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Owensboro Riverport

The Owensboro Riverport is moving forward with a rail expansion in the new year that will add space for automobile frame manufacturer Metalsa as it steps up production.

The $1.5 million rail loop project at the riverport is getting the majority of funding from a federal grant to improve air quality. That’s because Mexico-based Metalsa Structural Products is investing nearly $37 million in an expansion that will add 113 jobs at its Owensboro plant. That means a lot more auto frames will be produced and have to be shipped by either by truck or rail.

Rhonda J Miller

South central Kentucky is expected to have 22,000 open jobs in the next five years. That’s going to intensify the current shortage of workers in the state - an issue that’s facing the entire country.

One Warren County company saw refugees arriving at the International Center in Bowling Green as the way to get ahead of the competition for quality employees. 


J. Tyler Franklin

The CEO of an aluminum mill slated to open in eastern Kentucky claims the company will be able to sell aluminum for 50 percent cheaper than its competitors, allowing it to pay workers $65,000-per-year starting salaries.

This spring, Braidy is scheduled to break ground on the $1.3 billion plant, which will be located in an industrial park that straddles Greenup, Boyd and Carter Counties.

Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated

A holiday trolley could turn into a permanent bus route in Somerset if there’s enough demand for the service. 

The pilot project is trolley service through downtown Somerset and to the major shopping centers along highways 27 and 80 during the Christmas season. But city leaders and the trolley company, Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, or RTEC, are seeing a possible long-term future for the service.

RTEC does provide service by request when people call and have to go to a doctor’s appointment or even shopping, but there’s no scheduled public transportation system.

hancockky.us

An Ohio company that’s developed an environmentally friendly process to manufacture chemicals used in paint and plastics is locating a facility in Hancock County that will create about 125 jobs. 

WhiteRock Pigments is investing nearly $180 million in a manufacturing operation near Hawesville. The company is renovating the former Alcoa building that has been vacant for nine years.

paringaresources.com

An Australian company constructing a new coal mine in McLean County has filed a response to a lawsuit filed by two brothers who own land in the area. 

The response filed in McLean Circuit Court by Hartshorne Mining generally denies a list of claims by brothers Gordon and Kenneth Bryant, whose family has long owned acreage in the rural area.

Hartshorne denies that the coal mine is out of compliance with McLean County’s comprehensive plan because the project was approved by the fiscal court.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Karen

The October ‘Open Jobs Report’ from the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce shows there are nearly 5,300 vacant positions in a 10-county region of South Central Kentucky.

The chamber launched the monthly jobs report in September as part of a regional snapshot in the effort to develop a trained workforce to keep up with the area’s healthy business growth.

Economic development leaders point to the increasing number of college and apprenticeship programs as the main avenue to meet the needs of businesses.

Some executives say many potential or new employees lack 'soft skills' like good communication or showing up to work on time. And some business leaders say many potential employees can’t pass the drug test required for employment.

The president of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says opioid abuse is taking a toll on the state’s economic growth and development. 

David Adkisson says many people looking for work can’t pass a drug test, and many of those who do have jobs are leaving the workforce because of untreated or under-treated addictions.  That has contributed to a low workforce participation rate, according to Adkisson.

"If we were simply at the national average, there would be 165,000 more workers in the Kentucky economy than there are today," stated Adkisson.  "Opioid addiction is one of the contributing factors to that, but it's a significant factor."

Lisa Autry

A new ambulatory surgery center is coming to Bowling Green.  Tristar Greenview in partnership with Graves-Gilbert Clinic broke ground Wednesday on a new facility off Lovers Lane. 

Dr. Kamal Singh practices general medicine and says the facility will include three operating suites and areas for other procedures.

"We will be at par with all of the other metropolitan areas as far as the sophistication of the equipment and the quality of care," Singh told WKU Public Radio.  "Rather than going through the bureaucracy of a hospital, it will be more like a doctor's office experience."

Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition Formed

Sep 6, 2017
KENTUCKY INFRASTRUCTURE COALITION VIA FACEBOOK

More than 30 organizations representing interests from manufacturing to farming and engineering are coming together to form a new Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition. 

The aim of the group is to prevent the decline of the state’s multifaceted infrastructure system.

Coalition Chair Juva Barber, who directs Kentuckians for Better Transportation, says the group formed to advocate for and provide solutions to the state’s transportation needs. 

Rhonda J Miller

It’s a good sign of a healthy economy that businesses in the 10 counties of south central Kentucky have nearly 5,800 job openings and are eager to hire.

But a new report from the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce also shows there are about 7,200 people in the region who are unemployed.

Robert Boone is president and CEO of the South Central Workforce Development Board. He says finding compatibility between available workers and open positions is a big challenge.

Rhonda J Miller

The chief executive of a Daviess County company says President Trump’s immigration plan could be beneficial for the American workforce. Trump’s proposal would change America’s system from prioritizing family connections to favoring English language and job skills.

Sun Windows President Frank Anderson says his Owensboro company wants the most qualified applicant to meet the job description, and if that’s a legal immigrant, that’s fine. He says there are enough Americans who are able to fill the open positions, but some who are on welfare are not motivated to work.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky

President Trump’s proposal to cut legal immigration by half and consider English language and job skills has set off a controversy about whether the nation is changing the welcoming message of the Statue of Liberty. The proposed immigration rules could affect businesses in Kentucky that face a shortage of entry- and mid-level workers.

When you talk to business owners in Kentucky, many say they have positions that are not filled because they can’t find enough people with the right skills, or willing to do the job. Some don’t arrive at work on time and some can’t pass the drug test.

Erica Peterson

New numbers from the first two quarters of this year show both coal production and employment are continuing to decline in Kentucky, despite President Donald Trump’s promises that miners would be going back to work.

Overall, Kentucky saw a nearly 10 percent decline in coal production between the first and second quarters of 2017. The industry shed 200 jobs during the same time period.

“Obviously, an almost a 10 percent decrease since last quarter is not what we’d like to see,” said Kentucky Coal Association President Tyler White. “But I’ve always said that you don’t turn this industry around in a one or two quarter measurement.”

Flickr/Creative Commons

The leader of a Kentucky auto industry group says it’s not hard to imagine the day when self-driving cars will be commonplace.

Dave Tatman, executive director of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, points out that many of the vehicles we’ve been driving for years have been hinting at the future.

“You see autonomous features in the cars we drive every day,” Tatman said. “You know, my truck’s got lane departure warning, it’s got forward collision avoidance. That’s all part of autonomy. So I think that autonomous vehicles are here to stay.”


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