Wednesday, Kentucky's Cabinet for Economic Development sent out a press release that should have been the headline on every paper in the state.
Our state broke an all-time record in 2016 by exporting $29.24 BILLION in goods and services.
More than $29 billion of anything is a lot - but to think that we, the people and companies located right here in Kentucky sent out that value of finished products and services is pretty amazing.
Much effort goes into all those exports - there is importing and moving raw materials, training and maintaining a skilled workforce, having access to the space to manufacture the goods or provide the service, and finally getting the finished goods to the open marketplace.
But the one thing you have to have to make all of this happen is access to transportation. Without it - none of what was discussed in the press release would have occurred.
Over the years our transportation network has quietly served Kentucky's manufacturing community, our agricultural community, our mining community, and our citizens by providing safe, dependable access. Our transit providers have provided access to employment opportunities. Raw materials have efficiently made it to manufacturing facilities. Millions of packages have been shipped on time and delivered to their recipients. And, as we can see, goods worth billions of dollars have been shipped nationally to other states - and internationally - as close as Canada and as far away as China this past year.
All of that has happened because of the roads, bridges, riverports, airports, rail lines, and transit system we've built.
And we don't expect accolades or awards (although we've gotten some) for our contribution to the state's success.
All we want is to be able to maintain all the infrastructure we've got - and build the infrastructure we need to make sure we can continue to export as much - if not more - than we have this year.
I don't think that's too much to ask - do you?