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Gov. Steve Beshear sat cross legged on a white cushion for an hour in what may be the first bhoomi poojan ceremony held in Kentucky. He hopes it’s not the last, the governor said Friday at a celebration of the Flex Films (USA) Inc. investment in Elizabethtown.
The traditional Indian ground blessing ceremony was conducted in a pit prepared at the site of the new manufacturing facility in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park off Black Branch Road.
Because of the cool, wet weather, activities were held underneath a white tent at the construction site. For more than an hour, guests observed the traditional Indian blessing through a haze created by burning incense and a ceremonial fire. A handful of participants, including Beshear and Elizabethtown Mayor Tim Walker, sat cross legged and shoeless on cushions while a priest chanted Hindu prayers.
At the end of the ground blessing, participants shoveled the newly blessed earth into a hole in the center of the pit.
“This is a real milestone for us in the Elizabethtown/Hardin County community,” former state Sen. Joe Prather said after the blessing concluded and officials gathered on stage.
The new Flex Films facility in Elizabethtown will be completed in two phases, with the first phase expected to be finished late next year.
Walker said together the two phases mark a $180 million investment and 250 new jobs for Hardin County workers, providing the area, and especially Elizabethtown, with the opportunity for economic expansion.
“It’s a win-win situation for both of us, Flex Films and Elizabethtown,” he said.
Flex Films is an environmentally clean company with strong business values and hard work ethic, Walker said.
The 250 jobs represent 250 Kentucky families who will be better equipped to face the economic climate, Beshear said.
“There is no doubt Kentucky is open for business,” the governor said Friday.
Audi Chaturavedi, director of Flex Films, when asked why the company chose to build its new manufacturing plant in Kentucky, offers a list of reasons but always ends by citing Kentuckians’ commitment and hospitality.
“It is the people of Kentucky who brought us to Kentucky,” he said.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.