Commerce Lexington Inc. News

Birtley to Create 30 Jobs in Lexington, Become First Chinese-owned Manufacturer in Kentucky

[Sept. 19, 2012] – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Birtley, a subsidiary of Shandong Borun Industrial Processing Equipment in China, will build a new 67,500-square-foot manufacturing facility at Blue Grass Business Park in Lexington. The company plans to create 30 to 50 new, full-time jobs and invest approximately $10 million in the project.

“This is a historic time in Kentucky with the first manufacturing firm from China locating in the Commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “We welcome Birtley to the dynamic Blue Grass Business Park in Lexington and we’re thrilled to see a company from China locate here, invest in the Commonwealth and provide jobs to Kentuckians.”

Birtley is a producer of coal equipment processing machinery. Birtley worked with the World Trade Center Kentucky and Commerce Lexington in making the decision to locate in Lexington. Kentucky’s foreign direct investment continues to grow, as the Commonwealth is now home to more than 420 foreign-owned companies from 30 nations, employing nearly 76,000 people.

“Lexington is a very diversified community, and we appreciate all the support we are receiving from the city and the community,” said Birtley President Bing Chen. “We hope the Birtley facility will be as successful as our other facilities in China.”

Shandong Borun has three manufacturing facilities in China. The company’s products include machines used in coal preparation, mineral processing, and devices used in the power, steel, cement and port industries.

“Our community needs jobs, and attracting good jobs to Lexington is a top priority for our city,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “Lexington is proud to be home to this significant Chinese investment.”

“Birtley liked Lexington for its proximity to the coal industry and customers,” said Bob Quick, CCE, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington. “But they also liked the accessibility of the eastern United States and the low cost of doing business in the Commonwealth.”

Bingham McCutchen Selects Lexington, KY for Global Services Center, Will Add 250 Jobs

BOSTON, Mass. and LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2012) – Bingham McCutchen LLP announced today that it plans to open a shared-services center in Lexington in the spring of 2013 as part of a transformation initiative to enhance the performance of its administrative operations.

“The Global Services Center will position us to operate even more efficiently in an ever-changing, highly competitive economy,” said Chairman Jay Zimmerman, adding that while the focus of the effort is on centralizing U.S. administrative operations, its scope is international. “After 15 years of significant growth by combinations, we are consolidating our operations model to more efficiently support our lawyers around the world and, in turn, provide better service to our national and global client base. For Bingham, Lexington is an excellent fit. I am impressed by the vitality of the city, the warmth of the people and the business-friendly environment.”

The center will eventually house approximately 250 employees, who will be relocating from existing Bingham offices or hired from the Lexington area. Subject to final approvals of pending state and local economic development incentives, the Bingham Global Services Center will be located in office space in the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus business park. Bingham has committed $22.5 million in establishing the center over a period of time. The investment includes building improvements, start-up costs and rent for 10 years. It will bring together in one location administrative support staff positions from a spectrum of professional disciplines, including: finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, knowledge services, marketing, operations, and risk management. Bingham has approximately 1,000 lawyers and more than 900 staff in 14 major offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

After a comprehensive and thorough review, Bingham selected Lexington because of its access to a deep and dynamic workforce, a developed academic community, and a vibrant quality of life, among many other factors, said Bingham Chief Operating Officer L. Tracee Whitley.

“As with any significant business decision, we carefully reviewed the strategic and economic fundamentals of this project,” said Whitley. “The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the City of Lexington joined forces to offer us the most competitive incentives package of the metropolitan areas we considered. It will, upon approval, enable us to get up and running quickly in Kentucky. In addition to the strong business opportunity presented, we found in Lexington an inviting community and a shared sense of values, which we believe our people will embrace.” She added that “the vast majority of our employees who are affected by this decision will be offered the opportunity to relocate, and we sincerely hope that many of them will choose to do so.”

Noting Bingham’s reputation and today’s competitive economic business climate, officials welcomed the firm’s decision to open its services center in Kentucky.

“Bingham is a highly successful global firm, and we couldn’t be more excited about their decision to come to Kentucky,” said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. “The choice to locate here says a lot about our business-friendly climate, ideal location and valuable workforce. We look forward to a continued and flourishing partnership with Bingham.”

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray noted that “in the past few years Lexington has earned praise in national magazines that have given us high rankings for livability, education and great people. We’re attracting firms like Bingham that can locate anywhere in the country, and they chose Lexington. This decision reflects the kind of results we can expect more of.”

Bingham’s selection of Lexington also underscores the level of collaboration between the firm, the business community and the government, said Bob Quick, Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO.

“This project, which falls within one of Lexington’s strategic industry targets for economic development, is a true testament to the collaborative effort of our partners, including Commerce Lexington Inc., Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and the University of Kentucky, as well as the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development,” said Quick. “Bingham McCutchen will be a great addition to our region, and we look forward to making their relocation here as smooth as possible.”

Bingham’s Whitley echoed those sentiments. “We look forward to being part of the Lexington community,” she said. “Based on our experience with local and state officials, as well as business and academic leaders there, we are confident that Lexington will be a great fit for Bingham.”

The transition of Bingham’s administrative functions to its new center in Lexington is anticipated to begin in April 2013 and continue through the spring of 2014. Bingham is working with Deloitte Consulting in the planning, design and implementation of its new global services center and related operational initiatives.

Bingham,, focuses on financial services firms and Fortune 100 companies, operating on an interconnected platform aligned to address a wide range of legal issues worldwide.


Tempur-Pedic Breaks Ground on Global Headquarters Expansion in Lexington, KY

(October 3, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray joined community leaders and officials from Tempur-Pedic to break ground for the company’s global headquarters expansion in Lexington. The new approximately 125,000-square-foot facility in UK’s Coldstream Research Campus is expected to create 65 new jobs, bringing its total employment to just over 300 in the next five years.

“Tempur-Pedic is an impressive and innovative company whose Kentucky roots are continuing to grow. This announcement is great news for Central Kentucky and will result in new jobs and investment for the community where it all began,” Gov. Beshear said. “This expansion represents a successful partnership between state and local governments, university leaders and a fast-growing global company that continues to create economic opportunities for Kentucky.”

Tempur-Pedic, an international company focused on innovative sleep products, is one of the fastest growing public companies in Kentucky. The billion dollar company started in Lexington in 1993. The company plans to invest approximately $18 million as a result of the project, which is expected to be completed by December 2012.

“This is an important day in the vibrant history of Tempur-Pedic, and we’re proud that it’s happening right here in Lexington,” said Mark Sarvary, CEO of Tempur-Pedic International Inc. “Our passion for this community and our commitment to growth, strengthens every day. This new, world-class headquarters will serve our company, our brand and our associates well in our mission to become the world’s favorite mattress and pillow brand.”

An economic impact study performed by the Cabinet for Economic Development this past spring shows the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs that will result from Tempur-Pedic’s existing and new employment is 772 jobs. Those jobs will provide an annual $72.8 million boost to Kentucky’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Tempur-Pedic brings extraordinary, broad recognition and new jobs -- good jobs -- to Lexington,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. “Growing and retaining the headquarters of this rapidly growing, internationally known brand is essential. Helping local businesses grow is a major part of our economic development efforts. Not only will Tempur-Pedic serve as a vote of confidence for Lexington, it will once again show the world that Lexington is a viable and thriving location for a world headquarters operation.”

“Commerce Lexington Inc. is honored to be a part of Tempur-Pedic’s groundbreaking ceremony,” said Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO, Bob Quick. “Tempur-Pedic’s expansion in Lexington and the construction of their new global headquarters in Coldstream Research Campus will create quality, stable jobs for our citizens. Congratulations to Tempur-Pedic!”

“The University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus is proud to be the home of an expanded Tempur-Pedic headquarters,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “This project represents the kind of engagement and service that a flagship institution should provide to the Commonwealth: facilitating the creation of good jobs and stimulating innovation by creating a home for research and excellent companies like Tempur-Pedic International.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Tempur-Pedic for tax incentives up to $8 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the 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.

“By locating a new global headquarters at Coldstream in Lexington, Tempur-Pedic is providing new opportunities for our workforce and a boost to our economy,” said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Franklin.

“Tempur-Pedic sets the gold standard when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, so I’m proud that the company is taking this next step to increase its presence in the Commonwealth,” said Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington. “This groundbreaking re-affirms the company’s commitment to our community and shows that our workforce, like the Tempur-Pedic mattress itself, is truly second to none.”

New and existing companies have announced the creation of more than 1,400 new jobs in Lexington during Gov. Beshear’s administration. These economic development projects represent a more than $190 million capital investment in the Commonwealth.


Tiffany & Co. Opens Lexington Jewelry Manufacturing Facility in Style

(September 27, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear today joined Tiffany & Co. Chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new jewelry manufacturing center in Lexington. Community leaders and guests were invited to breakfast at Tiffany to commence the opening, which is creating 125 jobs in the community.

“The First Lady and I are delighted to take part in today’s celebration, commencing the opening of Tiffany & Co.’s new manufacturing facility in Lexington,” Gov. Beshear said. “As a result of this exciting project, 125 new jobs will be created in the Lexington community. Those employees will become part of making classic jewelry collections for millions of people across the globe.”

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Tiffany & Co. and its good manufacturing jobs to Lexington,” Mayor Gray said. “Tiffany is known for Tiffany Blue. Lexington is known for blue grass and Wildcat blue. Tiffany is going to feel right at home!”

Tiffany broke ground for the new 25,000-square-foot jewelry manufacturing facility in November of last year. Located on four acres in the Blue Grass Business Park, the facility will produce a variety of the jeweler’s highest quality crafted jewelry designs, which are sold in Tiffany stores around the world. The new manufacturing facility will manufacture many of Tiffany’s diamond engagement and other fine jewelry pieces.

“Opening our new manufacturing facility in Lexington, Ky., is a special moment in the history of Tiffany & Co.,” Kowalski said. “We manufacture about 60 percent of our jewelry within the United States and we are proud to continue this tradition in Kentucky, where we have found the infrastructure and employees to meet Tiffany's standards of quality and craftsmanship.”

Tiffany & Co. operates jewelry stores and manufactures products through its subsidiary corporations. Its principal subsidiary is Tiffany and Company. The company operates TIFFANY & CO. retail stores and boutiques in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Japan and Europe and engages in direct selling through Internet, catalogue and business gift operations.

“This is good news for Lexington and our workforce,” said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Frankfort. “We welcome the good-paying jobs that Tiffany is providing. We are proud to have Tiffany and look forward to watching the company prosper right here in the heart of the Bluegrass.”

“I have been looking forward to this day ever since Tiffany announced it was coming to Lexington,” said Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington. “This grand opening is great news for our community, and it will long be remembered as a high point when it comes to our economic development.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Tiffany & Co. for tax incentives up to $2,450,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the 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. KEDFA also approved the company for an Economic Development Bond grant in the amount of $300,000 to encourage the investment and job creation in Lexington.

“Commerce Lexington Inc. is very excited to participate in the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tiffany & Co.’s new manufacturing facility,” said Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO Bob Quick. “Tiffany & Co. is a welcome addition to Lexington and our own Blue Grass Business Park. Thank you to the company for their investment in our city.”

New and existing companies have announced the creation of more than 1,400 new jobs in Lexington during Gov. Beshear’s administration. These economic development projects represent a more than $190 million capital investment in the Commonwealth.


Florida Tile Celebrates Official Opening of New Headquarters in Lexington

(September 16, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear joined community leaders and company officials from Florida Tile to cut the ribbon on the company’s new headquarters facility in Lexington. Florida Tile announced in July 2009 it was moving its headquarters from Lakeland, Fla., to Lexington. The opening will initially create 25 new jobs, growing to 51 over the term of the incentive agreement. Florida Tile’s capital investment in the project exceeds $3.7 million.

“The attraction of Florida Tile’s headquarter facility was a big win for Kentucky, creating dozens of new high-wage, professional jobs and a multi-million investment,” Gov. Beshear said. “I am excited to be part of today’s celebration that will no doubt be just the beginning of a long and successful partnership.”

The new facility, which is located in Beaumont Center, brings the company’s corporate offices in close proximity to its manufacturing plant and national distribution center located in Lawrenceburg. Florida Tile manufactures and distributes porcelain and ceramic wall tile, as well as imports and distributes natural stone and other decorative products. Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, which is based in Italy.

“We appreciate the support that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has provided Florida Tile and we are excited to work with the state as we continue to expand our manufacturing plant, national distribution center and the network of retail outlets across the country,” said Michael Franceschelli, CEO of Florida Tile. “Our move to Lexington has been a great advantage to our business in the synergies created by the proximity to our manufacturing and distribution facilities. We have also found a great wealth of talent in the workforce and the charm and hospitality of the area continues to make the transition an easy one.”

The project was one of the first to be approved for incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment Program (KBI), a program created in the summer of 2009 as part of Gov. Beshear’s “Incentives for a New Kentucky” legislation. The performance-based tax 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. Florida Tile was preliminarily approved for up to $1,275,000.

“This development is great news for Kentucky’s unemployed,” said Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, of Lexington. “We must continue to give Kentucky’s businesses the support they need to keep them vibrant and growing in the future.”

“Small business is the backbone of the economy for our Commonwealth and our nation,” said Rep. Stan Lee, of Lexington. “Florida Tile has built their business from the ground up into a nationally recognized manufacturer, and I’m pleased to see them invest their money into expanding their company and creating new jobs for our region.”

“Welcoming good jobs to Lexington is one of my favorite mayoral duties because it represents opportunity for our citizens,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. “With Florida Tile, we’re also welcoming the company’s headquarters to Lexington - a growing opportunity! Lexington looks forward to a cooperative and productive relationship with this outstanding manufacturer.”

“We are excited to celebrate Florida Tile’s grand opening today,” said Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO, Bob Quick. “We enjoyed working with the company when they relocated their headquarters to Lexington and appreciate the jobs they are creating for our citizens.”


GE Lighting to Expand Manufacturing of Energy-Efficient Lighting Products in Lexington

(August 17, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear announced that GE Lighting will invest approximately $10 million at its Lexington Lamp Plant to produce a new line of energy-efficient lighting products. The expansion, which is in response to customer demand for energy-efficient lighting, will initially create 38 new jobs in the Commonwealth.

“The addition of a new energy-efficient product line at GE’s Lexington Lamp Plant is fantastic news for the Fayette County community and the entire state,” Gov. Beshear said. “This expansion not only diversifies the plant’s product line, but will also create 38 new, quality jobs for Kentuckians. Our focus on partnering with Kentucky’s existing industries is paying off, and this job-creation project is proof of that success.”

Installation of equipment to make the energy-efficient spotlights and floodlights, called PAR 38 silver halogen lamps, is scheduled to begin soon and will be completed in January 2012. Full production is expected to be implemented by April 2012. The GE Lexington Lamp Plant currently employs 124 people and has been operational since 1947.

“This investment and expansion is a vote of confidence from GE Lighting in our employees’ ability to perform competitively, and further diversifies products made at our plant,” said Joel Fay, plant manager for the Lexington plant. “This is positive for the future of our plant and employees, as customers continue to demand energy-efficient lighting for general illumination applications. We are also grateful to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for its role in working with companies to bring jobs to the area.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved GE Lighting for tax incentives up to $600,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the 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.

“This is an exciting announcement for central Kentucky,” said Sen. Kathy Stein, of Lexington. “This investment by GE Lighting is an investment in our community. These 38 new jobs will provide a boost to our local economy and new opportunities for our workforce. GE Lighting enhances our position as the prime location for innovative businesses to plant themselves, grow roots and be cultivated into the fertile soil we are developing to be the regional leader in excellence in our new economy. Gov. Beshear shows his continued leadership in job creation to seek out and support this excellent industry. This is the kind of leadership we need and have come to expect from Gov. Beshear. Thank you, Governor.”

“This is wonderful news for Fayette County, and it’s another step in the right direction as our community continues to attract jobs that are producing the next generation of energy-efficient products,” said Rep. Kelly Flood, of Lexington. “I want to thank GE Lighting for its decision to expand, and I want to thank local and state officials for working together to help make this happen.”

“Green jobs like these are jobs with a future,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “GE’s investment helps maintain and offers the potential for growth of our manufacturing sector, which is an important and growing part of our economy.”

“This is a great day for Lexington,” said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington. “GE’s decision to develop energy-efficient lamps in Lexington establishes the city in the next generation of lighting technology. We certainly appreciate that GE chose the city of Lexington for this very important investment. The additional investment by GE speaks to Lexington’s strengths for clean energy related companies as recommended in our recent strategic planning process.”


Neogen Expands Footprint in Lexington, Kentucky

(June 28, 2011) - Governor Steve Beshear joined community leaders and officials from Neogen Corporation in Lexington to announce the company will expand its Fayette County footprint with the addition of a 100,000-square-foot facility on Mercer Road. The project will generate a capital investment of more than $5.6 million and will create 75 new jobs over the next several years.

“Kentucky is proud to be the home of globally successful companies, such as Neogen, and is even more proud when those companies continue to reinvest in their Kentucky operations,” said Gov. Beshear. “The 75 new jobs and more than $5.6 million investment that are being created as a result of Neogen’s expansion will have a significant impact on the Lexington community. We are pleased to be part of that growth.”

Neogen’s Lexington-based Animal Safety Division manufactures and distributes a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care and disinfectants. The company has had a presence in the community for more than two decades and currently employs close to 130 people at its existing locations on Nandino Boulevard and Creative Drive. The Creative Drive operations will be consolidated into the new Mercer Road facility.

“We’re thrilled to be able to stay and grow within Lexington,” said Terri Morrical, Neogen’s vice president of animal safety. “For quite some time, we had been clearly outgrowing our facilities and we investigated many alternatives, both near and far, to best suit our expanding needs. Working closely with state and local officials, we realized that staying here was our best choice. The Mercer Road facility represents an excellent solution for our growth plans.”

Founded in 1982, Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) has grown to more than 600 employees in multiple U.S. and international locations. The company develops, manufactures and markets a diverse line of products dedicated to food and animal safety. Neogen has been repeatedly named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the Best Small Public Companies in America.

“This is a great day for Fayette County and the surrounding area,” said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Frankfort. “This expansion is not just an investment by Neogen, but is also an investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in our local economy. This new facility will provide additional well-paying jobs for the Fayette County area. Neogen is a good neighbor and I am pleased it has chosen to grow its operation right here in central Kentucky. I also appreciate Gov. Beshear for taking the lead to support Neogen’s expansion.”

“Neogen is one of Lexington’s crown jewels, so the company’s plans to expand are certainly great news for our community,” said Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington. “I really appreciate their willingness to invest further in this region, and I am pleased that the state is able to work with the company to make this possible.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Neogen Corporation for tax incentives up to $2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of its agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

“Neogen and Lexington are a good fit,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “Our economy needs the high-quality jobs the company provides, and Lexington with its highly educated workforce and outstanding quality of life, is a place Neogen can thrive. We are excited about their growth.”

“The growth of our existing businesses is vital to our economy,” said Commerce Lexington President & CEO Bob Quick. “Neogen’s growth will provide even more high-quality jobs to our citizens. We are very pleased that the Animal Safety division calls Lexington home.”

For more information on Neogen, visit



Allconnect to Establish Sales and Customer Care Center in Lexington, creating up to 220 new jobs with nearly $7 million investment

(March 30, 2011) - Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that Allconnect Inc., a leading consumer services company, is locating a new in-bound sales and customer care center in Lexington. The company is investing nearly $7 million to establish an approximately 32,000 square-foot facility in the Coldstream Research Campus that will add up to 220 new jobs in the community.

“I’m pleased to welcome Allconnect to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The company’s new facility will have a positive economic boost on the Lexington community, creating new jobs for Kentuckians. We look forward to continuing an ongoing partnership with Allconnect to create additional opportunities in the future.”

The new operation will allow consumers to order or transfer home services, such as satellite and cable TV, Internet, phone, and home security service. Allconnect is based in Atlanta, Ga., and has relationships with a variety of service providers across the country, including AT&T, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. The facility is expected to be operational in summer 2011.

“Our new Lexington facility provides the technology foundation and first-rate workforce required to support our growing customer base with the best consultation and service as they compare and select home services,” said Allconnect CEO Mark Miller. “The opportunities for growth and the pool of talent in Lexington are an ideal fit as we continue our rapid expansion and deliver the highest quality service to every single customer.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Allconnect for tax incentives up to $2.2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive will allow Allconnect to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

“It’s good to welcome Allconnect, a new corporate citizen bringing jobs to Lexington. Our people need jobs and we need to compete in every arena,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “Thanks to Governor Beshear, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes and Commerce Lexington for their recruiting efforts.”

“We are excited to announce the location of Allconnect to Lexington,” said Bob Quick, president & CEO, Commerce Lexington Inc. “Lexington is thrilled to be the top city selected amongst four cities and three states. We look forward to working with Allconnect as they establish a new operation creating new jobs for our citizens. Welcome to Lexington!”


Commerce Lexington Inc. helps Keeneland kick off 75th anniversary with Good Morning Bluegrass featuring last three Keeneland presidents

(March 25, 2011) - To kick off Keeneland’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2011, Commerce Lexington's interactive Good Morning Bluegrass event presented by Fifth Third Bank featured the last three Keeneland presidents - Ted Bassett, Bill Greely, and Nick Nicholson. This marked the first time the three of them have shared the stage to discuss Keeneland, its history and mission, and its role in the community and Thoroughbred industry. Below are a few video clips from the event.


Lockheed Martin Announces $26 Million Expansion in Lexington, KY

(March 2, 2011) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced Lockheed Martin is reaffirming its commitment to Kentucky with a $26 million investment at Lexington’s Bluegrass Station. The global security company was recently awarded a major contract for Logistics Support Services that will result in securing its statewide presence, as well as add 224 new, full-time jobs in Lexington over the length of the contract.

“This $26 million investment by Lockheed Martin sends a strong and clear message that Kentucky is a true partner with its existing businesses,” said Gov. Beshear. “Not only will this project enhance Lockheed Martin’s existing footprint in Kentucky, it will add 224 new jobs in the Lexington community. This is a win-win situation for everyone.”

The logistics contract is supported by 1,856 full-time Lockheed Martin and partner company employees across Kentucky, including Bluegrass Station, Fort Campbell and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond. Lockheed Martin’s investment will entail numerous improvements to existing state-owned facilities, as well as equipment costs that will increase the performance and longevity of the operations.

“This investment will improve the existing equipment, tools, and facility infrastructure as well the overall efficiency and quality of work to position us as a world-class sustainment operation within the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Howard Yellen, Lockheed Martin vice president. “Our joint vision is to develop the existing workforce while making strategic investments in equipment and infrastructure for the long-term growth into a Sustainment Center of Excellence.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Lockheed Martin Corporation for tax incentives up to $15 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive will allow Lockheed Martin to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved the company for tax benefits up to $415,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment. “Lockheed Martin is ranked 44th on the Fortune 500 list and is an international leader in the aerospace and defense industries,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “These are good jobs with a future. We’re extremely pleased that Lockheed Martin is remaining and growing jobs in our community.”

“Many people don’t realize it, but from an employment standpoint, the military’s impact is felt throughout the Bluegrass. Together, Bluegrass Station in Fayette County and Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond account for an annual economic impact of more than $400 million within our region,” said Bob Quick, president & CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “Lockheed Martin has certainly contributed to that figure, and we appreciate its commitment to our community by retaining and creating new jobs for our economy. We are excited about Lockheed Martin’s expansion effort, and we look forward to a great partnership for many years to come.”


HFL Sport Science Opens New Laboratory in Lexington, KY

(Dec. 14, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined community leaders and executives of HFL Sport Science Inc. to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new laboratory in Lexington. Located at 1745 Alysheba Way, the facility will provide drug surveillance, doping control and research to equine and other sports industries. The lab, which represents a more than $4 million investment, will create 48 new jobs, including 25 high-tech positions, paying an average salary of over $47,000, exclusive of benefits.

“HFL is establishing a world-class bioanalytical laboratory to deliver doping control and associated research for horseracing in Kentucky and nationwide,” said Gov. Beshear. “Their testing services for various sport science activities, such as checking horse feed and sport supplements for banned substances, will help ensure the equine industry remains healthy, while also helping preserve and create high-paying, high-tech jobs for Kentucky residents.”

In March 2010, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission selected HFL to provide drug testing for Kentucky race tracks. The lab will begin processing samples in February 2011. In addition to developing laboratory screening tests for fitness and nutritional health, HFL plans to provide services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. The company also anticipates research collaborations with the University of Kentucky, which will improve the basic understanding of issues relating to doping control in equine, canine and human sports.

“We at HFL are truly delighted to be partnering with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in creating a world class Racing Chemistry Laboratory in Lexington,” said Dr. David Hall, CEO of HFL Sport Science Ltd in the United Kingdom, and HFL Sport Science Inc. in Kentucky. “We anticipate that our partnership and research-led approach will quickly bring benefits to racing in Kentucky, and are eager to investigate the benefits of forging the transatlantic link with racing in the United Kingdom. It must be noted that the support that we have received from the Cabinet for Economic Development, Commerce Lexington and the wider community has been tremendous, making the start up in Lexington a remarkably smooth process.”

HFL’s parent company, HFL Sport Science Ltd, is based in Fordham, near Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, and has more than 40 years of continuous experience in the science of sports doping control. This includes experience testing within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Agency and testing human and animal food supplements for substances prohibited in sports. The company also delivers both operational screening services and innovative research into prohibited substance detection.

“This announcement once again illustrates the power of the horse industry and of University of Kentucky brainpower to attract good jobs to Lexington,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry. “After all, we are the worldwide hub of the thoroughbred industry and the UK Gluck Equine Research Center is an international center of excellence in equine research. Lexington is a perfect fit for HFL.” “Commerce Lexington is excited to participate in HFL Sport Science’s grand opening event,” said President and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. Bob Quick. “We have enjoyed working with HFL and are thrilled about the impact the company will make on our region with new, high-tech jobs.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved HFL for a forgivable loan up to $425,000 through the Cabinet for Economic Development’s High-Tech Investment Pool, a program used to support technology-based and research-intensive companies and projects. The high-tech pool funds are being used by HFL to purchase lab equipment and help underwrite costs for lab up-fit of the Lexington facility.

KEDFA also gave preliminary approval for tax incentive benefits to HFL up to $800,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investments over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.


Commerce Lexington expresses opposition to proposed coal ash regulation

Commerce Lexington Inc. recently submitted public comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) expressing its opposition to a proposed regulatory change regarding coal ash that could significantly affect utility rates and energy production in the Commonwealth. The proposed regulatory change for the "Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Rule" would permit U.S. EPA to classify coal ash waste from power plants as hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

During the month of September, Tyler Campbell, Vice President of Public Policy for Commerce Lexington, testified in Louisville before U.S. EPA regarding the proposed regulatory change to the CCR Rule. During testimony, Campbell stated Commerce Lexington's opposition to regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste due to the increase costs the proposed regulation would impose on power plant operations, ultimately resulting in increased costs for businesses and consumers in the Commonwealth.

"The additional costs this regulation could impose on many of the state's coal-fired power plants may cause some plants to significantly reduce production or even close in an effort to reach compliance," Campbell said. "This approach threatens hundreds of jobs at coal-fired plants throughout Kentucky and would negatively impact local economies through lost wages and payroll taxes, not to mention the loss in energy production for our state."

In addition to the increased costs of energy production, regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste would likely end the beneficial reuse of recycling coal ash into products like cement, concrete or wall board. This approach under Subtitle C would serve to drive up costs for the construction and homebuilding industries, and would harm a successful recycling industry in Kentucky.

Commerce Lexington urged U.S. EPA to consider regulating coal ash under Subtitle D of RCRA, which is the non-hazardous waste designation. Both Subtitle C and Subtitle D of RCRA have similar landfill design features, which would permit U.S. EPA to regulate coal ash as a non-hazardous waste, while still providing the necessary controls to protect the environment and human health.

This reasonable approach would allow U.S. EPA to develop non-hazardous waste regulations for coal ash under Subtitle D, while working with the states to implement regulations that continue to protect the environment and the health of its residents without negatively impacting the beneficial use of coal ash and driving up the costs of energy at a time when consumers can least afford it.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano meets with Business, Law Enforcement at Commerce Lexington offices

LEXINGTON, Ky. (October 7, 2010) – U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was in Lexington, Kentucky, today to meet with representatives of business and industry, as well as the law enforcement community. At the Commerce Lexington Inc. offices, Secretary Napolitano gave an update of happenings within her department and heard feedback from the participants on immigration issues. Following the meeting, the Secretary was joined by Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry and Sheriff Kathy Witt to talk about the Secure Communities initiative, which will be coming to Lexington soon.

The Secure Communities initiative has already been implemented in 600 U.S. communities. It means that people who are booked into jails will have their fingerprints checked in both the criminal database system and the immigration database system simultaneuously.

Governor Beshear Announces SBIR-STTR Grants for Kentucky High-Tech Small Businesses

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced awards totaling more than $1.8 million to seven Kentucky high-tech companies as part of a Kentucky initiative to attract and support technology-based small businesses. Through the state’s competitive SBIR-STTR Matching Funds program, Kentucky matches federal SBIR-STTR awards received by Kentucky companies or those willing to relocate to Kentucky. This seventh round of state awards supplements more than $2.4 million in federal funding made to the firms.

The state matching funds were awarded after the high-tech firms received grants in Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Kentucky is the first and only state to match both phases of the federal program: up to $150,000 to match Phase 1 federal awards and up to $500,000 per year to match Phase 2 federal awards. To date, the state’s SBIR-STTR matching program has made a total of 91 awards to 52 Kentucky high-tech companies for a combined $20.5 million in state funds, leveraging more than $37.4 million in federal funds. The program has also helped bring 10 new high-tech businesses to the Commonwealth to benefit from the matching funds.

“Kentucky’s unique program is widely recognized as the top SBIR-STTR matching program in the nation,” said Gov. Beshear. “Not only do these awards help support our high-tech small businesses, they bring in tens of millions of dollars in federal funding that indirectly benefit other Kentucky companies and their employees who provide products and services in support of our research industry.”

The seven Kentucky companies receiving matching funds specialize in areas as diverse as human health and development, energy, nanotechnology, bioscience, materials science and advanced manufacturing.


nGimat Co., which relocated from Georgia to Lexington, will initially develop advanced energy storage nanomaterials for use in next-generation lithium-ion automotive batteries, as well as in energy storage components for the emerging electrical smart-grid. nGimat’s facility will also produce nanopowder using the company’s proprietary process.

Advanced Genomic Technology LLC, of Louisville, is developing a genetic test to identify specific disease biomarkers in patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Talon Technologies, of Covington, is developing a high-performance flexible conduit for use with the Army’s rapidly installed fuel transfer system during active combat deployments.

Orthopeutics Inc., which relocated from Texas to Lexington, is developing a nonsurgical treatment for degenerative disc disease and associated lower-back pain. The treatment involves injecting a tissue revitalization material into the spinal disc to mechanically reinforce and stabilize the joint and decompress the surrounding neural tissues without the need for invasive spinal surgery.

3H Company LLC, of Lexington, is developing technology that captures and stores carbon dioxide underground to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. The company’s novel absorbent also helps reduce energy loss during the coal capture process.

Vindico NanoBio Technology Inc., of Lexington, is developing a synthetic oxygen therapeutic, a blood substitute, that can be administered to patients and help reduce blood shortages.

Advanced Dynamics Inc., of Lexington, is developing software that enables more accurate designs of aircraft wings and rotor blades, while providing rapid and reliable aeromechanics assessment.

The Cabinet for Economic Development, through its Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI), manages the Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds program, which is administered under contract to DCI by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC).

“Kentucky’s SBIR-STTR matching program has generated a lot of interest nationwide,” said DCI Commissioner Deborah Clayton. “Not only have the awards brought 10 high-tech firms – and their jobs – to Kentucky from other states, but they have greatly increased the number of Kentucky companies that are applying for and winning federal SBIR and STTR awards.”


United States Equestrian Federation Announces New Equine Drug Testing and Research Lab in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2010) – Already the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, First Lady Jane Beshear today announced Lexington will be the location of the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory. USEF will relocate the specialized equine drug testing facility from Ithaca, NY later this year, creating a dozen specialized new jobs and a capital investment of nearly $1.5 million to the Commonwealth.

“USEF’s equine drug testing and research lab will be an excellent addition to the Commonwealth, already known as the Horse Capital of the World,” said Mrs. Beshear. “The creation of a dozen, high-paying jobs, dedicated to providing and maintaining a safe and level playing field for equine athletes, will have a positive effect on the Lexington community.”

The University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus will be home to the new facility, which is expected to occupy a 7,500-square-foot space. In addition to testing more than 15,000 samples each year collected from USEF licensed competitions across the country and samples from the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the USEF’s lab will be fully capable of serving any additional needs for equestrian sport.

“Our facility is one of the world leaders in cutting-edge drug testing and research,” said John Long, CEO of the USEF. “During the last few years, the size and scope of our program has nearly doubled. Growth of this size presents challenges and we look forward to meeting those challenges by relocating our facility closer to our headquarters, in the heart of Lexington.”

Before making its transition to Lexington, the lab in Ithaca will be responsible for processing the samples collected during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The lab is one of only five in the world used by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) to receive samples collected at FEI competitions.

In addition to the relocation of the lab, Mrs. Beshear also announced a partnership between USEF, the U.S. Eventing Association and the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering that will have a significant impact on safety in the equestrian sport of eventing. An Olympic sport and part of the World Equestrian Games, eventing includes dressage, cross country and stadium jumping.

The UK research team is working to develop new designs and new materials for cross country jumps that will greatly decrease the chance of severe injuries to the rider and horse. While these injuries are infrequent, the severity of the injury has led a worldwide effort to reduce their occurrence and improve eventing safety.

“We are very proud to be in partnership with USEF,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “Having this lab at Coldstream provides great synergy between USEF and our researchers, and will attract even more equine-related businesses to our research campus. Currently, there are seven equine-related companies and the UK College of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (formerly the UK Livestock Disease Diagnostic Lab) at Coldstream.”

Established in 1917, USEF serves as the National Governing Body for Equestrian Sport. The federation trains, selects and funds the United States Equestrian Team which consistently wins medals at the highest level of international competition, including the Olympic Games. The USEF also licenses 2800 equestrian competitions of all levels across the United States each year in 28 different breeds, national disciplines and international disciplines.

“We have some of the world’s top equine researchers at the University of Kentucky Gluck Center and the world’s best horses. USEF will be a welcome addition,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry. “This is another clear example of the capacity of the horse industry and the strength of UK research to attract good jobs to our community.”

“Commerce Lexington is excited that USEF has chosen to relocate its equine testing lab to Lexington,” said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “Having a world-class lab in Lexington will only strengthen our standing as the Horse Capital of the World. Congratulations to USEF on their expansion in the Bluegrass.”

USEF was preliminarily approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for up to $300,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. The average annual approved amount to be earned by USEF is $30,000.


Central Kentucky Leaders and Congressman Chandler Announce Program to Create Local Jobs


Commerce Lex President Bob Quick talks about SBA Grant from Commerce Lexington on Vimeo.

[AUGUST 24, 2010] --- Today at an event at Congleton-Hacker Company in Lexington, Congressman Ben Chandler joined representatives from the Central Kentucky Regional Public Policy Group and other local and regional leaders to announce a new small business assistance program, aiding Central Kentucky's small businesses and creating local jobs.

"Creating good-paying local jobs has to be our top priority," Chandler said, "nothing is more important.  Our small businesses are the engines of job creation, and they are the ones who will bring us out of these tough economic times. After so much time and hard work, it is wonderful to see this funding finally come through, especially for our veterans."

Commerce Lexington Inc. president and CEO, Bob Quick, said, "This funding is yet another example of the regional success that can occur through our private and public sector leaders working together. By continuing to focus on a unified agenda and speaking with one voice to our Congressional delegation, we can maximize our outcomes and advance our regional priorities."

The Small Business Administration (SBA) grant announced today will assist small businesses, create jobs in Central Kentucky, and boost the local economy.  Congressman Chandler's office, Commerce Lexington Inc., the Central Kentucky Regional Public Policy Group-consisting of elected officials, community and business leaders from Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Scott and Woodford Counties-and other officials have been working together for an extended period of time to receive this funding.

The first initiative that will receive assistance is the Bluegrass Veteran and Minority Owned Contractor Incubation Program.  This new program will create a "one-stop" incubator to build veteran, minority, women, disabled/disadvantaged-owned business capacity in the construction sector across Kentucky.  In addition to providing office space and equipment, the project will provide participant contractors on-going needs assessments, no-cost financial management expertise, legal services, sales and public relations services, green building services/LEED training, human resource management, jobsite safety and access to discounted insurance and workers' compensation.  The grant is also expected to help address economic inclusion, furthering the development of the bio-tech cluster, and workforce development.  All initiatives resulting from this SBA grant must be thoroughly reviewed, approved, and reported on to show results.

The program is to be administered by the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC of Kentucky), a non-profit trade association representing 700 prime contractors, subcontractors, and industry associates statewide. Initially, three individual firms will be selected by the advisory committee to participate in the program. The program will run in two year cycles.

Chandler continued: "Today Central Kentucky came together to build a stronger, more prosperous Bluegrass Region, and I look forward to what we can accomplish together."