Playground equipment maker Play Mart Inc. will almost double manufacturing space and add 10 jobs through a $1.7 million investment.
The Somerset, Ky.-based company will have 47 workers once the new jobs are filled, according to an announcement from Gov. Andy Beshear's office.
Play Mart recycles high density polyethylene milk jugs into plastic lumber that's then used to create playground structures and benches.
Play Mart is expanding by 43,200 square feet, a move that will bring total square footage to more than 103,000. "This increased space will allow for additional equipment, personnel and materials to meet growing customer demand and fulfill contracts for child development centers at military bases across the globe," the governor's office said.
Play Mart could potentially receive funding from the state to help with the project.
"Our concern for children's development and our employees has been the driving force behind our manufacturing business and personal lives," the company said in a statement attributed to co-founders Dennis Beach and Rebecca Beach.
In a statement, Beshear said Play Mart "has provided quality jobs in Pulaski County for over four decades."
Play Mart was founded in 1981 as Beach and Sons. The company moved to recycled plastic lumber due to "the risks and long-term upkeep challenges associated with materials such as wood and powder-coated metal," the state said in announcing the project.
Play Mart purchased its own extruder and grinding equipment in 2006, leading the way to the introduction of the company's Recycled Structural Plastic brand of plastic lumber.
"Through the exclusive use of post-consumer and post-industrial plastics we prevent millions of pounds per year of plastics from entering a landfill. RSP is 85 percent recycled plastic by weight," the company said on its website.
RSP includes a minimum of 30 percent scrap from the company's manufacturing process as well as both post-consumer and post-industrial sources of HDPE, including milk jugs.
"Play Mart is an amazing entrepreneurial success story, and we are so happy to be the birthplace of their business and where they choose to call home," said Chris Girdler, CEO of the Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority, in a statement. "Their leadership team has worked tirelessly for decades to expand their customer base to a world and nationwide audience."