Job Creation

Indiana Economic Development Incentives for Smith Brothers of Berne Expansion

Smith Brothers of Berne is expanding once again in its historic home town of Berne, IN, and this time the company plans to create 266 new jobs.

Berne, Indiana

Berne, Indiana (photo – Nyttend/wikipedia)

Smith Brothers of Berne, Inc. is a historic custom furniture maker that was founded in Berne in 1926.

Two years back, Smith Brothers announced a major $5 million facility expansion that has resulted in the two-story addition of 110,000 square feet of space to their existing 215,000-square-foot facility.

At that time, the company said that it planned to create 45 new jobs. Smith Brothers now estimates that they will be creating up to 266 new jobs by 2021. Smith Brothers has been growing fast, with sales up by more than 190 percent since 2009.

The company, which began in a 5,000-square-foot building in Berne in 1926, has grown to cover more than 380,000 square feet spread across two buildings. They already have more than 420 employees, and the company sells its products to retail stores in more than 35 states.

Governor Mike Pence said in a release announcing this latest expansion that Smith Brothers is a true Hoosier success story. The Governor noted that Smith Brothers, founded with humble roots, today operates a major enterprise, selling Hoosier-built furniture across the country.

“Indiana is proud to be home to Smith Brothers and other homegrown companies making it big in a business climate built for their growth,” said Gov. Pence.

Steve Lehman, president and chief executive officer of Smith Brothers, said in a release that they continue to expand their location in Indiana because Indiana continues to provide them with high caliber individuals that possess a strong work ethic.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is supporting the company’s expansion by offering Smith Brothers up to $1,750,000 in conditional tax credits, along with up to $200,000 in training grants tied to the company’s job creation and investment plans.

The City of Berne and Adams County are also supporting the Smith Brothers expansion. Berne Mayor Bill McKean said in the release that because of the efforts of the state of Indiana and city of Berne, Smith Brothers will not only be able to retain jobs, but the company will also be able to strengthen its ability to hire and train new employees.

Mayor McKean added that Smith Brothers of Berne carries on the longstanding tradition of fine furniture manufacturing in Berne, and they are excited to be a partner with the company in their many expansion projects.

Chattanooga Economic Development Incentives for Gestamp-Volkswagen Expansion

Volkswagen and Gestamp have announced an expansion of their partnership in the Enterprise South Industrial Park in Chattanooga, TN.

Gestamp

Gestamp (photo – gestamp.com)

Gestamp, a Madrid, Spain-based automotive supplier of metal components and assemblies, will invest $180 million to expand its existing Chattanooga facility and build a new stamping plant.

Supported by Hamilton County and Chattanooga economic development incentives, the company will create more than 500 new jobs as part of the expansion.

Gestamp currently already has a global workforce of over 32,000 employees worldwide, with operations spread across 20 countries and facilities that include 95 manufacturing plants and 12 R&D centers.

Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker and Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd joined Gestamp and Volkswagen officials for the announcement in Chattanooga.

The expansion triples Gestamp’s capacity in Chattanooga. Gestamp President and CEO Francisco J. Riberas said in a release announcing the project that Chattanooga is now a key component in Gestamp’s strategic growth roadmap in North America.

Riberas noted that it began with Volkswagen, and has grown to include both government and civic organizations in Tennessee, which he said engaged with the company at the highest levels to make this project possible.

For starters, Gestamp is getting 59.6 acres of land for the expansion adjacent to its existing facility. The land had been leased to Volkswagen, and is being provided to Gestamp through a land swap deal with the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments, which will provide Volkswagen with land of similar value.

The City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County are additionally offering economic development incentives for the project in the form of property tax breaks. A 10-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement between Gestamp, the City, County and the Hamilton County IDB will save the company an estimated $8.5 million.

Apart from the land and tax incentives, Gestamp will also receive State of Tennessee economic development incentives that are still under discussion.

Gov. Haslam said in a release that “We are grateful for Gestamp’s ongoing commitment to Tennessee and for the more than 500 new jobs that will be created in Chattanooga.”

TNECD Commissioner Boyd noted that when Gestamp located in Chattanooga in 2009, it was the company’s first greenfield project in the United States. He added that it’s great to see that another facility will soon be built in Hamilton County to aid in the company’s growth.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said in the release that the area provides a significant advantage for automotive suppliers, and Gestamp’s decision to expand reinforces Chattanooga’s position as a destination for high-quality jobs.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger added that this is proof of the vision they had when Volkswagen came to Hamilton County. Mayor Coppinger added that they believed other companies like Gestamp would also come to Hamilton County and invest in the community, creating great jobs and at some point expand.

Broward County Considers Economic Development Incentives for Firearms Manufacturer’s Relocation to Pompano Beach, FL

The Board of County Commissioners of Broward County is about to approve a resolution authorizing economic development incentives for a firearms manufacturer’s possible relocation to Pompano Beach, FL.

Pompano Beach

Pompano Beach (photo – Boston Public Library/flickr)

The firearms manufacturer and distributor, identified only as Project 762, is an out-of-state company that is considering a relocation of its international headquarters operations.

Apart from Broward County, the company is also looking at Tennessee for the project. Tennessee has the advantage of having recently secured the Beretta relocation for Gallatin. The recruitment of one of the most reputed and large firearms manufacturer to the state will be helpful in attracting more of the wave of firearms maker relocations that are in progress due to gun control legislation in their present locations.

However, if Project 762 chooses to relocate to Florida, the company would establish a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Pompano Beach with a capital investment of $3,087,000.

The company, which currently employs 21 people, is planning to create 54 new high-skill jobs in Broward County and Florida. These would be jobs with an average annual wage of $51,266, which is 115 percent of the County’s average annual wage. Project 762 would additionally support the creation of 22 indirect jobs for Broward County.

In order to secure this project, the company is being offered $162,000 in state and local incentives under the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund Program. This will include $129,000 from the State of Florida, along with $16,200 each from Broward County and the City of Pompano Beach as the 20 percent local match required for the QTI program.

The Pompano Beach economic development resolution for this project has already been approved by the City Commission last month. This relocation project is being assisted by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the primary economic development organization serving Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.

In addition to Project 762, the Broward County Commissioners are also considering approving incentives for Project RED, a logistics and freight brokerage provider located in Dania Beach, FL.

This company, identified as Project RED, is considering expanding its operations in Dania Beach, and would create 60 new jobs with an average annual wage of $50,484. The company already has 293 employees in Florida, and approximately 3,000 around the world.

In order to secure this project, the company is being offered $360,000 in QTI tax incentives. This includes $288,000 from the State, and $36,000 each from Broward County and the City of Diana Beach as the 20 percent local match. The resolution approving Diana Beach economic development incentives for this project has already been approved by the City of Dania Beach Commission.

GM Announces $245M Michigan Investment at Orion Assembly Plant Near Detroit

General Motors announced plans for another $245 million investment in Michigan at the Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, MI.

GM Orion Assembly Plant, MI

GM Orion Assembly Plant, MI (press photo – © General Motors)

The investment is for an unnamed vehicle assembly program which GM only labeled as a “all-new vehicle program.”

The company said the $245 million investment and 300 new jobs that would be created under this vehicle program this would in addition to the $160 million investment announced earlier this year for production of the new Chevrolet Bolt EV (electric vehicle) at the Orion Assembly Plant.

This latest $245 million announcement is part of a $5.4 billion investment plan GM has initiated for its U.S. facilities over the next three years. They have already announced about $3.1 billion of this, and a major part of it will be flowing into GM facilities in Michigan.

GM began the spending spree with a $783.5 million investment announcement for Michigan facilities in Warren, Pontiac and Lansing. This was followed by a $1 billion investment plan announcement for the Warren Technical Center in Warren, MI, and then a $175 million investment for the new Chevrolet Camaro at the Lansing Grand River Plant.

Cathy Clegg, GM North America vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations, said in a release announcing the new vehicle project that Orion Assembly is a breeding ground for manufacturing innovation, and added that the plant is up to the challenge of building this brand-new product, something it’s never seen before.

The Orion Assembly Plant, located 30 miles north of Detroit, opened in 1983 and has since become a driving force for Orion Township and Metro Detroit economic development. It now provides employment to 1,764 workers, generating $133.8 million in wages and $22.7 million in taxes.

The Orion Assembly Plant was idled by GM in 2010. Following the company’s agreement with the UAW and reopening of the plant, the investment at Orion now stands at $962 million.

This includes $12 million for a landfill gas co-generation powerhouse that annually reduces 6,300 tons of CO2 emissions. The plant also houses a 350-kilowatt solar array. Throw in production of the Bolt EV, and this makes the Orion Assembly Plant one of GM’s more environment-friendly facilities.

UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who leads the union’s GM Department, said in the release that “Orion is an example of what we can achieve when we work together.” Estrada added that only through innovative problem solving were they going to see this plant succeed, and this new investment is proof of that.

Bull Moose HQ Relocation to Spur St. Louis Revitalization

Caparo Group subsidiary Bull Moose Industries is relocating its North American headquarters to the historic Missouri Theater Building redevelopment in St. Louis, MO.

Missouri Theater Building, St. Louis

Missouri Theater Building, St. Louis (photo – pasa47/flickr)

Supported by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, St. Louis Regional Chamber and the City of St. Louis, the company will take up 25,000 square feet of newly remodeled space in the historic building for its divisional headquarters.

Their headquarters is currently relocated in Chesterfield, MO, and the expansion will enable the company to create another 25 new high-paying headquarters jobs. Bull Moose Industries has been based in the St. Louis metro area since it was founded in 1962, and currently has some 80 employees in the area.

Governor Jay Nixon said in a release announcing the company’s investment in the Missouri Theater Building project that Bull Moose’s investment will provide high-paying jobs and spur additional economic activity by revitalizing the downtown area.

The Missouri Theater Building is the last of the historic structures being rehabbed in Grand Center, the arts and entertainment district in the heart of St. Louis.

The redevelopment of the historic Missouri Theater building which once housed the St. Louis Dept. of Health is being carried out by the Lawrence Group. Once complete, the rehabbed building is expected to provide employment for around 200 people.

In the first phase of the redevelopment, it will create space for the Bull Moose headquarters and a 145-room hotel. The multi-use development also includes plans for a restaurant, coffee shop, a bakery and yogurt store, banquet and meeting facilities, and a 150-vehicle parking lot.

The Lawrence Group specializes in redevelopment and restoration projects that require preservation of historic structures. Lawrence Group’s own corporate headquarters in St. Louis was the first historic building in the state to be awarded LEED Silver certification.

The developer will be getting Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits for the Missouri Theater Building project. Caparo has likewise been offered a package of state incentives from the Missouri Department of Economic Development tied to their job creation and investment plans.

The Bull Moose relocation project also received local economic development support from the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said that this investment and relocation is a testament to the strong growth and rebirth of St. Louis.

Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, said in the release that the Chamber worked collaboratively with their economic development partners on this project. Reagan added that this investment in this historic building is an anchor for future development and growth in Grand Center.

Iowa Considers Economic Development Incentives for Historic Cedar Rapids Projects

The agenda for the next meeting of the Board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority includes applications for state assistance for projects in Iowa communities including Cedar Rapids, Urbandale, Spencer, Pella and Le Mars.

IEDA agenda

IEDA agenda (photo – iowaeconomicdevelopment.com)

The two Cedar Rapids economic development projects on the agenda both involve historic structures that are over a century old.

One is a $10 million investment project by Ralcorp Holdings, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, to upgrade and modernize its cereal manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids.

The historic plant dates back to 1904, and the company is seeking more than $500,000 in state incentives for this project. They expect to be able to retain 130 jobs at the facility as a result of the upgrade and modernization.

The other Cedar Rapids project is a proposed redevelopment plan by the United Fire Group to build a new 10-story office tower adjacent to the historic American Building, also owned by UFG.

The American Building dates back to 1914, and UFG’s redevelopment plans include a renovation of the historic building’s interior. The design for the new adjacent office tower will also ensure that it blends in well with the historic structure of the American Building.

UFG will create 50 new jobs in Cedar Rapids as a result of this project, adding to the 625 employees they already have in the area. The company is seeking $2 million in state assistance, and is also getting Cedar Rapids economic development incentives in the form of a 10-year property tax abatement for the project.

The IEDA will also consider an application for $500,000 in tax incentives through the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP) for a facility by Ventech Solutions, Inc. in Urbandale, IA. The company recently won a $410 million federal contract from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for health care data management.

Ventech is leasing space in Urbandale, where it plans to make an investment of nearly $3 million and create hundreds of jobs. The company is seeking $500,000 in HQJP tax credits for the project, along with $100,000 in Urbandale economic development incentives.

Other projects seeking state assistance that are on the IEDA meeting agenda include:

Quality Refrigerated Services – QRS is considering investing more than $4.43 million for an expansion of its operations in Spencer, IA.

Pella Corporation – The company is investing $8.6 million to expand its operations in Pella, IA. The IEDA will consider approving tax incentives and a forgivable loan for this project.

BoDeans Cone Company, LLC – BoDeans is investing $4 million to add a new building to its operations in Le Mars, IA. In addition to the state HQJP tax incentives, the project will also receive a five-year tax abatement from Le Mars.

Cary Economic Development Brings Proto Labs 3D Printing Facility to Wake County, NC

Proto Labs, Inc. (NYSE:PRLB) is expanding its operations in Wake County, NC with a $25 million investment in the Town of Cary to house a 3D printing (additive manufacturing) facility.

Proto Labs

Proto Labs (photo – protolabs.com)

The 3D printing facility project, which is expected to create 170 new jobs, is supported by the Town of Cary, Cary Economic Development, the Cary Chamber of Commerce, the NC Dept. of Commerce, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and other state and regional entities.

The 170 new jobs will be created over the next five years, and will generate new annual payroll exceeding $7.5 million. The company already has 106 employees in Wake County located at a manufacturing facility in Raleigh.

Governor Pat McCrory said in a release announcing the Proto Labs expansion project that by more than doubling its workforce, the company is demonstrating that nothing compares to North Carolina when it comes to being a great place for innovative ideas.

Maple Plain, MN-based Proto Labs claims to be the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. The company makes use of advanced 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding technologies to produce parts within days.

Rob Connelly, Proto Labs VP, Additive Manufacturing, said in the release that the state-of-the-art facility in North Carolina will be a critical driver in advancing 3D printing in the U.S. and globally for many years to come.

N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III added that North Carolina and the Research Triangle region continue to be leaders in attracting top-notch technology companies either for relocation or expansion. Sec. Skvarla added that this expansion by Proto Labs helps in solidifying that reputation.

In addition to their existing Raleigh facility in Wake County, NC and their headquarters in Maple Plain, MN, the company also has two other manufacturing facilities in Minnesota, located in Plymouth and Rosemount.

Cary Economic Development and the North Carolina Dept. of Commerce secured this new manufacturing expansion project by offering the company a package of incentives that includes a $150,000 performance-based grant through the One North Carolina Fund.

One NC Fund grants are provided by the state through local governments, and are contingent upon approval of a local match. The company in question receives no money upfront, and is required to meet job creation and investment commitments before it actually receives grant funding.

The project is also being supported by the NC Department of Transportation, and is receiving assistance from NCWorks, the North Carolina Community College System, and the Capital Area Workforce Board.

Georgia Economic Development Trip to Brazil Yields Stefanini Atlanta Expansion

Global IT service provider Stefanini is planning an expansion with 400 new jobs at its Atlantic Station office location in Midtown Atlanta.

Stefanini

Stefanini (photo – stefanini.com)

The announcement was made by Governor Nathan Deal, who is leading a Georgia economic development delegation on a five-day trip to Brazil.

Stefanini President and CEO Marco Stefanini said in a release announcing the project that it was a pleasure to meet with Governor Deal in Sao Paulo, and added that they are thrilled to expand operations in Georgia.

Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Stefanini’s North American headquarters is in Southfield, MI, but the company has maintained a presence in Georgia for 10 years. It is now one of the largest IT services employers in the region, including the 800 employees the company already has at its Atlantic Station Office. Globally, the company has locations in 34 countries serving more than 600 active clients, including over 300 multinationals.

Their latest expansion in Atlanta is supported by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, including assistance for talent recruitment to fill the new jobs being created.

GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said in the release that the skilled talent and vast network of companies and R&D resources found in Georgia are what keeps the state on the radar for global technology companies who are looking to relocate or expand.

Commissioner Carr added that these same resources are what have helped grow Stefanini over the last decade, and expressed confidence that this innovative company will be successful in the future.

Metro Atlanta Chamber Executive Vice President and COO Brian P. McGowan added that Brazil has always been an important market with a growing presence in Atlanta, and Stefanini’s investment in the region adds strength to Atlanta’s international technology ecosystem.

More than 40 Brazilian-owned businesses in Georgia employ thousands of Georgians, and Georgia has had representation in Brazil for more than two decades, including a trade office in Sao Paulo. The Georgia economic development delegation led by Gov. Deal is seeking to establish new business relationships and strengthen existing ties. The mission aims to promote Georgia as a tourist destination and quality source for products and services.

Gov. Deal said in the release that “For more than two decades, Georgia has sustained a partnership with Brazil that is vital to our economic development efforts.” The Governor added that he is confident that Georgia’s highly skilled workforce and thriving technology cluster will create the ideal environment for Stefanini’s future growth in Atlanta.

Herbruck’s Expansion Lays the Ground for West Michigan Regional Economic Development

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, the largest egg producer in Michigan, is once again expanding operations in Ionia County to add egg-laying and pullet growing capacity.

Herbruck's

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch (photo – herbrucks.com)

Supported by the Ionia County Economic Alliance, The Right Place and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, Inc. will be investing $43 million to significantly expand their organic and cage-free production facilities.

Herbruck Poultry Ranch Executive Vice President Herb Herbruck said in a release announcing the new expansion plans that they are very proud of their Ionia heritage and look forward to continued growth and investment in the community.

Herbruck’s is a family-owned and operated business founded in Saranac, MI in 1958, and is currently being run by the third and fourth generation of the family. In the interim, the company has grown the 3,000 laying hens it had in the 1950s into millions that have made it the largest egg producer in Michigan.

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch already has a team of 400 employees. This latest expansion is expected to create another 50 new jobs, and builds on a $33 million expansion announced last year. As part of that expansion, the company is investing $1.5 million for constructing a public main sewer line tied directly to the Lakewood system.

Upon completion, the company will donate the sewer line to the community, which will facilitate further economic growth in the region by allowing others along the route to make use of the new sewer line.

Furthermore, the Lakewood Waste Water Authority in Lake Odessa, MI is operating near capacity and must make improvements to support any further expansions by companies in Ionia County. Herbruck’s is helping with this too, and is working with the Waste Water Authority and Lake Odessa on the upgrade plans.

The Ionia County Economic Alliance is supporting the company’s expansion plans, working together with The Right Place and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The Right Place, Inc. is the regional economic development organization serving West Michigan.

The Right Place Business Development Manager Jen Wangler said in a release that Herbruck’s growth and resulting impact on the area’s waste water system is indicative of the critical role infrastructure plays in the region’s ability to continue growing, expanding and creating jobs in Ionia County.

For its part, the MEDC is supporting Herbruck’s expansion by modifying a state grant that had been approved for the company’s expansion announced last year. That performance-based grant under the Michigan Business Development Program has been hiked from $500,000 to $750,000. The modified grant now supports a total of $76 million in investments by Herbruck’s, along with the creation of 100 new jobs.

Indiana, North Carolina Announce Economic Development Projects at Paris Air Show

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith and North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, both of whom are in France for the International Paris Air Show, announced aviation and aerospace expansion projects in their respective states by companies that are exhibiting at the Paris Air Show.

Paris Air Show

Paris Air Show (photo – Dmitry A. Mottl/wikimedia)

Smith joined executives from Aerodyn Engineering, Inc. at the Paris Air Show to announce the company’s plans for an expansion of its operations in Indianapolis.

Aerodyn, which designs and fabricates aerospace components, is investing $8.5 million to add 15,000 square feet of space and double its production capacity in Indianapolis. The company expects to create 15 new jobs as part of the expansion.

Aerodyn Engineering President David Lawrence said in a release announcing the expansion that Indiana has been very supportive at the state and local level in helping them grow and added that they are excited to offer these new capabilities to their worldwide customers.

Aerodyn Engineering, Inc. has been offered up to $115,000 in conditional tax credits for the project by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, in addition to training grants of up to $25,000 to assist with the company’s job creation plans. Aerodyn is also in line to receive Indianapolis economic development incentives being considered by the City at the request of Develop Indy, the Indy Chamber’s business unit.

Meanwhile, NC Commerce Secretary Skvarla met with leaders of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated at the Paris Air Show and announced that ATI will be building a new manufacturing facility adjacent to its existing site in the City of Monroe, NC.

The company will invest $69.8 million into the project and expects to create 70 new jobs over the next three years. These will be jobs with average annual earnings exceeding $60,000, significantly higher than the $38,730 average annual salary in Union County.

ATI, one of the largest specialty materials and components producers in the world, already has approximately 9,700 full-time employees spanning operations around the world.

Secretary Skvarla said in a release announcing the project that ATI is one of Union County’s largest employers, and this added commitment to the area helps build on North Carolina’s aerospace industry.

ATI High Performance Specialty Materials Group Executive Vice President Hunter R. Dalton said in the release that they are pleased that the economic development and public sector leadership of the State of North Carolina, Union County and the City of Monroe continue to recognize ATI as a valued corporate partner as the company expands its Monroe area operations once again.

In order to secure this project, North Carolina has offered ATI a performance-based grant of up to $140,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. The NC Commerce Dept. and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) were assisted by a range of state, regional and local partners.

This includes Union County-Monroe Economic Development, the City of Monroe, Union County, the Golden Leaf Foundation, the NC Division of Rural Economic Development, and the North Carolina Community College System.

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