Ball Corporation creates nearly 200 jobs in Bowling Green with new facility

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear, local and corporate leaders announced Thursday, that Ball Corp. plans to create approximately 200 high-wage positions with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Bowling Green to produce recyclable aluminum ends for the company’s beverage can customers.

“As we enter the new year, we will continue to focus our economic development efforts on sustained job and wage growth across the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “This announcement of Ball Corp.’s new aluminum can end production facility in Warren County creating nearly 200 high-wage jobs is a major step toward securing a better future for Kentuckians. I want to thank Ball for this commitment to the workforce in and around Warren County, and I look forward to the company becoming part of Team Kentucky.”

Ball executives expect to immediately start site preparation in the Kentucky Transpark to build a 500,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to begin production in early 2022. The operation – Ball’s first in the state – would provide capacity to supply aluminum ends to Ball’s expanding North American network of beverage can manufacturing plants. Company leaders plan to begin hiring later this year, and the facility ultimately will create nearly 200 jobs over the next five years. Positions will include production technicians, industrial electricians, machinists, material handlers and leadership and support staff roles.

“Bowling Green will join our industry-leading network of more than 20 North American plants, including two new beverage can manufacturing plants currently under construction in Glendale, Arizona, and Pittston, Pennsylvania, scheduled to start up in early- and mid-2021, respectively,” said Colin Gillis, president, Ball beverage packaging, North & Central America. “These investments will align our end production with our beverage can capacity investments and are supported by numerous long-term customer contracts to serve the unprecedented demand for sustainable aluminum packaging while furthering Ball’s Drive for 10 vision for long-term success.”

Headquartered in Westminster, Colo., Ball was founded in 1880 and has grown to include more than 100 locations employing over 18,000 people worldwide. The company became widely recognized over the years for its popular canning jars and currently produces infinitely recyclable aluminum packaging for beverages and personal care products, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services to commercial and governmental customers. In 2019, the company produced roughly 48 billion recyclable aluminum beverage containers throughout North America.

Ball joins more than 185 aluminum-related facilities in Kentucky employing over 20,000 Kentuckians full time. In 2020, companies within the industry announced seven new location or expansion projects in the state totaling $166 million in new investment and the creation of 137 full-time jobs.

Ball’s arrival in the commonwealth continues a trend of companies creating high-wage jobs throughout the state, a goal of Gov. Beshear’s administration. The 236 new location and expansion projects announced in Kentucky in 2020 are expected to create over 8,000 full-time jobs in the coming years at an average hourly wage of $22.11, the state’s second highest mark of the past six years.

Warren County Judge-Executive, Mike Buchanon welcomed both the company and the new employment it will bring.

“Job creation of this magnitude by manufacturers are an investment in the future of the people of Warren County,” Judge-Executive Buchanon said. “I am excited to add Ball to our business community and to support their continued success here.”

Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said the city will provide Ball a welcome home for decades to come.

“Ball has a strong reputation all over the world, and we are proud to welcome them to our community,” Mayor Alcott said. “I am certain they will find continued success and a strong workforce here in Bowling Green.”

Ron Bunch, president and chief executive officer of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, thanked the company for its decision to locate in the region.

“This amazing project will have an enormous economic impact in South Central Kentucky,” Bunch said. “We are grateful to Ball Metal Beverage Container Corporation not only for investing in our economy after several months of site considerations in multiple states, but also for brining great jobs and future opportunities to our community.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in a special meeting on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $6 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 198 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years.
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $45 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Ball for up to $1.3 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

In addition, Ball 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.