Last week, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief business official, recognized Ventra Plastics, a division of the Flex-N-Gate Corporation with facilities in Logan County, Kentucky, as the inaugural large business honoree in her office’s “Corporations for the Commonwealth” program. Corporations for the Commonwealth, which Grimes launched earlier this year, recognizes Kentucky businesses that demonstrate a commitment to corporate giving, a drive to improve local and/or regional social conditions, and a culture of giving within their organizations.
“Ventra’s commitment to Logan County goes far beyond its significant economic investment,” said Grimes. “From supporting local nonprofits, to sponsoring school and church groups, to ensuring its employees are equipped to succeed, Ventra is an outstanding member of the community and the Commonwealth. I’m excited to recognize Ventra’s exemplary corporate citizenship by designating it as the first-ever Corporations for the Commonwealth honoree.”
Ventra manufactures automotive parts, serving customers both within and outside Kentucky. Since it was established in 1992, Ventra has invested millions into its Logan County operations, where it currently has 250 employees.
Ventra management and employees serve and support organizations such as the United Way of Southern Kentucky, Girl Scouts, the American Cancer Society, and Junior Achievement. Ventra is invested in future generations, frequently sponsoring school groups, encouraging young people to continue their educations and preparing students for employment. Ventra also emphasizes workforce training for its own workers, including promoting the importance of soft skills such as communication and leadership.
“I congratulate Ventra for its excellence in both the business and public sectors,” said Grimes. More than 100,000 businesses have started in the Commonwealth since I took office and I’m proud to spearhead this initiative to honor those, like Ventra, that go out of their way to improve their communities.”
Ron Barbe, Ventra’s General Manager, said, “We are humbled by this award. We have received tremendous support from Logan County and the state, and we are proud to be able to give back. At the end of the day, the betterment of our community benefits us all.”
Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick and Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton attended the award ceremony to show their appreciation for Ventra’s role in the community. Chick said, “Ventra Plastics has been a great fit for our community with its leadership and involvement.” Stratton added, “Ventra is a great citizen of Russellville, and we appreciate its commitment to our people.”
Corporations for the Commonwealth recognizes one large (more than 50 employees) and one small (50 employees or fewer) organization semi-annually through a nomination process that is open to the public. The small business honoree will be announced at a later ceremony.
Since taking office in 2012, Grimes has successfully sought more than ten bipartisan pieces of legislation – more than any other constitutional officer during the same time frame – to make Kentucky more business friendly and safeguard access to the ballot box. She is spending several days this week in West Kentucky sharing with businesses and citizens the improvements and new opportunities created by her office’s initiatives.