Gov. Beshear Announces Kowa Kentucky Inc. to Establish Operations in Corbin

Kowa’s first operation in North America

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2014) – Further proving Kentucky is a great place for foreign investment, Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company officials and local leaders to announce Kowa Kentucky Inc. plans to open a facility in Knox County.

For Kowa, which specializes in metalworking and treatment, the southeastern Kentucky location will be the company’s first operation in North America. Kowa plans to create 30 jobs and invest $8.3 million into the project.
“Kentucky welcomes Kowa as its newest corporate citizen, one that will significantly enrich the southeastern Kentucky region, as well as the entire Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The fact that Kowa has chosen Kentucky as the destination for its global operations speaks volumes about the pro-business climate and quality workforce we offer. I congratulate the company on this global expansion, and I look forward to building upon our partnership for years to come.”

Kowa plans to move into the Corbin Regional Speculative building in the Southeast Kentucky Business Park this fall. The new facility will focus on surface treatment for automotive suppliers, specifically a highly advanced process known as electroless nickel plating.

Kowa is a leading provider of hot dip galvanized coating, various surface treatments of metal and metalworking. Its parent company, Kowa Kogyosho Company Ltd., is based in Nagoya, Japan.

“We are excited about opening our first North American facility in Corbin and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Toshio Muguruma, president of Kowa Kogyosho Co. Ltd.

“With our state-of-the art plating technologies, we hope to be able to expand our customer base in North America in coming years,” said Saetsu Sato, president of Kowa Kentucky, Inc.

Kentucky has been extremely successful in the attraction of foreign direct investment. The Commonwealth is home to nearly 450 foreign-owned companies. More than 160 of those businesses are Japanese-owned, and they employ 43,000 people statewide.

“This is great news for Corbin,” said Sen. Robert Stivers, of Manchester. “I applaud Bruce Carpenter, director of Corbin’s Economic Development Agency, for the hard work he has done, and all those who helped him at the state and local level bringing Kowa here. Kowa offers what all of Kentucky needs – skilled, well-paying positions providing good opportunities for the region.”

“Kentucky continues to set the bar for its growing automotive and automotive components manufacturing industry, including growing the number of research companies locating to the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Jim Stewart, of Flat Lick. “I’m pleased Kowa chose Knox County for its first facility in North America, and I’m happy to know that our people will be involved in discovering new ways to help automakers build a better vehicle.”

“Kowa Kentucky Inc. is definitely an economic boost for Corbin and the surrounding area,” said Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney. “We are truly excited and appreciative for Kowa locating and establishing its company here. We look forward to a long and great working relationship.”

“On behalf of the Corbin and Knox County, I would like to thank Kowa Kentucky Inc. for bringing its business here,” said Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall. “We look forward to working with Kowa and helping to support its future in the Southeast Kentucky Regional Business Park with our capable workforce. This partnership will be a great opportunity for our county and the surrounding counties.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Corbin, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $600,000 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 benefits up to $50,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which 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 Knox County can be viewed here.

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