business

Bourbon
2:50 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Bardstown to Add Fifth Bourbon Distillery in 2016

Bourbon distilling contributes nearly $2 billion in gross state product each year in Kentucky.
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Kentucky’s bourbon capital is set to grow even stronger.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company announced Thursday plans to build a new distillery in the Nelson County town that will create 35 jobs and represent an investment of $25 million. The company says it will also build a visitor’s center and warehouses, in addition to the 45,000-square-foot distillery.

The company will produce bourbon as well as other spirits using local ingredients. Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer, with the facility opening in 2016.

It would mark the fifth distillery in Bardstown, joining Barton 1792, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, and Willett. Maker's Mark is also close by, in the town of Loretto.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company has hired Steve Nally to serve as its first master distiller. He has over 40 years of experience in the industry and is a member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame.

Environment/Business
2:47 am
Tue June 10, 2014

How Coal Industry Jobs Coexist With Rising Sea Levels In Virginia

Rough surf pounds a fishing pier as Tropical Storm Hanna passes through Virginia Beach, Va., in 2008. Virginia is dependent on coal mining but it also faces routine flooding from rising sea levels.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:49 am

Skip Stiles stands on the edge of a small inlet known as the Hague, near downtown Norfolk, Va. The Chrysler Museum of Art is nearby, as are dozens of stately homes, all threatened by the water.

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Business
2:50 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Beshear Leading Trade Mission to United Kingdom in Effort to Boost Already Strong Partnership

Governor Beshear is leading a Kentucky trade mission to the United Kingdom this Sunday.

The Kentucky Export Initiative trade mission will make stops in London and Manchester. Bilateral trade between the Bluegrass State and the U.K. was near $3 billion dollars in 2013, and the U.K. is the commonwealth’s third-largest trade destination, behind only Canada and Mexico.

Kentucky exports more horses to the U.K. than any other state, and ranks in the top five in exporting aerospace products, distilled spirts, printed materials, and charcoal to the country.

During the five day trip, Governor Beshear will be joined by representatives from 11 Kentucky companies, including Bluegrass Dairy of Glasgow; Oscarware Incorporated of Bonnieville; and Whitaker Tools of Campbellsville.

Kentucky exporters have been on a roll lately. Last year the commonwealth exported $25.3 billion in products, the third straight record year for exports.

Business
4:18 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Largest Capital Investment in a Decade Brings a Joint Aluminum Company to Bowling Green

Constellium N.V., a European aluminum company, and Japanese aluminum company UACJ Corporation say they'll establish an aluminum production facility at the Bowling Green Transpark. A $150 million capital investment is expected and 80 new jobs. It's the largest capital investment for the South Central Kentucky region in more than a decade.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said the investment further solidifies the state as a key player in the auto industry. The two companies will supply aluminum "Body-in-White" sheet to the North American auto industry. The Joint Venture will have an initial target capacity of 100,000 metric tons, about 220 million pounds, supplied by cold rolled coils supplied by both partners' rolling mills.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin this summer.

There have been ten economic development announcements in the past 18 months in Bowling Green, totaling more than $285 million in capital investment and over 450 new jobs. This is the largest total capital investment in the state of Kentucky so far this year.

Business
2:24 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Lake Cumberland Region Hoping for Big Tourist Season Following Recent Water Level News

Lake Cumberland's water level is back to full strength for the first time since 2007.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Now that Lake Cumberland’s water level is back to its full summer point for the first time in eight years, the head of the state dock there says the region is in for a great tourist season.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that the recent rain in southern Kentucky has pushed Lake Cumberland’s water level to 723 feet above sea level. The water level at the lake was dropped in 2007 while repair work was done on Wolf Creek Dam.

Lake Cumberland State Dock president Bill Jasper told WKU Public Radio it’s been a challenge fighting off negative public perceptions about the lake over the past eight years. He says this week’s news helps erase those problems.

“We’ve still got one of the biggest waterways east of the Mississippi in terms of volume of water, and people thought we were dry. So, we still get that question at boat shows. So this takes away all that uncertainty.”

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Business
11:02 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Nashville Company Expanding Taylor County Facility, Adding 70 Jobs

A Tennessee company is expanding its operations in Taylor County, adding 70 new full-time jobs. Frost- Arnett is an accounts receivable management company based in Nashville that announced Tuesday it is investing $620,000 to expand its call center in Campbellsville.

Company leaders say the expansion and new hiring comes as a result of Frost-Arnett’s increased business dealings with the health care industry.

Hiring for the new 70 full-time positions is underway. Frost-Arnett is also holding a job fair at the Kentucky Career Center in Campbellsville April 26-28.

Business
6:35 am
Thu April 17, 2014

To Increase Productivity, UPS Monitors Drivers' Every Move

Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:11 pm

The American workforce might want to pay attention to all those brown trucks full of cardboard boxes. UPS is using technology in ways that may soon be common throughout the economy.

On the surface, UPS trucks look the same as they did more than 20 years ago, when Bill Earle started driving for the company in rural Pennsylvania.

But underneath the surface, Earle says, the job has changed a lot. The thing you sign your name on when the UPS guy gives you a package used to be a piece of paper. Now it's a computer that tells Earle everything he needs to know.

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Business
11:11 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Mayor: City Finances Will Suffer Under Jamestown Plant Closure

The mayor of Jamestown says state officials have begun reaching out to the 600 Fruit of the Loom workers whose jobs will be lost later this year. 

The apparel company announced last week that it would move operations overseas and layoffs would occur in phases starting in June. 

Mayor Terry Lawless hopes another manufacturer will come to Jamestown.

"It would thrill me to death that when they leave that the doors open for someone else to be in there and revenue starts picking right up, but we have to be realistic too," acknowledged Lawless.  "That probably won't happen right away, but we've got our hopes it will eventually."

The city of Jamestown receives $200,000 a year in occupational taxes from plant employees.

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Business & Labor
10:17 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Bowling Green Corvette Plant Workers Authorize Strike Over Safety Issues

Workers at the GM Corvette Assembly plant in Bowling Green could go on strike following a Tuesday vote.
Credit GM

Workers at the General Motors plant in Kentucky that assembles Corvettes have voted to authorize a strike over lingering safety concerns. But a local union leader says he hopes the dispute can be resolved without a walkout.

Union members voted to give union leaders the green light to call a strike if necessary. About 800 union workers were eligible to cast ballots.

Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164, says the issues involved include safety and quality control.

He says there have been several "near misses" that could have led to serious injuries for assembly line workers at the Bowling Green plant.

Renaud says he hopes the strike-authorization vote leads to stepped up negotiations.

The plant says worker safety and quality of its products are at the forefront of every decision. It says it's confident management and the union can work together.

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Business
5:13 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Beshear: Kentucky Can Become Next Automotive Powerhouse

Kentucky is home to several car manufacturing facilities, including the Toyota plant in Georgetown.
Credit Toyota

Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday he wants Kentucky to be as synonymous with the auto industry as Detroit.

The Democratic governor announced the formation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association to promote Kentucky as an automotive hub.

Beshear emphasized the association is not a state agency, but it will get some state money for marketing purposes. Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes will be the group's chairman.

Board members include representatives from Toyota, Ford, General Motors and various automotive supply companies.

Beshear said Kentucky ranks third in the country in light vehicle production. Kentucky's automotive exports reached a record $5.5 billion last year.

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