Automotive frame manufacturer Metalsa Structural Products Inc. will add 113 jobs at its facility in Owensboro, Kentucky. The company will invest $36.5 million to produce a new line of stamped and welded components.
The $36.5 million will include investment in robotic welding cells, assembly line robots, infrastructure and building expansions to increase the facility’s square footage to accommodate the new production line and additional warehouse space.
The expansion began this summer and hiring is for September 2018 through June 2019. Company leaders expect production to begin in March 2019. In Kentucky, Metalsa currently employs about 2,700 people at three vehicle-frame facilities. It established the Owensboro facility in 1997, opened its Hopkinsville plant in 1989 and its Elizabethtown plant dates to 1994.
Established in 1956 as Manufacturas Metálicas Monterrey with a plant in Churubusco, Mexico, the company initially produced structures for the construction industry then began manufacturing automotive parts four years later. The company changed its name to Metalsa in 1980. Current products include frames and fuel tanks for light and commercial vehicles, among other items.
According to state officials, Kentucky’s ideal location as a gateway between the nation’s two auto-production hotbeds offers suppliers the opportunity to produce components in a low-cost, right-to-work state and ship their products quickly and cost-effectively to assembly plants in Kentucky and across the Midwest and South.
“With three production facilities in the commonwealth, Metalsa stands as one of our largest automotive employers,” Governor Matt Bevin said. “We are grateful for this additional expansion and these new jobs. This will strengthen Kentucky’s economy and further propel us toward our goal of being the American center of engineering and manufacturing excellence. We welcome this growth and congratulate both Metalsa and the Owensboro community on their success.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June preliminarily approved Metalsa for tax incentives up to $3.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. In addition, Metalsa can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.