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Chad Chancellor: Hello. Welcome to Next Move Group's We Are Jobs podcast. This is Chad Chancellor, co-founder of Next Move Group and I’m pleased to have Josh Tubbs with us today. Josh is from Marshall County, Kentucky and if you’ve ever seen Kentucky Lake or been through that part of the country, it's absolutely one of the most beautiful places in the world. So, Josh, welcome here; glad you be here. Tell us a little bit about that area in Kentucky Lake and whatnot.
Josh Tubbs: Yes. So, I’m one of the lucky guys that I get to do this job, which is an exciting job, in the same town that I grew up in. My family has been there for generations. So, it's really rewarding to be able to do economic development in a community that I grew up in.
Obviously, Kentucky Lake is a beautiful area. The Lake stretches out all the way down into West Tennessee. Tourism is our second biggest revenue-generating industry in Marshall County, Kentucky and it really affects the entire region all the way down through Calloway County. So yes, it's a beautiful area; a lot of boating, a lot of great fishing, and just a perfect place running into four rivers there in west Kentucky.
Chad Chancellor: And I know you've got a large chemical complex there.
Josh Tubbs: We do.
Chad Chancellor: Steel mill, I mean some really high paying jobs and I was surprised when I first visited there because I had always been down the interstate and south of [pretty? 00:02:33.19] Lake, but I had never ventured out and saw the industrial lands. So, talk about some of those huge employers in Marshall County.
Josh Tubbs: Sure. The chemical complex in Calvert City is probably the closest thing we have to a cluster of industries in that region and so we see a lot of specialty chemicals made there and you really talk about a great workforce, skilled, and very specific kinds of operations and skills sets.
So, the impact of that chemical complex has been tremendous. We've got-- part of the majority of those plants out there are international companies and long-standing relationship in the community. They’ve really merged well with the community, represented the community well, and it allows a lot of potential for further capital investment.
Chemical manufacturing is very expensive to do, so we're constantly seeing reinvestment into [retouring? 00:03:26.11] those companies in Calvert City. It’s a great win for the community.
Chad Chancellor: And I know you just announced a new industry, if I remember, here within the last few months. Tell us about that.
Josh Tubbs: So, yes. Our biggest ongoing project right now is the development of our new multi-tenant industrial park; Southwest One Industrial Park, which is in Benton, Kentucky. It's about a mile from I69, great four-lane access.
So, we were really fortunate to be able to announce the acquisition of that property with the announcement of an expansion of actually a local software development company, United Systems and Solutions. So, they are going to create about 50 jobs, software development jobs, which is kind of a different kind of project for us.
So, they are our first tenant in the park. We're really excited about that. Building a new industrial park is new for our community, but it's certainly exciting to be able to provide that kind of news to the community as well.
Chad Chancellor: I didn't realize they were software. That is great to be diversified. And Marshall County, this part of Kentucky has-- there are some small counties and geographies. So, you'll be able to pool from probably ten different counties--
Josh Tubbs: Correct.
Chad Chancellor: --as far as people driving in there to work. I know a lot of people who live in Paducah work in Marshall County. I remember every morning seeing them go their way. Tell us, you're building an actual new organization. So, you've been the economic developer there for a while, but you all are building a new organization. So, talk about that.
Josh Tubbs: Yes. Historically, much like a lot of small rural communities, our economic development operations have been a department of local government. Certainly, it's important to have the public sector partnership and support, but what we’ve done is we've branched out. We've rebranded ourselves as Kentucky Lake Economic Development and we're building a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and really pulling in right now our existing industry to be involved.
We want to be privately-led and also have-- still have that public partnership. So, I'm really excited about that. I think what we're doing is building something that can sustain itself over a number of years and that can also be driven by the private sector as far as activity, so very exciting.
Chad Chancellor: I always like to hear how people got into this business because none of us saw it as a career path in 10th grade when we were filling out forms about what we want to do. So, how did you end up getting into economic development?
Josh Tubbs: So, for about two years I actually did grant writing and project administration at the local level and it was interesting, but not as riveting as-- there's more paperwork in administration stuff. So, a position came up and my predecessor retired and I had worked on a couple of economic development-related projects on the infrastructure side.
I went through the process and was really excited. I think passion is a big part of what drives folks in this industry and so, that's how I ended up here. Yes, that's how I ended up in economic development. So, you're right. Nobody really intends to, but it just kind of happens, right?
Chad Chancellor: Yes, we've got some masters students from Southern Miss. We just hired one. I think they are the only people in the world that get into this the way they want to. Well, I can tell you Marshall County is really a gem whether you want to do tourism or spend time at the lakes. They are just some of the most beautiful lakes you've ever seen or if you want heavy, heavy industry or distribution right on the interstate, it's just really a great location. So, Josh, why don't you give these folks your website in case they want to look it up?
Josh Tubbs: Absolutely. You can check us out at opportunitymarshall.com. We just did some work to our website; great statistics and target market and information that Next Move Group did for us, still very valuable to us. So, opportunitymarshall.com. Check us out.
Chad Chancellor: All right. Thank you for being with us today, Josh.
Josh Tubbs: Thank you, Chad. Appreciate it.
Chad Chancellor: Have a good one.
Chad Chancellor: A special thank you to Younger Associates for recording, editing, and publishing this podcast for us. I encourage you to visit their website at younger-associates.com.