Amazon air hub in northern Kentucky will provide residual economic benefits for the region, judge-executive says

02/05/2017 08:08 AM

HEBRON – Earlier this week Amazon announced plans to build a primary air hub at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, and politicians in the area expect the business will have additional positive aspects in the future.

Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore says that the project all came together within a few months because the area has so much to offer.

“We find that our area can compete very well nationally, internationally in some cases, with what a client is looking for,” Moore said. “We do have available land, we have great resources, and in this case, availability and access at the airport.”

It’s expected that Amazon will invest $1.3 billion in building the hub which is needed to serve the growing needs of Amazon Prime air cargo planes.The hub is expected to produce at least 2,700 jobs with an average hourly wage of 26 dollars an hour including benefits.

The state approved $40 million in payroll tax incentives over 10 years, and also required Amazon to keep 90 percent of its current full-time workforce in the commonwealth.

In a company release, Dave Clark, Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, said that there were three main reasons why Amazon decided to locate the hub in northern Kentucky — The area has a highly skilled workforce, great connectivity to nearby fulfillment locations and an excellent quality of living for residents and potential employees.

Moore says the fact that Amazon will be adding 2,700 jobs is really just the beginning of the economic impact, as the residual effect of the air hub will lead to many more jobs and businesses in the area.

“Having a worldwide logistics company like Amazon in our community, other businesses are going to want to be close by,” Moore said. “If I’m manufacturing a product, where best to do that than by Amazon Prime hub.”

The economic boon from the Amazon project will not just be limited to Boone County, where the airport is located, but all of the surrounding counties as well.

“The primary business may be here, but there may be a contractor who gets the job to build the facility, and it’s located in Campbell County, or in Grant County, or in Pendleton County,” Moore said. “The workers are going to come from everywhere.”

Moore says that there have been some critics of the project who say that businesses like Amazon locating in the area might have some negative residual effects. He added that every business that is brought to the area is carefully evaluated on how it will have a positive impact on the region.

“We make our decisions and we work every day to make sure that the things that we are doing add to the quality of life, not take away from,” Moore said. “I’m happy that Amazon Prime’s going to be here with us.”

The region has been fortunate that when businesses like Toyota decided to pull out of the area, there have been other businesses which have moved in.

“Our economic growth and our population growth in Boone County have not been dramatically impacted by some of the past announcements on the negative side because we’ve always had wins along the way with other companies coming,” Moore said. “That’s why you do economic development. If you’re not working to bring new companies or helping your existing companies to expand, you would see huge negative impacts when a company does for whatever reason disappear.”

Amazon has had a presence in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for nearly 20 years, employing more than 10,000 people in full-time jobs at 11 fulfillment center locations across the state.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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