Posts by: Economic Development

IBM’s 500 New Jobs Add to $4.3B in Buffalo Economic Development Activity

NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that IBM will be maintaining 3,100 technology jobs in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas, and will be creating 500 new IT jobs in Buffalo.

Gov. Cuomo announcing IBM jobs in Buffalo

Gov. Cuomo announcing IBM jobs in Buffalo (photo – Governor’s Office)

The agreement IBM has entered into with SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) includes maintaining existing semiconductor plant jobs in Duchess County, where IBM is the biggest private employer, at least till the end of 2016.

As part of the agreement, IBM has also agreed to create 500 new jobs in Buffalo and will be first anchor tenant of the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub. This hub is funded through a $55 million commitment made by the State.

IBM, CNSE, the University at Buffalo and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) will be training IT professionals and educating IT staff at the hub, in addition to software development activities that will drive discoveries in fields such as energy efficiency, genomics, molecular research and defense.

The $55 million commitment by the State will be made through CNSE, including $30 million to purchase software and hardware for the hub, and the remaining $25 million for establishing an open innovation facility.

Gov. Cuomo said that the strategic investments being made in emerging fields will position the City of Buffalo and the rest of Western New York as a high-tech industry leader and pioneer of new discoveries.

Gov. Cuomo added that the three Innovation and Commercialization Hubs in the region are leveraging billions in private investments, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and building a sustainable local economy for years to come.

Apart from this IT hub, the two other previously announced Buffalo Innovation and Commercialization hubs that are already being developed include a high-tech hub at the RiverBend Commerce Park and a medical hub at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown noted that new Buffalo economic development activity worth $4.3 billion is currently underway, and IBM’s commitment adds to the momentum by bringing a pledge of 500 new jobs to Buffalo.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said this is a good example of how public funds may be used to draw private sector partners such as IBM to invest their own money, with new jobs and a more diverse and stronger economy as a result.

WNYREDC Co-chair and President of the University at Buffalo Satish K. Tripathi said the substantial investment in the Hub will create hundreds of high-paying jobs and put Western NY on the map as a global leader in cutting-edge energy and health research.

Construction on the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub will begin this year, and the facility will open in 2015.

Tennessee Economic Development Launches IDEA to Help Main Street Programs

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced the launch of “IDEA” as a state-federal partnership initiative with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

TN Main Street communities

TN Main Street communities (photo –

IDEA is an acronym for “Ignite Downtown Economic Action.” IDEA will help designated Main Street economic development programs in Tennessee set effective and sustainable objectives.

There are 27 Main Street communities in Tennessee, and IDEA will provide each participating community with an assessment and a set of recommendations based on the Four Point model (design, economic restructuring, organization and promotion) that the National Main Street Center offers.

To be specific, the National Main Street Center has asked Barman Development Strategies, LLC to help each Main Street community identify its downtown strengths, market position and existing development needs or opportunities.

To this end, there will be public workshops held in each community throughout the rest of the year.

TNECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said they were pleased to partner with the USDA and the Appalachian Regional Commission on this innovative and exciting new program, which he said was a welcome addition to the efforts that the Main Street communities are already making on a daily basis for furthering economic development.

Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan likewise noted that Main Street programs work with entrepreneurs and small businesses every day, and IDEA will help these programs create downtown environments conducive for successful businesses and job creation.

The TNECD, USDA and ARC are together putting up $121,500 for the IDEA Initiative.

USDA Rural development State Director Bobby Goode said the amount of money invested for each town may seem pretty small, but they will be leveraging each other’s strengths by working together at the local, state and federal levels to take this next step and future steps that grow out of plans each community makes as a result of the IDEA Initiative.

In 2012, designated Main Street communities in Tennessee created 604 new jobs and generated more than $82 million in public/private investments.

During the last four years, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3.7 billion into Tennessee’s local economies through grants, loan guarantees and loans that have helped 1.5 million families and businesses in 158 communities.

The ARC is a regional economic development agency formed as a federal, state and local government partnership, and is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair.

TNECD is the main Tennessee economic development agency tasked with developing strategies to make Tennessee the top location in the Southeast for quality jobs.

Arnprior NY Expansion Boosts Eastman Business Park

Metal fabrication company Arnprior Rapid Manufacturing Solutions Inc. has extended the lease on its advanced manufacturing facility at the Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester, NY.


Arnprior (photo –

The seven year lease extension is accompanied with a $3.68 million investment for upgrading technology and equipment.

The company will not only retain its existing advanced manufacturing 150 jobs, but will also be adding 30 new jobs.

Arnprior chose to stay in EBP after considering it against other competing locations in Tennessee and Connecticut.

The Arnprior expansion was identified as a priority project by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) in its strategic plan.

This made it stand out as a project suitable for New York economic development¬†funding assistance through the competitive CFA process under which New York’s 10 regional councils are allocated around $750 million annually.

Arnprior has been approved for $600,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.

The investment and jobs created will also help with the ongoing redevelopment and growth of the Eastman Business Park where Kodak has 2.5 million square feet of facility space and more than 300 acres of property available for commercial and industrial developments.

Arnprior’s growth curve is deeply linked to the changes at the Eastman Business Park. The company began in 2008 with 96 percent of its business coming from Eastman Kodak. It has now reinvented itself with clients in a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace, automotive and defense.

The company is able to deploy advanced manufacturing capabilities to meet challenging requirements involving small plastic and metal components.

Eastman Business Park Director Michael Alt said that not only are they proud that Arnprior started at EBP, but are also pleased that Arnprior is staying.

Arnprior Vice President and General Manager Chris Howell said they believe the Greater Rochester Region has all the attributes necessary for a manufacturing concern to flourish in the current global landscape, and added that the Eastman Business Park is an excellent venue from which to do business.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said that redevelopment of the Eastman Business Park remains a top priority for Governor Cuomo and the Greater Rochester Region.

Gov. Cuomo said that it is because of companies such as Arnprior that New York is now ranked second in the nation for job creation after the recession, and why the Greater Rochester Region is a leader in advanced manufacturing.

Advanced Manufacturing Institutes Awarded to Chicago, IL and Canton, MI

The U.S. has awarded $70 million each in federal funding for establishing advanced manufacturing institutes to Chicago, Illinois and Canton, Michigan.

Digital Lab, Chicago, IL

Digital Lab, Chicago, IL (photo –

The funding, awarded through a competitive process, will add two more manufacturing institutes to the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

The Chicago-based institute, awarded to a public-private partnership initiative called UI Labs, is officially known as Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI), but it’s already better known as the Digital Lab.

The Canton-based institute will be led by EWI and will be known as the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I).

DMDI and LM3I join the Youngstown, OH-based America Makes (NAMII) and the recently announced Next Generation Power Electronics National Manufacturing Innovation Institute at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

The Department of Defense is putting up $50 million each for DMDI and LM3I, with the remaining $20 million coming from other federal agencies.

The private sector companies, organizations and universities that are a part of each consortium are expected to raise at least $70 million in matching funds.

UI Labs, which was launched as a public-private partnership in Illinois, has already received commitments for more than $250 million from over 570 members of the consortium.

The consortium includes the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and also World Business Chicago.

Apart from the Chicago and Illinois economic development organizations, the UI Labs consortium also includes agencies from other states, including the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade; Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development; Nebraska Department of Economic Development; and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said this announcement is part of his vision to make Illinois the capital of high-tech manufacturing, and provides more proof that Illinois is making a comeback.

DMDI is expected to spur the creation of thousands of advanced manufacturing jobs, generate billions of dollars of economic impact, and accelerate new product development and commercialization, helping U.S. companies become globally competitive.

U.S. Representative Bill Enyart said the consortium assembled by UI Labs will ensure that Illinois will be on the cutting edge of the next generation of manufacturing.

Sen. Dick Durbin said the new Digital Lab has the potential to revolutionize the way the U.S. approaches manufacturing, and a major effort will be centered in Illinois.

The Canton-based LM3I in Metro Detroit will be led by the Ohio-based EWI, and will bring together a consortium of 60 members from the private sector and academia who are working on lightweight metals and technology with applications in aviation, automobiles and other industries.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will provide $10 million as part of the matching funds required under the federal funding award. The State of Ohio and other consortium members will add to the funding to raise a total of $78 million, making this a $148 million institute.

The University of Michigan, which is a part of the consortium, expects LM3I to help create more than 10,000 jobs in the region over the next five years.

Read more about the DoD-led manufacturing institutes at

Massachusetts Awards $25M Tax Incentives For Life Sciences Companies

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) Board of Directors has approved $25 million in tax incentives for 33 life sciences companies.


MLSC (photo –

These companies have committed to create 1,200 new jobs in Massachusetts in 2014.

MLSC was established in 2008 as a 10-year program funded by the state with a $1 billion commitment towards supporting life sciences innovation, R&D and commercialization.

The primary goal of the program is to incentivize life sciences companies to create jobs in Massachusetts. To this end, MLSC awards $25 million in tax incentives each year.

As of Sept 2013, MLSC had invested or committed $467 million in state funding, which has helped the funded projects leverage another $1.2 billion in matching investments.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said the Life Sciences Initiative has positioned Massachusetts as a global leader in life sciences innovation and jobs growth.

By far the largest among this year’s recipients is Biogen Idec, which is getting $6.25 million in Massachusetts tax incentives for creating 325 jobs in Weston, MA.

Another major recipient in this year’s list is Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation, which received another $1 million in tax incentives from MLSC and has committed to create 50 new jobs this year. Prior to this award, Boston Heart has separately received more than $1.1 million from the MLSC over the last three years.

Boston Heart President and CEO Susan Hertzberg said that their company is a Massachusetts success story, and mentioned the Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program as an important contributor to their achievements.

MLSC President and CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister likewise noted that over the past five years, MLSC’s tax incentive program has encouraged life sciences companies large and small to grow in Massachusetts and create jobs.

The tax incentives being provided by MLSC also make for a very efficient Massachusetts economic development program with built-in accountability provisions. The tax incentive program is administered jointly by the MLSC and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR).

The created jobs must be maintained for at least five years, and recipients are required to submit reports regarding employment figures. If a company does not meet the minimum threshold requirements of the program, there are clawback provisions included to help DOR recover the tax incentives provided.

Gov. Cuomo Announces $5.9M For New York Economic Development Projects

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $5.9 million in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) funding for seven projects in four regions.

The New NY Works for Business

The New NY Works for Business (photo –

The $5.9 million in state funding will help these projects leverage another $87 million in investments, in the process helping retain nearly 1,000 existing jobs and creating 260 new jobs.

Gov. Cuomo said that working with the business community, the State is leveraging significant private investments to help grow regional economies.

Gov. Cuomo added that these seven projects show how public-private partnerships are creating new economic opportunities in industries ranging from medicine and agriculture to hospitality and tourism, and together strengthening New York’s economy and making it more competitive.

The $5.9 million in funding includes two projects each in Central New York, the Southern Tier and Mid-Hudson regions, and one more in Western New York.

One of the Central NY projects is Central NY Raceway Park, Inc., which is getting a grant of $1 million to develop a 145-acre site in Oswego County into the CNY Raceway Park. The other Central NY project is a hotel development project in Syracuse called The Inns at Armory Square, which is getting a loan of up to $2 million.

In the Southern Tier, the MARK Project is getting $250,000 to replenish a revolving loan and grant fund called the Small Business Development Fund. The MARK Project focuses on economic development efforts to build a sustainable economy on rural main streets by providing grants and loans to small businesses.

The other Southern Tier project is a natural gas distribution line in Delaware County, with $750,000 being awarded as a grant to the Delaware County IDA so that they can in turn provide assistance to private entities in the form of tax incentives.

In the Mid-Hudson region, a manufacturing company named Ertel Alsop is getting a grant of up to $200,000 to help them purchase machinery and equipment for an expansion. The other Mid-Hudson project is a $750,000 convertible loan to Continental Organics, a sustainable agriculture company that is planning to build a 900,000-square-foot aquaponics and fertilizer production facility.

In Western New York, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) is getting a $1 million grant to assist them with the construction of an 80-foot-long underground tunnel that will link two sections of the campus.

The tunnel will help them leverage shared utilities and services, thus reducing construction costs, ongoing management and operational costs, and lower the health care costs for the region.

These funds for the seven projects were approved by the board of Empire State Development, which is the chief New York economic development agency.

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said the funding approved by the board is helping move important economic development projects forward to bolster regional economies and create new employment opportunities for New Yorkers.

Wichita, Kansas Economic Development Plan and Report Card

More than 125 investors in the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition got a look at the economic development plan for Wichita, KS, and were given their annual update.

Wichita, Kansas economic development

Wichita, Kansas economic development (photo –

In 2013, GWEDC successfully brought home five projects that together represent $45.13 million in capital investment in Wichita and Sedgwick County, along with a projected creation of 1,117 new jobs with an annual payroll of $31.86 million.

The 800-pound gorilla in the lot which accounts for an overwhelming majority of the new jobs is the customer contact center established by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in Wichita.

The other four projects were expansions undertaken by and JR Custom Metal Products, Lee Aerospace, Wesley Medical Center, and High Touch Technologies.

GWEDC Chairman Steve Sharp, who is a vice president at Spirit AeroSystems, said that Wichita’s skilled workforce was an important factor that helped attract these new jobs.

Sharp said GWEDC made the business case for Starwood to locate in Wichita and for the other four companies to expand, adding that securing business expansions and recruitment was a complicated process with moving parts. Sharp said the competition for these projects was tough and they were glad to have won them.

Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research provided figures on the return on public investment into the GWEDC-facilitated projects. For 2013, the ROI was pegged at 42 percent.

This means that for every dollar in local government funds spent on economic development projects and the GWEDC’s operational costs, the public is expected to receive $1.42 back in terms of new public benefits for the City and County.

To increase competitiveness, GWEDC identified four critical areas in 2013, including incentives, diversification, real estate solutions and “telling our story.” They have developed an economic development plan based on three of the four factors, and have already started implementing tactics suggested in the plan.

As far as real estate solutions are concerned, GWEDC plans to focus on adding mega sites. To this end, they have already purchased an option for a large site on more than 400 acres near Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The site could be ideal for large industrial projects that need access to a commercial runway and railroad track.

GWEDC is also working on a diversification strategy that focuses in part on reshoring and exports. To this end, GWEDC is participating in a Brookings Institute and JP Morgan Chase project that is helping them create an aggressive export strategy.

GWEDC is a public-private partnership which leads the South Central Kansas economic development activities to market the region as a business location. They are therefore also planning to undertake joint efforts with other partners to explore the potential of a community-wide brand statement.

Tim Chase, President of GWEDC, says he’s often said that economic development is a team sport. Chase said they’ll be advancing Wichita in 2014 with the help of all their investors, which includes 175 private companies and organizations, in addition to the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County.

Sumitomo Project in Ohio Economic Development Win For Columbus Region

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of electronic systems for the automobile industry, announced that it is consolidating operations at four sites in Marysville, OH into a single new build-to-suit facility.

Sumitomo Project groundbreaking in Marysville, OH

Sumitomo Project groundbreaking in Marysville, OH (photo –

The consolidation in Marysville helps the Columbus Region retain the company’s 123 existing jobs, and also creates 15 new jobs in Marysville.

The construction of the 355,000-square-foot facility involves an investment of $10 million being made Columbus-based developer Carey Realty Investments, which just broke ground on the project.

Marysville Mayor John Gore said they are thrilled to see yet another automotive-oriented business growing and investing in Marysville. Mayor Gore added that Sumitomo’s retention of its existing workforce and their commitment to new capabilities and jobs is a win for the entire Columbus region.

The 15 new jobs being created are related to new testing processes being added to the company’s operations in the region. Their existing but separate facilities currently focus on customer service, development and repacking.

Bick Marshall, vice president, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc. North America, said the Columbus Region’s proximity to the company’s key automotive customers provides a strategic location for growing their operations.

Marshall added that the consolidation in Marysville will create greater efficiencies and will be beneficial to their workforce, the community and for their customers.

The parent companies of Bowling Green, KY-based Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems (SWES) are Japan-based Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.

SEWS has 18,000 employees in North America, spread across facilities in seven U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. The company could easily have chosen to relocate and consolidate all of the existing Marysville operations at any one of its other facilities.

Kristi Tanner, managing director of the private non-profit Ohio economic development organization JobsOhio, said they are thrilled that Sumitomo chose Central Ohio as the location for its consolidated facility, bringing more quality auto parts manufacturing jobs to the region.

Tanner added that the company had many options to build this facility outside of Ohio, but JobsOhio’s regional partner Columbus 2020 worked diligently to attract this investment and ensure that the project’s groundbreaking took place in Marysville.

Columbus 2020 is the regional economic development organization serving the Columbus Region that includes 11 counties.

The Federal Savings Bank HQ Relocation to Chicago Creating More Jobs

The Federal Savings Bank announced that it has relocated the company’s corporate headquarters to Chicago, Illinois, and plans on creating more jobs at their new headquarters.

The Federal Savings Bank

The Federal Savings Bank (photo –

TFSB was established in 2011, and is a federally chartered savings bank owned and operated by military veterans.

It has quickly grown from a single office with nine employees to more than 10 offices with around 600 employees.

The relocation of their headquarters from Overland Park, KS to Chicago will bring 100 new jobs to the city.

This headquarters relocation and the 100 jobs that come with it are a follow-through on a commitment made by TFSB in June 2012. At that time, the company had announced they would build a National Home Loan Center in Chicago and then relocate their corporate headquarters.

That 2012 project, which has already created more than 300 jobs in Chicago in the last 24 months, was supported and facilitated by $9.5 million in Economic Development for Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over 10 years, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

TFSB also received a $4 million TIFWorks grant from the City of Chicago for training the new employees.

TFSB’s headquarters is now located in the same building at 300 North Elizabeth Street along with their existing operations in Chicago. No new incentives were provided for the headquarters relocation project.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that The Federal Savings Bank is another excellent example of a company recognizing Chicago’s many strengths and offerings as a city, and added that the relocation will create jobs and boost local economic opportunities in Chicago.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said the decision by The Federal Savings Bank speaks volumes about the business climate in Illinois. Gov. Quinn said that by adding its headquarters to the major office it already has in Chicago, the bank is strengthening its commitment to Illinois and putting more people to work.

Steve Calk, chairman and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank, said they were thrilled to move their headquarters to Chicago, and looked forward to continued growth with Chicago’s incredible infrastructure, transportation access and the city’s strong pool of educated talent.

Google Pitches Fiber to 34 Cities as Economic Development Tool

Google has invited 34 cities across nine metropolitan areas to work with them on finding out whether it would be possible to bring them Google Fiber.

Google Fiber expansion to 9 metro areas

Google Fiber expansion to 9 metro areas (photo –

Offering speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, a Google Fiber connection is up to 100 times faster than currently available average broadband Internet speeds.

Google Fiber projects are already being implemented in Kansas City, Austin and Provo. Ramping up availability to 34 of the biggest cities on both coasts takes it to a whole new level.

Google is pitching the expansion and high-speed Internet access as a necessary economic development tool that mayors from all over the map have said will spark innovation and drive economic growth while improving education.

Milo S. Medin, VP, Google Access Services, said in a blog post announcing the proposed Google Fiber expansion that Portland, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee [both on the list of invited cities] and dozens of others have made high-speed broadband a pillar of their economic development plans.

Medin also singled out San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who has declared that every school should have gigaspeed Internet access by 2020.

The nine metro areas that Google is targeting for an expansion of Google Fiber are Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Antonio, TX; Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh-Dunham, NC.

Google has asked all the invited cities to put together a checklist that will make it easier for a Fiber project to go ahead in their city. For example, cities have been requested to streamline permitting processes and provide maps of existing conduits and utility lines.

This information can be used by Google to follow the plan and use existing infrastructure such as utility poles instead of digging up streets to put a new pole up next to an existing one. Google will be doing its own detailed study of each city including the topography, housing density, and the condition of infrastructure.

This process will be completed by the end of the year, at which time Google will be able to announce which of these 34 cities will be getting Google Fiber.

Medin noted in his blog post that cities which go through this process will end up more prepared for any provider who wants to lay out a fiber network.

Furthermore, as a means of helping other communities everywhere who want to bring fiber to their residents, Google plans to share what they learn from their studies involving the 34 invited cities.

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