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EV Manufacturer Expands Presence in Berea, Adds Jobs

Courtesy of Bruce Fraley
Berea City Hall

An investment of more than $150 million dollars is going towards an extension of an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Berea.

The new extension will add 167 jobs to the town’s Hitachi Astemo Americas plant for a total of 2,100 workers. Wages start at $25 dollars an hour. The new extension is being built on 62 acres of land to accommodate a growing EV industry.

Berea mayor Bruce Fraley said the additional jobs and tax revenue will also allow for the town to better provide for its citizens.

“That includes police, fire, you know, having a nice park system, safety through our codes and planning department, additional business development, all those things go together,” Fraley said.

He also thinks the expansion indicates a willingness from more businesses to invest in central Kentucky. Locally, it’s part of the town’s strategy to balance large industry with small business and tourism.

“I think you're going to see an emphasis on regional economic development where Berea, Richmond and Madison County are working together and also working with other counties in our area to try to build a strong local economy,” Fraley said. “We don't compete with Elizabethtown or with Ashland or Paducah. We’re competing with other states and truly competing worldwide now when it comes to attracting those new employers and investment into our communities.”

The investment also comes after ground was broken earlier this year on the BlueOval SK plant in Hardin County, which manufactures batteries for electric vehicles.

Shepherd joined WEKU in June 2023 as a staff reporter. He most recently worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting as General Assignment Reporter. In that role, he collected interviews and captured photos in the northern region of West Virginia. Shepherd holds a master’s degree in Digital Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s in music from West Virginia University.
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