Target Industries

Businesses are choosing to grow in Northeast Kentucky, where there is ready access to a skilled workforce and room for expansion. Some industries are rapidly expanding here, including the aerospace and automotive industries.


Aerospace

The state of Kentucky is home to a booming Aerospace Cluster. There is room for growth and we encourage other companies to consider locating here. This aspect of our economy is booming and there is a good reason for this. We have a highly skilled workforce, available land, and a central location that makes it easy to transport raw materials and finished products throughout the country and the world. As a result, aerospace is our top export.

  • Kentucky has seen a 183% increase in aerospace products and parts manufacturing industry exports since 2012
  • Kentucky has 52 Aerospace related facilities that employ nearly 15,000 people
  • Multiple technical and degree programs exist throughout the state related to Aerospace skills

Why North East Kentucky Makes Sense

The Kentucky region is home to an impressive number of skilled workers whose education, experience and technical background would easily transition into the Aerospace Sector.

  • 6 times US average in Plant and Systems Operators
  • 4 times US average in Maintenance Workers, Machinery
  • 2 times US average in Welding, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers
  • 2 times US average in Metal Motor and Generator Manufacturing
  • 2 times US average in Crushing, Grinding and Polishing Machine Operators

Educational Advantage

Due to the high concentration of Aerospace in Kentucky, many post-secondary institutions offer programs tailored to the industry. The Kentucky Community & Technical College System has the capacity and expertise to offer programs at any campus statewide. Many offer Aerospace specific engineering and mechanical programs.

In addition, the new eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute will provide a seamless transition for former coal workers into metalworking trades needed in the Aerospace Sector such as CNC Operators, Technicians and Machinists.

Morehead State University Space Science Center

Morehead State UniversityLocated in the Eastern Kentucky community of Morehead, MSU’s Space Science Center conducts research in the following areas:

  • Space Systems Development
  • Small Satellites and CubeSat
  • Micro & Nano Technologies
  • Space Communication Systems

Automotive

Kentucky ranks 2nd in light truck production in the U.S. and 3rd in car production in the U.S. skilled labor, industry clusters and best-in-class training all make NE Kentucky region a prime location for metalworking industries.  Whether your company serves the automotive,
aerospace, chemical, appliance or any other OEM or MRO sector, you can be sure that our region has the business case for your new location.

Since 2011, we have seen double digit growth in these two metalworking industries in our region:

  • 65% Growth in Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing
  • 15% Growth in Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing

Skilled Metalworking Labor

North East Kentucky region is home to an impressive number of skilled workers in the metalworking sector.  Below are a few examples of how our workforce outnumbers the United States average.

  • 8 times US average in Metal Plumbing Fixture Fitting and Trim Manufacturing
  • 6 times US average in Plant and Systems Operators
  • 5 times US average in Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing
  • 4 times US average in Maintenance Workers, Machinery
  • 3 times US average in Metal Farm Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing
  • 2 times US average in Welding, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers
  • 2 times US average in Metal Motor and Generator Manufacturing
  • 2 times US average in Crushing, Grinding and Polishing Machine Operators
  • 2 times US average in Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
  • 2 times US average in Pipelayers

Proximity to the Automotive Market

Our location provides quick access to multiple OEM industries. We are within 200 miles of 7 Automotive OEMs and have the infrastructure that makes it easy to transport raw materials and finished products.

 

Timber

The timber industry has flourished in NE Kentucky, thanks to abundant natural resources and our innovative workforce. This $6.4 billion industry has room for growth and expansion as the global demand for wood products continues to increase.  

Facts about Kentucky’s timber industry –

  • Top 3 hardwood lumber producing state in the U.S.
  • 1.1 billion board feet of sawtimber harvested annually
  • $6.4 billion in wood products ship from Kentucky annually
  • 11.6 million acres of timberland, available for commercial purposes
  • Timberland can produce 115 board feet of wood per acre, per year
  • 37,500 Kentuckians are employed by the 1,125 wood industries in the state
  • 95 percent of harvested sawtimber comes from nonindustrial private landowners

Our workforce is ready

Raised on farms, our workforce knows how to put in a hard days’ work and is not intimidated by the rigorous physical requirements of working in the timber industry. Strong, capable and ready to work – the NEKY workforce is the best you can hire.

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