Irish company to open first U.S. facility in Bullitt County - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Irish company to open first U.S. facility in Bullitt County

Posted: Updated:
Portwest will open early next year in a warehouse on Omega Parkway. Portwest will open early next year in a warehouse on Omega Parkway.
Portwest Chairman Cathal Huges Portwest Chairman Cathal Huges
Gov. Steve Beshear Gov. Steve Beshear

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky officials are hoping the luck of the Irish rubs off on the Bluegrass economy. An Irish work wear and safety manufacturer announced Monday it's opening for business for the first time in the United States and it will do so right here in Kentucky.

The company is called Portwest, an Irish company with 1,000 employees and warehouse in Ireland, Poland, Dubai and for the first time, Shepherdsville.

Portwest will open early next year in a warehouse on Omega Parkway. The company plans to invest $4.4 million and employ 100 people.

Why Shepherdsville? That fact of geography that is one of this area's great selling points: "Kentucky's location in America is such that 60 percent of the population can be reached with product within 24 hours," said Portwest Chairman Cathal Huges. "It's a marvelous, marvelous location here."

Governor Steve Beshear (D-Kentucky) said, "I believe that this is yet another example of Kentucky being at the forefront of international commerce.  You know we create jobs in many ways in Kentucky and one of the most successful ways has been attracting foreign direct investment."

Kentucky's Economic Development Finance Authority has approved a $1 million tax incentive for Portwest. The company can cash in on that by meeting job and investment targets over the course of the agreement.

Portwest makes clothing, shoes, gloves and other protective wear for everything from firefighting to food processing to industrial cleanup.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.