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As Kentucky Continues Fight Against COVID-19, New Company to Manufacture PPE in Paris

MedCity News

Leaders of the newly formed U.S. Medical Glove Co. LLC expect to create 192 full-time, high-tech jobs at a Paris manufacturing facility to produce medical-grade gloves, Gov. Andy Beshear announced today.

“As we continue to fight COVID-19, we are working to rebuild our economy and create a better Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Personal protective equipment is in high demand throughout the world, and this new company can help meet that need. Also, as a veteran-run company, leaders at U.S. Medical Glove want to create quality, well-paying jobs for other veterans. Congratulations to U.S. Medical Glove for moving forward with its first facility, and thank you for building your business in Kentucky.”

With U.S. Medical Glove established last month, company leaders plan to purchase, retrofit and expand an existing facility in Bourbon County with a nearly $32.5 million investment. They expect the company’s automated manufacturing operation to begin in the first half of 2021, with the production of more than 1 billion Liberty Gloves. The production process will use latex-based nitrile sourced from Zeon Chemicals in Louisville. Company executives plan to employ 45 high-level computer technicians initially with additional staff to follow as the company installs new production lines.

Product packaging also will be American-made, medical-grade paper. The company plans to explore transitioning from oil-based raw materials to plant-based, which would allow U.S. Medical Glove to produce a biodegradable product to ease environmental waste concerns.

The announcement comes during National Veterans Small Business Week. Retired Maj. Gen. Michael Davidson, CEO of U.S. Medical Glove, said the company aims to provide jobs for area veterans.

“This plant is part of returning critical product manufacturing to the United States,” Davidson said. “Our hiring of veterans is a big part of that. They bring the values and skills they learned in their military service. We describe Liberty Gloves as made for America by Americans.”

The new company joins more than 200 health care-related technology, service and manufacturing facilities operating in the state, which employ over 37,000 Kentuckians. The industry includes headquarters operations, pharmaceutical makers, medical equipment design and production, medical device manufacturers and health care product distributors.

In 2020, approximately 100 manufacturing facilities in Kentucky – including many new to the industry – used existing operations to provide personal protective equipment in response to high demand due to the pandemic. The manufacturers produced barriers, masks, gowns, disinfectant, face shields, intubation boxes, ventilator components and hand sanitizer.

Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced in September the Department for Public Health warehouse has completed the state’s stockpile and there is enough PPE for a 120-day surge. Gov. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Coleman, First Lady Britainy Beshear and other state leaders toured the warehouse in September to highlight the state’s success in securing necessary PPE for frontline workers in the commonwealth. Many states struggled early in the pandemic to secure enough PPE. Corporate partners have worked with the state to donate or produce the much-needed PPE.

Paris Mayor John Plummer thanked everyone who had a role in bringing the company to the community.

“It is with great excitement and anticipation as we welcome U.S. Medical Glove Co. to Paris/Bourbon County,” Mayor Plummer said. “This will create additional job opportunities for our current residents and furthermore give our youth another reason to stay in Paris and raise their families. I want to thank the local economic development board as well as the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for their hard work and diligence in making this a reality.”

Bourbon County Judge/Executive Michael Williams said the company could have a positive long-term impact on the region.

“Bourbon County is so very pleased with the news about the U.S. Medical Glove Co.’s planned move to our community. This is a great day for Bourbon County and all of Kentucky,” Judge/Executive Williams said. “Their impact on our community will no doubt be very positive for many years to come. Their plans to begin production next year will quickly establish them as a community partner and start to build their reputation for a positive impact to our workforce for technical, great-paying jobs. So much positive attention to their business is going to be the result as they grow their capacity to produce such a needed product for our entire nation. Their decision to come to Bourbon County’s industrial park and how those connections were made are a positive result of many participants and dedicated efforts to grow our community. We will look forward to them being an inspiration for other businesses who might consider our community for future growth and prosperity.”  

Gordon Wilson, executive director of the Paris-Bourbon County Economic Development Authority (PBCEDA), said it took a concerted effort to make the project happen.

“The PBCEDA welcomes U.S. Medical Glove Co.’s investment in our community and we look forward to the long-term economic opportunities it will create for working families across Bourbon County and Central Kentucky,” Wilson said. “This project will boost our local economy and provide new career opportunities for our talented workforce, as the company will employ 50 employees in their first year of operation and will eventually employ 192 individuals at their operation in Paris. Through collaboration and hard work, the PBCEDA, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Bourbon County Fiscal Court and the Paris City Commission assisted U.S. Medical Glove Co. with the location, resources and incentives needed to ensure they were able to make the PBCEDA Industrial Park their home.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) last week preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $32.455 million and annual targets of:

•Creation and maintenance of 192 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and

•Paying an average hourly wage of $28 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 U.S. Medical Glove for up to $50,000 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, U.S. Medical Glove 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.

(provided by the Office of Gov. Andy Beshear)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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