FILE - factory, manufacturing jobs, employment

(The Center Square) – A Kentucky company received $80 million in tax incentives for a $2.5 million investment that is expected to lead to 20 new full-time jobs at its facilities in Pulaski County.

AHF Products plans the expansion for a new line of end-grain hardwood flooring at its plant in Somerset. The incentives allow AHF to recoup state sales tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

“We appreciate AHF’s longtime commitment to our community and we are excited to have worked with them in their decision-making process to expand and create more jobs in Somerset and Pulaski County,” Chris Girdler, Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority president and CEO, said. “A special thanks to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and in particular  Somerset’s own, Project Manager Beka Burton, as well as South Kentucky RECC for their assistance.”

According to a news release from Gov. Andy Beshear, AHF developed new technology for a first-of-its-kind category of hardwood flooring. The new product targets consumers who prefer hardwood flooring and want something to stand up to pets, children and heavy foot traffic.

“With this expansion, AHF Products demonstrates both Kentucky’s excellence in manufacturing and that our manufacturers remain committed to creating jobs in our commonwealth as we work to rebuild our economy,” Beshear said. “I am grateful the company chose to create these new, high-skilled jobs and further invest in Kentucky, and I look forward to the facility’s continued growth in Pulaski County.”

AHF, according to the release, decided to use Somerset for the new line instead of one of its other facilities because of the workforce and its commitment to U.S. manufacturing. Currently, AHF, headquarter in Mountville, Pennsylvania, employs 145 at its Somerset plant, which has made hardwood flooring since 1990.

Work on the expansion has begun, and the new line is expected to begin operating in February.

“We continue to invest in our Somerset plant due to the quality of the products and dedication to future growth that we see from our employees,” Brian M. Carson, CEO of AHF, said. “Our customers continue to see value in U.S.-manufactured products, and this new development not only creates new-to-the-world technology but continues our commitment to domestic manufacturing and grows our share of U.S.-manufactured wood products.”

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.