Job Creation

Bloomington, Indiana Economic Development Incentives Secure Cook Group Expansion

Contract development and manufacturing organization Cook Pharmica, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cook Group, announced plans for an expansion of its operations in Bloomington, IN.

Bloomington, IN

Bloomington, IN (photo – pasa47/flickr)

Supported by state incentives approved by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and a tax abatement from the City of Bloomington, the company will invest $28 million to renovate and equip its manufacturing facility in Bloomington serving the biopharmaceutical industry.

As part of the expansion, the company plans to create 70 new jobs at the facility by 2020. Cook Pharmica already has 575 associates, and the Bloomington, IN-based Cook Group has more than 13,000 employees worldwide.

Governor Mike Pence said in the release announcing the project that “With a $59 billion economic impact in Indiana, the strength of our life sciences industry has a tremendous effect throughout the state.”

According to BioCrossroads, Indiana has more than 1,700 life science companies that employ over 56,000 people in Indiana and generate a $59 billion economic impact in the state. Cook is one of the biggest of these companies, with subsidiaries like Cook Pharmica and Cook Medical, which is the world’s largest privately-held medical device manufacturer.

Cook Pharmica President Tedd Green said in the release that Cook was founded in Bloomington more than a half century ago, and they are thrilled to continue the company’s deep connection with the state of Indiana and the city of Bloomington.

Green added that working with their partners at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the city of Bloomington, this expansion will continue Cook’s commitment to providing world-class biopharmaceutical manufacturing services to customers in Indiana and around the world.

In order to secure the project, the IEDC has offered Cook Pharmica, LLC a package of incentives that includes $400,000 in training grants tied to the company’s job creation plans, and up to $275,000 in performance-based tax credits.

The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation additionally requested the City of Bloomington to support the project through a tax abatement.

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan said in the release that Cook Pharmica is an economic force in Bloomington, attracting continued national and international recognition of their life sciences sector.

Mayor Kruzan noted that Cook Pharmica’s commitment to expansion in equipment, site improvements and workforce, coupled with the city’s support through the tax abatement for the project, will further solidify Bloomington’s appeal to a talented workforce, and attract additional private sector investment. The Mayor also added that this project would increase the awareness of Bloomington’s economic strengths internationally.

Iowa Economic Development Incentives for Projects Creating 194 Jobs, $81M Investment

The board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority has approved state assistance for seven projects that are creating a combined total of 194 new jobs and will bring $81 million in new capital investment for seven Iowa communities.

Story City, IA

Story City, IA (photo -Shadwell/wikipedia)

The largest state incentive award in the lot goes to a project by American Packaging Corporation, adding to Story City economic development assistance being provided for a major expansion.

American Packaging Corp, a flexible packaging converter, is investing $44.4 million at its Story City operations for a 96,300-square-foot building addition, two new printing presses and other ancillary equipment.

The expansion will create 94 new jobs with a qualifying wage of $23.21 per hour. The company already has 650 employees, out of which 176 are located at its Story City facility.

In order to support American Packaging Corp’s investment and job creation plans, the IEDA board has approved a $470,000 forgivable loan for the project, along with up to $727,503 in tax benefits under the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP). Story City will provide local economic development incentives for the project in the form of tax breaks and a 20 percent matching award against the state HQJP award.

The other major set of projects on the IEDA agenda includes expansions by natural and organic products company Frontier Co-op at three of its Iowa facilities in Benton County, Urbana and Belle Plaine.

In Norway, Benton County, the company is investing $8.4 million and creating 23 new jobs to add a new bottling line and renovate their food and flavorings facility. The IEDA board approved $82,500 in state loans for this project, along with HQJP tax benefits. The project is also getting Benton County economic development assistance in the form of a zero-interest loan.

In Urbana, the company is planning to invest $4.4 million to add temperature-controlled space to their existing production and warehousing facility for storing essential oils and related aromatherapy products. The IEDA approved HQJP tax benefits for the creation of six jobs by Frontier in Urbana. In Belle Paine, the company will invest $2.8 million and create 16 jobs for buying a new building to be used as a warehouse and distribution center.

The other three projects for which the Iowa Economic Development Authority has approved state assistance are as follows:

Martin Brothers – This food service distributor is expanding its Cedar Falls, IA facility in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park to add 77,000 square feet of space for dry goods, refrigerated and frozen food. Martin Brothers plans to invest $16 million and will create 35 new jobs as part of the expansion. The company has been approved to receive HQJP tax benefits for job creation.

Probioferm LLC – This probiotic manufacturer is investing $1.9 million to bring its product packaging in-house at its facility in Urbandale, IA, and add more space for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. The expansion will create four new jobs, and Probioferm is getting HQJP tax benefits.

Creative Composites – This developer and manufacturer of specialty door cores is investing $2.9 million for an expansion of its manufacturing facility in Clarksville, IA. The company will create 16 new jobs as part of the expansion, and is getting an $18,000 forgivable loan and HQJP tax benefits.

Florida Governor’s Economic Development Trip to Philadelphia Brings Wilson Legal to Orlando

Wilson Legal Solutions, a provider of software and services that enhance law firm profitability and productivity, announced plans to open a new office in the Sand Lake Business Center in Orlando, FL.


Florida (photo – Julie, Dave & Family/flickr)

The Newtown Square, PA-based company’s decision to expand into Orlando follows their participation in an Enterprise Florida event earlier this year in January, followed by a meeting with Governor Rick Scott.

Gov. Scott led an economic development delegation to Philadelphia in February to meet with job creators and business leaders to discuss why they should move their business to Florida. The Governor also had a luncheon with site selectors who facilitate expansion and relocation opportunities.

In a release announcing Wilson Legal’s decision to open a new office in Orlando, Gov. Scott said that “After meeting with Wilson Legal Solutions on our economic development mission to Philadelphia earlier this year, we are excited that the company has decided to expand in Florida.”

Wilson Legal Solutions Managing Director and CEO Bruce Wilson said in the release that after attending the Enterprise Florida event and meeting with Gov. Scott, they felt Orlando was the best choice for their new office.

Wilson noted that Orlando is among the top 10 cities for job growth in the country and has a rapidly growing technology sector. Wilson added that they believe this location will provide them with access to strong talent as they continue to build their organization.

The Sand Lake building is ideally located in southwest Orlando, just minutes from the theme parks and offering lake views from the office suites. Wilson Legal’s new Orlando office in the Sand Lake Business Center will enable the firm to better serve its clients in the Southeastern United States.

Apart from its headquarters in the Philadelphia suburbs, Wilson Legal already has offices in New York City and Anaheim, CA, and also opened an office in London, U.K. last year. The team at their new Orlando office, led by Senior Director Shishir Shetty, will specialize in customizing and integrating Elite Enterprise and Elite 3E software and developing templates for Elite Design Gallery software.

Accompanying the Governor on the Florida economic development mission to Philadelphia in February were Enterprise Florida Bill Johnson, FL Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio; VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Will Seccombe; and FL Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

At that time, DEO Executive Director Panuccio said in a release that recruitment efforts like February’s business development mission play an important role in continuing Florida’s economic momentum.

RTP Tech Talent, NC Incentives Attract Interactive Intelligence Expansion in Durham

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ININ), a global provider of software and cloud services for customer engagement, unified communications and collaboration, is expanding its operations in Durham County, NC.

Interactive Intelligence

Interactive Intelligence (photo –

Supported by the NC Commerce Dept, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, NC Works, Durham County and the City of Durham, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, the company is investing $1.2 million and will create 200 new jobs in Durham in the next five years.

These are jobs with an average annual wage of $70,000, higher than Durham County’s average wage of $66,599. Interactive Intelligence already has more than 100 employees based in North Carolina, out of a total global workforce of more than 2,000.

Interactive Intelligence Founder and CEO Dr. Donald E. Brown said in a release announcing the project that they had the option of locating this effort anywhere in the world, but chose the Research Technology Park area because of the wealth of technical talent, the concentration of great universities, and the business-friendly environment.

Brown added that they intend to continue to rapidly grow our presence in the RTP area over the course of the next few years.

Governor Pat McCrory said in the release that “Nothing Compares to North Carolina’s IT workforce. This company knows it can find well qualified employees in the Triangle to stay on the cutting edge of technology.”

Secretary Skvarla noted that Interactive Intelligence is on the leading edge of cloud technology, making it a great fit in the high-tech Triangle region, and added that they’re excited the business chose to grow in North Carolina.

In order to secure the project, North Carolina economic development incentives have been offered to the company through the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. Based on their job creation plans, the company could save up to $1.6 million in the form of twelve annual reimbursements equal to 29 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs.

Another $55,000 from the JDIG award will go to the North Carolina Utility Fund for economic development in distressed counties. Whenever a JDIG award is made for a project in a relatively prosperous county such as Durham, the program requires a percentage of the award to be allocated for infrastructure projects in less prosperous counties in the state.

Indianapolis, IN-based Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. has more than 2,000 employees at more than 35 office locations worldwide. Assisted by approximately 400 resellers in 60 countries, the company has implemented more than 6,000 customer deployments in over 100 countries, and generated $341.3 million in revenue last year.

Topeka Economic development Partnership Secures Mars Chocolate Expansion

Mars Chocolate North America has broken ground on an expansion of its new plant in Topeka, KS which opened last year as the first new Mars Chocolate plant to be built in the last 35 years.

Mars Chocolate

Mars Chocolate (photo – 4nitsirk/flickr)

Supported by City of Topeka economic development incentives, the company is investing $100 million to add a new 90,000-square-foot facility to the plant.

As part of the expansion, Mars will create 70 new full-time permanent new manufacturing jobs at the facility with an average annual salary of $42,000.

The company’s total investment at the LEED Gold certified Mars Chocolate Topeka plant, which already has 200 employees producing a variety of M&M’S Brand Candies and SNICKERS Bars, now stands at $430 million.

Mars has a total of nine chocolate products manufacturing sites in the U.S. with over 3,500 associates who produce 95 percent of Mars Chocolate products sold in the U.S. All told, McLean, Virginia-based Mars more than 75,000 associates worldwide and generates net sales of more than $33 billion across its six business segments.

Mars Chocolate North America President Tracey Massey said in a release announcing the expansion that for over a century, Mars has been committed to making their products in the markets where they sell them.

Massey added that they are grateful for the warm welcome and continued support they have received from Topeka and the state of Kansas, and we are pleased to further invest in the community with additional job creation and economic development.

Governor Sam Brownback said in the release that “This additional investment does more than create new well-paying jobs for Kansans, it reflects Mars’ continuing commitment to growing its business in America’s heartland.”

At their meeting held a day before the Mars expansion announcement, the Topeka Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) unveiled Mars as the company behind the $100 million “Project Storm.” To support Mars’ expansion, JEDO’s package includes a 10-year property tax abatement, job creation and training incentives, and up to $260,000 in incentives for the company’s investment in building and equipment.

Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast said in the release that the city of Topeka is excited when existing companies like Mars Chocolate North America select the community to continue their growth and investment.

Scott Griffith, chairman of the board of directors of Topeka economic development partnership GO Topeka, said in the release that this expansion represents the continued partnership between Mars and the Topeka community. Griffith added that it showcases a key JEDO focus on bringing in additional employment and investment from existing businesses into the community.

Bradenton, Florida Economic Development Teams Attract Feld Motor Sports Division to Ellenton

Feld Entertainment Inc. has announced a relocation of its motor sports division to Ellenton, FL as part of its ongoing consolidation of operations in the Bradenton area.

Feld Entertainment

Feld Entertainment (photo

Supported by State of Florida, Manatee County and Bradenton economic development groups, the company is relocating its motor sports division from Illinois to Florida, and expects to create 200 new jobs for the Bradenton area over the next five years.

These will be jobs with an average annual wage of $72,000, which is twice the average wage in Manatee County.

Feld Entertainment previously relocated its global headquarters from Virginia to Ellenton in 2013, and already has 408 employees in the region located in 600,000 square feet of production space and corporate offices. The existing jobs are also good-paying jobs with an average wage of $82,800. Feld has exceeded its original job creation commitments for the global headquarters, both in terms of the number of jobs and wage levels, two years ahead of schedule.

Governor Rick Scott said in a release announcing the relocation that “We are excited to announce that Feld Entertainment is once again expanding in Florida and creating another 200 new job opportunities for Florida families.”

Casey Rodgers, Feld’s vice president of finance and strategic planning, said in the release that their Aurora, IL facility is custom-designed with room to grow, but the teamwork and support from the State of Florida, Manatee County and the Bradenton Area EDC encouraged them to take a harder look at locating the Motor Sports Division with other productions in Ellenton.

In order to secure the project, Feld has been offered more than $2 million in state and local incentives. This includes $2 million through the Qualified Targeted (QTI) Tax Refund program, with the State of Florida providing $1.12 million and Manatee County chipping in with $880,000.

Enterprise Florida President and CEO Bill Johnson said in the release that the state makes a very compelling case for industry leaders like Feld Entertainment to grow, and added that they’re thrilled to announce their most recent expansion.

The county may additionally provide a transportation impact fee refund of $54,847, subject to the company building out additional space for the motor sports division being relocated. Feld will also receive workforce training grants from CareerSource Florida through the Quick Response Training program.

Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said in the release that by judiciously applying economic development incentives, the county helps to expedite job creation and capital investment by companies like Feld Entertainment.

Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Sharon Hillstrom said in the release that as a global brand, Feld’s continued expansion further validates the Bradenton area’s viability as a location for businesses with international scope.

Apart from Feld Motor Sports, other well-known Feld Entertainment productions include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice, and Disney Live! Their productions have appeared in more than 75 countries, and 30 million people attend their shows each year.

DE-STA-CO Consolidation Plans Benefit Mount Juliet Economic Development

Global workholding and automation solutions company DE-STA-CO announced plans for consolidating several U.S. manufacturing operations to a new site in the Nashville suburbs in Mount Juliet, TN.


DE-STA-CO (photo

As part of this consolidation plan, the company will be phasing out manufacturing activities at its plants in Auburn Hills and Charlevoix, MI and Wheeling, IL.

For Wilson County and Mount Juliet economic development, the benefits from the consolidation include the creation of 245 new jobs.

The company said in a release that it selected the site at 210 Mundy Memorial Drive in Mount Juliet, TN as the location for their North American manufacturing facility based on a number of favorable conditions. Factors cited include the proximity of the location to their customers, along with improved shipping efficiencies, and an overall supportive business climate.

Governor Bill Haslam said in a release that this announcement is great news for Wilson County, and added that they want to thank DE-STA-CO for its decision to locate and create new jobs in Mount Juliet.

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said in the release that DE-STA-CO will be a great fit in Tennessee as it supports companies in the state’s thriving automotive, aerospace, and food and agribusiness sectors.

The consolidation of manufacturing operations from the Michigan and Illinois plants to the Mount Juliet facility will take place over the next 18-24 months. However, the company plans to maintain its Regional Americas and corporate offices in Auburn Hills, MI. Their customer service and engineering presence will likewise continue to operate from Auburn Hills, MI and Wheeling, IL, and their remote handling equipment business will stay in Red Wing, MN.

DE-STA-CO President Mats Ceder said in a release issued by the company that they intend to move forward in a thoughtful manner in order to minimize the impact on their dedicated DE-STA-CO employees, valued customers and suppliers.

Ceder noted that they have a proud history in each of the communities in which they operate, and have always sought to be an involved and responsible employer, and added that they are committed to treating impacted employees with respect.

DE-STA-CO, a subsidiary of Dover Corporation, is celebrating 100 years of innovation this year, having grown from a single stamping shop to a global leader providing cost-saving manufacturing productivity solutions. The company now has operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain, and Thailand providing solutions to customers all over the world.

GM Announces $1.4B Investment in Arlington, TX Assembly Plant

General Motors announced plans for a $1.4 billion investment at its Arlington Assembly Plant in Arlington, TX for a range of improvements that will enable the plant to more competitively produce full-size SUVs.

GM Arlington, TX plant investment

GM Arlington, TX plant investment (press photo – © General Motors)

The investment, supported by Arlington economic development incentives in the form of a tax abatement, includes 1.2 million square feet of plant expansion with the addition of a new paint shop, body shop and general assembly area upgrades.

The expansion will raise the total minimum number of employees at the Arlington plant to 3,179. This investment is part of an ongoing $5.4 billion investment plan by GM for its U.S. manufacturing facilities over the next three years.

This $1.4 billion investment in Arlington is the single largest plant investment announced by GM this year. Including other recently announced investments, GM has already identified $4.5 billion in U.S. plant investments.

GM is also one of the largest employers in Arlington and North Texas. Since 2011, the company has invested nearly $2 billion at the Arlington Assembly Plant, including this latest announcement.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said in a release announcing the investment that the city of Arlington has benefited tremendously from the strong business and foundational support from GM. Mayor Williams added that this new investment in Arlington solidifies its continued stewardship and commitment to the community.

The General Motors Arlington Assembly Plant opened in Jan 1954, providing employment to 1,850 people. The plant now has more than 4,000 employees working in three shifts, producing 1,140 vehicles and earning $1 million in wages per day. Arlington is the only GM plant producing full-size SUVs including the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe.

Arlington City Manager Trey Yelverton said in the release that they’re proud of Arlington’s 61-year partnership with General Motors and the opportunities the Arlington Assembly Plant continues to create for residents. Yelverton added that this $1.4 billion dollar expansion is yet another significant investment by GM to the City’s economy and it will preserve and grow hundreds of jobs in Arlington.

In order to support GM’s investment and expansion plans, the Arlington City Council approved the creation of a reinvestment zone for the project that makes it eligible to receive economic development incentives. The City Council has also authorized an 80 percent real and business personal property abatement for the project for a period of 10 years.

Kawa Capital, Latin Market Draw Conergy Americas Headquarters to Miami

Conergy, one of the world’s largest downstream solar companies, announced that it is relocating its Americas headquarters to Miami, FL.

Conergy Miami solar

Conergy Miami solar (press photo –

The relocation is part of the second phase of the company’s reorganization following its acquisition by Miami-based asset management firm Kawa Capital Management, Inc.

Conergy will bring about 50 employees to Miami and Florida as part of the headquarters relocation. This includes both new employees as well as some existing employees at their Americas headquarters in Denver, CO who will be part of the shift.

The company anticipates making a bigger contribution to Miami economic development in the coming year by significantly increasing the number of its employees in the Sunshine State.

Conergy CEO Andrew de Pass said in a release announcing the relocation that Miami is a unique, embracing melting pot, making it a perfect home for them. He added that Miami is also a convenient geographic hub to support both Conergy’s growing U.S. presence and their emerging markets in Latin America.

Not to mention the fact that the company’s neighbor in Miami will be Kawa Capital Management, its biggest shareholder.

With its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, Conergy has established subsidiaries in 11 countries. The company specializes in designing, financing, building and operating high-performance solar systems for homes, businesses and utility scale projects. Following a downturn in Germany’s market, Conergy had to file for insolvency in July 2013 and was immediately acquired by Kawa Capital Management.

This led to a multi-phased corporate reorganization which is now in progress. The company says it’s one of the fastest financial turnarounds in the solar industry’s history. As part of this process, Conergy created three main hubs for its business. Their headquarters in Hamburg was an obvious choice for Europe and Africa, and they picked Singapore as the hub for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Miami was chosen as the Conergy hub for the Americas. With this move, the company hopes not only to be able target the Latin American solar market, but also bring some of the huge growth in the U.S. solar industry to Florida and the Southeast. According to the Solar Foundation, the Southeast has less than 10 percent of the total 180,000 jobs the solar industry supports in the United States.

Andrew de Pass added that Conergy’s Miami move will also grow Florida’s solar workforce as they relocate many employees to the state and look to hire and train more.

NMSU, Las Cruces, New Mexico Economic Development Partnerships Secure ARCA UAS Testing Facility

ARCA Space Corporation announced plans to build a new manufacturing and testing facility at Las Cruces Airport in New Mexico. The company will produce and conduct field tests of its AirStrato unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and Haas rocket series at this facility.

ARCA Air Strato UAV in Hangar

ARCA Air Strato UAV in Hangar (photo – Dragos muresan/wikipedia)

The project is supported by funding from the New Mexico Economic Development Department, an abated lease from the City of Las Cruces, and assistance from Mesilla Valley Economic Development, the NMSU Arrowhead Center, and the university’s Physical Science Laboratory.

The company is investing $1.2 million to construct a new 14,000-square-foot hangar and manufacturing space at Las Cruces Airport. As part of this project, ARCA Space Corp. has committed to creating at least 100 jobs in the next three years. These will be jobs with an average annual salary of $52,000.

ARCA was originally founded in Romania, and has succeeded in launching 15 flight missions in the last 16 years. After relocating its headquarters to Las Cruces, NM last year, ARCA is now a U.S.-based research and development company that aims to be a leader in the growing UAV market.

ARCA CEO Dumitru Popescu said in a release announcing the project that two of their space vehicles currently in development will be brought to Las Cruces in the near future for testing, manufacturing and operations from Spaceport America.

In order to secure the project, the New Mexico Economic Development Department announced that it will contribute $500,000 in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds towards the construction of ARCA’s hangar and manufacturing space.

City of Las Cruces economic development incentives for the project, with an estimate value of $55,000, include an abated lease of office, showroom and hanger space for one year.

Governor Susana Martinez said in the release that not only does New Mexico now have a competitive business environment but a strong aerospace infrastructure with NMSU Physical Science Laboratory and Spaceport America positioning New Mexico to be an industry leader.

NM Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said that the Martinez Administration, local officials, Mesilla Valley Economic Development and New Mexico State University all played an important role in bringing this amazing project to Las Cruces.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima likewise noted that this is a great example of collaboration between the State and City in using the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) to attract good, family-sustaining jobs to Las Cruces in an industry that has enormous potential.

Mayor Miyagishima added that local partners like New Mexico State University, Arrowhead Incubator, the Physical Science Laboratory, the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, Spaceport America, and MVEDA all worked on presenting Las Cruces as an ideal location for ARCA Space.

NMSU Vice President for Economic Development Dr. Kevin Boberg said in the release that NMSU’s economic development engine Arrowhead Center has been working with ARCA on a New Mexico Small Business Assistance Grant, and their Physical Science Laboratory worked with the company on securing FAA certifications.

Dr. Boberg added that this is an exciting demonstration of NMSU’s continued role in economic development through academic achievement.

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