Hendricks speaks at EDC

Executive Director Carter Hendricks speaks about an upcoming fundraiser for Hopkinsville Community College during a recent EDC meeting.

Rural King, a farm supply store based in Mattoon, Illinois, has purchased the former Bradford Square Mall, Carter Hendricks, executive director of the South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council, confirmed to members of the council’s regional board during a meeting on Monday.

“It is under their ownership,” Hendricks told the board members during the meeting.

He said the company has closed on the property located on Fort Campbell Boulevard.

Hendricks noted that he did correspond with representatives of Rural King about a month ago, and he said they acknowledged that construction is still their plan.

Hendricks said the company has not committed to a timeline for the construction.

Representatives of the Illinois retail company did tell Hendricks they’re taking care of some recent storm damage at the back of the mall.

The company’s plans to open a store in the old mall in the former J.C. Penney location were announced this past March.

The new retail location will offer 170 jobs and has an $8 million investment from Rural King, and it is one of the region’s success stories for the past 18 to 24 months, the EDC director noted during Monday’s meeting.

He shared others, among them Stanley Black and Decker, which has announced an expansion with 40 new jobs and a $6 million investment, and Metalsa, whose expansion includes 97 new jobs with a $39.1 million investment.

Hendricks said the Metalsa expansion has been complete since May, and the company is still in the process of hiring. He said Metalsa has been able to find the people it needs.

Additionally, construction for EZ-Access, which produces wheelchair ramps and other access items, is complete at the company’s site across from Cayce Mill and Stanley Black and Decker.

The company has had 109 new hires confirmed and is continuing to grow.

Hendricks said PJ Clark Lumber in Cadiz is operational, and he noted that another Cadiz business, Load Covering Solutions, will hopefully be ready in the spring. In 2021, Load Covering Solutions announced 30 jobs and a $2 million investment, the EDC director noted.

In Guthrie, he said Phase II for the Novelis project site work has started. That project is offering 140 jobs with a 365 million investment.

Hendricks added that Ascend Elements, which makes advanced battery materials, is locating its largest U.S. facility in Hopkinsville and will have a potential to grow over time to more than a $1 billion investment and 500 jobs.

The director also announced several upcoming events, including a job fair in partnership with the West Kentucky Workforce Board from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 at The Bruce convention center. Hendricks said the fair, featuring a Step into a Job theme, is the third job fair the EDC has been involved in since last April.

The Pride of the Pennyrile appreciation event for business and industry is slated for Sept. 22.

Deadline for registration for that event is Sept. 9.

Hendricks said that appreciation event is organized by the Pennyrile Area Development District and is for industries in the surrounding region as well as in Christian, Trigg and Todd counties.

The United Way kick-off breakfast for that agency’s fundraising campaign is also Sept. 22 at the Christian County PACS Senior Center.

Hendricks noted that Hopkinsville Community College will host its 33rd annual Mike Foster Golf Tournament Oct. 6-7 at the Hopkinsville Golf and Country Club.

Additionally, an Industry Appreciation Luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 19 at The Bruce, with John Bradley, the senior vice president of economic development for TVA, slated to be featured speaker for the event.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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