Firestone Industrial Products LLC is investing $50 million in the company’s 250-job expansion in Williamsburg, Kentucky, that will increase production of automotive air springs in support of the electric vehicle market.
With the ground broken in a ceremony today, construction will begin on the 68,000-square-foot addition to the plant. Work on the expansion is expected to be complete by December 2022.
“Today, we celebrate the vitality and growth of this plant and this community, with new investment, new jobs and a physical expansion driven by growing demand for our products and, just as fundamentally, by this team’s commitment to delivering innovation and superior quality for our customers here and around the world,” said Emily Poladian, president of Firestone Industrial Products.
The current facility has 375,000 square feet and makes approximately 4 million parts annually.
Firestone Industrial Products has been operating in Whitley County since 1989, and currently employs more than 500 people there.
“Firestone is a great partner in our community and already employs more than 500 people. This expansion will create an additional 250 new job opportunities with an extremely competitive average starting hourly wage of $29,” said State Rep. Regina Huff.
To encourage the investment, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved, in May, a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $6.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $50.89 million and annual targets of 250 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs created over 15 years paying an average hourly wage of $29 including benefits.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Firestone for up to $350,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows Firestone to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing. The company also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network including no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
Firestone Industrial Products was founded in 1936 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Inc. Firestone manufacturers air springs and related products for commercial trucks and trailers, passenger vehicles, light trucks, motor homes, buses, agricultural equipment, rail and industrial applications.