FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday announced four economic development projects that collectively will create more than 500 new jobs in Kentucky with an investment of $ 273 million.
Firestone Industrial Products Co. LLC will create 250 full-time jobs in Williamsburg with a $ 50 million expansion of the company’s automotive air spring manufacturing plant.
The 68,000 square foot expansion of the 375,000 square foot facility is driven by growing customer demand and new business, including an increased focus on electric vehicle parts. Work on the expansion project is expected to be completed by December 2022.
Firestone opened in Whitley County in 1989, currently employs over 500 people and produces approximately 4 million pieces per year.
Canadian company Kruger Packaging is expected to invest $ 114.2 million to establish a state-of-the-art packaging manufacturing plant in Hardin County, creating at least 150 jobs in the years to come.
The new 400,000 square foot facility to be located at TJ Patterson Industrial Park in Elizabethtown will operate under the name Kruger Packaging (USA) LLC and is the company’s first corrugated box plant in the United States.
Kruger operates 19 facilities in 10 industries in Canada and the United States, including locations in Maine, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia.
Wieland North America Inc. plans to create 75 jobs with a $ 100 million copper and copper alloys recycling facility in Shelby County that could see future growth.
The announcement comes less than four months after Wieland went public with plans to move its new North American headquarters to Louisville with an investment of $ 8.8 million, creating 75 full-time jobs.
Wieland will build its new operation on a 79-acre site, where it will smelt copper and copper alloys for recycling for use in the manufacture of copper and copper alloy semi-finished products for customers across America. North. Work is expected to start in October and be completed by the end of 2022.
The fourth announcement, though smaller in terms of new jobs created, is for one of Kentucky’s signature industries, as start-up bourbon producer Jackson Purchase Distillery LLC will modernize a long-idle facility and create 30 well-paying jobs, in as part of the company’s plans for a new $ 8.76 million distillation operation in Fulton County.
In March, the Jackson Purchase Distillery management group acquired an unused distillation facility established several years ago by a lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee. To bolster the nearly complete distillery, the company immediately began an expansion which involved the purchase of additional land, the construction of storage barrels, and various improvements throughout the facility. They plan to complete this expansion phase by April 2022.
All four companies have received preliminary approval for tax incentives if they meet the promised number of jobs to be created and the rate of pay, which ranges from $ 29 to $ 36 per hour, depending on the company.