Hayashi Telempu North America, an automotive interior parts company based in Japan, plans to establish manufacturing operations in Frankfort, bringing with it 103 jobs and an investment of more than $10.7 million.
Operations are expected to begin in September 2014, about two years after one of Gov. Steve Beshear’s economic development trips to Japan, which he said sparked the company’s decision.
“Hayashi Telempu is a global company that constantly works to improve itself and the products it creates,” Beshear said in a release. “This is exactly the type of drive and determination we admire here in the commonwealth.”
The company was established in 1947 and now employees 3,000 people in offices and plants across the world, including one in Lexington.
Kim Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corp., said the new operation has given the organization a chance to prove itself.
She said KCDC has been the point of contact for any questions officials at Hayashi Telempu had regarding Frankfort and its economic climate. KCDC, for example, is active in encouraging businesses to consider locations in Frankfort because it is located between Lexington and Louisville with easy access to three major interstates.
“We’ve had a black eye a couple times down the road with some of the things that have happened,” Smith said, referring to a time the corporation had to ask for assistance from the city and county.
“This shows that we are really active and really here for Frankfort and Franklin County.”
Smith said Hayashi Telempu has already taken possession of the building, located at 110 Fortune Drive, so the impact on the economy will be immediate. Upgrades will be required, which will create work for electricians and other technicians. In addition to Frankfort’s central location and the company’s preexisting relationship with the governor, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority helped attract Hayashi Telempu with its Kentucky Business Investment program.
Through the program, the company has preliminarily been approved for tax incentives up to $1.3 million. The incentives, which are performance-based, allow Hayashi Telempu to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.
Rep. Derrick Graham, who represents Franklin County, told The State Journal he was happy to hear of the new jobs and industry coming to Frankfort – and he believes the company chose the location of its new venture strategically.
Frankfort has a pool of skilled labor coming from the local school systems, particularly from the Franklin County Career and Technical Center, and businesses know to take advantage of that, Graham said.
Frankfort Mayor Bill May said he hopes Hayashi Telempu’s relocation will set an example for other industries.
“Hopefully it will lead the way for more,” May said. “If people can see that we’re continuing to provide a well-trained workforce, that will spread to other industries who will take a look at Frankfort and Franklin County.”