Advanced Manufacturing, Office and Headquarters Lead Job Growth

FORT MITCHELL, KY (January 12, 2021) – The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) announced its 2020 economic development results, which surpassed the targets set by the company, today. BE NKY supported a diverse group of 27 companies with expansions or new location announcements with 1,563 jobs and $268M in capital investment in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in 2020.

Advanced manufacturers represented 44 percent of the companies that grew or invested in Northern Kentucky. The sector also led new jobs and capital investment announced in 2020. Average annual wages across advanced manufacturing, headquarters & office, technology and distribution/logistics sectors were $72,500.

“BE NKY’s results are quite remarkable with the challenges the country faced due to the coronavirus in 2020,” said Bob Heil, Chair of the BE NKY Board and CEO of KLH Engineers. “The diversity of existing businesses and new companies attracted to the region is impressive. BE NKY is focused on continuing to foster a diverse economy with good paying jobs.”

Although many companies implemented work from home policies in 2020, nine companies announced investments in new or expanded offices in Northern Kentucky. Among them, Gentis Solutions relocated its headquarters, STEP CG announced a new expanded office and Protective Life Corporation announced a new regional office in Covington.

“We considered multiple states and many locations within those states while we were looking for a new headquarters location. We draw on talent locally and the community, culture and vibe of Covington are what we wanted for our growing team,” said Ed Walton, CEO of STEP CG, an award-winning IT engineering firm.

BE NKY CEO Lee Crume announced three new initiatives that the company will focus on in 2021:

  • Developing a community dashboard to ensure that data guides our decision-making.
  • Creating a strategy to ensure that land in the region brings the best jobs.
  • Analyzing incentive programs as companies adapt to coronavirus and in other multi-state regions to keep Northern Kentucky competitive.

“Our team built strong relationships with companies and communities in Northern Kentucky in 2020 while exceeding our goals, significant achievements given the challenges the pandemic presented,” shared Crume. “In 2021, we will boost our business attraction marketing and embark on new initiatives that move our community forward.”

Since its founding in 1987, BE NKY has led the successful relocation or expansion efforts for 717 business projects, representing more than 69,000 primary industry jobs created with a capital investment of more than $8.7 billion.

The full 2020 Annual Report is available for download here.

About BE NKY

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

BE NKY’s mission is to generate, preserve and enhance high quality economic opportunities for Northern Kentucky and support development of the region’s business operating environment.