Gov. Beshear Joins WPT Nonwovens To Cut Ribbon on New $19.5 Million Manufacturing Center in Ohio County, Creating 35 Jobs

 Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials and leaders from WPT Nonwovens Corp. to cut the ribbon on the company’s new $19.5 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ohio County, a project that is creating 35 new well-paying Kentucky jobs.

“There has never been a better time to grow your business here in the commonwealth and take advantage of the many unique resources this great state has to offer,” said Gov. Beshear. “WPT is a homegrown success story showing the world that manufacturing is thriving in Kentucky. I am excited to see the company continue to grow here in Ohio County. I want to thank WPT’s leadership for their continued investment in the commonwealth and congratulate them on this exciting next step as a company.”

The $19.5 million capital investment includes a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing center with a state-of-the-art carded nonwoven production line, which adds more than 12,000 annual metric tons of capacity for HVAC filtration media and hygiene fabrics to the company’s manufacturing capabilities. The project initially began as a $10.7 million investment in 2021 and has since grown significantly in scale. WPT’s investment will create 35 quality manufacturing jobs and bolster the domestic supply chain for these product lines for many other Kentucky finished product manufacturers.

“WPT is excited to meet the growing demand for American-made nonwoven filtration media and even more excited to continue doing so in Ohio County and the incredible community of Beaver Dam,” said Travis Robbins, president of WPT.

Founded in 2008, the company is a third-generation family-owned nonwoven manufacturer located in Beaver Dam, Kentucky. WPT is 100% American-owned, FDA-registered and a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB). WPT’s key nonwoven focuses are in the medical, hygiene, filtration and industrial markets operating three production facilities in Ohio County, six nonwoven lines and five medical products converting lines.

Ohio County Judge/Executive David Johnston welcomed the expansion and noted the close relationship the company has with the local community: “With great pleasure and enthusiasm, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to WPT Nonwovens Corp. on the exciting news of its expansion! This landmark achievement is a testament to the unwavering commitment, exceptional service and strong community bonds that WPT Nonwovens Corp. has built over the years.” 

Beaver Dam Mayor Paul Sandefur is looking forward to seeing the company continue to grow and find success in Ohio County: “Congratulations on this remarkable expansion! WPT Nonwoven Corp.’s commitment to quality, customer satisfaction and community engagement laid the foundation for this commendable achievement, and we look forward to their continued success and industry excellence in the years ahead.”

Jason Chinn, executive director of the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance, highlighted the important role the company plays in the local manufacturing sector and is excited about the opportunities the project will bring to the area: “As WPT Nonwovens Corp. embarks on this new chapter of growth, we applaud their dedication to providing outstanding products and positive contributions to our business community. This expansion signifies their success and brings more opportunities for Ohio County’s growing manufacturing ecosystem. The local business landscape is thriving, and WPT Nonwovens Corp. continues to play a pivotal role in its vibrancy.”

WPT’s investment and job creation build on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced nearly 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $28.7 billion in announced investments, creating 51,265 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in the commonwealth’s history.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 topped $26 in consecutive years for the first time.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $591 million investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.

Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top 5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects.

Gov. Beshear has also announced a “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority in May 2021 preliminarily approved an incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

Source: The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development – News Room

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