Addition by interior components supplier’s boosts jobs to 300, investment to $43 million
RUSSELL SPRINGS, Ky. (June 29, 2016) – During a grand opening ceremony today, Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated executives from Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems Inc. for expanding their Russell Springs facility and doubling their workforce to 300 people.
The expansion, only two years after the vent-systems plant initially opened, effectively doubles its size to 116,000 square feet and increases the family owned German company’s total Kentucky investment to nearly $43 million.
“The new jobs and investment Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems created here in southcentral Kentucky further exemplify why the Commonwealth is known around the world as a prime location for manufacturing,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are pleased that Dr. Schneider quickly found success in Russell County and opted to expand. We are grateful its owners for taking this initiative and adding further momentum to the state’s thriving automotive industry.”
Dr. Schneider initially announced its Kentucky plant in August 2013 and began renovation of the former Hitachi Cable building in Russell Springs that fall. The $29 million, 64,000-square-foot facility opened in April 2014, manufacturing fresh-air vent systems and window frames.
Of the company’s recent success, Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems Plant Manager Torsten Langguth said, “After one year of planning, digging and constructing, I’m very happy that this project is finally finished on time. We are all very pleased with the result and the quality of work performed by David Construction. It is exciting that we now have the opportunity to receive more business, and create more jobs at our facility.”
Founded by Dr. Franz Schneider as a tobacco company more than 80 years ago, the business moved into production of tobacco pipes and became a pioneer in plastics processing. Schneider family members later applied that expertise to the automotive market, producing vent and trim systems for automotive OEMs around the world. The company currently supplies products for Bentley, Lamborghini, Ford, Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen, among others. Apart from the Russell Springs location, Dr. Schneider employs more than 2,800 people at nine plants worldwide.
Sen. Max Wise, of Campbellsville, said Dr. Schneider congratulated the company on its increased employment and investment.
“Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems has been an essential job provider and part of our business community. I congratulate them on achieving this next step in their enterprise,” Sen. Wise said.
Rep. Jeff Hoover, of Jamestown, said Dr. Schneider represents all that Kentucky looks for in its corporate partners.
“Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems exemplifies Kentucky’s need to promote a strong business environment with a skilled workforce,” Rep. Hoover said. “The success of Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems has resulted in an increase of employment opportunities and, therefore, an improvement in our community and better opportunities for our families. We are thrilled about this expanded investment, and look forward to even more future growth.”
Russell Springs Mayor Eric Selby noted the economic impact of the announcement and expressed his gratitude for the project.
“Dr. Schneider is an asset to our community. We recognize the significant investment, job creation and overall positive economic impact Dr. Schneider will have on Russell County as a result of this expansion,” Mayor Selby said. “We are pleased to have them as a corporate citizen efficiently growing their business right here in Russell Springs.”
Russell County Judge-Executive Gary Robertson said Dr. Schneider has already built a strong relationship with the local community.
“Dr. Schneider has been a partner with our local government by investing and creating more jobs for the citizens in Russell County,” Judge Robertson said. “I appreciate Dr. Schneider’s commitment and long-term investment in our community and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Among other ways Dr. Schneider is investing in the community, it is currently training four high school students through TRACK, the Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky program. The youth pre-apprenticeship program is creating a pipeline of future employees for STEM-related jobs. TRACK is a partnership between the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.
To encourage Dr. Schneider’s expansion and job growth, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June 2015 amended by $3 million the company’s original preliminary agreement under the Kentucky Business Investment program for a total of up to $7 million in tax incentives. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Dr. Schneider for up to $195,000 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.
Dr. Schneider can also 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 5,600 Kentucky companies.