Powering economic development in Kentucky

Posted | May 23, 2018

LG&E and KU Energy is well recognized in Kentucky as a leader for encouraging economic vitality and quality of life. In 2017, the company continued to have nationally competitive electric rates, and made strategic investments in infrastructure and technology to ensure the communities served have safe, reliable energy and are poised for economic growth. The company’s economic development efforts contributed to 156 announcements of new or expanding businesses within the company’s service territory during 2017, which includes more than 7,580 jobs and investments of more than $4 billion.

These achievements would not have happened without the expertise and commitment of LG&E and KU’s Economic Development team:

  • Lisa Payne, lead Economic Development program manager
  • Debbie Gray, Economic Development program manager III
  • Daryl Smith, Economic Development program manager III
  • Brad Sowden, Economic Development program manager III

“To help with the growth and economic vitality of our region, it’s important that our Economic Development team members serve in key leadership roles in local, regional and state economic development organizations throughout Kentucky,” said Paul Weis, manager of Business Services. “Our team’s support of economic development organizations is one of the many components that helped the state experience the record number of job and investment announcements in 2017.”

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LG&E and KU’s Economic Development team, from left to right: Daryl Smith, Economic Development program manager III; Debbie Gray, Economic Development program manager III; Paul Weis, manager, Business Services; Lisa Payne, lead Economic Development program manager; and Brad Sowden, Economic Development program manager III.

LG&E and KU ED employees are members of the following organizations:

  • Commerce Lexington
  • Greater Louisville Inc.
  • Kentucky Association for Economic Development
  • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Kentucky Network for Development, Leadership and Engagement
  • Richmond Industrial Development Corporation
  • Taylor County Industrial Foundation

In addition to serving on economic development boards and associations, LG&E and KU is a founding sponsor of KentuckyUnited (KYU), established in 2008. KYU takes an active role in attracting and expanding businesses and creating economic opportunities for Kentuckians. Through the company’s continued sponsorship investment, KYU proactively markets the state to site selection consultants and business attraction leaders nationally and internationally through site visits and events.

In addition, LG&E and KU has supported the World Trade Center Kentucky to promote foreign direct-investment missions and increased opportunities for Kentucky companies to sell products in other countries.

It’s through building strong relationships, serving their communities and positioning Kentucky as the place to do business that led Site Selection Magazine to name LG&E and KU Energy as a Top 10 Utility in 2017. The publication cited the LG&E and KU’s economic development rider that provided more than $850,000 in bill demand credits to customers as a key draw for businesses. Additionally, the company provided more than $500,000 of zero-interest loans to support industrial land development in two Kentucky communities. Since 2010, the companies have been recognized by Site Selection for economic development efforts five times, along with two honorable mentions. 

To support future economic development efforts, LG&E and KU initiated or continued a variety of efforts that include:

“Collectively these efforts and investments will ensure the company’s service territory has competitive options for companies seeking to make future investment or expansions,” said Weis.