Four Campaign Initiatives Will Transform Northern Kentucky

FT. MITCHELL, KY – The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) announced the launch of the Build + Elevate NKY economic growth plan, funded by an inaugural investor campaign, yesterday at New Riff Distilling in Newport. The five-year $4.5 million campaign will fund four initiatives and make BE NKY a private/public funded company.

“The BE NKY board of directors set the company on a new path three years ago,” said Tom Banta, Chair of the BE NKY Board and Chief Real Estate Officer at Corporex Companies. “A prosperous Northern Kentucky of the future requires that BE NKY look beyond business as usual to what is coming around the corner. Build + Elevate NKY does that through four initiatives that were built with private and public sector input in 2021.”

In 2022, with funding from the Build + Elevate NKY campaign, BE NKY will undertake four key initiatives in addition to its core economic development work.

  • Data-Informed Community Decision-Making
  • Activate the Northern Kentucky Port Authority
  • Deliver Customized Workforce Solutions
  • Targeted Business Growth

“The initial response to the Build + Elevate NKY Investor Campaign has been exceptional. Members of our board of directors are financially committed to supporting the campaign,” said CEO Lee Crume. “We have more than 40 companies committed and have reached 66 percent of our $4.5 million goal.”

Campaign co-chairs Tom Banta and Bob Heil, CEO of KLH Engineers, lead an eight-person Honorary Campaign Cabinet with private and public sector leaders who will assist BE NKY in approaching additional companies to achieve the $4.5 million goal.

Even with the disruption of COVID-19, BE NKY exceeded its 2021 and 2020 targets for projects, jobs and capital investment. In 2021, BE NKY supported 27 companies with expansions or new location announcements with 1,851 jobs and $255M in capital investment in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. Advanced manufacturing led growth across all targets in both 2021 and 2020.

In January, a Target Industry Analysis by EY found that Northern Kentucky led job creation in Kentucky from 2015 – 2020. The analysis showed significant employment growth in four target sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Life Sciences, and Supply Chain Management & Support Services. The jobs and capital expenditures announced in 2021 complement the employment growth that the region experienced from 2015 – 2019.

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.

To learn more about Build + Elevate NKY, visit

About BE NKY

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

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