Job Creation

Shutterfly to Shutter Charlotte, NC Facility and Fly to Fort Mill, SC

Redwood City, CA-based Shutterfly Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY) has announced that it is tripling its east coast manufacturing operations with a new state-of-the-art production facility in Fort Mill, South Carolina.


Photo – Shutterfly

When the new 300,000 sq ft facility in Fort Mill is ready to open in the second quarter of 2013, about 250 employees from their existing 102,000 sq ft Charlotte, North Carolina manufacturing space will be moved to Fort Mill.

The two locations are less than 10 miles apart, so it shouldn’t be a problem to retain the same employees for these jobs.

Shutterfly, which offers an internet-based social expression and personal publishing service, says they do expect to retain existing employees while creating new jobs during the next three years.

“I am extremely proud that we are able to retain the employees working in our Charlotte facility while adding new jobs and expanding our manufacturing foot print,” said Jeffrey Housenbold, president and CEO of Shutterfly. “Fort Mill is an ideal location for its proximity to our employees and the new talented local labor pool.”

The Fort Mill facility will house production and customer service personnel for Shutterfly’s four brands: Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas and Treat.

“It’s a great day in South Carolina when a well-known company like Shutterfly chooses to put down roots in our state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “We celebrate Shutterfly’s decision to bring more than 600 jobs to Fort Mill. Today’s announcement is another win for the Palmetto State and shows we’re on the right track with our economic development efforts.”

‚ÄúI am grateful to Shutterfly for bringing new skilled jobs to South Carolina,” said Robert Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce. ‚ÄúWe worked closely with Shutterfly and supported their efforts to secure a facility that could accommodate their rapid growth and existing employee population.‚Äù

When they moved into Charlotte, North Carolina in 2007, Shutterfly invested $31.5 million and was given $250,000 in incentives and $3.6 million in county tax breaks. By comparison, the South Carolina deal is a lot bigger.

Shutterfly was given a $700,000 grant for infrastructure improvements. York County has agreed to a payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) arrangement that will reduce Shutterfly’s property tax liability by 43 percent. The county has also reportedly agreed to spend another $250,000 to build a road west of the new Shutterfly site.

In return, Shutterfly is supposed to invest about $60.1 million in their new facility and create 410 permanent jobs in addition to the ones they will be moving from Charlotte. All put together, Shutterfly expects to have about 600 workers in South Carolina.

ReCharge NY Motivates $37M Investment in Elmira Heights, NY

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Anchor Glass Container Corp. is planning to invest $37.2 million at the company’s 100-year-old glass container production facility in Elmira Heights in Chemung County, NY.

ReCharge NY

ReCharge NY (Photo –

The investment will save 340 jobs, and it was made possible by the ReCharge NY program, under which the company is receiving 6.6 megawatts in low-cost electricity.

“Electricity costs are an important factor that businesses take into account when looking to expand and make new investments,” said NY Gov. Cuomo. “The ReCharge NY program has given businesses and other enterprises across New York long-term certainty of stable electricity rates so they have the confidence they need to retain and create jobs.”

The ReCharge NY program offers up to seven-year contracts for lower-cost power, and reserves at least 350 MW for upstate businesses and institutions, 200 MW for business attraction and expansion, as well as up to 100 MW for not-for-profit organizations.

The program has already allocated low-cost power to more than 40 businesses in the state’s Southern Tier that have committed to retaining more than 33,000 jobs.

“The Power Authority and our partners in the ReCharge NY Program, including Governor Cuomo’s regional economic development councils, are maximizing the benefits of the lower cost power for supporting jobs and capital investments, as we’re witnessing first-hand at Anchor Glass,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer.

Anchor Glass’ Elmira Heights facility produces 2.9 million glass containers a day for the food, juice, beer and beverage industries.

“The nature of our business, producing a diverse array of glass-container products, requires a great deal of electricity, running in the millions of dollars a year,” said Mike Sopp, general manager of the Anchor Glass facility in Elmira Heights. “The ReCharge NY program provides us with the certainty of long-term economical power supplies, which is essential to our financial bottom line and the profitability of our facility, with an annual payroll of approximately $26 million.”

More than 1,000 applications were submitted under New York‘s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. The applications were reviewed by NYPA staff in consultation with the 10 Regional Economic Development Councils.¬†More than 700 businesses across the state have been allocated low cost power under this “job saving” arrangement.

In addition to jobs and capital investments, the criteria for considering ReCharge NY applications include the extent to which an allocation would be consistent with existing regional economic development strategies; an applicant’s risk of closure or curtailing operations; the significance of the applicant’s facility to the local economy; and its commitment to energy efficiency.

Johnson Controls Opens Battery Recycling Plant in Florence, SC

Glendale, Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls, Inc. announced the opening of its Florence Recycling Center for automotive batteries in South Carolina. The facility expands Johnson Controls’ presence in Florence with a capital investment of more than $150 million.

Johnson Controls

Photo – Johnson Controls

The new Johnson Controls plant in Florence has created 250 direct new jobs, along with another 1,000 indirect jobs in the area. There are already 200 employees working onsite as the facility ramps up production.

The facility will recycle 132,000 metric tons per year, or the equivalent of more than 14 million automotive batteries.

“We’re proud to bring a recycling facility to Florence, resulting in a strong capital investment and many jobs to the area,” said Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. “We are appreciative to all those who helped support us along the way and we look forward to a strong continued relationship with the Florence community.”

The plant is located on a 685-acre site, of which Johnson has developed 36 acres with the remaining acreage left undeveloped. Portions of the site will be permanently protected through a conservation easement.

As part of the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship, Johnson Controls will minimize its environmental footprint within the state by protecting sensitive habitats, managing habitat for wildlife, participating in the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Program, and storm water management.

All this is important because of environmental concerns associated with the plant and its proximity to the Great Pee Dee River. During the public comment period when Johnson was applying for regulatory and city council clearances, they were asked why they choose this Florence site close to the river instead of siting the plant in the Industrial Park?

Their response was that “the decision to locate at this site was based on many factors including: a capable area workforce, a regional need for battery recycling, a strategic location to existing battery manufacturers in the region, the site is an existing industrial area, the utilities are available, and there is a potential to locate other Johnson Controls operations in the area.”

“The steps taken by Johnson Controls to maximize economic impact and minimize environmental effects on our area are commendable and extremely important to our citizens,” said South Carolina State Senator Hugh Leatherman.

Whatever the concerns, the Johnson Controls battery recycling plant became the first facility of its kind to receive an air permit in the United States in 20 years, and now Florence can reap the economic benefits.

“Johnson Controls’ new facility has already had a positive catalytic effect across the region,” said Francis Marion University president Fred Carter. “Through the process of developing the new center, the company’s leadership has established a strong sense of collaboration and cooperation. We’re delighted to welcome our new neighbors.”

ArcelorMittal Investing $50M to Restart Monessen, PA Coke Facility

ArcelorMittal is making a $50 million capital investment to modernize and upgrade the company’s coke operations in Monessen, Pennsylvania.


Photo – ArcelorMittal

The investment will allow ArcelorMittal to restart coke production at the Monessen facility and create 113 new jobs at the site.

‚ÄúBased on information shared by ArcelorMittal, the company’s decision to not only restart ‚Äì but invest in ‚Äì its Monessen coke operation is exciting news for the city of Monessen and the region as a whole,‚Äù said State Representative Ted Harhai, 58th Legislative District. ‚ÄúThis region depends upon substantial investments made by companies such as ArcelorMittal, which provide for good-paying jobs and help position us for continued growth and future opportunities.‚Äù

“The decision to move forward with this restart represents a significant investment in the long-term viability of ArcelorMittal Monessen’s coke operations,” said Paul Champagne, ArcelorMittal Monessen plant manager. “There is no doubt that the close partnership between management and the United Steelworkers, as well as the leadership and dedication of the Monessen workforce, contributed to our plant receiving the investment allocation.”

The changes being made to the plant include installing a new wastewater treatment plant and implementation of structural repairs and renovations. The upgrades will improve employee safety, enhance environmental performance and ensure the long-term sustainability of the facility.

Completion of the upgrade will extend to about Q2 2014, at which time the company anticipates that the Monessen facility will employ a workforce of approximately 180 permanent positions.

ArcelorMittal acquired the Monessen coke plant in October 2008 from Koppers Inc. for $160 million, and is one of three coke production facilities that ArcelorMittal operates in the United States. It has been idled since May 2009, even through the plant, located on 45 sprawling acres in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, is capable of producing approximately 370,000 tons of metallurgical coke per year.

Chinese Furniture Assembler to Create 300 Jobs in Danville, VA

Chinese furniture assembler GOK International announced that it will open a sales and North American headquarters office in Danville, Virginia, along with an assembly and showroom facility in Ringgold, Virginia.

Danville, VA economic development

Danville, VA economic development (Photo –

GOK is making a capital investment of $12.5 million and has committed to employing 300 people within the next three years. They will begin hiring in early 2013 and the average wages for the jobs created will be $30,000.

“We have a very good relationship with Pittsylvania County and Danville, which is important for us in reaching a decision to make our first investment in the United States,” said GOK International president Kevin Liao. “The plant’s location is only an hour and fifteen minutes from the vast furniture markets of High Point.”

Also, the Tobacco Commission may have helped tilt the scales with a fat grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund.

“The Tobacco Commission is all about improving the economy of the regions that it serves,” said delegate Danny Marshall, also a member of the Tobacco Commission. “This project is one which the Commission was able to support with a $1,000,000 grant from its Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, and it is just the kind of project that we need in our community to improve our local economy.”

GOK International will specialize in office, hotel, and institutional furniture. The move towards establishing an assembly plant and sales operations in the U.S. comes after the government placed import duties on Chinese furniture under anti-dumping laws.

The tax made it unfeasible to bring in pre-assembled furniture from China. GOK International will now be shipping furniture components to the U.S. for final assembly to bypass the high import duty.

GOK will be housing its assembly plant in the 40,000 square foot Cane Creek Shell Building in Ringgold, VA.The shell building was built by Quality Construction in partnership with the Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA), after RIFA purchased the land. The Danville Industrial Development Authority is now purchasing the building and leasing it to GOK.

The complicated series of real estate maneuvers are a bit unseemly for an ED agency, but if the end result is $12.5 million in foreign direct investments and 300 new jobs for Danville and Virginia, then it should all end well.

“I have met Kevin and his team over dinner, and can say that we have a first class company coming to the region,” said Mayor Sherman Saunders, who is also chairman of RIFA. “I am delighted that we can accommodate both their headquarters and assembly space in the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County, which demonstrates the importance of working together as a team under the auspices of RIFA.”

Software Company TCS Adds 150 Jobs in Bloomington, MN

India-based IT company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will be adding 150 high-tech jobs to expand its operations to a new office complex in Bloomington, Minnesota.


Photo – TCS_News@yfrog

The expansion comes as a result of an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) which has awarded a $500,000 loan to TCS.

In return, the company will create 150 tech jobs paying an average wage of $27 per hour. Once all the promised jobs are created, half of the $500,000 loan will be forgiven.

“We are very excited and deeply grateful that Tata Consultancy Services has decided to expand its operations in Minnesota,” said MN Gov. Mark Dayton. “The company will become a very important employer inBloomington, and we look forward to assisting its continued success and growth in Minnesota.”

All put together, TCS will have 300 employees in their new location at the 8300 Tower of the Normandale Lake Office Park, where they are signing a long-term lease for 50,000 square feet of office space on the sixth and seventh floors.

The 300 strong workforce will include the new workers as well as employees who will move from offices elsewhere in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

“TCS is a rapidly expanding information technology company that is an excellent fit for the Twin Cities market,‚Äù said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. ‚ÄúMany of the company‚Äôs corporate customers are already here, and the region has a strong technology workforce.‚Äù

“We are pleased that Tata is choosing to expand in the Greater MSP region. The decision to add 150 high-tech jobs in our region is recognition of our world-class workforce and the growing demand for Tata services by the major companies here,” said Michael Langley, CEO of the Greater MSP regional economic development group.

Tata Consultancy Services, which was established in 1968, has 243,000 employees in 42 countries, and generated a net profit of $2.2 billion last year on revenues totaling $10.17 billion. TCS has 18 offices in the U.S., including the one in Bloomington, Minnesota.

“The decision to open a new TCS facility in the Minneapolis region is part of our company’s on-going commitment to grow our presence in each and every market we serve,” said N Chandrasekaran, TCS’ CEO and managing director. “Over the past few years, Minnesota has put an emphasis on technological innovation that aligns with TCS’ breadth of industry expertise, innovative engineering strength and commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions, and will only enhance the scope and scale of our customer offerings in North America.”

Air USA Moves Corporate HQ From Illinois to Albuquerque

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez was joined by Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela and officials from Air USA to announce that Air USA is relocating its corporate headquarters from Quincy, Illinois to Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Photo – Air USA

Air USA is a government contractor that provides tactical aircraft services to U. S. defense agencies, contractors and NATO allies.

Air USA will be filling 200 new jobs in Albuquerque, most of which are expected to be filled by U.S.military veterans.

“We welcome not only the 200 direct jobs that will be created as a result of their corporate headquarters moving to Albuquerque, but we also anticipate important economic benefit from hosting numerous out of state military units that will be traveling to New Mexico throughout the year to train with Air USA’s fleet of foreign fighter aircraft,” said Governor Martinez.

“Aerospace companies like Air USA help enhance the use of New Mexico military bases, provide opportunities for military veterans and bring high-wage jobs to the state,” said Economic Development Secretary Barela.

Air USA has its own fleet of fighter jets that are used for training purposes. Customers get a turn key operation including aircraft, pilots, maintenance, ordnance and support equipment.

As such, most of the new jobs that are being created will be jobs that require fulfilling some function associated with operating and maintaining a fighter squadron. Over the next three years Air USA will be seeking additional qualified pilots, crew chiefs, avionics men, weapons loaders, munitions handlers, and life support personnel.

“We are pleased to make New Mexico the new home of Air USA,” said Don Kirlin, Air USA founder and president. “New Mexico has a significant veteran population and a local, skilled workforce in Albuquerque that understands fighter aircraft operations, and we believe that our proximity to local training ranges and flight test ranges will help us support our customer base and lead to further growth for our company.”

Colorado Offers Woodward $7.3M Tax Credits to Save 1000 Jobs

Fort Collins, Colorado-based Woodward Inc. has won approval for $7.3 million in state tax credits. The offer was made by the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC) to try and save 1,000 jobs at the company’s headquarters and the huge impact the energy and aerospace company has on the Northern Colorado economy.

Woodward Inc.

Photo – Woodward Inc.

Woodward wants to move its headquarters out of the current Drake Road location in Fort Collins. They have been looking at sites in Illinois, Wisconsin and California, along with four sites in Northern Colorado.

Last month, Woodward chose Loves Park, Illinois for a new $200 million aerospace manufacturing plant and offices.

They chose the Illinois site after a year long site selection process, wherein sites in Wisconsin and South Carolina were also under consideration. Woodward did not consider any of their existing sites in Northern Colorado for the $200 million aerospace plant.

Illinois Gov. Quinn personally courted the aerospace plant expansion, meeting with Woodward’s CEO and touring the company’s existing facilities in Loves Park, where Woodward already has a significant presence with 1,500 employees. The new plant will add another 660 jobs and they plan to double their workforce in Loves Park in this decade.

Woodward’s Fort Collins headquarters and operations mostly deal with the energy side of their business. There are 971 jobs at stake in Fort Collins, with an average $76,000 in annual wages.

“They’re a primary employer for the region,” said Walt Elish, CEO of Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp (NCEDC). “The direct and indirect impact they have on this whole Northern Colorado region is significant.”

The tax credits approved by the Colorado EDC have been granted to Woodward under the state’s “Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit” program, which offers incentives to companies with high-paying jobs from moving elsewhere. Recipients start getting the credits after the jobs have been in place for a year. In this case, Woodward will start getting the credits a year from now if they do not move their headquarters out of Fort Collins in the interim.

To get the $200 million aerospace plant, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) offered Woodward corporate income tax credits potentially valued at $45 million, in addition to a $3 million grant for site improvement and half a million in training funds. Remains to be seen if they top Colorado‘s $7.3 million offer to try and lure Woodward’s headquarters out ofFort Collins.

Ford to Add 1200 Jobs at Flat Rock, MI Plant

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) made a lot of people very happy in Flat Rock, Michigan when it took over management of the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and announced the addition of 1,200 new jobs and $555 million in new investments for manufacturing the new Ford Fusion midsize sedan in the U.S.

Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant

Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant (Photo –

The plant, formerly known as AutoAlliance International, was until now a joint venture between Ford and Mazda.

Ford has now taken over complete management control, although the plant remains under the ownership of the joint venture.

Production of the Mazda6 at the plant has been terminated and moved by Mazda back to Japan. Instead, Ford is bringing in production of the Ford Fusion, which is currently mostly being assembled in Mexico.

The Flat Rock plant already has an assembly line working on the Ford Mustang. In addition to adding a second shift with 1,200 new hourly jobs tied to Fusion production, Ford also is investing $555 million to build a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop capable of producing multiple vehicles.

“By fully incorporating Flat Rock Assembly into our manufacturing system, we are able to take advantage of internal efficiencies that will streamline our ability to produce vehicles,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford vice president of North America Manufacturing.

Tetreault added that if Ford needs to look at plants for a new vehicle in the future, Flat Rock will be in the running because of the flexibility that is being built into the facility.

“The new Flat Rock Assembly Plant symbolizes the growth driven by our One Ford plan,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.

Ford expects the midsize sedan segment, which totaled 2.1 million vehicles in 2011, to continue growing. Fusion’s share of the segment has doubled to 12 percent since it was introduced, and the car has set sales records in five of the first seven months of this year.

The 2013 Ford Fusion goes on sale in the fall, with orders being fulfilled by the Mexico plant. The second shift in the plant at Flat Rock, Michigan with 1,200 new jobs will be operational by June next year.

NYC Healthcare Facility And Nursing School To Create 830 Jobs

NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced a plan to build two new state-of-the-art science and medical facilities on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Mayor Bloomberg announcing new MSKCC Healthcare Facility and CUNY Nursing School

Mayor Bloomberg announcing new MSKCC Healthcare Facility and CUNY Nursing School (Photo – Edward Reed/ NYC Mayor’s Office)

The joint announcement was made by Mayor Bloomberg along with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), and the City University of New York (CUNY).

Under the terms of the agreement, the City will sell a 66,000 sq ft property for $215 million.

MSKCC will construct a 750,000 sq ft cancer care facility that will allow for the development of innovative outpatient treatment programs.

For its part, CUNY Hunter College will build a 336,000 sq ft Science and Health Professions building to upgrade its science and nursing facilities.

“Thanks to our innovative approach to economic development, today’s announcement is yet another step towards making New York City home to the world’s most talented workforce,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Not only will these two great institutions play a critical role in creating great jobs in one of the city’s growing industries, but they usher in the innovators and medical advancements of tomorrow.”

As per an analysis provided by NYCEDC, the project will create 830 permanent jobs and 3,200 construction jobs. Apart from that, there’s also the fact that a prime property in Manhattan that until recently was being used as a garage by the sanitation department will now be a magnet for business, education, health care, research and high paying jobs.

“These projects will be economic engines in and of themselves, generating thousands of construction and permanent jobs, while also helping us to overcome some of the major challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century and building a stronger and more diverse economy for our City’s future,” said NYCEDC president Seth W. Pinsky.

It’s a win-win deal for everyone, except perhaps the current neighbors of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, who will soon find their next-door nursing school being converted into a permanent home for sanitation refuse.

Under the terms of the agreement, the current home of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at CUNY’s Brookdale campus will be vacated and ownership will revert to the City of New York. The City will then initiate a public planning process to redevelop the site with a public space, residential developments and the sanitation garage that got shunted out from the property for which the City just got $215 million.

“The Department of Sanitation is pleased to be a part of this unique economic development plan that will enhance medical care, create jobs and very importantly help my Department find a permanent home for essential Sanitation refuse and recycling collection, snow removal and street cleaning services for the east side of Manhattan,” said New York City Sanitation commissioner John J. Doherty.

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