Ashland Alliance



The Ashland area is located within an existing aerospace cluster with a skilled workforce to match. In addition to its competitively low energy costs, the Ashland area has been certified as an excellent location for the aerospace industry. The consulting team of Common Sense Economic Development and Tucson Atlantic Consulting surveyed and examined the Ashland area, and its potential to target, recruit and support aerospace-related businesses and industries and certified the Ashland area as an AEROready™ Community. This confirms the Ashland area as possessing the needed resources to attract and sustain the aerospace industry.

One recent major success was the construction of the $1.3 billion Braidy Industries aluminum rolling mill at our EastPark Industrial Center. This mill will bring 500 full-time advanced manufacturing jobs to the Ashland area. The facility will be geared to produce aluminum products for the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry cluster in the Ashland area and the surrounding region will see a beneficial impact for suppliers, support industries, and users of Braidy Industries aluminum.


Our Existing Regional Aerospace Cluster

Sample of our Regional Aerospace Companies

  • Braidy Industries – manufactures aluminum alloys for the aerospace industry
  • Sandy Valley Fasteners LLC – Produces standard fasteners for local customers and the US Military
  • American Metal Works – CNC manufacturing facility baed in Eastern Kentucky
  • Rajant Corp. – Produces portable multi-frequency wireless solutions
  • Carbon Fire Composites – Produces composite airframe parts.
  • Star Technologies, LLC – Manufactures precision clamping devices, brackets and metal stampings used in the aerospace industry
  • Level 1 Fasteners, INC – Produces “LEVEL 1” certified specialty fasteners; primarily in non-ferrous materials in West Virginia
  • ICL Industrial Products, INC – Manufactures industrial chemicals for the aerospace industry


What is Braidy Industries?

Braidy Industries is a major aluminum manufacturer that specializes in the use of efficient, eco-friendly aluminum alloys that are also lighter and stronger. The company is dedicated towards being a trailblazer in new material science technology. Braidy Industries has positioned itself in the Kentucky marketplace to efficiently meet the growing demands for aluminum. It is ideally placed to support aerospace industries.

In 2017 Braidy Industries finalized the purchase of 204 acres at EastPark Industrial Center for the construction of a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill. Braidy acquired a 110,000-square-foot spec building to construct their mill, in addition to their land purchase. This mill will bring 500 full-time advanced manufacturing jobs to the Ashland area. Braidy Industries is expected to be a powerful force in attracting new industries to northeastern Kentucky and plans to begin operations in 2020.

Click here to read recent Braidy Industries’ press releases:


Why Did Braidy Choose Ashland? Our Labor Advantage



Over the past 10 years, there has been a loss of 8,500 coal jobs in eastern Kentucky. A recent workforce analysis conducted by a reputable nationwide firm validated that this ready built workforce has a strong work ethic and broad skill sets. While virtually all regions in the United States are complaining about how hard it is to find skilled labor, these job losses present an opportunity to capture a workforce with a spirit of perseverance, hard work, tenacity, ingenuity and dedication. This dedication is shown from a willingness to commute long distances for good jobs. Further, a majority of these workers are interested in additional training to improve their chances of finding better employment opportunities. Companies within the Ashland region have high workforce satisfaction levels. They also have described that the cost of labor is an advantage in Kentucky.

We recently commissioned a national, reputable economic development firm Boyette Strategic Advisors to inventory our available workforce.  Here are the highlights of their findings:

Breakdown of currently employed skilled labor:

The region’s labor is home to the following quantities of skilled workers which are pertinent to aerospace companies:

Support companies within the Ashland Metro Area:

ASHLAND MSA is a Kentucky Work Ready Community





Braidy is located in EastPark – The Industrial Center of East Kentucky

View this 2 minute aerial flyover of Ashland including our EastPark


EastPark has 2 available parks: Site A is for Mixed Use Development, Site B is for Manufacturing


Located in Ashland is EastPark, the 1,000-acre multi use business park that is well equipped to support businesses of all types but especially those in aerospace and automotive. EastPark is located next to Interstate 64 and offers ready site locations and developable land. Infrastructure is in place to handle large industrial operations.

  • Acreage Size – 185 total developable acres remaining with the largest contiguous developable site at 90 acres.
  • Completed Environmental – Phase I and/or Phase II; Wetlands delineation endangered species, archeological, historical clearances are current; geotechnical assessment
  • Utilities – infrastructure in place throughout the park
  • Location – Site A just off Interstate 64; Site B two miles north of Interstate 64
  • Air Access – Huntington Tri-State Airport, Kenova W.Va., 18 miles — commercial service via US Air and Allegiant; FedEx cargo service
  • Ohio River Port Access (14 miles from site, barging and storage capacity; rail via CSX)
  • Community and technical college on-site at EastPark
  • Terrain: Flat

150,000 sq. ft pad ready to begin building construction


McCallum Sweeney AEP Certified Site Lot 22:

EastPark’s Lot 22 site has an available 150,000 sq. ft building pad and is a certified Build-Ready site, allowing companies the opportunity to bypass much of the red tape required when establishing a new location by addressing needs and concerns before they arise. Build-Ready certification is proof to a company that unknown obstacles have been removed, that the site due diligence has been performed and the project implementation timeline has been significantly accelerated. With a Build-Ready site, much of the work, other than actual construction, has already been completed. That includes:

  • Control of the land to be developed
  • Archaeological
  • Environmental and geotechnical studies performed
  • Construction of a building pad
  • Preliminary design work (complete with project cost and construction timeframes clearly defined)
  • Approved site plan permits
  • Necessary infrastructure in place
  • Construction can begin immediately




Road Access

  • Interstate 64
    • Provides interstate access east-west from Ashland to major cities like St. Louis, Louisville, Lexington, Charleston, and Richmond
  • US Highway 23
    • Provides four-lane highway access from our port on the Ohio River to the industrial park where Braidy is locating

Commercial Rail Access:

  • Ashland is served by 2 mainline railroads: CSX Rail and BNSF Railway

Air Access

  • Huntington Tri-State Airport
    • Commercial airport
    • Huntington, WV, 20 miles
  • Ashland Regional Airport
    • General Aviation Service
    • 5,602' x 100' Runway



Exceptionally Affordable Electric Power

Ashland, Kentuky has several low-cost electric providers.

AEP – Kentucky Power Company

  • AEP is one of the lowest cost electric power providers in the nation.
  • AEP owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system.
  • Site Selection Magazine recently named AEP as one of the nation’s top 10 utilities for economic development.
  • Kentucky Power was given attention in their efforts to assist in placing Braidy Industries in Ashland.

East Kentucky Power Company & Grayson RECC

  • Both East Kentucky Power Company and Grayson RECC are part of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, an organization structured towards marketing their innovations in the economic development realm.
  • The National Rural Economic Developers Association awarded Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives the 2018 Organization Excellence Award for using innovative ways to market rural Kentucky on a global scale.

Natural Gas

  • Columbia Gas of Kentucky Inc, a subsidiary of NiSource is the natural gas supplier to residents and businesses of Ashland, Kentucky.
  • Columbia Gas of Kentucky continually works to enhance the reliability of their delivery system to promote energy conservation and customer convenience.
  • Natural Energy Utility Corporation provides natural gas to our area.

Water and Wastewater:

  • The city provides water and wastewater management services to residents and businesses.
  • Water supply capacity is 24 million gallons per day
  • Average consumption is 10.3 million gallons per day


Workforce Training

  • Ashland Community and Technical College
    • Offers comprehensive advanced manufacturing technical training
    • Has a cooperative agreement with Eastern Kentucky University to offer a bachelor’s degree of aviation
  • Shawnee State University
    • Offers many curriculums that are relevant to aerospace such as Mathematics, Drafting and Design, and specialized Computer Programming and App Development Courses
  • Mountwest Community & Technical College
    • State-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment
    • Approximately 2,400-students enrolled in technical programs


Colleges and Universities

The Ashland Metro Area has access to quality higher education and technical programs through the following regional institutions:

  • Marshall University
    • Located 16 miles from Ashland
  • Ashland Community & Technical College
    • Located in Ashland
  • Ohio University-Southern
    • Located 4 miles from Ashland
  • Shawnee State University
    • Located 30 miles from Ashland
  • Mountwest Community & Technical College
    • Located 16 miles from Ashland
  • Morehead State University
    • Located 60 miles from Ashland
  • University of Charleston
    • Located 60 miles from Ashland


Taxes and Business Costs

  • Kentucky’s tax climate has greatly improved over the past two years, moving from #33 to #18 according the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.
  • By completing the multi-use Kentucky Tax Registration Application with the Department of Revenue, your business will automatically enroll for the most common business taxes.
  • Depending on the product or service your business provides, there may be other state taxes that apply to your business. Most of these require that you file a special application/registration with the Department of Revenue.


Kentucky Incentives

Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) Program

Provides income tax credits and wage assessments to new and existing agribusinesses, regional and national headquarters, manufacturing companies, alternative fuel, gasification, energy-efficient alternative fuels, renewable energy production companies, carbon dioxide transmission pipelines and non-retail service or technology related companies that locate or expand operations in Kentucky.

Under KBI, Boyd County is certified as an enhanced incentive county in Kentucky.

Bluegrass State Skills Corporation Skills Training Investment Credit

Provides credit against Kentucky income tax to existing businesses that sponsor occupational or skills upgrade training programs for the benefit of their employees.

Direct Loan Program

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) encourages expansion and job creation by providing business loans to supplement other financing.  The Direct Loan Program provides loans at below-market interest rates for fixed asset financing for agribusiness, tourism, industrial ventures, or the service industry.

Industrial Revenue Bonds

IRBs issued by state and local governments in Kentucky can be used to finance manufacturing projects and their warehousing areas, major transportation and communication facilities, most health care facilities, and mineral extraction/processing projects.

The Original Star of the Tri-State Region

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