FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced continued momentum in Kentucky’s manufacturing sector with a $1.2 million investment from Winston Industries, a Kentucky-based multidivisional manufacturer of circuit boards and foodservice equipment. The investment will allow the company to retain 215 full-time jobs, add five positions in Jefferson County and provide growth opportunities to existing employees.
“Winston Industries has successfully manufactured foodservice technology and equipment in Kentucky for over half a century and is well positioned for even more growth in the coming years,” said Gov. Beshear. “I want to congratulate Winston Industries on this expansion and thank the company’s leadership for their longstanding presence in the commonwealth. I’m excited to see the company continue to thrive and grow in Jefferson County.”
The project will see investments in several areas of the business including a SafanDarley Robotic Press Brake, ScienceScope Smart Racking System, Komax Wiring System, Stud Welding System and bathroom facility renovations. These systems of automation and employee-focused improvements will increase manufacturing capabilities and overall quality of the facility.
“The Kentucky Reinvestment Act program allows our planned investments to go directly toward supporting our strategy of allowing our customers, employees and company to grow together,” said Shaun Tanner, CEO of Winston Industries. “We are continuing to plan for the ever-changing manufacturing environment, which requires continual reinvestments. These investments will help us plan for growth while ensuring that we are able to maintain our employee-centric culture as an organization.”
Winston Industries is a Kentucky-based manufacturing company founded in 1969, thanks to the support of one of the state’s most recognized icons, Colonel Harland Sanders. The company’s pressure fryer was Sanders’ preferred method for cooking his world-famous Original Recipe, which led to Winston Industries’ continued success supporting Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants across the globe. While KFC is still the company’s largest customer, Winston Industries’ products and services have evolved throughout the years. The company’s broad portfolio of products is found in every foodservice market segment, from cafeterias in local schools to the finest dining restaurants in the world. The company has also diversified into other industries beyond foodservice, creating a separate division that specializes in contract manufacturing of circuit boards.
Jeffersontown Mayor Carol Pike spoke on the positive business climate: “Jeffersontown is experiencing tremendous growth because of the confidence and prosperity in our approach to business attraction and retention. I commend Winston Industries LLC for their continued commitment and investment in our community. Working in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development in securing financial incentives further enhances an environment that promotes a positive business climate.”
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg thanked the company for its commitment to Jefferson County: “We’re thrilled that Winston Industries continues to invest in its Jeffersontown facility, manufacturing products and lasting partnerships. Our administration and economic development team are committed to working with the city of Jeffersontown and partners to retain jobs throughout Jefferson County. I would like to congratulate Winston Industries and Jeffersontown Mayor Carol Pike and her team for doing just that!”
Winston Industries’ investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.
Earlier this month, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for July 2023 totaled $1.1 billion, marking the 11th straight month with revenues over $1 billion. The Governor also recently announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history.
The General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 was more than $1.55 billion. Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.
Gov. Beshear also announced an increase of 6,400 jobs filled, bringing the commonwealth to 2,015,600 filled jobs in June. That is a record number of nearly 60,000 more jobs filled than before the pandemic.
This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. On May 18, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky set a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%, which is the lowest rate ever recorded in the commonwealth.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 880 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling approximately $27 billion in announced investments. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.
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.
The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. In April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at 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.
That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduces its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.
Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings.
Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved an incentive agreement with Winston Industries under the Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA) program. The agreement can provide up to $350,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $1.2 million.
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.
For more information on Winton Industries, visit WinstonIndustries.com.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson 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.