LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Could 2023 be the brightest year for Kentucky yet?

The Lane Report, which covers the beat of Kentucky’s economy and jobs, has just published a comprehensive article proving how optimistic businesses in the Commonwealth feel.

Mark Green, editorial director at The Lane Report, has been covering Kentucky’s economic development for 15 years. He wrote the article after conducting a survey with business leaders, learning that 2023 has a lot of exciting projects coming down the pipeline.

It starts with the electric vehicle manufacturing industry.

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“Kentucky is catching the very beginning of this electric vehicle wave,” Green said. “We’ve got two multi-billion-dollar electric vehicle battery plants, and we are going to be producing more batteries for these vehicles than any place else in the country, if not the world.”

Green said bourbonism, or bourbon tourism, is also going to attract a lot of tourists and money to the state.

“Bourbon is booming,” Green said. “There just seems to be no ceiling in site for this. We’re developing the bourbon trail, which is going to be hotels, resorts, restaurants. We’re just in the infancy of the bourbon trail it looks like.”

In Green’s article, he reports that the Kentucky General Assembly spent $ 200 million in the last year prioritizing a list of properties that are ripe for purchasing. Green adds that Kentucky’s economy will also grow because out-of-state businesses are looking at two things in the Commonwealth: property and a desirable workforce.

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“Kentucky has done well in putting together a program called ‘product development’, which means sites for businesses to go into,” Green said. “And one of the trends we’ve heard here lately is Kentucky’s workforce has better problem-solving skills, and it’s a part of our rural heritage. People are still close to the farm; farmers are problem-solvers.”

Green said Kentucky colleges have also had a hand in helping boost the state’s workforce, even setting a record year of freshman enrollment.

“The schools say that they’re just doing better a job of talking to the market, figuring out what skills and classes are going to benefit students mostly,” Green said. “Students are more transactional today, if they’re going to pay tuition, they want it to go towards something that’s going to get them a job.

However, Green’s article does address one ongoing challenge in 2023 for a Kentucky sector, and that is job shortages in healthcare.