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Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Breaks Ground on Lexington Expansion

Wire harness manufacturer to construct new 440,000-square-foot facility

LEXINGTON Ky. (June 1, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear joined company officials and other local leaders today to break ground on Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems’ new facility in Lexington.

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Inc., a leading supplier of wire harnesses, components and electronics to the automotive industry, is expected to create up to 10 new jobs and invest nearly $8.5 million into the project. The expansion also will allow the company to retain more than two dozen employees and provide work for many suppliers in the area.

“For 30 years, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems has been a tremendous corporate partner and source of good-paying jobs in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “I want to thank the company for its continued investment and for helping the Commonwealth become one of the nation’s key players in the global automotive industry.”

“Employers like Sumitomo help keep our local and regional economy strong,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “After outgrowing its current facilities, the company saw the benefit of staying and continuing to add jobs in Lexington, which speaks to the value of our workforce and high quality of life.”

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems will construct a 440,000-square-foot facility on Remington Way, off Citation Boulevard. The company’s two current operations in Lexington – one in the Bluegrass Business Park and the other on Baker Court – will be consolidated into the new facility. The center will nearly double the company’s Lexington footprint, which will allow for better service to its just-in-time customers and ample space for future growth.

The company plans to move its current Lexington operations and its 28 employees to the new 30-acre site by the end of the year. Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems considered moving the operation to another state, but ultimately decided Kentucky was the best fit for the company’s future.

“In addition to the area’s strong and talented workforce, the proximity to key automotive customers provides a strategic location so that we can continue to grow our operations,” said Masayoshi Fuse, president of Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Inc. North America. “Without the generous support from the state, our local government and community, today would not have been a reality. We’re excited to be growing towards our goal of being the leading wire harness supplier in North America.”

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems is a global supplier of innovative electrical distribution systems to top automobile manufacturers.  In addition to Lexington, the Japan-based company has its U.S. headquarters in Bowling Green, as well as other Kentucky facilities in Edmonton and Scottsville. Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems has operated in the Commonwealth since 1985.

“I am pleased with the new investment Sumitomo has made into a rapidly developing business area of Lexington,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, of Lexington. “As a result, 10 new jobs will provide some wonderful new employment opportunities for our citizens, but more importantly, existing employees will retain their jobs. I thank everyone who helped attract this investment to my district, and hope the Sumitomo project is a blueprint for similar local businesses considering expansion.”

“I’m pleased to join our partners at Sumitomo as they announce plans to add good-paying jobs and renew their longtime commitment to our community,” said Rep. Sannie Overly, of Lexington. “Investments like these made here today illustrate the strength of Kentucky’s workforce. I can tell you there is momentum like this in local economies across the commonwealth, which is always a great sign that we are moving Kentucky forward.”

“I’m certainly pleased that Sumitomo is increasing its presence here in Lexington, which I think is further proof that we’re doing the right things to attract and support businesses in our community,” said Rep. George Brown, of Lexington. “This announcement also speaks volumes about our workforce and the positive things they have to offer. I want to thank Sumitomo for moving in this direction, and I appreciate the hard work of Gov. Beshear and our state and local economic development leaders in helping to make this possible.”

“Sumitomo has created an outstanding economic impact on our city and region,” said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “The new investment and added jobs are greatly appreciated by our economic development team, and we have enjoyed working with the international company from the first day they located in Lexington. Congrats to Sumitomo on its expansion.”

Kentucky’s automotive industry continues to reach historic heights. The Commonwealth is home to more than 460 automotive-related facilities, employing more than 85,000 people. Over the last five years, 350 motor vehicle-related projects have been announced in Kentucky, representing more than 20,000 new jobs and more than $5 billion in new investment.

To encourage the investment and job growth in Fayette County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $225,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

For more information on Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, visit www.sewsus.com

A detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette County) can be viewed here.

General Motors to Invest $439 Million in Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant

GM to build a 450,000-square-foot paint operation

A major expansion is in the works at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant.

Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen joined General Motors’ leaders and community officials to announce that GM will invest $439 million for facility upgrades, including a new paint shop. The 450,000-square-foot facility will be almost half the size of the company’s entire operation in Warren County.

“For more than three decades, Kentucky and General Motors have shared a deep connection,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This expansion only makes the relationship stronger and will create a foundation for future growth. I want to thank GM for its continued investment in the Commonwealth, and I look forward to Kentucky being home to the Corvette for generations to come.”

“The Corvette is one of Kentucky’s most-cherished icons,” said. Lt. Gov. Luallen. “Such a significant expansion of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will help the company remain competitive in the region and around the world.”

The paint shop will receive substantial upgrades in technology, including new tooling, robots and state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements. Construction is planned to begin this summer and is expected to take approximately two years to complete. Vehicle production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.

“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”

This latest investment builds on approximately $135 million invested in the plant over the last four years for the new seventh-generation Corvette and Performance Build Center. Last month, GM announced it would invest $5.4 billion in its U.S. facilities over the next three years.

GM began production of the Corvette at the Bowling Green plant in 1981, and the facility has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for over 30 years. Known around the world as America’s sports car, the Corvette is the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car with more than 1.6 million assembled.

Since the launch of the all-new 2014 Stingray, the car has experienced one success after another. Corvette sales reached 38,000 last year, and the plant hit a record year for public tours in 2014, welcoming almost 56,000 visitors from around the world.

“The GM Corvette Plant is one of the unique gems and sources of pride of Bowling Green,” said Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green. “We celebrate the expansion of the plant and look forward to the increased production and job growth within the community.”

“I am very excited to see General Motors making a major investment in the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “General Motors and Bowling Green have been great for each other, and this expansion demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to keeping that partnership going well into the future.”

“The roots of the Corvette have run deep in Warren County and south central Kentucky for many years, thanks to the hard working men and women who make the top sports car in America, and one of the top sports cars in the world,” said Rep. Michael Meredith, of Brownsville. “Today’s announcement and investment by GM means the Corvette will continue to be manufactured in our region for many years to come.”

“The Corvette has become one of the most recognizable symbols of America,” said Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. “Bowling Green continues to play a huge role in making the Corvette an outstanding sports car. Our relationship with the Corvette Assembly Plant, the only plant in the world to manufacture the Corvette, is special, and I’m pleased with the confidence GM is showing by making this large investment in Warren County to guarantee more cars will roll off the assembly line for years to come.”

“Since opening their doors in Bowling Green over 30 years ago, GM has been an excellent corporate citizen to our community,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “We are delighted GM has chosen to expand here and are thankful for their support of Bowling Green. Today, I’m happy to congratulate GM on all of their successes and wish the company the best of luck in the future.”

“Yet again, GM has proven south central Kentucky is an ideal location for companies by finding great success and continuing to invest in our region,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “GM has set the standard of a successful business, and it’s such a privilege to see their continued growth.”

General Motors also is a founding member of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA). KAIA is an industry-led organization that is driven by the needs of Kentucky’s expansive automotive industry. The association was formed hand-in-hand with Kentucky’s OEMs and suppliers to address the challenges and opportunities of the industry. Learn more about KAIA at www.kyautoindustry.com.

For more information on the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, visit www.corvetteassembly.com.

Warren County has been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today’s competitive global economy.

A detailed community profile for Bowling Green (Warren County) can be viewed here.

Gov. Beshear Celebrates Kobe Aluminum’s 10th Anniversary in Kentucky

Japanese-owned automotive supplier invested $180M since locating in Bowling Green

One of Kentucky’s most prominent Japanese companies is celebrating a milestone.

Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company and local officials at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC (KAAP) to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary in Bowling Green. The company’s leadership from Japan also participated in the event.

“Today is a celebration of success,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kobe Aluminum has grown in size and significance since establishing in Bowling Green 10 years ago. The company continues to be a crucial part of Kentucky’s thriving automotive industry and a source of quality jobs. I’m honored to join with Kobe’s officials from around the world to celebrate this landmark occasion.”

Since establishing in Bowling Green in 2003, KAAP has invested more than $180 million in its Kentucky operations. The company, which has undergone five additional expansions over the past decade, currently employs almost 400 Kentuckians.

The need for lighter vehicles is expected to accelerate over the next decade as cars and light-duty trucks will be required to increase fuel efficiency to meet stronger Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFE) standards. With demand anticipated to continue growing for aluminum suspensions, KAAP is working to gain more orders for its aluminum forged parts.

Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC, a joint venture of Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. There are 13 Kobe Steel subsidiaries in the United States, but the Bowling Green location is the only U.S. facility to forge aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry.

The Kobe Steel Group, a global enterprise built around Kobe Steel Ltd., founded in 1905, is engaged in business in a wide range of fields, with its major businesses concentrated on materials and machinery. The material businesses are comprised of iron and steel, welding, and aluminum and copper products, while machinery includes industrial and construction machinery, as well as natural resources and engineering and environmental solutions. Other important businesses are wholesale power supply and real estate. Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation are among the biggest Japanese trading firms.

“We are so happy to celebrate this momentous occasion with KAAP and the Bowling Green community and we look forward to many more decades of fruitful partnership,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green.

“I am delighted to see Kobe Aluminum celebrating 10 years of doing business in Bowling Green,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “When KAAP first located here, I believed the company would have a considerable economic impact. I have been very pleased with their progress and proud to see the growth KAAP has had over the past decade. I appreciate KAAP’s continued investment in the people and economy of Bowling Green.”

“Bowling Green has become a key center for our country’s automotive manufacturing industry, which is a testament to the outstanding business climate we offer,” said Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. “It’s why Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC came to our region 10 years ago, and with further work to make Warren County more pro-business, we look forward to more companies calling our area home.”

“Over the last decade, Kobe has proven to be a valuable asset to the city of Bowling Green,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “The company’s multiple expansions here show their loyalty to our community. For this, I’d like to thank Kobe, and wish the company the best for many more decades to come.”

“It’s always a bright day in south central Kentucky when we can celebrate a company’s continued success in our region,” said Mike Buchanon, Warren County judge-executive. “Kobe has proven to be an exemplary corporate citizen for the past 10 years and I’m glad to wish them a happy anniversary.”

Kentucky continues to have a strong relationship with Asian companies. The Commonwealth is home to more than 430 internationally based companies, including 170 from Asia. Last year, nearly a third of all new investment and 20 percent of jobs announced in the state was a result of foreign direct investment. Gov. Beshear led a delegation to Japan, Singapore and Taiwan last month.

For more information on Kobe Aluminum, visit www.kobeal.com.

Warren County also has been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today’s competitive global economy.

A detailed community profile for Bowling Green (Warren County) can be viewed here.

Paris Machining to Expand Operations in Bourbon County

Paris Machining to Expand Operations in Bourbon County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 30, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced that Paris Machining LLC is planning an expansion in Paris.

Paris Machining, a precision machining company of automotive products, such as front axle steering arms for heavy trucks, is expected to create up to 30 jobs and invest $4.2 million into the project.

“Automotive manufacturing is such a crucial component for our economy, and we’re excited that Paris Machining has chosen to expand its facility here in central Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “The 30 new jobs and $4.2 million investment show the company’s commitment to its workforce and the community. I congratulate Paris Machining on its success.”

One of the companies Paris Machining serves is doubling its capacity, which will require Paris to purchase new equipment and hire more employees to meet the demand. The company also will add 16,000 square feet to its 26,000-square-foot facility on Wes Lee Drive. The project will begin later this spring and is expected to be completed next year.

“We are excited about our upcoming expansion and the opportunities it will provide to our company, its employees, and the community,” said Gary Linville, member-manager of Paris Machining. Established in Bourbon County in 2010, Paris Machining is a precision machining company of high volume products. The company’s primary customer is an axle manufacturer. Paris Machining ships products throughout the U.S., as well as Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia and India. The company has grown from two employees to its current 44 workers.

“I am very excited and encouraged to see a home-grown company expand its operations and create more jobs,” said Sen. Steve West, of Paris. “Paris Machining is a great example of the potential for success in our state.”

“I want to start by thanking Lonnie Conley, Gary Linville and the entire staff at Paris Machining for continuing to invest in our community,” said Paris Mayor Mike Thornton. “They have been a valuable asset to Paris and Bourbon County for many years. Their continued dedication in the automotive field has allowed them to offer well-paying jobs and benefits to their employees and has put them on solid footing for many years to come.”

“The Bourbon County Fiscal Court appreciates the positive impact that Paris Machining has always and continues to have on the community,” said Bourbon County Judge-Executive Michael Williams. “We are proud to have them as an important part of our economic vitality and an important participant in our plans and aspirations towards growth and increased job opportunities. The leadership staff at Paris Machining has always had the best interests of their employees at heart, making their reach significant throughout the community. We look forward to a bright and prosperous future for the company and its role as a business partner in Bourbon County.”

To encourage the new investment and job growth in Paris, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $460,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Paris Machining is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 4,100 Kentucky companies.

For more information on Paris Machining, visit www.parismachining.com.

A detailed community profile for Paris (Bourbon County) can be viewed here.

New Mather Metals to Expand in Franklin

Japanese auto supplier to increase initial investment, create up to 40 new jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 30, 2015) – When New Mather Metals first made plans to expand its Simpson County facility a year ago, the company expected to create 20 new jobs and invest $4.5 million into the project.

Turns out, the Kentucky automotive supplier needs to grow even more. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that New Mather has increased the scope of the project and now plans to hire a total of 40 employees and invest $20 million.

“That fact that New Mather Metals is more than tripling its initial investment and creating double the jobs shows the kind of success companies find in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “I want to thank New Mather for creating more opportunities for our workforce, our families and our communities.”

New Mather, which produces suspension components for the automotive industry, has undergone three major expansion projects in recent years and needs to add new production lines to meet the demand. The company plans to add nearly 58,000 square feet to its current facility on Page Drive. The project is expected to be completed by October.

“This expansion will allow New Mather to increase our product offerings in the automotive suspension market and provide additional employment opportunities locally in Franklin-Simpson,” said Jeff Johnson, plant manager. “New Mather Metals is fortunate to be in a position where, with the support of our parent company, as well as state and local officials, we can invest in new capacity and technologies to meet the growing demands of our customers and the automotive industry.”

New Mather Metals is a wholly owned subsidiary of NHK International Corporation, which is owned by Japan-based NHK Spring Company Limited. The Franklin facility opened in 2002 and currently has 360 employees. With additional facilities in Bowling Green and Louisville, NHK employs over 1,000 full-time workers in Kentucky.

“New Mather’s expansion signifies good news for Kentucky,” said Sen. David Givens, of Greensburg. “I congratulate them on their success and am excited that they continue to thrive and invest in our people.”

“I appreciate the confidence that New Mather has put in our workforce and want to thank the company for the additional high-quality jobs and investment they are bringing to the region,” said Rep. Wilson Stone, who represents Simpson County. “I also want to thank our local and state leaders for working with New Mather to help make this possible. This is certainly great news for us.”

“The expansion at New Mather Metals is welcomed news for the citizens of Franklin,” said Franklin Mayor Ronnie Clark. “I am proud of the continued growth this company has had over the years. They provide high paying, skilled jobs for our city, and we are pleased that New Mather Metals is expanding once again in Franklin.”

“We are very excited about Mew Mather Metal’s latest expansion” said Simpson County Judge-Executive Jim Henderson. “This marks the fourth time this great industry has expanded in Simpson County since it located here 14 years ago. We certainly appreciate their continued investment in our area.”

To encourage the new investment and job growth, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $325,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. That amount is expected to be increased at the time of final approval to reflect the increased job growth and investment.

In addition, New Mather is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 4,100 Kentucky companies.

A detailed community profile for Franklin (Simpson County) can be viewed here.

Hendrickson USA Opens Facility in Elizabethtown; Breaks Ground on New Expansion

Global commercial transport manufacturer plans to double its initial investment and create more jobs

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (April 27, 2015) – When Hendrickson USA LLC announced plans to build a highly advanced facility in Elizabethtown last year, the global manufacturer intended to create 75 jobs and invest $20 million in the project.

The plan has expanded beyond those projections. Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company officials and local leaders to not only cut the ribbon on the company’s new facility, but also to announce and break ground on an expansion project. The new phase means Hendrickson will hire an additional 21 employees and invest an additional $19 million in its Hardin County operation.

“This is certainly a cause for celebration,” said Gov. Beshear. “The fact that Hendrickson just arrived in Etown and is already expanding is a true testament to the company’s global success and to Kentucky’s highly skilled workforce. Hendrickson has been a tremendous corporate partner to the Commonwealth, and I’m excited to see the company’s continued growth.”

The Elizabethtown site will manufacture products to supply the company’s operations in nearby states. Hendrickson plans to add a second 50,000-square-foot building next to its existing 100,000-square-foot facility in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park. The new building will allow the company to add processing equipment.

As the facility is highly automated, Hendrickson chose Hardin County due to its available workforce, training programs and centralized location. Once the second building is fully operational, the company will employ 96 people in Elizabethtown.

“I am pleased to announce that, once again, Hendrickson is expanding operations in Kentucky,” said Perry Bahr, vice president of Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems for Hendrickson. “Our team members in Kentucky have demonstrated outstanding work ethics, dedication and loyalty. Their efforts continue to help expand the Hendrickson business while maintaining our reputation in the commercial transportation industry as a leading global manufacturer and supplier of durable, dependable and quality suspension systems. This project would not have been possible without the support of the Commonwealth, and we look forward to an ongoing partnership with local and state officials to help Hendrickson, as well as the community, continue to grow and prosper.”

Hendrickson is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of medium and heavy-duty suspension systems, axle systems, springs and stabilizers, and bumper and trim components. The company has two existing operations in Somerset and Lebanon, currently employing just under 700 Kentuckians.

“I am excited to be a part of this ceremony celebrating Hendrickson’s new facility – and excited that the company has announced its expansion,” said Sen. Dennis Parrett, of Elizabethtown. “This is wonderful news for our community, our region and the state. We will benefit from the good jobs and an even greater investment in our industrial base. I welcome and congratulate our corporate friend and look forward to building on this partnership.”

“It was just a year ago that we welcomed Hendrickson USA to our community, and we were so excited to be able to assist them in the establishment of their facility in Elizabethtown,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger. “Today, we return to acknowledge that they are in full production and ready to begin phase two of their operation. We are looking forward to this expansion and want the company to know that the city is available to support and assist them as they continue to grow in Elizabethtown.”

“We are very pleased to congratulate Hendrickson USA on the completion of phase one of their construction and welcome them into our community’s industrial base,” said Harry L. Berry, Hardin County judge-executive. “Local development and the job creation resulting from adding new industrial partners, such as Hendrickson, to our community are essential to keeping our economy strong. The addition of this Hendrickson facility and the growth of Hendrickson USA through the years to come will prove to be a great boost to our region’s manufacturing base.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Hardin County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1.95 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

For more information on Hendrickson USA LLC, visit www.hendrickson-intl.com.

A detailed community profile for Elizabethtown (Hardin County) can be viewed here

German Automotive Supplier iwis Opens Manufacturing Operations in Murray

MURRAY Ky. (March 6, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear today joined company and local officials to celebrate the opening of German automotive supplier iwis in Murray.

iwis (pronounced ee-vis and written in lowercase) will create 75 new, full-time jobs and invest more than $12.5 million in the Commonwealth.

“We are very excited to celebrate iwis and the opening of its first U.S. facility,” said Gov. Beshear. “The fact that world-class companies continue to choose Kentucky as the destination for their global operations speaks volumes for the pro-business climate and workforce quality we have to offer. There’s no doubt that iwis will do big things in Kentucky for years to come.”

The 119,000-square-foot facility, located off U.S. Highway 641 North in Murray, will manufacture timing drive systems for engines. iwis is currently working on projects with several motor vehicle manufacturers, and the start of production is planned for this summer.

The company first announced its move to Kentucky in 2012, several months after Gov. Beshear met with iwis officials in Germany. iwis began hiring employees earlier this year and will continue to do so through 2016.

“Murray was chosen as the new iwis location in the U.S. because we found there some very interesting and good advantages,” said Johannes Winklhofer, iwis managing partner. “Kentucky has a very professional infrastructure, qualified people for a high-tech production company and highly motivated local authorities. Gov. Beshear visiting iwis in Germany also played a big role in our decision.”

Formed in Germany in 1916, iwis, a family-owned company, first began with success in the production of bicycle chains. It eventually became the iwis Group, a global technology leader in high-quality automotive and industrial chains. The company now has more than 1,000 employees at 22 facilities worldwide.

The company is Kentucky’s most recent addition to an already dynamic and vibrant automotive industry, comprised of more than 460 motor-vehicle related establishments. Those facilities, which include four major auto assembly plants, employ 85,000 people across the state.

The location of iwis also adds to Kentucky’s success in attracting foreign direct investment. Kentucky is home to more than 430 internationally based companies, including 175 from Europe. Last year, nearly a third of all new investment and 20 percent of jobs announced in the state was a result of foreign direct investment.

“Our state has become a leader in automotive supplies manufacturing,” said Sen. Stan Humphries, of Cadiz. “To see yet another international company open a manufacturing center and create opportunities for skilled workers – this time in Murray – is great news. I welcome iwis to Kentucky and look forward to working with them as they get established here.”

“iwis has already become an important part of our community,” said Murray Mayor Jack Rose. “In addition to creating good employment opportunities, the company has taken steps to buy as many local goods and services as possible. We look forward to a long and productive partnership between iwis and the community. We are proud to have them here.”

“iwis has worked closely with our economic development corporation to ensure that its startup is a success,” said Calloway County Judge-Executive Larry Elkins. “As the company obtains contracts and grows, I feel certain that it will be a great employer in the community, and the community will help iwis be strong and profitable.”

To encourage the investment and job creation in Murray, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

For more information on iwis, visit www.iwis.com.

A detailed community profile for Murray (Calloway County) can be viewed here.

Kentucky Continues to Drive the Auto Industry

Kentucky’s thriving automotive industry enjoyed a banner year in 2014. The Commonwealth produced nearly 1.3 million vehicles and continued to have the highest motor vehicle output per capita in the United States and third in overall production.

Both OEMs and suppliers made significant investments in their Kentucky operations last year. In total, 71 automotive-related companies announced projects, which are expected create nearly 3,400 jobs and result in more than $750 million in new investment. More than a fifth of Kentucky’s new investment and nearly 20 percent of new jobs announced in 2014 came from motor vehicle-related projects.

More Kentucky-made cars and trucks are being enjoyed around the world. Last year, the state exported a record of nearly $6 billion in vehicles, parts, bodies and trailers, making automotive Kentucky’s second-largest export. These products were shipped to more than 100 countries.

Executive Director Update (3/26/2015):

Greetings from our KAIA Board of Directors and myself! I trust that this note finds you looking ahead to a great spring. 2015 has gotten off to a terrific start for many in Kentucky’s automotive industry, and we have some exciting opportunities in the months ahead.

KAIA continues to gain positive attention across the Commonwealth and around the world. During the recent session of the Kentucky General Assembly, we had the chance to review our organization’s mission and objectives before the state legislature. We followed those presentations with a legislative reception in Frankfort.

As I mentioned in our previous newsletter, we have engaged the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville to conduct an economic impact study of the Kentucky automotive industry. We expect that study to be completed in April.

We want to share the results of this study with you firsthand. Our team will host a series of regional workshops across the state this summer. The study’s authors will present their findings, answer questions and discuss the industry’s future.

We’re also excited to announce our first-annual Kentucky Automotive Summit in September 14-15. We expect a large turnout of interested participants, and several high-profile, national speakers have already expressed interest in presenting to the group. More information will be coming soon.

Although our organization is only a few months old, KAIA is already making an impact on Kentucky’s automotive industry. Please continue to encourage your automotive colleagues from other organizations to consider joining us for the cause.

All the best,

Dave

Japanese Automotive Supplier Itsuwa Locating Facility to Bardstown

Company specializes in coating, painting auto parts

BARDSTOWN Ky. (March 19, 2015) – Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen today joined company and local officials to announce that Japanese auto supplier Itsuwa plans to locate a facility in Nelson County.

The operation, which will be called Itsuwa Kentucky, will create 43 new, full-time jobs and invest $5.2 million in the Commonwealth.

“We are very excited to welcome Itsuwa to Kentucky,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The fact that international companies continue to locate to the Commonwealth shows that we’re a powerful contributor to the global economy. I want to thank Itsuwa for investing in the state and look forward to the company’s ongoing success.”

“Today is an outstanding celebration for Itsuwa Kentucky, Bardstown and the Commonwealth,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “We have a tremendous workforce in Kentucky and an ever-growing reputation for our skills in the automotive industry, which is such a driving force for the economy.”

Itsuwa recently purchased 16 acres in the Wilson Industrial Park, and plans to build a 32,000-square-foot coating and painting facility. It will be the company’s second location in the U.S. and first in the Commonwealth. The facility is expected to be operational early next year.

“Itsuwa looks forward to locating its facility in Bardstown, with its flourishing automotive base and business-friendly atmosphere,” said Akira Hayashi, Itsuwa’s general manager. “Itsuwa is also very pleased with the warm welcome it has received from Bardstown as well as from Kentucky. Thank you for welcoming Itsuwa to Kentucky.”

Itsuwa Kentucky is a subsidiary of Itsuwa Sesisakusyo Co. Ltd. Established in 1973, the company specializes in coating and painting automotive parts, including seats, chassis, pipes and interior plastic panels. The company also designs and builds its own equipment, including robot spray paint and electrocuting systems.

The company is Kentucky’s most recent addition to an already dynamic and vibrant automotive industry, comprised of more than 460 motor-vehicle related establishments. Those facilities, which include four major auto assembly plants, employ 85,000 people across the state.

The location of Itsuwa Kentucky also adds to the state’s success in attracting foreign direct investment. Kentucky is home to more than 430 internationally based companies, including 170 from Asia. Last year, nearly a third of all new investment and 20 percent of jobs announced in the state was a result of foreign direct investment.

“I am excited that Itsuwa has chosen to locate in Bardstown and bring these good opportunities to the area,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon, of Lebanon. “I also want to thank everyone who helped make this possible as we continue working together to make Nelson County a better place to live, work and raise children.”

“Bardstown continues to grow as a hub for the automotive industry, and Itsuwa Kentucky will be a welcomed addition to our manufacturing community,” said Bardstown Mayor John Royalty. “We are honored that this international company selected us, and we look forward to helping them grow and prosper in Bardstown.”

“We are very excited to have Itsuwa select our community for its new project,” said Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts. “The 43 new jobs will be a great addition to our industrial base.”

To encourage the investment and job creation in Bardstown, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $800,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved the company for tax incentives up to $50,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. The program allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

A detailed community profile for Bardstown (Nelson County) can be viewed here.