Kentucky has landed the single largest economic development project in its history, a $5.8 billion investment by Ford Motor Corp. and South Korea-based SK Innovation to build two battery manufacturing plants in Glendale in Hardin County that are expected to employ 5,000 people.
The announcement Monday puts Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future with electric vehicles, said an elated Gov. Andy Beshear.
The project, said Beshear, “will transform our economy, creating a better Kentucky with more opportunities for our families for generations. Our economy is on fire —and now, it’s electric. Never again will we be thought of as a flyover state. Our time is now. Our future is now.”
Beshear said the $5.8 billion investment is more than triple the previous largest single investment announced in Kentucky and that the jobs created will double the number of any previous announcement in the state. The first plant is expected to open in 2025 and the second would follow in 2026.
The 5,000 announced jobs are full-time jobs at the plants and do not include construction, supplier or dealership jobs.
The new battery plants in Glendale are part of an $11.4 billion investment by Ford and SK Innovation to create 11,000 jobs in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Their project includes a new 3,600-acre campus outside of Memphis, Tenn., that will employ 6,000. Called Blue Oval City, the complex will be constructed on a nearly 6-square-mile site in west Tennessee and build next-generation electric F-Series pickups and advanced batteries.
“Ford is very excited to make this historic investment in the great state of Kentucky,” said Lisa Drake, Ford North America chief operating officer. “Kentucky has been an incredible partner to Ford for more than 100 years and is home to Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant. With this announcement, Kentucky will play an essential role as Ford fulfills its commitment to lead the electric vehicle revolution and create thousands of jobs in the commonwealth, and we look forward to working with Kentuckians to create the future together.”