HENDERSON, Ky. — Columbia Brands USA LLC, a manufacturer of apparel and footwear products, will expand its presence in Henderson County with a $3.7 million investment in its existing distribution operation creating 175 full-time jobs.
Through this project, leaders at Columbia will invest in facility upgrades and new equipment to accommodate the relocation of a performance fishing gear line from the company’s distribution facility in Oregon. New jobs created will include warehouse associates and supervisory positions. Upgrades at the 520,000-square-foot distribution center in Robards are expected to begin this May and be completed by May 2023.
“We’ve had a distribution center in Kentucky since 2004,” said Tim Boyle, president, CEO and chairman of the board at Columbia. “We think investing in this area will be good for our business, strengthening our supply chain and allowing us to hire top-notch talent.”
“Our distribution center in Henderson County continues to advance new processing capabilities,” added Alonzo Plater, the company’s vice president of global distribution. “Investment in this area will help us achieve our goal to get our products into the hands of our customers and consumers in the timeliest manner possible. “
Columbia Brands USA, a subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Co., is based in Oregon, where it was established in 2003. The company sells and distributes branded apparel and footwear products throughout the U.S., including Columbia, Sorel, Montrail, prAna and Mountain Hardwear. Columbia operates one of its two U.S. distribution centers in Robards, where it currently employs nearly 200 people.
Columbia is part of Kentucky’s expansive logistics and distribution network. Since the start of the Beshear administration, the sector has announced more than 4,000 full-time, Kentucky-resident jobs across more than 80 facility expansions and new-location projects with $563 million in private-sector investment in the commonwealth.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.2 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $3.7 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 175 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $24 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $100,000 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.
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, Columbia 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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