What do we make in Kentucky?
Toyota Camrys and Chevrolet Corvettes, for sure — in Georgetown and Bowling Green.
JIF peanut butter is made by Smucker’s in Lexington (and emits a savory roasting peanut aroma for passers-by).
Post-It Notes are made by 3M in Cynthiana, Hot Pockets by Nestle in Mount Sterling, Reynolds Wrap in Louisville.
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Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development said that the Bluegrass state is home to 4,460 manufacturers that employ approximately 241,000 employees. In 2015, the state exported $27.6 billion in goods and services abroad.
In a recent news release, the cabinet reported that through September, 79 new location or expansion announcements have been made by manufacturers, adding a projected 4,367 jobs and nearly $1.5 billion in investments.
New businesses and expanding businesses are good economic news. That, along with already existing manufacturers, are helping to keep Kentucky’s economy going.
One such existing manufacturer is Berry Plastics’ factory in Franklin, the largest duct tape manufacturer in the United States. That’s no small feat since consumers annually buy at least $100 billion of duct tape, originally developed in World War II to seal munitions against water and hold together equipment needing repair.
Duct tape was used by NASA during the endangered Apollo 13 flight to help seal the improvised device to remove carbon dioxide from the ship.
What else is made in Kentucky?
Here’s the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s 2016 list:
▪ Charcoal briquettes get a flaming start in Kentucky: Cowboy Charcoal, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duraflame Inc., has a plant in Albany. Kingsford has plants in Albany and Summer Shade (in Metcalfe County.)
▪ Duraflame logs are produced in Somerset.
▪ Snuggle fabric softener is made by the Sun Products company, which has factories in Bowling Green as well as Salt Lake City.
▪ White Castle frozen burgers, the famous beef sliver patties grilled with onions, are made at plants in Covington and Louisville.
▪ Gorilla Glass, used for mobile phone screens, is made at the Corning factory in Harrodsburg.
▪ Smucker’s Uncrustables, the frozen ready to eat peanut butter sandwiches sealed like a pillowy bread pouch, are made at the J.M. Smucker plant in Scottsville.
▪ Zero Turn pumps and transmissions, for Zero Turn lawnmowers, are produced at Hydro-Gear in Princeton.
▪ Aircraft parts, including jet engine parts, are produced by GE Aviation at its plant in Madisonville. Meggitt in Danville and Safran Landing Systems in Northern Kentucky make carbon brakes and assembled braking systems.
▪ DirecTV satellite dishes are made at Highlands Diversified Services in London.
▪ Ragu pasta sauce is made at Mizkan Group in Owensboro.
▪ Tyson Hillshire produces cocktail weenies, including the Lit’l Smokies brand, in Claryville (Campbell County).
▪ Babybel cheese is made in Leitchfield.
▪ Morehead State University designs, develops, builds, tests and operates small CubeSats miniaturized satellites and even smaller nanosatellites.
▪ Magazines such as the glossy Vanity Fair are printed at the RR Donnelley plant in Danville.
▪ Keeping score at athletic events is made precise by Sportable Scoreboards in Murray.
▪ Your good night’s sleep is brought to you by Hollander Sleep Products in Munfordville, which makes pillow and blankets for such brands as Nautica, Ralph Lauren and Beautyrest.
▪ Gatormade trailers in Somerset calls itself “America’s fastest growing trailer manufacturer.”
▪ Elzetta flashlights in Winchester makes what the company calls “the toughest flashlights on the planet, built to order with modular components chosen by the customer. The company also makes flashlight mounts for rifles and shotguns.
Kentucky’s top five export products, 2015
1. Aerospace products and parts, $8.7 billion
2. Motor vehicles and parts, $5 billion
3. Pharmaceuticals and medicines, $1.7 billion
4. Resin, rubber, fibers and filament, $1.2 billion
5. Basic chemicals, $987 million
Top export destinations for Kentucky companies are:
2. United Kingdom
Source: Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development