FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted growth within Kentucky’s food, beverage and agritech sector as protein producer Double D Group LLC announced a $41.5 million investment to establish a production facility in Muhlenberg County, creating 200 direct full-time jobs and 40 contracted positions.
“This is an amazing project for Greenville and Muhlenberg County,” Gov. Beshear said. “The community needs quality job opportunities, and Double D Group will provide more than 200 of those with this investment. I want to thank the company’s leadership for committing to the community and the commonwealth.”
Double D Group will locate in an existing 300,000-square-foot building at 100 Gourmet Dining Drive in Greenville. The facility, which was built in 1956 and received USDA certification for food and protein manufacturing in 2007, has primarily been used as a warehouse facility for retail grocery distribution and has been vacant for the past six months. Company leaders will renovate the building to include two production lines for poultry products and other proteins with ample space for future growth and introduction of new product lines. Jobs created include management, clerical, skilled labor and general labor positions.
“We are a privately held company that strives to build a family-friendly business,” said CEO Dick Downs. “Being a strong community- and family-oriented company is part of our core values, and we look forward to developing that in this area.”
Double D Group is a newly established subsidiary of Fairmont Foods Inc., which maintains a warehouse facility on nearby Greene Drive in Greenville. The company has grown into a leading fully cooked protein processor and co-packer of frozen entrees.
The new location adds to Kentucky’s thriving food, beverage and agritech sector, which includes more than 350 facilities and employs over 52,000 people. Administration-to-date, new location and expansion projects within the industry are expected to create nearly 4,500 full-time jobs with over $3.9 billion in new investments. The project also adds to the commonwealth’s approximately 5,000 manufacturing facilities statewide, which employ roughly 250,000 Kentucky residents.
Muhlenberg County Judge/Executive Curtis McGehee said Greenville’s newest employer will help move the community forward.
“Our community is fortunate to land this industry; I appreciate the local leadership at Muhlenberg Alliance of Progress, as well the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for their efforts to recruit and assist this industry,” Judge McGehee said. “We welcome Double D Group and appreciate the workforce opportunities they will bring to our community. It is a great day for Muhlenberg County!”
Greenville Mayor Jan Yonts thanked those involved with making the investment and job creation possible.
“The City of Greenville is excited to welcome the Double D Group. As mayor, I am personally grateful to the organization for recognizing the potential of not only the existing real estate, but also what all our community has to offer, and capitalizing on it,” Mayor Yonts said. “We look forward to working with the Double D Group to increase economic growth in Greenville as well as Muhlenberg County. We would like to sincerely thank Gov. Andy Beshear, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, and most of all, the Double D Group.”
Ray Hagerman, executive director of Muhlenberg Alliance for Progress, looks forward to partnering with the company.
“This is a great day for Muhlenberg County. We are excited to join forces with Double D Group to see them succeed here in our community and provide good jobs for our citizens,” Hagerman said. “We look forward to a great partnership together.”
Double D Group’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
That momentum has continued into 2022 with 160 new-location and expansion announcements totaling nearly 14,500 full-time jobs behind nearly $9.3 billion in new investment through November.
New job creation is accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2021 was $24 before benefits, the second-highest mark over the past seven years. Wages have continued to rise in 2022, with an average incentivized wage of $26.71 through November.
Gov. Beshear has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth. Gov. Beshear has announced 41,237 full-time jobs and 728 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling, $22.89 billion in announced investments during his administration.
Gov. Beshear has also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates, holding at or below 3.9% since April 2022 – the longest period in state history.
In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s rainy day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.
Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Kentucky lead the entire nation in job growth for the month of August and tied with New Hampshire for the largest jump in employment growth for September.
In September, Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state. September was also the third highest revenue month on record with more than $1.4 billion reported, marking the seventh month this year with collections topping $1 billion.
And from September 2021 to September 2022, Kentucky added 81,700 new jobs. Except for a four-month recovery period after the initial COVID-19 shock, this is the largest number of new jobs added in 20 years.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $3 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $41.5 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 200 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $27 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, the company can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
A detailed community profile for Muhlenberg County can be viewed here.
More information on the Governor’s AgriTech Initiative is available at AgriTech.ky.gov.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.