Gov. Beshear, LION leaders cut ribbon on reopened Beattyville manufacturing facility

LION operated the 50,000-square-foot facility at 800 Fairground Ridge Road in Beattyville, where the company manufactured firefighter protective garment outer shells for 30 years until its closure in 2010.

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ/GOV. BESHEAR OFFICE) – Gov. Andy Beshear joined leaders from LION First Responder PPE Inc., a manufacturer of firefighter garments and other equipment and apparel for first responders, for the reopening of the company’s Lee County facility after more than a decade, an $850,000 investment bringing 75 quality jobs to Eastern Kentucky.

“The reopening of LION PPE is one more reason to believe in the future of Lee County and the future of Kentucky. And it’s one more reason to keep working together to create that future,” Gov. Beshear said. “The people of Beattyville made major contributions to LION’s success for many years, producing the outer shells that protect firefighters when they run into a burning building to save lives. It’s incredibly exciting to see this facility reopen to do this critical work, and to see 75 new jobs created right here in Beattyville.”

LION operated the 50,000-square-foot facility at 800 Fairground Ridge Road in Beattyville, where the company manufactured firefighter protective garment outer shells for 30 years until its closure in 2010.

The revived operation now produces thermal liners, the innermost layer of firefighter protective garments. LION’s investment supported facility renovations and new sewing and seam sealing equipment.

The company also is coordinating with the Lee County Area Technology Center to establish an apprenticeship program, as well as a work-based experience program with the Lee County School District for high school seniors.

In addition to the reopened Beattyville operation, LION maintains a manufacturing location in West Liberty and a distribution and manufacturing facility in Hazel Green.

The company currently employs 456 people in Kentucky, including 49 in Beattyville.

“We are very excited to be back in Beattyville manufacturing the highest quality, hand-crafted technical garments that our firefighters deserve and expect,” said Steve Schwartz, LION CEO. “We are grateful for the support from the state and local community, as well as appreciate all of the hard work from our newest LION team members for all of the progress we have made in these five short months.”

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