Originally appeared in Fior Reports | August 12, 2023

An international company has signed a contract and acquired land with the intention of establishing an industry in Radcliff that will serve BlueOval SK.

Woowon Tech, a South Korean company that recycles and finishes the blades used to cut products needed in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries, recently identified a location in northern Hardin County.

Woowon’s local holding is a spin-off from BlueOval SK, the joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and South Korean company SK On, which uses SK On’s battery technology to manufacture electric vehicle batteries for Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The company is currently building a multi-billion dollar battery park in Glendale.

Another Korean company, Lotte Aluminum Materials, opened a manufacturing facility on 100 acres of Elizabethtown’s TJ Patterson Industrial Park last year.

Radcliff Mayor JJ Duvall said the company’s choice of 1633 N. Logsdon Parkway is a good opportunity to provide quality employment to the community bordering Fort Knox.

“The partnerships between our communities and the relationships within the community have helped us achieve this,” said Duvall.

“This company is going where actually our original industrial park was in the ’80s,” added Duvall. “It’s kind of interesting that we connected our first Korean factory to the largest project in Hardin County history at our old industrial park.”

Duvall met with Kenneth Shim, Woowon Tech’s president, and said he wanted to make him feel comfortable in the community by showing him the Korean shops and restaurants, some of which grew out of the military neighbor there .

Duvall, whose mother is Korean, said that starting a business like Woowon in Radcliff was a very welcome addition.

“We have such a diverse community here, so it’s always good to have a population that already exists here and can grow,” Duvall said. “It was interesting to see how surprised some of the people I met in person were that we had already established some Korean companies here.”

Duvall hopes this project will be the first of many projects founded at Radcliff.

“I think it shows that this has implications for our entire region and not just one specific area,” Duvall said. “We have worked non-stop to recruit and partner with other communities to create an opportunity like this.”

The new company will create around 20 new jobs at Radcliff, including 15 technical jobs and five administrative or engineering jobs.

“I like the welcoming atmosphere of the city, especially on the part of its mayor,” Shim said. “It will be good for the community to grow in terms of tech jobs.”

Woowon considered Elizabethtown as the next location for his company, but was diverted to Radcliff.

Andy Games, vice president of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, said Woowon reached out to her about three to six months ago to look for properties to buy or rent.

“We didn’t have any buildings here in Elizabethtown that suited their needs, so we shared with them some information about Radcliff and the possibility of some buildings,” Games said. “We sent them to Mayor Duvall and they found a building.”

The building’s renovation will cost about $1.5 million and work could begin as soon as next month, Shim said. The company plans to complete all renovations by February next year when preparations for production begin.