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  • Writer's pictureLampton Commons

Metalsa to Expand in Hopkinsville

Metalsa Structural Products Inc., a manufacturer of chassis structures for light and commercial combustion engine, hybrid and battery electric vehicles, plans to expand its Hopkinsville operation and create 97 full-time jobs in the years ahead to support its customers.

“The automotive industry will play a vital role in our efforts to build our economy back stronger than ever in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “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. Metalsa is an important part of Team Kentucky with three facilities in Central and West Kentucky, and the company’s continued growth is tremendously good news for our state.”

Metalsa’s leaders plan to invest in improvements at its existing facility on Bill Bryan Boulevard in Hopkinsville, as well as adding new machinery and equipment. The project will accommodate the installation of two new manufacturing lines to support customers in Michigan and Missouri. Work on the project is underway and is expected to be completed by October 2022.

Metalsa employs over 2,800 people at three facilities in Kentucky, including 605 in Christian County. The Hopkinsville operation opened in 1989, followed by the Elizabethtown plant in 1994 and an Owensboro facility in 1997.

“In the spirit of collaboration, we thank Gov. Andy Beshear, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, its Cabinet for Economic Development, Christian County, South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council, the City of Hopkinsville and the Tennessee Valley Authority for this opportunity of economic growth,” said Gustavo Andres, chief commercial and marketing officer at Metalsa. “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.”

Founded in 1956, Metalsa operates as a subsidiary of Grupo Proeza, a private company headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, and employs more than 10,000 people globally. The company manufactures chassis structural components, and its products include frames, sub-frames and battery structures for pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles and crossovers, and side rails and frames for heavy trucks and buses in the light and commercial combustion engine, hybrid and battery electric vehicle markets. Metalsa is an international company with a presence in North and South America and Asia, including seven locations in the U.S.

Currently, more than 525 automotive suppliers and four automotive assembly plants operate in Kentucky, employing over 100,000 people throughout the state. In 2020, auto-related companies announced 31 new location and expansion projects expected to create 970 full-time jobs with $256.8 million in announced investment.

Christian County Judge/Executive Steve Tribble welcomed the continued growth of Metalsa in the area.

“Christian County government is thrilled to support Metalsa’s proposed expansion, which will result in new investment in Christian County with a significant physical expansion to the plant,” Judge/Executive Tribble said. “We are thankful for the continued commitment of Metalsa’s leadership and to their outstanding workforce that makes this possible. Additionally, Metalsa’s commitment represents new opportunity for residents and families of Christian County and the South Western Kentucky region. Christian County Fiscal Court looks forward to assisting Metalsa and helping them to grow with us in our less taxing, more relaxing environment.”

Hopkinsville Mayor Wendell Lynch expressed gratitude for the company’s commitment to the community. “The City of Hopkinsville is excited to support Metalsa’s proposed expansion and the creation of nearly 100 good-paying jobs,” Mayor Lynch said. “We are thankful that Metalsa’s leadership continues to believe in our community and is reinforcing that belief with this expansion and renewed investment. We are also pleased with the state’s strong support and their efforts to promote economic development across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We will continue to work closely with Metalsa and all industries to ensure Hopkinsville provides them with an outstanding experience in an award-winning community.

Carter Hendricks, executive director of the South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council, said the community has everything a company like Metalsa could need to be successful. “Metalsa’s proposed expansion and subsequent job creation continues to demonstrate that our region is uniquely positioned to help companies and industries succeed with a strong workforce, awesome location, easy highway access, low cost of living and taxes, and amazing quality of life in award-winning communities,” Hendricks said. “As a result, our region and its residents will enjoy even greater economic opportunity because of Metalsa’s leadership and continued commitment in South Western Kentucky. We look forward to working with corporate leadership as well as local management to ensure Metalsa’s presence remains strong and growing for generations to come.”

The company worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority to attain a performance grant in connection to the expansion project. John Bradley, TVA’s senior vice president of economic development, said he is proud to see Metalsa expand in Hopkinsville. “TVA and Pennyrile RECC congratulate Metalsa on its decision to expand operations in Christian County,” Bradley said. “It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate a company’s commitment to continued growth in the Valley. We are proud to partner with South Western Kentucky EDC and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to support companies creating job opportunities and investment in the region.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $39.1 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 97 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and

  • Paying an average hourly wage of $29 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Metalsa for up to $100,000 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.

In addition, Metalsa 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.

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