Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced leaders at Accuride Corp., a manufacturer of wheels, wheel ends and braking components for commercial and passenger vehicles, are investing in the company’s Henderson County facility with a $2 million commitment, creating 15 well-paying jobs for Kentucky residents.
“Automotive suppliers across the commonwealth are positioning themselves for significant growth for decades to come, and I am glad to see Accuride Corp. included among those growing companies,” Gov. Beshear said. “Kentucky is in a prime position to continue to be a leader in the rapidly changing automotive industry. The growth of existing Kentucky businesses like Accuride is a critical factor as we work toward our vision for a brighter future for all Kentuckians.”
Company leaders are investing in facility and equipment upgrades to keep the company competitive in the rapidly growing automotive market and to position the operation to land new projects in the future. The investment will include roof repairs, updating of at least one assembly welder robot, concrete repair and improved airflow throughout the 306,000-square-foot facility on Adams Drive near Henderson. Accuride currently employs 137 people fulltime at the location.
“Investing in our plant and community will help us to achieve our goal of providing the highest quality products to our customers,” said Rob Jozwiak, director of operations at the Henderson County operation. “Also, this will allow us to expand our team with new production, maintenance and salary team members.”
Accuride has operated in Henderson County since 1974 and currently produces more than 10,000 heavy steel wheels daily for the heavy truck industry. The facility also houses the company’s wheels research and development, product development and testing operations. Accuride products include steel and aluminum wheels, brake drums and rotors, hubs and assemblies, as well as slack adjusters. The Michigan-based company has four manufacturing locations in the United States, in addition to facilities in Canada and Mexico.
More than 525 automotive-related facilities currently operate in Kentucky, including four original equipment manufacturers, and the sector employs 100,000 people statewide. Since the start of the Beshear administration, the auto industry has contributed to 95 announcements totaling $9.4 billion in new investments and over 11,100 full-time jobs.
State Sen. Robby Mills said the continued growth of manufacturing in the commonwealth continues to be a focal point for state leaders.
“It is always satisfying to see an existing industry expand and invest in Henderson, as Accuride is doing. Our workforce continues to rate high in manufacturing and logistics,” Sen. Mills said. “Making Northwestern Kentucky attractive to high-quality manufacturing jobs will continue to be our focus on the state level. Thank you to Accuride for their investment and trust in the Henderson community!”
State Rep. Jonathan Dixon welcomed the company’s continued growth.
“Accuride has invested in Henderson for many decades. We are excited to see them continue to improve their facilities and grow with our community,” Rep. Dixon said.
Henderson County Judge/Executive Brad Schneider said the project highlights the company’s faith in the local workforce.
“This announcement by Accuride is really exciting, not just because the company is adding 15 new jobs here, which is tremendous, but also because this investment is a vote of confidence by Accuride corporate leadership in our community,” Judge Schneider said. “This expansion makes it even more likely the local plant will be a viable, important part of Henderson County’s industrial sector for years to come.”
Henderson Economic Development Director of Existing Industries and Workforce Development Whitney Risley said the community is growing rapidly.
“Existing industries will continue to be a strategic goal for Henderson Economic Development,” Risley said. “We are encouraged by the number of new, high-paying jobs in Henderson County. We celebrate with Accuride as they continue to expand and improve in Henderson.”
Accuride’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In the past year, the Beshear administration announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
This strong economic momentum has carried into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook from stable to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.
And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
For April 2022, the state budget director reported the highest-ever monthly General Fund receipts of $1.84 billion. That is up 34.9% over last April’s collections, bringing Kentucky’s year-to-date growth rate to 16.4%.
Also in April, the state reported a 3.9% unemployment rate, which was the lowest rate ever recorded. In May, the rate fell to a new record low of 3.8%.
In July, Kentucky’s record-breaking economic momentum continued as Gov. Beshear announced this week that Kentucky’s fiscal year 2022 General Fund receipts grew at the highest rate in 31 years.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $250,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of more than $2 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 15 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $39, including benefits, across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Accuride can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.