Kentucky becomes a right-to-work state
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Now a right-to-work state, Kentucky aims to accelerate jobs and industry growth

Law a stronger-than-ever signal Kentucky is open for business

Leaping forward this week as a right-to-work state, Kentucky gains new advantages in recruiting and growing businesses and jobs.

Already a top choice for businesses thanks to its central location, robust logistics and distribution industry and low costs of conducting business, the new law holds the promise of accelerating Kentucky’s economic growth, boosting employment and supporting the creation of better jobs and higher wages for residents.  
Approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Matt Bevin, right-to-work legislation gives employees of unionized workplaces the choice of joining and supporting the union. Previously, union membership and or payment of dues could be a mandatory condition of employment.
Gov. Bevin championed the pro-business legislation as a top priority of his 2015 campaign and throughout his first year in office.

Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, welcomed the legislation.
“Right to work gives Kentucky another key advantage in attracting new jobs to the state,” Sec. Gill said. “Site selection is a competitive process and without this law we’ve been passed over too often. Thanks to leadership and vision from the Governor and members of the General Assembly, we now enter a new era of economic opportunity.”

Hal B. Goode, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, called the new law a great step forward for Kentucky. 
“Site selection consultants have told our KentuckyUnited partners that many projects are multi-market multi-state searches. These companies look for reasons to eliminate communities or states from their search list and right to work can play a significant role in their decision whether or not to consider a particular state or states,” Goode said. “This step by Gov. Bevin and our legislators will impact Kentucky’s ability to compete for projects.”

Dave Adkisson, president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber, said the law adds to the advantages of doing business in the commonwealth. 

“Kentucky’s new status as a right-to-work state puts a sign in the front window of our state that Kentucky is open for business!” he said. “We've always had our natural advantages of central location, great natural resources and an excellent workforce. Now we add a new designation that tells the world that Kentucky offers a great, business-friendly environment.”

In combination with its right-to-work status, Kentucky’s low costs of housing, innovative workforce-training programs, industrial electricity prices nearly 20 percent lower than the national average, and its ideal location within 600 miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population all make it a top choice for new business locations and expansions.
Kentucky’s location, as a gateway between the American South and Midwest and with easy access to the Northeast and Atlantic Seaboard, makes it an ideal place for establishing and growing a business.
The commonwealth’s logistics and infrastructure advantages include 20 interstates and major highways, rail networks, barge traffic on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, six commercial airports and dozens of regional airports. The state’s transportation network can move products easily and efficiently by air, rail, road and water to all points globally.

Kentucky ranks third nationally in air-cargo shipment volume, thanks to the UPS Worldport air hub and Centennial ground hub in Louisville, DHL Americas hub in Northern Kentucky and several large FedEx ground hubs throughout the state. This strong presence by the world’s most prestigious logistics companies means products manufactured in Kentucky can get anywhere in the world virtually overnight.
From single-employee startups to century-old brands, Kentucky’s state, regional, county and local economic development professionals help businesses of all sizes select, grow and succeed. They build long-term relationships, arrange workforce recruiting and training and assure access to the individualized resources companies need for success.
Kentucky’s economic developers respond quickly to inquiries from around the world, connect businesses with top site locations, supplier and customer networks, a world-class shipping and distribution network and provide a personalized level of service second to none.

Learn more at, by calling 1-800-626-2930 or emailing

Copyright © 2017 Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, All rights reserved.

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