Kentucky at top of national list for product exports - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Kentucky at top of national list for product exports

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Workers at ISCO Industries making heavy duty plastic pipes. Workers at ISCO Industries making heavy duty plastic pipes.
Tom O'Neill Tom O'Neill
ISCO plant manager Derrick Langford gives Natalia Martinez a tour of the facility. ISCO plant manager Derrick Langford gives Natalia Martinez a tour of the facility.
Mona Musa Mona Musa
A section of plastic pipe heading to Japan from ISCO Industries. A section of plastic pipe heading to Japan from ISCO Industries.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky manufacturing is getting a slice of the international pie.

"We're going to do business this year in Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. and China," said Tom O'Neill, ISCO Industries' Chief Sales Officer.

ISCO Industries is a Louisville-based small business that's exporting big. It joins other home-grown shops that have now made Kentucky second in the nation for exporting growth according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"You're used to seeing products imported, you know, your shirts your clothes from China," O'Neill said. "And last year, you know, we sold a piping product for a nuclear power plant in China," he explained. "I think our employees get really excited about that kind of stuff."

We got a tour from Derrick Langford, the plant manager, of where they make heavy duty plastic pipes for things like water and sewage.

The global statewide sales brought in more than $25 billion last year alone. That's a new state record.

"A stellar report for the state of Kentucky," said Mona Musa, U.S. Commercial Service Trade Specialist.

The Commonwealth shipped products to 198 counties last year.

"A lot of these exports are driven by small businesses, not just the large corporations in the state," Musa explained.

ISCO employs about 400 people.

"We've got people here in the office that speak, oh, Thai, Mandarin, Japanese," O'Neill listed.

ISCO hopes their international sales will soon reach 50 percent as they search world-wide for new customers.

Musa also said there's an added bonus. International companies tend to pay workers more money, they grow their number of employees faster offer more stable jobs.

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