Job Creation

Fort Worth Considers Economic Development Grants For Nestle Subsidiary Galderma

At its next meeting, the City Council of Fort Worth, TX will consider a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute an economic development program agreement with Galderma Laboratories, L.P.


Cetaphil (photo – earthlydelights/flickr)

Subject to successful negotiations for Fort Worth economic development incentives and approval of state incentives, Galderma plans to invest $13.8 million for an expansion of its operations in Fort Worth.

Galderma Laboratories is an international manufacturer of dermatological products, including the Cetaphil line of skin care products.

The company’s U.S. headquarters is located in Fort Worth. Apart from the Fort Worth site at the northeast corner of Texas Longhorn Way and Heritage Parkway, the company is also considering an out-of-state site for the expansion.

As part of the project, Galderma plans to invest $11.25 million to construct a new 100,000 square feet medical products facility in Fort Worth to house its employees handling training, marketing, sales medical and regulatory affairs. They will also invest another $2.5 million in business personal property.

As part of the agreement, Galderma will create 40 new full-time jobs by Dec 31, 2016, and increase the total number of new jobs created to 302 by Dec 31, 2020. Galderma will also retain its 280 existing full-time employees in Fort Worth, adding up to total employment of 622 that it will have to maintain throughout the 10-year agreement period.

The average annual salary of these jobs will have be a minimum of $110,000 in order for the company to qualify for the annual Fort Worth economic development grants it might be approved to receive for this project.

Additional benefits from the project include a minimum of 25 percent of the construction costs and at least $250,000 of annual discretionary service and supply expenditures to go to Fort Worth certified MWBE contractors. Galderma must also fill 25 percent of the FTE jobs with Fort Worth residents, and a minimum of 10 percent of all FTEs with Fort Worth Central City residents.

In return, the company will be eligible to receive 10 annual Fort Worth economic development grants equivalent to a maximum of 50 percent of the incremental real property tax revenues and personal property tax revenues generated by the expansion. The total incentive value of the 10 annual grants is estimated to be around $600,000.

Galderma Laboratories, L.P. is a part of Lausanne, Switzerland-based Galderma S.A. The company, which was founded in 1981 as a joint venture between L’Oreal & Nestle, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestle.

Ohio Approves Economic Development Assistance For Projects Creating 4000 Jobs

At its latest meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) approved state assistance for 14 economic development proposals that are expected to create a combined total of 3.977 jobs and retain 935 jobs across Ohio.

Ohio jobs

Ohio jobs (photo – americaspower/flickr)

The Ohio economic development incentives for these 14 projects are expected to spur $293 million in investments statewide, and the jobs being created will result in more than $136 million in new payroll.

The Columbus region economic development projects approved to receive state assistance include expansions by MBA Focus, LLC; Middle West Spirits, LLC; and Saama Technologies, Inc.

Saama Technologies is a Silicon Valley-based big data solutions and services company that is expanding its operations in the City of Worthington, OH. The company plans to create 90 full-time jobs in data analytics as part of the expansion, in the process generating $7.2 million in additional annual payroll. The Ohio TCA has approved a 55 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) for this project.

Over the next three years, Saama plans to significantly expand its Columbus Region presence with the addition of hundreds of new jobs. Saama Technologies CEO Suresh Katta said in a release that the Columbus Region’s growing reputation as an analytics hub, evidenced by a number of corporate initiatives, and its easy access to multiple East Coast cities, were key factors in their expansion location decision.

Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer of regional economic development organization Columbus 2020, said in the release that they’re proud that Saama has chosen the Columbus Region to grow high-quality technology jobs. McDonald added that the area continues to grow as a critical hub of data analytics innovators.

Ted Griffith, Managing Director, Information Technology Sectors, JobsOhio added that this significant jobs commitment by a well known, Silicon Valley-based company is a testament to what Ohio and the Columbus Region can offer the data analytics industry.

Middle West Spirits, LLC, a fast growing distillery in Columbus known for its variety of artisan spirits including whiskey, vodka and bourbon, is investing $3.1 million to expand its production facility, open a 23,000-square-foot warehouse, and add 25 employees and $950,000 in additional annual payroll to the five-person team it has now. The company is getting a 35 percent, six-year JCTC for this project.

MBA Focus, LLC, a graduate recruitment management technology and career service software company, is expanding its operations in Dublin, OH. The company is investing $200,000 and adding more than 25 new jobs with $1.1 million in additional annual payroll, doubling its existing team of 27 employees. MBA Focus has been approved to receive a 40 percent, five-year JCTC for this project.

The TCA also approved a 75 percent, 15-year JCTC for Amazon’s new project in Etna Township and the Village of Obetz that will create 2,000 full-time positions, generating $60 million in annual payroll.

Barclays Services LLC was approved for a 70 percent, seven-year JCTC for a new call center project in the state that will create 1,500 full-time positions with $49.9 million in annual payroll at a location that is yet to be determined.

Auburn, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Attract Mercedes-Benz Supplier Schmidt

German manufacturer Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH is building its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Auburn, AL.

Schmidt Automotive

Schmidt Automotive (photo –

Supported by the City of Auburn Economic Development Department, Alabama Dept. Of Commerce, and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Schmidt is investing $17 million in Auburn and will create 50 new well-paying jobs.

Headquartered in Westhausen-Lippach in South Germany, Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH already has nearly 200 employees located at two production plants, including one at their headquarters site and the other one in Eberswalde in north-east Germany.

Starting next year in February, the new Schmidt Automotive USA facility in Auburn will start producing engine components such as balance shafts and gear wheels for its clients, which includes Mercedes-Benz and other German car manufacturers.

Schmidt Automotive USA has already begun construction of a new factory building and office complex at the production site in Auburn.

Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH President Herbert Schmidt said in a release announcing the project that he is very grateful for the support that their company has received from the State of Alabama and the City of Auburn, making their decision for selecting their new home easy.

Governor Robert Bentley said in the release that this project reflects the strength of Alabama’s expanding auto sector and the capabilities of the state’s workforce. Gov. Bentley added that it also shows that Alabama is a perfect home for companies from around the world.

Schmidt Automotive USA will be hiring skilled machinists in Auburn, and they plan to send their new employees in Auburn to Germany for extensive training. The City of Auburn Economic Development Department’s workforce development section is assisting the company with their recruitment needs.

The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama worked closely with the Schmidt team as they considered different locations in the Southeast. EDPA President Bill Taylor said in the release that machining engine parts for Mercedes-Benz and other German car manufacturers is probably the most prestigious project in the automotive industry.

Taylor noted that companies like Schmidt are key to the success of any car manufacturer, and added that he congratulates Mr. Schmidt for selecting Auburn, Alabama.

Auburn Mayor Bill Ham Jr. likewise said that this announcement brings a great company and even more excellent jobs to Auburn, and added that they are extremely grateful for the support that the project has received from the Governor and his administration.

Start-UP NY Economic Development Program Draws 12 More Projects to New York State

The Start-UP NY economic development program, which makes business expansions and locations tax-free in designated areas associated with colleges and universities in New York State, has got itself 12 more participants.

Start-UP NY

Start-UP NY (photo –

These 12 new projects are expected to create a combined total of 385 new jobs and generate $7.3 million in investments over the next five years.

All told, the Start-UP NY program now includes 128 companies sponsored by 25 different colleges and universities statewide. Together, the sponsored projects of these 128 companies involve investments exceeding $180 million and the creation of 3,609 new jobs.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a release that “From Buffalo to Albany and down to Long Island, Start-UP NY is transforming the way companies look at doing business in New York State.”

The 12 new companies that are now participants in Start-UP NY are as follows:

University at Buffalo (245 jobs) – Bodhi Seven Corporation; Chronicle LifeSci America Corp.; Doolli, Inc.; Enhanced Pharmacodynamics, LLC; and Postprocess Technologies, LLC.

New York University (47 jobs) – Avanan Inc.; and Geometric Intelligence.

SUNY Downstate (40 jobs) – Urgent Consult, Inc.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute (29 jobs) – Glauconix, Inc.; and NANO DX, Inc.

SUNY Oswego (19 jobs) – Designer Hardwood Flooring CNY, Inc.

Stony Brook University (five jobs) – PhD Skin Care, LLC

Many of these are out of state businesses and startups that may not have located to New York State in the absence of the benefits provided by Start-UP NY. For example, Chronicle LifeSci America Corp. is a newly formed U.S. corporation whose parent is headquartered in Canada. The company is launching a mobile web portal for U.S. and international physicians. Chronicle LifeSci America Corp is locating to the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics in Buffalo, and will invest $80,000 and create five new jobs.

Similarly, NANO DX, Inc. is a newly formed biotechnology company that was established as a spinoff out of Massachusetts-based Nuclea Biotechnologies, Inc. The company is working on developing, producing and selling microchips and readers for use in proteomics-based cancer screening. NANO DX will locate to SUNY PI’s Nano Fab East building in Albany, with an investment of $265,000 and 15 new jobs.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said in the release that they are thrilled with this development and look forward to growing relationships between these new businesses and SUNY.

New York economic development agency Empire State Development’s President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky added that this announcement of 12 more companies joining Start-UP NY is yet another example of the positive impact this program is having on the state’s economy.

Vistakon Expansion Gets $98.6M Jacksonville and Florida Economic Development Incentives

The Jacksonville, FL-based research and manufacturing facility of Vistakon, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, is expanding once again.


Acuvue (photo – Toblerone/wikimedia)

Supported by a package of $98.6 million in State of Florida and Jacksonville economic development incentives, the company is investing $301 million and will create 100 new jobs. These are jobs with an average annual wage of $60,000, plus benefits of $30,000.

This is Vistakon’s second major expansion in the region in recent years, bringing their total investment in the last three years at the site to $500 million. The company now has a workforce of 3,400, out of which 2,000 are located at their state-of-the-art campus in Jacksonville.

This latest investment includes the addition of five new production lines and a tank farm that will support the design and development of new products, making Jacksonville the site for all their new product launches.

Governor Rick Scott said in a release announcing the expansion that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care chose Florida for this expansion out of any other place in the country, and added that he looks forward to even more announcements like this as companies realize Florida is the best place to do business.

The project was secured through close partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the City of Jacksonville, the JAXUSA Partnership, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and CareerSource Florida.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has been offered a $98.6 million package of state and local incentives. The State of Florida is providing an estimated $90.3 million in tax credits over a 20-year period, plus a $1 million High Impact Performance Incentive, and another $150,000 in Quick Response Training funds from CareerSource Florida.

Jacksonville economic development incentives for the project are being provided in the form of a Recapture Enhanced Value (REV) grant of up to $7.1 million, payable over seven years. This is equal to 50 percent of county ad valorem taxes on the value of the new real and personal property for the first six years, and 25 percent of the additional value for the seventh year.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in the release that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is an example of a great partnership between the State of Florida, the City of Jacksonville and the private sector.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, now headquartered in Jacksonville, was founded in 1959 in Buffalo, NY as Frontier Contact Lenses. The company later moved to Jacksonville, was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1981 and renamed as Vistakon. They introduced ACUVUE brand contact lenses in 1987, and it soon became the world’s top selling contact lens. The company now sells disposable contact lenses in more than 96 countries, and the Jacksonville plant makes about 1.7 billion of them every year.

Columbus, OH Considers Economic Development Tax Incentives For Pointe at Polaris Project

N.P. Limited Partnership, the developer of the Polaris Centers of Commerce development in north Columbus, OH, is seeking Columbus economic development tax incentives for a new project adjacent to the original Polaris development.

NP Pointe at Polaris investment

NP Pointe at Polaris investment (data

Polaris Centers of Commerce is a mixed-use development covering approximately 1,200 acres. Offering more than four million square feet of office space and over 3.6 million square feet of retail space, Polaris is the largest mixed-use development in Central Ohio, ideally located two miles north of I-270 as a gateway north of Columbus.

N.P. Limited’s new Pointe at Polaris is an $86.8 million dollar project consisting of commercial office space, multi-family residential units, a hotel and parking garages located east of the Polaris Centers of Commerce. This includes a $15,045,000 investment to construct approximately 177,000 square feet of commercial office space on two parcels of land adjacent to the Polaris Centers of Commerce.

Upon full build-out over a five-year period, businesses locating in this commercial space will bring 885 permanent full-time positions to the project, of which 708 will be new jobs being created for the City of Columbus with an average annual salary of $64,250, generating a total annual payroll of approximately $45.5 million. Another 177 full-time jobs with a total annual payroll of approximately $11.4 million will be jobs being relocated to Pointe at Polaris from other parts of Columbus.

N.P. Limited is seeking a Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement of 100 percent from the City of Columbus for a period of ten years. During this 10-year period, the tax revenue (unabated) from the project amounts to more than $14.84 million, including $3,467,919 in new real property taxes, and $11,372,250 in new municipal income tax revenue.

The incentives, if approved, would only apply to the commercial space within the project. If the tax abatement is approved, N.P. Limited could get tax savings of approximately $3,467,919 for the real property taxes associated with the project over the first ten years. The City of Columbus Department of Development has already recommended approval of these economic development tax incentives for the project.

Subject to the Columbus City Council’s approval of the same, N.P. Limited Partnership will begin work on the project later this year, and expects to complete it by Oct 2019. They plan to implement green practices to make the project environment-friendly right from design to construction and operation.

First Five Connecticut Economic Development Program Attracts Synchrony Financial Expansion

Consumer financial services company Synchrony Financial is expanding its operations in Connecticut to add 200 to 400 new full-time jobs in the state while retaining 310 jobs.

Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial (photo

Synchrony Financial is the latest in a string of companies to take advantage of the First Five Connecticut economic development program, under which the company could get as much as $20 million in grants based on its job creation and retention plans.

The First Five program, signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on July 8, 2011, was designed to attract new companies to Connecticut, retain existing businesses and their job levels, and encourage expansions.

The First Five program offers select companies approved by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) a package of incentives for creating at least 200 new full-time jobs. In addition to the incentives for the first 200 jobs, participants continue to get tax credits for each net new job created after that.

Companies that are already participants in the First Five Program include Cigna, ESPN, NBC Sports, Alexion, CareCentrix, Deloitte, Bridgewater, Charter Communications, Sustainable Building Systems, Navigators, and PitneyBowes.

Synchrony Financial now joins this list and stands to get up to $20 million, including $10 million for the first 200 jobs they create in Connecticut.

Synchrony Financial president and CEO Margaret Keane said in a release that “We are pleased to participate in the First Five program to maintain our strong presence in Connecticut and continue to invest in the community by creating professional job opportunities.”

Gov. Malloy said in the release that this announcement that a financial services and technology innovation leader is adding hundreds of new jobs in the state demonstrates that Connecticut is moving forward.

DECD commissioner Catherine Smith added that this new partnership between the state and Synchrony Financial will result in hundreds of new jobs and substantial new capital investment, which is a great economic development boost for the region.

By getting the company, which is headquartered in Stamford, CT, to participate in the First Five economic development program, Connecticut has also effectively ensured the retention of Synchrony Financial’s headquarters and existing jobs for many more years.

This announcement comes on the same day that the company cut the ribbon and officially opened its new Charlotte, NC office building in the Ballantyne Corporate Park. Their Charlotte location has almost 400 employees, and the new Class A office building has been built for growth to accommodate about 1,000 employees across their various divisions. Synchrony Financial has plans to grow its workforce in the Charlotte area, and has already started hiring.

Kurt Grossheim, executive vice president and COO, Synchrony Financial, said in a release that “We’re proud to call Charlotte home to one of our key sites, and have plans to be here for many years to come.”

Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), formerly GE Capital Retail Finance, was spun out of GE Capital as a separate company in July 2014, and raised $2.88 billion in its IPO. Their products include private label credit cards, promotional financing and installment lending, loyalty programs and savings products.The company has 11,000 employees managing 60 million customer accounts and $35 billion in deposits, and handled $103 billion in financed sales last year.

CSM Bakery Solutions Consolidates Global HQ in Sandy Springs, GA

CSM Bakery Solutions, an international leader in the baking industry, announced plans to consolidate its global headquarters operations in the city of Sandy Springs in Fulton County, GA.

Sandy Springs, GA

Sandy Springs, GA (photo -Maksim Sundukov/wikipedia)

State of Georgia and Sandy Springs economic development support for the project helped the company make the decision to invest $5.5 million to move its global headquarters to Sandy Springs and consolidate several regional functions into a single location.

The establishment of their global headquarters in Sandy Springs will include the creation of 120 new jobs for Sandy Springs and Fulton County. For Georgia, CSM’s move into the region represents more than 800 jobs.

CSM offers a broad portfolio of bakery ingredients, finished products and services to customers in more than 100 countries through their global network of 34 manufacturing facilities and 26 distribution centers, and four innovation centers of excellence. CSM’s global workforce now exceeds more than 8,500.

The new facility in Sandy Springs will also include a Customer Experience Center where CSM will showcase its culinary expertise and many of its products and solutions.

In a release announcing the relocation and consolidation, Governor Nathan Deal said that “I am confident that CSM Bakery Solutions will benefit from relocating its global headquarters to our state and provide yet another case in point for other companies to emulate.”

CSM President and CEO Robert Sharpe said in the release that they are very grateful to the state of Georgia and the city of Sandy Springs for their collective efforts and generosity in helping to bring CSM Bakery Solutions’ global headquarters to the Atlanta area.

Sharpe said that factors that were critical to their decision included the transportation infrastructure in the area, the schools, cost and quality of housing, and business-friendly atmosphere, all of which he said were in support of their multicultural workforce.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) worked with the city of Sandy Springs, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Georgia Power to secure the project for the state and Sandy Springs.

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul noted that moving a company’s headquarters is not a simple undertaking, and added that they appreciate the confidence CSM Bakery Solutions has in both the state of Georgia and the city of Sandy Springs to provide the ingredients needed to connect with its customers and build long-term growth.

Metro Atlanta Chamber’s COO and Executive Vice President Brian P. McGowan, who previously led Atlanta economic development organization Invest Atlanta, said in the release that they are thrilled that CSM Bakery Solutions has selected Atlanta for its global headquarters.

GeoDigital Relocates North American Headquarters to Atlanta

3D Mapping and spatial data analytics company GeoDigital International Inc. announced plans to relocate its North American headquarters to new office space in Atlanta, GA.


Geodigital (photo –

Supported by Georgia and Atlanta economic development organizations, the company is relocating its North American headquarters operations from Ottawa in Ontario, Canada to an 11,200-square-foot state-of-the-art office space in Atlanta’s Atlantic Station.

As part of the expansion, GeoDigital will bring approximately 50 new high-tech jobs to Atlanta and Fulton County. The company plans to work with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Kennesaw State University to create apprenticeship programs for filling the new positions being created at its Atlanta location.

Using HD imagery and precision remote sensing and imaging technologies such as LiDAR, GeoDigital is creating detailed 3D maps of the entire North American highway system, and is a leading tech company at the moment in the self-driving vehicle industry. The company provides services to several Tier 1 automotive suppliers as well as a major automaker.

Their technology for digitizing vegetation management also has applications in the utility sector, helping utility companies better predict and respond to areas that are at risk of causing outages and informing crews while keeping them safer.

Chris Warrington, president and CEO of GeoDigital, said in a release announcing the relocation that given their growth and the tremendous market potential for GeoDigital’s big spatial data and analytics software, they simply got to the point where they needed greater access to high-tech talent and international travel routes.

Atlanta, said Warrington, meets both of those needs, and added that it was equally important that the region will be a great place to live and work for their team.

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Chris Carr said in the release that Georgia is a hub for headquarter relocations, especially for technology companies. Commissioner Carr noted that since the beginning of this fiscal year, they have announced ten corporate headquarter relocations and more than 4,200 technology jobs in Georgia.

GDEcD worked to secure this project in partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Georgia Power. Brian P. McGowan, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, said in the release that GeoDigital’s headquarters relocation speaks to the talent, innovation and growth coming out of the technology ecosystem in metro Atlanta.

GeoDigital International Inc., founded in 2005, has operations in the United States, Canada and Australia. Apart from the new Atlantic Station North American headquarters in Atlanta, the company also has U.S. operations located in Lompoc, CA and Minneapolis, MN. Their Canadian offices are located in Ottawa, ON and Victoria, BC, and their Australian office is in Sydney.

Brevard County, FL Considers Economic Development Tax Exemption For Battery Maker

At its next meeting, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to consider a request for an economic development tax exemption for an expansion by lithium battery manufacturer Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Corp in Palm Bay, FL.

Oakridge battery project in Brevard County

Oakridge battery project in Brevard County (photo –

Supported by Brevard County and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, the company plans to make $270 million in new capital investments for a new corporate headquarters and expanded manufacturing operations.

As part of the expansion, Oakridge will create 1,000 new jobs in Palm Bay and Brevard County with an average wage of $50,075. This is a huge expansion, considering that the Melbourne, FL-based Oakridge Global Energy Solutions was founded in 1986 and has 25 employees at the moment.

The company’s current operations include a 50,500-square-foot manufacturing facility in Melbourne, and a 12,000-square-foot advanced engineering and small format center close to it.

In documents submitted to the Board of County Commissioners, the company says that Brevard County was selected as the site for their corporate headquarters and expanded manufacturing location out of a pool of other potential sites due to its skilled labor pool, central location, availability of local suppliers, and availability of shipping ports to service international customers.

The company is now considering adding a 230,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 2755 Kirby Circle in Palm Bay and another 68,000-square-foot facility at 3250 Dixie Highway in Palm Bay as their new corporate headquarters and R&D center location. Coupled with their existing space, Oakridge will then have nearly 350,000 square feet of manufacturing, R&D, and office space in Brevard County.

The company will at the same time be steadily increasing its workforce from 25 to 1,000 by the end of 2018. Oakridge’s subsequent growth plans are just as impressive. They expect to need an additional 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity and grow their workforce to about 1,800 to 2,500 full-time workers by the end of 2020.

All of this is contingent upon Brevard County’s approval of the tax exemption. The company says it has existing facilities in Nevada and Utah, and is willing to consider moving its additional Florida generated business to these facilities if the tax abatement is not granted.

The Space Coast EDC has recommended to the County Commissioners that Oakridge Global Energy Solutions be provided an abatement of 80 percent for eight years. At 80 percent, the amount of the annual tax abatement will be approximately $1,118,578.

After studying an economic impact analysis report of the project submitted by the EDC, the county’s Ad Valorem Tax Abatement Council met a few days ago, and has already made the recommendation of 80 percent abatement for eight years for Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Corp.

The approval of this proposed tax abatement by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners will close the deal on what is likely to grow into one of the largest Brevard and Palm Bay economic development projects in recent history.

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