• Sun. Apr 18th, 2021

Kentucky: Stratus Plastics to Create 135 Jobs at Morgantown

Kentucky: Stratus Plastics to Create 135 Jobs at Morgantown

Frankfort, KY (STL.News) Stratus Plastics International, a producer of injection-molded parts for motor vehicles, appliances and consumer goods, will create 40 jobs while immediately expanding production at its Morgantown facility, with the potential for a total of 135 new positions in the years to come.

“We are continuing to build a better Kentucky and a stronger economy for our families, and Stratus Plastics’ growth in Butler County is a prime example of that,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.  “The significant increase in planned jobs since the company first announced this project demonstrates Kentucky’s strong support for manufacturers and our ability to help companies grow quickly.  I appreciate the commitment of Stratus leaders to providing quality opportunities for Kentuckians.”

The number of new jobs expected to materialize at the facility in the coming years increased fivefold since August 2017, when company leaders first announced Stratus would locate a new manufacturing plant in Morgantown.  Because a major motor vehicle manufacturer awarded Stratus additional production lines, Stratus leaders are in the process of hiring 40 employees to expand production at the Morgantown facility and meet this heightened demand.  The company anticipates making dozens more future hires as it continues to expand in Kentucky.

The operation, Stratus’ first in Kentucky, opened in 2017 at a 165,000-square-foot facility with molding and warehousing capabilities.  Since then, Stratus has invested millions of dollars in the plant while creating opportunities for residents of South Central Kentucky.  The privately held Canadian company currently employs 45 workers at the Morgantown location, which produces automotive, industrial and consumer products for customers in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest.

“Stratus Plastics is proud to be part of the Morgantown community,” said Dave Kondracki, Stratus Plastics Kentucky plant manager.  “We strive to develop not only our plastic products in a variety of manufacturing applications, but also the people we employ in our community and connections throughout the state.”

Stratus, based in Windsor, Ontario, supports multiple tier-one automotive suppliers and non-automotive customers as well.  The company’s experienced management team brings direct knowledge of the industry and extensive research experience.  Its Windsor operation employs more than 30 people and offers a wide range injection-molding abilities at its headquarters as well as state-of-the-art machining, robotics and auxiliary assembly equipment.

The company’s Kentucky operation is one of more than 520 automotive-related facilities operating statewide, which combine to employ more than 110,000 Kentuckians full time.  As the No. 1 producer of motor vehicles in the U.S. per capita, Kentucky supports hundreds of automotive suppliers in addition to four OEMs.  In 2020, despite the nationwide economic stagnation caused by the pandemic, Kentucky’s automotive industry announced nearly 1,000 new jobs and roughly $257 million in planned investment.

Morgantown Mayor Billy Phelps said the Stratus investment marks a positive step forward for the area.

“We are proud of the work being done at Stratus Plastics and are looking forward to their continued growth in Morgantown,” Mayor Phelps said.  “Expansions like these are critical for the economic growth and sustainability of our community.”

Butler County Judge/Executive Timothy Flener echoed these sentiments.

“Butler County offers businesses a wealth of strategic advantages from access to land and raw materials to a strong and dedicated workforce. Stratus Plastics saw these advantages when choosing to locate in Morgantown in 2017,” Judge/Executive Flener said.  “Their decision to expand here four years later demonstrates that these assets are true advantages for manufacturers. We appreciate their renewed commitment to our community and look forward to supporting their growth.”

Ron Bunch, president of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is committed to supporting business development in Morgantown and the entire region.

“The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to taking a regional approach to economic development,” Bunch said.  “We support Morgantown’s efforts to help grow their existing businesses, like Stratus Plastics, and to attract new ones.  We are here to provide resources to grow the South Central region’s economy.  We win together and join Morgantown celebrating the news of Stratus Plastics’ expansion.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in a September meeting granted final approval of a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.235 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment, wage and job-creation targets.

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, Stratus 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.