Work continues to try and determine where Lexington mobile food vendors can set up shop downtown. Members of the Food Truck Work Group reviewed draft recommendations Thursday at city hall. Work Group Chair, Council member Shevawn Akers says many restaurants and mobile food operators still disagree about placement on public streets.
The results are in for the ninth annual Best Places to Work in Kentucky competition. Seventy-three companies were honored, but their rankings have not yet been released. Those will be announced April 16 at an awards dinner at the Lexington Center.
Kentucky ranks fourth in the nation for total light vehicle production, up from fifth in 2011. Kentucky ranked third nationally for production of passenger cars, and fourth for light trucks. In all, one in every 10 light vehicles produced in the United States during 2012 was made in Kentucky. Nearly all the cars produced in the state came from Toyota's Georgetown facility which increased its production by nearly 47 percent.
Business and government leaders in eight Southeast Kentucky counties continue to pool their economic recruitment resources. Members of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce met Monday in Prestonsburg. Chamber President Jared Arnett says a multi-county approach to industrial development offers opportunities. “So, each one of these counties is promoting the assets they have. So, if you’re promoting an industrial park, but don’t have all the other pieces that are important to go along with that, it’s really a struggle in recruiting companies. So, our goal is to really fill up these industrial parks to look at small manufacturing,” said Arnett.
Shironda Young waited two years to get her job as a cook. It's become the best job she's ever had. Now, Young may have to give the job up because of recently announced cuts to a state program that gives financial assistance for child care to low-income working families. Young cooks for a university; she doesn't work in the summer. The staff at the day care for her four children have told her that she'll likely be denied entry into Kentucky's Child Care Assistance Program when she reapplies in fall 2013.
Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has downgraded Kentucky’s financial outlook from “stable” to “negative” amid concerns over unfunded liabilities in the state’s pension systems. While S&P noted the state is experiencing a healthy recovery in its economic base and has moderate debt burden, the ratings service said structural imbalances in the budget and sizable pension debts drove its outlook down.
Madison County citizens from teenagers to seniors worked together today to help plot the economic future for the bluegrass community. The Southern Growth Policies Board is assisting leaders from Richmond, Berea, and County governments to devise an economic development plan. Scott Doron is director of the Southern Technology Council. “We’re not into producing an eloquent theoretical plan that sits on a shelf. We want highly doable, high impact actions that can lead directly to economic growth,” said Doron.
A banner year for Kentucky’s automotive industry could carry over into 20-13. For the first time since 2007, production inside the Commonwealth topped one million vehicles. Recent renovations at the Louisville Assembly Plant have made it one of Ford’s most flexible, high volume plants. Scott Ellis with the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics says such flexibility translates easily into profits.
By Linda B. Blackford and The Lexington Herald-Leader
Lexington-based Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing operated a "massive pyramid scheme" involving more than 100,000 people and hundreds of millions of dollars, Kentucky and federal officials allege in a lawsuit against the company. The Corporate Drive headquarters and Danville warehouse of the multilevel marketing company were seized Monday, and the business was placed in receivership, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced during a news conference Monday afternoon. The lawsuit contends that more than 90 percent of the consumers who paid about $249 to join Fortune Hi-Tech lost their money.
For the first time since its inception, over a half million people last year travelled the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The new attendance record represents a 15 percent increase over 20-11. Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experience Director Adam Johnson says there were visitors from all 50 states and over 50 countries. “There’s places all along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail where you’ll just run into the guy that made it. Just the other day people were telling me how they ran into Jimmy Russell down at Wild Turkey. I mean, his name’s on a bottle. People just love seeing the rock stars of our industry,” said Johnson.
Low wage earning Kentuckians are again being urged to file for federal earned income tax credits. The plea came today/Friday from Governor Beshear in Lexington and Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson in Louisville. West Liberty resident Zach Engle got married, bought a home, and then lost his job a year ago. He was a tax credit beneficiary turned financial coach. “My wife and I just recently celebrated our one year anniversary. I have a job that I enjoy going to every day and I jumped at the opportunity given to me by my wonderful supervisor to become a vita volunteer tax preparer, giving me a chance to truly pay it forward,” said Engle.
Frankfort’s Jim Beam plant will begin bottling the Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack Rum brands, adding around 45 jobs, the company announced Thursday. A release from Beam Inc. said the transition will be done in stages, and it is expected to be complete by at least the end of March 2014.
Mayor Greg Fischer says negotiations to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park are close to completion, but the parties involved remain silent about a possible lease. If a deal is reached — which could come as early as Thursday when the Kentucky State Fair Board meets — the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau will commit $100,000 annually for five years to get the park up and running, according to media reports.
By Erik A. Carlson and Business Lexington and Erik Carlson
In his State of the Merged Government Address, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray was expected to tout the agreement reached by the city and police and fire union leaders to reign in the unfunded liability of the city’s pension system. During the speech, Gray announced the city had topped the 300,000 mark for population.
All aspects of transportation in Kentucky cover a lot of ground. Advocates from across the Commonwealth are gathering to discuss everything from pavement to air strips to barge traffic. More than 400 people are attending the 35th Kentucky Transportation Conference. Over the next 35 years, a staple of transportation, gasoline could take a back seat to electricity, natural gas, and even compressed air. That could have a big impact on taxes collected from the sale of gasoline.
Renovations to the University of Kentucky's football stadium and the University of Louisville are among the projects that will benefit from a bipartisan General Assembly agreement is allowing state universities to use their own ability to issue bonds for capital projects. The soon-to-be approved projects were rejected during 2012 budget negotiations, but will be revived once lawmakers pass an authorization bill, House Speaker Greg Stumbo says.