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Northern Kentucky: Where Talent Meets Opportunity

Filled with opportunity, the region draws top-tier employees and companies.

By Bill Lewis on January 21, 2020

Covington, KY: Amazon Air Hub
Covington / Chad Slattery

In sectors as diverse as aerospace, automotive, financial services, package delivery and produce distribution, market-leading companies and the talented employees helping them beat the competition are discovering opportunities for success in Northern Kentucky.

The fast-growing region is home to nearly 400,000 people. Longtime residents and relocating talent are discovering career pathways at major domestic and international companies, such as Amazon, Kroger, DHL, Citi and Fidelity Investments, just to name a few.

The region is also home to a long list of advanced manufacturers. Safran, for example, the international leader in aircraft landing and brake systems, recently invested over $100 million to expand its operations in Walton. Mazak, which provides innovative technological solutions and support for customers in the global manufacturing community, and German-owned automotive component manufacturer Mubea operate in Florence. And Prysmian Group, formerly General Cable, which manufactures and distributes cable for energy, construction, industrial, specialty and communications sectors, is located in Highland Heights. 

Northern Kentucky is a destination for companies in the “new economy†whose employees are free to live and work in any location, says Dan Cahill, president and CEO of HSD Metrics, a human resources analytics provider with more than 220 national and international clients.

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Mining for Talent

Numerous assets are attracting and keeping talent in the area. Northern Kentucky lacks congestion, allows for easy mobility, houses Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and offers major health care providers like St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

And it’s affordable, with overall costs 12% lower than the national average. Plus, the median home price is at 75% of the national average. 

“It’s super easy to mine for talent here,†says Cahill, who relocated HSD Metrics’ headquarters to downtown Covington. “There are folks who are drawn to our area. If you want to grow your business, you want a local economy that is going to support that and on the same trajectory you are. We’re able to create this cluster of New Economy talent.”

Covington, KY: DHL Express
Covington / Marian Lockhart

Delivering Success

Northern Kentucky’s rapidly growing logistics industry employs more than 80,000 people. Major companies include Castellini Group of Cos., one of the country’s largest distributors of fresh produce, Kroger, DHL and Amazon.

Just months after opening its state- of-the-art distribution center in Florence, Kroger announced it was investing more than $17 million in an expansion that will create 250 jobs. The facility supports the grocery company’s e-commerce and digital services.

Global logistics company DHL has invested $339 million since 2009 to expand its international hub at CVG. Those investments were for additional warehouse space, 16 more aircraft gates to accommodate route expansions and new equipment to increase sorting capacity and the faster loading of aircraft.

Operating as the main international hub for the U.S. and the Americas region, the CVG hub has about 4,200 employees.

DHL Express has begun flying a new fleet of Boeing 777 freighter aircraft at CVG. They replace older 747-400 aircraft and will connect with DHL hubs in places like Hong Kong and Germany.

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Creating Jobs

“Our commitment to the Americas is clearly represented by the $339 million investment that we’ve allocated to guarantee we meet the demands of our customers,†says Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas.

“We continue our dedication to the regional Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati economy, and we are proud to have steadily added new jobs at our CVG hub, the backbone of our Americas network.”

Possibly the world’s best-known logistics company, Amazon is establishing a new hub at CVG as part of the company’s commitment to ensure fast, free shipping.

“Our new Amazon Air hub, opening in 2021, is part of our continued investment in Prime to ensure we have the capacity required for continued outstanding service for our customers. We’re proud to call Kentucky home for our air hub, creating more than 2,000 jobs in this fantastic community,†says Sarah Rhoads, director of Amazon Air.

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