The Lane Report

ASHLAND, Ky. — U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Governor Matt Bevin today announced a $4 million Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Grant to do site preparation work at the EastPark Industrial Park.

The grant was awarded by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands to Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Park Authority (EastPark), as part of the 2017 Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot Program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

The project will involve installing a grid of aggregate and concrete support piers and columns on a 300-acre site that will support the weight of the planned, 2.5 million square-foot, Braidy Industries aluminum rolling mill that will produce material mainly for the automotive industry…

 

By MIKE JAMES

A $4 million grant to the EastPark Industrial Center will help prepare the site of the planned Braidy Industries aluminum plant.

The money will come from the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program, according to fifth district U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who unveiled the grant Wednesday at the industrial park.

“The northeast region is thriving with new innovative opportunities and this grant supports Braidy Industries’ plans to provide jobs to our highly skilled, readily available workforce,” Rogers said…

 

The Messenger-Inquirer newspaper in Kentucky reported on a community forum held this week by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. At the event in Greenville, Bevin documented the important role aluminum can play in furthering the economy of the state of Kentucky.

The newspaper quoted Bevin as saying:

“There’s no state in America that has attracted more aluminum mills, steel mills, smelters (or) foundries than has Kentucky in the last couple of years,” he said. “Because, if we can get them here and we can produce the raw materials here, then the people who heat treat it, cold-roll it, hot-roll it, slit it, anneal it, fabricate it, bend it, weld it — that entire supply chain — are more likely to come here. It’s more likely to be here, because, from a logistical standpoint, the product itself is here.”

We agree. We believe the governor, his economic development team and all of the ongoing private-sector efforts — combined with the work of local governments and economic development officials across the state– are combining to lay the groundwork for something potentially major unfolding throughout the state when it comes to job growth…

 

By ADAM BEAM

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — Things fall through for Chris Jackson.

A construction job, promised if he completed a carpentry program, vanished two weeks before his exit exam. A coveted, $100,000-a-year union job at a steel mill disappeared when the plant closed.

Now a businessman is promising him — and more than 130 others — a job at an aluminum mill in eastern Kentucky if he can complete a two-year degree program with at least a B average and no positive drug tests. But the mill is not built, and its financing is not complete. It’s a big risk for Jackson, a 41-year-old who turned down two other jobs hundreds of miles away for the chance to stay in his hometown.

It’s also a risk for Kentucky taxpayers. The state has offered its usual package of economic incentives to the company, Braidy Industries. But in a rare move, the state legislature unanimously approved a $15 million investment in the project, making taxpayers partial owners of the mill. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, seeking re-election in 2019, has touted the project as evidence of his leadership to bring jobs to Appalachia, where steady work that pays well has been hard to find…

 

By MARK MAYNARD, Kentucky Today

Braidy Industries opened a comprehensive stock offering to potential investors on Tuesday in New York City, showcasing a business plan to revitalize the Appalachian region’s sagging economy and receiving a strong endorsement from Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

Chief Executive Officer Craig T. Bouchard and other Braidy executives presented to investors the company’s plans for a $1.68 billion aluminum mill at the EastPark Industrial Center in Ashland and discussed how they will utilize advanced manufacturing technologies designed to make vehicles, airplanes and other forms of transportation lighter.

 

Glenn Puit, The Daily Independent

Braidy Industries is applying for $1 billion in debt financing from the federal Department of Energy to help finance its aluminum mill, according to federal filings, and the documents also show the financing for the Braidy mill is not yet committed.

The information about the debt financing application is contained in a document known as an offering statement for Braidy Industries that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The filing comes as Braidy announced it was launching a common stock offering and also as it announced it has acquired a company known as NanoAI LLC, which is described as a business that is in the science of nanocrystalline strengthening technology.

 

By Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam

Blue-collar jobs are growing at their fastest rate in more than 30 years, helping fuel a hiring boom in many small towns and rural areas that are strong supporters of President Trump ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Jobs in goods-producing industries — mining, construction and manufacturing — grew 3.3 percent in the year preceding July, the best rate since 1984, according to a Washington Post analysis.

Blue-collar jobs, long a small and shrinking part of the U.S. economy, are now growing at a faster clip than those in the nation’s much larger service economy. Many factors collided to produce the blue-collar boom. Some are linked to short-term boom-and-bust cycles, but others may endure.

 

Glenn Puit, Editor

Drilling in preparation for the construction of Braidy Industries’ aluminum mill is now taking place at the EastPark Industrial Center.

Nathan Haney, senior vice president of government relations at Braidy Industries, said workers are drilling/boring as part of long-term plans for foundational work.

“It will take about two weeks — very deep, all the way down to bedrock,” Haney said. “Then they will be doing additional work to prep the work for main construction. We are talking about retention, silt fences, silt walls to help get it all started.”

Braidy said in August it selected Kiewit as the company’s Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (“EPC”) contractor to construct the mill Braidy Atlas. Land compaction work is scheduled for this month. First production at the mill is expected to unfold in 2020. The company expects construction will bring with it some 1,500 construction jobs, many of which will be filled by residents from the region…

 

The Herald-Dispatch

ASHLAND — Five new key executives have been hired to oversee Braidy Industries Inc. and its subsidiary, Veloxint, as the companies gear up to build a $1.6 billion aluminum mill at the EastPark Industrial Center in Ashland, company officials announced Wednesday.

Braidy Industries has appointed Julio Ramirez to the position of chief financial officer.

Ramirez brings experience as a former founder, CEO and CFO for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including The Hackett Group, Molson Coors Brewing Co., Summit Materials and The Freeman Co. Ramirez also served as an audit partner at KPMG for 15 years and was a U.S. Army captain.

At Veloxint, retired Maj. Gen. Kevin McNeely joins as chief operations officer, bringing over two decades of experience in government, personnel management and policy and process development, as well as 38 years of military service to the position. He previously served as director of manpower and personnel at the National Guard Bureau, assistant to the chairman for National Guard Matters, deputy director of strategy, policy and programming for the U.S. European Command and director of strategy, policy and international affairs at the National Guard Bureau…

 

By Dale Buss

The ongoing construction of a $1.6-billion aluminum-rolling mill in Ashland, Kentucky, ticketed with the economic hopes and dreams of an entire region, is about as big and bold as an entrepreneur can go. But there are lessons for other business leaders in how Craig Bouchard, CEO of Braidy Industries, has approached his attempt to build his fourth billion-dollar company.

When Braidy opens its mill in 2020, it’s expected to employ about 600 people who’ve been plucked from a pool of more than 7,000 applicants for jobs that Bouchard says will pay between $50,000 and $70,000 a year. Another 150 jobs are supposed to materialize in an associated metal-alloy plant nearby. And in the meantime, Bouchard expects to employ about 1,600 people doing construction.

This would go a long way toward reversing the devastating economic slide of a part of Appalachia that has lost not only many coal-mining jobs, but also thousands of manufacturing positions in the last couple of decades. Bouchard also expects his investment to help solve a deep-seated plague of opioid addiction in eastern Kentucky.