A French manufacturer will bring 90 jobs to Knox County. Euro Sticks, a manufacturer of ice cream and coffee stir sticks, will build a manufacturing plant in the new Corbin spec building. It marks the third time a spec building has led to new jobs.
Bruce Carpenter, executive director of the Southeast Kentucky Industrial Development Authority, said the company joins Pepsi Cola/Break Time Vending and Kowa in using the building shells to speed up the startup process.
Commenting on the news, Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall welcomed the company. “Knox County appreciates the investment that North America Sticks is making in our community and we support this project wholeheartedly. We will assist their efforts in any way possible,” Hall said. “I am confident that North America Sticks will have a beneficial impact on our county, with both additional manufacturing jobs, as well as new business opportunities for the local logging industry.”
With the 90 jobs Euro Sticks is bringing, Carpenter said the spec buildings have resulted in approximately 200 new jobs. The Euro Sticks jobs will pay $15 per hour.
“We expect production to begin sometime after the first of the year,” said Carpenter, explaining that finishing out the building includes construction of the interior offices, laying the floor, installing the plumbing, and installing the machinery and other equipment.
“We are going through the design phase now,” Carpenter said, adding that Euro Sticks is scheduled to take possession of the property this week.
The initial investment into the project is estimated at $15 million. The facility will turn out up to 2 billion ice cream and coffee-stir sticks per year.
In addition, it may spur more jobs in the local timber industry as company officials explained that the primary raw material will be locally grown beech logs.
Carpenter applauded the company. “This is a great project for our region and I have to thank Euro Sticks for making the Southeast Kentucky Business Park the home of its first project in North America,” Carpenter said. “We’re very appreciative of the investment in our community and of the good quality jobs North America Sticks will create. We’re looking forward to helping and supporting them as they grow in the future.”
Today, we are excited to welcome the financial commitment and new jobs to Eastern Kentucky,” said Governor Matt Bevin. “This announcement is further proof that our state is a top location for manufacturers with a global client base.”