5,000 jobs are coming to Kentucky thanks to Ford.
The BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky is on schedule and Ford is moving closer to its target of producing two million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026. Ford first announced its partnership with South Korean battery manufacturer SK On in September last year. The news follows less than two months after Ford broke ground at another facility in Tennessee.
Now Ford is releasing new details about this $5.8 billion investment that will produce batteries for future Blue Oval and Lincoln products. The goal is to produce more than 80 gigawatt-hours annually, but it's unclear exactly which vehicles these batteries will power. It could be existing models like the Mustang Mach-E or the upcoming Lincoln EV that's rumored for production.
The big news is that battery production will start in 2025, and the new plant will create 5,000 jobs in Kentucky. Ford has a long-standing relationship with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, even announcing its very own KenTrucky Day in the state, proclaimed by the Governor earlier this year.
These 5,000 jobs will join Ford's existing 12,000-strong workforce, but people need to be trained first. That's why Kentucky invested $25 million in a new Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center, situated on the same site as the battery plant. The total investment for both plants works out to $11.4 billion and roughly 11,000 new jobs.
The training center's curriculum will consist of battery knowledge, training on SK One's technology, and manufacturing. Construction of the training center will begin next year and will be completed in 2024. That gives Ford a whole year to train employees until the plant starts producing by 2025.
"At BlueOval SK Battery Park, we're building the future - state-of-the-art batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles and a bright future for the workforce in Kentucky," said David Hahm, BlueOval SK CEO. "[To] produce these batteries, we need a premier workforce that is trained in the latest battery and advanced manufacturing technology."
To date, construction crews have moved 4.3 million cubic yards of soil, poured 66,000 cubic yards of concrete, and installed 3,300 tons of rebar.
Ford also keeps its ties with the community firm, providing construction services to facelift Glendale's parks and sidewalks. It also donated $42,000 to the Glendale Volunteer Fire Department.
"The partnership between Kentucky and Ford dates back more than a century, to the very dawn of the automobile industry," Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said. "That bond grows even stronger today as we break ground on Ford and SK On's BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County. As both the largest economic development project in our state's history and part of the biggest investment ever by Ford, this project cements Kentucky's status as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States."