Lexair Inc. to expand operations with $8.5 million investment

Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced continued momentum of the state’s manufacturing sector as Lexair Inc. will expand existing operations in Lexington with an $8.5 million investment creating 14 quality jobs.

“A key aspect of building a strong economic foundation is having homegrown companies, ones founded and built right here in the commonwealth, find success and thrive,” said Gov. Beshear. “Lexair has been a staple in Kentucky’s manufacturing industry for over four decades, and I am thrilled to see them continue to grow and believe in what Kentucky has to offer. I look forward to their continued success here in the commonwealth.”

The project will see the company expand its current operation in Lexington by 35,000 square feet, bringing its total operational space to over 78,000 square feet. The expansion will allow for additional space to house manufacturing assets from Keystone, an Emerson brand, for the U.S. Navy markets. These assets include intellectual property licenses for technology that are trademarked by Emerson. All manufacturing for these products will move from Emerson’s Pasadena, Texas, facility to Lexair’s new and expanded factory in Lexington.

“We are going back to our roots with this acquisition,” said Lexair President Wes Allen. “We started as a defense contractor 45 years ago, and these products are very synergistic to our current operations. This expansion provides for the future viability of Lexair, benefiting its customers, employees and community for many years to come.”

Founded in 1977, Lexair is a third-generation family-owned manufacturing corporation located in Lexington. The company manufactures machine tool products, commercial hydraulic and pneumatic control valves and a series of CO2 evacuation compressors and stainless valves for the U.S. Navy. The company has been involved in the naval and industrial markets for over 45 years. Lexair understands the critical importance of these products for the U.S. Navy supply base and is committed to providing the highest quality products to support the needs of the U.S. Navy and its customers.

This expansion adds to Kentucky’s thriving manufacturing sector, which includes more than 5,000 facilities and employs over 250,000 people statewide. Administration-to-date, more than 550 new location and expansion projects within the industry are expected to create nearly 26,000 full-time jobs with over $18.6 billion in new investments. 

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton looks forward to the company’s continued success and creation of quality manufacturing jobs in Lexington.

“Lexair is a growing family business that plays an important role in the defense of our country,” said Mayor Gorton. “I have visited their shop, and it is clearly a great place to work. Congratulations, Lexair. We appreciate the good manufacturing jobs you bring to our city.”

Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington, is excited that Lexair will continue to invest in and provide well-paying jobs to the community.

“For many years, Lexair has provided excellent customer service, product engineering, component machining and manufacturing right here in Central Kentucky,” said Quick. “Through new product development and acquisitions, as well as an innovative team of people, Lexair has been able to expand and grow jobs. We appreciate the company’s continued investment in Lexington and look forward to more success for Lexair in the future.”

Lexair’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in December 2022 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $300,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of over $8.5 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 14 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $41.97 including benefits across those jobs.
     

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Lexair can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

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