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Kentucky lands $153M auto project creating nearly 170 jobs

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(The Center Square) – Kentucky landed yet another electric vehicle-related project when a Japanese company announced it would expand a plant in the central part of the state.

Hitachi Astemo Americas will invest $153 million in its Berea plant and create 167 new jobs, according to a release from Gov. Andy Beshear. The company is building a 752,000-square-foot expansion across 62 acres in Madison County.

Hitachi Astemo Americas President Tim Clark said the endeavor serves as “a bold step” toward the company’s commitment to supporting the development of electric vehicles.

“Hitachi was founded on the basis of a pioneering spirit and being in harmony with society,” Clark said. “This next generation of automotive technology allows us to further that ambition, and we are proud to be able to do that in Berea.”

Berea is 40 miles south of Lexington and located along Interstate 75, which is part of Auto Alley, the region of midwestern and southern states that are home to several major vehicle production facilities and their suppliers.

Besides Berea, Hitachi Astemo also has a plant in Harrodsburg and has been in the state for nearly 40 years. It employs more than 2,100 workers across the two sites.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval to an incentives package for the project in March. Hitachi can receive up to $2.4 million in tax credits based on the company meeting its investment and job goals over 10 years and the jobs paying Kentucky residents $25.71 an hour.

“Manufacturing and the automotive sector have long been staples of the commonwealth’s economy, and with the rapidly growing EV sector bringing quality jobs and investments to our communities, we are setting Kentucky up for sustained success,” Beshear said.

Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said he and other city officials are delighted to see the city’s largest employer choose to expand there.

“The decision of a worldwide company to expand its Berea facility speaks well for their local employees, management team and the positive economic climate of Berea and Madison County,” Fraley said. “We value the long-term positive relationship with Hitachi and are very happy to see a long-term, existing employer continue to grow as our city grows.”

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