Cabinet for Economic Development
FLORIDA TILE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF PORCELAIN PLANT IN LAWRENCEBURG
Project results in retention of 121 jobs, addition of new jobs anticipated
FRANKFORT, KY – Governor Ernie Fletcher’s chief of staff, Stan Cave, and Cabinet for Economic Development Commissioner George Burgess today joined with community and legislative leaders in Anderson County to celebrate the grand opening of Florida Tile’s new porcelain plant in Lawrenceburg. Also present at today’s event was the Consul General of Italy, Carlo Romeo, underlining the importance of the project.
The $15 million investment revitalizes production at the facility, while securing 121 existing jobs. Anticipated growth in production over the next few years is expected to result in the addition of another 67 new jobs.
“Florida Tile’s confidence in its Lawrenceburg plant speaks volumes about the existing 121 workers it currently employs,” said Cave. “It tells us – and more importantly, it tells the business community – that Kentucky is a good place to do business. This multi-million dollar investment breathes new life into this facility, secures 121 good jobs and holds the potential for additional opportunities for the Anderson County community.”
Panariagroup, an Italian-owned company, purchased Florida Tile in February 2006, and decided to consolidate its two U.S. manufacturing facilities, located in Shannon, Georgia and Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Production of the company’s new porcelain line was shifted to Lawrenceburg to better respond to the evolving needs of its customer base.
“Our investment in Kentucky is evidence of our long-term commitment to the U.S. market,” said Emilio Mussini, president of Florida Tile. “The logistically-favorable location, the well-developed infrastructure and the great support of state and local authorities has driven our decision to keep expanding our presence in Lawrenceburg.”
Leveraging its shared R&D between the U.S. and Italy, Florida Tile will be able to introduce multiple new porcelain tile products inspired by the American market, co-developed in Italy, and made in the U.S. The new production line, with additional investments, will expand capacity at the facility to an excess of 70 million square-feet per year.
“Florida Tile is a great corporate neighbor in our community,” said Anderson County Judge Executive Steve Cornish. “We are very supportive of their expansion and the opportunity to retain jobs for our local residents. With 64 percent of our residents leaving the county for better paying jobs, we see it as a high priority to find ways to make those jobs available and keep them here.”
“As the third largest employer in Anderson County, Florida Tile is a crucial part of our community, and it’s important we protect those jobs,” said Tami Vater, executive director of the Joint Lawrenceburg-Anderson County Economic Development Authority. “Florida Tile and its employees are a great value to Anderson County.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) granted Florida Tile final approval for tax benefits up to $5,640,000 under the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act (KIRA), an incentive program designed to rehabilitate manufacturing operations in imminent danger of permanently closing.
A community profile for Anderson County can be found at the following link: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=090.
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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 18,500 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.