Kentucky looks to Meridian as growth example

Marc Lutz//September 25, 2023//


This battery plant under construction in Georgia is similar to one being proposed in Hardin County, Kentucky, which looked to Meridian, Idaho, as an example of growth that can come from such projects.

Kentucky looks to Meridian as growth example

Marc Lutz//September 25, 2023//

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Meridian was used as an example of growth in a recently released economic impact study by the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

According to the chamber, “Meridian was studied due to the growth experienced in the region as a result of Micron high-tech facility investments and the migration of former California residents to the area.”

The study also looked at Reno, Nevada, Scott County, Kentucky, and Round Rock, Texas as examples of “boomtowns.”

Margy Poorman, the president and chief executive officer of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, said the impact study is Blue Oval SK Battery Park, which will produce batteries for electric vehicles used in Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

“With the impending arrival of BlueOval SK and the prospect of 5,000 new jobs, it was crucial for HCCC, a conduit for regional business growth, to gain a deeper understanding of future implications,” Poorman said.

Luke Schmidt, the president of L.B. Schmidt and Associates, the firm tasked with producing the study, visited Meridian to further comprehend what kinds of impacts such large projects could have on communities.

Elizabethtown Kentucky

“My site visit to Meridian as part of this project was instrumental in helping us to understand just how much a community can be impacted by one or more large economic projects,” Schmidt said. “Meridian has done a terrific job in planning for and managing it high rate of growth while enhancing its overall quality of life.”

While in Meridian, Schmidt med with Mayor Robert Simison, Meridian Chamber of Commerce President Sean Evans and others.

The project in Kentucky is expected to generate a population surge of about 22,380 people, a payroll of $3.63 billion from 2026 to 2035, an anticipated need of 8,811 new housing units, about 3,901 new K-12 students and a need of 75 new hospital beds, 389 hospital jobs and 380 new ambulatory care jobs.

“With projections that include substantial population growth, increased employment opportunities and a boost to various sectors of the local economy, this report sheds light on the kind of growth this region should expect, and hopefully can influence and guide local businesses and organizations to implement strategies to appropriately grow in tandem,” Schmidt said.