Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Industries
Jessica M.L. Thompson, Communications Director
BOWLING GREEN, KY (October 24, 2008) - The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the economic impact of industries in South Central Kentucky at the Industry Appreciation Banquet last night at the Sloan Convention Center. More than 400 people attended the banquet, which is the highlight of Industry Appreciation Month in South Central Kentucky.
In addition to honoring Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, LLC as the 2008 Industry of the Year, the Chamber recognized the many industries that have chosen to locate or expand in South Central Kentucky.
“This banquet is a great opportunity for us to show our support for economic development in South Central Kentucky,” said Doug Gorman, chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors. “We’ve had a great year of announcements and success, including three expansions just this month. From new industries locating here to long-time employers expanding their facilities and creating even more jobs, it’s clear that South Central Kentucky is a great place to live. The Chamber thanks everyone for their hard work and commitment to this region.”
The Chamber’s Industry Appreciation Committee organizes this banquet each year, as well as other events throughout the month of October and the Industry Golf Challenge in June to recognize industries in the region. Doug Eberhart, 2008 Chair of the Industry Appreciation Committee, began the banquet’s program by describing the impact that industries have on the region.
“Manufacturing deeply impacts our region. For every 100 new manufacturing jobs, 304 new people move to Bowling Green and Warren County. Those 100 new jobs also create a total economic impact of more than $33 million and create an additional 52 jobs in other fields. We make an impressive impact on our region when we support our current industries and recruit new ones to join us here in South Central Kentucky,” said Eberhart.
Dan Preston, Vice President, Economic Development for the Chamber, recognized the new and expanding industries in South Central Kentucky, and Gaines Penn, vice president of the Chamber Board of Directors, presented each of the recognized industries with plaques honoring their commitment to South Central Kentucky. New industries are MTS, Inc. and N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, Inc.
The expanding industries are
- American HOWA Kentucky, Inc.
- DESA, LLC
- HeathCo, LLC
- Perot Systems Healthcare
- Whayne Supply Company
In total, these new and expanding industries have created 1,326 direct jobs and 276 indirect jobs. They are also investing $44.8 million in capital and are providing a total of $100.9 million in local economic impact.
Regional partners also selected Industries or Businesses of the Year prior to the Industry Appreciation Banquet. Preston and Penn also recognized those award winners. They are:
- J.L. French – Barren County 2008 Industry of the Year
- Graham Pallet – Monroe County 2008 Industry of the Year
James N. Hizer, CEcD, President and CEO of the Chamber, commented on the strength of the economy in South Central Kentucky. “Bowling Green leads the state in terms of job growth, and we are consistently ranked among the top places for business and careers. Our business climate is one in which companies succeed, and we’re proud to be the home to many great companies like those honored at our banquet.”
Hizer then recognized Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, LLC as the 2008 Industry of the Year. Kobe is a subsidiary of Kobe Steel, Ltd. While one of 11 subsidiaries in the United States, the Bowling Green location is the only U.S. facility to forge aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry.
Kobe purchased property in Bowling Green in 2003 and after completing its original facility, the company began operations in 2005. The company cites a good central location to its customer base along the Interstate 65 Corridor as a primary factor in choosing to locate in Bowling Green. Having expanded its facility twice, the plant currently employs 189 workers in a more than 200,000-square-feet building. Production at the local plant has grown considerably in the past three years of operation, and 2008 projected sales for the Bowling Green plant will be more than $80 million.
Penn presented Kobe President Takumi Fujii and Bowling Green Plant Manager Gary Ginter with the Industry of the Year plaque, and Todd Matthews, vice president of Scott and Murphy, Inc., and Frankie Sewell, vice president of Scott, Murphy & Daniel, LLC presented them with the Industry of the Year Flag, which was sponsored by Scott and Murphy, Inc. and Scott, Murphy & Daniel, LLC.
After the presentations, Fujii and Ginter thanked the audience for the award and introduced a video highlighting Kobe’s operations.
"We are honored to be named the 2008 Industry of the Year, and we are very grateful of the support we have received from the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Bowling Green, Warren County, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Fujii.
Penn closed the banquet by thanking all industries for committing their operations to South Central Kentucky and for supporting the regional efforts of all partners.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. As one of only 336 chambers nationwide to be accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,300 partners. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.