FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted further growth of the state’s manufacturing sector as Nationwide Uniform Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fechheimer Brothers Co., announced an $11.5 million investment to expand operations in Hodgenville, creating 63 quality jobs for Kentuckians.
“Time and time again, industry leaders looking to expand their operations are choosing to do so here in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “That is not a coincidence. We are building an economy that has the resources and workforce to allow companies of all sizes and specialties to thrive with us in Kentucky. I want to thank Nationwide’s leaders for their continued belief in our talented workforce and choosing to expand their operations here in the commonwealth. I look forward to the company’s continued success.”
The $11.5 million expansion comes in response to recent and projected growth for the company, which requires additional warehouse and distribution space. The project will include leaders at Fechheimer constructing a new 140,000-square-foot distribution center on 9.5 acres of vacant land next door to Nationwide’s Hodgenville facility, which is at 235 Shepherdsville Road.
In addition to operational activities, the expansion also will serve as a showpiece for the frequent visits from the company’s extensive customer base. The project will create 63 full-time jobs, with positions focused on sewing apparel, cutting fabric, distributing raw materials worldwide and shipping finished goods to customers.
“We are extremely grateful for the assistance of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development in helping to secure this tax incentive,” said Chris Cundiff, executive vice president of supply chain at Fechheimer. “This program will support our growth as a company, expanding our Nationwide facility and support of the LaRue County community.”
In operation since 1842, Fechheimer is a leading manufacturer of uniform apparel based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company provides uniforms of public safety for police, military, and postal workers under its Flying Cross and Vertx brands. The company’s customers include city and state police departments, fire departments, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. military branches and most military academies. And recently, Fechheimer was selected to roll out the new Army Service Green Uniform to the U.S. Army. In addition to the corporate office and distribution center in Cincinnati and operation in Hodgenville, Fechheimer also operates a manufacturing plant in Grantsville, Maryland.
Fechheimer’s investment contributes to Kentucky’s position as a national leader in manufacturing, an industry that employs approximately 250,000 Kentuckians across 5,000 operations.
LaRue County Judge/Executive Blake Durrett expressed his excitement for LaRue County through the company’s investment.
“Every economic development professional’s goal is recruitment, retention and expansion,” said Judge Durrett. “To satisfy two of those for LaRue County through the Fechheimer Brothers project is simply a blessing.”
Hodgenville Mayor Jim Phelps appreciates the company expanding within the community and is looking forward to continuing a successful partnership.
“Fechheimer Brothers Co. has been a corporate citizen in Hodgenville for as long as I can remember,” said Mayor Phelps. “We are very excited to have them expand their operation in Hodgenville and look forward to working with them now and in the future.”
Nicholas Smith, executive director of the LaRue County Chamber of Commerce, looks forward to working with Fechheimer and seeing the opportunities it will bring to the community.
“I will say that on behalf of the LaRue County Chamber of Commerce, we are excited for the opportunities and growth that comes with any new business who chooses to make LaRue County a home,” said Smith.
Fechheimer Brothers Co.’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) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $800,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $11.5 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 63 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $22.44 including benefits across those jobs.
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, Fechheimer Brothers Co. 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.
For more information on Fechheimer Brothers Co., fechheimer.com.
A detailed community profile for LaRue County can be viewed here.
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.