Chapin International Inc., a manufacturer of metal compressed air sprayers, plans to locate a production operation in Mount Vernon with a nearly $5.5 million investment creating up to 100 full-time jobs in the coming years, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced.
“This is another example of people coming together to build a better Kentucky and create an even stronger economy,” Gov. Beshear said. “This project came together incredibly quickly, and I want to thank everyone, including our state and local economic development teams, who quickly worked to meet Chapin’s needs in such a short period of time and bring these jobs to Rockcastle County. We welcome Chapin International to Kentucky.”
Chapin plans to relocate segments of existing operations in New York and Ohio to the 175,000-square-foot former Eagle Manufacturing facility in the Rockcastle Business Park. The new plant will produce and distribute metal compressed air sprayers for a variety of uses, including industrial concrete sprayers, professional landscaper/contractor backpack sprayers, ATV sprayers and specialty hose-end and handheld sprayers. The new location will position the company to better serve customers throughout North America.
“Chapin Manufacturing is excited to be standing up a new operation in Rockcastle, Kentucky,” said Jim Campbell, Chapin’s president and CEO. “There were many moving parts that included purchasing this 175,000-square-foot facility. The town, county and the state of Kentucky did an amazing job in bringing the project to conclusion in just under 10 days. We look forward to our part in growing American manufacturing in the great state of Kentucky.”
Chapin International, a subsidiary of Chapin Manufacturing Inc., traces its roots to 1884, when Ralph E. Chapin saw a need for improved containers for kerosene storage while working at a hardware store he operated with his brother-in-law in Oakfield, N.Y.
Demand for the product led to the start of a manufacturing business in nearby Batavia, N.Y., which quickly expanded to produce 55-gallon storage tanks and pumps, and eventually compressed air sprayers and hand sprayers. The company’s headquarters has since grown to a 700,000-square-foot operation that produces thousands of sprayers each day with additional facilities in Michigan and Ohio.
For many manufacturers, Kentucky provides a strategic location from which to distribute products. As the logistics center of the eastern U.S., the commonwealth is located within 600 miles of two-thirds of the nation’s population. Kentucky is home to three global air-cargo hubs, with 20 interstates and controlled-access parkways, over 2,600 miles of freight rail and more than 1,900 miles of navigable waterways.
Due in considerable part to its logistics advantages, Kentucky is a major manufacturing center. Approximately 4,500 manufacturing facilities operate in the commonwealth, with nearly 260,000 current or announced jobs, accounting for one in six private-sector jobs. Kentucky ranks among the leading manufacturing states with more than 13% of its workforce in manufacturing, compared to 8.5% nationally, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
State Sen. Jared Carpenter, of Berea, commended everyone who helped bring the Chapin project together.
“I want to thank everyone for the hard work that went into making this investment possible. Most of all, I want to thank Chapin International for choosing Mount Vernon as the location to expand their business,” Sen. Carpenter said. “As Kentucky continues to face the economic impacts of COVID-19, this announcement is great news. I look forward to seeing the benefits it will have in our community.”
State Rep. Travis Brenda, of Cartersville, said the project is welcome news during a time of need.
“I am excited to hear of Chapin International's intention to create 100 new jobs in Mount Vernon,” Rep. Travis Brenda said. “These types of investments will greatly assist our efforts to recover from the outbreak of COVID-19. News like this serves as a point of hope for the people in our community who are still struggling.”
Josh Bray, Mount Vernon’s city administrator, noted the community’s past support of the plastics industry.
“Rockcastle County has a proud history in plastics manufacturing,” Bray said. “We’re happy to partner with a company as successful as Chapin International to once again manufacture plastics in Mount Vernon.”
Rockcastle County Judge/Executive Howell Holbrook Jr. said the project is an opportunity for growth in the community.
“We’re excited about doing business with Chapin International,” Judge/Executive Holbrook said. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity for economic development in our county.”
Jeff VanHook, executive director of the Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority (RCIDA), said he hopes there is more to come for the community’s newest manufacturer.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to continue development in Rockcastle County with Chapin International. We look forward to future expansions,” VanHook said. “RCIDA appreciates the close collaboration between the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Southeastern Kentucky Economic Development and Jackson Energy Cooperative.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) recently preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $5.495 million and annual targets of:
Creation and maintenance of 100 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
Paying an average hourly wage of $22.40 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 Chapin for up to $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.
Chapin also 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.