Hopkinsville’s Metalsa plant will expand its operation and create 97 full-time jobs that pay an average of $29 an hour, including benefits, state officials announced Thursday.
The company is improving the existing plant and adding new machinery and equipment so it can install two new manufacturing lines. The project is expected to be completed by October 2022.
The announcement came from Gov. Andy Beshear.
“The automotive industry will play a vital role in our efforts to build our economy back stronger than ever in Kentucky,” Beshear said in a news release. “If we are going to have a strong economy well into the future, automotive companies — particularly a strong supplier base — will be essential in making that goal a reality.”
Gustavo Andres, chief commercial and marketing officer at Metalsa, said, “Our expansion is significant because it allows us to support our customers’ growing business and meet their demands while also supporting the growth of our community.”
Metalsa — a subsidiary of Grupo Proeza, a privately held company in Mexico — makes vehicle chassis structures at the Hopkinsville plant. It was originally Dana Corp., one of the city’s first large automotive-related factories when it opened in the Hopkinsville Industrial Park in 1989. Metalsa purchased the plant in 2008.
Shortly before the governor announced the project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement for Metalsa.
The agreement could pay Metalsa up to $1.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s $39.1 million investment and annual targets to create and maintain 97 jobs for Kentucky residents for 15 years. The jobs must pay an average hourly wage of at least $29, including benefits, according to the governor’s news release.
The finance authority also approved up to $100,000 in tax incentives for Metalsa through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. The incentives are earned by recouping Kentucky sales and use taxes on construction costs and other expenses.
Metalsa currently employs 605 people in Hopkinsville. It also has plants in Elizabethtown and Owensboro with 2,800 Kentucky employees total.
Local officials, including Mayor Wendell Lynch, Christian Christian Judge-Executive Steve Tribble and South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council Executive Director Carter Hendricks, praised the project.