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Louisville Forward, GLI Recognized As Top Economic Development Group

Mayor Greg Fischer and Kent Oyler, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), today announced that Louisville Forward, the city’s economic and community development organization, and GLI, the 15-county regional chamber of commerce, have been jointly recognized as Top U.S. Economic Development Groups for 2018 by Site Selection magazine.

This is the fifth straight year Louisville Forward has received the Mac Conway Award for its economic development efforts and the third year in a row that Louisville Forward and GLI have shared the award for their regional efforts. In addition to pro-business advocacy efforts, GLI works to transition project leads to the local economic development organization, including Louisville Forward, in a 15-county region. In 2018, projects representing $972 million in investment and 5,936 new jobs were announced in the 15 counties.

“The economic momentum Louisville and the region are experiencing is undeniable,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Once again, our city has been recognized for the work it and its partners do every day to grow the local economy, attract talent and new jobs, and boost the standard of living. This award is a testament to the efforts of Louisville Forward’s hard-working economic development team, led by Chief Mary Ellen Wiederwohl.”

As the economic hub for the region, Louisville Forward had a banner year in 2018, locating 58 projects in Jefferson County, representing $400 million in investment and 3,128 new jobs. Since its creation, Louisville Forward has announced projects that represent approximately 25,000 new jobs and $5.6 billion in investment by providing concierge project management services.

“Through our collective efforts, Greater Louisville continues to gain momentum to attract employers to the 15-county region and accelerate economic growth,” said Kent Oyler, president and CEO of GLI. “By elevating economic development through regional partnerships, Louisville extends its capacity to recruit and grow jobs, workforce and advocate for a strong business environment.”

The Mac Conway Award winners have been determined by an index that examines 2018 corporate facility investment projects in U.S. metro areas as tracked by Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects database. The recognition is based on six criteria – total projects, total investment associated with those projects and total jobs associated with those projects; and those same three numbers calculated per capita for the metro area.

“With its young and educated workforce, low cost of living and pro-business environment, Louisville is clearly on the rise, and Louisville Forward and Greater Louisville Inc. has become a perennial recipient of Site Selection’s Mac Conway Awards,” said Gary Daughters, senior editor at Site Selection magazine. “As economic growth does not occur in a vacuum, a dynamic and well-funded economic development agency is crucial to a region’s success.”

Top projects highlighted by Site Selection were:

  • Haier’s $200 million expansion of GE Appliances’ dishwasher and laundry machine production, creating 400 new jobs
  • The location of’s Pharmacy Customer Service Center, which created 300 high-paying jobs and represents a $7.2 million investment
  • Louisville-based Heaven Hill Distilleries’ plans to build a $65 million Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, Ky.

Greater Louisville Inc. works with partners throughout the 15-county region to provide relocation and economic development services. Some recent regional projects include:

  • Denso Products and Services Americas Inc.: Global automotive supplier investing in $10 million facility at River Ridge in Southern Indiana, creating 50 new jobs
  • Niagara Water: A $56 million investment to located in Indiana’s River Ridge Commerce Center, creating 49 new jobs
  • Rabbit Hole Distillery: A new bourbon storage warehouse in Henry County, Ky.

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