FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Material Handling Systems Inc., a Kentucky-based manufacturer of conveyor and automated sortation equipment headquartered in Mt. Washington, plans to create 200 full-time jobs with a $7.6 million investment in a new facility in Bowling Green.
“Kentucky’s distribution and logistics sector – and the industries that support it – have played a vital role in our state’s ability to weather the storm of the past 10 months and position the state for future success,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “As we build back stronger, manufacturers like Material Handling Systems are key to Kentucky’s continued growth. By combining advanced technology with precision manufacturing, MHS enables logistics companies to serve the world. I welcome this great new project and the new jobs this Kentucky-grown success story will create.”
The company’s investment includes leasing a 181,000-square-foot facility in the Kentucky Transpark, renovation and build-out costs, as well as new equipment purchases. The new Warren County operation will provide steel structures for conveyor and sortation systems to be installed by the Mt. Washington-based company. Additionally, its manufacturing division markets extendable conveyor machines and other products to major logistics providers, such as UPS and FedEx Ground. The company sought the new location in response to significant growth in recent years and anticipated future growth.
“Kentucky has been a fantastic place to grow our global business during the past 20-plus years, and we are pleased to be expanding our presence in our home state with a new facility in Bowling Green,” said MHS CEO Scott McReynolds. “Our customers are experiencing new peak demand levels, which means our products and services are also in high demand. This facility will fill an important niche in our manufacturing process and ultimately helps us better serve those customers. We appreciate the KEDFA board’s support and the warm welcome from so many of the region’s leaders, and we look forward to becoming a valued member of the local business community.”
MHS designs, produces, installs and maintains conveyor systems, robotics, software and other products tailored to the needs of its customers, which include some of the world’s leading logistics providers and major retailers with large-scale shipping operations. The company has grown from a one-room operation when it was founded in 1999 to a global business that includes locations throughout the U.S., as well as facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and China.
A subsector of Kentucky’s nationally renowned manufacturing industry, currently 58 material-handling equipment manufacturers operate in Kentucky, employing over 3,200 people statewide. Since 2016, there have been 24 projects announced within the subsector, totaling more than $100 million in new investment and nearly 1,400 projected jobs for Kentuckians.
Kentucky is home to more than 580 logistics and distribution facilities, which employ nearly 78,000 people statewide. In 2020, the industry announced 33 new and expansion projects, expected to create nearly 1,700 jobs with more than $313 million in new investment.
The state’s broader manufacturing industry includes approximately 4,500 facilities, employing 260,000 people. Last year, manufacturers made 156 project announcements, representing plans for more than 3,800 new jobs and nearly $1.56 billion in new investment.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon noted the region’s sustained economic growth.
“This announcement is exciting news for Warren County. Material Handling Systems will further strengthen our local economy and support numerous jobs within the region,” Judge/Executive Buchanon said. “It is a joy to see continued business interest in our community, and we are pleased to have an industry leader locate here.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said the company selected the right location to grow its business.
“We welcome Material Handling Systems to Bowling Green and are confident that they will benefit from being a part of our community,” Mayor Alcott said. “We truly appreciate our businesses and do what we can to help them succeed.”
Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said he looks forward to a long, successful partnership between MHS and the community.
“We are thrilled to have Material Handling Systems join us in South Central Kentucky. Their operations will bring diversity to our manufacturing sector through their focus on conveyor systems,” Bunch said. “We look forward to working with them for years to come.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $7.6 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 200 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $22.50 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.
In addition, MHS 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.