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This week saw the opening of Blackhawk Composites, a startup manufacturer of advanced aerospace composite parts.
Based in Morgantown, Kentucky, the company was welcomed by Governor Steve Beshear and officials from the Economic Development Cabinet.
The company will be creating 20 new jobs, which it hopes to expand to 30 within the year.
“The startup of Blackhawk Composites in Butler County will provide dozens of high-quality, well-paying jobs – the kind of jobs Kentucky seeks to create,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re proud to be the home of Blackhawk Composites and will continue to partner with them on future opportunities.”
Blackhawk Composites is leasing a 40,000 square-foot facility to manufacture advanced aerospace composite parts for Cessna Caravan aircraft cowls, the part of the aircraft that covers the engine. The Cessna Caravan is a large single engine turboprop used for executive and cargo transport, as well as other commercial uses such as a jump platform for skydiving. These aircraft are found in increasing numbers worldwide.
“We are very pleased that we were able to establish this venture in Kentucky,” said Gary Smrtic, President of Blackhawk Composites. “It has been the goal of our core team to bring aerospace work into south central Kentucky for some time, and this is the fruit of that labour.”
“While Blackhawk Composites Inc is technically a startup, our management team is certainly not new to business,” continued Smrtic. “Unlike most startups, we will begin with a long-term tooling and production contract for one type of aircraft already in place, as well as several other prospects we are discussing with other aircraft companies,” he added.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Blackhawk Composites for tax benefits up to $750,000 (US) under Kentucky’s new incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment Program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. The maximum annual approved amount to be earned by Blackhawk Composites is $50,000 (US).
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