More than 300 jobs are coming to Eastern Kentucky over the next few years. Those jobs will be going to Johnson County where a new company has chosen to make its home, beating out many much bigger cities. The technology the company makes will show how hi-tech Eastern Kentucky can be.
Johnson County leaders are calling it the best kept secret in Kentucky.
"It's an extremely fast and absolute motion controlled machine," said Ron Ward, CEO of Celerity Automation.
Developed in Johnson County, its new technology designed to help other companies move their products faster.
"Much faster than you could get with belts and pulleys and traditional motors and drives," Ward said.
Ward says the idea started when the postal service asked him to create something to move their boxes faster. After years of development, they came up with this machine that moves boxes three times faster and then thought other companies might like it too.
"When we were at the trade show in Cleveland, we had a tremendous interest in this," said Michael Maynard, President of Celerity Automation.
Celerity Automation officials say all kinds of companies, from car manufacturers to food processing plants want it, saying it will help their business and their employees.
The machine has safety features, so if you get too close, it will stop.
"To the material handling industry, it's been awesomely well received," Ward said.
Now they just have to start making them. Paintsville native Ron Ward wanted to keep the company in his hometown to bring the jobs here.
"That's what we're hoping to accomplish here," Ward said.
And soon, the best kept secret in Kentucky will be out.
Celerity Automation officials say they expect to start hiring people next year. They're expecting to hire both engineers and manufacturers.