Job Creation

Alabama Gets Second MAAS Aviation Paint Facility at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley

Day two of the Paris Air Show brings more aviation and aerospace economic development project announcements for Mobile and Huntsville, AL.


MAA (photo –

For starters, the Mobile Airport Authority announced a partnership with MAAS Aviation to build a new $39 million dollar twin bay paint facility at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.

This will be in addition to the $13 million facility at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility site which MAAS Aviation is building after being awarded the contract for the A320 Family Assembly Line Paint Shop operation in Mobile, AL. MAAS is responsible for painting planes assembled at the Airbus plant in Mobile before the planes are delivered to customers.

This second new MAAS paint facility at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley will focus on the commercial MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) market in the Americas.

MAAS, which was originally expecting to create 34 jobs at the Airbus paint facility, will now add another 80, new full-time jobs for both facilities combined, and provide extensive training to their employees in Mobile as per their established workforce training programs.

Mobile Airport Authority Executive Director Roger Wehner said in a release announcing the new $39 million project that they are very happy with the partnership forged with MAAS over the last year, and added that MAAS is a world class partner and they have been impressed by the company’s internal focus on process and training.

Allan McArtor, Chairman-Airbus Group, Inc., said in the release that Airbus welcomes these new companies to the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. McArtor noted that it’s great that the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has helped to draw them to Mobile, which he said has so much to offer.

“Together we will help Mobile grow into world-class aerospace center, and hopefully welcome even more ‘new neighbors’ as we move forward,” added McArtor.

The MAAS project follows aviation and aerospace-related Mobile economic development announcements by Huntington Corp. and Star Aviation, both timed to coincide with the Paris Air Show kick-off.

Governor Robert Bentley also made another big aerospace announcement about the state’s initiation of the process of assessing the feasibility of landing Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft at Huntsville International Airport.

The SNC Dream Chaser spacecraft is designed to function like a Space Shuttle, launched vertically atop a rocket and able to land horizontally on a runway after re-entry. If the preliminary studies work out and the FAA then issues a re-entry license to allow SNC to land the Dream Chaser spacecraft in Huntsville, it would make Huntsville International Airport the first commercial service airport to accommodate spacecraft landings.

Florida Announces Four Economic Development Projects at Paris Air Show

Florida got its Paris Air Show presence off to a strong start with the simultaneous announcement of four aerospace and aviation projects from Lockheed Martin, Embraer, GA Telesis, and Aerospace Precision. The announcements were made by Governor Rick Scott at the 51st International Paris Air Show.

Cape Canaveral, FL

Cape Canaveral, FL (photo – Gind2005/wikipedia)

Supported by the State of Florida and the Space Coast Economic Development Commission, Lockheed Martin announced plans to create 130 new jobs at its Cape Canaveral facility with an average wage of $85,000, adding to the more than 500 people it already employs in Cape Canaveral.

Enterprise Florida President and CEO Bill Johnson said in a release announcing the project that “Lockheed Martin employs more than 12,000 Floridians throughout the state and we thank them for their continued commitment to the state.”

Space Coast EDC President and CEO Lynda Weatherman added that Lockheed Martin could have chosen to expand in any one of its major sites, and the decision to expand their footprint in Brevard County is a win for the community.

The second major announcement at the Paris Air Show involving Brevard and the Space Coast EDC was Embraer’s decision to construct a new building in the Spaceport Commerce Park in Titusville, FL to provide seating solutions for Embraer products. The company will invest $3.5 million and create 150 jobs with an average annual wage of $48,000.

Project Eagle, the name of the proposed Embraer expansion during the site selection process, was supported by Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Brevard County, Space Coast EDC and the North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ).

To secure and facilitate the project, NBEDZ has approved $2.5 million to offset construction costs, in addition to the provision of an approximately 15-acre lot in the county-owned Spaceport Commerce Park in Titusville.

Space Coast EDC’s Weatherman said that the use of incentives from the Zone did exactly what they were designed to do – enable North Brevard to not only attract, but win a project of this caliber.

Gov. Scott also announced that commercial aerospace firm GA Telesis is relocating one of its U.S. distribution centers to Miami, bringing 55 new jobs to Florida. This follows the relocation of the GA Telesis Composite Repair Group from Arizona to Fort Lauderdale.

The Governor also announced that Aerospace Precision, an FAA/EASA repair facility, is relocating some of its operations from San Diego, CA to Hollywood, FL, bringing 25 new jobs to Florida. Aerospace Precision, which already has 40 employees at the Hollywood location, recently acquired Luchner Tool Engineering and is consolidating some of Luchner’s operations with its own facility in Hollywood.

Lastly, Gov. Scott also announced that Space Florida Board of Directors has officially approved the previously announced transfer of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center from NASA to Space Florida.

The availability of one of the world’s most famous and reputed shuttle launch facilities with horizontal launch capability puts Florida right at the forefront of the growing commercial space market. The Space Coast EDC estimates that it will create more than 200 new jobs over the next six years in Brevard County.

Mobile, Alabama Economic Development Projects Roll in at Paris Air Show

The City of Mobile and Alabama officials are tripping over multiple aerospace project announcements that are rolling in as the Paris Air Show gets underway in France.

Paris Air Show

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

The announcement of Star Aviation’s expansion in Mobile in advance of the Paris Air Show was quickly followed by Hutchinson Corporation, which announced on the opening day of the Air Show that it will open an Aerospace Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Mobile.

The Hutchinson COE will service the region’s booming aerospace industry, including the Airbus U.S. manufacturing facility at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.

Hutchinson Aerospace President Laurent Poirier said in a release announcing the project that they look forward to working with the Alabama economic development team and the state’s leadership to establish another high performance, customer-focused Manufacturing Center of Excellence that will expand Hutchinson’s operations in North America.

Hutchinson North America President and CEO Cedric Duclos added that establishing a manufacturing Center of Excellence in close proximity to the new Airbus facility in Mobile clearly enhances Hutchinson’s position as a major player in the aerospace industry in North America.

Paris, France-based Hutchinson has 35,213 employees in 23 countries, spread across 96 sites. This includes 19 sites in North America with a staff of 8,200.

Governor Robert Bentley said in the release that he appreciates Hutchinson’s investment in Alabama, and added that he looks forward to the company’s success in Sweet Home Alabama.

Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said that Hutchinson’s decision is proof of Alabama’s attractiveness to aerospace companies. “Hutchinson’s manufacturing presence in Mobile is exactly the kind of company we have worked to attract in support of the Airbus assembly facility,” added Sec. Canfield.

Hutchinson’s announcement was preceded by Star Aviation’s announcement that it would expand its facility at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley and create up to 50 new jobs at the facility over the next two years. The company already has 130 employees, of whom 85 are in Mobile and the rest in Seattle.

Star will break ground on a new 24,000-square-foot facility adjacent to their principal office, more than doubling their existing 18,000 square feet of space. Star Aviation Executive Director Johnny Wacker said in the release that this growth is outside of Airbus. The locally-born company has experienced double-digit growth over the last five years.

Troy Wayman, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce vice president of economic development, added that Star Aviation is a great example of local existing industry growth in the aerospace sector.

The Paris Air Show runs from through to June 21, so Mobile and Alabama still have time to manage more economic development project announcements that showcase the region’s growing aerospace sector and the economic impact of having an Airbus aircraft assembly plant in your backyard.

Lee County, Florida Consider Economic Development Incentives for Projects Creating 332 Jobs

The Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, FL is set to consider resolutions approving economic development incentives for three projects that will create a combined total of 332 direct new jobs.

Lee County, FL

Lee County, FL (photo –

One of these projects is the establishment of the North American headquarters of Gilching, Germany-based coating systems company Special Coatings GmbH & Co.

The other two are expansion projects by First Family Insurance and another local company that has only been identified as “Project Edison.”

The Special Coatings, USA, Inc. headquarters facility will bring 20 jobs and a $1.1 million investment to Bonita Springs, FL. These are administration, sales, production, and laboratory positions with an average wage of $48,700.

Apart from its Munich-area headquarters and U.S. operations in Bonita Springs, Special Coatings also has facilities in Korea and China. The company is seeking $100,000 in state and local incentives through the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund program for locating this project in Florida.

If approved, the State of Florida would provide $80,000, while Lee County economic development incentives totaling $20,000 would serve as the 20 percent local match required under the QTI program.

The First Family Insurance, LLC expansion is a much bigger project that is rather more important for Lee County and Fort Myers economic development. The company has outgrown its home at 7800 University Pointe Drive in Fort Myers, and is now considering a major expansion with 250 new jobs to support growth.

These are jobs with an average wage of $45,400, and an economic impact analysis shows that the project would create another 76 indirect jobs for Lee County. The company is also planning on making a capital investment of nearly $3 million into the project.

In addition to a location close to its current headquarters in Fort Myers, the company is considering alternative sites in other states including North Carolina, Maine and Georgia where it has existing operations. They are also looking at Atlanta, Charlotte, and Chicago as potential sites that may aid future growth.

In order to encourage First Family Insurance to expand in Lee County, the company is being offered $1.25 million in QTI incentives. This includes $1 million from the State of Florida, and a 20 percent local match of $250,000 from Lee County.

The third project, aka Project Edison, is also a local company that is planning an expansion in Lee County with a capital investment of $1.65 million and the creation of 62 new jobs with an average annual wage of $42,350, bringing their total employment in the county to 162 jobs. Florida is offering the company $186,000 in QTI incentives, including $148,800 from the State and $37,200 from Lee County.

Atlanta, Dublin Get First Sage Customer Business Centers

Business management software company Sage announced plans to open a series of Customer Business Centers (CBCs) around the world, starting with the first one in Atlanta, GA and a second one in Dublin, Ireland.


Sage (photo –

In addition to selecting Atlanta for the first CBC, Sage also announced plans to establish their North American headquarters in a Midtown Atlanta location.

The project will create 400 new jobs for metro Atlanta and Georgia over the new few years. Sage already has a facility in Lawrenceville, GA, and the CBC and headquarters relocation from Irvine, CA to Atlanta will build their total metro Atlanta workforce to more than 1,000.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development and Atlanta economic development agency Invest Atlanta worked to secure this project in partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Georgia Power.

GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr said in a release announcing the project that when global technology companies such as Sage chose Georgia for their North American headquarters and innovation center, it tells them that they’re doing something right.

Sage North America CFO Marc Scheipe said in the release that their new Atlantic Station location puts them in the center of the emerging Midtown Atlanta technology corridor and positions their newly established North American headquarters to attract top talent in the years to come. Sage is being provided recruitment assistance through the University System of Georgia for filling the new jobs being created.

The new Sage CBC in Georgia is temporarily being housed in their existing Lawrenceville facility, and will then be moved to the new Atlantic Station location in Midtown Atlanta by October.

Alan Laing, Sage EVP Global Strategic Partnerships & Alliances, who is leading the CBC project, said the CBCs will change everything, giving customers the support they need every step of the way.

This center will house Sage teams involved in everything from marketing to lead qualifications and sales, service and renewals. Operating without silos in the same location will enable these teams to collaborate and provide customers with superior support and service. As a start, the CBC will provide for Sage Life, a product the company has developed in partnership with Salesforce.

Sage plans to open a second CBC in Dublin, Ireland later this year to serve the European market, and follow it up with more CBCs in Asia and Africa. The Sage Group plc, headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., is an FTSE 100 company with $2 billion in revenue and 14,000 employees located across operations in 24 countries serving more than six million small and medium-sized businesses.

Arlington, Virginia Economic Development Package Secures Lidl U.S. Corporate Headquarters

European retail giant Lidl announced the selection of Arlington County, Virginia as the site for its U.S. corporate headquarters. Lidl is also establishing its regional headquarters and a new distribution center facility in Spotsylvania County, VA.


Lidl (photo – Dom0803/wikipedia)

Supported by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and local support from Spotsylvania and Arlington Counties, Lidl will invest $202 million and create 700 new jobs.

This includes a $77 million investment for establishing their U.S. corporate headquarters in Arlington’s Potomac Yards. The company expects to create 500 new jobs at this location. The Spotsylvania County regional headquarters and distribution center project will create another 200 new jobs.

These announcements were made by Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is in Europe on a marketing mission, and met in person with Lidl’s leadership at the company’s international headquarters in Neckarsulm, Germany.

In a release announcing the project, Gov. McAuliffe said that “I was thrilled to meet with Lidl’s company leaders in Germany today to close this tremendous deal.” The Governor added that Lidl’s investment demonstrates Virginia’s ability to attract companies from all over the globe.

Lidl has 10,000 stores in 26 European countries, and the establishment of their U.S. operations in Virginia is a strategic decision that marks the European retail giant’s expansion into North America.

Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a release that Lidl chose Arlington for its U.S. corporate headquarters because of their commitment to diversifying the area’s economy, in addition to a terrific workforce, regional transit connections and access to a major airport.

Lidl US President and CEO Brendan Proctor said in the release that they want to thank Governor Terry McAuliffe, as well as the teams in Arlington and Spotsylvania, who he said recognized Lidl’s potential and worked with them to bring Lidl to the area.

The VEDP worked with Arlington and Spotsylvania Counties to secure the project. Gov. McAuliffe approved $5 million in grant funding from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist both counties with the project.

The Governor also approved another $2 million for the project through the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant program. VEDIG funding is meant to aid large economic development projects that are creating a large number of jobs with wages that are very high compared to the county average wage.

The Lidl projects in both counties will also receive funding and support for job training through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The company’s decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in Arlington was also aided by Arlington’s real estate and incentives package, and by the County’s ability to meet Lidl’s timeframe.

Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins said they began the fiscal year with the CEB headquarters announcement in Rosslyn, and they are now ending the fiscal year with another huge announcement of Lidl choosing Arlington as the location from which it will expand its global reach to North America.

Arlington’s “Way Forward” strategy is credited for their recent success in helping attract new and expansion projects that have filled more than one million square feet of vacant office space in the county in this fiscal year.

Hoskins added that companies are realizing that Arlington provides businesses with the ideal environment in which to expand and succeed, and that Arlington now has the resources to help them do it.

Uber Opens Center of Excellence in Phoenix With Hundreds of Jobs

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey joined Uber executives for the official opening of the company’s new Center of Excellence in Phoenix.


Uber (photo – illustir/flickr)

Uber has already started creating new jobs at the COE, and plans to increase the number of employees at this new global command center to around 300.

The company’s selection of Phoenix as the site for the Center of Excellence followed the signing of House Bill 2135 by Gov. Ducey in April. This bill legalized ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft in Arizona.

Gov. Ducey said in a release after attending Uber’s COE opening that “My administration is a 21st-century administration, and we’re going to embrace 21st century ingenuity.” The Governor added that they’re going to do everything they can to make sure that Arizona’s business environment is keeping up with the times.

David Plouffe, Chief Advisor, Uber Technologies, Inc., said in a release that Uber is proud to expand its operations in the Valley, bringing hundreds of new jobs and helping developing the next generation of leaders in Phoenix.

The company’s release also explained why they chose Phoenix for the COE, explaining that the availability of a strong workforce, the desirability of the location for employees, and a strong business climate will ensure its success for years to come.

The COE will be a key component in Uber’s plans to provide rapid and efficient support services to riders and partners, and the facility will be involved in building and developing support services for new Uber products. In addition to customer support positions, the new jobs being created in Phoenix include management and supervisory positions, and jobs for data analysts and process improvement specialists.

Uber is not seeking any Arizona economic development incentives for this project and the associated job creation. In any case, it’s not just about the COE and the hundreds of new jobs the company plans to add to the facility over the next five years.

Uber’s rideshare operations in Arizona now allow nearly 10,000 full-time and part-time drivers in the state to earn a flexible income on their own terms, while at the same time making more transportation options available to residents and visitors in Arizona cities including Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson and the latest addition of Yuma.

Gov. Ducey said in the release that “this is a company that not only creates jobs and grows our economy – it’s figuratively changed the way we live and get around.” The Governor added that this kind of commitment to innovation and improvement is something that should be rewarded, and not stifled.

Richmond, VA Secures Elephant Insurance HQ Expansion With 1173 Jobs

Elephant Auto Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardiff, U.K.-based Admiral Group, plc, is expanding its U.S. headquarters operations in Richmond, VA.


Richmond (photo – taberandrew/flickr)

Supported by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Henrico County, and the Greater Richmond Partnership, the company will invest $2 million and create 1,173 new jobs.

The announcement was made by Governor Terry McAuliffe right after his meeting with the Admiral Group’s leaders. The Governor is on a European marketing mission.

Gov McAuliffe said in a release announcing the project that “It was a pleasure to meet with Admiral Group COO David Stevens during my European marketing mission to strengthen the company’s corporate partnership with Virginia and announce this investment in Henrico County.”

Elephant Auto Insurance CEO Kevin Chidwick said in the release that they chose Richmond for their U.S. headquarters because of simple cost-benefit economics.

Chidwick said the talent pool in the region was plentiful across their many functional business areas, and the reasonable cost of living makes the financial economics of recruiting and retaining this talent attractive in the short-term, and aligned with their long-term business aspirations. He also cited the support from the region’s public leaders, who he said have proven to be exceptional business partners during every step of their journey.

Steps taken to secure this latest expansion were built on earlier efforts by the Greater Richmond Partnership and Henrico County to secure Elephant Auto Insurance’s U.S. headquarters for Richmond when the company was founded in 2009. The Greater Richmond Partnership is the regional economic development organization serving the City of Richmond and Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico Counties.

Soon after opening in Richmond, the company started winning workplace awards, and was named as one of the “Best Places to Work in Virginia” for two years running on the annual list published by the Virginia Business and Best Companies Group. Now it is creating even more benefits for the community with another 1,173 jobs.

For this latest expansion, the VEDP worked with the Henrico County Economic Development Authority to secure the expansion, with support from the Greater Richmond Partnership. Elephant will receive funding and support for employee training through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said this is another example of a global business that understands the value proposition of doing business in Virginia and is choosing to enhance its investments.

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Chairman Frank J. Thornton said in the release that they appreciate Elephant’s commitment to Henrico County as the company has expanded its U.S. footprint, added new jobs and relocated to larger offices in Henrico County.

Ford-Michigan Economic Development Agreement Clears the Way for $3.1B Investment

Governor Rick Snyder announced that the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a revised agreement with Ford Motor Company that will enable Ford to double its investment in the state from $3.1 billion to $6.2 billion.

Ford Motor Co

Ford Motor Co (photo – Evoflash/flickr)

The new Ford-Michigan economic development agreement combines two previous MEGA agreements while limiting potential tax credit claims by Ford over the next ten years to 40,200 retained jobs.

In order to receive the maximum amount available in terms of tax credits, Ford will have to invest another $3.1 billion in Michigan, doubling its investment plans in the state since 2009 to $6.2 billion.

The agreement provides Ford and the State clarity about the state’s overall commitment. Ford’s tax credits are valued at $2.3 billion, and the agreement now caps the state’s obligations while requiring Ford to provide periodic forecasts of its estimated tax credits to assist the MSF and state of Michigan in budget planning.

This will be helpful in getting past the intense debate about the huge liability caused by the MEGA tax credit program. These are tax credits offered to companies planning expanded operations in Michigan involving creation or retention of jobs. With nearly $17 billion in new investments pouring into Michigan’s automotive industry since 2009, the state is already on the hook for $9.38 billion in tax credits through to 2032.

Gov. Snyder said in a release that the agreement with Ford will help them to better manage state budgets for the next 10 years, giving a clearer indication of the resources available for important services for Michigan residents. “Ford is to be commended for being the first company to assist us in addressing the liability issues associated with the MEGA program,” said Gov. Snyder.

Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, added that this action brings a certainty that has been missing from the process under the MEGA program. Arwood added that Ford’s investments in Michigan have been important to the state’s economic rebound, and the agreement assures they will see continued employment for tens of thousands of people in well-paying jobs in the state.

Joe Hinrichs, President of The Americas, Ford Motor Company, said in the release that in a globally competitive environment, the modified MEGA agreement provides an additional reason for Ford to continue considering further investment in Michigan.

One of the things the revised 10-year agreement is likely to facilitate is Ford’s plan for modernization and expansion of its Research and Engineering Center (REC) in Dearborn, MI.

Ford has already put out an RFP for a redevelopment plan for an expanded Research and Engineering Center campus in Dearborn that will be able to consolidate employees currently spread across buildings sprawled all over the Dearborn area. The redeveloped and expanded REC is expected to be a $1 billion project that will be implemented over a 10-year period.

California Considers Economic Development Incentives for Tesla Expansion With 4426 Jobs

The next meeting of the California Competes Tax Credit Program Committee will consider approving $47.5 million in tax credits for projects involving a total of $3.4 billion in investments and 11,343 jobs.

CA Competes Tax Credit

CA Competes Tax Credit (photo –

The biggest project in the lot is an expansion of Tesla Motors, Inc.’s various California facilities, including its factory in Fremont, and other facilities in Palo Alto, Lathrop, and Hawthorne.

Tesla plans to invest nearly $2.39 billion in the next five years for expansions of its facilities and investments for purchasing real property and making tenant improvements, buying manufacturing and R&D equipment, and for hiring full-time employees.

As part of the expansion, Tesla expects to create 4,426 net new full-time jobs. Tesla already has 6,463 employees in California, and the planned job creation takes the total to 10,889. The cumulative average annual salary of the full-time California employees Tesla is hiring is expected to be $55,000.

In support of their investment and job creation plans, Tesla Motors, Inc. may receive California economic development incentives totaling up to $15 million in the form of CA Competes Tax Credits.

Two big Southern California projects that may receive approval for CA Competes tax credits in this round include an expansion by video game developer Riot Games, Inc. in Los Angeles, and a big investment in Santa Monica by health product and video producer Beachbody, LLC.

Riot Games, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, recently took up 280,000 square feet of space at the Element LA media campus in West Los Angeles, and then added to it with a 77,000-square-foot expansion. The company is once again investing $17 million into an expansion for furniture and tenant improvements, and expects to create 813 new full-time jobs over the next five years.

Riot Games already has 1,009 full-time employees in the state, and this latest expansion may be supported by up to $3 million in CA Competes tax credits.

Beachbody, also based in Santa Monica, creates and markets health products such as nutritional supplements and exercise videos. The company is investing more than $196.3 million for facility, technology and tenant improvements, and expects to create 327 new full-time jobs to add to their existing 564 full-time California employees. The CA Competes Tax Credit Committee will consider approving $2.35 million in tax credits for this project.

Including the aforementioned three projects, the Committee will consider approving a total of $37,595,199 in tax credits for 37 companies, in addition to $10,264,000 in tax credits for job creation and investment projects by 25 small businesses. You can see the full list here.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116  Scroll to top