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Louisville Kentucky Community Information

Working in Louisville

When you're looking for a town to call home, you want to place that offers good employment opportunities for yourself and your family. Even if you relocate to work with a specific company, you want to make sure that you're not moving to a “one horse town,” with limited arenas for your talent. Louisville, Kentucky is the headquarters of several major companies that offer job opportunities at all levels, plus is a great town for entrepreneurs, too. With the infrastructure of a large urban center, Louisville is close--knit like a small town, which make it the perfect environment for businesses large and small.

The same affordability that makes Louisville attractive to families appeals to business too. With lower rents, lower taxes, and lower labor costs, companies large and small can grow and prosper in the area. The city offers many economic incentives to businesses who locate or expand here, courts prospective new companies, and encourages business leaders to interact and make their firms better corporate citizens.

Corporate Headquarters

Louisville is the corporate headquarters for many companies or corporate divisions, such as GE Appliances and lighting, Kindred Healthcare, Human, Inc. and YUM! Brands which add revenue and jobs to  the area. For example, GE Appliance Park maintains a 900 acre complex for senior management, research and development, sales and marketing, manufacturing distribution, and administration, and contributes an estimated $4.25 million each year to the city's economy. GE has invested $150 to develop hybrid water heaters, energy efficient washers and dryers, and other appliance components that will bring 800 jobs for the area.

Top Employers 

UPS is Louisville’s top employer. The well-known parcel delivery service UPS is based in Sandy Springs Georgia, but since 1980, Louisville has been the home of UPS air service, now called Worldport. Over 250 flights originate from Louisville each day. UPS has continually expanded and Louisville most recently in 2010, when it increased the sorting capacity of the Louisville hub by 37% to 416,000 packages per day. Since 2005, Louisville is also the hub for heavy freight. UPS employs nearly 60,000 people, making it Louisville's biggest employer, in areas ranging from customer service, package handling  and sorting, logistics specialists, mechanics, and more. In addition to nearly 20,000 full-time employees (FTE's), UPS provides jobs to college students and other part-time workers. Many of the part-timers participate in the coalition was Louisville colleges to allow them to pursue higher education have reduced or no cost.

In addition to UPS, Louisville has many opportunities in healthcare, food and beverage, advanced manufacturing, and more. Nearly 85,000 are employed in health enterprises. Humana Corporation, a health insurance company that is Louisville's second-largest employer, employs over 10,017 FTE’s in Louisville, and plans on adding at least 200 more in the area in 2012. Norton Healthcare Inc. with 9,421 FTE's and nearly 300 job openings for physicians, nurses, and another medical support  personnel, has the city’s third-largest payroll. The fourth biggest employer, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare Inc., a large regional network of more than 70 facilities, employs more than 5,819 FTE's the Louisville area. The burgeoning life sciences business provides research that complements health care services delivered. The city is also a center for pharmaceutical fulfillment.

Even Ford Motor Company has a major presence in Louisville, Kentucky is the third largest manufacturing center in the country, with two assembly operation in the Louisville area. In 2010, Ford entered into a $600 million partnership with the City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky to develop a flexible high-capacity plant which will product the next generation Ford Escape.

Louisville has over 10,000 employees in the food and beverage industry. Yum! Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, A&W restaurants and more, is based here, as is Brown-Foreman Corporation, one of the 10 top spirits companies in the world. Kroger Corporation, of grocery store fame, is the fifth largest employer in the city. Papa John's Pizza, Texas Roadhouse, and Tumbleweed Southwest Grill have their headquarters here. The University of Louisville has a food processing program that offers resources to local food companies to assist in labeling, analysis, and marketing.

Other job opportunities beckon from major firms such as Steiner-Rice (organs), Steepleton Co. (billiard tables), Louisville Slugger (bats), and Radio Sound (radios for Harley Davidsons.)

Buy Local in Louisville 

Though Louisville is the proud home of  major corporations, the “buy local” movement is strong in the city. “Keep Louisville Weird,” as the movement is called, emphasizes buying items produced here and shopping with independent merchants rather than big chains. The theory? According to the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), $45 of every $100 spent at a local establishment stays in the city as compared to only $15 for national chains.

In Louisville, locally-owned stores are nested in local neighborhoods as well as downtown, and offer merchandise not found in the national chains  As Andie Frisbee of Dandelion Home Boutique points out, “We're a really huge community of locally owned businesses, mom-and-pop stores. They're everywhere. All you have to do is just walk down your street.   We're easier to shop. We do a lot more personal items, a lot of personal services that big-box chains don't offer, so I think that that's the nice benefit for a local business.”

Louisville is a regular particpant in Small Business Saturday, held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, plus holds a Buy Local First Fair every May. 

As David Oetken of the Small Business Development Center notes, “Small businesses account for most of the jobs, about 80 percent of the jobs, mostly innovation, mostly taxpayers, so it's very important we keep them healthy.”  Aside from the sales they make on Small Business Saturday, Oerken says those businesses who actively participated last year experienced a 20% bump in sales year over year. 

Based on the benefits of locating here, Louisville actively recruits new businesses and offers incentives for expansion and job creation. With art and culture booming in the region, beautiful parks, a legendary annual horserace, and some of the best housing values is a country, Louisville is a great destination if you're relocating.

Picture: UPS Worldport, Lynn's Paradise Cafe, Horton's Hardware


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