Lieutenant Governor Abramson's Communications Office
Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson Joins Asahi Bluegrass Forge for Ribbon-Cutting in Richmond

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, June 06, 2012  
Contact Information:  Valeria Cummings
Eric Duncan
502-564-2611
 


Japanese automotive supplier celebrates opening of new manufacturing facility

RICHMOND Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today joined local leaders and company officials of Asahi Bluegrass Forge in Richmond for a ribbon-cutting on the company’s new 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The new plant, located at 3007 Bill Robertson Way, represents a $20.3 million investment in the Commonwealth and the creation of 50 full-time jobs.

“Today is an outstanding celebration for Asahi Bluegrass Forge, Richmond and the Commonwealth,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “We have a tremendous workforce in Kentucky and an ever-growing reputation for our skills in the automotive industry, which is such a driving force for the economy.”

Kentucky is currently home to more than 440 automotive-related industries that employ more than 68,000 people. Additionally, Kentucky ranks third highest in auto industry-related employment as a percent of total state employment among the top motor vehicle producing states in the U.S.

“The Asahi Forge Group is pleased to announce the official opening of Asahi Bluegrass Forge Corporation located in Richmond,” said Asahi Bluegrass Forge Corporation vice president Makoto Ishigaki. “We would like to thank Gov. Steve Beshear and the Commonwealth, as well as Lt. Gov. Abramson and Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes for their support.”

Asahi Bluegrass Forge’s parent company is Asahi Forge Corporation, a Japanese company that specializes in producing such automotive parts as hub units, gears, transmission components, bearings and joints.

Just last month, Gov. Beshear made a seven-day economic development trip to Japan and Taiwan to further promote foreign direct investment opportunities in the Commonwealth. Japanese-owned companies already operate more than 150 facilities in Kentucky and provide more than 34,000 full-time jobs. Additionally, Kentucky has the second-highest Japanese foreign direct investment on a per capita basis.

To encourage the investment and job growth in Richmond, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved Asahi Bluegrass Forge for tax benefits up to $120,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

“Kentucky has a sterling reputation in the auto industry, and it’s because of companies like Asahi Bluegrass Forge,” said Rep. Rita Smart, of Richmond. “I want to thank the company for making this investment in our community and for creating these much-needed jobs. I also appreciate the cooperative spirit from local and state officials who worked together to help make this happen.”

“We are honored that Asahi Forge made the decision to build a second manufacturing plant in Richmond,” said Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes. “Asahi has been a valuable member of our industrial community since 2003. We have always had an excellent working relationship with Asahi and look forward to continuing that relationship. We are grateful to them for employing our citizens. I hereby pledge that the city of Richmond will support and assist them in every way possible to assure their success.”

“On behalf of all the citizens of Madison County we are elated that Asahi has opened a second plant in the Industrial Park,” said Madison County Judge-Executive Kent Clark. “I say day in and day out that Madison County is the best place to work, get a quality education, and retire. We are overjoyed with their decision and will support them in any manner to ensure they grow and prosper here.”

For more information on Asahi Bluegrass Forge, visit www.asahiforge.co.jp/en/.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.

A detailed community profile for Richmond (Madison County) can be viewed at http://www.thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=001.

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