Job Creation

Iowa Announces Economic Development Incentives for Two Projects and Funding for Six Startups

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board announced approval of tax incentives for two companies creating jobs, in addition to financial and technical support for six startups.

Jobs for Iowa

Jobs for Iowa (photo –

One of the two Iowa companies getting economic development incentives for job creation is Merchants Bonding Company.

MBC, a Des Moines-based insurance carrier, is planning to relocate to a new corporate headquarters building in West Des Moines that will be able to accommodate the company’s growth plans.

They are investing $14.6 million into the relocation project, and plan to create 11 new jobs. The IEDA board approved tax incentives for this project under the High Quality Jobs program.

The second job-creation project getting state incentives is Shearer’s Foods, LLC. The contract manufacturing and private label supplier is a leading name in the North American snacks industry with eight manufacturing facilities in the U.S. alone.

Shearer’s Foods is planning a $33 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in Burlington, IA that will create 83 new jobs. The IEDA board approved tax benefits for this project under the HQJ program and also under the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program.

Apart from these two job creation projects, the IEDA board also approved startup funding for six startups.

Maquoketa, IA-based Blue-9, LLC, which manufactures a canine training platform (The Klimb), has been awarded a loan of $100,000 from the Demonstration Fund to help Blue-9 execute their marketing and sales strategy.

Coralville, IA-based medical device manufacturer Iowa Adaptive Technologies is also getting a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund to support the company’s plans for clinical field trials and marketing and sales efforts.

Des Moines, IA-based MudbuM, LLC, which has developed a patented product called the HAWG LAWG for catching huge trophy catfish, is getting a $100,000 loan from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund to help build up the company’s reputation as cat fishing experts with a superior alternative to traditional fishing methods.

Ankeny, IA-based Rocket Referrals, a cloud software company that automates referral marketing, is likewise getting a $100,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund to continue product development and boost efforts to acquire customers and establish industry partnerships.

Coralville, IA-based Higher Learning Technologies, which offers software and mobile apps for test prep and education, has been approved to receive $300,000 from the Innovation Acceleration Fund through a royalty agreement to help the company expand its offerings to SAT, GRE, GED, GMAT, ACT and other large exams.

VIDA Diagnostics, Inc., another Coralville-based startup that is working on medical imaging technology, has been approved to receive a $500,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund to grow its commercialization channels and continue developing the product.

V-Soft Consulting Expansion in Louisville Gets Kentucky Economic Development Incentives

V-Soft Consulting Group Inc., a minority and woman-owned business solutions group, is planning an expansion of its company headquarters in Louisville, KY.

V-Soft Consulting

V-Soft Consulting (photo –

The company plans to invest $206,250 for equipment, and create 25 new jobs with wages of $47 per hour with benefits. V-Soft already employs 55 professionals in Kentucky.

Governor Steve Beshear said in a release that he is pleased that V-Soft chose Kentucky to serve its clients around the world.

The Governor noted that even more than the impact of the 25 jobs, V-Soft is a company that helps make other companies better, and that benefit will mean greater things down the road for Louisville and Kentucky.

In order to secure the project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for V-Soft to be able to claim tax incentives of up to $200,000 under the Kentucky Business Investment program for up to 10 years.

This is a performance-based incentive where the company can recoup part of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments tied to their targets for job creation and investments.

V-Soft President Purna Veer said that this was a huge opportunity for V-Soft Consulting and its future business partners, but an even bigger prospect for the community.

Veer added that they are looking forward to hiring more of Kentucky’s finest business professionals and more opportunities to give back to the community.

V-Soft’s headquarters expansion includes an addition to its sales force and creation of a centralized location for additional tech personnel. The company focuses on IT staffing and recruitment, software implementation and custom application development.

V-Soft says the growth of cloud-based technologies has enabled them to serve clients outside the state from the Louisville facility. Their clients include local organizations such as the Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Louisville Water Company, and also national ones such as the American Board of Family Medicine.

Mayor Greg Fischer said V-Soft’s expansion demonstrates Louisville’s great business environment, and added that they are getting a lot of traction with business services – their newest business cluster. The Mayor said they are seeing more growth in this sector by companies considering Louisville as a place to do business.

The V-Soft project was generated through site selection consultants who worked with the Louisville economic development team on site selection issues and on local and state incentive packages.

HCL Could Get Up to $21M in Incentives for Expansion With 1237 Jobs in Cary, NC

HCL Technologies Ltd has selected Cary, NC as the location for an expansion of their global delivery footprint.

HCL jobs announcement in Cary, NC

HCL jobs announcement in Cary, NC (photo –

The company will invest $9 million into an expansion of the global delivery center in Wake County, and plans to create an additional 1,237 jobs in Cary by the end of 2018.

HCL already has around 800 employees in Cary, and the new jobs will add an expected average annual payroll of $64 million. The company’s U.S. headquarters is located in Sunnyvale, CA, and it has more than 8,000 employees in 15 states.

HCL chose North Carolina for this expansion over competing sites in New York, Arizona and Texas. The company apparently sees Cary as a strategic talent hub in the Americas.

Governor Pat McCrory, who was present for the announcement in Cary, said in a release that HCL has been steadily building its Wake County presence and one reason is the incredible talent pool the Triangle region has to offer IT companies.

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said that the state has worked hard to establish itself as one of the leading states in the IT industry and they are getting results.

The NC Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership worked on this project with the Town of Cary, Wake County Economic Development and the Cary Chamber.

Other partners involved in securing this project include the NC Technology Association, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, NC Works, NC State University, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the NC Community College System and other educational institutions.

HCL is getting a package of state and local incentives that could be worth more than $21 million. This includes up to $19.6 million under the Job Development Investment Grant program. The JDIG award makes HCL eligible to receive twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of state personal income tax withholdings for the eligible new jobs created.

Apart from the $19.6 million that could go to HCL, the JDIG award also adds the remaining 25 percent of the company’s grant to the state’s Utility Fund, to be used for encouraging economic development in distressed counties.

HCL is additionally getting a performance-based grant of $123,700 through the One North Carolina Fund which supports business projects that stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in North Carolina. The One NC Fund grant requires a local match, and HCL’s expansion will receive support through Wake County and Town of Cary economic development incentives.

West Michigan Economic Development Projects to Create 920 Jobs

Two projects announced by West Michigan regional economic development organization The Right Place, Inc. will bring nearly 1,000 jobs and $169 million in investments to the region.

The Right Place economic development project announcements in West Michigan

The Right Place economic development project announcements in West Michigan (photo – The Right Place)

The Right Place, Inc. and other local partners in the cities of Greenville and Walker, MI worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to secure the Dicastal North America and Plasan Carbon Composites, Inc. projects.

Dicastal North America is a new business entity created by Chinese aluminum wheel manufacturer CiTiC Dicastal Co. Ltd.

Dicastal will be opening a new aluminum alloy manufacturing plant with a capacity to produce three million wheels annuallyin the former Uni-Solar facility in Greenville, MI. Dicastal has acquired the 98-acre parcel and intends to expand it to add another 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

The company’s $140 million investment and plans to create 300 new jobs over the next four years is being supported with a package of local and state incentives worth a total of around $8.5 million. This includes state grants under the Michigan Business Development Program, a CDBG grant allocation, energy incentives and property tax abatements.

The Right Place, Inc. President and CEO Birgit Klohs said in a statement that this economic development project underlines the importance of having a strong international business development strategy for West Michigan and working with partners including the City of Greenville and the MEDC.

The other project announced by The Right Place is a $29 million expansion by Plasan Carbon Composites, Inc. in the City of Walker, MI. The automotive tier one manufacturer supplies carbon fiber parts and assemblies, and relocated its headquarters to Wixom, MI last year.

The company already has 350 employees at its existing 197,000-square-foot facility in Walker, but consolidation of operations in Walker has caused it to reach capacity quickly and the company needs to further expand manufacturing capacity.

The $29 million expansion project will create 620 new jobs over the next three years at the plant in Walker.

Plasan Carbon Composites is getting $6 million in incentives for this expansion project, including a state grant under the Michigan Business Development Program and additional local incentives from the City of Walker.

Plasan Carbon Composites President Jim Staargaard said their experience in launching the new facility in West Michigan has been great and made easy the decision on how and where to expand with their next phase of growth.

Where Opportunity Knox to Create 10,000 Jobs for Veterans in Greater Louisville

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and leaders from the Greater Louisville area came together to launch the Where Opportunity Knox initiative that aims to help find jobs for veterans.

Where Opportunity Knox

Photo –

The Where Opportunity Knox initiative is setting a target of connecting 10,000 transitioning veterans and military spouses with jobs in the Greater Louisville region by 2017.

Apart from the 6,000 to 8,000 jobs available in the region, the proximity to Fort Knox makes it ideally suited as a veteran talent pool. Fort Knox is the U.S. Army’s TAP (transition assistance program) headquarters, which makes it a physical or at least on-paper exit for the 130,000 soldiers exiting the Army every year.

The website offers to connect veterans with the region’s team of “Regional Veteran Connectors” who provide veterans and their families with personalized assistance. They can help connect veterans and military spouses to career opportunities, and can help find a community in the Greater Louisville Region that suits each family’s specific needs.

Employers may sign up to participate and list available jobs. The site has featured jobs such as skilled trade jobs at the Ford Motor Company’s Kentucky Truck Plant. Veterans can use the site to search for available jobs by keyword, title or company name, and also create a profile that can be seen by participating employers.

Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement that Louisville is behind this effort 100 percent and will help in any way as a participating employer.

Apart from the Louisville Metro Government, other participating employers in the initiative include Norton Healthcare, LG&E, and Humana, among others.

Where Opportunity Knox was funded by the Ogle Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation and the Gheens Foundation, and designed and implemented by the Kentucky Indiana Exchange, a two-state regional coalition that covers a 26-county region spanning Southern Indiana and North Central Kentucky.

KIX is managed by regional chambers including Greater Louisville Inc., One Southern Indiana and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce.

Greater Louisville Inc. CEO Kent Oyler said that Where Opportunity Knox is a first-of-its-kind solution to the challenge of finding additional skilled and talented individuals to work in the region.

One Southern Indiana CEO Wendy Dant Chesser likewise noted that they’re proud to be the first region in the U.S. to recognize and implement an initiative around the economic advantage of attracting veteran talent and their families.

Hardin County Chamber of Commerce CEO Brad Richardson said they have a unique competitive advantage as the only region in the country with Fort Knox in its backyard. Richardson added that through Opportunity Knox, they intend to model the best practices in connecting veterans to jobs and the community.

Charlotte, North Carolina Economic Development Teams Collaborate on AvidXchange HQ Project

AvidXchange announced plans for a major investment and expansion of its headquarters operations in Charlotte, NC.

AvidXchange expansion announcement in Charlotte

AvidXchange expansion announcement in Charlotte (photo – Charlotte Chamber)

The company plans to invest $21.4 million for improvements to its current facility in Charlotte and construction of a new 115,000-square-foot corporate headquarters uptown at the NC Music Factory.

AvidXchange also announced plans for creating 603 new jobs over the next four years as part of the expansion.

The new jobs being created will have an average wage of $61,651 plus benefits, which is higher than Mecklenburg County’s prevailing average wage of $59,046.

The announcement was made at the Charlotte Chamber by Gov. Pat McCrory, AvidXchange CEO Michael Praeger and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker.

“AvidXchange is one of North Carolina’s great homegrown success stories,” said Gov. McCrory. The Governor added that over the past 14 years, the company has gone from being run from the founder’s basement to one of the top businesses in its industry.

Praeger said they are thrilled to announce that Charlotte will be the headquarters for their new and expanding corporate campus and excited about the hundreds of technology jobs and world-class talent they will be bringing to the city.

Praeger added that they hope to help Charlotte become a leader of innovation much like Silicon Valley.

A host of state officials and economic development agencies collaborated with local officials and organizations in Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte to secure and support the AvidXchange expansion.

The NC Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership partnered on this project with the City of Charlotte, Charlotte Chamber, Mecklenburg County, NC Works, NC Community College System, and Charlotte Center City Partners.

AvidXchange could get up to $8.6 million in state and local incentives for the project. This includes around $1.1 million in Mecklenburg County and Charlotte economic development incentives, plus up to to $7.5 million in state incentives under the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program.

The JDIG award will be in the form of annual post-performance grants equivalent to 48 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings for the eligible new jobs created. The company will be getting these annual grants for 12 years, subject to their fulfilling incremental job creation requirements. The total benefit over this period could be as high as $7.5 million.

Not to mention the fact that another $2.5 million (25 percent of the total JDIG award) will be allocated to the state’s Utility Fund for economic development in distressed counties.

South Dakota, Indiana Offer Economic Development Incentives for Sapa Expansions

Oslo, Norway-based aluminum extrusion giant Sapa Group is expanding its Sapa Extrusions operations in Yankton, SD and Elkhart, IN.

Sapa Extrusions facility in Yankton, SD

Sapa Extrusions facility in Yankton, SD (photo –

In Yankton, Sapa Extrusions, Inc. is expanding an existing facility to add 54,000 square feet of space for another extrusion press.

The company plans to add 50 new full-time jobs at the Yankton plant over the next three years, adding to the existing 400 employees.

The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has approved $24,280 in state incentives to support the expansion. The incentives will be provided under the South Dakota Jobs grant program.

GOED Commissioner Pat Costello said in a statement that the ultimate goal of the SD Jobs grant program is to expand operations or upgrade equipment, and GOED is happy to award these funds whenever they can financially assist a company looking to create jobs.

John Clifton, plant manager of the Sapa Extrusions facility in Yankton, said they are pleased with the support they have received from the State for the expansion, adding that it clearly shows the state’s commitment to businesses and job development in the community.

The City of Yankton and a Yankton economic development organization (Yankton Area Progressive Growth) worked closely with the company on infrastructure improvements, land use matters and other issues related to the expansion.

The company considered other existing locations for this expansion, but ultimately chose Yankton and another existing aluminum extrusion facility in Elkhart, IN.

In Elkhart, Sapa is investing $6 million and plans to create 25 net new jobs by Sept 2017. These are jobs with an average wage of $15.85 per hour that will generate more than $12,360 in local income taxes annually.

The Elkhart City Council is considering approval of a three-year tax abatement requested by Sapa for the project. If approved, it would save the company nearly $94,000 in personal property tax savings and $152,235 in real property tax savings over the three-year period.

Sapa AS, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, is the world’s largest aluminum extrusion company and a leading provider of precision tubing and aluminum-based building systems. The company has 23,000 employees and over 100 production sites spread across more than 40 countries around the world.

Chicago, IL-based Sapa Extrusions Americas, a part of this global network of Sapa AS operations, has 23 facilities in the U.S. and Canada and is the leading producer of seamless and structural aluminum pipes and tubes in North America.

Just In Time Machining to Open New Manufacturing Facility in Ocala, Florida

Just In Time CNC Machining, LLC announced plans to open their first manufacturing facility in Florida in Ocala, Marion County.

Just In Time Machining

Just In Time Machining (photo –

The Family-owned CNC machining firm based in New York already has production facilities in Dansville and Rochester, NY.

JIT now plans to invest $3.205 million to set up operations in Florida to serve their customers in the Southeast, and expects to create 25 manufacturing jobs at the new facility.

Governor Rick Scott said in a statement that Just in Time’s decision to locate their new production facility in Ocala is great news for Florida families.

The company chose Ocala and Florida over competing locations in Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Kelly Alexander, president and CEO of JIT, said they found Ocala and the State of Florida to be an ideal location for their new manufacturing facility, explaining that the developed manufacturing workforce, I-75 access and Ocala’s central location make it an ideal location from which to serve their customers in the southeastern United States.

The City of Ocala and Marion County worked on this project in collaboration with the Ocala Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP), Enterprise Florida and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

JIT is getting a package of state and local incentives that includes $75,000 under the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Grant Program. The State of Florida will be providing $60,000 of the QTI funding, and Marion County will come up with the remaining 20 percent local match of $15,000.

Marion County is additionally offering JIT $25,000 as a local job creation incentive at $1,000 per job created.

Carl Zalak III, chairman of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, said the board’s commitment of a $40,000 Economic Development Financial Incentive Grant will support capital improvements at JIT’s new facility.

City of Ocala economic development incentives are being provided as a grant under the Small Business Investment Program. Furthermore, JIT will also save up to $120,000 in terms of state sales tax on manufacturing equipment because it chose Florida, which last year eliminated the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and machinery.

Enterprise Florida President and CEO Gary Swoope noted that the removal of the M&E sales tax is creating increased interest in Florida as a location for manufacturers. Florida is already home to some 18,200 manufacturers who employ 317,000 workers.

New Jersey Approves $87.5M in Economic Development Incentives for Manufacturing Projects

At its latest board meeting, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved tax credits worth up to $87.5 million for five manufacturing projects in the state.

The Jersey Comeback

The Jersey Comeback (photo –

The state incentives provided through the Grow NJ program will help create 387 new jobs and support retention of 784 jobs that were at risk of being relocated outside New Jersey.

One of the companies approved for tax credits was energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures manufacturer RAB Lighting, Inc. The company is growing fast and needs to expand. They were looking at expanding and renovating their current facility in Northvale, NJ or relocating to New York.

In order to secure this expansion project and keep RAB Lighting in-state, the NJEDA approved $24.65 million in tax credits under the Grow NJ program. A portion of the tax credit will be available to the company annually for a 10-year period.

A fire earlier this year in June shut down the operations of Camden, NJ-based Plastics Consulting and Manufacturing, Inc. The company with 20 existing employees was considering whether to reopen the Camden facility or move to Philadelphia. The NJEDA approved $3.92 million in tax credits over a 10-year period to help keep PCM in Camden.

Coperion K-Tron Pitman, Inc. has one remaining New Jersey facility in Mantua Township, which the company was considering relocating to Virginia. Coperion has been approved for $5.28 million in tax credits over a 10-year period.

Allied Specialty Foods is considering purchasing a processing facility in Vineland, NJ or Delaware, NJ. If they pick Delaware, the company may also relocate their existing headquarters in Vineland to Delaware. The company’s expansion and possible relocation plans are being supported through state incentives including $13.77 million in tax credits over a 10-year period.

The biggest manufacturing project approved to receive state incentives is a proposed expansion by Paterson City, NJ-based Accurate Box Company, one of the largest independent manufacturers of litho-laminated packaging.

The company is considering whether to invest on renovating its existing facility in Paterson City or relocate to New York. The NJEDA approved tax credits worth nearly $40 million over a 10-year period to support Accurate Box Company’s expansion plans and keep the company in-state.

The Grow NJ program was created as the state’s main business incentive program under the Economic Opportunity Act signed into law in Sept 2013.

Michele Brown, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, said the Economic Opportunity Act continues to achieve tangible results, helping maintain and generate employment opportunities and drive private investment into the state.

Apart from tax credits for the manufacturing projects, the NJEDA also approved up to $4.85 million in tax breaks under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Grant program for the Tropicana Atlantic City Corporation, which is undertaking a $35 million expansion of its casino resort in Atlantic City.

Indianapolis Chamber’s Economic Development Unit Lands Financial Services Firm Cortland

Global financial services firm Cortland Capital Market Services announced plans to expand its operations into Indianapolis.

Cortland Capital Market Services

Cortland Capital Market Services (photo –

The company is equipping a new office in the City, and plans to occupy the facility immediately.

The expansion and office space will allow Cortland to accommodate growth plans including creation of 153 new jobs at the new facility by 2019.

Cortland’s expansion and job creation plans are being supported with state incentives approved by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and the City of Indianapolis is providing additional local support at the request of Develop Indy.

Develop Indy is the business unit of the Indy Chamber, along with the Indy Partnership which represents local economic development organizations in the nine-county Indianapolis region.

The IEDC approved up to $1,825,000 in performance-based tax credits to secure the project. The tax credits are tied to Cortland’s job creation plans.

Cortland Capital Market Services LLC is an independent investment servicing company that provides financial institutions with third-party and outsourced services including commercial bank loan servicing, fund administration, securitization services and middle-office support.

They have more than $40 billion in assets under administration for a client list that includes some of the world’s largest hedge funds, institutional investors, private equity funds, credit funds, real estate managers and others.

The Chicago-based company already has additional offices in New York and Los Angeles, and opened a new London office a few months ago in May.

Governor Mike Pence said that Cortland operates in the world’s largest markets, and out of all the options they chose Indiana for their next office.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard likewise said they are proud to add Indy to the list of cities like New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles where Cortland operates, and added that Indy is rapidly becoming a market of choice for many national and international companies.

Doug Hart, principal at Cortland Capital Market Services, said Indiana’s business climate and talented workforce made Indy an ideal location for Cortland to expand their operations.

Brian Gildea, vice president of Indianapolis economic development for the Indy Chamber, said that competition in the professional services sector is tough when it comes to expansions and relocations.

Gildea added that with this announcement, Indy is showing the nation that its workforce not only has the expertise but also the talent to grow a global client base.

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