Region's supply chain management jobs keep growing

As the nation’s supply chains undergo transformational change, jobs in the industry continue to grow in Northern Kentucky.

F&E Aircraft Maintenance LLC (FEAM Aero), says it plans to create nearly 250 full-time positions at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The company plans a $40.2 million investment with the construction of a 150,000-square-foot, three-bay hangar at CVG to house Boeing 767 aircraft.

FEAM Aero is one of the largest aviation maintenance companies in the country and already employs about 300 people at CVG.

As unemployment in the region crosses the “full employment” threshold -- below 4% -- possibly requiring workers to be recruited from other states, the incentive package for the expansion calls for 124 of those jobs to be staffed by Kentucky residents.

The new operation will provide expanded aircraft maintenance capacity to support the growing cargo and supply chain operations at the airport. The airport is now the primary U.S. air hub for Amazon, one of the world’s fastest-growing companies. It’s also a “superhub” for DHL Express, the world’s largest package carrier.

CVG is now the fifth-busiest cargo airport in the continental U.S., according to a January 2022 analysis by consulting firm EY (Ernst & Young).

Jobs in supply chain management and support, which includes aviation maintenance, were cited by the EY analysis and by Northern Kentucky Tri-ED as one of four sectors on which to focus continued job growth efforts on in the region.

READ MORE: Northern Kentucky leads the state in job growth. These industries are why

Between 2014 and 2019, logistics and distribution employers added nearly 9,500 jobs in the three-county Northern Kentucky region, the analysis found. The sector has continued expanding with the pandemic-related growth in e-commerce, and the nationwide disruption in the supply chain and flow of goods.

In February, for example, Total Quality Logistics (TQL) announced it planned to add 525 full-time jobs in Kentucky, including 125 at its Boone County location, doubling its employee count there.

For FEAM, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement to provide up to $1.75 million in tax incentives, based on the company’s investment of $40.2 million and annual targets of creating and maintaining 124 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs over 10 years; and paying an average hourly wage of $38.50 including benefits across those jobs.

The agency also approved up to $300,000 in tax incentives that would allow the company to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, and equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.