Bowling Green-based American Howa Kentucky Inc. (AHK), a manufacturer of interior products for the automotive industry, will create 54 full-time jobs through an investment of more than $13.1 million in a new facility in Midway, Kentucky.
The construction of a 60,000-square-foot facility in Midway Station Industrial Park will allow AHK to supply the nearby Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky facility in Georgetown with headliners for the Toyota Camry.
“We are grateful and excited to announce that American Howa Kentucky will build a manufacturing plant in the industrial park at Midway,” said Hirosato Nanami, president of American Howa Kentucky. “We chose the Midway site due to the commitment from state and local officials and incentives which made Midway the obvious choice.”
AHK currently operates one Kentucky facility in Bowling Green, employing 179 full-time workers. That facility produces dash insulators, sunshades, headliners and other automotive interior products.
The company announced that facility in 2007 and expanded it in late 2008, adding 24 jobs, and grew it again in 2011, adding 86 jobs and 56,000 square feet to the 138,000-square-foot facility.
The Bowling Green facility already plays a role in Kentucky’s automotive-related success.
In 2014, approximately 20 percent of Kentucky’s announced new investment and new jobs came from motor vehicle-related products. The Commonwealth is home to more than 470 automotive facilities employing nearly 86,000 people. While automotive jobs have declined by 26 percent nationally since 1990, Kentucky’s automotive workforce has grown by 72 percent.
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 $900,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term.
Additionally, AHK was preliminarily approved by KEDFA for $300,000 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.
American Howa Kentucky also 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.