It's off to the races once again in Northern Kentucky, as the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation presents its annual economic impact report and recognizes new and expanding companies in Northern Kentucky as part of the 2013 Thoroughbred Awards.
Twenty-four companies announced new locations or expansion in Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties -- the NKY region -- in 2012.
This year's economic impact analysis conducted by Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Economic Analysis and Development (CEAD) features 24 primary industry projects -- 12 new and 12 existing/expanding -- in Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties that had significant direct and indirect bearing on the regional economy. Some highlights:
- 3,774 resident jobs created
- $258M in capital investments
- $16.9M in private investments
- $437,497,396 in total value added to Northern Kentucky's economy
A similar study conducted for the Cincinnati MSA showed 35 business projects resulting in 2,800 new jobs and $193M in capital investment. The Northern Kentucky area, accounting for 17% of the population of the Cincinnati MSA, generated 41% of the primary industry projects completed in 2012. Northern Kentucky generated 57% of the job growth and capital investment generated with the CMSA.
Diversity in manufacturing attracts business
According to Tri-ED President and CEO Dan Tobergte, the sheer variety among this year's Thoroughbreds -- which range from logistics carriers to meat distributors to a California-based company that sells natural supplements -- is no accident.
"The featured list is a very nice blend of all types of companies, new and existing," said Tobergte. "We very much want to position Northern Kentucky to attract new companies, but also to expand our base so that we're ultimately providing job opportunities to all of our citizens here."
Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore sees Northern Kentucky's strong commitment to manufacturing as crucial to success. "It wasn't that long ago that we heard that manufacturers were going to Mexico and there wasn't going to be any manufacturing here in the United States," Moore says. "But manufacturing is alive and well, and I'm excited about that. We see companies like Ellison Surface Technologies, Baluff and Mazak growing and expanding here and doing very well."
Collaboration remains key
Many of the features contributing to Northern Kentucky's substantial growth in recent years -- easy access to vital transport, favorable tax incentives, consolidated services through Tri-ED and sheer momentum coming from both sides of the river -- remained in place for 2012.
The biggest change appears to be an increased synergy between business and community leaders, legislators and all those involved in "selling" the region.
Citing but one example of that collaborative spirit, Tobergte says, "DHL's resurgence at CVG is beneficial to more than just the airport workers they employ. Other companies [on this year's list of Thoroughbreds] like iHerb, Nor-AM and Elovations Inc. have all enjoyed the ease of transport and communication that comes from sharing such close proximity."
Similarly, Moore speaks of his excitement at seeing the various key players -- like representatives from Duke Energy, Owen Electric and the Northern Kentucky Water District -- who come to the table any time a project calls for additional resources.
"We're known for that level of collaboration in Northern Kentucky," Moore says. "It's as strong today as it has been throughout my 15 years doing this job."
2013 Northern Kentucky Thoroughbreds
ACB Recovery, an accounts-receivable management company, is the result of a merger between Plaza Associates and ACB American and United Recovery. They have invested more than $2.5 million including the addition of 18,000 square feet to their existing Winston Avenue facility.
AGC Automotive Americas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Asahi Glass Co., is an international automotive glass and glazing systems supplier with two other operations in Kentucky. In 2012, the company expanded its Hebron facility, adding 18 jobs and investing $310,000.
A-One Pallet Distributing, Inc. owners Brian Bush and Bob Irvin have seen steady growth and have recently located to 7435 Industrial Road in Florence. They have invested approximately $2.4 million in the community and anticipate hiring up to 62 new employees.
Applied Machine & Motion Control, Inc. (AM&MC) provides technical and product solutions to customers throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They plan to add to their 11-person staff in Park Hills as part of a $500,000 investment that also includes real estate and improvements.
With over 50 years of sensor experience, Balluff Inc. is a world leader in sensor technology manufacturing. Nearly 40,000 square feet and 24 new jobs were recently added to their North American headquarters located in Independence, representing a $5.9 million investment in Northern Kentucky.
Bonfiglioli USA is a leading global manufacturer of gearmotors, drive systems and planetary gearboxes. The company's manufacturing facility, located at 3541 Hargrave Drive in Boone County, continues to experience growth and add Kentucky resident jobs.
Connecticut-based Cengage Learning is a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions. Cengage recently renewed its lease at 10650 Toebben Drive, making theirs one of the largest industrial renewals in the Greater Cincinnati region and resulting in the retention of approximately 700 resident jobs.
A global banking giant, Citi, provides more than 200 million international customers with a broad range of financial products and services including consumer banking and credit, securities brokerage and wealth management. Citi has expanded its call center in Boone County to roughly 2,200 employees.
Founded in 1969 by three friends shipping papers between San Francisco and Honolulu, DHL Express (USA), Inc. is now a world leader in logistics and international transport. DHL recently announced a new 193,000-square-foot sorting facility in Boone County that, combined with upgrades to its existing facility, will bring 120 jobs and $47 million to the area.
Industry-leading experts Ellison Surface Technologies provide thermal spray coating and special processes to many of the world's largest aircraft engine and industrial gas turbine manufacturers. As part of a $9 million investment, the company will expand its Boone County facility and add 50 full-time jobs to the local workforce.
Elovations Services Group, LLC, a spinoff of NorAm International, leased space for a distribution start-up in Boone County where they will partner with e-commerce companies to create a friction-free global shipping platform. They anticipate investing $13.7 million and creating 696 new jobs in the community.
The businesses of Harlow-HRK Sales and Marketing, Inc. and P.L. Marketing, Inc. will soon occupy joint space at Newport's One Riverfront Place. Together, they will focus on sales, marketing and merchandising in the grocery industry, bringing an estimated 77 jobs and more than $4 million in annual payroll to the area.
A leading online retailer of nutritional supplements and other natural products, California-based iHerb will soon expand to a one-of-a-kind facility in Hebron's Park West International development. iHerb will initially invest $25,000,000 in its Kentucky operations. They expect to eventually bring 300-plus jobs to the area.
Headquartered in New York City and boasting an impressive brand portfolio that includes Lancôme, Diesel, Maybelline New York and Ralph Lauren Fragrances, L'Oréal USA announced a 110,000-square-foot expansion of its Kenton County plant, which currently employs over 200 full-time workers who produce 165 million units each year. Expansions will bring an estimated 200 more jobs over the next three years.
Mazak Corporation, which develops, designs, and manufactures machine tools at three Northern Kentucky facilities, is expanding their National Technology Center by approximately 31,000 square feet, making it of the largest such facilities in the nation. Mazak has invested approximately $5.2 million to make this possible.
McLane Foodservice, Inc. provides supply chain services to convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, military locations and chain restaurants throughout the United States. Their new 319,000-square-foot regional distribution facility in Boone County will carry an investment of $34.3 million in the community and provide 28 new jobs.
Processing anywhere between 40,000 and 70,000 used consumer products, electronics, DVDs, CDs and video games daily, NorAm International Partners, Inc. relocated in 2012 to their 100,000-square-foot facility in Hebron, where they spent $3.5 million in the community and will create approximately 300 jobs in the next three years.
TBS Meat Distributors, Inc. primarily serves specialty shops that focus on providing premium cuts of meat in a setting where the relationship between buyer and retailer is key. TBS operates in Erlanger as part of the Cold Chain Integrity's umbrella in the cold storage space arena.
One of the nation's largest independent aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul providers, TIMCO Aviation Services announced plans to leverage a recent purchase of assets formerly used by PEMCO World Air Services -- including a hangar at CVG -- to grow its existing base and service regional aircraft operators.
Since its founding in 1997, Total Quality Logistics has become the nation's third-largest freight brokerage firm with more than 1,700 employees in eight states serving over 7,000 clients. TQL lists its Circleport Business Park facility as the company's eleventh satellite location. It has created 50 new area jobs to date.
One of North America's largest and most diversified companies servicing the vehicle replacement parts and car-care market, UCI-FRAM Group shifted additional distribution operations to its highly automated 710,000-square-foot Hebron plant in 2012, citing a desire to better support customers and future growth. The move created 120 new jobs.
WestPack, LLC, a Russia-based bottle decorating and packaging company, announces plans to occupy an existing 126,000 square-foot manufacturing plant on Covington's West 43rd Street. The project will create 63 full-time jobs and represent a $4.49 million investment.
In 1994, ZF Rubber & Plastics LLC began operating in Hebron as part of the global, German-owned ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a leading supplier of driveline and chassis technology. The company will expand its existing Boone County facility, a community investment of $17.9 million and 60 new jobs.