Nonwoven fabrics manufacturer WPT Corp. will open a $6 million, 40-job plant — its second in Ohio County — to add capacity for materials used in hygiene and filtration products such as diapers and furnace air filters, Gov. Matt Bevin announced.
“As a family-owned and operated company, WPT Corp. is taking a major step forward in establishing a new production facility. Our state and local economic development efforts provide support for exactly this kind of business growth across Kentucky,” Gov. Bevin said. “We congratulate both the company and the Ohio County community on this new project and look forward to their continued success.”
WPT will locate its new operation in the 60,000-square-foot former Nestaway plant on 7th Street in Beaver Dam. The facility will increase WPT’s manufacturing capabilities with installation of a state-of-the-art nonwoven production line focusing on the hygiene and filtration media sectors. WPT’s current facility on South Main Street underwent an expansion in 2015 and is now nearing capacity. Wayne Robbins founded WPT in 2008; and his grandson, Travis Robbins, currently leads the 57-employee company.
“We’re excited to grow our company in Ohio County, and most of all I’m proud of the hard work and dedication from our team of employees. Without their countless hours, attention to detail and dedication to our customers, this would not be possible. We also appreciate the support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Gov. Bevin,” WPT plant manager Travis Robbins said. “Our new state-of-the-art facility will be online in late March, and we look forward to the opportunity to supply a high-quality product to the region’s and commonwealth’s nonwoven hygiene and filtration markets.”
WPT uses raw fibers—polyester, rayon and cotton—to manufacture a wide range of products such as telecom cable wrap, landscape fabrics, fire-retardant roof membrane and hot oil filtration media.
Sen. C.B. Embry Jr., of Morgantown, expressed gratitude that the company has decided to grow its local presence.
“I am excited to hear WPT Corp. is expanding its operations here in Ohio County,” he said. “This company has been a great economic partner for our region, and I am pleased it chose to invest once again in our Western Kentucky workforce. I look forward to the completion of the project and wish WPT Corp. the best in the company’s future endeavors.”
Rep. Matt Castlen, a business owner from Maceo, said the Red Tape Reduction initiative has set the stage for companies like WPT to more readily expand.
“WPT’s addition of a manufacturing plant in the old Nestaway building is a boon for Beaver Dam and surrounding communities,” he said. “This is just another example of what happens when government cuts the red tape and creates pro-growth economic policies. I applaud WPT for recognizing that Kentucky is a shrewd investment in the future.”
Beaver Dam Mayor Paul Sandefur noted the significance of the project.
“We’re excited WPT chose Beaver Dam to grow their business,” he said. “Any time you have a business willing to make an investment in the community and add new jobs, it’s a good thing.”
Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston said the project will be boon for the region.
“I am very pleased with WTP’s announcement of their expansion in Ohio County,” he said. “This will create jobs and prosperity for our community. Our state’s tax incentive is instrumental in helping with this expansion as well as others locally. I thank them for their help with this endeavor that greatly helps the people of Ohio County.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $750,000 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, WPT 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 2016, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for nearly 95,000 Kentuckians and 5,000 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
For more information on WPT, visit www.WPTnonwovens.com.
A detailed community profile for Ohio County can be viewed at http://bit.ly/OhioCounty.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at 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.