Metal stamping company creating 45 jobs, investing $2.2 million in the Commonwealth

RICHMOND, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear was in Richmond today to hold a ribbon-cutting for Thunder Manufacturing USA Inc. The company’s 30,000-square-foot facility is located in Richmond’s Industrial Park South II, where Thunder is in the process of creating 45 new, full-time jobs and investing $2.2 million in the project.

“Thunder is just beginning to rumble here in the Commonwealth, and that sound is music to our ears, with 45 jobs and a $2.2 million investment,” said Gov. Beshear. “We anticipate this partnership will have a lasting impact on Richmond and Kentucky for years to come. This is a wonderful example of how Kentucky can attract top quality companies from outside the United States.”

Thunder began in 1965 as a small tool and die shop and has grown into one of the leading metal stamping companies in Canada. The Richmond plant is the company’s first manufacturing facility outside of Canada. Kentucky is home to 425 internationally based companies that employ more than 80,000 people.

“We are excited to be opening up our first U.S. facility,” said Thunder President and CEO Singh Hansra. “We are looking forward to growing our presence here in Kentucky and look at this as a long-term partnership with this community.”

Gov. Beshear led an international business trade mission trip to Canada earlier this month, joined by nearly two dozen Kentucky companies and several trade partners. With stops in Montreal and Toronto, the first Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI) trade mission sought to increase commerce between Kentucky and Canada.

Kentucky’s business ties to Canada play a major factor in the Commonwealth’s economy, with an estimated $11 billion in bilateral trade between Canada and Kentucky. Canada is Kentucky’s number one trade destination, with $7.3 billion in Kentucky products and services exported to Canada in 2012. Overall, Kentucky’s exports to 199 nations in 2012 totaled $22 billion, setting an all-time record.

To encourage the investment and job creation in Richmond, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $650,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

“I am so pleased with Thunder as they provide employment opportunities to our hard-working people,” said Sen. Jared Carpenter, of Berea. “I am confident they will be exceptional community partners.”

“Today’s ribbon-cutting is another major step forward for our community’s economic development, so I want to thank Thunder for helping to make this possible,” said Rep. Rita Smart, of Richmond. “This is a great addition for Industrial Park South II, and it will mean so much to the 45 families who will benefit from these jobs.”

“As mayor of the city of Richmond, we are excited that Thunder chose Richmond to expand its stamping business,” said Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes. “We appreciate the job opportunities they are providing for our citizens, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership as they establish and grow their operation here in the United States.”

“This is great news for Richmond and Madison County,” said Madison County Judge-Executive Kent Clark. “The various opportunities that 45 new jobs will bring to our community and our region couldn’t have come at a better time. Thunder is one of the leading metal stamping companies in Canada, and we are very pleased it chose our community to start its U.S. expansion.”

For more information on Thunder, visit www.thundertool.com.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video at www.YouTube.com/ThinkKentucky.

A detailed community profile for Richmond (Madison County) can be viewed at http://www.thinkkentucky.com/community.aspx?county=Madison.




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