In breaking ground for a beverage-can manufacturing facility by Crown Holdings Inc. in Warren County, Gov. Andy Beshear welcomed the company and its plans to create 126 well-paying jobs for Kentucky residents.
“Crown’s new plant will provide great employment opportunities for Kentuckians that both pay well and provide an important range of benefits. These are the types of jobs that can support a family. In choosing build in Kentucky, Crown Holdings gains access to a variety of assets that will make this advanced-manufacturing facility a success for decades to come,” Gov. Beshear said.
“With its first plant in Kentucky, Crown will have a skilled and ready workforce, a plentiful supply of beverage can stock, a location with quick access to key markets and a world-class logistics and distribution industry. Further, Kentucky’s higher education and workforce development resources will assure Crown can build a pipeline of well-trained employees. My congratulations to Crown’s leadership team and I look forward to partnering with them for the long term.”
Crown executives plan to open the 327,000 square-foot facility in the Kentucky Transpark in spring 2021. Its subsidiary CROWN Cork & Seal USA Inc., will own and operate the advanced-manufacturing plant. The facility plant will initially manufacture 1.3 billion cans per year at a rate of 2,800 cans per minute.
Crown Holdings President and CEO Timothy J. Donahue said he looks forward to producing in Kentucky and meeting growing customer demand regionally.
“Beverage can growth in North America is being driven by the growing proportion of new products being introduced in cans versus other packaging, as both customers and consumers recognize the inherent portability, durability and sustainability of the beverage can,” Donahue said. “This new facility demonstrates Crown’s commitment to support its customers in meeting this growing demand. I would like to thank Governor Beshear, state and local agencies and utilities for their support and responsiveness. We look forward to working with these Team Kentucky members throughout this exciting project and beyond.”
Led by Gov. Beshear, Kentucky’s team of local and state economic development professionals, environmental permitting and utility partners met Crown’s requirements in record time following initial contact in mid-December. The rapid turnaround gave Crown confidence the company would meet its production-start goal. It also makes this the first project both initiated and announced during Gov. Beshear’s administration.
Based in Yardley, Penn., Crown produces metal beverage and food cans, aerosol cans, promotional packaging and food and consumer goods enclosures. The company is publicly traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CCK. It operates 239 facilities in 47 countries and employs over 33,000 people.
Founded in Baltimore in 1892, CROWN Cork & Seal began as an innovator in packaging soft drinks and beer. Addition of automation in 1898 allowed Crown’s machine operators to fill and cap 24 bottles a minute. New products and technologies introduced in just the past 20 years include injection-molded corks for spirits products, Easylift system for canned foods, environmentally responsible packaging products and Orbit Closure, a revolutionary closure twice as easily opened as standard twist-off caps.
This month’s Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) meeting produced six Gov. Beshear-announced projects in five counties – Barren, Hancock, Hart, Kenton and Warren. Those projects total more than $274 million in planned investment and 545 full-time Kentucky jobs.
Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green, hailed the company’s investment as a regional win.
“I am pleased to recognize CROWN Cork & Seal USA for investing in the commonwealth,” Sen. Wilson said. “CROWN Cork & Seal USA’s investment displays their dedication to supporting the workforce of Bowling Green and surrounding communities.”
Rep. Michael Meredith, of Oakland, thanked Crown for its investment and job creation.
“CROWN Cork & Seal USA is an innovative company that has a legacy of leading in the metal packaging product industry,” Rep. Meredith said. “I am grateful for its nearly $150 million investment into our community. This Investment will bring 126 more jobs to Kentucky creating more opportunities for our citizens.”
Warren County Judge-Executive Michael Buchanon saluted the new, high-quality jobs.
“Job creation of this magnitude is an investment in the future of the people of Warren County,” Judge-Executive Buchanon said. “We welcome Crown to our community and look forward to supporting their continued growth.”
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson noted from the city, the company can ship to two-thirds of the US market in a day’s time.
“The Kentucky Transpark is a great location for meeting logistics needs,” Mayor Wilkerson said. “We are confident in our ability to meet Crown’s deadline so that they can begin serving customers from their Bowling Green facility early next year.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce,
“Our team understood that time was of the essence and quickly rose to the occasion, demonstrating to Crown executives that Bowling Green could deliver quickly on all aspects of the project and was able to meet their aggressive timeline,” said Ron Bunch, Chamber President and CEO.
John Bradley, Tennessee Valley Authority senior vice president of economic development, congratulated Crown on its decision to locate operations in Bowling Green and create new jobs.
“Helping to foster job creation is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service,” Bradley said. “And we are proud to partner with Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help further that mission.”
Dewayne McDonald, president & CEO of Warren RECC, which jointly provides electric service to the Transpark, congratulated the company and pledged long-term cooperation.
“We are delighted to welcome Crown Holdings to South Central Kentucky,” McDonald said. “We look forward to working with them as they develop their new facility in the Kentucky Transpark.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a six-year incentive agreement with CROWN Cork & Seal USA under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $3 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $147.55 million and annual targets of:
• Creation and maintenance of 126 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across six years
• Paying an average hourly wage of $31 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.
Additionally, KEDFA approved CROWN Cork & Seal USA for up to $1 million 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.
In addition, Crown 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.