Hundreds of new jobs are on the way to eastern Kentucky and they're mostly high-paying engineering positions.
Monday night we toured Celerity Automations in Johnson County, and found out when the hiring begins.
Celerity Automations CEO Ron Ward expects to start mass producing machines like this linear transport vehicle and sell them to consumer goods companies at 250-thousand dollars each.
The Johnson county native needs hundreds of new employees to build the machines.
“We had to go away to school, to work, those things. There just wasn't anything available. So we look forward to being able to supply jobs for home grown people,” Ronald Ward said.
Governor Ernie Fletcher toured the facility Monday. He says Ward's company could lead to major economic growth.
“The big thing is the intellectual property they have, the patents they have on this will make this the unique supplier of this type of movement system, if you will,” Governor Ernie Fletcher said.
Ward expects to fill 600 jobs, many paying 50,000 dollars a year, within the next 5 years. He says he'll need 40 to 50 new employees in 4 or 5 months, when Celerity starts mass production.
“We're not looking for folks to come work for us for seven, eight, nine dollars an hour. We expect, as I said, to pay folks in such a way and remunerate them in such a way that they can support their families,” Ward said.
Ward says the actual number of jobs depends on new orders for machines, but he's confident his estimates are accurate.
As Celerity's workforce expands, so will its facilities.
CEO Ron Ward says he'll eventually have to build several more buildings on the company's eleven-acre site.