I don’t want to rehash the news from Monday’s announcement of a new industry locating in Murray-Calloway County, rather, I would like to brag on the process that led to the announcement.  First, hats off to our economic leadership team,  from the Bevin administration, TVA, local government, agencies, local banks, Murray State and the Murray Calloway County Economic Development Corporation.

After the emotional loss of Briggs and Stratton, this announcement is an encouraging sign. TPG plastics will begin with 50 employees in the Murray Industrial Park producing plastic containers for gasoline and diesel fuel. The plant’s location is what the MCCEDC calls their “spec” building, which will be finalized with dense concrete flooring to support the large machinery soon to be installed.

The 200,000 square-foot rapid-turn facility, is evidence that developing and building a flexible option like the spec-building is how great communities work.  This just shows how forward-thinking economic partners being proactive make a difference.  Add this to the soon to be completed DAE-IL manufacturing plant – a Korean company that produces gears and drivetrain parts for automotive and industrial machinery – and you get synergy at work.

Western Kentucky has truly been blessed these past four years with investments by industries from all over the world, especially during Governor Bevin’s administration. As well, nationally, the Trump Administration has rekindled manufacturing throughout the country, lost under the Obama administration, when he outsourced many plants to other countries.

Today, Murray shares a low unemployment rate with our nation at 3.5 percent.  The eight counties of the Purchase region is slightly higher, but still historically low.  The truth is that our country is booming and just this past week the U.S. Labor Cabinet announced that we added 266,000 jobs to the economy. Business remains strong and the DOW has recorded highs over 28,000.  This is not your Obama economy.

Approximately 25% of all jobs in Calloway County are directly related to manufacturing, distribution, and transportation with a labor market area of about 204,000. According to the EDC, there are nearly 4 dozen manufacturing establishments in Calloway County, including food processing, automotive parts and construction materials and with our new manufacturing plants other outside industrial prospects can see how this community comes together.

Alone, government can get in the way of prosperity. But together, with private enterprise good things happen. Prosperity is the product of self-discipline, enterprise, saving and investment by individuals, but it is not an end in itself. Prosperity provides the means by which citizens and their families can maintain their independence from government, raise their children by their own values, practice their faith, and build communities of cooperation and mutual respect. It is also the foundation for our nation’s global leadership, for it is the vigor of our economy which makes possible our military strength and our national security.

The greatest asset of the American economy is the hard-working American. That is why the first priority is always getting people back to work by fostering the kind of growth that creates jobs. On behalf of Republicans, that overarching goal unites all people and communities. It runs through our commitments on education and workforce development. (GOP Platform)

During the past three years, we have experienced unprecedented growth throughout the country.  In Kentucky, the past four years has also been unprecedented, tackling the legacy of Democratic control and paving the way for growth.  That growth becomes the basis to propel revenue that eventually leads to improving the tax base and growing infrastructure, like schools, and roads and fixing things like pensions.

While we are still sad over the loss of Briggs and Stratton, the next chapter of Murray’s story is being written.  As a result of strong organization and hard work, this community is on a sound track for growth.  A big thank you to all who are responsible!

Greg DeLancey is the 1st District chairman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. He may be reached at republican.chair@gmail.com.

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