BENTON, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2016) – Alongside local officials and executives from Champion Home Builders Inc., a recognized name in modular and manufactured housing, Gov. Matt Bevin today helped cut a ribbon on the company’s 150-job, $6.3 million production facility in Benton.
"Champion Home Builders has provided quality homes for more than 60 years and has become a highly trusted brand in the process,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Kentucky is a great fit for this project and we are honored by Champion's investment. We welcome Champion Home Builders to the Bluegrass State and look forward to partnering with them in their continued success.”
Champion opened a 100,000-square-foot former home-manufacturing facility on Venture Lane in Benton, and installed state-of-the-art home-building equipment. As well, it refurbished existing equipment, including scaffolds, cranes and bridges. With today’s ceremony, Champion begins production of manufactured, modular and mobile homes for distribution to retailers in Kentucky and other states.
Keith Anderson, Champion CEO, credited the strong craftsmanship skills available in the Benton-area workforce as a chief reason for selecting the location.
“At Champion, we’re driven to produce the highest-quality affordable housing in part because we understand the special feeling our customers have when they first move into their new home,” Anderson said. “This is a day we’ll cherish for years because we’re experiencing that same feeling here today in Benton. The heart and soul of today’s celebration is really about what this new location means for our customers: better access to affordable housing, remarkable Champion value and increased convenience. We’re thrilled for them and look forward to what our collective futures hold.”
Founded in 1953 in Troy, Mich., Champion specializes in a wide variety of manufactured, modular and park-model homes, as well as modular buildings for the multi-family, hospitality, senior and workforce housing sectors. Champion started as a single manufacturing facility in rural Michigan and grew to offer factory-built housing and other structures throughout the U.S., United Kingdom and western Canada. The company operates 28 manufacturing facilities throughout North America and Europe, and employs more than 4,200 people worldwide.
Sen. Danny Carroll, of Paducah, acknowledged Champion for its decision to locate in Marshall County.
“I congratulate Champion Home Builders for the completion of its much-anticipated location here in Marshall County,” he said. “I am sure the City of Benton will serve this company well, and I look forward to its success not only in Marshall County, but also around the state and the nation.”
Rep. Will Coursey, of Benton, said the company will be a great fit within the community.
“On behalf of our community and the Kentucky House of Representatives, I am proud to welcome Champion Home Builders as Benton’s newest corporate citizen,” Rep. Coursey said. “This is a company that truly lives up to its name, because it doesn’t just manufacture houses; it makes homes. We are fortunate to have them locate here and invest so much in our community. I cannot thank them and our local and state economic development leaders enough.”
Benton Mayor Rita Dotson noted the economic development impact of Champion.
“We are excited to welcome Champion Home Builders to our community,” she said. “The added 150 jobs will have a direct impact on our local economy. We look forward to their future in Benton and Marshall County.”
Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal said the community has all the resources necessary for Champion to succeed.
“We welcome Champion Home Builders to Marshall County,” Judge Neal said. “The potential 150 jobs and $6.3 million investment is a testament to a community with an available workforce and existing manufacturing facility and a company that wants to utilize both. We are excited for Champion Home Builders and we look to build a great relationship.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority in April preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.25 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.
In addition, Champion can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to 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 Champion Home Builders, visit www.ChampionHomes.com.
A detailed community profile for Marshall County can be viewed http://bit.ly/MarshallCounty.
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.