Governor Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes announced Blackhawk Composites, Inc., a start-up manufacturer of advanced aerospace composite parts, will begin manufacturing operations in Butler County. The project entails the creation of 20 new jobs initially, growing to 30 within the first year, and a more than $1.5 million investment in the Commonwealth.
“The start-up of Blackhawk Composites in Butler County will provide dozens of high-quality, well-paying jobs – the kind of jobs Kentucky seeks to create,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re proud to be the home of Blackhawk Composites and will continue to partner with them on future opportunities.”
Established in September 2009, the newly formed Blackhawk Composites will lease a 40,000 square-foot facility to manufacture advanced aerospace composite parts for Cessna Caravan aircraft cowls, the part of the aircraft that covers the engine. The Cessna Caravan is a large single engine turboprop used for executive and cargo transport, as well as other commercial uses such as a jump platform for skydiving. These aircraft are found in increasing numbers worldwide.
“We are very pleased that we were able to establish this venture in Kentucky,” said Gary Smrtic, president of Blackhawk Composites. “It has been the goal of our core team to bring aerospace work into south central Kentucky for some time, and this is the fruit of that labor.”
“While Blackhawk Composites Inc is technically a start-up, our management team is certainly not new to business,” added Smrtic. “Unlike most start-ups, we will begin with a long-term tooling and production contract for one type of aircraft already in place, as well as several other prospects we are discussing with other aircraft companies.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Blackhawk Composites for tax benefits up to $750,000 under Kentucky’s new incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment Program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. The maximum annual approved amount to be earned by Blackhawk Composites is $50,000.
“We are truly thrilled to have Blackhawk Composites starting their business in Morgantown,” said Morgantown Mayor Eva Hawes. “We’re grateful they have decided to invest in our community.”
“We’re very excited Blackhawk Composites selected Morgantown and Butler County for their home,” said Butler County Judge Executive David Fields. “The 30 jobs they plan to create will be a welcome addition to our community.”