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INFAC to add 20 new local jobs

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By Calen McKinney

 

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Those looking for work could soon be in luck. A Campbellsville automotive supplier will soon add 20 jobs to its employee lineup.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was in Campbellsville last Wednesday to announce that INFAC North America Inc. will invest $6.5 million to expand its workforce by 20 and build a new facility in the Heartland Commerce and Technology Park. This will be the first business to locate at HCTP.

INFAC opened in Campbellsville in 2008 currently employs 60 people. More than 100 people were on hand at the Taylor County Extension Office to hear Beshear’s news.

To begin the news conference, Mark Johnson, chair of Campbellsville/Taylor County Economic Development Authority, said Beshear has been instrumental in making INFAC’s expansion possible.

“He has done for us what we wouldn’t do,” Johnson said.

Beshear, who recently had eye surgery, said he didn’t want to miss coming to Campbellsville to announce the good news.

“Not just for Campbellsville/Taylor County, this is an exciting announcement for the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky. And I wanted to be here for it.”

From September 2011 to this past September, Beshear said, Kentucky had the second highest job growth in the United States. For that to happen in the middle of a recession, he said, is something to celebrate.

“But I’m not satisfied,” he said. “I want to be No. 1. We’re not there yet, but we’re doing something right.”

Beshear said $6.5 million is a lot of money. That size investment, he said, says something about the confidence INFAC has in Campbellsville.

“ ... Is a very strong statement about your community.”

And with the $6.5 million investment comes 20 new full-time jobs.

“Now that’s something to celebrate,” Beshear said.

INFAC opened in 1969 in South Korea, Beshear said. The company specializes in automotive components such as mechanical control cables, solenoids, antennas and horns for General Motors, Chrysler, Hyundai and KIA.

Its Campbellsville location, its only in the United States, currently leases a 52,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in the industrial park. Beshear said the company plans to build a 100,000-square-foot building for its manufacturing line and warehouse. The new building will allow for increased manufacturing of brake and transmission control cables.

“This is a necessary step in this company’s growth,” Beshear said. “We’re very proud to partner with them in this expansion.”

INFAC CEO Ohe Gil Choi said his company chose to locate in Campbellsville because of its workforce. He said his team members in Campbellsville have impressed him and exceeded his expectations.

“We’re happy to be here and proud to be part of this community and to call Campbellsville home.

“INFAC looks forward to a prosperous future for our company and the people of Taylor County.”

State Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, said an obstacle for companies interested in building in the HCTP was the lack of an access road, which Beshear’s office allocated $300,000 in the state’s budget to pay for.

“You need that road there to seal the deal,” he said. “Thank you all for this huge investment you’re making in Taylor County.”

State Rep. John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, said he believes the workforce won’t leave INFAC disappointed.

“I can assure you, the workforce will not let you down.” Carney said the INFAC expansion has truly been a collaborative effort. “This is the fruits of that labor today,” he said.

Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers said INFAC workers have proven that they are masters at their products.

“We have the best workers in Kentucky. Governor, we’re proud of our people.”

Rogers said he hopes the INFAC expansion will open the doors for other businesses to follow.

“INFAC, you have rekindled Taylor County,” he said. “May disappointment never be in your future in Taylor County.”

Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young said he is excited to see Campbellsville grow.

“Thank you for your confidence in us,” he said.

“We are honored and appreciate INFAC choosing our community for this very important investment. Their decision to expand in Campbellsville speaks to the strength and dedication of their local workforce. We look forward to their future growth potential and the effect on our local economy.”

According to a news release from Beshear’s office, Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved INFAC for up to $400,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The release states that 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.

KEDFA also approved INFAC for up to $300,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

According to deed records, the HCTP property on which INFAC will build was deeded to the company on Oct. 12.

INFAC paid $10 for 20.9894 acres of land. The fair market value of the property is listed as $734,629. According to the deed, the transfer was made based on the agreement that INFAC continue operating in Taylor County and keep its current and possibly create more jobs at its operation in the future. Work on the new INFAC building has begun, but no completion date was mentioned.