Champion Petfoods USA Inc. plans to open its first U. S. kitchen in Logan County, creating 147 new jobs and an $85 million investment. The company specializes in in "Biologically Appropriate" pet foods using fresh local ingredients. It's headquartered in Alberta, Canada.
Champion's ORIJEN and ACANA dog and cat food brands feature unique, fresh regional ingredients. They're sold in more than 70 countries. The company does not outsource food production and makes all of its products in its own kitchens. The $85 million investment will go toward building a kitchen in Auburn with construction set to begin this summer.
Company executives say Logan County's agricultural heritage and proximity to ranches and farms makes its location a good fit. In a release, Governor Beshear said, "not only will Champion Petfoods bring vital agricultural jobs to the region, but it will also create a new customer base for nearby farmers and ranchers."
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $8.7 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. KEDFA also approved Champion for tax benefits of up to $1.3 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.