Three companies to expand Kentucky operations, add nearly 850 jobs

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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By Steve Bittenbender

The Center Square

Kentucky economic development officials approved incentives for three projects Thursday that would create nearly 850 new jobs in the Louisville area and Northern Kentucky.

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Congo LLC announced plans to move its Louisville headquarters to a new 110,000-square-foot facility in the eastern part of the city. In doing so, the company that develops products, hones brands and recruits influencers expects to hire 500 new full-time workers to supplement the 95 employees working at its current facility.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said the expansion would enhance the city’s image in beverage development as Congo works with energy, hydration and nutrition drink makers.

“Congo’s explosive international growth and strong product development and marketing have propelled them to international acclaim, and the city of Louisville is proud to support this homegrown headquarters with this latest expansion,” the mayor said.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Congo for up to $7.5 million in tax incentives over a 10-year period. That’s based on the company meeting its investment goal of $8.3 million and hiring 500 new workers expected to earn an average of $49.80 an hour.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian plans to locate a remanufacturing facility in Shepherdsville. The company already maintains a parts warehouse in the Bullitt County city just south of Louisville.

“Our new site in Shepherdsville will support multiple business-critical functions for Rivian and help bring good-paying jobs and training for Kentuckians in the region,” said Jimmy Knauf, the company’s executive vice president for facilities.

Rivian plans to invest $10 million to expand its footprint in Kentucky and create 218 new full-time jobs that, according to KEDFA meeting documents, will pay an average hourly wage of $36.40.

The authority initially approved $4.1 million in incentives over 10 years for Rivian’s project, with the incentives tied to meeting investment and hiring goals.

The Castellini Co. announced plans to expand its logistics facility in Wilder, a Cincinnati suburb. The company expects to invest about $16.6 million in the project, including a new 36,000-square-foot freeze. Company Chairman Bob Castellini said the expansion would help it continue to be a leader in handling perishables.

Workers will also put together meal kits at the facility.

The project is expected to create 180 full-time jobs, and more than two-thirds of those positions will go to Kentucky residents. New workers would make an average of $27.50 an hour.

KEDFA approved more than $2 million in incentives for the project, with that tied to the company meeting its investment and Kentucky resident hiring targets.