Governor Beshear has led several significant job creation and retention efforts in Kentucky over the last three years. His leadership has brought new, exciting opportunities to the Commonwealth, as well as saved the jobs of thousands of Kentuckians. These opportunities include:
* Proposed, pushed and passed legislation designed to attract legacy tourism projects. As a direct result, Kentucky will host its first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Kentucky Speedway in 2011. The race is expected to have an economic impact upwards of $150 million.
* Helped develop the National Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center. The venture is a collaboration between the Commonwealth, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Argonne National Laboratory, the country's leading federal lab for transportation-related research and development. Kentucky has a reputation for manufacturing quality vehicles, but with the arrival of Argonne, the state can also be a leader in creating advanced battery technology for the cars of the future.
* Worked closely with Mayor Abramson and General Electric on two major announcements at Appliance Park that happened within a six month period. In all, the company's commitment to open three new product lines amounts to a more than $150 million investment that created approximately 850 jobs.
* Appointed an Appalachian Regional Commission Economic Development Coordinator to coordinate efforts in Eastern Kentucky by the Cabinet for Economic Development, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Department for Local Government.
* Joined with Mayor Abramson and Ford Motor Company in announcing an overhaul of its Louisville Assembly Plant into one of the most flexible automotive manufacturing sites in the world. The facility's transformation and modernization will enable it to simultaneously build up to six vehicles. It is a $600 million investment that will create 1,800 jobs over time.
* Overseeing the final phase of the Base Realignment and Closure transition of Fort Knox. This multi-year project is the most significant economic development happening in Kentucky, with the expectation of nearly 8,000 new jobs, an increase in the payroll at Fort Knox of well over a billion dollars and a massive influx of families. The state has invested millions of dollars for transportation, water, sewer and facilities infrastructure to support the rapid growth of the region.
* Helped Kentucky successfully host the World Equestrian Games, an international event never before held outside of Europe, and the 2008 Ryder Cup tournament at Valhalla.
* Launched Kentucky's Adventure Tourism initiative, which seeks to develop more trails in Eastern Kentucky for hiking, biking camping, boating, fishing, hunting, off-roading and horseback riding. The initiative creates direct and indirect jobs through small businesses and increases tourism in the area.
* Fighting to protect Kentucky's equine industry, which is critical to the overall economic health of our state. This part of our agriculture sector alone employs upwards of 100,000 Kentuckians, and makes a $4 billion economic impact on our state each year. As the state's signature industry, it is critical for Kentucky to maintain its title of "Horse Capital of the World."