Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kentucky economic leaders visit Owensboro


By Ben Garbarek - bio | email | Twitter
OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - 2009 could not end soon enough for many economic leaders.
"I think everybody's had a tough year," Larry Hayes, secretary for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, said. "It doesn't make a difference which state you're in or what particular industrial sector might be prevalent in your state. Everybody's had a tough year."
Owensboro has not been spared.
"We've lost our share of jobs," Nick Brake, President of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, said. "But actually we've lost proportionally fewer jobs than cities like Louisville, Bowling Green and even Evansville so we feel like there's a lot of stability in the economic base we have here."
Owensboro recently has dealt with closures at both the Hon Corporation and General Electric.
The cabinet said manufacturing jobs are disappearing throughout Kentucky but said the emerging biotech industry could give Owensboro a new identity.
"We need to have those manufacturing jobs," Hayes said. "We need to continue in the area of bio to dedicate resources and it's becoming increasingly important so we'll develop a real talent pool here."
The Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet said one of Owensboro's more attractive economic features is the Ohio River.
Now, state economic leaders are looking at riverfront property to market to businesses looking to relocate to the Bluegrass State.
The cabinet said next year can't be any worse.
"I think 2010 is going to be better in the sense that we're probably not as shell-shocked as a country now," Hayes said.