$47.4 million investment
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2016) — Lakeshore Learning Materials, a developer and retailer of high-quality educational products, will locate a distribution center in Woodford County’s Midway Station industrial park with an investment of more than $47.4 million projected to create 262 full-time jobs.
“Over the past 60 years, Lakeshore Learning Materials has established itself as a highly regarded brand in the world of education,” Gov. Matt Bevin said. “This multi-generational family company is a great fit for the commonwealth. Their core values are well aligned with Kentucky values. Their community orientation, history of product innovation, and deep roots in both entrepreneurism and education are exemplary. It’s with great joy that we welcome Lakeshore to Kentucky and thank them for choosing to invest and create jobs in the Bluegrass region.”
Lakeshore’s construction of a 500,000-square-foot fulfillment and distribution facility in Midway will allow the company to be more centrally located to its customers. Company leaders expect the building will be operational by November 2017.
Ethelyn Kaplan, a homemaker from Omaha, Neb., founded Lakeshore after relocating her family to Oakland, Calif. to open a toy store in 1954. The business soon began focusing on learning materials, moving to Carson, Calif., and launching its first catalog in 1958. Lakeshore started developing its own products in 1988, and today the company provides teachers and parents with innovative educational products for children from birth through sixth grade. Lakeshore now employs more than 2,000 people across the U.S. and is in its third generation of Kaplan-family ownership.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3.7 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. 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 Lakeshore for up to $1.4 million 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.
Lakeshore can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can 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.