Wednesday May 25, 2022
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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.

Code Louisville, which provides training to help people quickly enter the technology field, has helped more than 250 people start or advance their careers in technology, Mayor Greg Fischer announced.

“It is critical for our economy and our community’s future to have as many people as possible gaining the skills to embrace the technologies of today and tomorrow,” Mayor Fischer said.  “So, it’s exciting that a homegrown initiative like Code Louisville has become a national model for developing tech talent – and our goal is to take that to an even higher level.”

There have been 821 graduates of the 12-week training course, ranging in age from 18 to 71.  Graduates have landed jobs at more than 150 local companies, with an average starting salary of about $48,000.

The free training has been a game-changer for many participants, including Tina Maddox, who was a stay-at-home mom when she started Code Louisville. Now, she is a Junior DevOps Engineer at Louisville-based El Toro Internet Marketing.

“I wouldn’t have the job I have today without this training, it’s changed my life,” Maddox said. “It was very hard work but I’m proof that it absolutely can be done, even without any type of tech background.”

Maddox is one of 12 Code Louisville graduates hired by El Toro, helping the company keep pace with its recent growth of more than 12,000 percent.

“This program has been great for Louisville and for El Toro,” said Stacy Griggs, president & CEO of El Toro. “As we have scaled from a half dozen employees to over 100 team members in the last four years, it’s been vitally important to have a strong pipeline of software development talent. Code Louisville has been an important factor in increasing the amount of tech talent available in Louisville.”

Other local companies that have hired multiple graduates include Appris, GE Appliances, Humana, Interapt, QSR Automations and Zirmed.

Code Louisville is designed specifically to help people prepare for software development jobs. During the online training provided through Treehouse, participants are supported by volunteer mentors, many of whom are themselves Code Louisville graduates. The program has had more than 130 mentors involved.

“This training is truly changing lives while also providing a quick pipeline of fresh talent that is helping meet the evolving demands of our existing employers and also companies that are eyeing Louisville for relocation or expansion,” said Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks which operates Code Louisville. “The diversity of participants is amazing: people of all ages and backgrounds, with GEDs to Ph.Ds, and from plumber assistants to math teachers and professionals from other countries.”

The program launched with federal funding in 2014, but interest and participation exploded in April 2015 when President Barack Obama visited and cited Code Louisville as a model for the national TechHire initiative, which had just started.

As a testament to the program’s need and popularity, there are currently more than 1,000 people on a waiting list. Admission is prioritized for those in greatest need, including individuals who are unemployed, from lower income families and veterans.

Code Louisville is funded through a Workforce Innovation Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The program is based just west of the city’s NuLu neighborhood. More information is available at codelouisville.org.

Job Fair For JCPS

Meet your next employer in person at the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Transportation Job Fair! Come meet the transportation team, tour the facility, and learn about our great opportunities.

The job fair will be held on Wednesday, 9/20 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: CB Young Jr Building, 3001 Crittenden Drive, Louisville 40209

Applications will be accepted for bus driver positions and bus monitor positions.

As a member of the JCPS Transportation team, employees receive: 

  • $16.95/hr fulltime
  • Paid training
  • Current approved $2.50/hr pay differential for perfect attendance
  • Full health insurance and retirement benefits
  • PTO includes sick days, personal days and emergency pay.
  • Advancement Opportunities

Interested applicants should have a good driving record and enjoy working with children, as well as:

• Must be at least 21 years old
• Must have a valid driver’s license
• Bring I-9 identification (birth certificate or social security card)
• Bring GED, high school diploma or college transcripts (official)
• Bring voided check for direct deposit
• $20 exact cash or check for background check

Interested individuals may fill out an online application at the job fair, or at: 
applitrack.com/jefferson/onlineapp/

For more information, call 502-485-3800.

A $200 referral bonus will be paid to classified hourly employee (after full-time bus driver applicant has successfully completed 30 working days as a school bus driver).

The Jefferson County Board of Education announced today that it has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to begin the process of seeking a superintendent for the Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District.

The previous superintendent of the district, Dr. Donna Hargens, resigned from the position effective July 1, 2017. The district is currently being led by an acting superintendent, Dr. Marty Pollio.

The RFP seeks proposals from firms that could assist the district in a national search for a superintendent. The firm would also be responsible for helping engage the public in feedback and forums during the search. Proposals must be submitted to the district no later than September 6, 2017 at 3 p.m.

“The Jefferson County Board of Education is committed to finding the best person for this position and that means conducting a national search to identify all potential candidates and engaging all stakeholders about what they’d like to see in a future leader,” Board Chair Chris Brady said.

The district also announced the creation of a web page to keep the public aware of search developments and opportunities for engagement. The RFP is available here.

JCPS is the largest public school district in Kentucky and the 28th largest public school district in the United States. The district is home to approximately 101,000 students and has approximately 18,000 employees, including approximately 6,000 teachers.

According to recent national rankings by CBRE Research, both the Louisville Downtown and Suburban Office markets ranked in the Top 10 markets with the lowest asking rental rates in the nation.

Among the 50 Downtown markets tracked by CBRE Research, the Louisville Downtown Office market ranked third overall in terms of most affordable in the nation, while the Louisville Suburban Office market ranked 6th overall among the 58 suburban markets tracked by CBRE Research.

“This recent ranking by CBRE Research further solidifies Louisville’s competitive cost of doing business,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The city is experiencing more than $9 billion in investment right now, paired with our low unemployment rate and increase in average weekly wages, so now is the time to be doing business in Louisville.”

CBRE Research shows Louisville Downtown office markets average a cost of $16.71 per square foot, and the Suburban markets average a cost of $17.96 per square foot.

According to CBRE Research, Louisville markets offer more affordable office space than similar-sized peer-cities in the region. For example, Nashville has a $25.35 per square foot Downtown asking rate; Columbus has a $20.33 per square foot Downtown asking rate, and Cincinnati has an $18.28 per square foot Suburban asking rate. The Louisville Downtown Office market is the second-most affordable in the region after St. Louis, while the Louisville Suburban Office market was third most affordable after Cleveland and Detroit.

To view the latest CBRE Louisville Office MarketView report, visit http://cbreemail.com/rv/ff00a55667197643c90742244745810479290793

Mayor Greg Fischer and Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Diversified Consultants Inc. (DCI), a collection services company servicing major-name telecom clients, will locate a new operation in Louisville with a $6.65 million investment expected to create 433 jobs.

“Louisville’s economy continues to thrive with the addition of a new business services company in south central Louisville. As we usher in a new year, we are proud to welcome DCI to our community,” Fischer said. “We are especially excited to welcome home DCI’s chief operating officer, Gordon Beck, a Louisville native and a graduate of Fern Creek High School.”

DCI will lease the bulk of a 60,000 square-foot building in the Commerce Crossings business park. The new DCI office will not only employ customer service agents but office-support staff, including HR, quality administration, compliance and other functions.

“DCI’s commitment to exceptional service makes it a great fit for Kentucky,” said Gov. Bevin. “Their high standard of customer care will make them a terrific partner for the commonwealth’s dedicated workforce. We welcome DCI to Kentucky and look forward to seeing both their client base and workforce grow in the years ahead.”

Beck said he plans to quickly fill all available positions. Buildout of the space could begin in late February, and Beck said he and aims to open the new office by April 1. His Kentucky roots and confidence in the local workforce played into the decision to open the new office.

“Ours is an industry that too often gets a negative reputation. DCI is changing that in how we treat our customers and through our own company culture. We got to the top of our industry by being nice. We focus on the customer experience and are legal, moral and ethical,” Beck said. “The reason we’re opening this office in Louisville is our company is looking to expand its customer base, and we know we can recruit the kind of employees who want to be a part of our company.”

Founded in 1992 in Jacksonville, Fla., DCI is a family owned telecom collection services company. Charlotte Zehnder has acted as the company’s CEO since 2010, and the company is a certified member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a woman-owned business. DCI has quadrupled in size since 2009, currently employing 930 people across three locations in Jacksonville, as well as operations in Portland, Ore., and in the Philippines. Of those, 835 employees are located in the U.S.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1 million 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.

For more information on DCI, visit www.DCIcollect.com

To read more about Louisville’s business services sector, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward/business-services

Gov. Matt Bevin and Cabinet for Economic Development Sec. Terry Gill were in Detroit last week, promoting Kentucky and speaking with automotive industry leaders at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

NAIAS, which runs through Jan. 22, is considered one of the world’s largest and most prestigious automotive industry showcases. More than 800,000 people expected to attend. The event features dozens of concept and new-vehicle introductions, a showcase of technology for the rapidly evolving mobility industry, interactive displays by suppliers and hundreds of production vehicles.

“We’re here today at the North American International Auto Show to promote Kentucky as the top location for automotive engineering, manufacturing and distribution,” said Gov. Bevin. “Kentucky’s newly enacted pro-business laws are being well received as we meet with executives from global vehicle manufacturers and automotive suppliers, and discuss opportunities that can lead to new jobs and investments. A new day is dawning for Kentucky’s engineering and manufacturing industries and the future is looking bright.”

Sec. Gill, recently named to lead the Cabinet for Economic Development, said the trip provides key exposure for the state at the internationally attended event.

“Kentucky’s automotive industry is a pillar of its economy, and it’s crucial we continue to grow and expand it,” he said. “Kentucky already has more than 500 automotive-related facilities that employ nearly 95,000 people, but we believe we can grow those numbers even more. Our meetings at this show will create and solidify relationships that we expect will lead to more growth.”

The trip is the Governor’s second time attending NAIAS on behalf of Kentucky and comes just days after the General Assembly passed and Gov. Bevin signed legislation making Kentucky a right-to-work state. Already a premier location for businesses thanks to its central location, robust logistics and distribution industry and low costs of conducting business, this latest business tool holds the promise of further accelerating Kentucky’s economic growth, boosting employment and supporting the creation of better jobs and higher wages for residents.

Kentucky’s automotive industry continued to grow rapidly throughout 2016. The industry announced nearly 70 new-location or expansion projects totalling more than $923 million in investments. Those are projected to create nearly 3,200 new full-time jobs.

The automotive jobs and investment account for a significant portion of the 16,200 jobs and $3.1 billion in investments announced in Kentucky manufacturing, service and technology industries last year. The state is the number one vehicle-producing state per capita and among the top vehicle producers in the U.S.

Last year, the show featured the introduction of 61 vehicles, the majority of which were worldwide debuts, with more than 5,000 journalists from 60 countries in attendance. The public show runs Jan. 14-22. For more information on NAIAS, visit www.NAIAS.com.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

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