Gov. Matt Bevin announced last week that Stark Truss Co. Inc., a roof and floor truss manufacturer in Auburn, will convert a former big-box retail store in Franklin with a nearly $1.66 million investment expected to create 22 full-time jobs.
“Stark Truss has been a reliable business partner and employer in Kentucky for years, and their expansion is welcome and exciting news,” Gov. Bevin said. “The company’s ability to find a suitable site for growth, and allowing it to keep its current workforce, makes this announcement a positive one for both Auburn and Franklin. We are thankful for Stark Truss’ commitment to southcentral Kentucky and wish the company well in its future ventures.”
Stark Truss will relocate its Kentucky operation from nearby Auburn to a long-vacant former Wal-Mart store on North Main Street in Franklin. The location will help the company better serve current and future customers in Kentucky and Tennessee and improve logistics. Stark Truss plans to renovate the facility and open this spring, retaining its current 25 employees in addition to the new hires.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the state of Kentucky and their economic development team in facilitating this move and expansion of our manufacturing plant in Kentucky,” said Stephen Yoder, president of Stark Truss. “Being able to utilize an abandoned facility and bring it back to active production is a plus for everyone. Investing in this expansion will be key to the further development of our business in this region and will be instrumental in future growth for our company as well as the surrounding community.”
“Stark Truss Co. Inc. has had a manufacturing facility in this region of Kentucky for over 20 years,” added Mike McKinnis, plant manager of the Kentucky operation. “We are very grateful for our growth that now requires expansion to a larger facility in the Franklin community. This expansion will allow for our future development as a company and will give back to our local community by increasing employment opportunities and providing much needed jobs.”
Founded in 1963 and family-owned, Stark Truss is headquartered in Canton, Ohio. The company manufactures roof and floor trusses, wall panels, engineered wood products and I-joists. Its customer include residential homebuilders, general contractors on commercial projects and lumber wholesalers. Stark Truss has 10 manufacturing facilities in seven states.
Sen. David Givens, of Greensburg, showed his appreciation of the company’s commitment to the state.
“I am pleased to hear of Stark Truss’ new investment in our region along with the creation of new Kentucky jobs,” Sen. Givens said. “I thank the company for its dedication to our local workforce and I look forward to its future successes.”
Rep. Wilson Stone, of Scottsville, congratulated Stark Truss and thanked the company for the boost in employment.
“I congratulate Stark Truss for their investment in our region and thank them for all they are doing to add jobs to our economy,” Rep. Stone said. “It’s always good to see such a highly reputable company expand and create more opportunity for our working families.”
Franklin Mayor Ronnie Clark welcomed the community’s latest business partner.
“Stark Truss is the newest industry to locate in Franklin,” he said. “They are taking a vacant building and turning it into a viable and attractive manufacturing facility that will employ 20 to 30 people in the near future. Stark Truss is an outstanding company and a very welcomed addition to our city.”
Simpson County Judge-Executive Jim Henderson said the community is fortunate to welcome a company with Stark Truss’ business record.
“We are very pleased to have an outstanding company such as Stark Truss locate one of their manufacturing facilities in Simpson County,” he said. “This Ohio-based company has been in business since 1963 and is one of the premier truss manufacturers in this region of the country. We welcome the investment they are making and appreciate the jobs they are bringing to Franklin.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $250,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
In addition, Stark Truss can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2016, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for nearly 95,000 Kentuckians and 5,000 companies from a variety of industry sectors.