All posts by jfielding

Kentucky Chrome Works to Expand in Horse Cave, Create 63 Jobs

New warehouse will help supply chrome to General Motors

HORSE CAVE, Ky. (March 19, 2015) – A southcentral Kentucky auto supplier is expanding. Gov. Steve Beshear joined company officials and local leaders today to announce that Kentucky Chrome Works LLC (KCW) plans to grow its operations in Hart County.

KCW, which provides chrome services for the automotive aluminum alloy wheel industry, is expected to create 63 new jobs over 10 years and invest $707,000 into the project.

“In 2010, we were celebrating Kentucky Chrome Work’s arrival to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Five years later – to the month – I’m pleased to be in Horse Cave again to celebrate the company’s announcement of a significant expansion. I want to congratulate KCW on its success and thank its management and employees for being a vital part of Kentucky’s thriving automotive industry.”

KCW and its partners were recently designated as the sole suppliers of bright chrome wheels to the Corvette Assembly Plant through model year 2020. To meet this new demand, the company plans to build a 20,000-square-foot warehouse next to its current facility on Bluegrass Avenue. The added space will support KCW’s polishing and chrome plating operations.

“KCW is most grateful to Gov. Beshear, the Cabinet for Economic Development, the Hart County Industrial Authority and city and county officials for their continuous support of KCW and our mission to provide meaningful opportunities to the citizens of southcentral Kentucky,” said company president and owner Ray Carcione. “Over the course of the past year, KCW has invested over $300,000 in new capital equipment to support the expansion of our operations. KCW also has worked hard to help identify the educational needs of the regional business community and effect meaningful change in providing those resources on a local level.”

KCW began operations in Horse Cave in 2010. The company currently employs 59 full-time workers and 25 full-time equivalents, who will have the opportunity to become full time workers.

“I am pleased that Horse Cave has proven to be a great fit for Kentucky Chrome Works,” said Sen. Carroll Gibson, of Leitchfield. “I appreciate the people affiliated with Kentucky Chrome and our local officials for making this expansion possible.”

“We are proud to have Kentucky Chrome Works in Horse Cave and Hart County,” said Horse Cave Mayor Randall Curry. “They are a very good corporate citizen that works and blends in well with our community. The additional expansion and job creation is a valuable addition to our community.”

“On behalf of the citizens in Hart County, we are excited about Kentucky Chrome Works’ expansion,” said Hart County Judge-Executive Terry Martin. “We would like to thank Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for their help in this project.”

To encourage investment and job growth in Hart County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $425,000 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 Kentucky Chrome Works, visit

A detailed community profile for Horse Cave (Hart County) can be viewed here.

German Automotive Supplier iwis Opens Manufacturing Operations in Murray

Facility is company’s first location in the U.S.

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

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

Gov. Beshear Announces NASCO Expansion in Bowling Green

Automotive supplier to add state-of-the-art production line

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that NHK of America Suspension Components Inc. (NASCO) is planning a $15 million expansion in Bowling Green.

NASCO will invest $15.2 million to construct a new building next to its existing facility on Nashville Road. The project will be completed in the next two years.

“NASCO demonstrates why Kentucky’s reputation continues to grow as an ideal location for automotive manufacturers and suppliers,” Gov. Beshear said. “We’re thrilled to partner with the company and are excited about this significant expansion in Bowling Green.”

NASCO’s facility will house a compact line for the manufacturing of automotive suspension coil springs. The company also plans to add other equipment for the processing of steel wire used in suspension coils. The new building, which will contain state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, will allow NASCO to increase its production by 20 percent.

“NASCO continues to add capacity to meet the increased demand of our customers,” said Tom Nunn, NASCO’s plant manager. “This new line has a smaller footprint than our other five lines and provides us greater capability to meet our customers’ needs for new types of springs.”

A subsidiary of the NHK International Corporation, NASCO established in Bowling Green in 1986 and employs 280 people. NHK International, a company based in Japan, also has Kentucky operations in Bowling Green (Topura America Fastener), Louisville (NHK Spring Precision of America) and Franklin (New Mather Materials), employing a combined 1,000 workers.

The Commonwealth is a key player in the international automotive industry. Kentucky’s 465 motor vehicle-related establishments employ nearly 85,000 people.

Over the last five years, nearly 350 motor vehicle-related projects have been announced in the state, representing nearly 20,000 new jobs and more than $4.5 billion in new investment.

Additionally, there are more than 160 Japanese facilities are in Kentucky, employing more than 40,000 people. Japanese companies continue to make significant investments in Kentucky. In the past two years, 52 Japanese companies have announced plans to invest more than $1.3 billion statewide.

“Kentucky continues to lead in automotive manufacturing, and the news of a $15 million expansion is exciting for Bowling Green,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green. “It is thrilling to see NASCO expand here and continue to be a great asset in the region.”

“This is another great example of the good things going on in Bowling Green and Warren County, so I want to thank NASCO for moving forward with this expansion and our state and local leaders and for their work in making this possible,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “This will help add to our reputation in the auto industry and is a further testament to the second-to-none workforce we have.”

“It’s not the number of companies in a community that make a location for success, it is the quality of businesses that thrive there,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “NASCO exemplifies a company that has garnered not only the community’s respect, but the respect of leaders in the industry around the world. I couldn’t be prouder to say that NASCO is part of the Bowling Green community. I look forward to their leadership as we continue to grow our presence in the automotive industry.”

“NASCO’s expansion announcement is another reminder of the value our industries find in locating facilities in Warren County and south central Kentucky,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “This company has set the standard for what a successful business looks like. I look forward to their continued success.”

To encourage the investment in Warren County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $100,000 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.

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

Douglas Autotech Corp. to Expand in Hopkinsville

Company plans to increase its Kentucky workforce by a third; modernize facility

FRANKFORT Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) – More jobs are coming to southwestern Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced Douglas Autotech Corp. plans to expand its operations in Christian County.

Douglas Autotech, a manufacturer of automotive controls, steering columns and shifters, is expected to create up to 115 jobs – a more than 30 percent increase of its workforce – and invest $14.1 million into the project.

“This is an outstanding day for Hopkinsville and the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “I’m thrilled Kentucky could partner with Douglas Autotech to make this possible and bring 115 new jobs to the area. The automotive industry is a key component of our economy, and Douglas Autotech adds to the strength and success of the industry in the state.”

Douglas Autotech has seen tremendous growth in the past several years and, as a result, needs to expand its workforce to meet the demand. The company also will invest in new equipment to improve safety and quality performance at the 116,000-square-foot plant on Commerce Court.

“Douglas Autotech accepts the opportunity to continue to partner with our customers, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Hopkinsville on workforce development and continued growth,” said Douglas Autotech Plant Manager Todd Thomas. “We are pleased with the talented workforce in Hopkinsville and the support provided by the surrounding community. We also commend Kentucky for developing and executing incentives designed to bring industrial growth to the Commonwealth. This growth secures many more years of stable work opportunity for Douglas Autotech and its employees.”

Douglas Autotech, a subsidiary of Japan-based Fuji Kiko Co. LTD, has two North American plants – one in Hopkinsville and a second in Michigan. The Hopkinsville plant opened in 1995 and currently employs more than 230 people. The new jobs will be added over the next three years.

The Commonwealth continues to be a key player in the international automotive industry. Kentucky’s 465 motor vehicle-related establishments employ nearly 85,000 people. Over the last five years, nearly 350 motor vehicle-related projects have been announced in the state, representing 20,000 new jobs and more than $4.5 billion in new investment.

“We are excited to celebrate this good news and expansion with Douglas Autotech,” said Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks. “It’s further testament to our community’s outstanding quality of life, industry support and exceptional workforce and our state’s commitment to supporting business and industry. On behalf of the residents of Hopkinsville, we thank Douglas Autotech for its continued investment and job creation and look forward to the company’s continued success in the years ahead.”

“It is exciting once again to see Douglas Autotech make a significant investment in Christian County,” said Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble. “We are very proud that Douglas Autotech continues to grow its operation, invest in our regional economy and provide quality jobs to our citizens.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Christian County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3 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.

A detailed community profile for Hopkinsville (Christian County) can be viewed here.

Building Kentucky’s Future Workforce

KY FAME to expand its apprentice-style training program statewide

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2015) – Imagine how great it would be if somehow you could discover a high-paying, interesting career while earning a degree – with no college debt when it’s all over.

Imagine no more. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) is expanding into a statewide organization.

KY FAME is a partnership of manufacturers that have teamed up to address the shortage of technically skilled workers needed in advanced manufacturing. KY FAME offers an innovative, apprentice-style education and training program designed to create one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world.

Program participants attend classes two days per week at their local community college and work an additional 24 hours per week for a sponsoring employer. Upon completion of the program, students receive an associate degree in Applied Sciences, and, with the practical skills gained during their paid work experience, most begin full-time employment with the sponsor. Others may decide to further their technical education to obtain an engineering degree.

“KY FAME provides tremendous benefits to both students and companies,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is a great opportunity for our state’s youth to gain the hands-on experience needed to achieve quality careers and gives companies a stronger workforce to choose from – both of which are very important components in growing our state’s economy. I’m excited to see KY FAME expand, and I look forward to the federation creating a statewide workforce that’s second to none.”

Now, in addition to the Bluegrass (central Kentucky) chapter, KY FAME is creating three new chapters in Greater Louisville, northern Kentucky and Elizabethtown/Lincoln Trail regions. The federation’s goal is to expand to all corners of the Commonwealth.

To facilitate the statewide expansion of the program, Gov. Beshear is announcing the creation of the KY FAME statewide board of directors. The board will work with communities and other companies to develop KY FAME chapters and programming throughout Kentucky. Board members include:

  • Kim Menke, Toyota (Georgetown)
  • Terry McMichael, 3M (Cynthiana)
  • Tom Hudson, nth/works(Louisville)
  • Mike Hirsch, ZF Steering (Florence)
  • Kurt Krug, INOAC (Springfield/Bardstown)
  • Peter Feil, Stober Drives (Maysville)
  • TBD, Kellogg (Pikeville)
  • Donnie Slagle, Toyotetsu (Somerset)
  • Gregory Head, Kobe Aluminum (Bowling Green)
  • Mary Beth Hudson, Wacker Chemical (Calvert City)
  • Farrah Corbett, Premium Allied Tool (Owensboro)
  • Erik Dunnigan, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
  • Greg Higdon, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
  • Dianne Leveridge, Kentucky Community & Technical College System

“It’s very exciting to see KY FAME grow in Kentucky,” said Kim Menke, manager of government affairs for Toyota. “Toyota helped launch KY FAME four years ago, and the program has produced tremendous results. I’m thrilled that more parts of the state will have the opportunity to support local companies and grow our manufacturing workforce across the Commonwealth.”

“KY FAME will have a significant impact on northern Kentucky,” said Mike Hirsch, vice president of operations at ZF Steering in Florence and president of the KY FAME Northern Kentucky Chapter. “I’m confident the program will provide real solutions to the workforce challenges facing our local manufacturers and provide a strong career path for our students.”

KY FAME isn’t just for the state’s largest employers. Danette Wilder, president and CEO of Lexington-based SealingLife Technology, has been using KY FAME for her small, minority-owned business for the past four years.

“KY FAME is a win for small businesses,” said Wilder. “Many small businesses have limited budgets, and KY FAME gives me a hands-on labor force at a competitive cost. The program has really helped my company thrive in central Kentucky.”

Tom Hudson, president of nth/works in Louisville, and president of the Greater Louisville chapter said, “Kentucky cannot fully participate in the manufacturing renaissance unless and until we solve the manufacturing skills gap. By aligning together and clearly defining our needs we can solve this problem by working with secondary and post-secondary schools and government to create a system that attracts, develops and retains skilled manufacturing talent.”

“Workforce development is one of the top issues facing Kentucky manufacturers,” said Greg Higdon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM). “The KY FAME model presents an opportunity with unlimited potential for manufacturers to control their workforce needs. KAM is proud to be a part of the development and expansion of KY FAME.”

Created in 2010, the Bluegrass chapter of KY FAME has 16 companies, including Toyota, Link Belt, Commonwealth Tool and 3M. More than 40 students have completed the program and more than 60 students are currently enrolled.

“This program gives us the experience to go anywhere and work wherever we want to,” said Dalton Ballard, a KY FAME student working at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in Georgetown. “I’ll have the choice of getting a high-paying job or continuing my education. That is what’s so great about KY FAME.”

To learn more about KY FAME, visit

Executive Director Update

On behalf of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) board of directors and myself, we would like to wish our members all the best in this new year. May 2015 bring prosperity and new business opportunities for each of us in Kentucky’s automotive industry.

Although our organization is only a few months old, we are hitting the ground running. We are very excited to announce a partnership with the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute to conduct an extensive study on Kentucky’s automotive industry and its impact on the state, the nation and the world. Our study, which will be completed in the coming months, will help all our members gain a deep, in-depth understanding of the industry and its importance to the economy. We look forward to sharing that information with our members.

We also have lots of exciting events planned for 2015, including our first-ever KAIA Legislative Day in Frankfort during the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The event will include an informal, social opportunity for our members to meet with key legislators and other government officials, as we continue to raise awareness of the importance of our industry. More information on this event can be found on our events page and other learning opportunities will be forthcoming.

As we move into 2015, we are delighted with the energy and enthusiasm of our current members and with the great deal of interest expressed by others considering membership. Please continue to encourage your automotive colleagues from other organizations to join our cause to make Kentucky’s auto industry the best it can be.

In the meantime, best wishes for a great start to 2015!

All the best,

Federal-Mogul Motorparts Facility in Maysville to Remain Open

Operation had been scheduled to close next year; up to 100 jobs saved

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) – The Federal-Mogul Motorparts distribution center in Maysville was on the brink of closure, but thanks to a creative approach and determination, Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the facility will remain open and retain up to 100 jobs.

The facility had been scheduled to close by June 30, 2015, as part of a realignment of the company’s North American distribution network. Upon hearing of the closure, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development reached out to Federal-Mogul Motorparts to offer support and discuss options to keep the company in Maysville. The discussions played a role in the company deciding to remain in the Commonwealth. Federal-Mogul Motorparts now plans to turn the Kentucky operation into its dedicated North American product logistics center.

“This is very exciting news for northeastern Kentucky and the entire Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky is dedicated to not only attracting new businesses, but also supporting our existing industries. Today’s announcement is a prime example of how we work with companies to solve problems and create new opportunities for growth and success. I want to thank Federal-Mogul Motorparts for its renewed commitment to our state and 100 Kentucky families.”

Federal-Mogul Motorparts currently receives, inspects and distributes unsold products and other items from its wholesale customers at multiple facilities across the U.S. The company, which manufactures and distributes more than 97,000 product stock keeping units (SKUs) for automotive, commercial vehicle, industrial and other North American markets, will consolidate this function in Maysville after existing product distribution operations are realigned.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring this good news to our Maysville team and the citizens of Mason County,” said Kenneth Burns, Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ senior vice president of global supply chain and quality. “Maysville has played an important part in our success over the past 21 years, and we believe in its new role it can help us enhance the efficiency of a very complex business process.”

“I am pleased that Federal-Mogul will not only remain open, but in its new role will offer additional economic development opportunities,” said Sen. Walter Blevins Jr., of Morehead. “The company has been a good corporate friend in Maysville, and I wish it prosperity in the years to come.”

“I’m very excited to see Federal-Mogul stay here in Maysville,” said Rep. Mike Denham, of Maysville. “I want to thank Gene Weaver with the Maysville-Mason County Industrial Development authority, and Secretary Larry Hayes and Deputy Commissioner John Bevington at the Cabinet for Economic Development. Their hard work and the perseverance of Kentucky’s state, local and county officials not only saved 100 jobs, but also created a great opportunity in northeastern Kentucky. I also want to thank Ken Burns, Danita Applegate and all of Federal-Mogul’s local employees. Without their dedication and strong work ethic, none of this would have been possible.”

“It’s like getting a new industry, and industry as the life blood of Maysville,” said Maysville Mayor David Cartmell. “Federal-Mogul has been a longtime partner in Maysville’s success. I want to thank Gov. Beshear, Federal-Mogul Manager Danita Applegate and Gene Weaver for their tireless efforts in saving these jobs for our region.”

“This is great news for Maysville and Mason County,” said Mason County Judge-Executive James “Buddy” Gallenstein. “Federal-Mogul has been a valued corporate partner with this community. I know that Gov. Beshear and Federal-Mogul Manager Danita Applegate have worked extremely hard to save these jobs. I also would like to thank Gene Weaver and the Maysville-Mason County Industrial Development Board and all our elected officials, especially Rep. Denham, for their tireless efforts to save and bring jobs to our community.”

Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML), the parent company of Federal-Mogul Motorparts, is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world’s manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company’s products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety.

Founded in Detroit in 1899, Federal-Mogul Motorparts employs more than 45,000 people. For more information, visit

A detailed community profile for Maysville (Mason County) can be viewed here.