Kentucky Chrome Works is the proud recipient of the 2012 Hart County Business of the Year
Ray Carcione (an Ohio entrepreneur with several businesses in the greater Cleveland area) married a native Kentuckian, Cynthia Hettinger and relocated to Louisville, KY.
In the spring of 2008 Ray was approached by one of his key customers and encouraged to open a chrome plating facility for aluminum alloy wheels. Ray evaluated plant sites in Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio and in his new home town of Louisville, KY. The week before Christmas 2008 Ray visited the former Ken-Dec facility in Horse Cave, KY.
The facility had deteriorated significantly and Ray immediately struck it from his list as unsuitable. However, Horse Cave had two things going for it: 1) its proximity to the Corvette Assembly Plant and 2) the tenacity of Judge Executive Terry Martin extolling the virtues of Hart County’s infrastructure and the quality and availability of its workforce.
The Ken-Dec plant came with a lot of environmental baggage. Judge Martin, Kerry McDaniel, David Peterson and the Commonwealth of Kentucky worked diligently for almost a year to resolve the issues. This team of proud Kentuckians would simply not take ‘no’ as an answer to the ponderous obstacles. The Commonwealth chipped in with a $750,000 KEDFA Tax Incentive Agreement. The Hart County Industrial Authority extended a $750,000 low interest loan for the purchase of equipment. KDAQ worked closely with KCW to address the environmental issues. Carcione personally invested more than $4 million dollars.
On January 4, 2010, Ray and his team descended upon the Horse Cave facility and began the renovation and installation phase of the plant startup. A project of this complexity normally takes 14-16 months. Kentucky Chrome Works was under power in pre-production mode in December 2010. The first fully validated USA OEM chrome wheels plated east of the Mississippi rolled off the plating line and onto the Corvette assembly line on February 7, 2011.
There is a lot of public discourse about America losing jobs to China and other countries. The jobs created by KCW were created at the expense of other countries. KCW is an example of bringing jobs back to America and Kentucky.
KCW grew its workforce to 45 employees within the first calendar year of operation, since that time an additional 30 jobs have been created by importing pre-plate metal finishing (polishing and buffing) jobs from out of state operations.
KCW is a member of the Hart County Chamber of Commerce. KCW has sponsored local juvenile athletic teams and has supported the arts in Hart County.
Ray Carcione and his team have demonstrated their commitment to south central Kentucky. KCW has fulfilled its job creation commitment to Hart County and to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and pledge to be superb corporate citizens for many years to come.