Henderson, Kentucky future-proofs local industry with labor recruitment campaign centered on hometown appeal.
HENDERSON, KY (October 28, 2022)– The rise in on-shoring and reshoring of manufacturing. Disruptions caused by the pandemic. New patterns in labor migration. As industries look ahead, assuring labor supply is emerging as a top priority. And now one Kentucky community is moving forward to future-proof its business and industry with a talent-driven economic development initiative centered on a timeless appeal.
Responding to a growing local economy and an influx of new industry, Henderson County has launched its first ever digital labor recruitment campaign, “Henderson, Your New Hometown.”
“We have great jobs with dynamic employers available now,” says Missy Vanderpool, Executive Director of Henderson Economic Development. “And while we have critical advantages that have attracted new industry, we have assets that are equally attractive to new workers and residents, like an impressively high quality of life in a community where everyone’s dollar goes much further. People feel at home here immediately and can make a home for a lifetime. Henderson has an authentic and compelling story to share.”
The campaign will initially target potential workforce in healthcare, logistics and manufacturing. Although the county’s population at just over 44,000 is relatively small, Henderson is a natural choice for manufacturing and logistics, offering a sizable labor draw of over 250,000 and a strategic central location in northwest Kentucky just across the Ohio River from southern Indiana and Illinois. Multimodal logistics keep Henderson-made goods flowing via interstate, commercial air, Class I rail and port access on the Ohio River.
“Here in Henderson we have always punched above our weight in manufacturing,” notes Vanderpool. “And our lower costs and pro-business, pro-people environment make us the right choice for innovators.”
Future-proof employment and opportunity
One Henderson innovator is Pratt Paper, now recruiting for its $400-million recycled paper mill and corrugator plant, projected to open in 2023. The world’s largest, privately held 100% recycled paper and packaging company, Pratt aims to be the “Tesla of packaging,” according to Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt. The company’s lightweight packaging helps major customers including Home Depot, Amazon, the U.S. Postal Service and Procter & Gamble meet sustainability goals.
“Whether you’re looking for a green collar job at Pratt or a position anywhere across our manufacturing and logistics sectors, we have the employment and opportunities of the future,” says Vanderpool.
Greg Risch, President and CEO of Gibbs Die Casting Corporation, explains that “people from outside may see Henderson as a small sleepy town on the Ohio River, and it’s anything but. There’s a lot of robotics, a lot of high-tech equipment. You’re dealing with all the things that high-tech companies in bigger cities are but it’s right here. So you’ll get opportunities to advance your education and your career and use the most up-to-date equipment.”
More than 130 other manufacturers are also thriving and innovating in the Henderson region, companies like Accuride where an automated production environment supplies more than 10,000 steel wheels per day to the heavy truck industry, and companies like the century-old Pittsburg Tank and Tower where the motto “100 years and still climbing” is backed by employee stock options allowing employees to rise as owners.
Authentic quality. Hometown feel.
Henderson’s quality of place “ticks all the boxes,” according to Vanderpool. “Neighborhoods, schools, recreation—and a low cost of living that opens so many more options for today and tomorrow.” Housing prices are one notable example—57% of the national average—with hundreds of new houses coming on the market.
The county’s top-notch educational system also opens opportunity through dual enrollment and pathways to both four-year college degrees and cutting-edge technical training at the area’s seven institutions of higher education. Skills acquisition is more affordable here, with programs like Henderson Community College’s FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) that help residents get skills and a degree with little or no college debt.
Area recreation is another way Henderson makes life richer at no cost, with attractions like Audubon State Park, the Sloughs Wildlife Management Area, and the Atkinson Park Riverwalk along the scenic Ohio River.
“If you plan to have a family, this is really a place you want to be. This is a community that is focused on family first,” says Hubert Mussat, the co-owner with his wife Katy Groves-Mussat of the Farmer and Frenchman winery. The winery and the city of Henderson’s vibrant downtown stocked with unique shops and farm-to-table dining mean “living local” has real appeal for all ages.
And while quality of place is important, some say the quality of the people is the real draw. Henderson is a “very prosperous culture,” notes Linda White, Chief Administrative Officer at Deaconess Henderson Hospital. “We have the most personable people, who enjoy life, who want to work and have a very strong work ethic and are proud to be part of Henderson….This is a small town with a big heart.”
Vanderpool agrees. ““This is a community where crime is low, costs are low, and respect for individuals and families is high. We care about people here. It’s truly a hometown feel.”
About Henderson Economic Development
Henderson Economic Development is committed to helping businesses succeed and grow in Northwest Kentucky. Our staff has extensive knowledge of the resources businesses need – industry, sector, and labor data, available sites and properties, local and state incentives, quality of life – to best communicate why Henderson, Kentucky, is the right decision for relocation or expansion. For local businesses and entrepreneurs, Henderson County offers resources to assist startups and help guide business growth. For more information on Henderson Economic Development visit https://hendersonkyedc.com/.