Home » LION leaders cut ribbon on reopened Beattyville manufacturing facility

LION leaders cut ribbon on reopened Beattyville manufacturing facility

Producer of PPE for first responders announced investment, 75 new jobs in June

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. — LION First Responder PPE Inc., a manufacturer of firefighter garments and other equipment and apparel for first responders, celebrated its reopening of the company’s Lee County facility after more than a decade, an $850,000 investment bringing 75 quality jobs to Eastern Kentucky.

LION operated the 50,000-square-foot facility at 800 Fairground Ridge Road in Beattyville, where the company manufactured firefighter protective garment outer shells for 30 years until its closure in 2010.

The revived operation now produces thermal liners, the innermost layer of firefighter protective garments. LION’s investment supported facility renovations and new sewing and seam sealing equipment. The company also is coordinating with the Lee County Area Technology Center to establish an apprenticeship program, as well as a work-based experience program with the Lee County School District for high school seniors.

In addition to the reopened Beattyville operation, LION maintains a manufacturing location in West Liberty and a distribution and manufacturing facility in Hazel Green. The company currently employs 456 people in Kentucky, including 49 in Beattyville.

Founded in 1898, LION is a family-owned company headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. The company manufactures a wide range of apparel and equipment for first responders, including fire service garments and public safety personal protective equipment (PPE). LION’s services include PPE cleaning, inspection and repair. The company also produces structures and equipment used in fire safety training. LION currently employs over 900 people companywide, with additional manufacturing operations in Ohio, Wisconsin, New York and Toronto.

Kentucky manufacturers are critical to the state’s continued economic success, as they operate nearly 5,000 facilities, employing more than 250,000 people across the state.

The Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), which works with businesses across Eastern Kentucky to meet workforce needs, provides on-the-job training for new hires at LION. Jeff Whitehead, executive director of EKCEP, said the impact of the company’s return to Beattyville is already being realized.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June preliminarily approved a performance-based 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.

In addition, LION can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. These include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

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