By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Business is booming in London and Laurel County, with more and more jobs available.
In the past few months, two major businesses have put down roots in Laurel County, adding more than 1,600 new jobs in the area.
But that is not the end of the story.
According to Charles Pennington, executive director of the London-Laurel County Industrial Development Authority, and Paula Thompson, assistant executive director, the recent decision of Benore Logistics Systems to locate in London is keeping with the ongoing growth of the community.
"Location is vital to a company's success and we are at the crossroads. This makes London a great choice, Pennington stated.
General Dynamics, located in the former Micro Devices building on Ky. 1006, was originally set to fill 1,000 jobs but Thompson said company officials have offered jobs to more than 1,100 people since deciding to locate in London in July.
Source HOV, an offspring of the former SourceCorp operation on Main Street, is also hiring for new employees although Thompson did not state how many new jobs will be added. They are located in the London Shopping Center next to Tractor Supply.
The industrial park off west Ky. 80 near Vaughn Ridge Road is booming with business.
Two weeks following General Dynamics' announcement of relocation, Serco, an information technology company based in Reston, Va., announced their intentions to locate in London. Located in the former SourceCorp building in the Vaughn Ridge Industrial Park, the new business would add another 600 jobs to the area. But expansions and continued growth are extending the job opportunities to include even more people.
“Serco is expanding to 800 employees, up from the original 600,” Thompson explained. “Springleaf (Financial Services) is expanding to add 200 more employees, and Midwest Logistics Truck and Trailer Maintenance is hiring and is opening in December with an expected 100 people.”
ABC Automotive, also located in the Vaughn Ridge Industrial Park with Serco, Midwest Trucking, SERVPRO, ABC Automotive and Springleaf, also expect to hire in January. Senture is also needing 50 more employees at their location in the Vaughn Ridge Industrial Park.
“Aisin (Automotive) is hiring more people and the cookie factory (Hearthside Food Solutions) is always hiring,” Pennington and Thompson added.
“We have been so blessed with companies wanting to locate here. We keep working with companies and showing them locations and some of them have committed. We’re still working on others and hopefully they will come here too.”
The location of new businesses in the area is good news for the community.
“Those people who get jobs at the new businesses leave vacancies in other businesses,” Thompson said. “That creates an open spot where they did work, making room for other people to find a job. Plus there are the seasonal jobs, where stores need help through the holiday season.”
Many local employers will be available for a Job Fair, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the London Community Center in downtown London.
“I’m sure some of the employers for the new businesses will be there and will be taking applications and even doing interviews on site for jobs,” Thompson added. “Anyone needing a job should have a choice of businesses to find one.”