Forbes names Louisville No. 1 city for manufacturing

June 26, 2017

Citing a resurgence in the auto industry, Forbes magazine has named Louisville as the No. 1 city in the U.S. where manufacturing is thriving. Since 2011, manufacturing employment in the Louisville-area has grown 30.2 percent, bringing the employment total to 83,300 jobs, representing 12.41 percent of jobs in the local economy.

“Louisville continues to lead the way with our long-standing tradition of excellence in manufacturing. And that tradition provides the foundation necessary to be a global leader as we shift into a new era of flexible, advanced manufacturing,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “This No. 1 ranking is an affirmation of the strength, quality and dedication of Louisville’s outstanding manufacturing workforce.”

Louisville’s diverse manufacturing economy includes such major manufacturers as Ford, GE Appliances, Clariant Corporation, Faurecia and Raytheon. Louisville also is home to FirstBuild, an innovative makerspace dedicated to designing, engineering, building and selling the next generation of home appliances.

To ensure that Louisville remains competitive in the manufacturing sector, the city is partnering with the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center (KMCC) and the Kentucky Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) to create a pipeline of highly skilled employees who provide employers with the workforce they need.

KMCC and KY FAME offer workforce development programs to participants at no cost. KY FAME has a 98 percent job placement rate for graduates and has more than 125 member companies, while KMCC has awarded more than 3,000 certificates and credentials, and recently celebrated its 1,000 job placement.

To learn more about manufacturing workforce development programs, visit http://kcc.kentuckianaworks.org/JobSeekers/KMCC.aspx or http://kyfame.com/about/

Building on Louisville’s economic momentum, Ford Motor Company last week announced a $900 million investment in its Kentucky Truck Plant to build the all-new Expedition and Navigator.

"To be globally competitive in manufacturing, you have to have strong partners willing to collaborate with you and shape a common vision. We are proud to have Louisville as our partner, and congratulate them on being named No.1,” said Curt Magleby, Vice President, U.S. Government Relations, Ford Motor Company.

Ford’s new investment is in addition to the $1.3 billion investment and 2,000 jobs created at the plant in late 2015. According to Census figures, the auto industry alone accounts for 27,000 jobs in the Louisville area.

Louisville continues to be a place where locally grown manufacturers can establish themselves as global competitors. Louisville Plate Glass, founded in 1911, exemplifies the potential for long-term success in Louisville. The company recently opened a new $4 million production facility, more than doubling the company’s employment with 65 new jobs.

“After more than 100 years of continued operations, we chose to reinvest in Louisville with a new state-of-the-art glass production facility that will further strengthen our position as a leader in our market,” said Bill Stone, President, Louisville Plate Glass. “We feel confident that Louisville, with its central location and high quality of life, is the best place to invest in our employees and in our new production lines.”

The Forbes ranking is based on employment in the manufacturing sector over time, short-, medium- and long-term trends dating to 2005, plus variables that measure persistence and momentum.

To read the full article, visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2017/06/12/where-manufacturing-is-thriving-in-the-u-s/#5ab452ab1ff7

 

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