Economic Development Corporation: Expect a big year in Northern Kentucky

February 26, 2013  |  Dan Rafter  |  Print Article  |  Email this Article

The Madison Place office building in Covington, Ken., is a key building in Northern Kentucky.

Karen Finan says she expects 2013 to be a big year for Northern Kentucky. That’s not surprising. Last year was a big year for the region, too.

“We are constantly looking for new opportunities to bring businesses to the region and to encourage those that are already here to expand,” said Finan, senior vice president of the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation. “And we aren’t just bringing in any businesses that we can find. We are targeting those businesses that fit in the community. We want businesses that we know can be successful in Northern Kentucky.”

So far, this approach is working. Newly Wed Foods recently acquired a 326,000-square-foot building in the Circleport Business Park in Boone County. This project includes a $53 million investment and the creation of 115 new jobs.

Westpack, a newly formed subsidiary of Russian bottle manufacturing company Unipack, is establishing a 126,000-square-foot manufacturing center in an existing building in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington. This project will bring 63 jobs.

L’Oreal USA recently broke ground on a $42-million investment, including renovations to its existing plant in Boone County. The expansion will add 110,000 square feet next to the company’s existing 560,000-square-foot facility. It will create more than 200 new jobs during the next three years.

And this year, Legion Logistics, which helps companies move freight throughout the United States and Canada, announced that it will expand its facility in Florence, Ken., creating 24 new jobs.

It’s little wonder that during a press conference announcing Legion’s move, Kentucy Gov. Steve Beshear pointed to Northern Kentucky’s recent hot streak.

“Northern Kentucky is certainly on a roll with new projects and expansions,” Beshear said. “We’re glad that Legion Logistics is growing, creating new jobs and investing in the Commonwealth.”

Legion Logistics plans to add 2,500 square feet to its office at 600 Meijer Drive in Florence.

Finan said that certain companies make for better fits for Northern Kentucky. The economic development corporation, for instance, wants to bring advanced manufacturing companies to the region. The corporation would also like to attract companies in the office and high-tech sectors and those in aviation.

That’s because Northern Kentucky has a history of machine tooling and automative manufacturing. It has a strong labor force. It’s also a leader in the field of informatics, the the science of informaton and information processing. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is also located in the region, providing companies an easy way to fly their products into and out of Northern Kentucky.

“We have a lot of growth going on now in all of our sectors,” Finan said. “Manufacturing is strong. Office/high-tech is humming along, too. We’ve had a lot of recent activity in the aviation field, too. We have a lot of filling in of the pipeline going on now.”

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