Beshear seeing success in luring jobs to Kentucky - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Beshear seeing success in luring jobs to Kentucky

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On Wednesday, Jan. 14 2015, Beshear cut the ribbon for Teleperformance, a call center in Louisville that will employ 750 people. On Wednesday, Jan. 14 2015, Beshear cut the ribbon for Teleperformance, a call center in Louisville that will employ 750 people.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has cut the ribbon on a new business that will employ more than 700 people in Louisville.

The governor wants to make job creation a big part of his legacy as he prepares to leave office later this year, and the drop in Kentucky's unemployment rate suggests he is having success.

On Wednesday, Beshear cut the ribbon for Teleperformance, a call center in Louisville that will employ 750 people.

“I've been putting getting Kentuckians back to work ahead of any other priority in this state,” Beshear told the crowd.

Since the height of the recession, Kentucky's unemployment rate has dropped from 10.7% in July of 2009 to 6% in November, 2014.

“If Kentuckians are working in good paying jobs, then my other problems kind of shrink because everybody's working, paying taxes,” Beshear told WDRB News.

Teleperformance is receiving nearly $4 million in tax incentives, and that's a big part of Kentucky's employment strategy.

Beshear says more than 700 projects have gotten tax breaks to locate or grow in Kentucky, resulting in 57,000 jobs.

“This has been the most welcoming place that I have ever opened a call center in,” said Kyle Smith, a VP for Teleperformance. “The state has reached out to us with help for job fairs, with incentives to bring us in.”

These are not the highest paying jobs, $12-14 an hour, but Beshear says, in the big picture, they're all valuable.

“They all have different pay levels, but when you have a good mix of it, then that sort of insulates your economy from the ups and downs that you're going to see,” he said.

In fact, Beshear just returned from a trip to the Detroit Auto show where he tried to lure more high-paying manufacturing jobs.

“Nothing to share at the moment, although there are some plans on the drawing board,” he said.

Beshear bristles at the idea that Kentucky needs to be even more aggressive, including passing a right-to-work law, to become more competitive.

“We don't have to apologize to anybody for where we are with our economy, and how business-friendly we are,” he said.

The Republican state Senate passed a right-to-work bill last week, but it will likely die in the Democratic House.

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