Posts by: Economic Development

Michigan EDC Awards Incentives to DDC, Teleperformance and GKN

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced approval of incentives for three projects that will together generate investments of nearly $86 million and create 600 new jobs.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

MEDC (photo –

One is a $77.2 million expansion by Detroit Diesel Corporation, whose parent is Daimler Trucks North America.

The Detroit-based DDC, which makes diesel engines for trucks, plans to expand its facility in Redford Township to include a new automated manual truck transmission assembly and production capacity for an asymmetric turbocharger.

Last year in December, DDC had announced an investment of $120 million and creation of 115 new jobs at the Redford Township plant for this same expansion.

The transmissions the company plans to start assembling in Redford are currently made at a plant in Gaggenau, Germany. The turbocharger production is being relocated from China to Redford, MI.

DDC chose to source both the turbocharger and transmission from Detroit because of worries over foreign currency rates, in addition to workforce availability and local and state incentives offered by Redford Township and the State of Michigan. Another DDC plant in Mexico was also in contention for the expansion.

MEDC has approved $250,000 in incentives from the Michigan Strategic Fund for DDC, under the Michigan Business Development Program. Local incentives worth $6.6 million are being offered by Redford Township in the form of a property tax abatement for 12 years.

Another project that was approved for incentives is a customer care center being set up in Cascade Charter Township, MI by Utah-based Teleperformance USA. The inbound call center will provide customer support for a major telecom company, and requires the creation of 500 new jobs with an investment of $3.8 million.

Teleperformance USA is getting $600,000 in incentives in the form of a performance-based grant. MEDC and The Right Place, a non-profit economic development organization for West Michigan, helped secure the project against competing sites in Utah and five other states.

The third project approved for incentives is an expansion by GKN Driveline North America in the City of Auburn Hills. GKN is a subsidiary of British automotive supplier GKN plc. GKN Driveline is investing $5.1 million for the expansion of its engineering and testing facility, and will create 50 new jobs.

GKN chose to expand in Auburn Hills over another site in North Carolina. MEDC helped secure the project by offering the company a $1 million performance-based grant. Auburn Hills is offering the company local incentives in the form of a property tax abatement.

NY Offers Incentives to Raise $3.2B Investment for Reconstruction

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has notified financial institutions that loans made for reconstruction projects in storm-damaged communities will be eligible for credit under the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

NY Rising Community Reconstruction

NY Rising Community Reconstruction (photo –

The incentives are expected to spur private investments worth $3.2 billion in New York communities.

CRA compliance calls for banks to serve low and moderate income communities by providing everything from community development funding to small business loans and housing finance.

Failure to do so results in an unsatisfactory CRA rating, which can hold up federal approval for bank expansions, mergers and acquisitions.

One of the duties of the NY DFS is to review the CRA performance of banks in the state, and DFS has been directed to give priority CRA credit to banks that are investing in projects under the New York Rising Community Reconstruction program.

This program was established with $25 million in planning funds to help communities impacted by Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo designated 102 communities under this program as being eligible for $750 million in federal funding for reconstruction, including $500 million in Community Development Block Grant funding.

Apart from such direct funding, the State will now be able to facilitate funding for individual projects by connecting New York Rising Community projects looking for financing to banks that are looking to invest in CRA-eligible projects.

DFS plans to host meetings that both the project planning committees and banks will be invited to attend. DFS will also help publicize the planning process for New York Rising Communities projects.

Other state agencies have also been directed to provide priority assistance for these projects. Empire State Development (ESD) will by prioritizing grant funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) involved in storm reconstruction projects.

The NY Department of State will provide assistance to New York Rising Communities projects that are facing brownfield contamination issues by supporting these projects under the Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program.

The NYS Department of Transportation will likewise expedite highway permits for these projects, while the Department of Environmental Conservation will expedite environmental permits.

The Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) will give preference to New York Rising Communities for sustainability and energy efficiency projects including solar panel installations, public building retrofits, and selection of locations to install public electric vehicle charging stations.

Aviation LED Maker Aveo to Create 300 Jobs in Flagler County, FL

Aveo Engineering announced that it will be setting up a design and manufacturing facility in Flagler County, Florida for making LED lighting products for the aviation industry.

Aveo Engineering

Aveo Engineering (photo –

The company broke ground yesterday on the project to build the facility in a new hangar at Flagler County Airport in Palm Coast, FL.

The project requires a capital investment of $7.5 million by the company for construction and equipment.

Aveo will create 300 new jobs over the next three years with average annual wages of $43,379. The company will start by hiring 50 new employees in the first year.

Last month, the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners approved $150,000 in workforce training incentives for Aveo, linked to the company’s job-creation efforts. Every job created by the company will be awarded $500, to be paid out in installments every year.

Local officials in Flagler County have been working to secure this project for quite some time, identified until now only under the code name of “Green Dream.”

Aveo Engineering is one of many “green” Aveo Group companies that provide LED lighting and solutions, including Startek, Strojkov, GreenAir, AveoGo, AveoShark and EmergiStrobe.

These group companies have facilities all over the world, including in the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Slovakia and India. The company works with several aviation and aerospace companies including Sikorsky, Boeing, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, Raytheon and Hughes MD Helicopters.

FL Gov. Rick Scott said the company considered other locations including Texas and Malaysia, but they liked what Florida was offering.

Aveo decided they needed the facility in the U.S., where they could be closer to their customers. They’re already operating from a temporary space in Palm Coast,

Aveo President Christian Nielsen said they had worked closely with the county and conducted a workforce analysis. He said Flagler County and the region offered an amazing talent pool which the company could draw upon.

Flagler County Commissioner Barbara Revels said this was one of the target industries they have been working to attract, and called it a game changing success for the county.

Flagler County got assistance for this project from Enterprise Florida and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, but details about state incentives for Aveo have not been disclosed.

Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act Signed Into Law

The Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act was signed into law by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on July 30, 2013. The bill, subject to a voter referendum in the fall, will allow the establishment of four gaming resorts in Upstate New York.

Upstate NY resort gaming destination plan

Upstate NY resort gaming destination plan (photo – NY Governor’s Office)

The bill allows for casinos to be sited in the Capital District-Saratoga area, the Central-Southern Tier and the Hudson Valley–Catskill area.

The choice of these locations maintains the exclusivity of the state’s five existing Indian gaming casinos, with no casino resort projects allowed in NYC, Long Island, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester.

Once the four new casino locations have been authorized, no further licenses will be issued by the State for a seven-year exclusivity period, providing the new projects plenty of time to get started and grow. After seven years, another round of licensing would allow for the establishment for three more casino resorts.

Nassau and Suffolk counties will each get a video slot facility with a 1000-machine limit at each site.

The State Gaming Commission will set up a siting board to review and select an applicant from each region.

A full 70 percent of the project choice decision for each region will be based on the economic activity and business development prospects, along with 20 percent on the local impact and siting issues, and the remaining 10 percent based on workforce issues.

In anticipation of gaining approval for a casino in the Catskills, Connecticut-based Foxwoods Resort Casino and Forest hills, New York-based Muss Development L.L.C. last month entered into a partnership to develop a $300-$600 million destination casino resort project.

The project will be located on 500 acres of property Muss Development has available surrounding the site of the former Grossinger’s Hotel and Resort in Liberty, NY. The site already has a golf course and other infrastructure required for a recreational project, and is within 100 miles of New York City.

The tax paid by each project will be split among the state, host municipality and county, and other counties in each of the aforementioned three regions.

The state government gets 80 percent of the tax, to be spent on education and property tax relief. The host municipality and county will split 10 percent of the tax, while other counties in the region will get the remaining 10 percent of the tax generated by the gaming resort in that region.

Gambling problems will be tackled by the state with the help of a $500 annual fee imposed on every table game and slot machine.

Gov. Cuomo said the new law brings the state one step closer to the establishment of world-class destination gaming resorts that will support thousands of jobs, bring additional revenues for local businesses and attract tourists to Upstate New York.

Nissan Breaks Ground on Canton, MS Supplier Park

Nissan North America, Inc. broke ground on its first major North American supplier park at the company’s vehicle assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi.

Nissan supplier park groundbreaking in Canton, MS

Nissan supplier park groundbreaking in Canton, MS (photo – Governor’s Office)

MS Gov. Phil Bryant was on hand for the groundbreaking, along with local officials from Madison County and the City of Canton.

The construction of the new 1 million-square-foot integrated logistics center north of the Nissan campus, along with improvements to the existing supplier logistics center on the other side, represents a $50 million investment on Nissan’s part.

The expansion will support 800 new jobs. Nissan made 400 new hires for the project last month, and the remaining 400 jobs will be positions created by the company’s suppliers. All put together, Nissan has more than 5,600 existing employees at the Canton plant.

Dan Bednarzyk, Nissan Vice President for Total Delivered Cost, said that the groundbreaking supports their efforts to bring more Nissan vehicles to the plant, and means more jobs for Mississippi. He added that the supplier park would make the Canton Mississippi plant more globally competitive.

The expansion is part of an overall Nissan strategy to localize manufacturing. Currently, only 69 percent of Nissan vehicles sold in the U.S. are built in North America. The company plans to increase local production so that 85 percent of Nissan vehicles for the U.S. market will be built locally by 2015.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) has helped facilitate the supplier park project by providing assistance for site preparation and infrastructure improvements. MDA and Madison County have also provided assistance for the existing supplier center renovation, building upgrades and for workforce training.

Earlier this year, the Mississippi legislature approved a bill that enabled the Madison County Economic Development Authority to raise $100 million through a bond issue for construction of buildings to be used by Nissan suppliers.

Nissan or its suppliers using space in the new supplier park buildings will sign bond agreements and have the option to buy the space they are using once the bonds are repaid.

MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen said assisting great companies such as Nissan grow and create jobs for Mississippi residents was a big part of their mission. Christensen thanked Madison County for working with the MDA to make the project possible.

Gov. Bryant said the new supplier park would bring more manufacturing jobs to Mississippi and would serve to strengthen the state’s growing automotive sector.

WI, IL Team Up to Promote Aviation and Aerospace at Airventure

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has teamed up with the Rockford Area Aerospace Network (RAAN) in Illinois to promote the region’s aerospace and aviation assets at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, WI.

EAA Airventure 2013

EAA Airventure 2013 (photo –

The annual event at Wittman Regional Airport, which began yesterday and continues until Aug 4, 2013, is the largest civilian airshow in the United States and features more than 800 exhibitors and events that will attract in excess of half a million attendees over the course of the week.

This year, WEDC and RAAN are co-located at booth #2099. Apart from Wisconsin and Illinois, the Mid-America region the booth is promoting includes Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota.

Reed Hall, CEO and secretary of WEDC, said that a skilled and dedicated workforce and a productive business climate make the region stand out as a great place for doing business.

Eric Voyles, vice president for national business development at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC), said that their goal was to put the Midwest on the map as an international aerospace and aviation activity hub.

Voyles added that a strong partnership between Wisconsin and Illinois will advance their efforts in attracting new businesses to the region and further expanding the region’s diverse supply chain.

RAAN is a committee of the RAEDC, created as a platform for local aerospace companies to collaborate, and as a forum to refine the regional aerospace industry’s cluster development strategy. The region, with the Rockford metropolitan area at its core, stretches north into Wisconsin and east towards Chicago.

There are more than 200 aerospace suppliers in the region at all levels of the supply chain, including assembly, repair, maintenance, testing, inspections and software companies. More than 80 percent of the aerospace workplace in Illinois is located in the Rockford metropolitan area alone.

There’s no shortage of technical talent either, with 56,000 engineers located within a 90-mile distance and 50,000 students taking engineering programs within 500 miles.

Voyles said the event attracts people from 71 countries, so it was a good opportunity for raising awareness about the region’s strengths in front of an international audience.

Apart from the possibility of attracting new companies, Wisconsin is also getting a huge benefit from the more than $100 million in economic impact attributed to EAA Airventure. Anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 aircraft fly into Oshkosh for the event every year, and the airport becomes the world’s busiest airport for this one week.

Ohio Approves Tax Credits to Help Create, Retain 2247 Jobs

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) has approved assistance under the Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) program for 10 economic development projects that will together create 1,200 jobs and retain another 1,047 jobs in the state.

Ohio Development Services Agency

Photo –

Together, these projects are expected to require investments worth $92 million across Ohio, and will generate $53 million in additional payroll.

The JCTC program offers a refundable tax credit to companies that create at least 10 new jobs in Ohio and add a minimum of $660,000 in new payroll during the first three years of operation of the project.

The 5-member TCA board, assisted by staffers from the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), awards tax credits that are equivalent to a percentage of the state income tax withholdings of the new hires, to be paid out as an adjustment of the recipient’s commercial activity tax.

One of the biggest of the ten projects is the planned consolidation of electronic component distributor Avnet, Inc. at their facility in the Village of Obetz, in Franklin County. The company is consolidating four separate facilities into the Obetz facility.

Avnet plans to create 300 new jobs and will be adding $11.3 million in additional payroll, which adds to the existing 350 jobs and $12.5 million payroll they already have. The company has been approved for a 70 percent JCTC for eight years.

Another huge project is the Constant Aviation, LLC expansion in Cleveland, which will create 300 new jobs for an additional payroll of $13.8 million to add to the facility’s existing payroll of $8.7 million. The TCA approved a 60 percent JCTC for seven years for this project.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based yoga apparel maker Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq:LULU), which is adding 170 jobs with a $6 million payroll for a new facility in the City of Columbus, is getting a 55 percent JCTC for 10 years.

Pratt LLC is expanding a manufacturing facility in the Village of Lewisburg where it makes boxes and packaging material that are 100 percent recycled. They plan to add 140 jobs with $8 million in additional payroll, and will receive a 65 percent JCTC for 10 years.

The other six projects that have been approved for tax credits in Ohio under the JCTC program are Exel Direct, Inc.; FCX Performance, Inc.; Pillar Technology Group LLC; SAEC/Kinetic Vision Inc.; ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America Inc.; and Jacobson Mfg – Tiffin LLC.

Study – Nashville Music Industry has $10B Economic Impact on Region

A new study released by the Music City Music Council (MC2) of Nashville, Tennessee looks at the impact and contribution of the music industry to the Nashville region, and also includes a cluster analysis.

Music City Music Council

MC2 (photo –

The report was commissioned by MC2 and prepared by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Research Center.

It says the music and entertainment industry has a $10 billion impact on the region, and Nashville has more music industry jobs as a percentage of population and total employment than any other city in the U.S.

The music industry’s contribution to the local economy is $5.5 billion, resulting in a total economic output of $9.7 billion for the Nashville metropolitan area.

The music industry helped create and sustains 56,000 jobs in the Nashville area, and is credited with generating more than $3.2 billion in annual labor income.

The density of Nashville’s music industry activity is two to thirty times greater than the nation overall. It is ten times greater than the density in New York and Los Angeles, with other cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans and Austin even further behind.

A study of music industry linkages and specialization shows Nashville to be a part of a global quartet along with New York City, Los Angeles and London that serve as music industry centers.

MC2 Co-chair Randy Goodman said that Nashville has this great brand and identity with music, but their goal was to take the industry to the next level by attracting more companies and professionals, and then by developing new ideas that strengthened this worldwide industry with Nashville as its global headquarters of progress and innovation.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who is the other MC2 co-chair, said that it was the music that has made Nashville known worldwide, and this study validates the importance of the industry as an economic engine for Nashville.

Mayor Dean added that the report provides insight into what’s driving Nashville’s success in this industry, which he said would help them build further on the things that were already working.

Apart from the data and statistics about the industry and its cluster, the report authors also provide recommendations on shoring up Nashville’s position as the global capital of the music industry.

Their suggestions include leveraging the city’s role in music education to become a global music education center, and using the city’s musical heritage and media coverage to put focus on Nashville as the gateway to American “music tourism.”

Read the full “Nashville Music Industry РImpact, Contribution and Cluster Analysis” report – Download (pdf)

Study – NYU-Poly Tech Incubators Generated $251M Economic Impact

A study based on a survey of the 102 startups that have grown out of the three NYU-Poly incubators in New York City shows that the incubators have generated more than $251 million in economic activity since 2009.

NYU-Poly Incubator

NYU-Poly Incubator (photo –

The study was undertaken by Dr. Jill Kickul, who heads the NYU Stern School of Business Program in Social Entrepreneurship.

Highlights from the study, as attributed to the three NYU-Poly incubators (as of Dec 2012):-

– $251.2 million in economic activity since 2009, projected to increase to $719.8 million by 2015;

– 900 jobs created since 2009, projected to increase to 2,600 jobs by 2015;

– Annual wages paid by graduating companies average $72,230;

РTenants’ expected funding growth is 147 percent, from the time they enter the incubator to the time they graduate. Incubator companies have raised more than $60 million.

NYU-Poly opened its Varick Street and NYC ACRE incubators in 2009, and added a third one named DUMBO in 2012.

Varick Street was established in Manhattan with support from Trinity Real Estate and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). It fosters tech innovators in the education, financial and advertising sectors, along with big data and cyber security startups.

NYC ACRE (Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy) fosters clean-energy and clean-tech startups and was established with the help of a grant awarded by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

DUMBO is located in Brooklyn, and was established with support from Two Trees Management and NYCEDC. It fosters creative tech and mobile startups.

Apart from these three, NYU-Poly is in the process of setting up a fourth facility called NYC CTEC (Clean Technology Entrepreneur Center).

This one will be established with support from NYCEDC and Forest City Ratner Companies, and will focus on providing support for innovators working on urban development issues including energy, resilience and sustainability.

NYU-Poly President Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan said that within a few short years, their incubators had transformed technology and innovation into real economic development across the city.

NYCEDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball said that since their launch in 2009, these projects have had a positive impact on New York City, and added that they looked forward to seeing the incubators contribute further to the City’s rapidly growing and transforming innovation economy.

NYU-Poly incubators Economic Impact Study – Download (ppt file)

Maryland’s GHG Reduction Plan to Support 37,000 Jobs

Maryland has released a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan which outlines specific programs to achieve a 25 percent statewide reduction in GHG emissions by 2020.

Maryland Climate Change Summit

Maryland Climate Change Summit (photo – MD Governor’s Office)

The “Plan” was released at a climate change summit hosted last week by MD Governor Martin O’Malley and well attended by government officials, environmental advocates, scientists, business leaders and community activities.

Most of the components outlined in the Plan are programs that are already in the process of being implemented. Even so, putting it all together as a long-term framework will help the state bolster these programs over the next seven years with policy changes and new technologies.

Together, the initiatives included in the plan will account for GHG emissions reductions of 55 million metric tons.

The state will see $1.6 billion in economic benefits from the Plan, which is expected to support 37,000 jobs and have a positive impact on public health.

One of the key components of the plan is the Maryland Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), which has fueled demand for renewable energy generation by requiring power producers to source 18 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Another initiative, EmPOWER Maryland, is pushing for energy efficiency to cut peak load and energy consumption by 15 percent. A “Zero Waste” program pushes for reducing GHG emissions from landfills by hiking the recycling requirement for government managed solid waste to 60 percent by 2020.

Maryland is a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a joint cap-and-trade initiative launched by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to control industrial emissions. GHG emissions from vehicles are being reduced through the Maryland Clean Cars Program.

Governor O’Malley said that as severe weather events continued to grow in impact and size along with elongated trends of poor air quality, the costs of inaction grows exponentially. He said Maryland was moving forward with action taken to create green jobs while protecting public health, air, water and land.

Maryland, which has a 3,000-mile coastline, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Rising sea levels and storm intensity will have devastating economic and environmental impacts on Chesapeake Bay.

Don Boesch, president of the Center for Environmental Science at the University of Maryland, said that significant emissions reductions would have to be made over the next few decades to avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change, and Maryland has an opportunity here and a responsibility to lead.

Read the full Maryland Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan – Download (pdf)

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