With Ford battery plant announcement, Kentucky moves toward high-tech economy

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The announcement of a massive investment by Ford continues the trend of the commonwealth being on the forefront of manufacturing in America. It’s something business owners in Georgetown said they know about firsthand.

Like a lot of manufacturing in our area, Central Kentucky CNC produces items used by Toyota in their production process.

“It all shakes down to all the other businesses because in one way or another we are all tied to the revenue Toyota brings in to Georgetown, Kentucky,” said David O’Driscoll with Central Kentucky CNC.

Toyota isn’t their only client, but it is their biggest.

O’Driscoll said when he heard about the new plant being built by Ford in Hardin County, he figured eventually some of that demand would find its way to Scott County.

“And we are already familiar with the things that the companies like that are going to need. We’ve been doing it for many years at this point,” O’Driscoll said.

Mike Clark, an economist at the Gatton College of Business and Economics said the thousands of jobs won’t be the only impact that area sees.

“Even beyond the actual plant itself there tends to be other economic effects. We see it in the plants surrounding Toyota, and we see it with the Ford plants in Louisville. Where you have supplier firms wanting to locate near that plant,” Clark said.

That continues the trend of the commonwealth being a place people go when they want to build something.

“Really when you look at Kentucky in terms of employment, we are really a large manufacturing state. And we have a lot of services as well. So we have a very large healthcare sector that accounts for a lot of the employment in the state,” Clark said.

“Toyota has been here for such a long time at this point it’s hard to imagine it any other way. Toyota has obviously open the door for a lot of different businesses to operate,” O’Driscoll said.

The goal is to have those batteries come off the line at the Ford plant by 2025.

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