Rural King Establishes North American Import Facility in Southern Ohio
$33 million investment allows company to expand manufacturing operations.
With more than 130 stores in 13 states, family-owned retailer Rural King offers a broad range of products, from livestock feed, agricultural equipment and parts, housewares, and clothing. Founded in 1960, the Illinois-based company employs over 700 non-retail employees at their operations in southeast Ohio.
Since establishing operations in Ohio in 2015, Rural King has depended on the state’s strengths in Advanced Manufacturing to propel growth. But emerging technologies, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions have raised the stakes. An uptick in online orders and a boost in agricultural equipment sales led Rural King to seek out a location where it could further grow — one where it could strategically reach the most people as quickly as possible.
With a proven legacy in manufacturing, the state has consistently demonstrated its ability to provide the available workforce and infrastructure necessary for companies to thrive. Because of that, Rural King looked to JobsOhio and regional network partner OhioSE to reinvent its capabilities and bring resilience to its supply chain.
With the help of an $800,000 Revitalization Grant, Rural King expanded its distribution and manufacturing operations in Pike County. The JobsOhio Revitalization Program provides financial assistance to companies redeveloping underutilized properties. The company invested more than $33 million to purchase and renovate a warehouse adjacent to its current operation. The project put three vacant buildings back into productive use.
The expansion makes Waverly, Ohio the company’s North American Import Facility. The state’s integrated transportation infrastructure — recognized as one of the best in the U.S. — makes it possible for Rural King to reach its stores and customers quickly and cost effectively. Ohio’s manufacturing sector employs over 600,000 skilled individuals, the third largest manufacturing workforce in the nation. Rural King’s new facility brought an additional 200 jobs to the region.
“The solid workforce and work ethic of Pike County employees has contributed greatly to our success, and we feel will do so for this expansion, as well,” said Rural King’s Director of Real Estate Blake Pierce.
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