A more than $3 million expansion at Modern Transmission Development’s (MTD) Leitchfield plant means 100 local jobs saved and added.
Industry and state officials joined forces Thursday afternoon to announce that as part of a more than $3.7 million investment, MTD will buy, relocate and install injection molding equipment at the plant at 2555 Brandenburg Road, which currently employs 249 people full time.
The new machinery will allow MTD to make plastic parts for the company’s lawn and garden tool lines, said Derek Clemons, the plant’s general manager. It also will create 61 new full-time jobs and provide work for another 39 employees. MTD had just wrapped up a long-standing contract with General Electric, so employees working on that contract will be transitioned over to the new process, Clemons explained.
“We’re thrilled to see the success and growth of Modern Transmission Development in Kentucky, which will result in dozens of new jobs for the Grayson County community,” Gov. Steve Beshear said of the expansion. “The company has a key phrase — ‘the past we inherit, the future we create.’ This phrase demonstrates exactly the type of innovative spirit we strive to achieve here in the Commonwealth.”
Clemons said MTD’s plant will not be physically expanded to accommodate the new machinery. Instead, space inside the building will be repurposed for the injection equipment. Some of the new equipment is already in place, and other pieces will be added throughout the remaining months of 2012, he said. The new work will begin in July, and ramp up throughout the year.
Founded more than 50 years ago, MTD manufactures a complete range of lawn and garden products, ranging from push-behind mowers to snow blowers. Its plant in Leitchfield is about 17 years old.
“Since opening our Leitchfield facility in 1995, MTD has experienced great success in working with the community and the Commonwealth,” Clemons said. “Kentucky, Grayson County and the city of Leitchfield continue to show great support to MTD, which, along with a great workforce, allows MTD to continue to invest in this community and its people. We look forward to this partnership continuing for years to come.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved MTD for tax incentives up to $1.25 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
The plant has been working with the state, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Warren RECC, Leitchfield, Grayson County and the Leitchfield-Grayson County Industrial Development Corp. for several months to make the expansion a reality, Clemons said. He added that hiring for some of the new positions has already begun, and will continue throughout the rest of the year as well.
News of the expansion drew praise from area political leaders.
“The city of Leitchfield is deeply honored by the role MTD has played in our community,” said Mayor William H. Thomason. “Once again, MTD is showing their strong commitment to our workforce and our city by expanding their current operations here. The investment that MTD is making is an investment in our people, our families and our community.”
“The Grayson County Fiscal Court and I are proud of MTD and the Moll family’s commitment to industrial development in Grayson County,” said Grayson County Judge-Executive Gary Logsdon. “Derek Clemons’ leadership has also played a key part in the success of this company. The collaboration between the individuals involved has allowed for excellent recruitment and expansion within this professional workforce. We look forward to continuing to assist in future developments with MTD.”
The decision to expand locally “is a testament to the high-quality workforce and business climate we offer in the Commonwealth,” said state Rep. C.B. Embry of Morgantown. “We’re glad to have the company in Grayson County, and look forward to a fruitful economic relationship as they provide new jobs to our communities.”
“It’s a true testament to our work ethic and quality of life when companies invest money and create jobs here,” said Sen. Carroll Gibson, of Leitchfield. “I welcome and congratulate MTD.”
MTD is headquartered in Valley City, Ohio, near Cleveland. It produces equipment for both residential and commercial markets under the MTD, MTD Gold, MTD Pro, Yard-Man, Yard Machines, Bolens and Remington brand names.