Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc., a global leader in science-based pet nutrition, will expand in Warren County, Kentucky with a $15 million investment over the next three years, creating 25 full-time jobs.
“I want to thank the leaders at Hill’s Pet Nutrition for this commitment to grow in Kentucky and create additional quality job opportunities for residents in Warren County,” Gov. Beshear said. “Hill’s has been a great employer in South Central Kentucky since this operation opened 35 years ago and its continued growth in our state is appreciated. This is the latest example of the tremendous growth we are seeing in the Bowling Green area and across the state.”
With this investment, Hill’s will add a packaging line at its facility on Turner Court in Bowling Green to increase capacity in response to growing demand for the company’s expanded product offerings. Hill’s currently employs 171 people at the location, and will add additional roles in production, technology, food safety and administrative support as the company transitions to 24-hour operations, seven days a week. Work on the expansion is expected to begin in 2022 and is slated to be completed by early 2025.
“As a longtime member of the Bowling Green community, we are proud of our continued growth and our ability to add more jobs in the area, with a focus on attracting diverse candidates,” said Steve Nelson, plant manager for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “Working at Hill’s is much more than a job. Our diets help transform the health of pets and enrich the special relationship with their families. As a company, we are committed to making a positive impact in everything we do – from sustainability to animal welfare to our community involvement.”
A subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive Co., Hill’s was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. The company opened its Warren County facility in 1987 and has invested more than $150 million in the operation over the past three decades.
Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon said the company’s investment will bring quality jobs to the community.
“What an honor to stand alongside an amazing company like Hill’s Pet Nutrition who is yet again demonstrating their trust in our community,” Judge/Executive Buchanon said. “This new investment will provide even more opportunities for our citizens to live and prosper right here in South Central Kentucky.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said the project helps secure a brighter future for the company’s current and future workforce.
“Companies like Hill’s Pet Nutrition are what make Bowling Green one of the best places to live, work and play,” Mayor Alcott said. “The investment created by this expansion will further ensure that the community of Bowling Green is prosperous for years to come.”
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ron Bunch said growth of existing companies is essential for the region’s continued success.
“Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a longstanding staple in the Bowling Green community, and it’s these existing businesses who are the backbone of our economy,” Bunch said. “Thank you, Hill’s leadership, for continuing to invest in South Central Kentucky.”
The company’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2021 placed Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.
Gov. Beshear recently announced that on Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings revised Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive from stable and affirmed its “A-” credit rating. S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy-day fund as primary factors influencing the change.
That follows a 2021 during which the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and entered 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February preliminarily approved the company for up to $4.5 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA). KRA is designed to help companies make significant capital investments to become more competitive, retain employment and increase productivity and efficiency.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability assessments.
For more information on Hill’s Pet Nutrition, visit HillsPet.com.
A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.