Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s Chief of Staff Stan Cave was in Bowling Green on Sept. 8 to break ground for a 105,000 square-foot expansion of Pan-Oston’s manufacturing facility. Cave was joined by Economic Development Cabinet Deputy Commissioner George Burgess and company and local officials.
“The expansion of Pan-Oston’s operation in Bowling Green will create 200 full-time jobs for Kentuckians and provide great opportunity for the area work force,” said Chief of Staff Cave. “Their continued success in Kentucky demonstrates the pro-business environment that has been cultivated in the region and state.”
Pan-Oston, an industry leader in the development and manufacturing of innovative checkout and other retail fixture systems for more than 30 years, will invest approximately $8 million in the commonwealth as a result of the expansion. Currently, the company employs 340 at its Bowling Green facility.
“I welcome the decision by Pan-Oston to expand their South Central Kentucky operations, creating hundreds of new jobs for Kentuckians,” said Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong. “This expansion is a testament to the region's highly qualified workforce and business climate.”
To support the continued growth, diversity and technological advancements of the retail industry, Pan-Oston’s expansion of its Kentucky corporate office and manufacturing operation will include additional production and distribution space, including technologically advanced automated fabrication equipment.
“We are very appreciative of the support that we have received from state and local officials, as well as the business community,” said Pan-Oston President Jim Vance. “Without their support this expansion would be very difficult. We credit our business successes to our skilled and dedicated employee-owners from all of our locations, including many who operate out of our manufacturing and distribution facility in Bowling Green.”
Pan-Oston Co. is a majority owned subsidiary of Houchens Industries with facilities in Bowling Green, Hiram, Ga. and Peterborough, Canada. Houchens Industries, headquartered in Bowling Green, is the largest employee-owned company in the United States. Houchens, with approximately $3 billion in annual sales and 10,000 employees, has interests in grocery, tobacco, construction, insurance, recycling and manufacturing industries.
“Our Chamber of Commerce works hard to attract and retain good businesses in Warren County and the South Central Kentucky region,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “A true measure of our chamber’s success is when existing industries like Pan-Oston decide to invest further and expand here, rather than to look for incentives in other states. I am proud to play a small part in Pan-Oston’s decision to expand in Bowling Green.”
“The Pan-Oston success story is reflective of the way business can succeed in Bowling Green and Warren County,” said Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker. “We are a business-friendly community and their planned expansion will ensure quality jobs for hundreds more south central Kentuckians.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Pan-Oston for tax benefits up to $1.7 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act (KIDA), an incentive program designed to increase employment in the state.
A community profile for Warren County is available online at www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cmnty/cw/cw067/Location.htm.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2005 totaled more than $1.6 billion with the creation of over 16,700 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.thinkkentucky.com.