One hundred years after it opened, one Kentucky company continues to grow its operations. Governor Steve Beshear joined local officials today to cut the ribbon on Specialty Foods Group Inc.’s expanded facility in Owensboro.
Specialty Foods, a meat packaging company with a portfolio of brands, including Kentucky Legend, Field, Fischer’s, Kentuckian Gold, Mickelberry’s and Scott Pete, invested $2.6 million into the project and will create at least 65 new jobs.
“I am delighted to celebrate Specialty Foods Group’s expansion in Owensboro,” said Gov. Beshear. “This investment not only creates 65 additional jobs for the citizens of western Kentucky, but it also demonstrates the company’s confidence in Kentucky’s quality workforce and business climate. I look forward to working with Specialty Foods as they continue to grow their presence in the Commonwealth.”
The project included updating equipment to improve product quality and increase production capacity. The added capacity will allow Specialty Foods Group to continue growth on a national level with its Kentucky Legend Brand.
“This is an exciting year for Specialty Foods Group, with the recent completion of our ham expansion project, adding significant production capacity and jobs in the manufacturing facility that has called Owensboro home for over 100 years,” said Steve Wright, president of Specialty Foods Group. “This is just the first block in the foundation for the future of Specialty Foods Group.”
Specialty Foods opened its manufacturing facility in Owensboro in December 1914. Currently, the company employs 501 people in Kentucky.
“Specialty Foods Group has been a wonderful partner to Owensboro and the Commonwealth as a whole for years; we are happy to welcome this new expansion,” said Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. “Brands like Kentucky Legend have made a national impact, appearing in all 50 states, and we are excited to see them continue investing in our community.”
“We are all appreciative of Specialty Foods for recognizing that it’s a great time to expand a business in Owensboro,” said Rep. Jim Glenn, of Owensboro. “Our dedicated workforce has enabled us to become a hub for creating new jobs and expanding commerce. This is another example of Governor Beshear and our local officials uniting with local business leaders to make our community stronger.”
“I am elated that Specialty Foods has chosen to make such a large investment in our community, and I appreciate Governor Beshear and all our local officials for ensuring a prosperous environment for expanding companies,” said Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Owensboro. “Owensboro has been exceptional at facilitating business growth and creating new jobs, which is a testament to the hardworking people of our community.”
“Any birthday is worth celebrating, and the milestone of 100 years is nothing short of monumental. The Specialty Foods family has invested millions of dollars in our community, and its greatest investment is in the families it supports,” said Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne. “The announcement of their expansion on their 100th year in business - including $2.6 million and 65 new jobs is a great present to Owensboro. Congratulations, Specialty Foods Group, for your dedication to our community. Let's celebrate many more to come!”
“When Charles Field started Field and Company in December 1914 with two employees and his horse Chester, he could have not imagined the facility that exists today, but he would understand that this growth that we celebrate today was based on the same principles he started with – Service, Quality, and Innovation,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “Daviess County is proud to be a partner with Specialty Foods Group, not only through the KBI program, but also through our local Economic Development Fund. This expansion further establishes Daviess County as a location for value-added food manufacturing.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
In addition, Specialty Foods is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to 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 4,100 Kentucky companies.