Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Pounds of Plastic Inc., a supplier to the automotive and general manufacturing industries, will locate in Owenton with a more than $4.1 million investment expected to create 54 full-time jobs.
“Kentucky has a world-class automotive industry, leading the United States in vehicles produced per capita,” Gov. Bevin said. “It is exciting to see continuing growth within the auto industry at all levels, and it begins with suppliers like Pounds of Plastic. We are grateful for the strong collaboration between this company and state and local economic development leaders, resulting in 54 new jobs that will benefit families in Owen County and the surrounding region.”
Pounds of Plastic will locate in the former Itron Inc. warehouse, a 30,000-square-foot building across from the former Itron manufacturing facility. Itron closed its Owenton operations this spring, laying off about 400 employees.
At the plant, Pounds of Plastic will manufacture custom polymers and thermoplastics for automotive customers. The company’s investment will cover costs to renovate the facility and purchase new equipment. Company leaders noted proximity to existing and prospective customers as a deciding factor in selecting both Kentucky and Owenton. Work on the project is expected to begin in November, with the facility operational by December.
“We are truly excited to become part of your community and look forward to a mutually prosperous partnership in the years ahead,” said Richard Pounds, owner and president of Pounds of Plastic. “We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the fantastic representatives of the government of Owen County and the state of Kentucky who made this possible. Our decision to choose this location over other potential locales in other states is a testament to the dedication of these individuals. We look forward to calling Owen County home.”
Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Pounds of Plastic specializes in custom polymers and thermoplastics used in automotive and a variety of other industries. As well, the company provides technical expertise for customers including assistance with recycling programs. Richard Pounds founded the company in 1997 in response to an insufficient supply of nylon compounds and other materials for use by southern Ontario’s moulding industry. Since then, the company grew to service processors throughout North America.
Sen. Julian Carroll, of Frankfort, said the local workforce is ready to serve its newest company.
“This auto supplier will strengthen our community through new jobs and improvements to the local economy,” Sen. Carroll said. “We stand ready with a skilled workforce to meet the company’s needs and look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.”
Rep. Phillip Pratt, of Georgetown, said statewide, pro-business policy changes have made projects like this possible.
“The new jobs and economic opportunity that Pounds of Plastic is bringing to Owenton is the direct result of the pro-business, pro-jobs approach I have brought to Frankfort,” Rep. Pratt said. “These new jobs will bring increased economic opportunity for our families, and are just the latest addition to Kentucky’s manufacturing comeback. I’m proud of our efforts in Frankfort to promote policies that strengthen our economy and create this kind of good news for our working families.”
Mayor David Wotier noted the team effort necessary to make the project a reality.
“I speak on behalf of the city of Owenton: We are very excited to welcome Pounds of Plastic to Owenton,” Mayor Wotier said. “Their commitment has certainly been a breath of fresh air for us and will positively affect our economy. Thanks to all the hard work and diligent efforts of everyone at the Cabinet for Economic Development. There’s been a great spirit of teamwork involved.”
Owen County Judge-Executive Casey Ellis said the arrival of Pounds of Plastic leads the way for new growth in the community.
“On behalf of the citizens of Owen County, I would like to thank Gov. Bevin for his leadership in assisting to expedite the commonwealth’s economic incentive package as well as Rich Pounds, president of Pounds of Plastic, for choosing Owen County for his first US manufacturing location,” Judge-Executive Ellis said. “The prospect of this many new jobs locating to Owen County is only the beginning in revitalizing our community with new economic growth opportunities.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $900,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
In addition, Pounds of Plastic can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.