KENTUCKY — During Thursday's Team Kentucky update, Gov. Andy Beshear shared positive developments on the economic front: two large companies are investing a cumulative $800 million in the state, creating thousands of jobs along the way.

What You Need To Know

  • GE Appliances is adding more than 1,000 jobs to its Kentucky operations with a $450 million investment

  • Tyson Foods also moved forward with a $355 million investment, planning to create 450 jobs in Bowling Green

  • GE didn't get into location specifics, but said part of its investment would expand its Appliance Park operations

  • The announcements come on the heels of Ford's historic multi-billion dollar investment to build EV battery plants in Glendale

The Bluegrass is continuing to boom with economic development. GE Appliances announced plans Thursday to add more than 1,000 jobs at its sprawling Kentucky operations as part of a $450 million investment to boost capacity and launch new products.

The Kentucky-based home appliances business did not offer specifics about its new product plans but signaled that part of the investment would be pumped into laundry, dishwasher and refrigeration lines at its Louisville production complex – known as Appliance Park.

Tyson Foods has also moved forward with plans for a $355 million manufacturing operation in Bowling Green, creating 450 full-time jobs in one of the largest new investments in Bowling Green's history.

The company will build a 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Kentucky Transpark for production of Jimmy Dean and Wright Brand bacon, Beshear said. Company leaders anticipate construction will be complete in late 2023.

“We are excited to be a part of the Warren County and Kentucky communities that will help us continue to provide the iconic Wright Brand and Jimmy Dean products our consumers and customers desire,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president, prepared foods for Tyson Foods. “As people actively look to add more protein to their diets, Tyson is uniquely positioned as a category leader to meet that growing demand.”

The announcements put the Bluegrass State on an economic development winning streak, coming close on the heels of plans for a multi-billion-dollar investment by Ford and its battery partner, SK Innovation of South Korea, to build twin battery plants at Glendale, Kentucky, to help power the automaker’s next generation of electric vehicles.

The new appliance-related jobs are expected to be added by the end of 2023, GE Appliances said in its announcement. Most will be assembly-line jobs, along with some management and operations-support positions, it said. Appliance Park has a current workforce of about 7,100.

“GE Appliances continues to bring manufacturing back to the United State — creating jobs and economic growth,” said Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer for GE Appliances.

Gov. Beshear thanked the company for its continued commitment to the Bluegrass state.

“This substantial investment will better position the company for the years ahead and will create quality job opportunities for Kentuckians,” Beshear said.

The $450 million infusion into Appliance Park is the largest round of investments in recent years as part of the company’s growth strategy. In the past five years, GE Appliances invested more than $1.3 billion in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations, creating more than 3,000 new jobs — the majority of them in Kentucky.

Appliance Park is home to five plants that produce washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators as well as parts and components. The company plans to upgrade its Louisville facilities as part of the new investment. GE Appliances also has manufacturing plants in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The investment builds on the continued resurgence of Appliance Park. Established in the early 1950s, the vast Louisville operation employed about 20,000 by the late 1970s but the workforce shrank to about 4,000 during the Great Recession.

GE Appliances, a part of General Electric for decades, was purchased in 2016 by the China-based Haier company.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Facebook Twitter