First phase of construction gets under way on ERJ plant in Crab Orchard

July 21, 2004|EMILY BURTON

CRAB ORCHARD - Construction on the start-up metal-stamping company, ERJ Manufacturing of Ky. Inc., began Tuesday with framing of the foundation for the first building.

"Overwhelmed," said CEO Joetta Young, responding to the progress. "I'm glad it's finally here."

Young said the footers could be done by the end of the week, with concrete poured Friday or Saturday. At an estimated 6-foot thickness, the concrete will have to cure approximately six weeks.

The temporary home of ERJ will be constructed first with a larger, permanent, home being constructed at a later date.

The temporary site will eventually be included in the final structure.

The factory could employ about 200 people when fully operational.

The plant will stamp metal into parts for appliances, automobiles and electronics, said Young of Danville.

This week, Young is meeting with potential clients and getting "contracts in hand," she said.

To date, Young said she has talked with six major suppliers.


The proceeds from the temporary factory have been planned for use to finance the second, larger, plant, Young said.

The factory also could receive funding through other means, said Crab Orchard Mayor Mike Ramey.

"We're looking at going through industrial bonds for phase two, which is a 100,000 square foot (building)," Ramey said.

Rumors of the factory's early demise have been exaggerated, said Ramey, calling them "totally false."

At one point, a potential investor asked about moving the factory to Anderson County, but "no way" it will happen, said Ramey.

There also was a period of waiting after the initial groundbreaking last month, in which the factory's zone change request was processed and approved.

"The very first industrial zone Crab Orchard has ever had," said Ramey.

Community support for the factory has been pouring in daily, City Clerk Cheri Manuel said.

"I've got a box here I put resumes in ... I probably get an average of 10 a day."

Central Kentucky News Articles