Job Creation

Linamar Expansion Gets Ontario and Canada Economic Development Funding Support

Federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced a CAD $50.7 million investment by the Government of Canada in Linamar Corporation (TSE: LNR).

Linamar Corp headquarters at Guelph, Ontario

Linamar Corp headquarters at Guelph, Ontario (photo – Tabercil/wikimedia)

This funding, made through the Automotive Innovation Fund, supports a planned CAD $506.8 million expansion by Linamar to produce fuel-efficient powertrain components for next-generation transmissions.

The project will create 1,200 new jobs in Ontario over the next 10 years, and the company plans to increase its R&D expenditures once the project is fully ramped up. Linamar will also maintain a minimum of 6,870 jobs at its Ontario facilities.

The federal investment made through the Automotive Innovation Fund is a repayable contribution and represents 10 percent of the project cost.

The Guelph, ON-based global auto parts manufacturer has manufacturing operations in 12 countries, and could have based this expansion in other countries. They chose Ontario because of the highly skilled workforce and R&D capabilities.

Minister Raitt said in a statement that Canada has much to offer automakers and parts manufacturers, and cited the Automotive Innovation Fund, support for automotive R&D, low corporate income tax rate, stable economy, highly skilled and productive workforce, and well-developed infrastructure and access to markets.

Linamar’s expansion project is also getting CAD $50.25 million in Ontario economic development funding. The province worked closely with the federal government to secure this project.

Linamar Corporation CEO Linda Hasenfratz said in a release that they are thrilled with the support shown by both the Ontario and federal governments through this investment in the company’s Ontario plants.

Hasenfratz added that their Canadian plants are the company’s most productive globally thanks to a talented, skilled workforce with an amazing work ethic and a dedication to process and product innovation.

“It is critical for our governments to create a competitive environment for companies to invest. They certainly have done so today with this funding,” added Hasenfratz.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a statement that Linamar is a true Ontario success story, and the government is proud to support the next phase of its growth and help create high-quality jobs for the people of Ontario.

Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, said this announcement with Linamar is a great example of their auto strategy in action.

Minister Duguid added that their investments to date have leveraged more than CAD $10 billion in industry investment, and said the government will continue to partner with the auto sector and the federal government to attract investment, foster innovation and create high-value jobs.

At the federal level, investments made through the Automotive Innovation Fund have leveraged up to CAD $2.3 billion for R&D and innovation in Canada.

Canada’s automotive industry contributes 10 percent of the country’s manufacturing GDP and 13 percent of total merchandise exports. The industry provides direct employment to 117,000 Canadians, and supports 377,000 indirect jobs.

Schaeffler Investments in South Carolina Production Facilities to Create 440 Jobs

Schaeffler Group USA Inc. will invest $163.8 million as part of a capital improvement program covering three of its South Carolina manufacturing facilities in Spartanburg, Fort Mill and Cheraw.


Schaeffler (photo –

The expansions will create a combined total of more than 440 new jobs. Fort Mill, SC-based Schaeffler Group USA Inc. develops and manufactures precision products for machinery, equipment, vehicles and aviation and aerospace applications.

The company is a part of the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Schaeffler Group, a global giant with more than 80,000 employees in 49 countries across the globe that generate sales of around 11.2 billion Euro.

The biggest of the three SC expansion projects is the $97.4 million investment in the Schaeffler manufacturing facility in Cheraw, SC. This project is expected to create 331 new jobs for Cheraw and Chesterfield County.

The company is investing another $68 million at its manufacturing facility in Fort Mill, SC. This expansion is expected to create 112 new jobs for Fort Mill and York County.

South Carolina economic development incentives in the form of job development credits have been approved by the Coordinating Council for Economic Development to assist both expansion projects in Fort Mill and Cheraw.

Schaeffler will also invest another $1.4 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, SC.

In a release announcing these projects, Governor Nikki Haley said that “We thank Schaeffler for the partnership we have been able to build with them, and we look forward to watching them succeed here for many years to come.”

Schaeffler Americas CEO Bruce Warmbold said in the release that they are pleased to expand production in Spartanburg, which he said solidifies their overall commitment to the State of South Carolina, City of Cheraw and Chesterfield County.

Warmbold also noted that the new production space and machinery will expand based on the skills of their manufacturing team, but will also require additional education for new state of the art technologies.

Schaeffler has a worldwide network of manufacturing sites, R&D facilities, engineering offices, sales companies and training centers in 170 locations around the world.

South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said in the release that South Carolina is proud to possess such excellent partnerships with German companies. Sec. Hitt added that since 2011, German affiliates have announced projects involving more than 7,000 new jobs and $3.5 billion in new investment in South Carolina.

Michigan Approves Incentives for Five Economic And Community Development Projects

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced approval of incentives for three business expansion projects and two other community development projects.

Pure Michigan

Pure Michigan (photo – Royalbroil/wikimedia)

The Michigan Strategic Fund approval for these projects supports the creation of 218 jobs and brings more than $24.3 million in investments to Michigan.

One of the three expansion projects is being undertaken by the Irwin Seating Company in the City of Walker, MI. The company specializes in manufacturing public seating for venues such as convention centers, arenas, auditoriums and movie theatres.

Irwin has two manufacturing facilities in North America – a seating division in Walker, MI and a telescopic platform and bleachers division in Altamont, IL. The company picked the Walker facility over a competing site in Mississippi for manufacturing a new recliner product for the cinema market.

They’re going to invest $1.9 million to repurpose 50,000 square feet of space in the Walker facility and provide training for new employees who must have specialized skills to handle the complex nature of the work.

This state is supporting the investment and the 60 new jobs being created by providing a $300,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program. The company already has more than 400 employees, of which 287 are located at the Walker facility.

The City of Walker is additionally considering approving a tax abatement to support the expansion. This project was assisted by West Michigan’s regional non-profit economic development organization The Right Place, Inc.

Win Irwin, President and CEO, Irwin Seating Company, said in a release announcing the expansion that the company was built in West Michigan and they are proud to be reinvesting in the community that has grown with them.

“We are particularly grateful that the Right Place and the State of Michigan were willing to partner with us on this exciting opportunity,” said Irwin.

The other two expansion projects that received MSF approval are automotive companies. Plymouth, MI-based LOC Performance Products, Inc., which manufactures driveline and suspension systems, is investing $12.1 million at its facility in Plymouth Charter Township and creating 95 jobs. LOC is getting a $600,000 MBD grant and additional property tax abatements from the Township.

NHK International Corporation, a subsidiary of Japanese suspension springs manufacturer NHK Spring Co., Ltd., is investing $9 million to purchase a building in the City of Novi, MI for its headquarters and R&D center.

The company will be creating 26 new automotive research and engineering jobs as part of the headquarters relocation and expansion project. NHK is getting a $150,000 MBD grant, and the City of Novi is further supporting the project by providing funding for permit fees.

Two other community development projects received approval for CDBG funding. Neuvokas Corporation’s expansion project in the Township of Allouez received $275,000 in CDBG funds for on-the-job training for new employees. The company is investing $1.3 million and creating 31 new jobs as part of an expansion.

The other project community development project is the Harrietta Hills Trout Farm expansion in Slagle Township. Wexford County was provided $210,000 in CDBG funding for this project, and the company is getting it as a working capital loan that will help them grow and create six new jobs.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Arwood said in an MEDC release that the commitment of these companies to grow and create jobs in the state demonstrates the significance of Michigan’s greatly improved business climate and infrastructure.

Canon to Invest $100M in Newport News, Virginia

Canon Virginia, Inc. is expanding its Newport News, VA facility yet again, this time with a $100 million investment to add cartridge production lines and increase toner manufacturing and filling.


Canon (photo – Solomon203/wikimedia)

CVI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc. Their parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), generates around $36 billion in global revenue.

In a release announcing the expansion, Governor Terry McAuliffe said that Canon Virginia and the Commonwealth have maintained a solid corporate partnership for nearly 30 years.

The Governor, who recently met with Canon Inc. executives in Tokyo to discuss this project during his Asia Marketing Mission, added that it is an honor for him to work directly with CVI, CUSA and Canon Inc. to strengthen this invaluable relationship and support the company’s continued commitment to Virginia.

Toru Nishizawa, president and CEO of Canon Virginia, responded in kind, noting that “For nearly three decades, Canon has enjoyed a special relationship with our friends in Virginia.”

Canon Virginia has now announced capital investments of more than $470 million since 2008, including this latest $100 million and a previously announced $27 million expansion in June 2013 to add the manufacturing of toners for Canon color copiers at the Newport News facility. That expansion was supported by a $3 million grant.

For this new $100 million expansion, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Newport News to secure the project. The company is once again getting a $3 million performance-based grant through the Virginia Investment Partnership program.

The Newport News facility has more than 1,800 employees, and the new high-tech equipment at the plant will require intensive higher scale training for some of these CVI workers. Additional funding and support for employee retraining will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said in the release that advanced manufacturing is an increasingly important sector in Virginia’s dynamic economy, and CVI is ahead of the curve with its Newport News facilities and equipment.

The company will also be getting Newport News economic development incentives in the form of payments linked to the new local taxes generated by the project. Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS said that they are proud of the company’s success and encouraged by its growth and innovation in Newport News.

Lehigh Valley, PA Economic Development Partnership Secures Reeb Millwork Expansion

Millwork products wholesaler Reeb Millwork Corporation is planning an expansion of its operations in Bethlehem, PA with a new facility in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII.


REEB (photo –

Supported by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and incentives from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Reeb is investing more than $38 million at the site.

The company will buy 61 acres in the industrial park and build a new facility located about five miles from their existing headquarters operations in Bethlehem.

The expansion will create 147 new jobs and enable Reeb to retain 267 existing positions in their Pennsylvania operations over the next three years.

In a release announcing the project, Governor Tom Corbett said that Pennsylvania’s skilled workforce and keystone location to markets continue to accelerate investment and encourage companies to not only stay in Pennsylvania, but grow as well.

Reeb Millwork Corp is one of the leading building materials distributors on the east coast, with a history that goes back a long way. The company started as a family-owned warehouse in Roselle Park, NJ in the early 1920s and moved to Bethlehem in the mid-1930s after a fire destroyed their second facility in Eastport Chester, CT.

Apart from their headquarters in Bethlehem and the new facility in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, Reeb has now established large east coast operations in Syracuse, NY; Lincoln, RI and Barclay, MD.

The Rhode Island and Maryland facilities, built in 2007, both exceed 150,000 square feet and have state-of-the-art showrooms, and also house their Reeb Millwork Colleges. The company also has a facility in Seattle, WA servicing west coast customers.

Their latest Bethlehem expansion was coordinated by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation working in collaboration with economic development professionals in the PA Governor’s Action Team.

Incentives offered to Reeb by DCED to secure this project include a $400,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant which facilitates the investment and job creation, and another $441,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits. The company’s workforce training needs associated with the expansion are being supported through a $66,150 grant under the Guaranteed Free Training program.

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp President and CEO Don Cunningham said in the release that Reeb Millwork has had a strong presence in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania for decades. He added that they are a high-quality manufacturer and it was critical to keep them in the Lehigh Valley and growing in the region and the state.

Cunningham also said that it took a great partnership to make this happen, and they are grateful to the Commonwealth for its help in making it happen.

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp Secures BluePearl HQ Expansion

BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a veterinary medicine leader which operates emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals, is expanding its headquarters in Tampa, FL.

BluePearl Veterinary Partners

BluePearl Veterinary Partners (photo –

The company will invest $1 million to add a new 4,800-square-foot building to house office space for its support services team, and expects to create 50 new jobs over the next three years.

The project was secured through a strong partnership effort involving the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and Hillsborough County. The Tampa EDC is the lead economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.

The company isn’t getting any incentives for the expansion, but Hillsborough County is assisting them through an expedited permitting process that will save them time and money.

BluePearl already has 50 employees located at its Tampa headquarters. Nationwide, the company employs more than 1,800 team members, including more than 450 veterinarians, at 40 locations across 14 states.

Their hospitals do not provide primary care and focus on referral-only specialty care services, and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship programs. They also participate in clinical trials to test new treatments and drugs, providing pet families with cutting-edge medicine that is not commercially available.

The company was founded as a veterinary specialty and emergency medical practice in Tampa in 1996 by Darryl Shaw, who oversees the business operations as the company’s CEO, and his brother Neil Shaw who is the board-certified veterinarian.

In a release announcing the expansion, Darryl Shaw said that Tampa has always been their home and they are happy to be creating new jobs and opportunities with their support services team as they continue opening veterinary hospitals across the U.S.

Sandra Murman, Chair of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, said in the release that BluePearl Veterinary Partners has been a valuable member of the community for nearly two decades, providing exceptional care for the pets of thousands of people in Hillsborough County and beyond.

Murman added that they’re committed to promoting the growth of locally headquartered companies like BluePearl and will do all they can to support their continued success.

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Rick Homans likewise noted that the BluePearl expansion highlights the support and resources which their local partners are providing to help existing businesses stay, prosper and build an exciting future for their companies, employees and Hillsborough County.

Decatur Economic Development Corp Helps Freedom Powersports Expansion in Texas

Freedom Powersports, a family-owned company of Texas power sport dealerships, is relocating its Decatur store to a larger location.

Freedom Powersports

Freedom Powersports (photo –

Supported by the City of Decatur, TX and the Decatur Economic Development Corporation, the company is investing $2.25 million to establish a 25,000-square-foot retail store, adding five new employees and retaining its existing staff of five.

Their 13 locations include nine in North Texas, one in Huntsville, AL and another three in the Atlanta area. These stores sell power sports vehicles including ATVs, UTVs, watercraft and motorcycles, along with related parts and accessories.

Freedom Powersports first opened the store in Decatur in March 2013, and has since improved sales growth at the location by 200-300 percent. The new facility, the ground-breaking for which is scheduled to be held in about two months, will be more than double the size of their current store and is located at a high-traffic intersection in Decatur.

The expansion was facilitated through an economic development agreement which provides the company with assistance from the City valued at about $68,000. This includes reimbursement for the cost of relocating a sewer line that runs through the property and would otherwise have prevented any development on the 3-acre site.

The agreement requires the company to complete the 25,000-square-foot building and occupy the premises by the end of 2015, retain their staff of five and create another five new jobs within a year after that.

Both the DEDC Board of Directors and the Decatur City Council have approved the deal with Freedom Powersports Decatur LLC, previously identified under the apt name of Project Freedom.

DEDC Executive Director Mary Poche said in a release announcing the project that Freedom Powersports is a very successful company that has already given back to the community in employment opportunities and sales tax revenue.

Poche added that they are pleased to be able to continue to support the company’s growth and long-term success in Wise County, and look forward to having a beautiful new building at a highly visible intersection in Decatur.

Freedom Powersports President and CEO Kevin Lackey said the new store is a significant expansion at more than 14,000 square feet larger, and puts them in a better location in a custom-designed retail store. Lackey added that with more space, they can keep more product in stock and so serve customers better, faster and more efficiently.

Philadelphia, PA Economic Development Incentives Support Job Creation by Adminovate

Adminovate, Inc., a provider of policy administration software and solutions for the life, health, and annuity industries, is expanding its operations in Philadelphia.


Philadelphia (photo – waving at you/flickr)

Supported by a package of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania economic development incentives, the company is adding 25,000 square feet of space to their existing facility, investing more than $416,000 at the new site, creating a projected 81 new jobs and retaining 35 existing positions over the next three years.

Governor Tom Corbett, in a statement announcing the expansion, said that Pennsylvania’s favorable business climate and the abundance of skilled and productive workers make it the best place for companies like Adminovate to grow their businesses.

Adminovate CFO Jeff Mathis said in the release that this is an exciting time for the company and they’re pleased and grateful to be able to remain in Philadelphia. Mathis added that they appreciate the support of Gov. Corbett and the City of Philadelphia and look forward to their future in Pennsylvania.

In order to secure the project, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) offered the company a package of incentives that includes up to $243,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits and three other grants.

One of the grants is a $75,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation. A second $300,000 Discovered in PA – Developed in PA grant has been offered to support the expansion that helps Adminovate establish a development and training center at the new Philadelphia site.

The third one is a $98,600 training grant that will be provided under the Guaranteed Free Training program to help the company provide training for its expanded workforce.

The project was coordinated by economic development professionals in the Governor’s Action Team who report directly to the Governor and worked in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia on this project.

Philadelphia economic development incentives offered to secure the project include job creation tax credits valued at more than $405,000.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the City is thrilled that Adminovate has chosen to keep their headquarters in Philadelphia and make it the site of their expansion.

The Adminovate team, including CEO Christopher Doggett and Chief Architect Christopher Gali, are insurance industry veterans whose previous venture, the Chester, PA-based insurance software firm AdminServer, was acquired by Oracle in 2008.

Ocala Economic Development Gets Another Boost From FedEx Ground

FedEx Ground’s distribution hub project in Florida’s Ocala-Marion County Commerce Park, which has been in the works since early 2013, is growing yet again.

FedEx Ground

FedEx Ground (Rob Young/Flickr)

Governor Rick Scott announced that the FedEx Ground hub is now expected to open with more than 350 employees and a capital investment of over $170 million.

The company, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., started off by submitting plans for a 383,161-square-foot distribution center. They acquired the 150-acre site from the Commerce Park’s owner Ocala 489 LLC in Aug 2013. FedEx Ground was expected to invest $122.9 million and create 165 full-time equivalent jobs.

In order to secure the project, FedEx Ground was offered an attractive package of local and state incentives. This included $3.5 million in Marion County and Ocala economic development incentives, plus another $792,000 from the State of Florida through the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund program. The City has additionally received a state grant for providing infrastructure improvements and road construction for the project.

It’s turning out to be a very good investment, because the FedEx Ground hub’s original plans have been changed several times, and it’s now likely to end up at almost twice the size they started out with.

It’s a multi-phase project now, with Phase One as a 400,000-square-foot distribution center for which construction is underway, and expected to be complete by Aug 2016.

In the second phase, the project would increase the size of the distribution center and add four more buildings to support the operations. Not to mention parking space for which the company has already purchased additional land from Ocala 489 near the hub site.

The hub will also consolidate the operations of an existing FedEx Ground facility in Ocala which currently has 90 employees.

Gov. Scott said in a release announcing the expansion that he knew when he toured the location in the spring of 2013 that Ocala would be the perfect fit for FedEx Ground, and added that they continued working hard to help deliver this win for area families.

FedEx Ground Regional Vice President Bob Holcombe said in the release that the site’s ease of access to major highways, proximity to customers’ distribution centers and a strong local community workforce makes it an ideal location for such an important facility in their network.

Chairman of the Ocala-Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership Doug Cone added that he believes there will be a tremendous halo effect in that FedEx’s current vendors and other logistics-oriented companies will be coming to the area for the same reasons.

Start-Up NY Economic Development Initiative Attracts 13 Projects

Thirteen more businesses will locate or expand in New York State to take advantage of tax-free operations under the Start-Up NY initiative.

Start-Up NY

Start-Up NY (photo –

Start-up NY is a New York economic development initiative established in 2013. It allows businesses to operate tax-free for 10 years in approved areas within or associated with a partnering educational institution.

The 13 latest projects announced under Start-Up NY are expected to create at least 268 new jobs and generate investments of more than $11.4 million.

These projects join more than 40 companies that are already participating by establishing operations in tax-free areas. All put together, Start-Up NY has attracted projects creating more than 2,100 jobs and $98 million in private investment.

In a statement announcing the new projects, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that by combining the state’s world-class workforce, unparalleled communities and natural environment with the chance to operate tax-free, the Start-Up NY program is attracting businesses that will drive New York’s economy and create jobs and opportunities for years to come.

The full list of companies joining the Start-Up NY ranks are as follows:-

University at Buffalo (130 net new jobs) – GradFly, Inc.; ID Federator, LLC; Illuminating Diagnostics, LLC; Nuenz, Inc.

Stony Brook University (51 net new jobs) – FlightPartner; UTS, LLC; ProGen Life Sciences; Zuznow USA, Inc.

SUNY Ulster (44 net new jobs) – Mid-Island Aggregates/Distribution, LLC; Sustainable Waste Power Systems, Inc.;

Keuka College (17 net new jobs) – Sensored Life, LLC;

Canisius College (16 net new jobs) – Simply Natural Clothing; and

SUNY Downstate Medical Center (10 net new jobs) – NomoCan Pharmaceuticals, LLC;

Stony Brook University’s four projects are particularly interesting. FlightPartner is a travel startup with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) global distribution system that provides charter operators, travelers and brokers immediate quotes and booking options. FlightPartner is locating in the CEWIT Incubator at Stony Brook University, and will be creating nine net new jobs.

Long Island-based Unique Technical Services, LLC is an engineering services and product development company. Their team has a strong track record in the electric and hybrid electric vehicle market. UTS has developed a proprietary ultracapacitor-based energy storage system for vehicles, and is now about to start with the commercialization stage. They will be locating at the Stony Brook University Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center with an investment of $1.2 million and the creation of 22 new jobs.

ProGen Life Sciences, which is developing diagnostic biomarkers to aid physicians with clinical decision making, will locate their new business at on Stony Brook University’s Long Island High Technology Incubator, invest $1.69 million and create 13 net new jobs.

Zuznow USA, Inc. is an Israeli firm that has developed a mobile adaptation platform for web-based enterprise applications. Zuznow is entering the U.S. market by locating at the CEWIT Incubator with an investment of $29,300 and the creation of seven net new jobs.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said in the release that Start-Up NY has proven to be an economic activity generator, creating jobs and transforming communities across New York State.

Commissioner Adams added that the newest businesses to locate tax-free on SUNY campuses will have access to world-class resources, industry experts and advanced research facilities, and in return will offer SUNY students the opportunity to cultivate real-world business experience.

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