A Vance lumber company will create more than 70 new jobs after the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority’s approval of a tax abatement package.

During its Thursday meeting (September 20, 2018), the authority approved the tax abatement package as part of a $28.2 million capital investment at KyKenKee Inc., according to Jo Bonner, the TCIDA’s interim executive director.

“KyKenKee is a prime example of the diverse economy in Tuscaloosa County and West Alabama,” Bonner said in a news release. “This new investment will allow the company an opportunity to enter new lines of business and to produce new wood products and goods, while creating 70 new, good paying jobs for our community.”

KyKenKee traces its operations back to 1912 when it operated in Bibb County. The name of the company was changed in 1980 to KyKenKee Inc. The company’s former name was I.L. Burt and Sons.

Keefe Burt, one of the principals of the company, is a member of the Bibb County Commission. 

In addition to the main operation at Vance, AL in Tuscaloosa County, the family operates at least two other wood product producing mills in South Bibb County at Centreville, Alabama.

KyKenKee manufactures hardwoods and Southern Yellow Pine, as well as specialty cut items and greenscape products such as wood chips and bark. The company now employs more than 600 people.