FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Lakeshore Learning Materials, a developer and retailer of high-quality educational products, will locate a distribution center in Woodford County’s Midway Station industrial park with an investment of more than $47.4 million projected to create 262 full-time jobs.
“Over the past 60 years, Lakeshore Learning Materials has established itself as a highly regarded brand in the world of education,” Gov. Bevin said. “This multi-generational family company is a great fit for the Commonwealth. Their core values are well aligned with Kentucky values. Their community orientation, history of product innovation, and deep roots in both entrepreneurism and education are exemplary. It’s with great joy that we welcome Lakeshore to Kentucky and thank them for choosing to invest and create jobs in the Bluegrass region.”
Lakeshore’s construction of a 500,000-square-foot fulfillment and distribution facility in Midway will allow the company to be more centrally located to its customers. Company leaders expect the building will be operational by November 2017.
“Lakeshore was drawn to Kentucky by its wonderful sense of community and the state’s rich history of supporting families, education and businesses like ours,” said Bo Kaplan, Lakeshore’s president and CEO. “We truly feel like we’ve found a home here, and we can’t wait to become an active part of the Midway community.”
Ethelyn Kaplan, a homemaker from Omaha, Neb., founded Lakeshore after relocating her family to Oakland, Calif. to open a toy store in 1954. The business soon began focusing on learning materials, moving to Carson, Calif., and launching its first catalog in 1958. Lakeshore started developing its own products in 1988, and today the company provides teachers and parents with innovative educational products for children from birth through sixth grade. Lakeshore now employs more than 2,000 people across the U.S. and is in its third generation of Kaplan-family ownership.
Sen. Julian Carroll, of Frankfort, said the company will be a great fit for Midway.
“Lakeshore Learning will be a great addition to the Midway industrial community,” Sen. Carroll said. “We stand ready to fill the anticipated 262 jobs with dedicated and skilled workers. I appreciate this investment in the Midway community and look forward to a long and profitable relationship with our new industrial partner.”
Rep. James Kay, of Versailles, said the region’s focus on education will make it a great fit for Lakeshore.
“We are pleased to welcome Lakeshore Learning to Midway. Our community deeply cares about education and we know that Lakeshore Learning shares our support for our schools,” Rep. Kay said. “It is our amazing public education that produces our second-to-none workforce and the quality of life we offer. I’ve worked tirelessly with our local and state officials to bring quality jobs and opportunities to Woodford County – businesses that our people can be proud of. We look forward to building a lasting partnership with Lakeshore Learning to better our community and grow our local economy.”
Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift welcomed Lakeshore to the community.
“On behalf of our city, I am extremely pleased to welcome Lakeshore Learning Materials to Midway, Kentucky,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the confidence that they’ve shown in our workforce and our business community. We also appreciate the Cabinet for Economic Development’s assistance in expediting this project and look forward to a long-term corporate relationship with this wonderful, education-based company.”
Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle said bringing Lakeshore to Midway was a team effort.
“Again, we open our arms and welcome another family owned business to Woodford County,” Judge Coyle said. “Lakeshore Learning Materials has a long history of providing innovative education materials to our nation’s children and we’re ecstatic they chose to be part of our community. We want to thank the Kaplan family for their confidence in our community and we wish to thank the Cabinet for Economic Development, who worked so hard this past year with the Woodford Economic Development Authority to make this day possible.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3.7 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Lakeshore for up to $1.4 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.
Lakeshore 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. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.
For more information on Lakeshore Learning Materials, visit www.LakeshoreLearning.com.
A detailed community profile for Woodford County can be viewed at http://bit.ly/WoodfordKY.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.