HCCC released RFP seeking partner to research BlueOvalSK impact

Originally Published The Lane Report | May 18, 2022

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — Hardin County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) and Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation (EHCIF) have partnered with regional leaders Baptist Health Hardin and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) to commission a long-term economic impact study to better understand potential growth related to recent economic development announcements.

Ford and SK Innovation’s recent BlueOvalSK Battery Park announcement poses significant opportunities for the Central Kentucky region. This growth, in addition to recent positive economic news across the region including Kruger Packaging (Elizabethtown), Nucor (Brandenburg), and V-Corp (Fort Knox), will directly impact all sectors including workforce, healthcare, education and community services.

“There is no doubt that a tidal wave of growth is headed directly toward Hardin County and the entire region,” said Margy Poorman, HCCC president and CEO. “We can either wait to see what happens or we can proactively research, forecast and prepare for the future of our region. The Chamber, along with our partners, want to do everything we can to support the future growth.”

HCCC released a Request for Proposal to find a partner who will research potential growth impact, identify similar communities that have experienced this level of growth, and create smart growth strategies for all regional businesses and industries.

“The Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation is committed to leading the way for all local manufacturers in the industrial sector,” said Rick Games, president and COO of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation. “Understanding the workforce demands of our region is key to our support of all industrial businesses.”

HCCC recognized that this information will be critical to local businesses, healthcare, and the education sector.

“Baptist Health Hardin is currently building a new Outpatient Medical Pavilion in Elizabethtown to support the existing patient demand,” said Baptist Health Hardin vice president and COO Tom Carrico. “However, we want to be as prepared as possible for the impact new economic developments will have on patient volumes in the years to come. This project will help us better understand future demand and identify opportunities for growth well into the future.”

Education also will be a priority for future growth. Specifically, ECTC will use the information as well as existing relationships with employers to develop curriculum necessary to educate and train future employees, said ECTC President Dr. Juston Pate. Some curricula and training will be laser-focused on the work of BlueOvalSK Battery Park.

“There likely will be countless companies that will come to the region as a result of BlueOvalSK needing specialized education opportunities,” Pate said. “We expect this report to provide the insight we need to support workforce development across the region.”

To access the RFP, visit hardinchamber.com. Deadline for response is no later than 12:00 p.m. noon (EDT) on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

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