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Will Ford bring Hardin County similar growth as Toyota plant in Georgetown?

Georgetown nearly tripled in population — going from roughly 11,000 people in the 1980s to 37,000 people today.

GEORGETOWN, Ky. — In new that could transform Hardin County, Ford announced Monday plans to build an electric car battery plant in Glendale. 

The idea brought back memories of Toyota coming to Georgetown, Kentucky, more than 30 years ago, when Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins announced the economic development. Since then, many people in Louisville have made the commute back and forth five days a week for their jobs. 

Georgetown and the surrounding area looks a lot different now compared to when Toyota broke ground in 1986. 

“When they came in everything seemed to explode, if you want to use that particular word,” said Philip Cummins, who has lived in Georgetown his entire life.

Those who grew up in Georgetown said the change in their town has been night and day. 

"With the tax base, we actually have an excellent road department,” said Sharon Flynt, who lives in Scott County. “We have all kinds of amenities we didn't have before not only in the city but also out in the county."

Don Dickson said he actually moved to Georgetown once the plant opened, but not to work at Toyota. He came to teach at a local elementary school. Dickson said the offer was a teacher's dream in terms of benefits and salaries, saying it was thanks to Toyota and the boom the factory brought to the area.

When Toyota opened in Georgetown, they brought in almost the same number of people to work at the plant as there were living in the city at the time. The town nearly tripled in population — going from roughly 11,000 people in the 1980s to 37,000 people today.

The Ford plant being built is expected to bring 5,000 jobs. That’s a massive number when compared to Glendale's current population of 1,700. It could create potential for growth there and throughout Hardin County. 

Hardin County leaders said they anticipate similar changes and growth once the Ford plant is up and running.

"Georgetown is a small sleepy little town," Rick Games, President of Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation. "Toyota showed up in '85, '86, whatever it was. Obviously it changed the face of the community and I fully expect it to do that here."

Production of the advanced lithium-ion batteries will begin in 2025.

RELATED: 'The will to be bold' | Kentucky governor, Ford executives officially announce $5.8B battery plant project

RELATED: City of Glendale ready for benefits of new Ford electric battery plants

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