FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Governor Andy Beshear awarded Perry County Fiscal Court more than $2 million in grants for an expansion at Dajcor Aluminum, a Canadian manufacturer of extruded and fabricated aluminum products based at the Coalfields Industrial Park in Hazard. The funds will help Dajcor add an anodize line and hire 50 additional Kentuckians.
“To build the better Kentucky we all want, we need strong partners like Dajcor,” said Gov. Beshear. “This expansion will enhance our strong advanced manufacturing industry, while creating good jobs for Eastern Kentuckians and bolstering the wider economy as we work to build back stronger following COVID-19. We look forward to many more years with Dajcor and appreciate the company’s continued investment in Eastern Kentucky.”
This expansion includes facility improvements and the purchase of new equipment. With new capabilities, Dajcor will be able to add a natural oxide layer to their products, which increases resistance to corrosion and wear, and creates a lasting aesthetic appearance. Adding the anodize line to their operations will increase production capacity, decrease production time and lower cost.
“The addition of this anodizing line will accelerate Dajcor’s growth and cause the company to hire more people sooner. Increasing our product offering coming out of the COVID downturn will position our Hazard facility well for capturing new markets. I am very grateful for the ongoing support we have received from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the local Perry County community. ” said Mike Kilby, president and CEO of Dajcor.
Perry County Fiscal Court applied for two grants for Dajcor’s expansion: a $1,070,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant and a $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). ARC funding is designed to help economically distressed counties in Appalachian Kentucky strengthen industry and build a stronger economic future. CDBG funds are intended to expand economic opportunities and development. The Department for Local Government (DLG) administers ARC and CDBG funds at the state level.
“Improving industry and creating jobs throughout Kentucky is one of our top priorities,” said DLG Commissioner and Gov. Beshear’s ARC Representative Dennis Keene. “This expansion will relieve a manufacturing bottleneck, foster economic activity and create greater opportunity for Eastern Kentucky’s workforce.”
Dajcor started operations in Perry County in March 2020 with plans to add an anodize line within three years. However, because Dajcor’s products are in such high demand, they are expanding two years ahead of schedule.
Perry County Judge/Executive Scott Alexander explained the importance of Dajcor’s partnership and planned expansion in the region.
“The addition of Dajcor to our industrial park has already proven to be a successful beginning to diversifying our local and regional economy,” said Judge/Executive Alexander. “Their expansion through a new anodize line provides a perfect example of industrial manufacturing aiding us to work toward long term regional economic stability.”
Established in 2015 with the specific purpose of recruiting new primary jobs, capital investment and manufacturing opportunities in Eastern Kentucky, One East Kentucky (OEK) encourages business to locate in the region because of its unique advantages. OEK President and CEO Chuck Sexton originally met with Dajcor Aluminum at their Chatham-Kent, Ontario, facility in 2018, initializing the discussion for Dajcor’s eventual site location decision in Perry County. After nearly two years of relationship building and site visits, Dajcor chose Eastern Kentucky for their first U.S. location based on the quality of available, skilled workers and their ability to quickly retrofit an existing 200,000 square-foot facility to meet their immediate and long-term manufacturing needs.
“Eastern Kentucky is a great fit for Dajcor and they are a great addition to Appalachia,” said Sexton. “This project would not have been possible without our state and local partners. We appreciate Gov. Beshear’s continued support of One East Kentucky’s economic development efforts throughout the region and beyond.”