Cincinnati-based Hollaender Manufacturing Company revealed Wednesday the company will set up an operation in a warehouse complex off University Drive in Somerset to manufacture its line of Speed-Rail® mechanical fittings. The railing manufacturer will invest $667,000 and plans to create 16 full-time, high-paying jobs.

"Hollaender Manufacturing Co. has a long track record of success, and we are grateful the company has selected Somerset for its first Kentucky location," said Governor Matt Bevin, who with Chris Girdler, president and CEO of SPEDA (Somerset-Pulaski County Development Authority), made the announcement for Hollaender.

"This will be a beneficial project for the skilled local workforce, with the potential for growth and an even greater impact in the future. We are excited to see what lies ahead for Hollaender here in Kentucky, Gov. Bevin commented.

Calling this "Exciting times for Somerset," Girdler said: "After looking at many different locations, Hollaender chose to locate in a warehouse complex off University Drive. "They will occupy a 12,000 square foot facility."

"SPEDA will work with Cumberlands Workforce business liaison, Shirlene Taylor, to facilitate a hiring event and we anticipate operations beginning later this year," Girdler said. "I've enjoyed getting to know Marc Cetrulo, Donald Spillane and the team from Hollaender, and we, as a community, are very excited to welcome this family-owned business to Somerset and Pulaski County," he continued.

"I believe this is the first of many jobs that Hollaender Manufacturing will be bringing into our region and I know they will be impressed with our workforce. Much appreciation to Gov. Bevin, Mayor (Alan) Keck and Judge (Steve) Kelley for their support of our efforts to attract this great company to Somerset," Girdler added.

Hollaender leadership selected its new location in an effort to better serve existing and future customers. Speed-Rail® mechanical fittings help create strong rigid structures such as railings, racks, fencing and more. Slip-on pipe fittings allow fast, easy assembly using only an Allen wrench. Fittings are reusable.

The company's investment is expected to cover the cost of new equipment to meet current production requirements. The facility also provides opportunity for future growth based on increased customer demand.

"We are extremely excited about our new manufacturing operation in Somerset," said Marc Cetrulo, president and COO of Hollaender. "After an extensive search that included several states, we felt the skilled labor force in this area will provide a tremendous boost to our long-term growth plans."

Hollaender since 1946 has operated as a family-owned business. Its primary products include structural pipe fittings and handrail systems. The company's products are used in a wide variety of locations, including Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, US Army Corps locks and dams, Kings Island and Six Flags Disney World, as well as offshore oil platforms and power plants around the world.

State Senator Rick Girdler, Somerset, thanked the company for its decision to locate in the area. "It is always a privilege to announce new investments and job opportunities for our district," Sen. Girdler said. "With a rapidly growing demand for manufacturing, I would like to extend my gratitude to Hollaender Manufacturing Co. for this much-welcomed investment in Somerset and the commonwealth."

State Representative David Meade, Stanford, said the project is reflective of continued economic growth. "I'm thrilled to see this exciting new manufacturing announcement in Somerset, which is the latest sign our economy is on the upswing. This investment has the potential to be a shot in the arm for our part of the state, and I look forward to seeing it get off the ground."

Mayor Keck said the company provides a great opportunity for the local workforce. "We are grateful and excited Hollaender chose to locate in Somerset. They are bringing high quality jobs and providing living-wage career opportunities," Mayor Keck said. "I fully trust our workforce will meet their needs and hopefully grow and develop alongside this great family business."

Judge-Executive Kelley said officials will work to ensure the company has an opportunity to grow locally. "I am thrilled to welcome Hollaender to Pulaski County. We anticipate a long and prosperous partnership, and we stand ready to assist them however we can to help them reach their goals," Judge-Executive Kelley said. "Thanks to everyone who has helped make this venture a reality.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $300,000 in tax incentives based on the company's investment of $667,000 and annual targets:

• Creation and maintenance of 16 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years.

• Paying an average hourly wage of $26.47 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Hollaender can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

Information provided by Chris Girdler at SPEDA, Nicole Burton at Gov. Matt Bevin's office and Jack Mazurak, communication director at Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

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