Job Creation

Florida Counties Line up Economic Development Incentives for Thousands of Jobs

Orange and Palm Beach Counties in Florida have lined up economic development incentives for projects that are creating and helping retain thousands of jobs.

Office Depot Headquarters in Boca Raton, FL

Office Depot Headquarters in Boca Raton, FL (photo –

Palm Beach County Commissioners approved two economic development incentive agreements, one for Office Depot, Inc. and the other one for Pratt & Whitney.

Office Depot merged with OfficeMax last year in November, leading to a tight competition between Illinois and Florida for the headquarters of the new merged entity.

Florida got the headquarters, assisted by the promise of a substantial hike in the incentive agreement that Office Depot already had with the State of Florida, Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton.

The original agreement signed in 2009 required the company to invest $210 million and maintain 1,750 full-time jobs through 2019, and create 200 new jobs by August 2014, all with an average annual wage of $76,792. Following the merger, the company announced that it will be adding another 378 jobs in addition to the prior commitment.

The amended agreement now requires the company to retain all 2,328 jobs for a five year period after 2019. The new jobs are high-wage jobs with an average annual salary of $104,000, with a five year local economic impact of $443 million.

Apart from the incentives provided in the original agreement, Office Depot is now getting another $5 million in incentives. This includes $3 million from the State of Florida as a Quick Action Closing Fund (QACF) grant, another $1.5 million as City of Boca Raton economic development incentives, and $500,000 as a Job Growth Incentive Grant from Palm Beach County.

Pratt & Whitney is likewise topping off a recent expansion in Palm Beach County with another one. The company recently opened a $63 million jet-engine center which is creating 230 jobs in the county. Now they’re planning another $25 million expansion with 110 new jobs with an average annual wage of $84,892.

In order to secure this latest expansion by Pratt & Whitney, the State of Florida is providing them $880,000 in QACF funding and $770,000 as a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund. Palm Beach County is chipping in with $650,000 as a local match in the form of an Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for up to six years.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners are considering approving $72,000 as the local share of a $360,000 incentive proposal to secure a support services consolidation project by John Bean Technologies Corp.

The JBT Corp shared services center (SSC) project would involve $1.75 million in investment and create 60 new high-wage jobs in Orange County with an average salary of at least $60,621, which is 150 percent of the prevailing average salary in the MSA.

State of Florida and Orange County economic development incentives for this project will be provided through the QTI tax refund program.

DECD, UNH, CONNSTEP Partnership Helps C. Cowles Consolidate Operations in North Haven, CT

C. Cowles & Company is relocating their combustion technology division and consolidating it with their corporate offices and four divisions in a new facility in North Haven, CT.

C. Cowles & Co.

C. Cowles & Co. (photo –

As part of the relocation and consolidation, C. Cowles will be adding 59 new jobs to their existing workforce of 116 employees.

The company chose to relocate to the facility in North Haven that was formerly the Marlin Firearms factory after they were provided assisted in their relocation process by quasi-public state agency CONNSTEP and the University of New Haven.

Cowles CEO Lawrence C. Moon, Jr. contacted the University of New Haven for assistance from their graduate engineering program. A faculty member and five Masters’ Degree candidates were assigned to help the company relocate their Carlin Combustion Technology division to North Haven from its current location in Massachusetts.

A job fair the company conducted in North Haven resulted in more than 400 applications from people looking for employment.

“By partnering and connecting companies with our educational institutions, we are ensuring that Connecticut manufacturers have the workforce they need to compete in a global market and position our state for a manufacturing revolution,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

The company also contacted CONNSTEP, a non-profit supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, that provides process improvement consulting services to businesses in Connecticut.

The entire relocation project was then carried out as a partnership effort involving C. Cowles, the UNH engineering team, CONNSTEP and DECD.

DECD is supporting the project by providing C. Cowles a package of Connecticut economic development incentives including a $250,000 job training grant and a $1.77 million loan to help the company acquire the building in North Haven and finance the relocation, retrofits and environmental mediation.

Furthermore, if the company meets its job creation and retention commitments, a part of the loan amounting up to $885,125 will be forgivable.

Mr. Moon noted that the financial and technical support, and the Malloy Administration’s business-friendly attitude, is essential for Connecticut to grow its manufacturing space, and added that without all this, they would not have consolidated their businesses from out of state to Connecticut.

CONNSTEP CEO Bonnie Del Conte said they are honored to be working with C. Cowles, and proud to be a part of Connecticut’s economic development strategy.

Dr. Nadiye Erdil, assistant professor at the UNH Tagliatela College of Engineering, said their partnership with C. Cowles provided a great opportunity for their engineering students to learn and use their skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on the area’s economic development.

Canadian Eco-friendly Tissue Maker Selects Wagram, NC for Manufacturing Facility

Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS), a Quebec, Canada-based manufacturer of eco-friendly packaging and tissue products is expanding its operations in North Carolina with a new tissue converting facility in Wagram.

Cascades Inc.

Cascades Inc. (photo –

The company plans to invest $62 million into the project over the next three years, and will be creating 68 new jobs in Wagram and Scotland County.

The average wage for these jobs will be 47 percent higher than the average wage in the county, and the new jobs will generate an average annual payroll of nearly $3.2 million.

Cascades already has two facilities in North Carolina in Kinston and Rockingham. The company is the fourth largest tissue paper manufacturer in North America, and has more than 100 operating units spread across North America and Europe with a total workforce of nearly 12,000 producing paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and other products.

The Wagram facility, scheduled to be operational by the end of 2014, will have a production capacity of approximately 10 million cases of products using six converting lines that can produce various tissue products such as paper napkins, kitchen towels, bathroom tissue and hand towels.

Their decision to locate the new facility in Wagram not only brings new investment and creates jobs, but also helps secure the 178 employees the company already has in their two existing North Carolina facilities.

Cascades will be spending $55 million for building infrastructure, equipment purchase and other capital expenses, and converting equipment valued at $7 million that will be transferred to Wagram from their existing facilities outside the state.

“This investment in the Sandhills region of North Carolina not only provides much needed jobs, but also confirms a global company’s commitment to Scotland County in the years ahead,” said Governor Pat McCrory.

In order to secure the project, the company was offered $402,000 in North Carolina economic development incentives under the One North Carolina Fund. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects that are creating new jobs in the state and stimulating economic activity.

The performance-based grants provided under this program are tied to the company’s job creation and investment commitments, and also require a local match.

The NC Department of Commerce worked with the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation and Scotland County on the Cascades project. Other partners involved in the project include Golden Leaf, Richmond Community College, and NC Community Colleges.

Sun King Brewery to Expand Indiana Operations

Sun King Brewing Company, LLC, an Indianapolis-based craft beer brewery which is Indiana’s second largest beer brewer, announced plans to build and equip a new facility in the Town of Fishers, IN.

Sun King Brewery craft beer

Sun King Brewery craft beer (photo –

The company is investing $8.8 million into the project, and expects to create 55 new jobs over the next five years.

The new 40,000-square-foot facility in Fishers will house their second brewery, and will also have a tasting room. It allows Sun King Brewery to expand their beer production to meet growing demand.

Sun King Brewery’s first keg of beer rolled out the door for shipment in July 2009, and their handcrafted house, seasonal and specialty beers are now available on tap and in cans at hundreds of locations across central Indiana.

Omar Robinson, president of Sun King Brewery, said they sell more craft beer in Indiana than any other brewery in the state, and the new brewery in Fishers will allow them to continue meeting demand for their beer and making their fresh local beer in a state that is business-friendly.

This is their second major expansion in the last two years. The company announced a $3 million expansion in early 2013, along with plans to add 32 new jobs by the end of 2016. For this latest expansion in Fishers, the company will be creating 20 new jobs in the facility’s first year of operations, with plans to add a total of 55 new jobs by 2019.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is supporting Sun King Brewery’s expansion plans with a $450,000 grant from the Industrial Development Grant Fund that will go to the Town of Fishers and as tax credits tied to the company’s jobs creation plans.

Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, said they are excited that Sun King Brewery has again chosen Indiana as a fixture for its long-term business plans.

The Town of Fishers is separately considering approving local incentives for the project. Fishers Town Manager Scott Fadness said that Sun King Brewery’s expansion into Fishers not only creates a new destination for the community, but also aligns with their mission to create an environment in which high-growth, high-potential companies can compete and thrive.

According to the Craft Brewers Association, the craft brewing industry in the United States grew 20 percent in 2013 in terms of dollar sales. The craft beer market is now pegged at $14.3 billion out of the $100 billion overall beer market. Indiana has 63 craft breweries and the industry has an economic impact of $609.2 million in the state.

Minnesota Economic Development Incentives Support Action Expansion Project to Help People With Disabilities

Minnesota economic development incentives under the Minnesota Investment Fund are supporting a project that is not only creating new jobs, but also helping people with disabilities participate in outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and hunting.

Action Trackchair - all-terrain wheelchair for people with disabilities

Action Trackchair – all-terrain wheelchair for people with disabilities (photo –

Marshall, MN-based Action Manufacturing, Inc. is a company that builds all-terrain wheelchairs with tracks that can be used off-the-road in the outdoors in mud, snow, beach sand and other terrain.

The company is expanding its operations in Minnesota, and is investing $1.4 million to ramp up production and create 10 new jobs paying approximately $15 per hour.

Action Manufacturing was launched by Tim Swenson in 2009. Tim and his wife Donna have a son, Jeff, who was involved in a vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Tim Swenson sold his ATV and snowmobile dealership to help his son stay active using an all-terrain wheelchair.

This ultimately resulted in the development of the Action Trackchair and a company that builds all-terrain wheelchairs. Action’s Trackchair and Trackstander line of products are now so popular that they are finding it hard to keep up with the international demand.

In order to facilitate the expansion, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recently approved a $240,000 low-interest loan to Action Manufacturing through the Minnesota Investment Fund.

Governor Mark Dayton, who took a tour of the Action facility in Marshall, said the company’s terrific products are helping people with disabilities enjoy fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities in Minnesota and nationwide.

The Governor thanked Tim Swenson and everyone at Action for their success and thanked them for the new jobs being created by the expansion.

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben likewise noted that Action Manufacturing is filling a niche that enables those with disabilities to participate in outdoor activities, and added that they are proud to call Action Manufacturing a Minnesota company and thank them for the important work they are doing.

The Minnesota Investment Fund was established to provide financing for companies adding new jobs and retaining existing ones in the industrial, manufacturing and technology-related industries. The funds are awarded to local government units, who then provide it to expanding businesses as low-interest loans.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, Gov. Dayton and the Legislature have approved investments totaling $30 million under this initiative.

Goldman Sachs Expansion Gets $13M in Utah Economic Development Incentives

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced approval of an incentive package for The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., ensuring that the prestigious financial services firm goes ahead with an expansion plan that includes the addition of up to 350 new jobs over the next twenty years.

Goldman Sachs office tower in Salt lake City

Goldman Sachs office tower in Salt lake City (photo – Ricardo630/wikipedia)

Goldman Sachs maintains offices in all the major financial centers around the world, and has maintained a steady presence in Salt Lake City and Utah for nearly 14 years.

The 350 jobs they plan to create are high-value jobs whose aggregate wages, including medical benefits, are expected to be more than 125 percent of the prevailing average wage in the county.

The new state wages are projected to add up to $1.1 billion over the 20-year agreement period. The additional state tax revenue that will be generated during the same period, including sales, payroll and corporate taxes, is estimated to be around $43.5 million.

In order to secure this project, the GOED Board of Directors approved an Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentive of up to $13,057,377.

Goldman Sachs will be able to claim this as a post-performance tax credit equivalent to 30 percent of the new state taxes the company pays related to this expansion over the 20-year agreement period. As long as Goldman Sachs lives up to its commitments as per the contract, the company can claim a portion of the tax credit annually.

“It goes without saying that part of the economic success Utah has experienced over the last decade can be credited to Goldman Sachs investing in Utah,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert.

Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, said that Goldman Sachs’ growth in Utah is reflective of the robust business environment and the quality of the state’s people. Edwards added that they appreciate Goldman’s continued commitment to growing their business in Utah.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was founded in 1869 and continues to be headquartered in New York, NY as one of the world’s leading investment banking, asset management and investment management firms with nearly 33,000 employees in offices at major financial centers all over the world. Last year, Goldman Sachs generated $40.87 billion in revenue, which resulted in net income of over $8 billion.

Vermont EDA Approves $4.3M in Financing for Economic Development Projects

The Vermont Economic Development Authority announced approval of $4.3 million in financing for small business, mobile platform, energy efficiency, manufacturing and other projects totaling $9 million across the state.

Route 802 ecosystem for Vermont

Route 802 ecosystem for Vermont (photo –

VEDA approved nearly $1.3 million in direct commercial financing, including $150,000 to Route 802 LLC.

This Williston, VT-based digital media firm has created a mobile platform and a digital marketing ecosystem for Vermont. They also developed Vermont’s official mobile application “ThisisVT.”

Route 802 LLC is getting $150,000 under VEDA’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program, and the company will use the funding to enhance their mobile platform. They plan to grow their workforce by 15 or so jobs over the next three years.

Another project that was approved for a commercial energy loan is an equipment upgrade project by the Sugarbush Resort. This is a four-season ski resort that spans across Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston in Vermont. VEDA has approved a $500,000 commercial energy loan to help the resort replace around 350 of their old snow guns with new, energy-efficient models.

The resort will be combining the VEDA loan with Efficiency Vermont’s Great Snow Gun Roundup Program. This program provides incentives ranging from $500 to $4,000 per snow gun to ski resorts scrapping their old snow guns and purchasing new ones. It helps the state’s ski areas reduce energy costs and emissions while improving snowmaking capabilities in the summer.

The VEDA loan plus the $939,000 in Efficiency Vermont grant funding will cover a substantial part of the Sugarbush Resort’s upgrade project cost. This upgrade will reduce their annual electricity consumption by 2,000 mwh, in the process reducing annual CO2 emissions by more than 1,100 tons.

Other projects that have received approval for VEDA financing include:-

Manufacturing Solutions, Inc., Morrisville, VT – This firm, which assembles, tests and ships products for various companies, is getting a $62,884 loan from VEDA to help them purchase and install a new cutting table and refurbish an existing one. They already have 176 employees, and expect to grow their workforce to 210 over the next three years.

Caledonia Spirits, Hardwick, VT – They are getting $80,000 in working capital for an expansion into the aged whiskey market;

Al’s Snowmobile Parts Warehouse, Newport, VT – The children of the current owners are getting a $175,000 loan from VEDA to facilitate their purchase of the property and business;

Concepts ETI, Inc., Hartford, VT – Concepts ETI, which provides engineering services and makes products involving advanced turbo machinery technology, is getting $145,612 in commercial financing to purchase new CNC machining centers to expand their in-house manufacturing capabilities. They plan to add ten employees over the next three years to their current workforce of 80.

Vermont Economic Development Authority CEO Jo Bradley said that VEDA is pleased to provide financing support for these projects, adding that jobs will be created as a result of these projects, that will help boost Vermont’s economic growth.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Approves Grow NJ Tax Incentives for Three Projects

At their most recent meeting, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board approved tax incentives under the Grow NJ program for three projects.

Grow NJ tax incentives program

Grow NJ tax incentives program

One of the projects is a proposed expansion by global payment solutions company First Data Corporation.

The Atlanta, GA-based First Data Corp. is looking at locations for their growing security applications team. The company is considering Jersey City, NJ as well as the headquarters in Atlanta for the expansion.

First Data Corp will be investing nearly $1.4 million for the expansion, and plans to create 74 new jobs. In order to secure the project, the NJEDA has approved ten annual grant awards of $592,000 each for First Data Corp under the Grow NJ program, adding up to a total of $5.92 million in state tax incentives to support the proposed expansion and job creation in Jersey City.

The second project receiving Grow NJ incentives is a proposed relocation and expansion plan by Sandy Alexander, Inc., a full service graphic communication company. Their current lease on a 134,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and their headquarters in Clifton, NJ expires next year, and the company is looking for a bigger space to accommodate a planned expansion and future growth.

Sandy Alexander is considering new locations in Clifton, as well as in Rockland County, NY for the expanded manufacturing facility and headquarters operations. The company is planning to make an investment of $2.8 million and create 74 new jobs.

In order to secure the investment, new jobs and retain the existing 216 Sandy Alexander jobs in Clifton, the NJEDA has approved ten annual grant awards under the Grow NJ program totaling $12.74 million in tax credits over a ten-year period.

The third project approved for Grow NJ incentives is a possible headquarters relocation by Dicalite Management Group, Inc. The company, which produces perlite products and Diatomaceous Earth for filler and filtration applications, is considering relocating its headquarters and establishing a processing plant in Pennsauken, NJ.

The Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Dicalite Management is considering sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the project. Dicalite plans to invest $8.8 million and create 36 new jobs. In order to secure the headquarters relocation and the processing facility, the NJEDA has approved ten annual grant awards totaling $3.78 million in tax credits under the Grow NJ program.

The New Jersey Business Action Center worked in collaboration with the NJEDA to cultivate these economic development projects, providing ongoing customer support and interdepartmental advocacy.

Moberly, Missouri Economic Development Teams Collaborate to Secure Mid-Am Expansion

Mid-Am Building Supply, a major distributor of building materials to lumber dealers, is expanding its manufacturing operations in the Moberly Industrial Park in Moberly, MO.

Mid-Am Building Supply, Inc. expansion in Moberly, MO

Mid-Am Building Supply, Inc. expansion in Moberly, MO (photo –

The company plans to invest $3 million to add 30,000 square feet of space for a new interior door finishing facility.

The project is expected to create 20 new full-time equivalent jobs. Mid-Am already has 300 associates spread across their service centers in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa. They service customers across a wider 10-state area.

Mid-Am President and CEO Alan Knaebel said that after reviewing all options, they are once again proud to partner with the City of Moberly and the State of Missouri.

Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation Chairman Russ Freed said the project was a collaborative effort involving several organizations, and another example of the public and private sectors working together to promote growth and create investments for the area.

Freed thanked the City of Moberly and the Missouri Department of Economic Development for their willingness to partner with MAEDC and bring this project to reality in Moberly.

Moberly Mayor John Kimmons said Mid-Am has been an important part of the City’s business environment ever since its beginning in 1967, and the company, its owners and employees contribute a great deal to the community through their philanthropic efforts.

The Mayor added that the Moberly City Council was unanimous in their support of Mid-Am’s expansion project and felt it was critical that they do whatever they could to support the new investment.

Missouri Economic Development Department Director Mike Downing likewise said the state is proud to partner with Mid-Am for the expansion in Moberly. Downing added that Missouri’s strong and capable workforce and the access to roads, rails and rivers make Missouri a great place for investments and hiring by distribution companies such as Mid-Am.

MAEDC President Corey Mehaffy said Mid-Am is one of the many successful examples of entrepreneurship in Moberly, adding that the company’s history from a kitchen table to employing over 300 people today is a great success story. The Mid-Am story makes a great case, said Mehaffy, for why they should be supporting entrepreneurship in communities.


Academy Sports + Outdoors to open $100M Distribution Center With 700 Jobs in Tennessee

Academy, Ltd. (d/b/a Academy Sports + Outdoors) announced plans to open a new distribution center in Cookeville, TN.

Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors (photo –

The company will invest at least $100 million into the project, and expects to create 700 new jobs in Cookeville and Putnam County over the next five years.

Construction will begin later this month on the 1.6 million-square-foot distribution center. They expect to begin hiring associates for open positions by fall next year, and the distribution center will be operational by early 2016.

This will be their third distribution center, adding to the existing ones in Katy, TX and Jeffersonville, GA.

The company’s CEO and president Rodney Faldyn said the distribution center will support their long-term growth and continued expansion while enabling them to provide customers with quicker access to their favorite sports, lifestyle and outdoor products.
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