County Connections: Henderson County survives coal job losses with diverse economy

09/27/2017 09:12 AM

HENDERSON – Henderson County Judge-Executive Bruce Schneider traveled a long road to the area from his native southern California.

Schneider attended the University of Evansville before settling in Henderson some 30 year ago and hasn’t looked back.

“Came across the river for my first job and loved it so much that I’ve stayed 30 years; met a local girl and married her, and we’d wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” Schneider said.

Henderson County, located on the Ohio River across from Evansville, Indiana, was established in 1798 and was named for Colonel Richard Henderson, an American pioneer, has a population of just over 46,000.

Despite some downturn in the economy due to the loss of around 600 coal jobs, the county has been able to stay on pretty solid ground because of its diversity.

“We were able to rebound because we also have a historic and deeply embedded aluminum parts manufacturing, aluminum fabricating, and we have many, many suppliers to the auto industry which has boomed in Kentucky.”

The biggest key for future success will be to train the local workforce to meet the needs of 21st century employers, he said.

One thing Schneider would like to see for his county is more assistance from the Kentucky General Assembly.

The judge-executive feels that counties like his are getting short changed because they are not large economic drivers for the state.

One interesting quirk about Henderson County that Schneider loves to tell visitors about is that it’s the only Kentucky county which has land on the north shore of the Ohio River.


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