Kentucky Governor: Confluent Health to expand in Louisville

Frankfort, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear recognized the continued growth of Kentucky’s health care sector as he announced plans for Confluent Health LLC to relocate and expand its headquarters in Louisville, a project that will create 350 full-time Kentucky-resident jobs with an investment of about $10 million.

“As we continue to build on our economic momentum of the past year, health care-related companies will be an important part of our continued growth,” Gov. Beshear said.  “Kentucky is well-positioned to support this rapidly expanding industry, and job creation and investment at existing companies like Confluent Health is proof of that.  I want to thank the leaders at Confluent Health for this commitment to create even more quality jobs in the commonwealth.”

A location for the project has yet to be determined, though company leaders expect the project to double office space from 18,000 square feet to over 36,000 square feet.  Confluent Health will expand its headquarters in response to significant increased demand resulting from numerous acquisitions and organic growth. Jobs created with the expansion will include marketing, IT, human resources, administrative and executive roles.  Work on the project will begin in the coming weeks with completion anticipated by summer 2022.  Confluent currently employs 123 people in Louisville.

“Confluent Health is a Kentucky-born and -bred health care company, proud to reaffirm our national headquarters in Louisville,” said Confluent Health President and CEO Dr. Larry Benz.  “We are honored to contribute to Louisville’s premier recognition as a health care innovation hub and be a part of multiple Kentucky-based businesses dedicated to strong lifestyles, health and wellness.  I am proud to have spent my entire career providing services in Kentucky, which began at Ft. Knox as a military officer and then transitioned to private enterprise.”

Confluent Health operates five divisions, including 42 physical and occupational therapy company partners spanning 512 outpatient physical therapy locations across 29 states.  Confluent Health maintains a higher education company focused on post-professional training where it houses a residency and fellowship program and offers university partnerships in entry-level physical and occupational therapy, as well as PA programs.  It also operates an occupational health company with over 1,500 workplace safety and injury prevention sites in 48 states, a national independent provider association, and Confluent Ventures, an innovation center with digital health, virtual reality physical therapy and omnichannel health care pathway services.

Confluent Health is among more than 200 health care-related technology, service and manufacturing facilities in Kentucky, which employ over 37,000 residents.  The industry includes headquarters operations, pharmaceutical makers, medical equipment design and production, medical device manufacturers and health care product distributors.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer noted the community’s prominence within the health care sector.

“Louisville is an international leader in the future of health and aging innovation as home to the largest collection of headquarters in this vital industry,” Mayor Fischer said.  “We are excited to celebrate Confluent Health’s rapid growth nationwide and the expansion of its Louisville headquarters that will bring hundreds of additional good jobs to our city.”

Confluent Health’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Governor noted that this was among five economic development projects announced Thursday that alone represent $160.9 million in new investments that will create 1,003 new jobs for Kentuckians.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books.  Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.  Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.

Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and enters 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.

In addition, Kentucky recently placed seventh overall in Site Selection magazine’s annual Business Climate Rankings.  The commonwealth ranked third nationally in the 2020 projects per capita ranking and fifth in the 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.

The Governor’s recent budget proposal calls for $250 million in one-time funds to develop a Site Identification and Development Program that will help the commonwealth continue its economic development momentum by modernizing infrastructure so we’re able to attract the next Ford- or Toyota-size project.  The fund will help communities grow small economic development sites into larger sites and help them prepare sites to be not just shovel-ready, but build-ready.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The performance-based agreement can provide up to $3.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $8.56 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 350 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $37.50 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates.  The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Confluent Health can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers.  Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.