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Company will bring 32 new jobs to Owen

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By John Whitlock

A new business will be opening in the Owenton Industrial Park, bringing about 32 new jobs to the community.

In a statement released late last week, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced KHI Foods Inc. will expand into Owen County.

The company, which already has a facility in Burlington, will be expanding its operations. The new operation represents a $1.6 million investment.

Owen County Judge-Executive Carolyn Keith said she was “excited” about the announcement.

“This means new jobs for the community and certainly new revenue for the local government,” Keith said. “We’re very happy with this announcement.”

Keith said she had heard talk of the company coming to Owen County when she was sworn into office in February. The project began to gather steam in March.

The new firm will be moving into a building that is currently being used as a warehouse for Halloween Express products.

The 32,000 square-foot building is part of the Owenton Industrial Park.

“Kentucky is pleased to assist KHI Foods Inc., an already successful Kentucky company, with this expansion opportunity,” Beshear said in a statement. “The creation of 32 new jobs and $1.6 million investment will provide a positive impact on the Owenton community. We look forward to working with KHI Foods as they continue to grow and flourish here in the bluegrass.”

In a statement, KHI Foods Inc. President Millard Long said the company will be an active business partner in the community.

“KHI Foods Inc. has enjoyed its relationships with farmers, county agents, and local and state officials for several years as it has developed its Kentucky Proud products and markets, as well as our Comfort Care selection of fortified foods for cancer patients,” Long said. “This move to Owenton is a result of that cooperation and support and we feel that it is a positive step toward providing another sustainable economic link for rural communities. We are very appreciative of the efforts of Gov. Beshear and the Cabinet for Economic Development in assisting with this endeavor.”

The state has given preliminary approval for up to $640,000 in tax benefits to KHI.

The company processes vegetable and meat products for wholesale.

Keith said one aspect of the company’s business makes fortified foods for chemotherapy patients. The company is also considering expanding into products designed for diabetic diets.

“I have been very impressed by the information provided about the products that will be produced and many of our farmers see this as an opportunity to sell their products to this company,” Keith said.