CLARK Material Handling Company, a global manufacturer of forklift trucks, will invest nearly $4.8 million and create 30 full-time jobs by expanding its Lexington facility, Gov. Matt Bevin and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced today.
“For more than 40 years, the Commonwealth has been an outstanding home for CLARK and we are excited to announce their expansion in Fayette County,” said Gov. Bevin. “The continued growth and development of Kentucky’s existing businesses is a crucial factor in moving our state forward economically. We are looking forward to working closely with CLARK in the months and years ahead. As they succeed, so too does Kentucky.”
CLARK plans to begin production of its four-wheel electric ECX and its three-wheel electric TMX model forklift trucks in Lexington in May 2016. CLARK previously produced those models in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. CLARK anticipates the project will increase its Lexington production by more than 200 percent.
CLARK also purchased a 4-acre parcel of land including a multi-purpose building adjacent to its Lexington facility to accommodate growth of its existing business. In total, CLARK’s Lexington campus will encompass more than 162,000 square feet. The company anticipates its Kentucky project will lead off a succession of expansions in North America, Brazil and Europe.
“The investment CLARK is making today in its Lexington manufacturing operations is a direct result of the significant increase in business opportunities CLARK has experienced over the past two years,” said Dennis Lawrence, CLARK’s president and chief executive officer. “The expansion of manufacturing operations in North America solidifies CLARK’s long-term commitment to its dealers and customers, while providing additional employment opportunities for central Kentuckians.”
Mayor Jim Gray congratulated everyone at CLARK, which opened its Lexington facility in 1974 and moved its company headquarters there in 1985.
“CLARK’s decision to expand its workforce in Lexington – to move jobs from Mexico to Lexington – sends a clear message internationally: Lexington is a great place to locate and grow a business,” Gray said.
CLARK helped establish the entire material handling industry when it began production of the first gasoline-powered material handling truck in 1917. Since its founding, CLARK employees have built more than one million forklifts. The Lexington factory currently produces the NPX, ESX, PWX and HWX models.
The company, owned by South Korea’s Young An Corporation, also supplies a full range of internal combustion and electric trucks and parts, which are distributed to more than 550 dealers globally.
Kentucky Sen. Ralph Alvarado M.D., of Winchester, said the company’s ongoing confidence in Kentucky is well-placed.
“Our state works hard to attract and retain quality businesses. So when a corporate mainstay like CLARK Material Handling chooses to expand its current facilities, it reflects well on Kentucky and the skilled employee base our state offers,” Alvarado said.
State Rep. James Kay, of Versailles, said the company’s decision to grow its facility and workforce provides further evidence of Kentucky’s pro-business climate.
“This expansion by CLARK Material Handling increases the stability of the Bluegrass region’s manufacturing industry,” Kay said. “I’m proud to welcome this reinvestment in Kentucky by one of our longtime corporate partners.”
Bob Quick, president and chief executive officer of Commerce Lexington Inc., noted CLARK’s role in the community as a corporate citizen.
“For over 40 years, CLARK Material Handling Company has been an integral part of Lexington’s community as a corporate headquarters and manufacturer,” said Bob Quick, CCE, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “Our team enjoyed working with CLARK on their expansion and are proud of their success in Central Kentucky.”
To encourage CLARK’s investment and job growth, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $400,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the 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.
Additionally, CLARK was preliminarily approved by KEDFA for $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
CLARK also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can access no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.
For more information on CLARK Material Handling Company, visit www.clarkmhc.com.
A detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette 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.