FRANKFURT, Kentucky (WTVQ/press release) – Kentucky’s economic momentum continues as today, Governor Andy Beshear announced that Commonwealth Roll Products Inc. will invest more than $167 million in a Louisport aluminum rolling mill, a project that will create 40 full-time jobs in the coming years.
“The Lewisport aluminum rolling mill has been an important part of the Hancock County community for more than 50 years, and Commonwealth Roll Products’ decision to build on this existing presence is tremendous news for workforces across the region,” said Governor Beshear. “Once this expansion is complete, the company will employ more than 900 Kentucky residents, and I am confident that growth will continue well into the future. Thank you to the leaders of the Commonwealth for continuing to grow their business in our state.”
The company’s commitment at its 2.3 million square foot facility on the 1957 Kentucky Expressway will include investing in new equipment and building upgrades to modernize the operation and improve the Commonwealth’s position to support automotive and industrial customers. New project-related positions will include production, technical and leadership roles. Currently, the company has more than 1,000 full-time employees in Hancock County, including 875 Kentucky residents. Leaders in the Commonwealth expect work on the project to begin in early 2022 and be completed by early 2024.
“This is an exciting time for the company, our customers, our employees and the local community,” said Mike Keon, Commonwealth CEO. “The investment will allow us to complete the more than $750 million investment program that we began in 2015 to make the Lewisport facility the most cost-competitive and modern common metal car and sheet metal plant in the United States. I would like to thank our owners, American Industrial Partners, Kentucky State and Hancock County for their support them.”
Commonwealth Rolled Products was incorporated in December 2020 following the acquisition of the Lewisport facility by American Industrial Partners. The aluminum rolling mill, which was recently operating in the name of Aleris Corp., was set up. , in Lewisport in 1966 as Harvey Aluminium. The plant produces high quality rolled aluminum products for the automotive and industrial markets.
The Commonwealth’s investment builds on the state’s existing 230-plus minerals-related operations, which employ approximately 25,000 Kentuckians. In 2021, the Kentucky metal industry spurred more than $1.1 billion in planned investment and more than 1,700 planned new jobs for Kentucky residents.
The company is an integral part of society, said Hancock County Judge/CEO Johnny Roberts Jr.
“We are very grateful for this moving announcement. Commonwealth Rolled Products have been a vital part of our community for many years,” said Judge/Executive Roberts. “The scope of this project underscores the company’s confidence in the local workforce and helps ensure a stronger future for Hancock County.”
Mike Baker, director of the Hancock County Industrial Corporation, expressed gratitude for the company’s commitment to the region and its local workforce.
“This significant investment is a testament to the value of the Lewisport facility, its employees, and its customers,” Baker said. “The Lewisport plant has been an important member of our community for more than 50 years and this investment can secure another 50 years! We are grateful and excited for Commonwealth Rolled Products to continue investing in Hancock County.”
Commonwealth investment and planned job creation are bolstering recent economic momentum in Kentucky, as the state bounces back stronger after the effects of the pandemic.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) earlier this month tentatively approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment Program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s $167.25 million investment and annual goals for:
- Create and maintain 40 full-time jobs of Kentucky residents over 15 years; And
- Pay a median hourly wage of $38 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual goals during the term of the agreement, the company can be eligible to retain a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. A company may claim qualifying incentives in return for its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, the Commonwealth can receive resources from Kentucky workforce service providers. These include no-cost placement and placement services, customized training at a reduced cost and job training incentives.
For more information on Commonwealth Rolled Products, visit CommonwealthRolledProducts.com.