Swedish Match Expansion Breaks Ground in Owensboro

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of the Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Terry Sebastian
502.564.2611
502.229.613

Jennifer Brislin
502.564.261
502.753.9766

Jack Mazurak
502.782.1965

Swedish Match Expansion Breaks Ground in Owensboro

Company investing more than $3 million to grow research, development capabilities

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2015) –­­­­ Swedish Match will invest more than $3 million in its Owensboro facility to expand its research and development department, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.

“Swedish Match recognizes Kentucky as a prime location for investment, a message we’ve been trumpeting at home and internationally,” said Gov. Beshear. “Projects like this represent a vote of confidence in the breadth and quality of Kentucky’s workforce and that our state is a great location for business and foreign direct investment.”

With its 10,000-square-foot expansion, Stockholm-based Swedish Match, a manufacturer of tobacco products, will grow its R&D department by eight employees. The addition will increase the company’s capabilities to formulate new products in Daviess County. The project includes laboratories, offices and meeting spaces. The company expects to complete the project in May and open the enlarged department in early June.

“Swedish Match, for many years, has been dedicated to innovation,” said Thord Hassler, vice president of Swedish Match research and development. “An enhancement project, completed at the R&D center in Sweden three years ago, has proven to be a worthwhile investment. The company is now following up with a similar investment in our U.S. R&D facility. Swedish Match is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on both of these investments by being a premier supplier of snus products in Europe and a key supplier of similar moist snuff products in the U.S. marketplace.”

Swedish Match, established in 1904, produces tobacco products including moist snuff, cigars and chewing tobacco. Among the company’s most recognizable brands are Cricket, Game, Garcia y Vega, General, Longhorn, Red Man, Timberwolf and White Owl. The company maintains operations in six countries, employs 4,400 people and sells products in more than 100 countries. The company employs 340 at its Owensboro facilities.

Kentucky has had great success in attracting foreign direct investment. Last year, nearly a third of new investment and more than 20 percent of new jobs came from FDI projects. The Commonwealth is home to more than 445 foreign-owned companies from 33 nations, employing more than 89,000 people.

“I was proud to advocate on behalf of this project because I know how much it will mean to Swedish Match and our community,” said Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Philpot. “This additional research and development will allow the company to focus on expanding its product line and potentially invest even more locally. I’m glad to see this valued company make this move and solidify its commitment to our economy.”

“This announcement is great news for our community and the company alike and will build on our world-leading reputation in the area of tobacco,” said Rep. Jim Glenn, of Owensboro. “I want to thank Swedish Match for deciding to invest this much, and I appreciate the hard work of our local and state economic development officials for helping to make this possible.”

“Swedish Match is certainly a valued corporate citizen of Daviess County and this expansion of the research and development center in Owensboro makes their presence even more significant,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “The R&D jobs expected to be created as a result of this $3.064 million investment are highly desired by most communities so we are fortunate to have been chosen as their location.”

To encourage the investment in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company 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 equipment.

In addition, Swedish Match is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive 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 Swedish Match, visit www.swedishmatch.com.

A detailed community profile for Owensboro (Daviess 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.

 

Gov. Beshear Marks Automotive Steel Wheel Manufacturer TOPY AMERICA’s 30th Anniversary

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of the Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Terry Sebastian
502.564.2611
502.229.613
commonwealth
Jennifer Brislin
502.564.261
502.753.9766

Jack Mazurak
502.782.1965

Gov. Beshear Marks Automotive Steel Wheel Manufacturer TOPY AMERICA’s 30th Anniversary

1 of state’s original foreign-owned auto industry suppliers employs about 300 in Frankfort

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear today marked the 30th anniversary of one of the Commonwealth’s first foreign-owned automotive suppliers, TOPY AMERICA Inc., recognizing executives of the company and its Japanese parent for contributions to Kentucky’s economy and the state’s thriving automotive industry.

“I’m pleased to congratulate TOPY AMERICA on its three decades of success in Frankfort,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s fitting to describe the company’s decision to locate in Kentucky as visionary. As one of the first automotive suppliers in the Commonwealth and one of the early Japanese-owned firms to invest and create jobs here, TOPY AMERICA helped build an entire sector of Kentucky’s economy.”

TOPY AMERICA manufactures steel wheels for passenger vehicles and light trucks. It supplies multiple automotive assembly plants in Kentucky, throughout North America and around the world.

Its Japanese parent, TOPY INDUSTRIES LTD., dispatched a site-selection team to the U.S. in late 1984 and early 1985.

“The team surveyed sites in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky before coming to the conclusion that Franklin County was the ideal site due to the available labor pool, the open hospitality of the local community, and economic enticement from state and local economic development agencies,” said TOPY AMERICA President and CEO Mark Oto.

Additionally, the team liked Frankfort’s proximity to four major interstates that positioned the company between its first two customers, Honda in Marysville, Ohio, and Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee.

At that point, the company and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (CED) anticipated 79 full-time jobs and an investment of $26 million.

“We began shipping in the summer of 1986 and couldn’t be more pleased to be conducting business here today, providing jobs, building high-quality products and supplying automakers all over the world,” Oto said. “I can truly say Frankfort is home and we’re glad that was the choice 30 years ago.”

Since its founding, TOPY AMERICA continued to grow, making incremental investments over the years and adding jobs along the way. The company currently employs about 300 people in Frankfort, the headquarters for both its automotive division and its U.S. operations.

As an existing business adding jobs, TOPY AMERICA created important ripple effects. The CED calculated in 2011 that a business adding 100 manufacturing jobs created a $12 million direct economic impact and a total impact of nearly $25 million.

TOPY AMERICA also helped pioneer foreign direct investment in Kentucky by Japanese-owned corporations. That sector now includes more than 170 Japanese-owned facilities and employs more than 41,000 Kentuckians.

The automotive industry now stands as one of Kentucky’s strongest and largest sectors, employing more than 88,000 people and placing the Commonwealth third nationally in vehicle production in 2014. This year through September alone, automotive-related businesses announced 42 expansions or new locations in the Commonwealth, accounting for nearly 1,200 new jobs and $921 million in projected investment.
“Maintaining a business for three decades is a challenging undertaking in any industry. It demands the ability to stay ahead of emerging technologies as well as customer needs,” said Mayor Bill May. “I have no doubt TOPY AMERICA will continue this legacy for many years to come. I am pleased they have chosen to be a part of the Frankfort/Franklin County community.”
“It’s exciting to see TOPY AMERICA reach the 30-year mark,” said Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells, “For all these years TOPY has identified and pursued new opportunities for growth by bringing advanced technology and outstanding quality to everything they do. You don’t reach the 30-year mark without focusing on quality, investing in your future and appreciating your employees.”
“I believe the reason for TOPY’s long-term success can be found in their mission statement,” said Terri Bradshaw, executive director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corp. “Their mission is to promote safe, clean working conditions with efficient productivity and adapt to the changing needs of the market and society. With these goals in mind, they were bound for success.”

“I offer my congratulations to TOPY AMERICA for its continued success as a leading manufacturer and supplier to automobile assembly plants,” said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Frankfort. “During the past three decades, the company has provided work for hundreds of Kentuckians and been a good corporate friend to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

“This is a great anniversary for TOPY AMERICA as well as Franklin County, which has benefited in countless ways since the company chose our community to build its future here in the United States,” said Rep. Derrick Graham, of Frankfort. “I want to thank everyone who has played a part in that decades-long success, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 30 years brings because of this partnership.”

“I’m proud to congratulate TOPY AMERICA on its 30 years in the Commonwealth,” said Rep. James Kay, of Versailles. “Through its employment growth and investments here, TOPY AMERICA fashioned itself into a leader and consistent performer in Kentucky’s automotive-supply industry.”

Among many other acts as a corporate citizen, TOPY AMERICA recognized an opportunity to help prepare a new generation of advanced manufacturing employees and enrolled as a founding member in the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME) program. The work-study program offers young people an opportunity to earn an associate degree, certification as an advanced manufacturing technician and gain paid job experience at companies like TOPY AMERICA.

For more information on TOPY AMERICA, visit www.topyamerica.com.

 

Gov. Beshear: KOWA Cuts Ribbon on New Facility in Corbin; Knox County Location is Company’s First Operation in North America

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of the Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
commonwealth

Contact:
Terry Sebastian
502.564.2611
502.229.6130

Jennifer Brislin
502.564.2611
502.753.9766

Jack Mazurak
502.782.1965

Gov. Beshear: KOWA Cuts Ribbon on New Facility in Corbin; Knox County Location is Company’s First Operation in North America

Company investing $10 million, creating 30 jobs

FRANKFORT Ky. (Oct. 14, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced that KOWA Kentucky Inc. cut the ribbon on its manufacturing facility in Corbin.

KOWA, which specializes in metalworking and treatment, is creating 30 jobs with its $10 million investment in the project.

The Knox County location is the Japanese company’s first operation in North America.

“Having the opportunity to make Kentucky the home of the company’s first North American location is an exciting prospect and shows our state is an ideal location for attracting new business,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This is just another example of how Kentucky is successful at bringing in foreign direct investment.”

KOWA’s parent company, KOWA KOGYOSHO CO.,LTD. in Nagoya, Japan, opted to establish the plant in the Corbin Regional Speculative building at the Southeast Kentucky Business Park. The company’s operations will focus on surface treatment for automotive suppliers, specifically an advanced process known as electroless nickel plating.

KOWA is the latest in a line of successful foreign direct investment projects in Kentucky. The Commonwealth is home to nearly 450 foreign-owned manufacturing, service and technology firms. More than 170 of those are Japanese-owned, and they employ nearly 42,000 people statewide.

“The establishment of a plant in the United States was the first experience for KOWA and we have had to learn everything from the very beginning because of our lack of knowledge about doing business in the United States,” said Toshio Muguruma, director of KOWA Kentucky Inc. “Thanks to the utmost cooperation and support extended by Kentucky’s state government, Corbin’s city government and many other organizations, we can congratulate the grand opening of KOWA Kentucky’s facility today.”

“Full-scale operations, about four months away, are scheduled to start in February 2016, and our key personnel has already been put in place in order to prepare for the operational startup,” said Saetsu Sato, president of KOWA Kentucky Inc. “As that time nears, KOWA Kentucky will increase personnel as we work toward full-scale mass production in the future.”

KOWA provides hot dip galvanized coating and other various surface treatments for metal and metalworking.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome KOWA to Corbin,” said Senate President Robert Stivers, of Manchester. “This is an exciting development for our community that will provide solid new jobs and growth to our regional economy. We appreciate the efforts of the Governor’s office, our local officials and KOWA for making this project a reality, and we are proud to host the company’s first North American facility in our own backyard.”

“Today is a great day for Corbin and Knox County as KOWA Kentucky opens its first North American facility here,” said Rep. Jim Stewart, of Flat Lick. “It is my hope KOWA will be the first of many companies in the automotive manufacturing industry that will decide to call our community home, bringing with them more jobs for our people and a further boost to our local economy.”

“Congratulations to KOWA Kentucky Inc. for the completion and grand opening of their new facility in the SEKY Business Park,” said Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney. “We are proud to welcome this outstanding company to our business community.”

“As judge-executive of Knox County and on behalf of the Knox County Fiscal Court, I would like to welcome KOWA Kentucky, Inc. to the Southeast Kentucky Regional Business Park,” said Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall. “We support this project completely and stand ready to assist in any way possible. We feel KOWA Kentucky Inc. will have a tremendous impact on our county and the region.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $600,000 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.

Additionally, KOWA Kentucky Inc. was preliminarily approved by KEDFA for $50,000 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 equipment.

KOWA Kentucky Inc. also is currently partnering with the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive 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 KOWA Kentucky Inc., visit this website.

7 Steps You Can Take to Stop Trading Time for Money

Continuing with the theme of trading time for money, here is an excellent article from Entrepreneur.com on how to make the transition in your life away from a wage structure. The full article can be found here.

Your income is limited by time.

When you’re trading time for money, your income will always be limited. The first reason: There are only 24 hours in a day to devote to the pursuit of money. And most of us need eight hours to sleep, two hours to commute to and from work and two to four hours, total, to cook, eat, tend to hygiene, relax and spend time with friends and family.

That leaves us with 10 to 12 hours to trade in for income. That’s it. But the reality is that no matter how much your time is worth to your organization: $20, $30, $50 per hour, there will always be a cap imposed here: time.

Another consideration in the pursuit of money is that few of us can just ask for more simply because we want it. We have to wait years before obtaining the necessary job promotion, and there’s a fair chance that we may not get that promotion at all.

The second reason for limits on income is that the more more we make, the more we’ll lose. Employee tax is the most heavily taxed income there is, and the more income we earn, the more tax we face. Which means that when someone goes from making $60,000 to $100,000 due to a promotion, they’re not actually making $40,000 more.

Your impact is limited.
When we’re continuously trading time for money throughout our lives, time is limited for pursuing the things we’re passionate about. This could be a hobby we love, giving back to the community or building something that could have a real impact in the world.

Simply put, with limited time comes limited impact.

The question is, then, how do we stop trading time for money? Consider getting yourself onto the one sustainable pathway to stop trading time for money. Follow these seven steps:

1. Change Your Mindset
The first thing we must do is change our beliefs. When we drop the mindset that says that in order to make money, we have to trade our time for it, our minds open up to the possibilities. There’s no rule that says that to make X dollars, we have to work X hours. In fact, it’s more important to spend time “un-learning” the old than “learning” the new.

So, think about trading value for money, not time. Think about what value you can create for other people, and how you can deliver that value. What assets, skills, knowledge, connections or ideas do you have that people value? Recognize your strengths and competency, then go all-in.

Related: Forget Time Management. Do This Instead and Be More Productive.

2. Build your expertise and authority.
Once we understand the strengths and value we can bring to others, we next need to build expertise around it. Developing expertise translates into larger value creation for ourselves and others, because we can now solve problems that few others can solve.

However, being recognized as an expert takes time and work, which is why building authority is just as important.

Building authority around your expertise is what will help people discover your expertise in the first place. You could be the best in the world at something, but if no one has heard about you, then it doesn’t matter.

Authority has many factors to it, but the most effective are testimonials, press & media, influencer associations and case studies. Give people the confidence to realize that you know what you’re talking about. Developing expertise & authority will immediately increase the value of your time and allow opportunities to come to you.

3. “10x the value of your time.”
Not all of us can leap into entrepreneurship in the blink of an eye. This is why if you’re freelancing or providing professional services for your time, multiply your time times 10: “10x the value of your time.”

Instead of working with 10 clients that are going to pay you $2 per hour, find two that will pay you $20 — then drop the rest. This is easier said than done, of course, but the logic here is to stay focused on the few that deliver the most results.

That way, you’ll be working fewer hours for the same, if not more income.

Which gives you more time to…

4. Focus on creating a product.
To stop trading time for money, create an offer that you can sell and deliver without having to be there.

A powerful way to do this is to create an online product — an ebook, training program, membership program, software apps, etc. You can also sell physical products online, but you’ll have to find someone who can manufacture and deliver the product to your customers (through drop shipping).

The reason why an online product can be powerful is that you can create it once, then focus the rest of your time on selling it. Yes, you’ll have to improve and optimize the product, but those tasks will happen on your own time.

This means you could go on vacation, spend time with friends or sleep and still have the ability to benefit as customers purchase your offerings.

5. Automate everything.
Figure out a way to automate and systemize everything you can in your business. This could range from how you acquire customers, to how you deliver your products, to how you drive traffic — multiple aspects of your business, whether that means your content calendar, automated email series, webinars, social media posts, facebook ads, etc.

The more you can systemize, the more time you’ll have to focus on the business, not in the business. Your time should be spent on long-term strategy, building relationships and growing the business — the drivers that will make your business thrive.

Now of course we can’t automate and systemize everything in the business. So what do we do?

6. Hire someone.
Eventually, it just makes sense to hire someone to help you in certain areas of the business. How do we know which areas are appropriate? To find out, create your 3 Lists to Freedom.

This list, designed by Chris Ducker, will change the way you look at your time. Here’s how it works.

First, create three columns with the titles:

1. HATE doing
2. SHOULDN’T do
3. CAN’T do

Get your employee (or assistant, intern, etc.) to start with the tasks you hate doing. Getting past what you hate doing will not only help you appreciate the value of outsourcing tasks, it will maximize the strengths you already have and help you to avoid focusing on your weaknesses.

7. Build your next offering
You’ve built authority, you’ve built your product and you’ve figured out a way to automate and hire someone to grow your business. What’s next?

Often, it’s not enough to have one offering out there in the market. The biggest businesses expand into different products/services, or they find a way to upsell their current customers.

Is there a product idea that your customers have been nagging you about? A set of features that you can add to provide a premium pricing package? Understand what your current customers are looking for and figure out a way to deliver it using the systems and resources you already have in place.

Now: Reward yourself
The final step is to reward yourself. What’s the point of having more time if we’re not able to enjoy it?

Stop Selling your Time

Selling Time: The Paradigm Shift Blowing up the 9-5

time-is-money2

Every once in a great while we come along a truly disruptive force that compels us to undergo a paradigm shift. In this interconnected age, we must grapple with our antiquated notions of how best to utilize our most finite resource: time. The changing workforce of today demands that we reassess the time for money compensation model, and focus instead on a value added approach.

As experts all across the country clamor for a reimagining of K-12 school hours, another reform movement has been largely ignored: the attack on the time clock. Nonetheless, it is underway and growing in support. These reformers have demanded that we reimagine the standard 9-5 job as the norm for employees, as research has gradually mounted suggesting the 40-hour workweek has become obsolete.

The logic here is rather simple: people are not utility maximizing. One of two things tends to happen at the soul crushing, lethargy inducing, inefficiency causing 9-5: either we get burned out and waste time, or we lower productivity to match our shift’s time constraint. Humans aren’t hardwired to withstand too many consecutive hours of the same task. Eventually, they just shut down. Even the realization of hours ahead can force our brains into a work-induced coma. So you know that joke about the guy checking his Fantasy Football league in the office? Or the one about the slacking office worker logging onto Netflix or Facebook? Those aren’t the exceptions, but rather the norm. In addition to these quick burnout times, workers also milk the time clock. There are only so many projects that can be carried at any one time. For many, the need to continue putting on the appearance of productivity ends in a stretching of simple projects over a longer time than is needed. That is, workers tend to move slowly so as to not have to resort to their time wasting tactics.

This has led many to suggest that what the US work culture needs most is a nice shot in the arm, a 30-hour workweek. The benefits are many, provided this model fits your company. It could help the environment, as employees aren’t commuting as much, which would reduce emissions. It could help reduce stress and mental problems, as workers would have more time to rest and recharge, creating a happier workforce. It could increase long run productivity as workers leverage added time to learn new skills.

9 to 5These benefits are nothing more than possibilities at this point. But what does seem to be clear is that cutting down the 40 hour workweek would provide a “more for less” benefit. It’s a win for the company, which sees productivity rise, and the employee, who adds leisure time. Opponents have sounded the alarm about falling income. Workers spending more time in bed watching Game of Thrones reruns and less time in their cubicles crunching numbers and sending emails should reduce income at a time when worker wages have been stagnate. Supporters seem to suggest the solution to this is simple. Employers could offset the loss of labor hours by raising wages to match the level of productivity. They would have an incentive to do so because their money is seeing greater return.

Apply the brakes. This all sounds nice. But my first reaction was that this is akin to plugging a hole in a sinking ship. If the point is to raise wages to match productivity, why worry about selling time at all? Why not just pay for productivity, irrespective of time put in?

What I’m suggesting is that the old paradigm of trading time for money—the wage system—is growing obsolete, not the 40-hour work week itself necessarily. What we should be focusing on instead is compensation for value added services. What I mean by this is getting paid for results and perceived value. For example, take the case of a business consultant. Rather than selling his time at a rate—say, $75 per hour— he could charge a fixed fee, provided he lands the business a key investor. If he manages to connect them to the investor, and gains them the funding they need to expand operations, he profits. The consultant spends his work career tirelessly building connections for exactly an opportunity like this. At a stage in his career, he can accomplish this feet in practically no time. Thus, the time he has spent in the past is compounding to make him more money in the future. He has unlocked his potential by shifting from a wage model to a value model that prides past accomplishments, perceived value, expected returns, and tangible, quantifiable results.

Wage systems come with a number of disadvantages that sap the excitement out of work life, cap potential, and produce neurotic, unhappy employees. Freedom is the prime benefit of a value added model. Rather than be delegated a number of tasks to fill your day, you decide what is worth your efforts. Gradually, people tend to find a flow. They become comfortable with what they are naturally good at, what interests them, and what provides them the best living. Additionally, as workers are freed from the orthodoxy and stricture of a prescribed set of tasks, they become more skilled in their particular niche. This enables companies to reap greater rewards from their labor. Finally, selling time for money caps potential income. Your wage is based on the market supply and demand for labor. Similar people with similar skills in similar fields will in large part shape your compensation structure. Firms are profit maximizing, and want to generate as much from you as possible. The value added model lets you escape the labor market and consider your work as capital to be sold instead. If you provide good value, you get compensated on the benefit to the firm. This is all based on perceived value, which you have the power to raise over time through consistent results.

It takes years to build a reliable reputation and truly unlock your earning potential. However, compensation for value allows a feedback loop between you and your customer. You gradually adapt, learn, and improve, coming to understand how best to provide for the people who pay you. There becomes a symbiosis between you and the customer (employer if you will) that does not exist in the impersonal wage model. This and the freedom from the old, rigid time clock unlocks potential and progressively sorts workers into more productive niches.

This is a challenge to each of you. The value model is not for everyone. However, take time to consider if it is right for you as an employee or right for your business. We can begin the move away from the slow, dull slog that is working in the 9-5.

What Personality Types are Most Like to Be Entrepreneurs?

 

All kinds, really. If you’re familiar with the Meyers-Briggs scale find your type on this chart to see where you stand in comparison to others. You might be surprised!

Lt. Gov. Luallen Celebrates Opening of Blue Shore Fishery in Graves County

Commonwealth of Kentucky

Office of the Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Terry Sebastiancommonwealth

502.564.2611
502.229.61

Jennifer Brislin
502.564.2611
502.753.976

Jack Mazurak
502.782.1965

Lt. Gov. Luallen Celebrates Opening of Blue Shore Fishery in Graves County
Company investing more than $1.3 million, providing 66 jobs

FARMINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2015) – Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen today celebrated with local and company officials the opening of a new Kentucky company turning the invasive Asian carp in the region’s waterways into a wholesale foods business.

Blue Shore Fishery LLC is investing more than $1.3 million into a former catfish-processing facility in western Kentucky. The company is creating 66 jobs in Graves County to manufacture food products from Asian carp.

Blue Shore’s owners received assistance from the Kentucky Innovation Network Office in Murray. The Network, which consists of 13 statewide offices that support Kentucky’s small businesses, helped the owners make connections for marketing and Web development, finding access to capital and exporting.

“It is great to celebrate an entrepreneurial success story like that of Blue Shore Fishery,” said. Governor Steve Beshear. “An industry growing out of a fish species that is a problem in our waterways is bringing jobs to the community. This is exactly why our Kentucky Innovation Network reaches out to small businesses.”

Blue Shore’s products, including surimi, a fish paste that can be used to make crab sticks, fishcakes and other foods, contain high-quality fish and fresh local ingredients with no fillers, additives or preservatives. The company plans to sell to wholesale markets in the U.S. and overseas, particularly in Asia.

“Congratulations to Blue Shore Fishery on the opening of this facility in Graves County,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “Not only does this mean jobs for Kentuckians, but it’s expected to add to Kentucky’s record-breaking export figures. The Commonwealth exported $27.5 billion to nearly 200 countries last year, and we welcome this opportunity for growth.”

Blue Shore is located in an 11,000-square-foot facility on 53 acres off State Route 97 in Farmington. At its facility the company will process Asian carp caught by local commercial fishermen from rivers and lakes throughout western Kentucky. Blue Shore plans to add 5,000 square feet at the facility in the future. The company also owns two other facilities in Kentucky: RCB Fish Company in Ledbetter and Fin Gourmet in Paducah, a research and development operation.

“We at Blue Shore Fishery have found Graves County to be a vibrant, resourceful and supportive partner,” said co-owner Dr. John Crilly. “We also would not be where we are today without the excellent work done by Riley Construction and all of their associated contractors and suppliers. We are excited for this former catfish processing plant to once again begin receiving fish – this time, wonderful ‘American Carp’ – and to begin production and exporting of our innovative products.”

An invasive species, Asian carp compete with native fish and are overpopulating.

“We are pleased to welcome this investment from Blue Shore Fishery to Farmington,” said Sen. Stan Humphries, of Cadiz. “The new jobs created will have a huge economic impact on the community and we appreciate all those who helped attract this new project.”

“In the last couple of years we’ve seen economic growth around the region as opportunities increase to take advantage of the Asian carp population in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers,” said Rep. Richard Heath, of Mayfield. “I want to welcome Blue Shore Fishery to Graves County, and the jobs they are creating for our people.”
“How excited we are in the City of Mayfield to welcome Blue Shore Fishery to our local industries,” Mayfield Mayor Teresa Cantrell said. “It is visionary companies like Blue Shore that will be a catalyst for other industrial pursuits that can, in fact, be the key to our future. With a lot of factors to take into account, and a lot of activity in the works, that future is very bright.”

“I am so proud that Blue Shore Fishery has chosen Graves County as the site for its new processing plant,” said Graves County Judge-Executive Jesse Perry. “This is our next step in seeing Graves County grow and prosper. We have already seen an impact of Blue Shore Fishery’s influence with employment of local contractors and peripheral businesses. We look forward to the company’s continued growth and building strong ties with the community.”

Ryan Drane, Graves County Economic Development president, also welcomed the new venture.

“While we are excited about the jobs that Blue Shore Fishery will bring to our county, we are equally excited about their commitment to the community, to innovation and to reviving the inland fishing industry,” Drane said. “They will be a great industry partner and we look forward to working with them to help grow their business.”

Loretta Daniel, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office at Murray State University, said she knew great things lay ahead when she began working with Blue Shore owners Drs. Lan Chi Luu and Crilly 16 months ago.

“Working with Blue Shore Fishery from a vision based on the potential market for this product to seeing the grand opening of that vision is a wonderful thing to see,” Daniel said. “They were able to take a fish that is a problem for our waterways and find opportunity. They took a factory built for a specific purpose and revived it as a productive facility that will create jobs for this region. That is what entrepreneurs do and why they are so vital for our region.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1,000,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Blue Shore Fishery is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive 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 4,100 Kentucky companies.

The Kentucky Innovation Network is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities. To learn how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping create and grow Kentucky’s small businesses, visit www.kyinnovation.com.

A detailed community profile for Graves County can be viewed here.

More information about Blue Shore Fishery is available at www.blueshoreusa.com.

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.

Gov. Beshear Cuts Ribbon at Owensboro Innovation Academy

commonwealth image

New high school established in the Centre for Business and Research

OWENSBORO, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2015) – High school students in the greater Owensboro region can now receive specialized education in technical fields that compare to a college environment. Governor Steve Beshear today joined school officials and community leaders in celebrating the opening of the Owensboro Innovation Academy, located in Owensboro’s Centre for Business and Research.

A partnership between Owensboro Public Schools and Daviess County Public Schools developed the academy. It is currently in its inaugural school year with a newly admitted freshman class of 80 students.

“The establishment of the Owensboro Innovation Academy provides motivated high school students in the region with the resources needed to continue down technological, medical, engineering and entrepreneurial pathways,” said Gov. Beshear. “The academy will also have the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the Kentucky Innovation Network and its clients.”

The academy is a stand-alone high school employing project-based learning with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and entrepreneurial curriculum. It is Kentucky’s first school affiliated with the national New Tech Network, a nationwide partnership of 134 schools across 23 states. Incoming freshmen from public schools in Owensboro, Daviess County, Hancock County and McLean County or home-schooled students are eligible to apply for the academy. Administrators use a lottery system for enrollment and plan to maintain about 100 students per grade level. Students reserve the option to take elective courses not offered at the academy at their home high schools.

“The school isn’t a traditional high school,” said Beth Benjamin, director of Owensboro Innovation Academy. “It’s more like a college experience.”

The academy’s location is essential as students will share the Centre for Business and Research incubator with technology-based companies that are clients of the Kentucky Innovation Network. Students must select a postsecondary pathway that engages them in a college-learning or career-oriented technical program. Those include:

* Computer Information Technology
* Life Sciences, Bio-Medical
* Industrial Engineering
* Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Kentucky Innovation Network is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities.

“The Network has been heavily involved in setting up the academy, and we couldn’t be more pleased to see it up and running. We’ve helped in developing the space, working with the faculty on common programs and the curriculum,” said Joe Berry, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Owensboro office. “It aligns with the Kentucky Innovation Network’s mission of educating and growing the entrepreneurial community.”

To learn how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping create and grow Kentucky’s small businesses, visit their website.

“The Owensboro Innovation Academy will provide a wonderful opportunity for ambitious young minds in our community,” Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. “With the ever-changing demand for advanced technical skills in our work force, this new school will better prepare students for their postsecondary education and, ultimately, high-paying jobs in the future.”

“The Owensboro Innovation Academy is a tremendous opportunity for the students who attend, and it is a great addition to our community’s educational system,” said state Rep. Jim Glenn, of Owensboro. “I want to thank Gov. Beshear for joining with us for this ceremony, and I appreciate the cooperative work of our local school districts in making it possible. This will pay dividends for many years to come.”

“The Owensboro Innovation Academy is an outstanding opportunity for our youth that is linked to nationwide recognition,” said Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne. “We are proud to house the first program like this in Kentucky at our very own Centre for Business and Research. The City of Owensboro looks forward to seeing what this program will do for our region.”

“Daviess County is proud to have a facility such as the Owensboro Innovation Academy located in our community,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “The emphasis placed on science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and teamwork will surely provide our students with the education they need to compete in a global economy in the 21st century.”

The New Tech Network (NTN) is a nonprofit organization that helps high school students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow. It works nationwide with 134 schools in 23 states and Australia to provide services and support that enables schools to implement innovative high schools that promote deeper learning. New Tech schools create a rigorous and engaging high school experience that features project-based learning, use of technology and a positive empowering school culture. Learn more about NTN.

For more information on the Owensboro Innovation Academy, visit their website.