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YH America to invest $5 million at Ky. plant

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FRANKFORT, Ky.—YH America Inc. plans to add 10 jobs and invest more than $5 million at its Versailles, Ky., facility.

The factory, which employs 29, supplies high-performance glass-bonding adhesives for automobiles, buses and military vehicles. YH America is a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear made the announcement Dec. 19 about the expansion.

“Our automotive industry is vital to our overall economic success, and YH America enhances our economic position and plays an important part of strengthening our network of Japanese-owned companies across Kentucky,” Beshear said.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved tax incentives for YH America of up to $200,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program, according to the governor's office. The incentive is performance based and allows the company to keep a portion of its investment during the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.

The state agency also approved YH America for tax benefits up to $70,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. This allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky's sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment, the governor's office said.

“This is an exciting time for YH America and our division in particular,” said Al Harrington, operations manager for YH America. “This expansion will position us to accommodate future business growth while maintaining a consolidated base in Kentucky. Our manufacturing facility in Versailles is centrally located to service our automotive cus- tomers, which are located as far north as Canada and as far south as Alabama.”

Kentucky has more than 440 automotive-related facilities employing 72,000 people. Japanese-owned companies in the state operate more than 150 facilities and employ 34,000 in full-time jobs.

Kentucky ranks as the second-highest Japanese foreign direct investment in the U.S. on a per capita basis, according to the governor's office.

Just over a year ago the company's YH America South Carolina L.L.C. operation announced a $5.14 million project spread over five years to enlarge its Easley, S.C., factory. The investment would add about 93 jobs at the site, which makes fluid-handling components for light vehicles.