Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces National Office Furniture to Retool Ohio County Plant
Company benefits from expanded incentive program passed during 2009 special legislative session
FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 3, 2009) – Gov. Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes today announced National Office Furniture, a business unit of Kimball International Inc., will invest over $4.5 million in its Fordsville manufacturing plant in an effort to implement new “green” technology in its products and processes.
A manufacturer of wood casegoods products, National Office Furniture currently employs 203 Kentuckians and has been a top performer among Kimball facilities in past years due to the excellent workforce at the facility. In order to remain competitive and avoid consolidation into plants outside of Kentucky, National Office Furniture will retool the Fordsville operation to allow the company to meet more environmentally friendly product requirements.
“National Office Furniture’s decision to reinvest in its Fordsville operation, making environmentally friendly improvements to its products and processes, is a fantastic success story,” said Gov. Beshear. “It demonstrates a perfect scenario where the state can assist existing businesses in its efforts to retool and become more globally competitive.”
National Office Furniture will implement an ultraviolet (UV) light cure finish process for the application of its water-based UV finish, IntegraClear™, which increases clarity and durability while enabling National products to meet strict indoor air quality requirements. The project will also eliminate the use of solvent-borne coatings and manual application of clear coat finish materials.
“This investment further strengthens our holistic approach to sustainability across people, process and product,” said Don Van Winkle, vice president and general manager for National Office Furniture. “It’s also a testament to the excellent work and dedication of our employees, the Fordsville community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We’re proud to invest financially and environmentally in the future of Fordsville.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Kimball Furniture Group for up to $615,000 in tax benefits under the recently expanded Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA). The 10-year program was expanded during the 2009 Special Session of the Kentucky General Assembly in HB 3, also known as the Incentives for a New Kentucky bill, sponsored by Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Owensboro.
The revised legislation expands the KRA program to allow not only automotive-related manufacturing companies, but all Kentucky manufacturing entities making a minimum investment of $2.5 million (formerly $100 million) in a Kentucky facility to be eligible for tax benefits. The legislation also eliminates the requirement that the existing company employ 1,000 full-time employees to qualify for the program and allows the Cabinet for Economic Development to negotiate a full-time employment base the company must retain and maintain.
“Ohio County commends National Furniture Group in Fordsville for their efforts to implement ‘green’ technology in its products and processes,” said Ohio County Judge-Executive David Jones. “This clearly demonstrates their concern for the future welfare of our county, as well as their commitment to customers and support of their employees. We are proud to have National Furniture Group as a part of our corporate community.”
A community profile for Ohio County can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=007.
For more information about National and its products, visit: www.NationalOfficeFurniture.com