Pulaski County Earns Moniker 'Silicon Hollow'

On Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 17:31
Somerset serves as the region’s educational, technological and economic hub. Whether you want to spend a slow-paced weekend relaxing at the lake or send business information around the globe in seconds flat, Somerset is the right place to be. The region’s special mix of business-forward thinking and recreational amenities is making fans out of corporate executives, tourists and retirees alike. Ingredients For Industrial Success Pulaski County was recently designated a Kentucky Economic Opportunity Zone, giving it extra incentives in attracting new or expanding manufacturing or service/technology-based industry to the region. Benefits include access to low-interest rate financing, readily available venture capital and generous workforce skills training grants. The industrial climate in Somerset/Pulaski County is as strong as the community’s productive workforce. Large employers that are thriving here include General Electric, Kingsford Products Co., Plaid Clothing Co., Somerset Refinery and Tecumseh Products Co. Somerset Community College works closely with industry to provide needed training, plus assists companies in getting state and federal funds for additional training. Tourism also fuels the economy in Somerset. Nearly 4.5 million visitors pour an estimated $90 million into the local economy each year thanks to the lure of Lake Cumberland, according to Army Corps of Engineers records. A Good Neighbor to Businesses And since the building of the Center for Rural Development, the county has become a magnet for new business, and traditional industries, such as agriculture and tourism, also have seen impressive growth. The Center serves a 42-county area and has had more than a $90 million economic impact on the entire region. Like most cities, transportation is an important issue; the multimillion-dollar airport expansion gives Somerset another tool to lure new business to the area. Why Choose Somerset? When Rich Vetter was asked to lead an “exit team” to find a new home for his Los Angeles-based company, CS International, an intense nationwide search led him directly to Somerset. “We decided to exit California in late 2002 because it was an unfriendly and expensive place to do business,” Vetter says. “We settled on Kentucky for a variety of reasons including the state’s lower workers comp, its stable workforce, and its centralized location for distribution. “We chose Somerset and Pulaski County specifically because of its existing infrastructure and the fact that area officials went over and beyond to ensure our needs were met.” Somerset’s economic climate and overall professional environment prove that southern hospitality still exists even in the business world.