Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Commemorates Grand Opening of Blackhawk Composites Manufacturing Facility in Morgantown

Press Release Date:  Monday, February 01, 2010  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Advanced aerospace manufacturer to create 30 new jobs, invest over $1.5 million

 MORGANTOWN, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet officials today joined company and community leaders in Morgantown to commence the grand opening of Blackhawk Composites, Inc. a startup manufacturer of advanced aerospace composite parts.  Gov. Beshear announced Blackhawk Composites’ plans to begin manufacturing operations in Butler County last October resulting in 20 new jobs initially, growing to 30 within the first year.  The project also represents a more than $1.5 million investment in the Commonwealth. 

“The startup of Blackhawk Composites in Butler County will provide dozens of high-quality, well-paying jobs - the kind of jobs Kentucky seeks to create,” said Gov. Beshear.  “We’re proud to be the home of Blackhawk Composites and will continue to partner with them on future opportunities.”  

Established in September 2009, the newly formed Blackhawk Composites is leasing a 40,000 square-foot facility to manufacture advanced aerospace composite parts for Cessna Caravan aircraft cowls, the part of the aircraft that covers the engine. The Cessna Caravan is a large single engine turboprop used for executive and cargo transport, as well as other commercial uses such as a jump platform for skydiving. These aircraft are found in increasing numbers worldwide. 

“We are very pleased that we were able to establish this venture in Kentucky,” said Gary Smrtic, president of Blackhawk Composites. “It has been the goal of our core team to bring aerospace work into south central Kentucky for some time, and this is the fruit of that labor.”  

“While Blackhawk Composites Inc is technically a startup, our management team is certainly not new to business,” added Smrtic. “Unlike most startups, we will begin with a long-term tooling and production contract for one type of aircraft already in place, as well as several other prospects we are discussing with other aircraft companies.” 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Blackhawk Composites for tax benefits up to $750,000 under Kentucky’s new incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment Program.  The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.  The maximum annual approved amount to be earned by Blackhawk Composites is $50,000.   

“We welcome Blackhawk Composites to Morgantown and Butler County, and we thank them for investing in our community,” said Butler County Judge Executive David Fields. “We also appreciate the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce for their assistance with this project through the South Central Kentucky Regional Economic Development Partnership.” 

“This startup company is a very exciting addition to our community, and we’re grateful to be involved in the South Central Kentucky partnership, which has assisted us in the process of opening Blackhawk Composites here,” added Morgantown Mayor Eva Hawes. 

A community profile for Butler County can be viewed at  Information about Kentucky’s economic development efforts is available at


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