FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted continued momentum of the state’s manufacturing industry as Precision Sonar & Outdoors LLC, a producer of GPS and sonar mounting systems, announced an expansion of operations in Benton with a nearly $2.2 million investment creating 12 full-time jobs for the local community.
“The economic momentum we are seeing throughout Kentucky is the result of incredible growth among our largest and most vital industries, and manufacturing is at the center of that growth,” said Gov. Beshear. “We continually see quality companies such as Precision Sonar & Outdoors expanding to meet growing customer demand, and that is a recipe for long-term success for our economy. I want to thank the company’s leadership for their belief in the commonwealth and look forward to its continued growth in our state.”
The project will see the company build a new facility near its existing location in Marshall County. The investment comes in response to growing customer demand and will allow the company to be more efficient with additional space and a floor plan to assist with logistics and distribution of products. Additionally, the added space will provide room to house new equipment. This equipment will allow the company to provide services in-house that would have previously been outsourced, such as CNCs injection molding, water jet projects and 3D printer and laser etching. The new jobs created will include CNC, design and engineering positions.
“We are extremely excited to expand our operations and grow our business here in Marshall County,” said Allen Beard, president of Precision Sonar & Outdoors. “We are proud to be a part of this community and look forward to growing and continuing to provide quality products and exceptional customer service.”
Precision Sonar & Outdoors is an industry-leading manufacturer of GPS and sonar mounting systems designed and produced in a controlled environment from solid aluminum by experienced craftsmen in the tool and die industry. In addition to the products the company manufactures, Precision Sonar also carries a wide selection of sonar accessories. The company prides itself on producing highly durable products that enhance the appearance of its customers’ boats while being fun and easy to use.
Precision Sonar & Outdoors’ investment adds to Kentucky’s impressive manufacturing presence, which includes 5,000 facilities that employ around 250,000 residents. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, over 13% of the commonwealth’s workforce is in manufacturing, well above the national average of 8.5%.
Kevin Spraggs, judge/executive of Marshall County, is thrilled to see an existing company grow and expand within the community.
“I’m excited Precision Sonar & Outdoors has launched their large building expansion which will enable them to add new equipment,” said Judge Spraggs. “These upgrades will allow them to add jobs, streamline operations, produce more in-house, and improve their already-quality reputation. When existing businesses decide to stay and grow here in Marshall County, it lets us know they are vested in our community and that we have a good business climate.”
Elizabeth Griffith Mudd, president of Kentucky Lake Economic Development in Marshall County, is excited for the jobs and economic impact this investment will have on the community.
“On behalf of Kentucky Lake Economic Development, we are thrilled Precision Sonar has decided to expand their facility here in Marshall County,” Mudd said. “Their investment and job creation will have a significant impact on our community. We look forward to watching their future growth and success.”
Wendy Baxter, executive director of the Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce, noted the advantages this investment will bring to both the company and its consumer base.
“We are excited and very pleased that Precision Sonar & Outdoors has chosen to expand in Marshall County,” said Baxter. “The expansion will enable the company to better serve its current customers and create cutting-edge products and solutions for its growing business.”
Precision Sonar & Outdoors’ investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of over 42,000 full-time jobs and more than 800 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $24 billion in announced investments.
With the books closed on 2022, the Governor has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
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.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
Gov. Beshear 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 2022, 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.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $200,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of nearly $2.2 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 12 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $23 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, Precision Sonar & Outdoors 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 Precision Sonar & Outdoors, visit precisionsonar.com.
A detailed community profile for Marshall 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.