Clarkson, Ky. – Kelley Beekeeping Co. in Grayson County, which manufactures beekeeping products for the hobbyist, small business and commercial markets throughout the world, will create 50 jobs and invest nearly $7.5 million in an expansion project.
The company has been in the Clarkson community for more than 60 years.
The company purchased 20 acres of land for construction of a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing and showroom facility. The expansion will accommodate continued growth for the company, which has added jobs overall but also sees seasonal swells, most recently to 110 employees. The company expects to attract additional tourism to Kentucky. Currently, more than 300 people visit the operation each weekend during the spring.
“We are excited to announce our expansion and our continued commitment to our family of Kelley employees and the city of Clarkson,” said Dan Ferrise, CEO of Kelley Beekeeping. “We are very proud of our heritage and our positive relationship with the city of Clarkson, the state of Kentucky and beekeepers around the world.”
Ferrise said the company expects the expanded showroom facility to open in early June 2016, coinciding with the company’s annual Field Day event. That’s when more than 300 beekeepers from across the central U.S. visit to learn and share knowledge with other bee enthusiasts.
Kelley Beekeeping was established in 1924 and is a manufacturer of more than 3,000 beekeeping products. Those products include a range of specialty supplies, such as woodenware units for keeping hives, protective clothing, honey extraction equipment and a variety of bees. The company made its home in Kentucky in 1934 and opened a facility in Grayson County in 1952. Thanks to the presence of Kelley Beekeeping, the Clarkson community celebrates its ties to the beekeeping industry with the annual Clarkson Honeyfest each September. The event, which is the state’s official honey festival, takes place this week.
“I am thankful the Kelley Beekeeping Company has made the decision to remain in Clarkson,” said Clarkson Mayor Bonnie Henderson. “Not only will it greatly benefit our city, but it will give security to the faithful employees that have lived here raising families for years.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1 million 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. In addition, Kelley Beekeeping also received $100,000 in incentives under the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).
Kelley Beekeeping is also eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 4,100 Kentucky companies.
For more information on Kelley Beekeeping, visit www.kelleybees.com.