A long-term economic impact study has been commissioned to better understand the potential growth associated with recent economic development announcements in the Elizabethtown-Fort Knox Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation announced the partnership behind the study, which also includes Baptist Health Hardin and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.
Ford and SK Innovation’s recent BlueOvalSK Battery Park project to build in Glendale, the largest economic development announcement in the state’s history, offers significant opportunities for the region. This growth, in addition to recent economic news in the region, including the Kruger Packaging plant under construction in Elizabethtown, Nucor’s development along the Ohio River in Meade County, and the Army’s selection of Fort Knox as the headquarters of V Corps, has a direct impact on all sectors, including the workforce. , healthcare, education and community services, according to the partnership’s press release.
“There’s no doubt that a tidal wave of growth is headed straight for Hardin County and the entire region,” said Margy Poorman, the chamber’s new president and CEO. “We can either wait to see what happens or proactively research, predict and prepare for the future of our region. The Chamber, with our partners, wants to do everything in its power to support future growth.
HCCC has issued a request for proposals to find a partner who will study the potential impact on growth, identify similar communities that have experienced this level of growth, and create smart growth strategies for all regional businesses and industries. The application can be found at hardinchamber.com. The deadline to respond is May 26 at noon.
“The Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation is committed to leading the way for all local manufacturers in the industrial sector,” Rick Games, the foundation’s president and chief operating officer, said in the release. “Understanding the labor needs of our region is key to our support for all industrial businesses. »
Because the information will be essential for local businesses, healthcare and the education sector, Baptist Health and ECTC have been invited to join.
“Baptist Health Hardin is currently constructing a new outpatient medical pavilion in Elizabethtown to meet existing patient demand,” the statement read. “However, we want to be as prepared as possible for the impact that new economic developments will have on patient volumes in the years to come.
“This project will help us better understand future demand and identify long-term growth opportunities,” Baptist Health Hardin Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Carrico said in the release.
ECTC President Dr Juston Pate said the college will use the study as well as existing relationships with employers to develop the curriculum needed to educate and train future employees. Some training will focus on working BlueOvalSK Battery Park, where 5,000 jobs are added.
“There will likely be countless businesses coming to the area as BlueOval SK will need special education opportunities,” Pate said in the release. “We expect this report to provide the information we need to support workforce development in the region. »