A program designed to benefit Kentucky's manufacturing sector is expanding statewide. Governor Beshear made the announcement Wednesday at the Georgetown Toyota plant, where the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education initiative is already underway.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Jay Box says under the program, sponsoring manufacturers pay for two years of student instruction. "It requires a dedicated student because they are very structured in their education and in their work during this program," said Box. "But, it also gets them through in two years and that's quite an advantage."
Program participants attend classes two days a week at area community and technical colleges, and work 24 hours per week for supporting employers. Upon completion of the program, students receive an associate degree in applied sciences and, in many cases, stay on to work full-time.
Greg Higdon with the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers says expanding the initiative may result in more firms locating in the Commonwealth.
An aluminum manufacturer says it will invest $350 million to expand its facilities in Hancock County.
According to the Governor’s Office, the announcement Wednesday by Aleris Corporation is the largestsingle project investment in Kentucky in over a year. The expansion in Lewisport will include the additionof new technology that will help create parts for the automotive industry as it shifts to broader aluminum use to make lighter vehicles.
The 1.6 million-square-foot facility in Hancock County employs approximately 800 people.
Construction is set to begin this fall, and Aleris hopes to begin shipping automotive body sheet to customers by early 2017.
An automotive parts manufacturer is expanding its operations in Henderson County.
Budge Industries creates protective covers for vehicles, and announced Friday that it will expand its 75,000 square-foot facilities and create up to 37 new jobs. The $650,000 investment by the company will allow it to add new production lines at its Henderson County operation, as well as new ultrasonic welding equipment.
The expansion was approved for $200,000 worth of tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program.
A newly formed automotive organization in Kentucky wants to help the industry speak with a unified voice.
Dave Tatman is now head of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, following 34 years with General Motors. The former plant manager of the Bowling Green G.M. plant believes too many people are unaware of the importance the industry has on the state’s economy.
"So we've got to create that kind of brand identity for Kentucky as the place to do business for automotive businesses, not only for the ones that are here, but the ones that are considering coming here,” Tatman said. “I think North America is searching for the next automotive cluster outside of Detroit and I think we could be that."
Given the already sizeable presence in the state held by G.M., Ford, and Toyota, Tatman doubts the commonwealth will land another major automaker.
"But, I think our best opportunities exist in really, two fold, in growth of existing businesses because the automotive market continues to expand and do well throughout the globe, so growth of our existing businesses and then attracting new supplier businesses to the Commonwealth."
Kentucky ranks third nationally in light vehicle production, with the state’s automotive exports reaching a record $5.5 billion last year.
A Hart County manufacturer is announcing plans to expand its facility and add jobs. Dart Container announced today that it will invest $23 dollars to build a new 650,000 square foot warehouse in Horse Cave.
Up to 30 new jobs are expected to be created through the expansion.
Dart Container currently employs approximately 1,400 people at its Hart County operation, where it manufactures cups, bowls, plates, and other food and beverage supplies.
The Michigan-based Dart Container Corporation has been preliminarily approved for $900,000 in state tax incentives and benefits in connection with the project.
A new $150 million aluminum production facility in Bowling Green will create 80 new jobs.
Governor Beshear was on hand Wednesday morning at the Kentucky Transpark as ground was broken on the Japanese-European partnership. The joint venture between Contellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation will create finished aluminum body sheets for cars and trucks.
Construction on the 225,000-square-foot facility will begin this summer.
A German company plans to invest $120 million dollars to bring a production plant to Bowling Green.
The Bilstein Group says the plant will bring 90 new, full-time jobs to the area. Governor Steve Beshear was on hand for the announcement Wednesday at Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Beshear, who just returned from a trip to Europe said he met with Bilstein executives on a previous trip.
The company makes cold-rolled strip steel products for the auto industry. It will be the Bilstein Group’s second facility in North America.
“At the end of a long and thorough decision making process," said Bilstein CEO Marc Oehler. "I can say we are absolutely certain that Bowling Green is the perfect spot for our new [facility] being both sufficiently close to our customers and suppliers as well as within reach from Europe and any place in North America.”