Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 26, 2007  
Contact Information:  Janet Williamson, (502) 564-7670  

Brake corporation opens 10,000 square-foot building in Elizabethtown

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Ernie Fletcher and Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Commissioner J.R. Wilhite joined company and local officials in Hardin County today for the ribbon cutting and opening of Akebono Brake Corporation’s North American Headquarters in Elizabethtown.

“Akebono is an exemplary international company that has embraced Kentucky and its people,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Kentucky is thrilled that they have chosen to locate their headquarters in Elizabethtown and add another facility to their Kentucky family.”

Akebono, the parent company of Akebono Brake, Hardin County’s largest manufacturer, announced the intent to move its headquarters to Elizabethtown about one year ago and since that time has been constructing a new 10,000 square-foot building.  Most of the 75 professional positions at headquarters will be filled locally.

“Akebono has long had a presence in Kentucky and appreciated the advantages that Kentucky offers,” said Akebono General Manager of Administration for North American Operations Carl Lay.  “This move aligns our corporate headquarters with our manufacturing operations where the large majority of our associates are employed.”

The relocation of its North American headquarters was the first announcement of its kind for the area and is expected to help spark a new kind of development for Elizabethtown and Hardin County.

Akebono has been a long-term economic partner with Kentucky since announcing its first manufacturing facility for North America would be located in Elizabethtown in 1986.  Since that time, Akebono has opened manufacturing operations in Glasgow and Springfield with a total of 1,800 Kentuckians employed at Akebono facilities.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved Akebono Brake Corporation for tax incentives up to $1.35 million under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act (KJDA), an incentive program designed to increase service-and technology-related employment in the state. 

A community profile of Hardin County may be found at the following link: .

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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 18,200 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at