Job Creation

Oxford Pharmaceuticals Selects Birmingham, Alabama for Manufacturing Facility

Oxford Pharmaceuticals LLC will establish a new manufacturing facility in the Jefferson Metropolitan Park at Lakeshore in Birmingham, AL.


Birmingham (photo – Robert S. Donovan/Flickr)

The Oxford, UK-based pharmaceutical startup company plans to invest $29.4 million to build the 120,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on a  24-acre site, and expects to create 61 new jobs when it opens in 2016.

By the time it is fully operational, the facility will have created 200 new jobs for Birmingham and Jefferson County.

The jobs announcement was made by Governor Robert Bentley during the Governor’s Luncheon hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance. The BBA is a unifying voice and catalyst for economic development and business prosperity in the seven-county Birmingham region.

Oxford Pharmaceuticals Chairman John Hoffmire said in a release issued by the BBA that they chose Birmingham over other competing markets because of the region’s workforce, close ties to health care, and a recruiting effort involving a number of teams.

The Oxford project was a joint effort where the City of Birmingham and the BBA worked with the Jefferson County Economic Industrial Development Authority and Jefferson County Commission. State support was provided through AIDT and the Alabama Dept. of Commerce.

All put together, the company is set to receive nearly $5 million in State of Alabama, Jefferson County and City of Birmingham economic development incentives.

Oxford is also getting a ‘Soft Landing’ designation from Innovation Depot that will enable the company to receive free rent until its facility is operational. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is additionally providing life sciences and pharmaceutical consulting.

Innovation Depot is a business incubation facility that operates in partnership with UAB, focusing on providing support to emerging life science-biotechnology, information technology and service businesses.

Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. said they welcome Oxford Pharmaceuticals to Birmingham. The Mayor labeled it as another big step for the City to show the world that Birmingham is a major player in the global economic development arena.

BBA Chairman Grayson Hall, who is the CEO of Regions Financial Corp, added that with partners at the state, county and city level and assets like UAB, Innovation Depot and the Southern Research Institute, they see Birmingham playing a global role in shaping the future of medicine and health care around the globe.

Palm Beach County, Florida Approves Economic Development Incentives for Project Osprey

The Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, FL has cleared a resolution recommending approval of local economic development incentives for a large distribution center project.


Osprey (photo – Gareth Rasberry/Wikipedia)

The distribution chain company, identified as yet in county documents only as ‘Project Osprey,’ is considering establishing a new 386,000-square-foot distribution center in Palm Beach County.

The facility will be their regional wholesale distribution center serving the entire Southeastern United States.

Project Osprey will make a capital investment of $93 million into the project, and expects to create 440 new and relocated jobs over the next five years.

These are jobs with an average annual wage of $48,813, not including benefits – that’s 115 percent of the average annual wage in the state.

The Palm Beach County Dept. of Economic Sustainability estimates that the project will generate a local economic impact of $236.5 million over five years.

In order to secure the project, the company is being offered a package of Florida and Palm Beach economic development incentives that add up to $1.68 million.

Specifically, Project Osprey has been identified by the State of Florida as a Targeted Industry eligible to apply for $930,000 in state incentives under the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund program. Under this program, the project has to receive a 20 percent ($186,000) match in the form of local incentives.

Citing the local economic impact of the large number of jobs being created and the significant capital investment the company is making, the Palm Beach Dept. of Economic Sustainability submitted a recommendation that the County Administration should go well beyond this $186,000 requirement.

The Board of County Commissioners has recommended approval of the suggested $750,000 in incentives for the project through an ad valorem tax exemption for a period of eight years.

Palm Beach County’s Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program is designed to provide funding assistance to support businesses looking to relocate into the County or establish a new facility, and to help existing businesses with expansion projects that will create full-time jobs, increase the tax base and diversify and strengthen the local economy.

The State QTI tax incentives for Project Osprey are tied to the company fulfilling its $93 million capital investment and creating 310 new permanent jobs in Florida within five years.

Project Osprey’s real name will be made public only after it enters into a formal agreement with Palm Beach County under the terms mentioned above.

Wisconsin Offers $5M Economic Development Tax Credits For Phillips-Medisize Expansions

Phillips-Medisize Corporation, a global provider of design, development and technology-driven manufacturing, announced plans to expand operations at separate production facilities in four Wisconsin counties.


Phillips-Medisize (photo –

The company will invest $30 million for these expansions across their Wisconsin facilities located in Eau Clair, Hudson, Medford, Menomonie, New Richmond and Phillips.

The Hudson, WI-based company already has 1,400 employees across these facilities all over Wisconsin, and expects to create a combined total of 484 new jobs as part of their expansion plans.

Governor Scott Walker, who was there for the jobs announcement at the company’s plant in New Richmond, said in a statement that an investment of this magnitude really solidifies this growing company’s commitment to Wisconsin.

The Governor noted that Phillips-Medisize has operations around the world and had other options for this expansion, but their decision to stay and grow in Wisconsin says a lot about the state’s strong business climate and dedicated workforce.

Phillips-Medisize, which began as a small precision molder in Phillips, WI in 1964, has grown into a global firm in the last 50 years, and now generates annual sales of just under $600 million. The company employs 3,400 people in 14 locations across the United States, Mexico, Europe and China, including design centers in Mountain View, CA; Hudson, WI; and one more in The Netherlands.

Matt Jennings, the company’s chairman and CEO, said they are excited to announce the investments in their facilities that will expand their capabilities and enable them to hire employees with needed expertise.

In order to secure the expansions and keep the company’s growth in-state, Phillips-Medisize has been authorized to receive up to $5 million in Wisconsin economic development tax credits. The actual amount in tax credits the company will be able to claim over the next 39 months is tied to their job creation plans.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp Secretary and CEO Reed Hall said they applaud Phillips-Medisize for their decision to grow in Wisconsin, and are pleased to be able to work with the company to make this project a reality.

Reed added that the expansion project will provide hundreds of family-supporting jobs throughout western and west-central Wisconsin, and that’s good news not just for the region, but for the entire state.

IT Services Firm GDC Expands Operations in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

Managed IT solutions and services provider Global Data Consultants, LLC is expanding its existing operations in Chambersburg, PA and opening a new office in Appleton, WI.


GDC (photo –

The company currently occupies leased space in Chambersburg, which it now intends to purchase for establishing their permanent headquarters.

GDC will invest $2.2 million to acquire the 27,000-square-foot property and renovate it. The company expects to create 150 new jobs in Chambersburg and retain another 178 jobs over the next three years.

Governor Tom Corbett said in a statement that they are thrilled to partner with GDC to bring new jobs to the region and save existing jobs.

In order to secure the GDC headquarters project, the company was offered a package of Pennsylvania economic development incentives that includes:

- A $300,000 grant under the Pennsylvania First Program to facilitate investment and job creation;

- Up to $300,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits;

- A $67,500 grant for workforce training under the Guaranteed Free Training Program; and

- An $870,000 loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.

The project was coordinated by economic development professionals in the Governor’s Action Team, in collaboration with the Franklin County Area Development Corporation. The GAT team members work with businesses considering expanding or relocating to Pennsylvania, and report directly to the Governor.

GDC President and CEO Gregory D. Courtney said they are excited about the partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, adding that the additional funding allows them to maintain the company’s corporate presence in Franklin County and bring highly desirable and diversified employment options to the region.

This announcement with the planned investment to renew the company’s commitment to Chambersburg and Pennsylvania coincided with the official opening of GDC’s new Midwest office in Appleton, WI. The 7,500-square-foot office will house their technical professionals with a wide range of expertise to support the company’s clients in the Fox Cities region.

Courtney said in a statement issued by the company that they are hiring the best technical resources in the communities they serve, and added that GDC is now well-poised and positioned to not only support long-term clients but also hire local talent as a long-term technology partner.

Cerner Corp Breaks Ground on $4.45B Campus With 16,000 Jobs in Kansas City, Missouri

Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN) officially broke ground on its new Trails campus at the site of the former Bannister Mall in Kansas City, MO.

Cerner Trails campus, Kansas City, MO

Cerner Trails campus, Kansas City, MO (photo –

The $4.45 billion development, set to create up to 16,000 jobs in the next ten years, is the largest-ever Missouri economic development project in history. The project will create 4,500 construction jobs in the Kansas City area.

Cerner Corp. is a supplier of health care technology solutions and products that are used by more than 14,000 facilities across the globe.

Cerner already has more than 8,700 associates in Kansas City. Due to their growing healthcare needs around the world, the company announced plans to expand its operations in Kansas City last fall.

The 4.7 million-square-foot campus with 16 buildings will be developed in phases by 2025.

The campus will have 4.3 million square feet covering office space and two data centers, plus a service center, training and conference center, health clinic, day care center and other amenities for associates. Another 370,000 square feet is being set aside for retail developments including shops, restaurants and a hotel.

Cerner Corp. executives were joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by Governor Jay Nixon and Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

Gov. Nixon said in a statement that by redeveloping hundreds of acres of a blighted area and creating up to 16,000 jobs, Cerner’s Trails campus will have a profound and positive impact on the region and state for decades to come.

The Bannister Mall was at one time one of the largest malls in the Kansas City region, with 180 stores providing employment for hundreds of residents. As newer developments sprung up, the mall eventually became blighted, was shut down in 2007, and demolished in 2009.

Cerner announced the purchase of the Three Trails Crossing property in Jan 2014, with plans for a 237-acre redevelopment.

Mayor Sly James said he’s grateful that Cerner has chosen to strengthen its roots in the Kansas City community and added that he looks forward to many more years of good news coming from the “outstanding corporate partner.”

Earlier this year in August, Kansas City economic development incentives to help Cerner with the financing for the project were approved by the city council. This includes tax increment financing that will capture all the new property taxes and part of the economic activity taxes for 23 years.

Another ordinance for a “super TIF” allows Cerner to raise another $317 million through the capture of the remaining economic activity taxes.

The State is additionally supporting the project through a strategic incentive package authorized by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. These state incentives are tied to the company’s job creation and investment plans.

Scottsdale Economic Development Secures Yodle Expansion at SkySong

City of Scottsdale Economic Development organization Choose Scottsdale announced that local online marketing firm Yodle is expanding its operations in the city.

Skysong in Scottsdale, AZ

Skysong in Scottsdale, AZ (photo – LibbyRose/flickr)

Yodle has leased another 12,000 square feet in the ASU SkySong building into which it moved in while entering the Scottsdale market in 2008.

SkySong is the Arizona State University Scottsdale Innovation Center, a 42-acre mixed-use development that will include 1.2 million square feet upon full buildout.

The first two buildings at SkySong opened in 2008, including the ASU SkySong incubator space. The ideal location in Scottsdale, coupled with the strong connection to ASU and the presence of the incubator, all worked nicely to attract a range of innovation and tech companies.

The SkySong 1 and 2 buildings are now at near full occupancy, the third building is at 90 percent occupancy, and pre-leasing for the fourth building is already underway. SkySong apartments, the residential component of the project, opened last year and the apartments are now available for leasing.

The New York, NY-based Yodle expanded into SkySong in Dec 2008, picking Scottsdale as its first Southwest US office with more than 50 sales and account management staff to help customers in the Scottsdale and Greater Phoenix area generate qualified phone calls and new customers through the web.

Their online-to-offline model makes it simple for small businesses to invest in local online marketing but get results in the same way as traditional offline channels. Roughly $1 invested through Yodle generates $8 in additional profits for their customers.

Apart from Scottsdale and the headquarters operations in NYC, Yodle also has offices in Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; and Austin, TX. The company has 1,200 employees across all of its offices, including 200 in Scottsdale.

The 12,000 square feet of additional space gives it a total of 39,000 square feet in SkySong – enough room to accommodate another 100 jobs the company plans to add at the newly expanded office in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said in a statement that he’s thrilled that Yodle is continuing to expand and be a part of the city’s growing high-tech cluster. Mayor Lane added that this is a classic example of the value companies see in the premier business environment as well as the strong labor pool that Scottsdale offers.

Yodle CEO Court Cunningham responded in kind, noting that Scottsdale has a welcoming, business-friendly culture and has been a great partner for the company. Cunningham added that the growing technology hub and high volume of colleges and universities surrounding Scottsdale gives them access to a strong talent pool that will be an invaluable resource for the company.

The 100 new jobs that Yodle is planning to create are mostly for sales positions, along with some functions in HR, IT and client services.

Wisconsin Economic Development Tax Credits Support Agropur Feta Cheese Expansion

Canadian dairy company Agropur Inc. has selected a site in Weyauwega, WI for an expansion of its Feta cheese production capacity.

Feta cheese

Feta cheese (photo – grongar/flickr)

The company will invest $55 million into the project, which is expected to create 22 new jobs at the Agropur facility in Weyauwega.

Governor Scott Walker said in a statement that not only is Wisconsin the top cheese-producing state in the country, but also has an international reputation for quality dairy products. The Governor added that Agropur’s expansion in Wisconsin will help to further that reputation.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp Secretary and CEO Reed Hall noted that Wisconsin produces so much cheese that if the state was a country, it would rank fourth in the world in cheese production after the U.S., Germany and France.

Agropur is Canada’s largest dairy cooperative in terms of annualized sales ($3.8 billion in the last fiscal year). Agropur now processes milk at 36 plants across North America and has 7,500 employees. This includes four cheese plants in Wisconsin in La Crosse, Little Chute, Luxemburg and Weyauwega, and eight more plants in the rest of the United States.

In order to ensure that the company picked a Wisconsin production facility for the expansion, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has offered an incentives package to Agropur that includes $1.65 million in tax credits.

To be able to claim the full tax credits, Agropur must invest at least $55 million, create 22 new jobs and retain the existing 146 jobs at the Weyauwega facility.

Doug Simon, president of Agropur’s USA Cheese Business Unit, said they are a leader in Feta cheese production and this expansion will allow them to maintain that leadership position. Simon added that they are excited about the investment as well as the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry as it provides employment opportunities and a stable home for milk produced in the area.

Agropur Chief Executive Officer Robert Coallier likewise said that the Agropur investment shows how committed they are to the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry and to establishing their leadership in the U.S. market.

WEDC’s Reed Hall said they are pleased to be able to assist Agropur in strengthening its already strong position in cheese production and the dairy industry,

New Jersey Approves $130M in Economic Development Incentives for Six Projects

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved up to $130 million in tax incentives for six projects that will generate a combined total of $194 million in private investment.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin (photo – joseph.gruber/flickr)

These projects are expected to create 125 new jobs and support the retention of 250 jobs that were at risk of being relocated outside the state.

Four of the six projects were approved for up to $120 million in tax credits under the Grow NJ program. By far the biggest project in the lot is Lockheed Martin’s plan to establish two fully integrated labs in Camden, NJ.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) will make a capital investment of $146,379,719 into this project, and has been awarded $107 million in tax incentives under the Grow NJ program. These incentives will be in the form of annual awards of $10.7 million for a 10-year term.

The project will complement the strategic partnership that Lockheed Martin has developed with Rowan University. Dr. Ali Houshmand, the university’s president, said in a statement that Lockheed’s commitment to the region and its partnership with Rowan will generate a ripple effect that will benefit many sectors of the economy.

The three other companies awarded Grow NJ incentives by the NJEDA are DioGenix Inc, Principis Capital LLC and Surfside Seafood LLC.

The $7.455 million in tax incentives awarded to molecular diagnostics firm DioGenix are supporting the relocation of a lab from Maryland to Camden, where the company plans to expand the lab and convert it into an accredited federally compliant facility. The incentives will be provided as ten annual grant awards of $745,500 each.

Financial services firm Principis Capital LLC is considering locations to move into once its current lease in New York City expires. The company is considering sites in Jersey City, NJ as well as locations in New York. Principis has been approved to receive annual Grow NJ awards of $387,500 for a 10-year term.

Surfside Seafood LLC, which operates a fleet of vessels off the Jersey coast, is considering whether to purchase property in Millville, NJ and make additional investments for purchasing equipment and establishing a processing facility. The company is also looking at an alternative location for the project in Virginia. The NJEDA has awarded Surfside Seafood annual grants of $160,000 for a 10-year term.

Tax credits under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program were approved for two housing projects in Atlantic City and Lakewood, NJ.

The EDA also approved assistance for several technology companies. Cloud telecommunications company was awarded a $400,000 Edison Innovation VC Growth Fund loan. Eos Energy Storage LLC, a company that is developing low-cost energy storage solutions for utilities and transporters, is getting $1.5 million as an investment under the Angel Investor Tax Credit program.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Michele Brown said in a statement that strengthening the technology industry in New Jersey remains a top priority of the State and the EDA.

Lufkin, TX Economic Development Secures $60M GE Oil & Gas Modernization Project

GE Oil & Gas (NYSE: GE) announced plans to expand and modernize its foundry operations in Lufkin, TX.

GE facility in Lufkin, Texas

GE facility in Lufkin, Texas (photo – GE Oil & Gas)

The company will invest $60 million into the project to demolish 30,000 square feet in the existing 515,000-square-foot facility, and construct new buildings that will add 72,000 square feet.

GE will also refurbish the remaining structures at the facility that are not being demolished. The historic Lufkin foundry first began operations in 1902.

There have been many upgrades to the 112-year old foundry over the last century, but GE’s plans to demolish and rebuild part of it and refurbish the rest will enable the use of modern technologies to reduce emissions and boost the foundry’s production efficiency and safety.

The foundry, which produces iron castings used mostly in Lufkin beam pumping units and power transmission equipment, became a part of GE Oil & Gas when GE completed its acquisition of Lufkin Industries last year for $3.3 billion.

Since the acquisition, GE has invested another $85 million into Lufkin’s operations. This latest $60 million investment in Lufkin will keep the foundry operational for many years to come and continue providing jobs to the local economy.

GE sought a package of Lufkin economic development incentives that includes 100 percent tax abatement for 10 years on the new taxable value of their property, which is expected to be around $36 million.

If GE Oil & Gas had instead decided to relocate the foundry operations elsewhere, Lufkin and Angelina County would have lost existing jobs at the foundry.

The proposal to provide incentives for the job retention project was approved earlier this week by the Lufkin City Council after the Lufkin 4B Economic Development Corporation called a public hearing to discuss the funding for what was until now known only as “Project Phoenix.”

Jerome Luciat-Labry, president of Well Performance Services for GE Oil & Gas, said in a release that they chose to invest in modernizing and improving the existing foundry because of the rich history and the skilled and dedicated workforce associated with the Lufkin operation in Texas.

Luciat-Labry added that they are excited about continuing to support manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and especially in Angelina County where Lufkin Industries began.

Honda Gets $75M Ontario Economic Development Grant for $750 million Investment in Alliston Plant

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Honda is investing CAD $857 million (USD $750 million) over three years at its Alliston plant in Ontario, Canada.

Honda Alliston plant in Ontario, Canada

Honda Alliston plant in Ontario, Canada (photo –

The company is making the investment to bring leading-edge technologies for engine manufacturing and vehicle assembly to the Alliston plant, and for worker training and R&D partnerships with colleges and universities in Ontario.

Honda will use the Alliston operations as a teaching plant for all Honda facilities worldwide. Provincial support from the Government of Ontario helped Honda of Canada Mfg in Alliston win this investment and the project over other competing Honda plants.

Honda will be getting an Ontario economic development grant of CAD $85.7 million (USD $75 million) to help the company enhance workers’ skills and secure the future of the three Alliston plants and their 4,000 skilled workers. Not to mention thousands more jobs in the supply chain the company’s operations support across Ontario and Canada.

Premier Wynne said in a statement that the Ontario Government is proud to partner with companies that are making investments in innovation and skills that help Ontario compete globally, and added that the fact that Ontario successfully competed for this project reinforces their position as a global leader in auto manufacturing.

Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid likewise noted that this investment helps to position the Alliston facility as an innovation leader in Honda’s global operations.

Minister Duguid added that the government will keep working with all auto companies to attract new investment in the competitive global auto industry.

Honda Canada Inc. President and CEO Jerry Chenkin thanked the Government of Ontario for supporting their efforts to innovate and remain competitive in the increasingly aggressive global automotive market.

This latest CAD $857 million investment brings Honda’s total investment in Ontario to nearly CAD $3.9 billion. In 1986, Honda of Canada Mfg. became the first Japanese auto company to manufacture vehicles in Ontario when they established a production facility for assembly of the Honda Accord.

Since then, Honda has built more than six million vehicles in Ontario that are sold in Canada and exported to the U.S. and other markets. HCM is now one of Honda’s top global manufacturing facilities with two assembly plants and an engine plant with a total annual capacity of 390,000 units.

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