Several businesses, local and state agencies announced 11 projects Wednesday in Graves County that will invest a combined $115 million in the community.
The announcements were unveiled at a Graves County Economic Development event Wednesday.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials Kyle Poat and Chris Kuntz gave an update on KY Highway 80 construction and the I-69 initiative. Kuntz said the cabinet is about to start construction on Highway 80 in Mayfield. He said construction on U.S.68/KY 80 is slated to be complete by next year and will be the final piece of a new, four lane highway connecting Mayfield and Bowling Green. Kuntz said in Graves, Marshall and Trigg counties, the Cabinet has spent nearly $500 million in road investments over the past 20 years.
Mayfield Consumer Products announced the $2 million creation of a new environmentally-friendly packaging company. MCP Packaging Technology will create packaging from recycled pulp. Graves County Economic Development President Ryan Drane said the $2 million investment is in addition to a $14 million investment the company made last year.
Pearson Safety Services said they are opening a new office in Graves County. The business performs safety audits and provides safety consultation for companies. Ingrams Water and Air Equipment announced plans to expand their 78,000 square foot facility in Hickory by 8,000 square feet.
Locomotive remanufacturer Progress Rail announced $1.7 million updates to their Mayfield facility, including a locomotive paint booth, a new track and a test engine sale center.
Hemp processor GenCanna increased their original $40 million investment to $60 million in a new facility. While giving an update on the company’s new processing facility, Chief Operating Officer Richard Drennen said the company is doing “everything they can to show the rest of the industry what compliance looks like.” He said their new facility is the first building approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in Kentucky. Drennen said GenCanna now has 220 employees. Commissioner Sandy Dunahoo with the Department for Local Government also announced a $1 million grant for GenCanna’s facility.
The Four Rivers Foundation announced ‘Tassel ILP,’ an interactive learning platform for grades 6-12 students that “allows students to explore different pathways, colleges, jobs, businesses and industries in our area.”
Dianne Owen with the Foundation said the ILP was created by a former graduate of Fulton High School and is funded by the national New Skills For Youth grant. The ILP will work on mobile devices and be available to students in grades 6-12 for school districts in Graves County, Mayfield, Fulton County, Hickman County, Carlisle County and Fulton Independent.
Trifecta Real Estate Services and Jackson Purchase Medical Center announced a new Jackson Purchase Primary Care Clinic at Hickory Point. The clinic will be located inside the industrial park and be ideal to provide services to workers because of its location.
Drane said Graves County Economic Development is building a 100,000 square foot manufacturing spec building in the Hickory Industrial Park. He said the building will be expandable to 200,000 plus square feet.
Grace Industrial Park, located on the former General Tire site, is expected to see several updates on it’s 300 acre location. Developer Brad Youngblood announced new local partnerships with local county government officials and CFSB among others. He said continued development on the site through the summer will show “more growth than we have ever seen in Graves County.”
He said Kubota is planning to build an eight acre facility in the park.
Drane invited high school students to sit in on the announcements. “We need to educate the students as to what opportunities are available. We’re having more and more options everyday, and we’re diversifying what the students get into, the fields they are able to get into. And it’s stuff they are interested in right now,”he said.
Drane said the investments will create more than 160 full-time jobs.