Demonstrating the state’s commitment to support its existing industries, Gov. Steve Beshear visited Owensboro on July 1 to announce two economic development projects that will create 500 new jobs and retain an additional 296 jobs in the community.
The projects include a major expansion by U.S. Bank Home Mortgage’s Servicing Center in Owensboro. The company, which supports U.S. Bank’s growing national loan portfolio, will add approximately 500 new jobs over the next few years and invest more than $14.1 million as a result of the expansion. Additionally, Pinkerton Tobacco, a subsidiary of Swedish Match, plans a significant investment in its Owensboro plant that will allow the company to upgrade its facility and retain nearly 300 employees.
“The announcement that U.S. Bank will create 500 new jobs and Pinkerton Tobacco will reinvest in its plant, retaining another 296 jobs, is fantastic economic development news for Owensboro and Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am pleased that the Commonwealth could once again partner with our existing industries to create employment opportunities and secure additional capital investments in Kentucky facilities.”
U.S. Bank Home Mortgage
U.S. Bank Home Mortgage is ranked sixth among originators and servicers nationally. The Owensboro Mortgage Servicing Center supports U.S. Bank’s national portfolio of nearly 1.4 million loans totaling $198 billion. An increase in demand for U.S. Bank mortgage products and services has spurred the expansion. The company plans to lease an 81,000 square-foot facility in the Mid-America Air Park to house the new employees, which it will begin to hire in the Spring of 2011. One of the largest employers in the area, U.S. Bank currently employs over 1,100 staff at its existing Owensboro facilities.
Dan Arrigoni, president of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage said, “We continue to add quality loans to our solid mortgage portfolio and also invest in our infrastructure so that we can keep providing top-notch service for our existing customers while building for our future mortgage growth.”
Bob Smiley, U.S. Bank executive vice president and loan servicing manager at U.S. Bank Home Mortgage added, “Our portfolio has continued to grow at a rapid pace since reaching a milestone in 2007, by surpassing $100 billion in servicing volume. Today, only 36 months later, we have nearly doubled that volume to $198 billion.”
Pinkerton Tobacco, which was established in Owensboro in 1973, produces smokeless tobacco products under the brand name of Red Man, Timber Wolf, Longhorn and Renegades at its 450,000 square-foot Owensboro plant. The company will invest $3.7 million in equipment upgrades that will allow for a continued production level, retention of the current market and the ability to maintain an existing workforce of 296 people. The reinvestment project will also encourage projections of up to 10 percent annual growth.
“The reinvestment underscores our ongoing commitment to the Owensboro community and the state of Kentucky,” said Richard Woodham, vice president of operations for U.S. based Pinkerton Tobacco Company. “It also supports the goal of Pinkerton Tobacco to have one of the most modern and efficient manufacturing facilities in the United States.”
Tax Incentives to Support Projects
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved U.S Bank National Association for tax incentives up to $4,370,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for tax benefits up to $130,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures and equipment used in research and development.
KEDFA preliminarily approved Pinkerton Tobacco for tax incentives up to $1.85 million through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act, a program that was expanded in the Governor’s Incentives for a New Kentucky bill last summer to assist companies that need to make significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive.
“U.S. Bank is a corporate citizen who we are extremely proud to partner with,” added Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne. “The city sees this as a project with great benefits today and significant potential for the future. Owensboro is on the move thanks to the efforts of U.S. Bank and many others. We are growing stronger together.”
“U.S. Bank and Swedish Match/Pinkerton have been longstanding corporate partners in the Owensboro region," said Daviess County Judge Executive Reid Haire. "Their growth and long-term commitment speaks volumes about the good things happening in Owensboro and Daviess County.”
About U.S. Bank Home Mortgage
U.S. Bank Home Mortgage is a division of U.S. Bank. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $282 billion in assets as of March 31, 2010, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,025 banking offices in 24 states and 5,312 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.
About Pinkerton Tobacco
Pinkerton Tobacco is a subsidiary of Swedish Match, a global Group of companies with a broad assortment of market leading brands in smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco, matches and lighters. Some of our well known brands include Red Man, Timber Wolf, Longhorn, Macanudo, Partagas, Cohiba and Borkum Riff. Our US headquarters is based in Richmond, Virginia. For more information visit the website at www.swedishmatch.com.