With an agreement in place to benefit two Western Kentucky manufacturers and communities, Gov. Matt Bevin announced A. Kayser Automotive Systems USA plans to hire 100 additional employees as it expands into a facility next door to its current plant in Fulton.
Making the $26 million expansion possible, the building’s current tenant, MVP Group International, will move its 69 current jobs to its nearby plant in Mayfield, where it will and consolidate its manufacturing of scented candles.
“Our administration is dedicated to establishing pro-business policies at every level,” said Gov. Bevin. “We are excited for both Kayser Automotive and MVP Group as they move forward with this significant expansion. We anticipate more companies will follow in their footsteps as we work with national, regional, county and community level partners to pave the way for every business in Kentucky to prosper.”
The 60,000-square-foot building will allow Kayser to increase manufacturing and warehousing space for a variety of mechanical and passenger-cabin automotive parts. The facility could open this spring.
“Expanding our current facility in Fulton, Kentucky, is the best solution for Kayser Automotive Systems, Fulton County, the surrounding communities, as well as the State of Kentucky. Due to fast increasing business, we outgrew our current facility and needed space to meet our customer’s demands. Expanding in Fulton not only enables us to be efficient using existing infrastructure but also capitalizing on one of our most treasured assets, our dedicated employees,” said Kayser Automotive Systems CEO Stefan Schutte.
Kayser Automotive Systems GmbH, a German family-owned business for over half a century, announced plans in 2013 to build the Fulton plant, its first U.S. facility to serve automakers and tier-one suppliers in the U.S.
The Fulton facility employs about 60 people in manufacturing and assembling plastic injection-molded and metal parts. Products include fuel tank components, engine and under-hood parts, such as activated charcoal canisters, valves, lines, filters and vent ducting, as well vehicle interior components. Kayser Fulton specializes in development and production from 3D simulation to detailed manufacturing to comprehensive testing, all using the latest technologies.
MVP Group, based in Charleston, South Carolina, designs and manufactures private-label and branded candles, candle accessories, home fragrance products and decorative accessory gift products for major retail customers worldwide.
By moving its Fulton County employees and production resources to Mayfield, the company expects to increase efficiency while preserving jobs.
“This is a potential win for everyone involved,” said Rodney Bohannon, vice president and general manager of MVP Group. “As always our customers and employees are of utmost importance. Having all of our resources under one roof will enable us to be more efficient and cost competitive, which is key in today’s environment.”
The complex deal took months to assemble, and includes modification various existing financial incentives and jobs-related agreements, equipment purchase plans and relocation logistics.
Parties involved include representatives from both companies, county economic development groups, the Delta Regional Authority, local elected officials and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. A memorandum of understanding was signed recently, detailing the plan.
Sen. Stan Humphries, of Cadiz, who represents both Fulton and Mayfield, said the investments and jobs will fortify each community and the entire region.
“As a result of these investments by MVP Group and Kayser, we’ll not only see more direct economic activity, but ripple-effect jobs and spending, too,” Sen. Humphries said. “So many individuals and organizations collaborated to make this expansion and relocation a reality. They deserve thanks and recognition for their commitment to preserving and creating new jobs while simultaneously strengthening Western Kentucky’s business community.”
Rep. Steven Rudy, of Paducah, represents Fulton. He welcomed the investments in Western Kentucky.
“These two companies recommitting to their Western Kentucky communities and employees – as well as bringing new business activity to the region – is an example of economic development done in true Kentucky style,” Rep. Rudy said. “In this scenario, everyone stands to gain, including the employees, companies and communities.”
Rep. Richard Heath, of Mayfield, welcomed the MVP Group jobs to Graves County and additional activity for the region.
“It’s a good day any time you can bring together a plan that benefits key industries, local communities and so many area residents,” Rep. Heath said. “With this announcement both Graves County and our neighbors in Fulton County will see jobs added in the new year as well as the promise of additional economic activity. I applaud everyone involved for making these reinvestments possible.”
To encourage investment and job growth in the region, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in July 2013 preliminarily approved Kayser for tax incentives up to $3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. and up to $40,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. It is anticipated the company’s incentive agreement will be modified at the time of final approval to reflect the additional investment and job growth.
Both MVP Group and Kayser 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 2016, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for nearly 95,000 Kentuckians and 5,000 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
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.