Job Creation

START-UP NY Brings More Jobs and Investment to Buffalo and Binghamton

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 659 new jobs are being created in Buffalo under the START-UP NY program that allows businesses to expand or locate in designated tax-free areas associated with universities in the state.

Gov. Cuomo makes START-UP NY jobs announcement

Gov. Cuomo makes START-UP NY jobs announcement (photo –

STARTUP-NY allows businesses expanding or locating in these tax-free zones to operate entirely tax-exempted for 10 years, paying no state income tax, business or corporate state or local taxes, sales tax, property tax or franchise fees.

During the next five years, the eight companies relocating on or near the University at Buffalo campuses through STARTUP-NY will be investing nearly $10 million and creating 659 new jobs.

Liazon Corporation alone is creating 500 new jobs, and Bak USA will be creating another 100. Liazon Corp, which provides private online benefits exchanges, is expanding its headquarters in Buffalo, while Bak USA is opening its U.S.-based headquarters at Compass East, the former Sheehan Memorial Hospital.

Bak USA will become one of the first companies in the world to produce own-branded electronic tablets outside Asia, and plans to produce 80,000 tablets in their first year of operations.

The other six companies are Appistry Inc., Biologichem LLC, CangetBioTekpharma LLC, CangetBioTekpharma LLC, IFYE Association of the USA Inc., and Vader Systems LLC.

Two of these are relocating to Buffalo from other cities, and the rest are new startups or existing businesses expanding under the STARTUP-NY program.

This follows on the heels of a similar announcement last month of the first batch of eight companies partnering with UB in START-UP NY. Together, the 16 companies will be creating 863 jobs in Buffalo and taking up 51,446 square feet out of the 276,577 square feet of space designated for UB’s designated tax-free zones.

Binghamton University is likewise getting its first batch of five STARTUP-NY business expansions and new business locations.

These five businesses will be investing $2.4 million and creating 83 new jobs. The five Binghamton University projects are by ClickCare, LLC; Charge CCCV, LLC;  Advanced Material Analytics, LLC; Innovation Associates, Inc.; and Sonic Blocks, Inc.

Gov. Cuomo said it was another confirmation that START-UP NY is working. “By offering new companies the opportunity to tap into New York’s world-class workforce and thrive in a tax-free environment, we have made another game-changing move to redefine the business climate in our state,” said Gov. Cuomo.

State of New York Economic Development Advisor John Mack, who also serves as Special Advisor for the START-UP NY program, said that this announcement of the first five companies in Binghamton is only the beginning for this Upstate region, which he said will greatly benefit from START-UP NY’s ability to attract businesses and create jobs.

South Korean Automotive Parts Maker Creating 1000 Jobs in Clinton, Tennessee

SL Tennessee is undertaking yet another expansion of its operations in Clinton, TN. This time, the company is investing $80.5 million and creating 1,000 new jobs.

Clinton I-75 Industrial Park in Clinton, TN

Clinton I-75 Industrial Park in Clinton, TN (photo – Anderson County EDA)

The expansion project includes the construction of a new 250,000-square-foot building that will join the company’s two existing facilities in the Clinton I-75 Industrial Park.

The company plans to make lamps for automobile head lights and tail lights at the new facility. The expansion will also enable SL America Corporation to consolidate their North American data infrastructure in Clinton.

SL-America Corporation is a subsidiary of Korean automotive parts maker SL Corporation. This is the fifth major expansion the company has announced at Clinton since it began operations there in 2001.

SL America President Y.K. Woo said that several key factors played a role in SL Corporation’s decision to expand at the Clinton location. Woo mentioned the support provided by the State, the Anderson County Economic Development Association, the City of Clinton, TVA, and the Clinton Utilities Board.

Another factor cited was the quality and availability of labor at the Clinton facility, and the business climate in Tennessee and Anderson County which has enabled the company to be successful.

Not to mention the fact that the Clinton I-75 Industrial Park is a Select Tennessee Certified Site.

Governor Bill Haslam said that SL Tennessee has been an outstanding corporate citizen in Anderson County for nearly 15 years, and congratulated them for this latest expansion and thanked them for the 1,000 new jobs created in Clinton.

Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said these new jobs will more than double the company’s existing workforce at the location, and make SL Tennessee the largest employer in Clinton and one of the largest in Anderson County.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank noted that in the past two years alone, SL Tennessee has announced capital investments worth $200 million and the creation of nearly 1,300 jobs in the county.

Mayor Frank added that the expansion was proof of the company’s hard work and commitment to quality, as well as a testament to the Anderson County economic development team’s desire to assist existing industries.

John Bradley, Tennessee Valley Authority senior vice president of Economic Development, said automotive manufacturing and suppliers are vital to the region’s prosperity, and that’s why their economic development partnerships with the State, Anderson County EDA and the City of Clinton are so important for the fast-paced job growth of existing companies such as SL Tennessee.

Florida Announces GE Energy Management Expansion in Clearwater

The $50 million GE Energy Management expansion in Clearwater, FL was finally publicly announced by Governor Rick Scott.

GE Energy Management expansion announcement

GE Energy Management expansion announcement (Enterprise Floridas)

Instrument Transformers, Inc., a GE subsidiary, already has a facility in Clearwater with 436 employees.

GE Energy Management is now establishing a 190,000 square feet manufacturing Center of Excellence that includes the existing ITI facility and a new capacitor manufacturing facility.

The expansion will bring 250 new jobs to Clearwater and Pinellas County.

“General Electric Energy Management’s investment in Clearwater is great news for Florida families,” said Gov. Scott.

GE Energy Management CEO Mark Begor said that from this facility, they will be able to be serve customers as close as Duke Energy in Florida, and others as far away as South America and Southeast Asia.

Florida managed to secure this expansion after GE decided to relocate an existing capacitor manufacturing facility in Fort Edward, NY because the company was unable to reach an agreement with labor over wage cuts.

The City of Clearwater and Pinellas County worked with a range of local and state partners to quickly put together an appealing proposal and secure the deal. Pinellas County Economic Development, Enterprise Florida, Duke Energy, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity were all part of the collaborative effort.

The Clearwater City Council approved a package of incentives totaling nearly $2 million, including infrastructure improvements, a utility tax exemption, reimbursement of permits and fees required for the project, and gave the company the benefit of an Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption that was approved by voters in a Nov 2012 referendum in order to help the City attract job-creating projects.

Clearwater’s incentive package also includes $42,900 as a 10 percent local match for a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund. Pinellas County is likewise pitching in with another $42,900 as its 10 percent match, and the remaining 80 percent of the QTI tax refund will come from the State.

The City is also working with the company, CareerSource Pinellas and St. Petersburg College to develop job training programs customized to help train their new employees.

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said that the City is committed to expanding job opportunities, and this GE investment in the community will provide benefits to the entire Tampa Bay area.

Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche said that manufacturing in Pinellas is a point of pride, and GE’s innovators in Clearwater are an important part of the more than 30,000 experienced manufacturing professionals in the county.

Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida, said they value their partnership with the City of Clearwater and commend their leadership and shared focus on economic development.

Glenn noted that they acted quickly to assemble the right partners for winning the GE expansion, and added that it is a win for the City, County and the Tampa Bay region that will result in significant capital investment and new high-wage jobs.

Lowe’s Selects Indianapolis for Customer Support Center With 1000 Jobs

Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) announced plans to establish a customer support center in Indianapolis to support store and web sales, delivery and repair services for their customers all over the U.S.

Lowe's customer support center announcement in Indianapolis

Lowe’s customer support center announcement in Indianapolis (photo – IEDC)

The company will invest $20.5 million for purchasing a 140,000 square-foot office facility and renovating and equipping it.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard joined Lowe’s officials for the announcement.

This customer support center will complement the Mooresville, NC-based home improvement retailer’s existing centers in Wilkesboro, NC and Albuquerque, NM.

The new center located at Intech Park 12 in the northwest side of Indianapolis will create up to 1,000 new jobs by 2016. Lowe’s already has 7,900 employees in Indiana, and expects to start hiring for the new center immediately.

Don Easterling, Lowe’s vice president, contact center, said they chose Indianapolis because of the experienced and talented workforce, who they believe can provide outstanding service for the company’s customers.

Easterling also noted that the Indianapolis center adds a strategic location in the Midwest to their network of customer support centers in North Carolina and New Mexico.

Gov. Pence said that Indiana provides national companies such as Lowe’s with the perfect building blocks for success.

“We have taken all the parts required–a central location, low taxes and a skilled workforce–and assembled them perfectly here in Indiana,” said Gov. Pence.

The Lowe’s project was secured by Indianapolis with the help of a package of state and local incentives. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has approved conditional tax credits of up to $5.5 million for the Lowe’s project, in addition to workforce training grants of up to $100,000 tied to the company’s job creation plans.

Additional local incentives are being considered by the City at the request of Develop Indy, an Indianapolis economic development organization which is technically the business unit of the Indy Chamber. EmployIndy, Marion County’s local workforce development organization, is providing hiring assistance to help Lowe’s find candidates for the new jobs being created.

Mayor Ballard said that internationally recognized companies such as Lowe’s are choosing Indianapolis as the place to expand because of the central location, talent pool and welcoming business climate.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has more than 260,000 employees spread across 1,830 home improvement and hardware stores. The company gets 15 million customers a week in North America, and generated sales worth $53.4 billion for the last fiscal year.

Arlington County and Virginia Economic Development Partnership Secure CEB HQ

CEB (NYSE:CEB), one of the world’s leading member-advisory companies, will be locating their new headquarters operation in Rosslyn, Virginia.


CEB (photo –

The company will invest $149.7 million into the project, which includes an agreement to lease 350,000 square feet in the new Central Place development in Rosslyn, which will now be known as the CEB Tower.

The CEB corporate headquarters project is expected to create 800 new jobs in Rosslyn and Arlington County.

CEB relocated to Arlington, VA from Washington, D.C. back in 2008. Tom Monahan, CEB chairman and CEO, said that Virginia has a vision for economic development and is committed to working with companies to bring this vision to fruition.

Monahan noted that this agreement to locate their new headquarters in Rosslyn simply would not have been possible without the exceptional partnership between Arlington County and the Commonwealth, adding that the Governor’s Office and local officials clearly demonstrated to them why Virginia is a great state for business.

Arlington County worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to ensure the CEB headquarters project stayed in Virginia.

Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $4.5 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to help Arlington County with the CEB project.

The Governor said that a new global headquarters and investment of this magnitude are tremendous testaments to the confidence the company has in Arlington County and the Commonwealth even as it grows its presence internationally, creating the technology and workspace for 21st century jobs.

CEB has also been awarded another $5 million as a performance-based grant through the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant program.

The VEDIG program was created to provide incentives for economic development projects of exceptional value involving a large number of jobs with high wages relative to the average wage in the area.

Workforce training funding and support through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program will aid CEB in filling the 800 new jobs they plan to create.

Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette said that CEB is exactly the kind of business Arlington needs while moving forward as an innovation economy leader.

CEB’s advisory services clients are senior executives who make use of CEB to develop their teams’ leadership skills and key competencies. Their clients can be found in 10,000 individual organizations in 111 countries around the world. CEB member companies include 90 percent of the Fortune 500 and 85 percent of the FTSE 100, among others. The company generated $820 million in revenue last year.

Iowa Awards Economic Development Incentives for Projects Creating 206 Jobs

The Board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority has approved financial incentives and tax benefits to four companies that are creating a combined total of 206 jobs and will invest $62 million in the state.

Jobs for Iowa

Jobs for Iowa (photo –

One of the projects is an expansion of CPM Acquisition Corp’s test center in Waterloo, IA. The company manufactures particle preparation equipment for the agriculture and food industries.

CPM is investing $715,000 to double the size of the test center and increase capacity. The IEDA has offered the company tax incentives under the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP) program.

Another project getting HQJP tax incentives is New Heaven Chemicals Inc., a producer of chemicals that are used in the production process for biodiesel. New Heaven Chemicals, recently established as the Iowa-based subsidiary of Indian company TSS Group, is building a new facility in Worth County, IA.

Their $8.9 million investment in the project is being supported by the IEDA with $128,000 in direct financial assistance and additional HQJP tax benefits.

The biggest project out of the lot is an expansion by American Republic Insurance in Des Moines. The company is investing $24.5 million for upgrades to their historic building, and adding 146 new jobs with a qualifying hourly wage of $24.32. The IEDA has approved tax incentives to support this expansion project.

Incentives under the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program have been awarded to refrigerated warehousing company Cloverleaf Cold Storage Co. to ensure that their headquarters stays in Sioux City, IA. The company has decided to invest $927,725 to relocate to a new headquarters in Sioux City itself, and will be creating 13 new jobs and retaining 23 existing positions.

Apart from awarding incentives for these four projects, the Iowa Economic Development Authority also announced awards for five startups.

Cedar Falls-based Kyoger and Des Moines-based Bawte have been awarded $25,000 in funding through the Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund. Des Moines-based Athena GTX and Iowa City-based Pear Deck have been awarded $100,000 loans through the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund.

The fifth startup being provided financial assistance is Keokuk-based Krato, which is developing a non-toxic pest control solution made using natural oils for getting rid of bed bugs. Krato has been awarded a Demonstration Fund loan of $75,000.

Yuhuang Chemical Announces $1.85B Methanol Manufacturing Project in Louisiana

Yuhuang Chemical is planning to set up for a large-scale methanol manufacturing complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

Gov. Jindal announces Yuhuang Chemical project in Louisiana

Gov. Jindal announces Yuhuang Chemical project in Louisiana (photo – St. James Parish)

The company will invest $1.85 billion into the project, which is expected to create 400 direct jobs at the facility with an average annual wage of $85,000, plus benefits.

As per estimates provided by Louisiana Economic Development, the project will result in the creation of another 2,365 indirect jobs, adding up to a total of more than 2,700 jobs in Southeast Louisiana.

The project will support 2,100 construction jobs at peak building activity. Construction is set to begin in 2016, with the first phase of operations scheduled to kick off in 2018.

Yuhuang Chemical Inc. is a subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd., one of China’s leading chemical industry companies with more than 5,600 employees around the world and $4 billion in 2013 sales. This is the first Chinese company to make a major foreign direct investment in Louisiana.

Foreign direct investment projects add great value to our state by creating high-paying jobs, increased levels of international trade and extraordinary career opportunities for the families of Louisiana,” said Governor Bobby Jindal.

The Yuhuang project on the Mississippi River will progress in three stages, with two methanol plants being built in the first two stages, and a methanol derivatives plant to produce intermediate chemicals in the third phase.

Most of the output from the complex will be exported via sea back to China, with the remaining 20-30 percent being shipped by rail and barge to the company’s customers in the North American market.

Yuhuang Chemical CEO Charlie Yao said that Louisiana was the right choice for their first U.S. manufacturing operation, and the location fits into their strategy to leverage the advantage that natural gas feedstock provides.

Louisiana Economic Development began negotiations with Yuhuang in February this year. The company has been approved for two performance-based grants.

One $9.5 million grant to offset the infrastructure costs of the project will be paid over a five-year period that begins in 2017. The other one is a $1.75 million grant that will be paid out over a 10-year period, and is meant to defray the costs of riverfront access and development.

Yuhuang Chemical will additionally be eligible for more incentives under Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. The company will also get workforce training support from LED FastStart.

Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans economic development organization GNO Inc., said this is a major announcement for a number of reasons. Hecht noted that this is the first major mainland China chemical company investment in Louisiana’s history, and it adds up to more than 2,700 jobs paying an average annual wage of $85,000.

Hecht added that it also heralds a new chapter for investments in Greater New Orleans as they start developing and benefiting from promising relationships across Asia.

Liberty-Source PBC Creates 600 Jobs for Veterans and Military Spouses in Virginia

Liberty-Source PBC, a business process outsourcing firm that offers onshore solutions to large multinational companies, is establishing an operation at Fort Monroe in the City of Hampton, Virginia.

Fort Monroe, Virginia

Fort Monroe, Virginia

The company will invest $1.56 million into the project, which is expected to create 596 jobs providing HR, finance and accounting, customer care and other support services to clients.

Liberty Source is an onshore BPO with domestic facilities close to their clients, and also a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC).

This makes the firm a responsible and sustainable enterprise with operations that benefit not just their shareholders and clients, but also the broader public interest.

Their socially conscious business model is focused on providing career and training opportunities to the dedicated but underemployed pool of skilled military spouses.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said that Liberty-Source PBC is a tremendous addition to the Hampton Roads region. “The company’s delivery model is centered on employing staff from the U.S. military community, and Fort Monroe and the City of Hampton have a long and storied military history,” said Gov. McAuliffe.

The Governor added that in addition to active duty men and women in Virginia, thousands exit the military each year, and the opportunities offered to valuable government assets by Liberty-Source will make a great social and economic impact.

Fort Monroe was decommissioned and designated as the Fort Monroe National Monument in 2011. The 565 acres it encompasses include 170 historic buildings.

Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, said that an operation at a former U.S. Army post is a perfect fit for Liberty-Source PBC’s business model, and added that the company will be able to draw on the prevalent talent of the region’s strong workforce while bringing economic vitality to a location with a centuries-old military tradition.

Steve Hosley, president and CEO of Liberty-Source, said that Virginia is the ideal location to headquarter a BPO operation. Hosley added that with 30,000 active military members across all five branches located in the greater Hampton Roads area, the Fort Monroe operation offers them access to a highly skilled and dedicated workforce.

Glenn Oder, executive director of the Fort Monroe Authority, said they’re thrilled to welcome Liberty-Source to Fort Monroe, and added that the company’s hiring of military veterans and family members of active duty service men and women is admirable.

The Fort Monroe Authority worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and the City of Hampton to secure the project.

A Governor’s Opportunity Fund grant of $300,000 was approved by Gov. McAuliffe to assist Hampton with the project. Additional funding and support for workforce training will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Vanguard Furniture Creating 200 Jobs in Carroll County, Virginia

High-end upholstery producer Vanguard Furniture is making a foray into Virginia by establishing a production operation in the Carroll County Industrial Park.

Carroll County, VA

Carroll County, VA (photo –

The company will invest $550,000 to renovate and equip an existing facility in the industrial park, and expects to create 200 new jobs in Carroll County.

Vanguard already has 500 existing associates, with their headquarters and main manufacturing operations located in Conover, NC. They also have a showroom in High Point, NC.

“Vanguard is able to take advantage of an available facility that will allow a quick start-up to production, and Southwest Virginia offers an abundant workforce with a skill set in the furniture industry,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The Governor added that Carroll County has gone to great lengths to meet the company’s needs and ensure that the Carroll County Industrial Park will be home to the company’s first Virginia operation.

The project was secured by a collaborative effort involving the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Carroll County and the Carroll County IDA, and Virginia’s aCorridor.

aCorridor is a regional economic development organization representing six counties and two cities in the Mount Rogers region of southwestern Virginia.

Vanguard will receive workforce training funding and support under the Virginia Jobs Investment Program for training new employees.

Vanguard Furniture President Andy Bray said that they felt the need to expand operations because of unprecedented growth over the last few years. Bray added that communities surrounding their new facility in Virginia have proud traditions of manufacturing quality upholstered furniture, and they anticipate attracting some of the finest craftsmen in the area.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones likewise noted that Southwest Virginia has a rich history in the furniture industry, and noted that 200 new jobs with wages higher than the prevailing average wage in the county is significant news for the region as it continues to rebound economically.

Carroll County Board of Supervisors Chairman David Hutchins said it was a great day in Carroll County, having secured more than 200 new jobs in an economic sector that is a natural fit. Hutchins noted that the project would not have been carried out but for the coordination and assistance of many groups and individuals such as the Carroll County IDA.

Volkswagen Greenlights Chattanooga, Tennessee Expansion With 2000 New Jobs

The long-awaited expansion of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee was made official by Governor Bill Haslam and company officials in Germany.

Gov. Haslam and Volkswagen officials in Germany announce Chattanooga, TN expansion

Gov. Haslam and Volkswagen officials in Germany announce Chattanooga, TN expansion (photo – TNECD)

The Volkswagen Group has decided to expand its industrial footprint in the U.S., starting with an investment of $900 million for producing their new midsize SUV for the North American market.

Out of this, $600 million will be invested in Tennessee, with 2,000 additional jobs being created in Hamilton County, TN.

The Chattanooga plant, which already has 2,500 employees, is the company’s first and as yet only U.S. manufacturing facility.

The manufacturing line for the SUV will be integrated into the existing plant structures by adding approximately 538,000 square feet to the available floor space.

The company said that from 2014-2018, they plan to invest a total of $7 billion in the U.S. and Mexico, and plan to produce 800,000 vehicles for delivery to the U.S. market by 2018.

As part of the expansion, Volkswagen Group will also build a National Research and Development and Planning Center in Chattanooga that will operate independently to collect feedback from customers and see that it gets integrated expeditiously into existing and new vehicle models. This new center will employ 200 engineers.

“Today is an exciting day not just for Chattanooga and Hamilton County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank Volkswagen for its significant long-term investment in our state,” said Gov. Haslam.

The Governor added that the impact of this announcement goes far beyond the 2,000 new jobs because of the large multiplier effect of the automotive industry.

A study conducted last year by Dr. William Fox of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research showed that the VW Chattanooga plant has far exceeded expectations.

The study showed that the plant is generating $643.1 million in wage income and $233.6 million in spending with suppliers for products and services. This has helped create an additional 9,985 jobs in the region, adding up to a total of 12,400 new jobs. The plant has caused state and local tax revenues to increase by $53.5 million.


Volkswagen Chattanooga

Volkswagen Chattanooga (photo –

The new $600 million investment and 2,000 new jobs will also produce the same exponential economic impact in the region. That’s what makes the enormous incentive packages being provided to the Volkswagen Group of America a good deal.

The original project in 2008 was secured with the help of $577 million in federal, local and State of Tennessee economic development incentives for Volkswagen. As per Dr. Fox’s study, this total amount was still less than the annual payroll and would be paid back in full by the company in the form of state and local tax revenues in just 11 years.

The Chattanooga plant was competing for the expansion with the VW plant in Puebla, Mexico. Tennessee, the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County secured the project with the help of a huge package of state and local incentives that adds up to nearly $300 million. This is in addition to the original $577 million incentive package.

The new incentives offered to VW include a $165.8 million grant from the State of Tennessee for the project’s upfront costs including site development and preparation, infrastructure improvements, facility construction and equipment purchase and installation.

State incentives also include a $12 million grant for workforce training for the new employees.

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