Home » Firestone to expand Whitley County facility, create 250 jobs

Firestone to expand Whitley County facility, create 250 jobs

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — Firestone Industrial Products Co. leaders plan to create 250 full-time jobs in Williamsburg with a $50 million expansion of the company’s automotive air springs manufacturing plant.

The 68,000-s.f. expansion of the 375,000-s.f. facility is spurred by growing customer demand and new business, including an increased focus on electric vehicle parts. Work on the expansion project is expected to be completed by December 2022.

Firestone opened its Whitley County operation in 1989, currently employs more than 500 people, and produces approximately 4 million parts annually.

Founded in 1936 and headquartered in Nashville, Firestone Industrial Products is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas. The company manufactures air springs and related products for commercial trucks and trailers, passenger vehicles including sport-utility vehicles and minivans, light trucks, motor homes, buses, agricultural equipment, rail and industrial applications. Firestone operates two North American plants, a European office and technical center in the Netherlands, as well as international manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Poland, China, and Costa Rica.

Since 2020, auto-related companies in Kentucky announced 36 new location and expansion projects expected to create 1,500-plus full-time jobs with over $360 million in announced investment. More than 525 automotive suppliers and four automotive assembly plants currently operate in the commonwealth, employing over 100,000 Kentucky residents.

TheKentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $6.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $50.89 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 250 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $29 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Firestone for up to $350,000 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.