Glasgow, KY's Economic Development
It isn't uncommon for local politicians and staff at the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce to stop by manufacturing plants and small businesses and ask how they can help.
Businesses in Barren County receive constant support from local leaders. The community as a whole is committed to helping the economy thrive. That's really the icing on the cake because Barren County offers a central location in the U.S., an educated and a motivated workforce, shovel-ready work sites, and excellent quality of life.
Barren County was certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a “work-ready community in progress” in 2012. Through a stringent application process, the county proved its commitment to education and economic development, preparing the workforce for present and future jobs.
“Current and potential employers want to know about your workforce,” says Dan Iacconi, executive director of the Industrial Development Economic Authority (IDEA). “Being certified answers many of their questions. We are serious about meeting workforce needs.”
Joe Hembree, manger of Nemak Kentucky, a producer of high-pressure die casts for automotive manufacturers, says a big part of the company's success is because of the workforce Barren County has provided. Formerly J.L. French Automotive Castings, Nemak Kentucky operates out of two plants with 400 employees and has seen sales around $100 million a year. Hembree, a 2010 transplant from Detroit, is proud of his new home and its workforce. He's forecasting even greater growth for Nemak in the coming years.
“These are some of the best people I’ve ever worked with in my entire life,” Hembree says.
He’s equally impressed with local leadership, often seeing Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Trautman stopping by the plant to see how things are going. The mayor’s platform is “Glasgow is open for business.” The chamber staff is also in tune with business needs in the community.
“The people at the chamber are a quick phone call away,” Hembree says, “to find us a contact when we’re looking for local suppliers.”
IDEA’s Iacconi, who relocated to Glasgow from Pittsburgh in 1993, says there’s a strong service sector and high concentration of manufacturing in the region.
“With our workforce that is diverse and well-trained, we want to attract manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical and the health care sector,” he says. “One thing you hear over and over is the excitement about moving the community forward in economic development.”
While the community readily welcomes new businesses, existing industries provide the backbone of the local economy. Many of them have expanded within the last few years, including Akebono Brake, Felker Brothers, Innovative Manufacturing Services, Med-Care Pharmacy and SpanTech.
When the city’s two industrial parks reached capacity, IDEA constructed a third on 300 acres in the northwestern city limits.
In spring 2012 Fortis Manufacturing was up and running in Highland Glen Industrial Park. A division of Beta Tech out of Barrie, Ontario, Fortis is a production facility for automotive metal stamping, with 14 full-time employees. Omnicare is slated to open a facility in Highland Glen in late 2013 or early ’14, to provide packaging and distribution for the Cincinnati-based pharmaceutical services company. Two other lots in the industrial park have been leveled and graded, and are pad-ready for new buildings.
Check out more businesses in the Glasgow, KY area.