County trying to attract more jobs

Graves County is “leveling the playing field” and working to attract more jobs. The county broke ground this week on a Build Ready Site that they hope will attract more companies.

Graves County Economic Development President Ryan Drane said they want to be aggressive in their recruiting.

“Really what we are trying to do is, instead of marketing just agriculture or raw land, we are trying to provide another opportunity for prospects,” Drane said.

Crews are currently prepping 125,000 sq. feet for future business at the Hickory Industrial Park. It’s located off of U.S. 45, about four miles north of Mayfield.

It’ll include construction of a building pad, preliminary design work, plan permits, infrastructure development, and environmental clearance.

Drane said TVA will also create renderings for prospective companies.

“Basically an a la carte building menu for sizing options,” Drane said.

It cuts construction prep time from three months to less than two weeks.

Drane said they picked this site because it’s next door to another building ready for move-in so companies have more options.

Michelle Arnett, who works across the site at Centrifugal Technologies Inc., said they’ve been here 10 years and want companies to fill up the empty space. She says that, as someone living in the community, any growth is great.

“I think anytime there’s an opportunity to attract local growth and sustainability to west Kentucky or Graves County it’s a great opportunity,” Arnett said.

Which is why Drane hopes this project puts them on the map.

“As an entire area, that’s progressive in economic development, and this is one of the ways we’re able to do that,” Drane said.

Drane said they used grant money from another project to cover the $75,000 cost to prep this site. This program is new. The state started it last year as a way to market Kentucky as a whole. 

Drane said the site will be ready to market by Saturday.

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