FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 24, 2021) – Companies continue to invest in Kentucky’s growing economy, as PJ Clark Lumber LLC plans to locate in an existing facility in Trigg County, creating 35 full-time jobs with a $5 million investment, Gov. Andy Beshear announced today.
“I want to welcome PJ Clark Lumber to Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “The 35 jobs created through this project will greatly benefit families in Western Kentucky. Considering this company is also led by a Trigg County native, it truly is a special project for the region. As we continue to build back Kentucky’s economy, we need companies like PJ Clark creating quality job opportunities in every corner of the state. I want to thank the company’s leadership for bringing this investment home, and I am eager to watch the company grow in the years ahead.”
PJ Clark will occupy the former Little River Dry Kiln facility on Cerulean Road in Trigg County, an operation that includes 11 dry kilns, a planner/grading facility and a warehouse on 23 acres. The Cadiz operation will begin with production of kiln-dried softwood and hardwood lumber. PJ Clark will source lumber from local partners in Kentucky to be kiln dried and processed, with the final product distributed for residential construction. Company leaders expect to create 13 full-time jobs during the first year of operation, ramping up to a staff of at least 35 by 2023.
“As a Trigg County native, I’ve always known that there is tremendous value in the Western Kentucky community, and as I advanced in my career as a construction executive in Texas, I’ve sought ways to connect the two markets,” said Jacob Wadlington, PJ Clark Lumber’s founder and CEO. “PJ Clark Lumber is honored to partner with the people of my hometown, and I believe together we will do great things in the lumber industry.”
Founded earlier this year and headquartered in Coppell, Texas, PJ Clark Lumber produces lumber for the multifamily and single-family construction market. A portion of the company’s green lumber is sourced from TW Lumber sawmill in Cadiz, which the Wadlington family has owned and operated for over 25 years.
PJ Clark’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
Last week, Gov. Beshear announced Kentucky’s year-to-date private-sector new-location and expansion figures, which include over $2 billion in total planned investment and the creation of 4,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Through May, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $23.15 before benefits, a 4.7% increase over the previous year.
Last month, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings last month improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
Trigg County Judge/Executive Hollis Alexander welcomed Wadlington and his business back to the community.
“Trigg County Fiscal Court is excited to partner with Cadiz City Council to welcome PJ Clark Lumber and its leadership as the company plans to make this significant investment in the former Little River Dry Kiln facility,” Judge/Executive Alexander said. “This project is even more meaningful because it’s an opportunity to support one of our own young professionals who is returning home to invest in this new opportunity. It shows what can happen when local governments work together to support the vision and dreams of a homegrown entrepreneur. Following in the family’s footsteps, we look forward to celebrating PJ Clark’s success for generations to come!”
Cadiz Mayor Todd King said the project has the city’s full support.
“The City of Cadiz is thrilled to welcome home one of our own as Jacob Wadlington and PJ Clark Lumber consider this investment in Cadiz and Trigg County,” Mayor King said. “Because of Jacob’s vision and the Wadlington family’s history and expertise in the regional lumber business, PJ Clark Lumber is set to begin operations in fall 2021 and will create 35 jobs. On behalf of our residents and city council, we offer our full support for this project and to the Wadlington family. We look forward to partnering with the county in support of the company and its future operations.”
Sharon Butts, associate director of the Southwestern Kentucky Economic Development Council, said Western Kentucky has everything the company needs to succeed.
“On behalf of the entire SWK region, we welcome home one of our own business leaders and celebrate their decision to start PJ Clark Lumber in Cadiz and Trigg County,” Butts said. “In addition to the desire to make a positive impact on their hometown, the PJ Clark team also recognizes the tremendous advantages to investing in our region, including the low cost of living, outstanding geographic proximity, access to affordable utilities and natural resources and amazing quality of life. We are eager to work closely with PJ Clark Lumber as they begin operations and grow with us in our less taxing, more relaxing and business-friendly environment.”
John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development at the Tennessee Valley Authority, said he looks forward to working with the company well into the future.
“TVA and Pennyrile RECC congratulate PJ Clark Lumber on its decision to locate operations in Trigg County,” Bradley said. “Helping to support companies like PJ Clark to create job opportunities and investment in the valley is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service, and we are proud to partner with Southwestern Kentucky Economic Development Council and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help further that mission.”
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $750,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $5 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 35 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $23 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, the company can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on PJ Clark Lumber, visit PJClarkLumber.com.
A detailed community profile for Trigg County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.