Editorials

Industrial jobs coming to Eastern Kentucky

Braidy Industries Inc. CEO Craig Bouchard, right, and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin speak with reporters in Wurtland. The aluminum company says it will spend $1.3 billion to build an aluminum plant in Greenup County, pledging to hire 550 people.
Braidy Industries Inc. CEO Craig Bouchard, right, and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin speak with reporters in Wurtland. The aluminum company says it will spend $1.3 billion to build an aluminum plant in Greenup County, pledging to hire 550 people. Associated Press

The arrival of Braidy Industries, a Delaware-based aluminum maker, is great news for the Ashland area which has been hammered by declines in the steel, coal and railroad industries.

The company, which plans to invest $1.3 billion in an aluminum rolling mill in Greenup County, is expected to create 550 permanent jobs with average hourly pay of $38 including benefits, plus 1,000 jobs in construction, which is expected to start early next year with completion by 2020.

Gov. Matt Bevin and Craig Bouchard, Braidy’s chairman and CEO, said Kentucky’s new right-to-work law was a key to Kentucky beating out 24 other states.

No one should discount other assets, however, such as a skilled labor force with a strong work ethic and easy access to transportation by rail, highway and Ohio River barge. The company has a ready market for its aluminum products in Kentucky’s auto and aeronautical manufacturing industries.

The state has agreed to provide up to $10 million in tax incentives based on how many Kentuckians are eventually employed at the plant and $15 million up front which the legislature approved last month.

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