Chief Executive

Six Lessons from CEO’s Huge Aluminum Gambit in Appalachia

By Dale Buss

The ongoing construction of a $1.6-billion aluminum-rolling mill in Ashland, Kentucky, ticketed with the economic hopes and dreams of an entire region, is about as big and bold as an entrepreneur can go. But there are lessons for other business leaders in how Craig Bouchard, CEO of Braidy Industries, has approached his attempt to build his fourth billion-dollar company.

When Braidy opens its mill in 2020, it’s expected to employ about 600 people who’ve been plucked from a pool of more than 7,000 applicants for jobs that Bouchard says will pay between $50,000 and $70,000 a year. Another 150 jobs are supposed to materialize in an associated metal-alloy plant nearby. And in the meantime, Bouchard expects to employ about 1,600 people doing construction.

This would go a long way toward reversing the devastating economic slide of a part of Appalachia that has lost not only many coal-mining jobs, but also thousands of manufacturing positions in the last couple of decades. Bouchard also expects his investment to help solve a deep-seated plague of opioid addiction in eastern Kentucky.

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Forbes

Entrepreneurship & Unbelievable Bi-Partisanship: Making Aluminum Great Again In Ashland Kentucky

Moira Vetter, Contributor
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Craig Bouchard, Chairman and CEO of Braidy Industries, is on a mission to make the lightest, strongest and most eco-friendly aluminum alloys in the world—at half the cost of competitors.

Bouchard saw the signs of a market swell several years ago when the auto industry began rapidly replacing steel with aluminum. To meet the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, automakers have just a few more years to get their entire portfolio of autos and light trucks to 50 miles per gallon. Or what? Or they can’t make their cars and trucks anymore.

That’s a major market driver to support a business and investor case. But demand alone is not the stuff that makes the greatest entrepreneurial stories. The most successful business people go far beyond satisfying a market need or delivering strong financials, they find a way to make an exponential impact on the world. That is what Bouchard has set out to do in Ashland Kentucky…

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Kentucky Today

Lawmaker: Braidy Industries ‘Game-changer’ for Northeastern Kentucky

By MARK MAYNARD, Kentucky Today

ASHLAND, Ky. (KT) – House Democratic Floor Leader Rocky Adkins said even when northeastern Kentucky was experiencing frustrating economic years, lawmakers on both the state and local levels never stopped laying groundwork for the future.

EastPark Industrial Park was built near Interstate 64 along with a $50 million community technical college. Some critics, Adkins said, questioned the wisdom of the investment.

“Now,” he said, “EastPark’s dreams are coming true.”

Braidy Industries, which plans to build a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill that’s scheduled to be up and running in 2020, was the final piece of the puzzle.

The groundwork that had been laid in decades past is what made the region attractive to  Braidy Industries Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig Bouchard to make a long-term investment. Braidy’s corporate headquarters are in downtown Ashland, and Bouchard says that’s where they are staying.

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Portsmouth Metro Magazine

Milling Hope

Braidy Industries $1.3 billion Aluminum plant will Bring 600+ Jobs to Region

Portsmouth Metro Magazine, by Carrie Stambaugh

The excitement in the room was palpable during the cocktail hour of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Annual Dinner held at Shawnee State University July 25. Craig T. Bouchard, Chairman and CEO of newly formed Braidy Industries, was the slated keynote speaker and everyone present was anxious to catch their first glimpse of the charismatic entrepreneur, who has promised to transform the region “for generations to come” with the country’s first new aluminum mill in nearly four decades.

 

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