The economic development successes of 2013 continue to shine a positive light on the Paducah area.
In its recently released Micropolitan Statistical Area rankings, Site Selection Magazine ranks Paducah 16th in the nation for economic development. The Atlanta-based economic development magazine bases its rankings on the number of job creation projects recruited to the area in the past year. Paducah placed 30th the previous year.
According to Chad Chancellor, Paducah Economic Development president, a micropolitan area is a geographic entity based on counties and county equivalents. Micropolitan cities are urban areas based around an urban cluster with a population from 10,000 to 49,999. The Paducah micropolitan area includes Metropolis, Ill.
Paducah, which tied with LaGrange, Ga., and Scottsbluff, Neb., for 16th, was the highest-ranked of 10 Kentucky communities making the top micropolitan list.
Other communities on the list include Danville, Mount Sterling, and Union City, Tenn., (tied for 27th); Frankfort (41st); Murray and London (tied for 70th); and Mayfield, Maysville and Somerset (tied for 130th).
"This is the highest we've ever been listed," Chancellor said. "It really was a banner year for us."
Successes included attracting the area's first automotive supply plant, a pharmaceutical grade manufacturing plant and a call center, and continuing efforts regarding future operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
Chancellor said the high ranking should provide an added boost to recruitment efforts. "Now our prospects see what we have to offer. We're really a regional hub," he said.
Some of the things that make Paducah attractive, according to Chancellor, are its central location, ready workforce, and economical electrical power rates.
Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler noted another factor in the area's development efforts.
"The people in these communities have a really good work ethic. They want to get up and go to work every day ... we have that history here."
Transportation is another plus for the Paducah area with easy transport of materials by water, rail or truck, Kaler added.
Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Wilson sees other economic factors in the area's favor, such as being a regional shopping hub and regional health care provider.
"And, we love being a river city, too," she said.
Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.