FRANKFORT Ky. — KOWA Kentucky Inc. cut the ribbon on its manufacturing facility in Corbin on Wednesday. KOWA, which specializes in metalworking and treatment, is creating 30 jobs with its $10 million investment in the project. The Knox County location is the Japanese company’s first operation in North America.
“Having the opportunity to make Kentucky the home of the company’s first North American location is an exciting prospect and shows our state is an ideal location for attracting new business,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This is just another example of how Kentucky is successful at bringing in foreign direct investment.”
KOWA’s parent company, KOWA KOGYOSHO CO.,LTD. in Nagoya, Japan, opted to establish the plant in the Corbin Regional Speculative building at the Southeast Kentucky Business Park. The company’s operations will focus on surface treatment for automotive suppliers, specifically an advanced process known as electroless nickel plating
KOWA is the latest in a line of successful foreign direct investment projects in Kentucky. The commonwealth is home to nearly 450 foreign-owned manufacturing, service and technology firms. More than 170 of those are Japanese-owned, and they employ nearly 42,000 people statewide.
“The establishment of a plant in the United States was the first experience for KOWA and we have had to learn everything from the very beginning because of our lack of knowledge about doing business in the United States,” said Toshio Muguruma, director of KOWA Kentucky Inc. “Thanks to the utmost cooperation and support extended by Kentucky’s state government, Corbin’s city government and many other organizations, we can congratulate the grand opening of KOWA Kentucky’s facility today.”
KOWA provides hot dip galvanized coating and other various surface treatments for metal and metalworking.
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 $600,000 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, KOWA Kentucky Inc. was preliminarily approved by KEDFA for $50,000 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 equipment.
KOWA Kentucky Inc. also is currently partnering with 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.