Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen joined company officials and local leaders to break ground on T.RAD North America Inc.’s expansion in Christian County.
T.RAD, a Japanese-owned heat transfer manufacturer, is expected to create 200 jobs and invest $25 million.
Gov. Steve Beshear applauded the expansion. “T.RAD North America is a valuable asset to western Kentucky and our thriving automotive industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re proud to be part of the growth and success we’re seeing today. The Commonwealth takes great pride in partnering with local businesses to help keep them competitive and prosperous right here in the Bluegrass.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for both T.RAD and Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Luallen. “Matching a great company with our excellent workforce provides a significant boost to our local economy. We’re proud of our relationship with T.RAD, and we know the company and its employees will continue to succeed here.”
T.RAD plans to construct additional manufacturing space to its 180,000-square-foot operation in Commerce Park. The expansion will increase production efficiency and reduce costs.
“Since 1988, when T.RAD decided to locate in Hopkinsville, we have experienced great cooperation from Kentucky and the local community in growing our company, beginning with 30 employees to our current 500,” said Tatsuya Kikuyama, president of T.RAD North America. “We are excited about our future and believe the Hopkinsville community will continue to provide us with an excellent workforce and good relationships with both the state and local governments.”
T.RAD North America designs and manufactures heat transfer and cooling systems for the automotive, motorcycle, construction and agricultural industries, as well as for the military. The company currently employs nearly 500 people in Hopkinsville.
This is the latest of several T.RAD investments in western Kentucky. In 2012, the company announced plans to invest $10.8 million to purchase new equipment to increase production capacity and meet the demand for lighter weight aluminum products.
Kentucky continues to be a hotbed for Japanese investment. More than 160 Japanese facilities are in Kentucky, employing more than 40,000 people. In the past two years, 52 Japanese companies have announced plans to invest more than $1.3 billion statewide.
To further strengthen those ties, Gov. Beshear traveled to Japan last month to meet with business leaders across multiple industries.
Kentucky is home to more than 460 automotive-related industries that employ more than 82,000 people. The Commonwealth ranks third highest in auto industry-related employment as a percent of total state employment among the top motor vehicle producing states in the United States.
“T.RAD is a valuable part of Hopkinsville's industrial family, and I couldn’t be more excited about T.RAD bringing new jobs to Christian County,” said Sen. Whitney Westerfield, of Hopkinsville. “The positive economic impact on this region and the Commonwealth as a whole is immeasurable. T.RAD’s expansion means 200 new jobs and that translates directly into support for at least 200 families. It also is direct testimony that Kentucky's automotive manufacturing industry and Hopkinsville's workforce are worthy of investment.”
“T.RAD has been a great corporate partner, so I’m certainly pleased to see it make this investment and create so many new jobs for our community,” said Rep. John Tilley, of Hopkinsville. “This will be a big help for a lot of our families, and it offers further proof that our region is an ideal place for businesses to grow.”
“Today’s expansion is encouraging news for our local economy and our able workforce by creating nearly 200 new jobs for the area,” said Rep. Myron Dossett, of Pembroke. “T.RAD’s expansion also is a positive reflection not only on the economic base in Hopkinsville and Christian County, but on Kentucky as whole because of its status as a leader in the automotive manufacturing industry.”
“Once again we applaud T.RAD for making such a significant investment to grow their local operation,” said Hopkinsville Mayor Dan Kemp. “T.RAD continues to be an important part of our community by providing quality jobs for our citizens. The company recently celebrated 25 years in Hopkinsville-Christian County, and we look forward to many more to come.”
“The expansion of the T.RAD facility in Commerce Park is the result of a tremendous partnership formed with our community in 1987,” said Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble. “T.RAD North America is a world leader in the production of heat transfer products and we are proud of the company’s success. We congratulate T.RAD and all the employees at this facility for their hard work and the contributions they make to our regional economy.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in Christian County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also approved T.RAD for tax benefits up to $200,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.
A detailed community profile for Hopkinsville (Christian County) can be viewed here.
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.