Ohio River ready to be occupied. 

#2 Access to a skilled workforce

NEKY has thousands of highly skilled workers ready to work. The region is famous for its’ work ethic. Raised on the farm, our workforce gets in early and stays late, knowing what it takes to get things done. Simultaneously, our workforce is highly trained and qualified. There are thousands of engineers and welders available to hire right now.

#3 Specialized workforce training programs are available

Companies locating here can easily recruit talent coming out of Morehead State University Space and Science program or the Kentucky Community & Technical College programs with a focus on the aerospace industry. Additional workforce training and hiring support is also available through the state and local economic development groups. It is not uncommon for a training program to be created at a community college to fill the specific training needs of a local company. This level of partnership makes it possible for companies to hire employees who are trained and ready to add value to the organization. 

#4 Supportive government

Kentucky is pro-business and highly supportive of companies looking to grow or locate here for the first time. Incentives, tax breaks, loans and additional resources are all available to qualifying companies. These incentives are typically tied to a company’s potential for job creation. However, companies of all sizes will find the Kentucky government to be supportive with minimal red tape.

#5 Built-in talent pipeline

Companies locating in NEKY will have first access to a steady stream of talented employees, ready to start their career and apply their skills. Thousands of students are enrolled in Ashland Community & Technical College and Maysville Community & Technical College, graduating from programs that include  Machining Technology, Welding, Computer Information Technology, and Computerized Manufacturing. With a focus on workforce readiness, students are prepared to immediately enter the workforce and contribute to their organizations.

Relocating companies benefit from a first-mover advantage         

Companies relocating to NEKY will benefit from early access to a pool of talented, highly educated and trained professionals who want to move home to Kentucky. Generations of families have lived in the area, worked the land, and helped to create the area’s modern landscape. When agricultural jobs no longer met the needs of growing families, young adults were forced to leave the area to find work in nearby metros. Many of them want to move home and are simply looking for the right opportunity to do so. Companies who relocate to NEKY now will have the unique advantage of being able to attract some of the most educated and talented workers in the country whose main goal is to simply move home. This allows companies to focus on growth, knowing they can attract the best and brightest without paying exorbitant signing bonuses or relocation expenses.

Learn more about NE Kentucky

Aerospace companies are choosing to locate in NE Kentucky because of the strategic advantages our location provides. From easy access to transportation and other aerospace companies, to the ability to hire a skilled workforce, our region possesses everything necessary for companies to be successful. We invite you to learn more about NE Kentucky by contacting Sam Howard from NEKYD at samhoward@nekyd.com.


Northeast Kentucky Development exists to promote economic development in the Northeast Kentucky region. Comprised of 12 counties, our region is incredibly diverse both from a geographic perspective and in the amenities that each county offers. This makes it possible for businesses to select a location that is best suited for their individual needs. We are here to spread the word that Northeast Kentucky is open for business, our workforce is the best in the country, and there is room for growth. Explore our website, www.nekyd.com, and contact us to discover how your business can thrive in Northeast Kentucky.






Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. (2018, September 20). Aerospace. Retrieved from Think Kentucky: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/Existing_Industries/Aerospace.aspx

Category: News, Aerospace

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