ASHLAND, Ky. – Heavy hitters in the business world have joined together as shareholders in Braidy Industries, the firm that’s building a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill in northeastern Kentucky.
The list includes entrepreneurs, industrialists, investors, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, a world-renowned Harvard University economist, as well as current and former researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Braidy Industries Chairman and CEO Craig T. Bouchard released the names of the eight shareholders on Monday in a news release about a new scholarship fund they have created for local high school students. Bouchard said in the new release that each of the shareholders “takes responsibility to the community seriously” and will work to make eastern Kentucky “the crown jewel of the commonwealth.”
The planned aluminum mill came as welcome news last April to local residents who have been hammered with jobs losses over the past two decades. Once an employment hub, the Ashland area has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs.
One of the hardest blows to the economy was the shutdown of an expansive AK Steel mill along the Ohio River. Other smaller companies also have moved out, including a plant in Wurtland that made pigments for a variety of industrial products.
“Braidy Industries’ decision to locate in eastern Kentucky has the potential to be as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky,” Gov. Matt Bevin said when the project was announced. The proposed 2.5-million-square-foot aluminum mill will be built at the EastPark Industrial Center outside Ashland.