FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced further momentum of the state’s manufacturing sector as NEO Industries Inc., a world leader in surface technology for work rolls in steel and aluminum manufacturing, announced an expansion of its current operation in Ohio County with a $12.4 million investment creating 20 new full-time, quality Kentucky jobs.
“Kentucky’s manufacturing sector continues to see unprecedented growth, creating well-paying job opportunities for communities throughout the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “NEO Industries has been serving the Kentucky manufacturing industry for over three decades, and the company’s commitment to expand and service the growing EV battery industry will further strengthen Kentucky’s position as a national leader in this market. I want to thank NEO’s leadership and look forward to their continued success in the commonwealth.”
The project will see the company expand its current manufacturing facility in Ohio County by over 30,000 square feet, bringing the total operating space to 47,000 square feet. The increased space will allow for additional capacity to chrome plate rolls and for the installation of a high-precision grinder and polisher. This additional equipment will help the company directly service the rapidly expanding electric vehicle battery industry. NEO Industries’ $12.4 million investment will create 20 full-time jobs, bringing their total Kentucky employment number to 50.
“NEO Industries is excited to further the growth and economic success of Kentucky,” said Ladislav Halaj, NEO Industries’ service center operations vice president. “With this latest investment in the Blue Grass State, our expanding manufacturing capabilities in our plant will help support the growing EV battery market by supplying new technology and job opportunities for Ohio County. We greatly appreciate the support from our local leaders as well as the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.”
NEO Industries was established in 1952 and is the world leader in surface technology for work rolls in steel and aluminum manufacturing and press rolls for material of anode and cathode manufacturing. The company pioneered work roll plating in 1964 and remains the supplier of choice for chrome plating, grinding and texturing work rolls today. NEO’s Kentucky operation was established in 1993 and services a variety of steel, aluminum, and metals suppliers and manufacturers throughout the state. In 2021, the company started to develop the process to grind and chrome rolls to support the EV battery industry and plans to increase those efforts with this expansion.
Ohio County Judge/Executive David Johnston is excited to see the company expand in the community: “The Ohio County Fiscal Court is pleased to support NEO Industries’ business expansion. NEO Industries’ recent expansion project is the latest example of a best-in-class business growing and thriving in Ohio County. We are tremendously proud to have this global company here in Ohio County, Kentucky, and we are excited to see what the future holds.”
Jason Chinn, executive director of the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance, expressed support for the project and the company’s continued commitment to innovate: “The Ohio County Economic Development Alliance proudly supports the expansion project at NEO Industries. NEO’s innovative technology and ongoing commitment to stay ahead in this fast-moving industry make it the worldwide leader in work roll surface technology. Plant Manager Bob Lellie and his team have done a fantastic job!”
Beaver Dam Mayor Paul Sandefur noted the positive impact the investment will have on the city’s economy and manufacturing sector: “We are so pleased to see the development of this project. NEO Industries’ ongoing success, increasing investment, and job creation is another step forward for Beaver Dam’s manufacturing industry.”
NEO Industries’ investment and job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.
Last month, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for September 2023 totaled over $1 billion, marking the 13th 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.
This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced 904 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $27.8 billion in announced investments, creating 48,700 jobs. 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 introduced 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. Recently, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.
Site Selection magazine 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 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) in September preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $500,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $12.4 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 20 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $40 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, NEO Industries 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 NEO Industries, visit neodelivers.com.
A detailed community profile for Ohio County can be viewed here.