FRANKFORT, Ky. — Envision Modular LLC, which manufactures prefabricated single and multi-story modular buildings, is expected to create 85 full-time jobs with a $25.1 million investment to refurbish an out-of-use facility in Hawesville.
“We at the state love to see job creation in every corner of the commonwealth, and we also love to see companies come in and breathe new life into our existing facilities,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This project has the potential to be a difference maker for the Hawesville community, and we are proud Envision Modular chose Kentucky for this investment.”
Envision leaders expect to locate in 200,000 s.f. of the former Alcoa building in the Hancock County Industrial Park. The site sits on more than 30 acres to accommodate potential future growth, and includes river and rail access allowing the company to quickly ship products to customers. The Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) operation would be the first of its kind in the commonwealth. Company leaders anticipate phase one of construction to begin in the next 30 to 90 days, with phase two to follow this summer.
“Various elements of our group have decades of construction, development and sales experience throughout the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. region, with heavy involvement in the development and construction of hotel and commercial buildings in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Ed Ray, chief operating officer and counsel to Envision Modular. “The cost and time to build hotels, multi-family units, government housing, office buildings and other vertical projects using traditional methods has resulted in escalating costs and the building industry failing to keep up with marketplace demand for these projects. Envision Modular has the solution with Permanent Modular Construction and is thrilled to be opening its production facility in Hancock County, Kentucky.”
“We greatly appreciate the partnership created between Envision Modular, the commonwealth of Kentucky, the Hancock County Fiscal Court and the Owensboro Community and Technical Collage, and look forward to becoming a member of the Hancock County/Hawesville community,” Ray added. “The Cabinet for Economic Development and the Hancock County Fiscal Court have truly embraced this endeavor and we cannot wait to get our team hired and start building.”
A startup headquartered in Owensboro, Envision Modular was formed to address disadvantages of traditional construction methods that have caused the building industry to fall behind demand for projects. PMC utilizes offsite, lean manufacturing techniques to prefabricate single or multi-story buildings in deliverable module sections. The modules can be used as standalone units or be integrated into site-built projects. Company leaders note that PMC uses the same materials and designs with the same standards as conventionally built structures, but with roughly half the time to construct.
This month’s Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) meeting produced six Gov. Beshear-announced projects in five counties – Barren, Hancock, Hart, Kenton and Warren. Those projects total more than $274 million in planned investment and 545 full-time Kentucky jobs.
Sen. Matt Castlen, R-Owensboro, said the company realized the advantages of locating in the region.
“I am appreciative of Envision Modular LLC for recognizing the value of our business climate and skilled workforce and for choosing to operate in Hawesville,” Castlen said. “This is a much-welcomed investment for Hawesville that will provide stable, high-paying jobs in the commonwealth.”
Rep. Dean Schamore, D-Hardinsburg, expressed gratitude for the company’s decision to locate in Kentucky.
“This is great news for Hawesville and will mean so much to the 85 families who benefit from these high-paying jobs,” Schamore said. “I want to thank Envision Modular for locating in our community and investing so much to get this manufacturing facility up and running. I also appreciate the cooperative effort of our local and state economic development officials. Their expertise and commitment play a vitally important role.”
Hancock County Judge/Executive Johnny Roberts said it has taken a group effort to secure the project for the area.
“The Hancock County Fiscal Court and entire community are very excited about our newest partner, Envision Modular, LLC, opening its doors in our industrial park,” said Roberts. “Hancock County has so much to offer an enterprise like Envision Modular, including an experienced and skilled workforce, easy interstate access, rail and river service, and our willingness to truly partner with new and existing business is second to none in the region. We are highly experienced in working with and supporting both large and small industrial facilities like Envision Modular and we could not be more thrilled with their site selection. On behalf of the entire fiscal court and our economic development partners, we look forward to what Envision Modular will do for the commercial construction industry here in our local area and throughout the Eastern U.S.”
Mike Baker, director of the Hancock County Industrial Foundation, said the arrival of Envision Modular will add diversity to the local business community.
“Hancock County is very pleased to partner with Envision Modular on this new manufacturing project,” Baker said. “This greatly diversifies our already strong industrial base and we look forward to working with Envision Modular as this project evolves.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $25.1 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 85 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years
- Paying an average hourly wage of $26 including benefits across those jobs
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.
In addition, Envision can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
A detailed community profile for Hancock County can be viewed here.