Kentucky American Water has broken ground on a new Field Operations maintenance garage in Owenton, Ky. The company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with business leaders and elected officials today at the site, located at 409 Main Street in Owenton next to the Owen County Judicial Center. The $1.4 million project is scheduled for completion by spring 2020.
“Kentucky American Water is pleased to continue its investment in Owenton and Owen County through the construction of this much-needed facility,” said Nathan Clark, senior superintendent of operations. “This new field operations maintenance garage will provide enhanced support for our field crews by offering improved, centralized, climate-controlled storage capabilities for equipment and materials. It will also improve the manner in which we are able to receive deliveries of materials and offer better facilities for employee training sessions, including a multi-media training room. We believe that this facility will enable employees to perform their roles more safely, efficiently and cost-effectively, and that ultimately translates into enhanced service for our customers.”
The 9,900-square-foot maintenance garage will contain nearly 6,600 square feet of garage space as well as 3,400 square feet of support areas for restroom and shower facilities, a break room and areas for support and supervisory personnel.
“I am extremely excited that Kentucky American Water has chosen to build its new field service garage in Owenton,” said Owenton Mayor Adam Gaines. “People may not realize that Kentucky American Water is a private company, and thus could have built their garage anywhere they wanted. Their decision to build within the city limits of Owenton is just one more shining example of their commitment to the people and city of Owenton. Through my term as mayor I’ve come to not only see Kentucky American Water as an ally in improving the quality of life of our residents, but also as a friend!”
“This facility is another example of Kentucky American Water’s commitment to our community, and reiterates what a great community partner they have been,” said Owen County Judge Executive Casey Ellis. “Whether through capital investments or through the many community programs they support, Owen County is more prosperous because of Kentucky American Water’s continued commitment.”
Kentucky American Water, based in Lexington, Ky., has served Owen County since 2001 when it purchased the former Tri-Village Water District. It later purchased the water assets of Elk Lake Water District as well as, in 2005, the water and wastewater assets of the City of Owenton. In 2010 the company completed construction of its Kentucky River Station II at Hardin’s Landing, a 25 MGD water treatment facility located on the Kentucky River at the Franklin/Owen County line on US 127N. The water treatment facility originally served the company’s Central Division customers in Central Kentucky only, but in 2014 the facility was connected to the company’s Owen County system so that it could serve the company’s Northern Division customers, too.
By Kaitlyn Brooks
Despite the dreary weather on Thursday morning, there was plenty to be happy about as the Asahi Forge Corporation broke ground on their third plant in Richmond.
Gathered under a tent across the street from Asahi Bluegrass Forge plant, some of Richmond’s prominent gathered, such as Mayor Robert Blythe, State Rep. Deanna Frazier and presidents from several area corporations, to be apart of the historic event.
“It’s very unique for Richmond to get an expansion like this to have three plants from the same corporation,” Richmond Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) Executive Director David Stipe said.
Asahi Forge Corporation first broke ground in the Richmond area in 2002 when the corporation asked to lease 18 acres of land from Richmond Auto Parts Technology (RAPT). A year later, the company held a ground-breaking ceremony for Asahi Forge of America (AFA) Corporation.
Since their opening, AFA has expanded twice and now boasts 75 associates.
“In March 2016, Asahi Forge of America Corporation purchased the land they had leased from RAPT, plus a little more. Today, they now own, according to my records, (19.8) acres in park number two,” said Jimmy Howard, member of the RIDC board and former Richmond city manager.
Howard was approached by Kiki Creech, accounting manager for AFA, who said she and another associate would like to meet. During the meeting, Howard said he was pleasantly surprised to learn that AFA was interested in building a second plant in industrial park three.
In April of 2011, Asahi Bluegrass Forge (ABF) broke ground for a second time after fair and reasonable negotiations for 22 acres of land, according to Howard.
After the opening of ABF in 2012, it has seen one expansion and has 75 associates.
Howard thanked Creech for her assistance during the project, as her help was invaluable every step of the way.
In 2018, Stipes announced to the RIDC that Asahi was going to purchase land for a third manufacturing plant.
“Today is a very important day for the city of Richmond. Ground is about to be broken for a third plant,” Howard said. “Perhaps there is another city in Kentucky that’s had the good fortune of having a company to build three plants in their industrial park but I can’t name that city, I don’t believe they exist. We are very fortunate.”
Creech spoke to the audience in attendance at the groundbreaking as well, and noted that the new plant was apart of a three columned business plan, the first being hub production which is already established with ABF and AFA, the second being the groundbreaking location and third that will work on suspension products.
“As I mentioned, this is the second business column for Asahi Forge. This means we’re not done yet,” she said.
Creech said the corporation plans to hire 80 people and hopes to have $50 million in annual sales by 2023. The total capital investment for this project will be $40 million. The company that has been contracted to build the plant is Denham-Blythe, which also was contracted for the Okonite Company. Asahi hopes to see the completion of the new plant by May 2020.
Hiroshi Asahi, president of Asahi Forge Corporation, said he likes Richmond and that it has very kind people, one of the reasons why his company chose to build here again. He also noted that having all of his corporations in one spot made it easier to control operations, especially when looking towards the future of the company.
For more information about the Asahi Forge Corporation, visit https://www.asahiforge.co.jp/en.
By Amy Doane
Bluegrass Care Navigators, one of the largest nonprofit hospice providers in the nation, today celebrated the organization’s growth and future with a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new headquarters.
The organization’s operations will continue to be based in Lexington, Ky. on Harrodsburg Road, but will move to a five-acre campus with nearly 60,000 square feet of office space. The Lexington offices serve as a statewide headquarters for the company, which supports five regional offices and more than 550 employees throughout northern, central and eastern Kentucky.
“As a registered nurse, I know how important it is to have quality hospice care,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “With this new facility, Bluegrass Care Navigators will be able to meet the needs of Kentucky families for many years to come.”
Volunteers and donors founded the organization in 1978, operating in a house on Nicholasville Road. The organization estimates that it has provided end-of-life and palliative care services to more than 100,000 Kentuckians over 41 years. While hospice care remains our largest and core service, Bluegrass Care Navigators now provides a wide range of services to support those facing chronic and serious illnesses.
“Bluegrass Care Navigators has built a reputation for providing comforting care at the right time to the seriously ill in our community. We want to keep helping those who need care and services in their homes,” said CEO Liz Fowler. “Our goal is to keep growing – and keep innovating. With this new headquarters, we will be well-positioned to provide more of the care our community has come to know and expect.”
The headquarters will include many new improvements, including a dedicated bereavement center for grief care, clinical training areas and multipurpose outdoor venues. The legacy of donors and volunteers who founded the current Lexington campus will be commemorated at the new location.
“These new opportunities are only made possible by those who paved the way, particularly through the support of the Kaufmann family who funded our current campus,” said Board Chairwoman Shannon Arvin. “As we plan the design of our new headquarters, those who have contributed to our past buildings will continue to be honored.”
Bluegrass Care Navigators anticipates the new headquarters to be open by March 2020.
Bluegrass Care Navigators provides hospice care in 32 counties across central, eastern and northern Kentucky. In addition, the agency supports those facing serious illness or chronic disease with private duty nursing, home primary care, transitional care, adult day health care, grief care and palliative care services.
The Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to welcome DAE-IL Corporation (DIC) to the community in Murray, Kentucky, the future home of their first U.S. production facility.
The $50 million facility is expected to create 120 new Kentucky jobs for production, engineering, technicians, and other skilled professionals. This is the largest startup investment ever in Murray, Kentucky.
DAE-IL Corporation is headquartered in Ulsan, South Korea with primary export markets in China, Germany, Japan, and the United States. DIC manufactures and sells powertrain parts for automotive, heavy equipment, and motorcycles. With clients including GM, Hyundai, Kia, and Tesla, the global demand for electric vehicle parts pushed DIC to build this new facility in the United States.
“Our company motto is to be the best powertrain maker in the world. It is our target and dream, and we will work hard to achieve this title,” said DIC President and CEO Johnny Kim during the groundbreaking ceremony. “I believe our goal will be fulfilled here in Murray, Kentucky.”
Denham-Blythe Company was selected to design and build the 270,000 square-foot plant that is being built in the Murray-West Industrial Park. The facility will include offices, a warehouse, and a forging and machining facility. Construction is expected to be complete in May 2019.
“Denham-Blythe Company is excited to be a part of this major investment in Kentucky,” said Bill Quenemoen, CEO of Denham-Blythe Company. “DAE-IL will have a huge positive impact on the region with so many great employment opportunities. We are looking forward to working with DAE-IL and the Murray-Calloway County Economic Development team on this project.”
Denham-Blythe Company is a design/build construction company with over 40 years of experience in the automotive, industrial, food/pharma, healthcare, office, and distribution sectors. Since 1976, Denham-Blythe has completed more than 10,000 projects across the U.S. and in Mexico for a diverse customer base that includes local start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.
By Jordan Ferguson
MURRAY — Mark Manning, president of the Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation, said Tuesday that he and the rest of the EDC were excited to be welcoming DAE-IL Corporation’s new U.S. headquarters to the Murray-West Industrial Park with an official groundbreaking at 2 p.m. next Monday, July 23.
Manning told the Ledger that the new corporate entity from South Korea would be able to provide some 120 quality jobs to people within the Murray and Calloway County community.
“We have been working with this company for quite some time, and we are not just excited, we are really thrilled to have them join the community here,” Manning said. “In the recruiting process, we had help from a lot of different people.”
Manning said the new company is a very high tech company with a lot of automation.
“These are not low-skill jobs, and the fact that it is a U.S. headquarters will mean that they will be hiring not only hourly employees, but also engineers and technicians and higher wage jobs,” Manning said. “The products they make are quite sophisticated. They make gears and other components for, primarily, the automotive industry. My understanding is they do a lot of business with Hyundai and Kia already down in Alabama and Georgia. But also I think they will be doing quite a bit of business with Tesla, which I find interesting.”
Manning said they are looking at a very large building, some 300,000 square feet, which will come to a $50 million investment in building and equipment.
“It is about 120 jobs, but they are good jobs. And quite frankly, that is our target now,” Manning said. “We are not chasing that 500 and 1,000-employee plant because we need some diversification. When all you have are really big plants and one of them unfortunately closes, the impact on the community is really tough.”
Manning said the EDC is targeting a plant for about 100-250 employees, and he said they only recruit what they consider to be blue chip companies.
“What good would it do to recruit a company that comes in and makes a low-tech product with minimum wage jobs?” Manning said. “There is a place for that, but we are looking for those companies that are going to raise the bar instead of lower it. And if a company comes in and it doesn’t do something to raise per capita income, then you probably don’t need it. Murray is not a desperate community; we can afford to be choosey.”
Manning said there has been a move by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to recruit more companies from South Korea, and he has hopes that having an international presence in Murray is a good flare for the community.
“Having a German company here, having a Korean company here — Saputo is a Canadian company — we like having that international flare, and we think that adds to the overall quality of life in the community,” he said.
Manning said that over time, he feels that DAE-IL will also be a good source for students leaving Murray State University. That could be through providing them with an internship opportunity, or a potential job after graduation.
“I think that over time there will be the opportunity to develop internships,” Manning said. “Murray State is really good at working with these companies and developing a pool of talent. When you have a headquarters company from overseas, it creates a lot of local opportunities that you might not otherwise get.”