Expansion could add 200 jobs

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Jelly manufacturer could add peanut butter to its plate

By Tracy Harris

More than 200 new jobs could be added through a possible expansion to a Buckner facility.

The Carriage House Co. is a subsidiary of Ralcorp that currently employs about 280 workers at the Oldham County location.

The company is the nation’s largest supplier of store-brand preserves, jellies, peanut butter, syrups and dressings.

The new jobs would be in peanut butter production, currently produced by the company at other facilities but not in Buckner.

Competitor Algood Food Company has a peanut butter plant in Louisville’s Jefferson Riverport International business park.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority board granted preliminary approval to the company for $10 million in tax incentives for up to 10 years at its March 29 meeting.

The incentives are part of the Kentucky Business Investment Program. KEDFA awards most of the financial incentives offered by the state cabinet for economic development.

The project is estimated to cost $96.8 million total, according to documents from the KEDFA, and the average hourly wage is estimated at $17.67 per hour.

The Bluegrass State Skills Corporation granted preliminary approval for nearly $70,000 in tax credits for the company in January.

The incentive helps fund training programs — like the one at Carriage House, intended to train an estimated 261 employees.

Steve Smith, Ralcorp’s vice president for human resources, said the company is in preliminary stages of the expansion and would not provide additional details.

Magistrates congratulated Deana Epperly Karem, executive director for Oldham Chamber and Economic Development, at a recent fiscal court meeting for her work on the project. Karem said she had help from Judge-Executive David Voegele and is excited for the expansion. 

If completed, it could be the largest addition of jobs to Oldham County since The Rawlings Group moved from Louisville to La Grange five years ago.