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Diversity is the key to Louisville’s economy. Once heavily industrial, the city still has a strong manufacturing flavor – courtesy of 10,000 Ford Motor Co. employees at two plants and 5,800 workers at General Electric’s Appliance Park.

The horse racing and bourbon industries, which are part of Kentucky tradition, run strong in Louisville. The city is home to Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby, and a magnet for fine horse flesh. It is also home to distillery and spirits-distribution giant Brown-Forman, Inc., known for its Old Forester and Woodford Reserve brands (and its Tennessee import, Jack Daniel’s). Nearby Bardstown is the site of several other well known distilleries, including Heaven Hill.

Louisville is well known as a regional healthcare center, with about a dozen hospitals in the metro area.

Other well-known companies with large operations in Louisville include United Parcel Service (UPS), the region’s largest employer, with its main cargo hub at Louisville International Airport; Yum! Brands, operators of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s Pizza, the nation’s third largest pizza company.