Monday, May 17, 1999

Tri-Ed's economic efforts hailed


Agency cited by publication

BY SUSAN VELA and PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Northern Kentucky agency dedicated to bringing jobs and businesses to the region has been recognized as one of the top 10 nationwide at what it does.

        For its work in 1998, Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED) has been honored by the national publication Site Selection as one of the Top 10 economic development corporations in North America.

        The other nine honored were economic development agencies representing Virginia, Michigan and Pennsylvania; the Canadian province of Quebec; Northeastern North Carolina; Tampa, Fla.; Loudoun County, Va.; Savannah, Ga.; and Broomfield, Colo.

        “I think this recognition is a real testament to the staff and the community,” said Danny Fore, in his first full year as president of Fort Mitchell-based Tri-ED.

        “This award is a pretty strong statement given the turmoil of losing one president last year and then getting a new one. It shows how focused the people here are.”

        Mr. Fore said there are several reasons why Tri-ED has been so successful, including the growth of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The airport has hubs for Delta Air Lines and Comair and offers more than 100 direct flights a day.

        “But it's more than the airport,” he said. “I think it's been because of the commitment by the community and the close relationship between this organization and the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. Working together always makes a difference, and that is what's going on here.”

        The state helps Tri-ED, a 12-year-old, tax-supported agency, by providing and promoting tax breaks and other incentives to companies considering a project in Kentucky.

        Since 1987, Tri-ED has helped in getting 251 companies to move to or expand in Northern Kentucky, creating 27,339 jobs and investing almost $2.5 billion.

        In 1998 alone, 25 companies moved to Northern Kentucky; 30 expanded here; and 6,688 jobs were created.

        Total investment generated by companies moving in and expanding amounted to about $654 million, breaking a 1990 record of approximately $513 million.

        Some of the major 1998 coups were decisions of two Fortune 500 companies, Ashland Inc. and Gibson Greetings, to move to the RiverCenter office towers in Covington, and Toyota Motor Sales' announcement that it would build a 370-employee, $85 million Midwest Parts Center in Hebron.

        Mesaba Airlines unveiled plans to build a $12.5 million maintenance hangar that will employ 155 at the airport; GE Capital Information is scouting for a site for its 1,100-employee high-tech computer center.

        And Comair, DHL, Packaging Unlimited, Clarion Manufacturing Corp. and Redken Laboratories were among companies that announced or completed major expansions.

        “1998 was the best year of Tri-ED's existance,” Mr. Fore said in a Site Selection article. “It far and away exceeds any other year.”

       



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