June 16, 2024
Investment

BE NKY achieved $383 million in 2023 capital investment with 1,419 new jobs – Lane Report


Lee Crume is CEO of BE NKY, the rebranded name of the joint Boone, Campbell and Kenton County economic development agency known for 35 years as Northern Kentucky Tri-ED.

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. — In 2023, BE NKY Growth Partnership provided site location expertise to attract four new companies to locate in the region and assisted 12 Northern Kentucky companies with expansions.

During the past year, the BE NKY team secured 1,419 new job announcements and more than $383 million in capital investment for Northern Kentucky.

The advanced manufacturing sector is a high-growth industry for the area, accounting for 69% of our project wins and 56% of announced jobs. 

“Despite many economic uncertainties in 2023, BE NKY had a good year, bringing more than one thousand new jobs to the region and surpassing our capital investment goal by nearly $100 million,” said BE NKY Board of Directors Chair James Dressman. “Northern Kentucky continues to be a very desirable location for companies, and I know we will see more success in 2024.”

Seventy-five percent of our project wins came from existing Northern Kentucky companies. Director of Business Retention Angie Mulberry regularly meets with companies to help them overcome challenges, access state programs that support new jobs and investment, and secure money to train employees.

In 2023, eight companies received nine allocations of funding or credits to assist with workforce training through the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation.

Since its founding in 1987, BE NKY has led successful relocation or expansion efforts for 781 business projects, representing more than 75,569 primary industry jobs created with a capital investment of nearly $9.7 billion.

Some of the companies that announced expansions in 2023 include DHL Express, Kroger Fulfillment Network, Castellini, and Safran Landing Systems Kentucky. Growth companies will be presented with Build + Elevate NKY awards at BE NKY’s second annual forum on January 25.

New Name and New Brand Launch

In March 2023, BE NKY successfully launched our new name and branding, transitioning away from “Northern Kentucky Tri-ED.” Our new name more accurately portrays the work we do and what our region is all about: growth and partnership.

We officially launched our new brand at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs ‘N Issues breakfast with 150 local elected and business leaders in attendance, and BE NKY team members have participated in many speaking opportunities to showcase and market our new brand.

Build + Elevate Campaign Initiatives

BE NKY also continued to work on initiatives outlined in our 2022 Build + Elevate Northern Kentucky investor campaign.

Business Growth Manager Jacob Edmonds executed 20 campaigns in 2023, and organized business attraction efforts for three international conferences attended by members of our economic development team.

Our first-ever LinkedIn digital marketing campaigns made an impression on nearly 160,000 people at the Paris Air Show, generating multiple leads.

The reactivated Northern Kentucky Port Authority, a managed entity of BE NKY, is working on two projects, including the OneNKY Center. This 43,000-square-foot Class A office building, owned by the NKY Port, will house the Covington Life Science Lab and many Northern Kentucky growth organizations, including BE NKY.

The OneNKY Center broke ground in August 2023 and has an anticipated completion date of mid-2025.

Kentucky Product Development Initiative

BE NKY and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) submitted a project for the first round of funding from the revamped Kentucky Product Development Initiative (KPDI). CVG is the fastest-growing, and sixth-largest, cargo airport in North America.

KPDI funds will supply $3.6 million for the North Cargo project that includes support from Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. The Boone County Fiscal Court, on behalf of the Kenton County Airport Board, will fund part of the construction of an air cargo warehouse facility with airside access at CVG. The total anticipated investment for the project is more than $14.7 million.

More Success

Multiple companies, such as Ancra Cargo, FUN.com, and The Kroger Co., celebrated grand openings of new facilities and headquarters operations. BE NKY also expanded its economic development team with the addition of Riley McLaren as a new Client Relations Specialist.

BE NKY was named a Best Places to Work finalist by the Cincinnati Business Courier and was also the recipient of multiple awards, including an International Economic Development Council Gold Award for our company website, an award from the Council for Community and Economic Research for the Northern Kentucky Atlas, and a Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development.

“As we move into 2024, BE NKY will stay focused on our core commitment of creating opportunity and prosperity for all Northern Kentuckians,” said BE NKY CEO Lee Crume. “Through information gleaned from a population growth study, housing study, and workforce ecosystem analysis, we will continue to work with our many community partners to develop strategies that ensure a bright future for all in our region.”



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