State incentives highlight Facility Managers meeting


EHCIF President and COO Rick Games and Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger welcome Anna Beth Bobbitt to the monthly Facility Managers meeting.

The Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation was pleased to host its monthly Facility Managers meeting Thursday and welcome Anna Beth Bobbitt, Project Manager with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Anna Beth presented information about a number of state programs designed to help businesses in Kentucky succeed. These included the Kentucky Business Incentive Program, Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act and the Kentucky Skills Network, a workforce program that trained 95,000 Kentuckians with 5,000 companies last year.

Noting the importance of retaining and growing existing businesses in Kentucky, Anna Beth also provided insight on Cabinet services such as site evaluations, options to lower the cost of doing business and assistance with navigating other state agencies.

For more information, contact EHCIF.

Elizabethtown-Fort Knox MSA makes top 10 for 2016 corporate facility investment

The Elizabethtown-Fort Knox MSA tied for ninth place for 2016 corporate facility investment among MSAs with populations of 200,000 or less.

The rankings, published this month by Site Selection Magazine, were based on the number of projects. The Elizabethtown MSA recorded six 2016 projects. The MSA includes Hardin, Meade and LaRue counties, with a total population of approximately 153,000.

Elizabethtown and Hardin County have benefited not only from multiple companies choosing to locate facilities in our community, but also several expansion projects at existing facilities. We truly are a Metro with Momentum!

See the national 2016 Project Ranking below, which includes three Kentucky cities. Read the entire Site Selection article here.

2016 MSA Projects Ranking

National Statistics Point Out Local Job Growth

Local figures exceed U.S. average for 24 consecutive months

By Ben Sheroan, The News Enterprise (reprinted with permission)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Industrial announcements often grab headlines but a new employment report reveals quieter, steady job creation locally at a rate more than double the national norm in 2016.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate 1,300 new jobs were created in 2016 across the three-county Elizabethtown-Fort Knox Metropolitan Statistical Area. That’s a growth rate of 2.3 percent compared to 1 percent nationally, according to the Metro Performance Report compilation by SYNEVA Economics.

Judge-Executive Har­ry Berry was encouraged by the report calling it “a validation of the incremental increases in employment.”

Total employment in the MSA, which encompasses Hardin, LaRue and Meade counties, was 57,900 at year’s end, the report said.

Rick Games of the Elizabethtown Industrial Foundation said current employment in the industrial park “is well above pre-recession totals” recorded in 2008.

Games cited several local hiring initiatives including Metalsa, Ake­bono and Fischbach USA plus the establishment and immediate expansion of Hendrickson USA manufacturing plant as factors influencing job development. He said at least a half-dozen plants are hiring now.

Job growth also is reflected locally in retail, hospitality, health care and other employment sectors, he said.

Another key factor locally is Fort Knox. While down from its peak following Base Realignment and Closure changes, the post employment and payroll exceeds pre-BRAC figures, Berry said, and the full impact of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s relocation from North Carolina still is to come.

“I think sometimes we tend to focus on the bad news when we have job losses and don’t notice the ones we gain at the same time,” Berry said.

Local quality of life, education and transportation all positively impact job growth, Games said. He praised downtown redevelopment efforts, local retail openings and responsive educational efforts highlighted by Elizabethtown Community and Tech­nical College and Hardin County Schools’ Early College and Career Center.

“We, as a community, should be proud of that,” Games said. “The community is the team. This doesn’t happen every place. Our partners are beyond belief.”

Local growth steadily has been above national norms. The report shows the local rate exceeded the national average for metropolitan areas for 24 consecutive months.

Of 387 MSAs across the country, the Eliza­bethtown-Fort Knox area ranked 69th at the end of 2016. An employment surge in March placed the local area at 10th overall and July’s performance ranked 16th, the study shows.

Seasonal factors can influence monthly rates but Berry focused on the calculation for all of 2016 that places the local MSA above nearly 90 percent of the nation.

“We’re right near the top 10 percent measured across the entire year,” he wrote in an email. “Pretty impressive.”


Comparison of Kentucky metropolitan statistical areas based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment figures.


E’town-Fort Knox

  2.3 percent   1,300

Cincinnati OH-KY-IN

  2.0 percent  


Louisville KY-IN

  1.8 percent  


Clarksville TN-KY

  1.8 percent  


Bowling Green   1.4 percent  


Lexington   0.6 percent  



  0.4 percent  


Huntington WV-KY-OH

  -0.1 percent  


Evansville IN-KY

  -1.4 percent  



Source: SYNEVA Economics

Ben Sheroan can be reached at 270-505-1764 or




Expansions in Hughes Industrial Park

Expansions underway in the Hughes Industrial Park are Fischbach USA and Altec.  Fischbach is adding approximately 60,000 square feet and the Altec expansions total  approximately 45,000 square feet.

Expansion at Fischbach

Expansion at Fischbach


Altec Expansion

Altec Expansion

Altec 2 expansion January 2017

Altec Expansion



Vennminder and iPay Solutions/Jack Henry Associates Named to the Best Places to Work in Kentucky List

On January 24, 2017, The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM) announced the 100 companies that made the 13th Annual Best Places to Work in Kentucky list. The winner rankings will be announced at an awards dinner Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at Heritage Hall in the Lexington Convention Center.

Two companies located in Elizabethtown, Venminder, 400 Ring Road and iPay Solutions/Jack Henry Associates, 801 North Black Branch Road, were named on this list.  This is the first year for Venminder and the 5th consecutive year for iPay Solutions/Jack Henry Associates.

The competition is a multi-year initiative designed to motivate companies in the Commonwealth to focus, measure and move their workplace environments toward excellence. Numerous studies show a strong correlation between profitability and creating a good place to work.

The Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation would like to congratulate both of these companies on this recognition and we are very proud of the outstanding and positive work environment that you bring to our community!


For additional information concerning this list, go to

Made in Hardin County: Ammo Company Stays on Target

Atlas Development Group Makes Its Mark on Firearms Industry

By Becca Owsley, The News Enterprise,  Friday, January 27, 2017

While some industries move in and out of Hardin County, others are home grown. Atlas Development Group, located at 219 Enterprise Drive in Elizabethtown, is a local start-up company.

The Atlas Development Group manufacture bullet casings at their facility on Enterprise Drive in Elizabethtown.

Manufacturing area at Atlas

Manufacturing area at Atlas


Most of the original owners of Atlas worked for Remington with 20 or more years of experience in the industry. When Remington decided to relocate to Alabama, they were offered positions with the move but decided to stay in Hardin County and build their own business, CEO Brent Jarboe said.

There were several reasons to stay in the area, including family and community, Jarboe said.

After kicking around the idea of what they wanted to do, the core group met to talk about how they would start their own company and continue to work in the firearms and ammunition industry without having to relocate, he said.

They spent time strategizing to discover their marketable skills and what products they wanted to pursue. During this phase they met with the Elizabethtown Industrial Foundation and were provided incubator space in their building. They also got in touch with small business development locally as well as the Cabinet for Economic Development in Frankfort to find incentives and options for start up businesses in Ken­tucky.

The meetings helped point them in the right direction and develop a business plan, he said.

Jarboe said he is grateful for the city of Elizabethtown and the industrial foundation’s support as well as the state of Kentucky. He said he didn’t have a reason to think they would help, but they did.

He said he’s always loved Eli­za­beth­town as a community but the help with developing Atlas really solidified his love for the area.

The plan was to offer consulting and produce cartridge brass that is manufactured at their location.

The boom in firearm sales has created more shooters and increased the need for ammunition, Jarboe said.

“It’s a consumable,” he said.

Jarboe said there was a market for it which is under served across the country.

The third tier to the business includes small business innovation research. That aspect has morphed since the business has moved along by using their research experience at Remington to write white papers for government grants.

Eventually, after getting established in the industry, Atlas owners want to create their own branded product, he said.

They separated with Rem­ing­ton in 2014 in time to attend an industry trade show to promote their own company. They left Remington under good terms and the company became one of Atlas’ first customers for consulting.

They were able to get business right away and secured a few contracts and letters of interest at the trade show.

Throughout 2015 they continued to do consulting work and found they had the expertise for product testing, Jarboe said.

With a management that has background in military and defense, companies used them to test products. Jarboe said they got to see a diverse group of products and found testing is a fun element of the job.

The product testing aspect of the business often varies. One example is an optic site they tested for environmental issues. The company wanted third-party validation to see if it was a real problem. Atlas developed an environmental chamber to test the product with a gambit of live fire tests, Jarboe said.

The company also does industry litigation and product liability. If a company needs an expert to see if there is a problem with the product, personal intelligence or something else, they perform a product failure analysis to provide unbiased data.

Equipment was ready for production in 2015 but they weren’t yet in a building locally. Atlas owners had to go to Utah to make the product. Atlas’ first product was shipped in February of 2016.

In May of 2016 they were able to move the equipment to Kentucky but used it in a rented space.

They broke ground on their current 10,000-square foot facility in December of 2015 and moved in August of 2016.

“We finally moved out of Rick’s basement across the way to have our own place,” he joked of leaving the incubator space at the industrial foundation.

Production began at the new facility late last December.

The stages of a bullet casing created at Atlas Development Group in Elizabethtown

The stages of a bullet casing created at Atlas Development Group in Elizabethtown

Cartridge brass starts out as a small brass cup and they make their own tweaks on it according to their own specifications. It is run in a batch process. Depending on the caliber, 400 to 600 pieces are run per batch.

The brass progresses through eight machines including washers and ovens.

It will finish as a cartridge, not loaded ammunition.

Cartridges are sold to the original equipment manufacturer market. On down the road they want to sell a product branded themselves.

Currently the company runs one shift but plans are to start a second shift in the middle of the year.

A long-term goal is to produce loaded ammunition but that’s a three-to five-year goal and when they expand to a different building. Another long-term goal is to create their own firearms and accessories.

Atlas maintains seven original owners and the line has a supervisor and two workers per shift to load machines and keep the product going.

By the end of the year, owners hope to have 18 full time employees on staff, he said.

The owners have gone from just being a part of a business to running a business and Jarboe said it’s been a transition. Along with the things they are used to in firearms, they’ve had to focus on other things like human resources and accounting but it’s part of business, he said.

Jarboe said he was amazed Atlas has gone from an idea into a building and a manufacturing line in such a short time.

“It’s been an interesting two years now,” he said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or

Reprinted with permission from The News Enterprise.


Atlas Development Group Named Startup of the Year

Atlas Development Group, a local design consulting and  manufacturing company of Elizabethtown, was recently named as the Startup of the Year by the Kentucky Innovation Network-Elizabethtown during  Global Entrepreneurship Week.   The announcement was made during an event held at Boundary Oak Distillery in Radcliff.  Guest speaker at the event was Mandy Lambert, Commissioner, Department for Business Development and Interim Executive Director, Office of Entrepreneurship, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Commissioner Mandy Lambert

Commissioner Mandy Lambert

ADG also worked very closely with  Rick Games, President of the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation and Patricia Krausman of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center in establishing their company in Elizabethtown.

Pictured are Joshua English and Mark Hammond from Atlas Development Group along with Rick Games, Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation and Patricia Krausman, Small Business Development Center.

Pictured are Joshua English and Mark Hammond from Atlas Development Group along with Rick Games, Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation and Patricia Krausman, Small Business Development Center.

Other awards presented include:

  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Dr. Robert Robbins
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Phil Taul
  • Community Impact Entrepreneur – Kevin Addington
  • Startup of the Year – Schedule It; Atlas Development Group
  • Honorable Mention Startup of the Year – The Wicked Eyed Woman; Bourbon Barrel Tavern
  • Honorable Mention Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Vibe Coffee; Prayer Mountain Farms; Radcliff Electric Supply


Hardin Population Projected To Outpace Surrounding Counties

By Emma Kennedy, The News Enterprise   (reprinted with permission)
1027-population-projection-rgbSource: Kentucky State Data Center at University of Louisville

Population projections for Hardin, Meade, Grayson and LaRue Counties

The report, titled “Pro­ject­ions and Population of Households,” was released this week by the Kentucky State Data Center at U of L. It shows the projected population in each of Kentucky’s counties and Area Development Districts from now through 2040.

Hardin County ranked seventh in a list of the largest numeric gain in population, with a 28,462-person increase over that time. It also ranked 10th in the largest percentage gain with 26.7 percent.

Hardin County’s population is projected to go from 106,439 in the 2010 census to 134,901 by 2040.

Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger said the data wasn’t surprising and she considers it positive.

Berger said not just the city, but other city councils and the county have worked over the past several decades to ensure there’s well-planned infrastructure to fuel economic development, and it shows in the number of new businesses coming to town.

Chairman-elect of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce Kenny Rambo said amenities and jobs are the important factors moving toward those increased population numbers.

“Population growth is a sign of a healthy community,” he said. “We believe our future growth will depend on protecting and growing Fort Knox, attracting high-quality jobs and bringing to our community new amenities and services.”

Surrounding counties LaRue, Grayson and Meade showed little change, with LaRue and Grayson counties expected to stay within 2,000 of the current population. Meade County is projected to lose 5,000 residents.

Hardin County’s growth rate is in line with that of metropolitan areas in the state such as Jefferson, Fayette and Warren counties.

Hardin County Judge-Executive Harry Berry said he attributes growth projections to Fort Knox, a thriving industrial base and expanding retail sector.

He also touts Hardin Memorial Health’s growth and the Lincoln Trail Area Development District’s work for the boost.

“Our region’s workforce development board … provide first-rate educational opportunities and programs to create a well-trained, educated and much-sought-after workforce, thereby enhancing our area’s growth potential,” Berry said.

“The synergistic impact of these resources, and many other positive ingredients within our community positions Hardin County and other surrounding communities for strong sustained growth for many years to come.”

The eight-county Lincoln Trail Area Development Dis­trict will jump from a population of 269,117 to 305,801, according to the projections, while the average household size drops from 2.56 to 2.33.

Kentucky’s population as a whole will increase 10.4 percent to almost 4.9 million residents.

Emma Kennedy can be reached at 270-505-1746 or

To see the full report, go to


Multiplex Theater Announced

$11.5 million E’town venue expected to open next year

By The News-Enterprise (reprinted with permission) October 26, 2016

An $11.5 million, nine-screen multiplex project is expected to open late next year off Ring Road in Elizabethtown.

Location of Crowne Point Multiplex

Location of Crowne Point Multiplex

Crowne Pointe Theatre LLC announced Wednesday afternoon plans to build the theater space, which would break ground this year and open by late fall 2017.

The 42,000-square-foot facility will be built off Dolphin Drive near Crowne Pointe Business Center and include a lounge area where beer and wine is served, a game room and three party rooms, as well as reclining seating, reserved seating and self-serve ticketing.

A concierge service also will be available to bring food to seats in the cinema.

“We want to give movie-goers an experience, and that’s why we are investing in the highest-quality equipment as well as the modern amenities that you typically find in major metropolitan markets,” Crowne Pointe Theatre partner Robert E. Robbins said in a news release. Robbins is joined by seven other local investors and theater operator Richard Roman to form Crowne Pointe Theatre LLC.

The investors said they expect the multiplex to be well-received in the area.

“We’re pairing the convenience and comfort that is increasingly important to today’s movie-goer with incredible sound and picture quality,” Roman said in the release. “Our goal is to operate one of the best theaters in Kentucky.”

The company soon will launch a website – – for those interested with keeping up with the project’s development.

Crowne Pointe Theatre will be equipped with the latest digital projectors and sound systems and 3-D capabilities and will include three 52-foot screens and five 40-foot screens in addition to its 62-foot screen.

Crowne Pointe currently is not affiliated with a movie theater chain.

October Designated Manufacturing Month in Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger proclaims October Manufacturing Month in Elizabethtown during a gathering at the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation on Thursday.

Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger proclaims October Manufacturing Month in Elizabethtown during a gathering at the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation on Thursday.

Leaders from Hardin County manufacturers and representatives from the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation joined Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger on Thursday to recognize the value of the local manufacturing sector.

Berger signed a proclamation designating October as Manufacturing Month in Elizabethtown.
Manufacturing is a top economic driver in Elizabethtown with approximately 78 manufacturers employing more than 9,000 people and accounting for about $396 million in earned wages.

Manufacturers in Elizabethtown include Tier 1 suppliers of the automotive industry, cabinetry, sealants, ink, food-grade packaging and other products. The sector offers a variety of interesting career opportunities with competitive wages and benefits.

img_9527“The manufacturing sector has long been a top economic driver in Elizabethtown, and we are very proud that our local manufacturers collectively surpassed 9,000 jobs this year,” said Greg Jenkins, chairman of the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation Board of Directors.

In addition to creating jobs, manufacturing has a job multiplier effect. Many analysts report that every manufacturing job creates approximately three service sector jobs in areas such as healthcare, wholesale and retail, real estate sales and rentals, transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, professional and technical education, construction, utilities and government.

“We are so grateful for the many wonderful companies who have made their home in Elizabethtown and have contributed to the quality of place we enjoy,” Berger said. “Manufacturing will continue to play a vital role in our economy, and we wish each of our local manufacturers continued success.”

Also, Gov. Matt Bevin proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Kentucky earlier this month.