KAIA, State Legislators Announce New Automotive Caucus to Support Flourishing Automotive Manufacturing Industry

Industry added new jobs, facilities in 2015

Governor ProclamationFRANKFORT, Ky. (February 2, 2016) – Kentucky’s automotive manufacturing industry is booming, and Kentucky legislators have launched the state’s first Automotive Caucus in order to work directly with the industry to keep the automotive manufacturing sector growing and strong.

This bipartisan group of lawmakers has pledged to collaborate with automotive manufacturers and the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) on key issues in the coming years, including workforce training, business-friendly tax policies, technology development and more.

“When it comes to Kentucky’s automotive manufacturing industry, political party labels don’t apply,” said caucus co-chair Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green. “This is an industry that employs tens of thousands of Kentuckians and makes products known all over the world. We want to work with these manufacturers to ensure the industry’s ongoing success.”

“Automotive manufacturing is Kentucky’s largest manufacturing industry, and because of our central location, low energy costs, and outstanding workforce, our state is well-positioned to continue its record of success in building the cars and trucks the world wants to buy,” said caucus co-chair Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards of Bowling Green. “In order to keep Kentucky at the forefront of auto manufacturing, we must work together to ensure these businesses have what they need to maintain that momentum.”

To symbolize the interconnected nature of the state’s auto manufacturing industry, lawmakers assembled a large puzzle of the state which showed industry statistics on each piece. Two out of every three Kentucky counties are home to at least one manufacturing facility, and 20 percent of the state’s exports are tied to the auto manufacturing industry.

As the state’s largest manufacturing sector, automotive manufacturers are keenly interested in developing the next generation of manufacturing workers, and are anxious to work alongside lawmakers, educators and others to develop manufacturing career paths for young Kentuckians. The average wage of an auto manufacturing worker is more than $58,000, and many of those jobs do not require a four-year college degree.

“Today’s manufacturing employee is a problem-solving multi-tasker, with adaptable skill sets in math, electrical engineering, personnel management and software development,” working in teams, collaborative settings, said KAIA executive director Dave Tatman. “KAIA sees real economic opportunities for Kentucky students at multiple levels of education, everything from some post-high school training in a trade all the way up to four-year college degrees.”

Over the last five years, about 340 auto manufacturing businesses have announced new locations or expansions in the state, representing 20,000 new jobs and nearly $4.5 billion in new capital investments. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development reported the industry added jobs and new businesses.

Members of the Automotive Caucus include:

Rep. Rocky Adkins
Rep. Linda Belcher
Rep. Johnny Bell
Rep. Robert Benvenuti III
Rep. Kevin Bratcher
Rep. George Brown
Rep. Tom Burch
Rep. Denver Butler
Rep. John Carney
Rep. Larry Clark
Rep. Hubert Collins
Rep. Leslie Combs
Rep. Will Coursey
Rep. Ron Crimm
Rep. Jim DeCesare
Rep. Mike Denham
Rep. Bob DeWeese
Rep. Jeff Donohue
Rep. Jim DuPlessis
Rep. Joseph Fischer
Rep. Jim Glenn
Rep. Jim Gooch
Rep. Derrick Graham
Rep. Jeff Greer
Rep. Cluster Howard
Rep. Kenny Imes
Rep. James Kay
Rep. Kim King
Rep. Martha Jane King
Rep. Thomas Kerr
Rep. Adam Koenig
Rep. Stan Lee
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian
Rep. Donna Mayfield
Rep. Tom McKee
Rep. David Meade
Rep. Michael Meredith
Rep. Russ Meyer
Rep. Suzanne Miles
Rep. Charlie Miller
Rep. Jerry Miller
Rep. Terry Mills
Rep. Phil Moffett
Rep. Brad Montell
Rep. Tim Moore
Rep. David Osborne
Rep. Sannie Overly
Rep. Marie Rader
Rep. Jody Richards
Rep. Steve Riggs
Rep. Bart Rowland
Rep. Steven Rudy
Rep. Sal Santoro
Rep. Dean Schamore
Rep. Rita Smart
Rep. Diane St. Onge
Rep. Wilson Stone
Rep. James Tipton
Rep. David Watkins
Rep. Gerald Watkins
Rep. Jim Wayne
Rep. Russell Webber
Rep. Addia Wuchner
Rep. Brent Yonts
Rep. Jill York
Sen. Dorsey Ridley
Sen. Dennis Parrett
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