Advanced Manufacturing Leads Significant Jobs and Capital Investment Growth

FT. MITCHELL, KY (January 19, 2022) – The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) announced its 2021 economic development results, which surpassed the goals set by the company. BE NKY supported a diverse group of 27 companies with expansions or new location announcements with 1,851 jobs and $255M in capital investment in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.

Advanced manufacturers represented 56 percent of the companies that grew or invested in Northern Kentucky. The sector also led new jobs and capital investment announced in 2021. Average annual wages from 27 projects, across advanced manufacturing, headquarters & office, technology and logistics & distribution sectors, were $54,482, more than $10,000 above the median wage for all occupations in Northern Kentucky.

“BE NKY built on the momentum of 2020 to achieve strong results for jobs and capital investment in 2021,” said Tom Banta, Chair of the BE NKY Board and Chief Real Estate Officer at Corporex Companies. “The projects won in 2021 come from companies who have a choice of where to do business and they bring new money into our economy. The 1,851 new jobs announced in 2021 are putting our community on a path to prosperity.”

New advanced manufacturers locating in the region included Diversey in the City of Elsmere, MAB Fabrication in the City of Walton and Summit Packaging Solutions in Unincorporated Boone County. Expansions in Covington and Kenton County included Lighthouse Transportation Services, C-Forward, and Fidelity Investments and, in Boone County, the Zeiss Vision Care headquarters. Legion Logistics moved into new offices in Newport on the Levee, citing the amenities as a recruiting tool. The growth by these existing companies contributed to new jobs in the office sector across supply chain, IT, financial services and life sciences industries.

“Our 2021 results echo the Target Industry Analysis we released last week. Advanced Manufacturing, IT, Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management are the target industry sectors identified through the research so it makes sense that these sectors led the region’s growth in 2021,” said CEO Lee Crume. “Existing companies in Northern Kentucky in those sectors were 67 percent of the projects announced in 2021 and many were identified through the 165 meetings we held through our business retention outreach program.”

Perfetti Van Melle North America, with headquarters, manufacturing and supply chain operations in Northern Kentucky, announced a $10 million expansion and more than a dozen new jobs in December 2021.

President and CEO Sylvia Buxton shared, “After considering various locations within the Perfetti Van Melle global network, it was clear that expanding our manufacturing capacity here in Northern Kentucky was the right choice. The region has a great transportation network to reach our customers, a strong and diverse workforce base, and a thriving business support environment. We’re excited because the KEIA incentive we were awarded will help us continue making life sweeter and providing a great place to work in Northern Kentucky.”

The Target Industry Analysis by EY revealed that Northern Kentucky led job creation in Kentucky from 2015 – 2020. The jobs and capital expenditures announced in 2021 complement the employment growth that the region experienced from 2015 – 2020.

In 2022, BE NKY will undertake four key initiatives in addition to its economic development work.

  • Create a Data-Informed Community
  • Activate the Port of Northern Kentucky
  • Deliver Customized Workforce Solutions
  • Deliver Targeted Business Growth

“We believe that adding these four initiatives to our core services will position Northern Kentucky ahead of the curve as the country continues to recover from COVID-19 and businesses modify their strategies to meet consumer demand,” shared Crume.

Since its founding in 1987, BE NKY has led the successful relocation or expansion efforts for 746 business projects, representing more than 71,800 primary industry jobs created with a capital investment of more than $9 billion.

The full 2021 Annual Report is available at

About BE NKY

BE NKY serves as the primary economic development company for Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties, providing marketing, and business retention services for the region. For more information, visit

BE NKY’s vision is opportunity and prosperity for all Northern Kentuckians.