COMING SOON: U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers addresses the crowd on hand to announce Silver Liner was coming to the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park site within the next 18 months. Pictured at left are City Manager Phillip Elswick and Mayor Jimmy Carter.
Medical Leader│ Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER

Silver Liner keeping jobs in Pike County

Abigail Gibson

PIKEVILLE —Officials gathered at the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park on Oct. 27 to host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a new manufacturing company coming to Pikeville.


"You've got a team in Pikeville, it's a great team," Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers said. "We have a winning team and I want us to stay as a team. We can make good things happen to provide jobs to keep our young people here."


The ribbon cutting took place where officials broke ground on the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park Speculative Building in September.


"Just a few months ago we were here for the ground breaking for the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park and the speculative building. They say once you build it, they will come," he said.


"But, Silver Liner came before we even laid the first brick. That's because the CEO Chris Tomlinson knows the value of this land and the great work ethic that exists in eastern Kentucky."


Silver Liner, a tanker truck manufacturing company will go inside the 60,000 square-foot spec building.


"Today is not only a great day for Silver Liner but this is a great day for Pikeville and eastern Kentucky," Chris Tomlinson said. "I knew the people here in eastern Kentucky have skill, drive and determination to build these tanker trucks. Although I had people tell me to build Silver Liner elsewhere, I knew we would be successful here at home."


He said this will provide our out of work coal miners, who are very skilled and motivated, the quality jobs that they deserve.


"We've lost 12,000 coal mining jobs in Kentucky in these last eight years. It's devastating, but I would say the coal industry is why we have the best workforce in the country. We have that to our great advantage. They are highly skilled, dedicated mechanics and workers," Congressman Rogers said.


He said we can power past the current obstacles that we face.


"That's why we launched Shaping Our Appalachian Region, to diversify our economy and pull our resources together and develop new innovative opportunities right here at home," Rogers said. "We are finally beginning to see the fruits of those efforts, where former coal miners are now defining code."


He said he believes the industrial park will be filled to capacity providing great job opportunities for our people.


"Thanks to American Electric Power (AEP), more businesses will soon be able to re-locate here to this great park. The war on coal is over and Kentucky is looking good. Congratulations to Silver Liner, we look forward to working with them in the future," Rogers concluded.


AEP presented a $120,000 economic development grant to the City of Pikeville during the ceremony.


"I am committed to not only making Silver Liner a success but to also assisting in the future growth and development of Pikeville and eastern Kentucky. Together we will make Silver Liner great and become international," Tomlinson concluded.


Officials estimate Silver Liner will be open for business within the next 18 months.