Briggs & Stratton’s Joseph C. Wright, left, receives a handshake and a gift (silver mint julep cup) from Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear during a ceremony at the Murray plant July 19.Briggs & Stratton Corporation announced July 19 in Murray, Ky., in the presence of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and several community officials that it will invest more than $35.5 million in its Murray plant. The company is planning significant renovations over the next three years that will allow it to sustain a competitive global market position and ultimately retain its more than 640 full-time employees.
“The Commonwealth is pleased to partner with Briggs & Stratton to make this multi-million dollar investment possible, one that not only retains more than 640 full-time Kentucky jobs, but helps to keep our existing industries competitive,” said Governor Beshear. “This significant economic development project will have a tremendous economic impact on the Murray community and all of Kentucky.”
Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of small air-cooled gasoline engines for the outdoor power equipment industry. The 290,040-square-foot Murray facility is responsible for die casting, machining and the assembly of engines and related components. Briggs & Stratton plans to make significant renovations to the facility and fixtures — upgrading tooling, installing new machinery, and providing workforce skills.
“Briggs & Stratton has a longstanding relationship with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and receiving this incentive is key to ensuring the ongoing success of our Murray, Kentucky, facility,” said Joseph C. Wright, senior vice president of Briggs & Stratton and president of the Engine Power Products Group. “This program shows Kentucky’s commitment to the retention and continued success of businesses currently operating in the state. We would like to thank Governor Beshear, Judge Elkins, Mayor Hudspeth and the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation for all of their tremendous support.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Briggs & Stratton for tax incentives up to $15 million over a 10-year period through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act, a program that was expanded in the Governor’s Incentives for a New Kentucky bill in the summer of 2009 to assist companies that need to make a significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive.
“Briggs & Stratton has been a vital part of our community since 1986, and we are proud that they are here in Murray and that they have chosen to reinvest in our community,” said Murray Mayor Danny Hudspeth. “They are one of our largest employers and are a major part of Murray’s economic success. As mayor, and as an employee of Briggs and Stratton, I applaud their efforts.”
“The fact that Briggs has chosen Murray for their next generation of engines gives us tremendous satisfaction as a community,” said Calloway County Judge Executive Larry Elkins. “When a company chooses to reinvest, it generally means that they are happy in the community and will be there for a long time. Not many places can say that they have a company that is both a great employer and a great corporate citizen. We are proud to have them here.”