Business

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
8:39 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Union Leader Optimistic GM Strike Can be Avoided at Bowling Green Plant

Workers at GM's Corvette Assembly Plant voted on April 8 to authorize a strike if negotiations break down.

The head of the United Auto Workers Union in Bowling Green says progress is being made nearly two weeks after Corvette Assembly Plant workers voted to authorize a strike. 

Local 21-64 President Eldon Renaud says some of the safety problems at the factory are in the process of being fixed.

"We think the previous manager had ignored some of those issues.  We felt it was important to bring in a new set of eyes and he seems very interested in problem solving," commented Renaud.  "I think the company is going to comply with our request to fix those items.  Some of it just takes time and engineering to develop fixes."

The assembly plant had received two OSHA violations under former manager Dave Tatman, who resigned abruptly in February.  Jeff LeMarche was brought in March 1 as plant manager.

Talks are still underway on some manpower and quality issues, and Renaud adds that the union won’t be satisfied until a new personnel director is in place. 

The local union’s current contract with GM expires in 2015, but Renaud says there were too many pressing issues to wait until then. 

Business
3:05 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Local Music Stores Set To Celebrate 'Record Store Day' Saturday

A sampling of the vinyl records that will be available exclusively in stores taking part in Record Store Day Saturday
Credit Emil Moffatt

Saturday will be a holiday of sorts for music aficionados and fans of vinyl records, in particular.  It’s the eighth annual Record Store Day, a nationwide event celebrating local brick-and-mortar record stores. 

Matt Pfefferkorn, who owns Mellow Matt’s Music & More in Bowling Green, says the vinyl industry continues to make a strong comeback.

“It’s never really gone away. It’s had its low points, but it’s been on a steady increase since 2007 or 2008. But I think people are finally coming off that MP3 ‘buzz’ that they had and finding out that actually vinyl does truly sound better and it’s a warmer sound.  The people that enjoy music – that’s what they want,” said Pfefferkorn.

According to numbers compiled by Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl record sales last year rose 32 percent, while CD sales continued to fall.   Pfefferkorn says people who frequent record stores enjoy a sense of community they bring.

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Business
5:37 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Governor Makes Tax Credit For Bourbon Makers Official

Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Kentucky's bourbon industry is about to gain an income tax credit.  Beginning next year, distilleries can get the credit for state and local property taxes paid on aging barrels of bourbon.  Gov. Steve Beshear signed the bill into law Tuesday afternoon. 

Under the new law, distilleries are required to invest the tax credit in capital improvements, including construction, renovation, tourism-related facilities and equipment.  Last year, the barrel tax generated about $14 million in state and local property taxes.

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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Business
5:35 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Bowling Green UAW to Hold Strike Vote

Credit GM

The local chapter of the United Auto Workers Union will vote Tuesday on whether to authorize a strike at the General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly Plant.

Local 2164 President Eldon Renaud tells WKU Public Radio that several issues arose under the leadership of former plant manager Dave Tatman, who Renaud says, was forced out.

"We've been waiting a long time to try to get these quality and safety issues addressed.  We have manpower issues, and things have just come to a head," says Renaud.  "Our membership voted recently by 100% of the vote to have this (strike) vote taken."

About 800 union workers will cast ballots.  Renaud says he expects workers to approve a strike, but he hopes it doesn’t come to that. 

Plant Spokeswoman Andrea Hales issued the following statement. 

"We pride ourselves in working with our UAW Local 2164 partners to achieve success and build award-winning vehicles. We’re confident that we can work together and have a strong track record of creative problem solving. We’ve built a world-class product at the Bowling Green facility for more than 30 years, with the safety of our employees and quality of the car at the forefront of every decision. We are committed to continue that tradition."

Business
1:05 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

New Todd County Plant to Bring 75 Jobs

A western Kentucky location will become home to a new Custom Cooler Inc. factory that will create 75 jobs with a $5.8 million investment.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the company is establishing its second manufacturing facility in Todd County.

Kentucky was chosen over three other states. The company has received preliminary state approval for as much as $1.5 million in tax incentives.

Custom Cooler manufactures custom walk-in coolers, freezers and freezer doors. It was established in California in 2006.

Business
4:06 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Hendrickson USA Brings Huge Investment and Jobs To Hardin County

The manufacturer of suspension systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles will create 75 jobs as a result of their $20 million investment. The company held a ceremonial groundbreaking for their plant Wednesday in Elizabethtown.

The site will manufacture products to supply the company's existing operations in nearby states at their new location in the T. J. Patterson Industrial Park. Construction of the 100,000 sq ft building is expected to be completed later this year. The company has two existing operations in Somerset and Lebanon employing 450 Kentuckians.

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Business/Politics
4:33 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Not So Fast: Local Option Sales Tax Bill Hits Delay in Kentucky House

House Majority Whip Tommy Thompson (left) and Rep. Brad Montell in the Kentucky House chamber
Credit Kentucky LRC

A bill to amend the Kentucky constitution to allow voters to choose projects funded by a 1 percent sales tax has been delayed in the House.

The measure, championed by the mayors of Louisville and Lexington, does not have enough votes to pass in that chamber right now, according to Democratic Majority Whip Tommy Thompson.

“We have a few people that have some good questions about that don’t quite understand it, so we want to clear that up," the Daviess County Democrat said. "And then there’s a few more people that we wanted to talk to to kinda see where they were, but I think we’re very close.”

Thompson says the measure is shy by a number of votes “in the single digits,” and he expects it to come for a floor vote Monday.

The measure gained renewed momentum this week after House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he changed his mind after talking with Gov. Steve Beshear, who urged him to support it.

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