FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2014) – Further proving Kentucky is a viable place for foreign investment, Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company officials and local leaders to announce Kowa Kentucky Inc.’s plans to open a facility in Knox County.
For Kowa, which specializes in metalworking and treatment, the southeastern Kentucky location will be the company’s first operation in North America. Kowa plans to create 30 jobs and invest $8.3 million into the project.
“Kentucky welcomes Kowa as its newest corporate citizen, one that will significantly enrich the southeastern Kentucky region, as well as the entire Commonwealth,” said Beshear. “The fact that Kowa has chosen Kentucky as the destination for its global operations speaks volumes about the pro-business climate and quality workforce we offer. I congratulate the company on this global expansion, and I look forward to building upon our partnership for years to come.”
Kowa plans to move into the Corbin Regional Speculative building in the Southeast Kentucky Business Park this fall. The new facility will focus on surface treatment for automotive suppliers, specifically a highly advanced process known as electroless nickel plating.
Kowa is a leading provider of hot dip galvanized coating, various surface treatments of metal and metalworking. Its parent company, Kowa Kogyosho Company Ltd., is based in Nagoya, Japan.
“We are excited about opening our first North American facility in Corbin and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Toshio Muguruma, president of Kowa Kogyosho Co. Ltd.
“With our state-of-the art plating technologies, we hope to be able to expand our customer base in North America in coming years,” added Saetsu Sato, president of Kowa Kentucky, Inc.
Kentucky is home to nearly 450 foreign-owned companies. More than 160 of those businesses are Japanese-owned, and they employ 43,000 people statewide.
“Kowa Kentucky Inc. is definitely an economic boost for Corbin and the surrounding area,” Corbin Mayor Willard McBurneyn said. “We are truly excited and appreciative for Kowa locating and establishing its company here. We look forward to a long and great working relationship.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in Corbin, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $600,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also approved the company for tax benefits up to $50,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.
A detailed community profile for Knox County can be viewed here.