Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Participates in Opening of Sekisui S-Lec America in Winchester
Automotive supplier to employ 80, invest more than $43 million in the state
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today participated in the grand opening of Sekisui S-Lec America LLC in Winchester. The Japanese company, which manufactures interlayer film and sound acoustic film for automotive glass use, is investing more than $43 million in its plant, which is creating 80 jobs.
“One of the top priorities of my administration is to bring well-paying, competitive jobs to Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher, who was accompanied by Economic Development Secretary John Hindman.
“We are honored that an internationally respected company like Sekisui S-Lec has chosen to make its home in Winchester. Today’s grand opening represents new job opportunities for dozens of families in the region,” the Governor said.
Sekisui’s new facility is on 23 acres in the Winchester Industrial Park. Production capacity is expected to be approximately 6 million automobile units per year.
Sekisui’s decision to locate in Kentucky underscored the state’s prominence as a catalyst for the automotive industry. Kentucky is the third-largest producer of cars and light trucks and is home to nearly 500 motor vehicle-related industries. Sekisui’s major customers are concentrated along Interstate-75, and the availability of an industrial park complete with infrastructure figured prominently in the company’s decision.
“Sekisui S-Lec America is very excited about our new home in Winchester, Kentucky,” said company President Tsuyoshi “Tony” Okano. “We would like to thank all of the people who were involved in making Sekisui S-Lec America LLC a reality. We promise you that our high quality interlayer film will contribute to car safety, comfort, and the environment.”
Sekisui S-Lec America is a subsidiary of Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd., which was established in 1947, in Osaka, Japan, and employs more than 17,000 people worldwide. Kentucky is home to more than 380 international companies with 73,000 employees. Of those companies, 148 are Japanese-owned, and they employ nearly 38,000 Kentuckians.
Since Governor Fletcher took office, companies have selected Kentucky for 224 new manufacturing or supportive-service operations. In addition, companies have announced 1,044 expansions in Kentucky. Collectively, new locations and expansions accounted for 62,000 jobs and $9.78 billion of investment from January 2004 through September 2007. “Kentucky supports its businesses,” Governor Fletcher said.
“We are very excited about Sekisui’s grand opening today,” said Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham. “Their purchase of 23 acres in our industrial park, as well as their plans to provide 80 plus jobs with an initial investment of $43 million is very much a positive for our community.”
“The Winchester community is very excited to have Sekisui as our newest corporate citizen,” said Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner. “We hope and believe that our partnership will be long and mutually beneficial.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Sekisui S-Lec America for up to $1.6 million in tax benefits under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act, an incentive program aimed at increasing manufacturing employment in the commonwealth.
A community profile for Clark County can be found at: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=093.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2006 totaled more than $3.4 billion with the creation of over 18,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.