Regional economic development organizations win national job creation awards

The region’s two main economic development organizations, REDI Cincinnati and BE NKY Growth Partnership, were both recognized by the leading trade publication in the field.  

They were both named winners of the 2023 Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development. The award is presented annually by Site Selection magazine to the 20 top local and regional economic development organizations in the U.S. The ranking is a measure of success in job creation and capital investment projects within the organizations’ regions.

It was the ninth straight year the two organizations have been honored.

“We are continuing to accelerate and diversify the economy of the Cincinnati region,” says Lee Crume, CEO of BE NKY (formerly Northern Kentucky Tri-ED).

Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO of REDI Cincinnati, called the award “a testament to the longevity and sustained success we have demonstrated in bolstering our economic vitality through job growth and capital investment.”

Through the award, Site Selection highlights the best local and regional economic development agencies across the country. Six criteria, including both total and per capita measures in projects, investment associated with those projects, and job creation associated with the projects are used to determine the top 20 organizations.

In 2022, businesses announced plans to add nearly 6,000 new jobs in the 16-county tri-state region, according to the two organizations. One of the largest was in late December, when pharmaceutical testing company Medpace said it would add 1,500 jobs and $90 million in payroll over six years at its headquarters campus in Madisonville.

More than 2,300 potential new jobs were announced for Northern Kentucky in 2022, reflecting a capital investment of nearly $300 million, says BE NKY. Those included plans by 80 Acres Farms to open an indoor, vertical farming facility in Boone County that could eventually employ 125 people. And in March 2022, F&E Aircraft Maintenance said it planned to create nearly 250 full-time positions and invest $40 million to build a facility to support the airport’s growing cargo operations.   

Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky were also recognized in Site Selection’s Prosperity Cup, which acknowledges state-level economic development in securing capital investment projects according to a 10-point index. Ohio ranked third on the list, trailing only North Carolina and Georgia, which respectively claimed the top two spots. Ohio jumped four spots on the list after ranking seventh last year. Indiana finished fourth for the second year in a row, and Kentucky climbed one position into fifth.
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David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.