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The West Kentucky Advantage
  • The West Kentucky Megasite (WKM) has access to low cost transportation options, including truck, rail, and barge.
  • Kentucky's industrial sector electric power costs rank 6th lowest in the nation.
  • West Kentucky is home to a strong concentration of chemical companies, providing access to specialized labor pool that many regions of this size lack.
  • The WKM is located in the heart of a dense network of transportation equipment manufacturers and suppliers, a major market for advanced materials.
  • Kentucky has made significant investments in materials science research using a multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • The site offers easy access to several major metropolitan areas making it an attractive location for producers of packaging and construction materials.
  • Kentucky is one of the nation's largest producers of aluminum. Roughly sixteen percent of active smelter production capacity in the US comes from two smelters located 2 to 3 hours from the WKM.

Located within the Purchase Region of Kentucky

Company Product
ISP Chemicals Acetylene specialty chemicals
Westlake Vinyls Commodity chemicals
Arkema, Inc. Forane refrigerants & blowing agents, Kynar PVDF polymer resin, VF2 monomer, & hydrochloric acid
Wacker Chemical Corp. Polymer powders for the construction industry; Polymer dispersions for adhesives, non-woven fabrics, paint, paper, building products and carpet
R T Vanderbilt Industrial chemical additives & petroleum product accelerators
The Lubrizol Corp. Carbopol polymers
Sekisui Specialty Chemicals Polyvinyl alcohol, acetic acid
Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. Acetylenes
Westlake PVC PVC resin

Workforce & Training

The Purchase Region has a long tradition of manufacturing and a pool of workers in relevant occupations PROFILE OF KEY OCCUPATIONS WITHIN 60-MILE RADIUS OF WEST KENTUCKY MEGASITE

SOC Code Description Employment Location Quotient(1) Median Hourly Earnings Relative Wage (US = 1.00)
49-9042 Maintenance & Repair Workers, General 2,332 1.18 $15.03 0.94
11-1021 General and operations managers 2,260 0.90 $30.00 0.70
51-1011 Sales representatives, wholesale and mfg. except tech. and scientific products 1,563 0.73 $21.17 0.86
51-4121 Industrial truck and tractor operators 1,432 1.77 $13.46 0.95
49-9041 First-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers 1,356 1.51 $23.43 0.95
49-1011 Welders, cutters, solderers and brazers 1,108 1.99 $15.08 0.87
51-9061 Industrial machinery mechanics 1,053 2.50 $20.44 0.95
49-9051 Helpers - Production workers 1,004 1.62 $12.54 1.17
51-8091 Production workers, all other 900 2.44 $13.72 1.03
17-2112 Machinists 803 1.43 $20.34 1.13
15-1051 Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers and weighers 717 1.12 $14.88 0.94
17-2141 Assemblers and fabricators, all other 680 1.72 $10.66 0.79
11-9041 Packers and packagers, hand 658 0.65 $10.41 1.11
19-2041 Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders 648 1.32 $12.56 1.04
15-1031 Chemical equipment operators and tenders 642 10.10 $25.94 1.20
17-2199 Extruding, forming, pressing and compacting machine setters, operators and tenders 535 5.03 $13.98 0.97
51-2022 Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 362 1.25 $14.15 1.01
19-4031 Mixing and blending machine setters, operators and tenders 362 1.85 $15.36 1.00
19-2031 Industrial production managers 278 1.30 $36.44 0.91
17-2071 Chemical plant and system managers 235 3.94 $26.45 1.02
SOURCE: EMSI Complete Employment - 2011.2, TIP Strategies, Inc.
(1) Location quotients (LQs) represent a ratio of employment relative to the US. LQs greater than or equal to 1.25 suggest a specialization.


This profile covers one of three priority industry targets identified by Austin-based TIP Strategies as a fit for the WKM.   Information on this page was provided in part from TIP STRATEGIES, INC. (TIP) and Wadley Donovan GrowthTech, LLC. TIP is a privately held Austin-based economic development consulting firm which assisted West Kentucky Megasite with analysis of the regional workforce and identification of potential target industry opportunities. For their complete report, click on the TIP Workforce Analysis Link in the right sidebar. A complete current demographic profile complied by Wadley Donovan GrowthTech, LLC is also available in the right sidebar.