GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ)- New numbers reveal what most of us already know, Toyota has a major economic impact on all of Kentucky. In fact, a study commissioned by the company shows it supports almost 30 thousand jobs statewide.
The study shows a far-reaching impact. It does not just focus on the number of jobs Toyota creates, but also shows the company’s financial impact on the state touches other areas like education and tourism.
“They have been, as I said before, the foundation for our ability to move forward,” Georgetown/Scott County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jack Conner said.
Conner says when he first moved to the area in 1979 very little was happening in the community.
“In 1985 when Toyota announced, it was a very small sleepy town of 8-10,000 people and here we are at 51,000,” Conner said.
He says he is not surprised Toyota has had a similar impact on the entire state and beyond. The new study commissioned by the company reveals in 2015 every Toyota job in Kentucky created about three more in the state.
Toyota External Affairs Manager Rick Hesterberg says some of those jobs are at companies that support the manufacturer.
“To build a car, if you think about it, it takes so many resources and Toyota’s not going to make all those resources so we have to outsource many things…” Hesterberg said.
Conner says the manufacturing base from Toyota has fostered growth in the residential, service, and commercial sectors too. Plus, it has meant donations of time and money to community programs and education, but w havee seen in the U.S. before the devastating impact such an economic powerhouse can have when it leaves a community that lacks diversity. Studebaker leaving South Bend, Indiana is an example.
Conner says he is not worried about that in Kentucky.
“Doesn’t sound to me as if they’re going anywhere,” Conner said, citing the company’s large number of plants across the country.
Hesterberg agrees. In fact, he says the company is investing in educational programs to ensure a strong future workforce for the next 30 years of business.
“You’ve got to have able and capable people with those skill sets to keep a plant like this running successfully,” Hesterberg said.
The study also notes the company’s plant in Georgetown is its largest in the world, but it is 30 years old so Hesterberg says for the next few years it will be getting a big makeover.
It is part of a $10,000,000,000 investment the company plans to make in the U.S. over the next five years.