Aluminum company Braidy Industries announced Wednesday that it will build a $1.3 billion aluminum plant in eastern Kentucky, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.
Braidy CEO Craig Bouchard said the Kentucky legislature's recent passage of a law prohibiting requiring nonunion workers to pay union dues was the deciding factor. The facility will employ 550 workers when complete in 2020, and it is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs.
- Bouchard told the Daily News that the 2.5 million-square-foot factory would produce 370,000 tons of aluminum for the automotive and aerospace industries. He expects that in three years, 20% of all U.S. automotive sheet aluminum will be made there.
At the same time Kentucky lawmakers passed the legislation regarding union dues, it also repealed the state's prevailing wage laws, which required a base wage — sometimes higher than employers usually pay. This change affects state-funded projects only, not those financed by the federal government.
The Braidy deal is the latest in a string of construction manufacturing wins for the U.S. German candy manufacturer Haribo announced last month that it would build a $242 million factory, its first in North America, in southeast Wisconsin, creating 400 permanent jobs. The state offered the gummy bear producer a benefits package contingent upon job creation and training, capital investment and supply chain requirements.
Also last month, South Korea–based LG Electronics announced plans for an 829,000-square-foot, $250 million washing machine factory in Clarksville, TN. Just as in Wisconsin, Tennessee offered LG an incentives package in return for community economic benefits like infrastructure improvements, workforce training and a program for military veteran employment. The factory is expected to start production in 2019.
Texas-based Fluor Corp. announced late last year that it had scored a $1.2 billion contract to build a $1.8 billion, 830,000-square-foot factory in Clayton, NC. It will be used to produce Novo Nordisk's diabetes active pharmaceutical ingredient. The factory is slated to open in 2020, and will generate nearly 2,500 construction jobs and 700 full-time positions.