HAZARD A manufacturer of extruded and fabricated aluminum products had a groundbreaking for a plant in Perry County near Hazard, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers joined state and local officials as well as executives from Dajcor Aluminum Ltd. on Saturday to mark the start of a nearly $19.6 million renovation project for the company’s 265-job plant.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a major step forward for Perry County and the workforce throughout the region,” Bevin said.

The governor said Dajcor, a Canada-based company, will have a “substantial impact” on the local economy and “represents the type of opportunities we are working to bring to eastern Kentucky.”

This will be Dajcor’s first U.S. operation. It will refurbish the former American Woodmark facility in Perry County’s Coalfields Industrial Park. The project is charted to reach completion in February.

Bevin and Rogers announced the project will receive a $6.5 million grant through the Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Funds program. Perry County Fiscal Court will own the equipment and lease it to Dajcor over 15 years.

Said Rogers: “I’m thrilled that Dajcor Aluminum chose to locate its first U.S. facility in the heart of eastern Kentucky. We have the hardest-working, most skilled workforce in the country.”

Rogers championed the AML Pilot Funds program.

Dajcor was founded in 2010.

“We are excited to get this project moving forward, and we are overwhelmed by the amount of support that we have received from the local economic development group, One East Kentucky, as well as the governor’s office and other federal and state representatives,” said Mike Kilby, Dajcor President and CEO.  “Gov. Bevin’s Office has been instrumental in minimizing the red tape to help get the plant construction underway.”

Dajcor’s Ontario operation has 246 employees.

Chuck Sexton, president and CEO of One East Kentucky, said the project has been two years in the making.

The Perry County plant will feature jobs that pay an average of $23 an hour and will include benefits.

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