Job Creation

New Orleans Gets Economic Development, Tourism Bump From Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises is arriving in North America with river cruise itineraries on the Mississippi River, and announced the selection of New Orleans as the home port for these cruises.

Boat on the Mississippi off New Orleans

Boat on the Mississippi off New Orleans (photo – Billy Metcalf Photography/flickr)

Recruited by a team that included the Port of New Orleans, Greater New Orleans economic development group GNO Inc. and Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the project will create 416 direct new jobs at the company’s Louisiana-based operations and vessels.

These will be jobs with an average annual salary of $40,000, plus benefits. LED estimates that the project will support the creation of another 368 new indirect jobs, adding up to a total of more than 780 new jobs for Southeast Louisiana.

Starting in late 2017, Viking River Cruises will introduce two boats per year on the Mississippi for three years, for a total of six boats. These boats, to be built at shipyards in the U.S., will have an estimated price tag of $90 million to $100 million each, and will each be capable of hosting up to 300 passengers.

Cruise boat passengers will embark and disembark from the cruise boat docks near the French Quarter in New Orleans. More than 90 percent of these cruise passengers will be out-of-state travelers arriving in New Orleans from all over the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world, resulting in increased tourist spending in the city’s hotels, restaurants, attractions and other local businesses.

LED began discussions on this project with Viking Cruises back in Nov 2013. Teams of local, regional and state officials met with company executives both in the U.S. as well as at their headquarters in Switzerland. Earlier this year, Governor Bobby Jindal met with Viking Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen in Switzerland as part of an economic development trip to Europe.

Hagen said in a release announcing the project that the Viking team is very proud to partner with the State of Louisiana, and grateful for Governor Jindal’s support. He added that together with their U.S. partners, they take great pride in the economic benefit that river-cruising provides to the regions their guests visit, from the shipbuilders to the local businesses.

“This investment will not only bring great new jobs to our state, but it will also showcase Louisiana and the Mississippi River to the rest of the world,” said Gov. Jindal.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu noted that Viking’s project will generate major opportunities for citizens, boost the tourism industry and continue to turbocharge the Port of New Orleans.

Louisiana is providing $4.5 million as a performance-based grant to assist Viking River Cruises with site preparation at the company’s docking locations in Louisiana. The company will also receive workforce training support through LED FastStart, the state’s workforce development program.

Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans regional economic development group GNO Inc., said in the release that they are proud to have been an integral part of the team that met with Viking on two continents to bring them to New Orleans.

Hecht added that Viking River Cruises’ choice of greater New Orleans is a testament not only to the region’s culture and river, but also to the outstanding teamwork at the state, regional and local level.

Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange likewise noted that the Port’s Board worked for nearly two years with the Viking team to determine the proper venue for the new ships within the port and along the Mississippi River, and added that they couldn’t be happier to add Viking to the port’s cruise portfolio.

Viking River Cruise boats will set sail from New Orleans and continue on to St. James, East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes in Louisiana. Depending on the season, cruises will continue upriver up to Memphis, TN and St. Louis, MO, or even as far up as St. Paul, MN.

D-A Lubricant Relocates More Jobs to Boone County Headquarters in Indiana

D-A Lubricant Company, Inc. continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Boone County Economic Development Commission and the City of Lebanon, IN.

D-A Lubricant Company

D-A Lubricant Company (photo – IEDC/

This time, the manufacturer and distributor of automotive lubricants announced plans to relocate the production of its recently acquired Brad Penn Lubricants brand to its headquarters operations in Lebanon.

The company plans to invest $3.9 million at its 250,000 square-foot headquarters facility for this project, and will be creating 25 new jobs for Lebanon and Boone County. This is in addition to the 130 full-time associates, including more than 100 in Indiana, which the company already employs.

The Brad Penn Lubricants brand was acquired by D-A Lubricant from American Refining Group Inc last year in October.

D-A Lubricant Company CEO Mike Protogere said in a release announcing the expansion in Lebanon that they chose to continue growing in Lebanon, Indiana primarily for its outstanding business environment, geographic location, a strong pool of local talent, and the support they received from state and local officials.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered D-A Lubricant, Inc. up to $100,000 in conditional tax credits, in addition to training grants of up to $100,000. These are performance-based incentives tied to the company’s job creation plans.

IEDC President Eric Doden, who will soon be stepping down from his post, said in the release that doing business in Indiana is like operating a well-oiled machine. Doden said that they have built a business climate in Indiana that allows companies like D-A Lubricant to expand with ease, helping Indiana lead the nation in manufacturing job growth.

D-A Lubricant relocated is headquarters from Indianapolis to the current location in the Lebanon Business Park a few years ago. The company’s relocation to the industrial park coincided with direct rail service to the south side of the Park and its designation as a Foreign-Trade Zone.

At that time, D-A Lubricant invested $15 million into the project and planned to relocate 50 employees to the new Lebanon headquarters and create another 10 new jobs.

To support the headquarters relocation project, the City of Lebanon provided $1.5 million through a TIF bond issue. They also put up another $300,000 as a cash grant for the rail access project, in addition to offering the company a 10-year property tax abatement.

Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis said in the release that D-A Lubricant relocated to Lebanon looking for a friendly business environment and quality rail service in 2011. The Mayor added that the company’s needs were met, and a long-lasting relationship was formed.

“It’s great to see this quality partnership leading to the growth of a quality Lebanon business,” said Mayor Lewis.

For this latest expansion that brings the Brad Penn Lubricants production and its 25 jobs to Indiana, the City of Lebanon is once again stepping up with local incentives recommended by the Boone County Economic Development Corporation.


Exact Sciences Awarded $9M in Wisconsin Economic Development Tax Credits

Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS) has been awarded up to $9 million in Wisconsin economic development tax credits that are being provided to support the company’s growth plans.

Exact Sciences

Exact Sciences (photo –

The $9 million award is the fourth largest in the history of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in terms of job creation.

The exact amount the company will be able to claim depends on its fulfilling investment and job creation commitments.

The Exact Sciences agreement with WEDC enables it to receive the tax incentives in return for making $26,264,000 in capital expenditures in Wisconsin and creating 758 new full-time positions by Dec 31, 2020.

The Exact Sciences project has been an unqualified success for the company, the City of Madison and the state ever since CEO Kevin T. Conroy and COO Maneesh K. Arora relocated the company to Wisconsin in 2009 as a small biotech startup.

Exact Sciences is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. Last year, Exact Sciences received FDA approval for its Cologuard test.

Cologuard was one of the first products in the FDA and CMS parallel review pilot program in which the two federal agencies are simultaneously reviewing medical devices to reduce the gap between FDA approval and subsequent Medicare coverage for it.

The simultaneous approval by the FDA and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services set the stage for the company’s explosive growth and market capitalization on the NASDAQ. Since relocating to Wisconsin, Exact Sciences has grown from two employees to a large team of more than 400 employees that has generated more than $5.2 million in payroll taxes for the state.

Governor Scott Walker said in a release announcing the WEDC tax credit award that he congratulates Exact Sciences on its successes and applauds the company for its continued commitment to Wisconsin.

Madison Region Economic Partnership President Paul Jadin likewise congratulated Exact Sciences on its fast-paced expansion in the Madison area, and added that as Exact Sciences continues to grow, its impact on the regional economy will be profound.

Exact Sciences now plans to create 758 new full-time jobs over the next five years. The tax incentive agreement with the WEDC requires that these new jobs should have an average wage of at least $24.47 per hour.

Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences, said in a release issued by the company that this agreement underscores their commitment to expanding in Wisconsin as they develop new tests that can help eradicate the deadliest forms of cancer.

Conroy added that they moved Exact Sciences to Madison in 2009 because of the state’s strong, dedicated workers and the first-class universities to recruit talent. Following the FDA approval of Cologuard and their pipeline for potential new cancer screening tests, Conroy said that WEDC is now offering another incentive to continue growing their team in Wisconsin.

WEDC Secretary and CEO Reed Hall said in the release that they are pleased to have been able to play a key role in helping secure Exact Sciences’ future in Dane County.

Ohio Economic Development Assistance for Greater Cincinnati Projects to Create Over 1000 Jobs

Governor John R. Kasich announced that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved assistance for 13 projects that will spur $163.6 million in new investments across the state.

Ohio jobs

Ohio jobs (photo – americaspower/flickr)

Economic development tax credit awards for these Ohio projects are expected to create a total of 1,401 jobs and $58.2 million in new payroll, in addition to helping retain another 1,470 jobs.

One of the biggest projects in the lot both in terms of investment and job creation is an expansion by Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. in the City of Mason, OH.

Mitsubishi is investing $80 million to add nearly 50 percent more space to its existing 400,000-square-foot facility in Mason where it manufactures alternators and starter motors for the automotive industry. Mitsubishi has recently been awarded a contract by General Motors, and needs to boost production of its automotive alternators.

The City of Mason and Warren County teamed up with state economic development non-profit JobsOhio and Greater Cincinnati economic development group REDI Cincinnati to secure the Mitsubishi expansion project for the Mason plant.

Mitsubishi plans to create 100 new jobs in Mason, and the expansion will also help them retain 450 existing jobs. This means $4.2 million in additional annual payroll on top of the existing payroll of $19.7 million. The Ohio TCA has approved a 55 percent, eight-year Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) for this project.

Apart from Mitsubishi, the TCA also approved assistance for four other projects located in Greater Cincinnati. This includes Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Company; Curiosity, LLC; SSB Manufacturing Company; and Startek USA Inc.

All five projects combined are expected to generate over $123 million in capital investments for the region, and create 1,066 new jobs while retaining 671 current positions.

REDI Cincinnati President and CEO Johnna Reeder said in a release announcing the approval of state economic development assistance for these projects that they are seeing growth in several sectors right now, as evidenced by the companies approved. Reeder added that they expect this trend to continue as their pipeline is consistently moving in an upward trajectory.

The remaining eight projects for which the Ohio TCA approved state incentives are as follows:-

Briskheat Corp – Expansion project in the City of Columbus creating 103 new jobs. Awarded a 50 percent, six-year JCTC.

Coyote Logistics, LLC – Expansion project in the City of Columbus creating 50 new jobs. Awarded a 45 percent, six-year JCTC.

Superior Production, LLC- Expansion project in the City of Columbus creating 35 new jobs. Awarded a 40 percent, six-year JCTC.

Craft Wholesalers, Inc. – New location in the City of Groveport creating 10 new jobs. Awarded a 35 percent, five-year JCTC.

Autosoft, Inc. – Expansion project in the City of Dayton creating 25 new jobs. Awarded a 45 percent, five-year JCTC.

GT Technologies, Inc. – Expansion project in the City of Toledo creating 24 new jobs. Awarded a 40 percent, six-year JCTC.

GT Technologies, Inc. – Expansion project in the City of Defiance creating 19 new jobs. Awarded a 40 percent, six-year JCTC.

Total Quality Logistics, LLC – New project in Ohio, at a location which is yet to be finalized, will create 70 new jobs. Awarded a 40 percent, five-year JCTC.

Gwinnett, Georgia Economic Development Partnership Secures Comcast HQ Relocation

Comcast has selected the City of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County, GA as the site for an expansion and relocation of its new regional headquarters in metro Atlanta.

Comcast headquarters in Gwinnett, GA

Comcast headquarters in Gwinnett, GA (photo –

The announcement was made by Governor Nathan Deal, in partnership with Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD).

Assisted by Partnership Gwinnett and GDEcD’s Lindsay Martin, Comcast is taking up four floors covering 88,000 square feet in the 10-story Wells Building in Peachtree Corners.

The company plans to relocate its existing 532 full-time local employees into the new headquarters, and create another 150 new jobs as well. Comcast will additionally create another 150 new jobs at its existing Fulton County facility in Alpharetta, adding up to a total of 300 new jobs across the two counties.

Comcast Regional SVP Doug Guthrie said in a release announcing the project that by bringing 300 new jobs to Atlanta, Comcast continues to support Georgia economic development by building a strong, highly skilled workforce, deploying innovative products and services, and investing in the most advanced broadband network in the state.

The company is already one of the largest employers in Georgia with more than 4,000 employees spread across 190 offices, call centers and facilities in the state, and a two-decade long track record of spending more than $200 million annually in Georgia.

Guthrie added that he wants to thank Governor Nathan Deal, GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr, Fulton Chairman John Eaves, Gwinnett Chairman Charlotte Nash, and partners from the state, City of Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Partnership and Fulton County for their terrific support.

Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash said in a release issued by the Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development that Comcast’s decision to invest in Gwinnett speaks to the community’s many strengths, including a pro-business environment, a talented workforce, and quality of life factors such as nationally recognized schools and parks.

Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason likewise said that they celebrate the expansion of Comcast in the City of Peachtree Corners, and added that the 150 new and well-paying jobs their presence will bring is a win for the community.

Nick Masino, senior vice president for Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, said in the release that Gwinnett Economic Development consistently works to attract top innovators, such as Comcast, to the community.

Masino added that telecommunications is undoubtedly a fast-growing industry in the nation, and their goal is to continue developing tech talent that is attractive to companies like Comcast and to provide opportunities for businesses to grow and expand in the County.

Louisiana, IBM, CenturyLink Partner to Open Monroe Innovation Center

IBM (NYSE: IBM), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and the State of Louisiana announced plans for an innovative public-private partnership that will establish a new applications development innovation center in Monroe, LA.


IBM (photo – alastc/flickr)

The IBM center will create 400 direct new jobs in Monroe. According to estimates provided by Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the project will result in the creation of another 406 indirect jobs, adding up to a total of more than 800 new jobs for Northeast Louisiana.

The center is being opened as part of a 10-year business transformation agreement between IBM and CenturyLink, and is expected to generate big benefits for the community. For starters, IBM will draw heavily out of the pool of graduates from the state’s colleges and universities to fill the new positions it is creating.

Secondly, IBM plans to work closely with local professors to recommend curricular changes focused on software development and technology that will equip students to meet the growing demand for business services such as application development.

Colleen Arnold, Senior Vice President, IBM Sales and Distribution, said in a release announcing trhe project that they are proud to be part of this innovative public-private partnership with the State of Louisiana and CenturyLink to further develop highly valued skills and solutions expertise in security, analytics and mobility applications.

CenturyLink CEO and President Glen Post said in the release that the partnership with IBM enables them to work together to grow both companies and support the communities where their employees live and work.

Louisiana Economic Development began negotiations about this project with IBM and CenturyLink last year in October. In order to secure the project, LED has offered IBM a customized incentive package of $7.7 million in grants to reimburse the relocation, recruitment, training and operating costs associated with the Monroe center.

For its part in the public-private partnership, the State of Louisiana is putting up $12 million to help build new office space for IBM, which will be the anchor tenant in a privately developed 88-acre mixed-use complex across from CenturyLink’s corporate headquarters.

In order to keep the talent pipeline primed and fill the IBM jobs, the State is also providing another $4.5 million to enable educational institutions in the region to expand programs. For example, the funding will go towards expanding the computer science program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the data analytics program at Grambling State University, and the cyber engineering program at Louisiana Tech.

IBM will also have access to the Louisiana Economic Development FastStart workforce development program to help the company develop recruiting materials, hold campus events, and recruit via social media and alumni events.

IBM’s Monroe Innovation Center will be their second one in the state, and is modeled after the IBM skills hub in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in the release that two of the most successful economic development projects they have embarked upon in recent years are the innovative public-private partnerships that gave birth to IBM’s technology center in downtown Baton Rouge, and the multiple corporate headquarters expansion projects by CenturyLink in Monroe.

The Governor added that this latest project replicates those successes by combining two of the leading technology companies in the world in a partnership that will pay great dividends for the community and the economic future of Monroe, the Northeast Region and the entire state.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority to Consider Incentives For First Data Corp

The agenda for the next meeting of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority includes an application for tax incentives for First Data Corp.

New Jersey sign in Trenton

New Jersey sign in Trenton (photo – Famartin/wikimedia)

The $8.25 million in Grow NJ incentives, if awarded, are meant to encourage the global payment solutions company to make a capital investment and locate the project in Jersey City, NJ.

The Grow NJ award would be in the form of an annual award of $825,000 for a 10-year period. The project’s location in Jersey City, Hudson County means it qualifies for bonus increases to the allowed tax credit award.

The Grow NJ program allows this for transit-oriented economic development projects located in an urban transit HUB municipality.

First Data Corp announced back in August last year that it had selected Jersey City as the location for an expansion of its security applications team. The company expected that the project would bring 74 new jobs to Jersey City, along with a capital investment of $1.4 million.

One of the deciding factors that led to First Data Crop choosing Jersey City was the approval of Grow NJ incentives, which at that time was supposed to be around $6 million. Without these incentives, the company could have decided to locate the expansion at their headquarters in Atlanta, GA instead.

At that time, Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop said in a release announcing the project that they are very thankful and excited that First Data’s leadership sees the benefits of growing a business in Jersey City.

Mayor Fulop noted that Jersey City is becoming a preferred location for business and is leading the state economy with job creation, and added that through partnerships with the State, they will continue to bring new business to Jersey City.

Apart from the First Data Corp application, the agenda for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority meeting also includes two other Grow NJ incentive applications.

One is for photography equipment and accessories manufacturer and distributor C&A Marketing, Inc., to encourage the company to locate a project and make a capital investment in Edison Township, Middlesex County. This is an application for an estimated annual award of $541,746 in tax credits for a 10-year term.

The third Grow NJ award on the agenda is for Stay Fresh Foods, LLC for a project in Pennsauken Township, NJ. This would be an estimated annual award of $340,000 in tax credits for a 10-year term.

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Incentives Offered for Citigroup Florida Expansion

The Board of County Commissioners in Hillsborough County, FL is set to consider a proposal to approve a package of local incentives for a large expansion project by Citigroup.


Citigroup (photo – eflon/flickr)

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is proposing to invest $90 million and create 1,163 new jobs over the next three years at its current Tampa location at the Sabal Industrial Park in unincorporated Hillsborough County.

These will be high quality jobs with average annual wages of at least $75,000.

The incentive proposal asks that the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation’s ‘Project Expansion’ be approved as a Qualified Target Industry Business, making it eligible for state and local incentives under the QTI Tax Refund program.

Specifically, the county would need to pitch in with $1,395,600 as a local match for the $5,582,400 QTI award from the State of Florida.

Secondly, a 10-year Jobs Creation Incentive Agreement provides for up to $1,400,252 in incentive payments to Citigroup as incentives for encouraging Citigroup to locate the expansion in Tampa and create the new jobs committed.

As part of the compliance agreement for these incentive payments spread over ten years, Citigroup is required to retain a baseline employment of 5,173.

Thirdly, the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners will also consider approving a Capital Investment Incentive Agreement with Citigroup. This agreement provides Citigroup another $600,000 in incentive payments to encourage the capital investment of up to $90 million for the expansion.

Citigroup’s application for incentives includes a $6 million grant from the state, to be provided as a High Impact Performance Incentive (HIPI) Grant. This will be entirely in the form of State of Florida economic development incentives recommended by Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI) and approved by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

However, the HIPI grant is still subject to approval of the jobs creation and capital investment agreements between the county and Citigroup.

All put together, Citigroup will be getting up to $3,395,852 in local Hillsborough economic development incentives for this Tampa expansion, and a total of up to $15 million in state and local incentives.

Citigroup hasn’t officially picked Tampa for the expansion, but the county’s approval of the package of incentives should be helpful to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and EFI in closing the deal.

Colorado Approves $23M Economic Development Incentives For Sierra Nevada Project in Colorado Springs

At its latest meeting, the Board of the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a $23.2 million state incentives package for a proposed high-end aircraft completions complex in Colorado Springs by Sierra Nevada Corporation.


SNC (photo –

The campus, to be located in the Colorado Aerospace Park at Colorado Springs Airport, will be built in four phases with an expected investment of $88 million by SNC.

It will be large enough to house 2,100 employees within five years, and the project is forecasted to pump $5 billion into the state economy, including the impact of indirect and induced jobs.

As a start, the company has committed to create 1,323 jobs in Colorado return for the state and local incentives that have been offered. These are high-wage jobs with an annual average wage exceeding $83,700.

Sparks, NV-based Sierra Nevada Corporation already has a workforce of more than 3,000 employees spread across 31 facilities in 17 states and two locations in Europe. This includes three existing Colorado facilities in Centennial, Louisville and Englewood.

In a release announcing the project, SNC President Eren Ozmen expressed gratitude to the state of Colorado, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, and the Airport Authority for helping them make the Sierra Completions dream a reality.

SNC has created a new aircraft completions subsidiary called Sierra Completions to operate this facility in Colorado Springs. It will be one of only a few completion centers in the U.S. capable of accommodating the largest wide-body aircraft in the world today, including the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 747 and 787.

Sierra Completions will focus on aircraft used by private sector V-VIPs and heads of state, modifying the jet interiors to create a so-called ‘office in the sky.’

Jon Burgoyne, president of Sierra Completions, said in the release that they were very pleased with the cooperation and commitment brought to the table by state and local officials, proving that they’re invested as much in the success of Sierra Completions as the company itself.

Governor John Hickenlooper said in the release that with the announcement by Sierra Nevada Corporation, Colorado Springs is on its way to becoming home to an aviation facility unlike any other in the country. “We’re thrilled to welcome Sierra Completions and be part of the continued success and expansion of SNC,” said Gov. Hickenlooper.

Apart from the job creation and investment impact, there’s also another big economic development benefit from this project for Colorado Springs, El Paso County and the rest of the Colorado Springs MSA, better known as the Pikes Peak region.

Almost half of the employment dollars spent in the Colorado Springs economy come from U.S. Department of Defense employees. The Sierra Completions aircraft completions facility will help diversify the economy and enable the region to retain trained military talent as active-duty members transition into civilian life.

Volkswagen Selects Jacksonville, Florida JAXPORT as Southeast US Port

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. announced the selection of the Port of Jacksonville, FL (JAXPORT) as their southeastern U.S. port. The company will invest $3 million into the project and expects to create 100 new jobs.


Herndon, VA-based Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, already has approximately 6,500 employees in the United States.

The 85-acre JAXPORT facility will process and distribute arriving Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley vehicles to states in the southeast.

Volkswagen plans on transporting 100,000 cars through their 85-acre JAXPORT facility within a year after it opens in May, and that total is expected to add up to approximately 550,000 in the next five years.

The Volkswagen JAXPORT facility will also be used to export vehicles, including the Volkswagen Passat and a new seven-passenger SUV soon to be manufactured at the company’s Chattanooga, TN plant.

In a release announcing the project, Governor Rick Scott said they are excited Volkswagen has chosen Florida to create new jobs. “Florida’s ports are one of the many reasons why companies are choosing our state as the best place to grow their business,” said Gov. Scott.

David Geanacopoulos, executive vice president for Public Affairs and General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., said in the release that selecting the Port of Jacksonville as their southeastern U.S. port is part of the company’s growth strategy in the southeast.

Volkswagen and Gov. Scott joined state and local officials and leaders from JAXPORT, the JAXUSA Partnership and AMPORTS for the announcement in Jacksonville.

AMPORTS is one of the largest auto processors in North America. The JAXUSA Partnership is the lead Jacksonville economic development group assisting businesses with relocation and expansion projects in the region. Volkswagen has been offered incentives for this project based on the volume of vehicles processed through the JAXPORT facility.

This JAXPORT project adds to the company’s existing presence in Jacksonville, where it already has a 260,000-square-foot parts distribution facility that opened in 2009.

JAXPORT Board Chairman John Falconetti said that Governor Scott and the state leadership, through their unwavering commitment to long term investments in a state-of-the-art seaport and transportation network, have given them the tools they need to grow jobs and opportunity.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Boxol reinforced this point with a statement that FDOT is pleased to partner with JAXPORT in terminal and waterway improvements that he said positioned JAXPORT to secure the Volkswagen Group business.

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said that Volkswagen’s decision to expand to Jacksonville shows real confidence in the city and its growing economy.

Mark Frisch, Chair of JAXUSA Partnership, noted that Volkswagen is a high-profile name in the automotive industry. Frisch added that they are pleased to see the continued growth of European companies in Northeast Florida, particularly in logistics, which he said is an industry that they have strategically targeted for growth.

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