Friday, August 26, 2016

Midway expecting 262 new full-time jobs with location of educational-products distribution plant

The 41.9 acres in four tracts to be bought by Lakeshore Learning Materials are outlined in blue on this county zoning map.
Midway is expected to get 262 new jobs and up to 150 seasonal jobs when Lakeshore Learning Materials, an educational-products company, locates a distribution center in the heart of the industrial zone of Midway Station.

"We do have some minor issues on the land," Woodford County Economic Development Authority Chair John Soper said at the EDA board meeting this morning. "It's more some minor technicalities we need to make them comfortable about."

Soper and Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift treated the deal as all but done, after a state press release announced that Lakeshore "will locate" in Midway with the help of state incentives. "We're one step closer," Soper said.

"I just can't thank you all enough for what you've done for Midway," Vandegrift told the board. The jobs from Lakeshore and the American Howa plan now under construction, "probably represent a 100 percent increase in jobs in Midway."

The jobs also mean about $200,000 in payroll-tax revenue for a city with an annual budget of just over $1 million. "Those revenues are going to set us on a firm course well into the future," Vandegrift said.

Soper said meetings with Lakeshore executives indicated that the company will be a good corporate citizen. After dinner at the Holly Hill Inn, "The next morning they wanted to get up bright and early and walk the streets of Midway with the mayor to see what the community is about."

Here is the state press release:

Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Lakeshore Learning Materials, a developer and retailer of high-quality educational products, will locate a distribution center in Woodford County’s Midway Station industrial park with an investment of more than $47.4 million projected to create 262 full-time jobs.
“Over the past 60 years, Lakeshore Learning Materials has established itself as a highly regarded brand in the world of education,” Gov. Bevin said. “This multi-generational family company is a great fit for the Commonwealth. Their core values are well aligned with Kentucky values. Their community orientation, history of product innovation, and deep roots in both entrepreneurism and education are exemplary. It’s with great joy that we welcome Lakeshore to Kentucky and thank them for choosing to invest and create jobs in the Bluegrass region.”
Lakeshore’s construction of a 500,000-square-foot fulfillment and distribution facility in Midway will allow the company to be more centrally located to its customers. Company leaders expect the building will be operational by November 2017.
“Lakeshore was drawn to Kentucky by its wonderful sense of community and the state’s rich history of supporting families, education and businesses like ours,” said Bo Kaplan, Lakeshore’s president and CEO. “We truly feel like we’ve found a home here, and we can’t wait to become an active part of the Midway community.”
Ethelyn Kaplan, a homemaker from Omaha, Neb., founded Lakeshore after relocating her family to Oakland, Calif. to open a toy store in 1954. The business soon began focusing on learning materials, moving to Carson, Calif., and launching its first catalog in 1958. Lakeshore started developing its own products in 1988, and today the company provides teachers and parents with innovative educational products for children from birth through sixth grade. Lakeshore now employs more than 2,000 people across the U.S. and is in its third generation of Kaplan-family ownership.
Sen. Julian Carroll, of Frankfort, said the company will be a great fit for Midway.
“Lakeshore Learning will be a great addition to the Midway industrial community,” Sen. Carroll said. “We stand ready to fill the anticipated 262 jobs with dedicated and skilled workers. I appreciate this investment in the Midway community and look forward to a long and profitable relationship with our new industrial partner.”
Rep. James Kay, of Versailles, said the region’s focus on education will make it a great fit for Lakeshore.
“We are pleased to welcome Lakeshore Learning to Midway. Our community deeply cares about education and we know that Lakeshore Learning shares our support for our schools,” Rep. Kay said. “It is our amazing public education that produces our second-to-none workforce and the quality of life we offer. I’ve worked tirelessly with our local and state officials to bring quality jobs and opportunities to Woodford County – businesses that our people can be proud of. We look forward to building a lasting partnership with Lakeshore Learning to better our community and grow our local economy.”
Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift welcomed Lakeshore to the community.
“On behalf of our city, I am extremely pleased to welcome Lakeshore Learning Materials to Midway, Kentucky,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the confidence that they’ve shown in our workforce and our business community. We also appreciate the Cabinet for Economic Development’s assistance in expediting this project and look forward to a long-term corporate relationship with this wonderful, education-based company.”
Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle said bringing Lakeshore to Midway was a team effort.
“Again, we open our arms and welcome another family owned business to Woodford County,” Judge Coyle said. “Lakeshore Learning Materials has a long history of providing innovative education materials to our nation’s children and we’re ecstatic they chose to be part of our community. We want to thank the Kaplan family for their confidence in our community and we wish to thank the Cabinet for Economic Development, who worked so hard this past year with the Woodford Economic Development Authority to make this day possible.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3.7 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Lakeshore for up to $1.4 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Lakeshore 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. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.
For more information on Lakeshore Learning Materials, visit www.LakeshoreLearning.com.

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