Elizabethtown, KY – The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce welcomed Ford Motor Company executive Gabby Bruno as its guest speaker at the April Chamber Luncheon. Bruno, who serves as Economic Development and Government Relations Director for Ford, shared the company’s vision for electric vehicles, along with an overview and timeline for the BlueOval SK Battery Park.
Bruno said that by 2025, Ford plans to invest over $30 billion into the production of electric vehicles and plans to have a 40 percent global product mix for electric vehicles by 2030.
“Ford is determined to lead the electric revolution,” Bruno said from the podium.
In Sept. 2021, Ford Motor Company announced plans to build a $5.8 billion, 1,500-acre campus near Interstate 65 in Glendale, Ky (Hardin County). The plant, called BlueOval SK Battery Park, will manufacture batteries for the automaker’s next generation of electric vehicles. The investment will result in 5,000 new jobs. Bruno said with the addition of the BlueOval SK Battery Park, Ford will be the leading battery producer in the automotive industry.
During her remarks, Bruno outlined the timeline of the project and noted the reasoning behind choosing Glendale for the megasite. She said when considering a new site, Ford looks at physical site considerations and supportive existing highway infrastructure; financial aspects such as state partnerships/incentives and competitive property taxes; and workforce considerations such as a strong technical college system and workforce building experience.
“Without the perfect workforce, the project falls apart,” Bruno said. “So the state and this region’s commitment to workforce, and in particular technical education, really became the final piece of the puzzle that topped the scales for choosing Kentucky, Hardin County and Glendale.”
A groundbreaking ceremony for the BlueOval SK Battery Park is planned for later this year. Two subcontractor events for the project have been hosted thus far with more planned for the future, Bruno said. Ford’s workforce development team is currently working with regional educational and workforce partners to build a talent pipeline toward the battery park. Ford also is working with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College to establish an on-site training facility at the site.
“This is an opportunity to show the world that Ford and Kentucky will build the most innovative, modern products in the most technologically-advanced facilities,” Bruno said.
Hardin County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Margy Poorman noted this was the chamber’s first opportunity to welcome a member of Ford’s team to share an update with their membership.
“Hardin County is grateful and excited about this new economic development opportunity,” Poorman said. “But with all things new, there are many questions regarding what to expect. Having Gabby join us in-person reiterates our support of the project and Ford’s support of our community and local businesses.”
Poorman also noted that the luncheon included representatives from multiple chambers of commerce in the region.
“There is no doubt that this project will extend beyond Hardin County and provide a long-term economic impact on the entire region,” Poorman said. “It is important that we all have a seat at the table.”
Rick Games, president and COO of Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, also noted that the BlueOvalSK Battery Park project will induce even more economic development in the years to come.
“Large economic development projects like BlueOval SK must be supported by additional business and industry,” Games said. “Hardin County can expect to see continued economic growth for many years to come, and we will need a strong business community to support increased demands associated with this growth.”
Those with questions about the BlueOval SK Battery Park can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in Kentucky, representing more than 700 members and Kentucky’s sixth most populous county. HCCC is the essential resource and advocate for local businesses. Moreover, the Chamber positively impacts the region’s economic vitality and quality of life, while supporting the growth and prosperity of Chamber members. The Chamber works closely with local, state and federal leaders to advance local business through economic development and legislative advocacy.