Job Creation

Utah Gets 351 Oracle Jobs With New Software Support Center

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced that Oracle is planning to establish a new customer software support center in Salt Lake County that will respond to customer help requests related to Oracle products.


Oracle (photo – Jim Carroll/Flickr)

Oracle will invest more than $6.1 million into the project, and expects to create 351 new jobs over the next 10 years.

These Oracle jobs are high-tech positions that will pay more than 125 percent of the prevailing average annual wage in the county.

The GOED Board of Directors has approved EDTIF (Economic Development Tax Increment Finance) incentives for Oracle.

This is a post-performance tax credit of up to $2.8 million, equivalent to 25 percent of the new state taxes Oracle will be paying during the 10-year agreement period.

The new Oracle jobs are expected to generate wages of nearly $239 million over the 10-year period of the agreement, along with new state tax revenues of around $11.3 million.

Oracle will earn a portion of the tax credit annually, as it meets the job creation criteria specified in the contract.

GOED Executive Director Spencer P. Eccles said Utah is becoming known as a tech hotspot thanks to continued growth by well-respected companies such as Oracle.

Eccles added that IT and software companies choose to locate or expand in Utah because of the low operating costs, educated workforce and unparalleled quality of life the state offers, as well as the critical mass that Utah has created.

Oracle Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities Randy Smith said in a statement that they have been impressed by the high-tech growth in Utah, and are pleased to be expanding their presence in the state. Smith added that Utah offers a unique blend of potential economic growth and a highly skilled workforce.

Actually, Utah wasn’t even under consideration for the software support center when the site selection process began. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, it was former Oracle executive Margaret Lasecke-Jacobs, a newly appointed member of the GOED Board, who convinced Oracle to take a closer look at Utah as a location for the support center.

Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Utah Economic Development Corporation, said that EDCUtah is pleased to see this expansion in Utah by a global company such as Oracle. Edwards added that Oracle’s presence further enhances their ability to grow the IT industry and continue attracting first-rate technology jobs to Utah.

Redwood City, CA-based Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) helps more than 400,000 customers in over 145 countries around the world eliminate complexity and simplify IT. The company has more than 122,000 employees around the world, including 18,000 support personnel and 18,000 consulting experts.

Michigan Approves $1.5M Economic Development Incentives for Projects Creating 292 Jobs

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a total of $1.47 million in grants for three projects in West Michigan.

Jobs in the Comeback State

Jobs in the Comeback State (photo –

One of the grant recipients is WKW Roof Rail Systems, LLC, which is a subsidiary of WKW Erbsloeh North America, Inc., which in turn is a subsidiary of Wuppertal, Germany-based WKW.automotive.

The newly established WKW Roof Rail Systems is purchasing the former Toyota Tsusho America facility in the City of Battle Creek, MI, and plans to use the facility to manufacture aluminum roof rail systems for the automotive market.

WKW Roof Rail Systems is investing $23 million into the project, and will create 186 new jobs in Battle Creek. Michigan and another site in Alabama were both competing for this project.

The company chose Michigan in part due to the $950,000 performance-based grant offered by the state under the Michigan Business Development Program. The City of Battle Creek is additionally offering local incentives in the form of a property tax abatement.

WKW.automotive CEO Peter Kruft said that they appreciated the valuable support provided by the State of Michigan, including Gov. Rick Snyder and other involved authorities, when the company presented their future planning.

Gov. Snyder had met with WKW executives in Germany when he led a delegation of Michigan economic development officials and government leaders on an investment mission to Europe earlier this year.

The Governor and the Michigan delegation toured WKW-Group’s aluminum billet production plant in Velbert. A few months before that, the WKW-Group had bought Portage, MI-based Bowers Manufacturing to extend its reach into the U.S. aluminum extrusion business which is a core process in the automotive sector.

The Michigan delegation knew the company was looking for a second production facility in the U.S. for manufacturing aluminum roof rail systems, and made the case for Michigan as a smart business location for growing a manufacturing company and creating jobs.

MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney said the Governor’s meeting with WKW executives underscored their strong relationship with the company and demonstrated that Michigan is more business friendly than ever.

The second project approved for a state grant was an expansion by Cascade Die Casting Group Inc. in the Village of Sparta and Gaines Township. The company is investing $5.3 million and plans to create 50 jobs. Michigan was competing with another site in North Carolina for this project, and secured it by offering the company a $275,000 performance-based grant.

The third company getting a state grant is Livermore, CA-based solar equipment manufacturer SolarBOS, which had been looking for a site for a new manufacturing facility closer to its customers in the east and southeast.

A $250,000 performance-based grant helped secure this project for the City of Walker, MI over competing sites in Ohio, North Carolina and California. SolarBOS will now invest $884,000 to establish the new facility in Walker, and will create up to 56 new jobs.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership Lands $347M Microsoft Data Center Expansion

Microsoft Corp. has chosen its data center site in Mecklenburg County, VA for a $346.7 million expansion that will increase capacity to serve the company’s growing customer base.

Virginia data centers

Virginia data centers

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Mecklenburg County worked together to compete against sites in other states and secure the project.

Microsoft’s original data center in Mecklenburg County was established in 2010 with an investment of $499 million and the creation of 50 jobs. The company followed up with a $150 million expansion in 2011, and then another $348 million last year.

This latest $346.7 million expansion brings their total investment in Mecklenburg County to more than $1.3 billion. This new project will create another 90 jobs at the site.

“Microsoft’s success and continued investment is a powerful testament to the benefits of doing business in Virginia and the thriving data center industry in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The Governor approved a $1.6 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County’s proposal for securing the Microsoft project. The Virginia Tobacco Commission approved another $1.6 million in incentives for the project in the form of Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said that Microsoft has played an important role in the success of Mecklenburg County and Southern Virginia since the data center site was established in 2010.

Christian Belady, General Manager, Data Center Services, Global Foundation Services at Microsoft, said they are excited to continue building their relationship with Mecklenburg County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Other partners instrumental in assisting VEDP and Mecklenburg County land the Microsoft data center expansion include the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, and Dominion Virginia Power.

Robert M. Blue, president of Dominion Virginia Power, said they are pleased to work with and support the efforts of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Mecklenburg County for encouraging business growth and expansion in the Commonwealth.

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation president and CEO Tad Deriso said they are proud of their robust open-access fiber network, which he said continues to pay economic dividends to Southern Virginia.

California Competes Tax Credits Recommended for Projects Creating 6000 Jobs

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has released a list of 31 companies that are in consideration for the first ever allocation of California Competes tax credits.

California Competes tax credit

California Competes tax credit

These 31 companies, which include 11 small businesses as well as giants like Samsung, Amazon and Macy’s, will get tax credits totaling approximately $30 million.

Put together, the 31 projects being provided economic development incentives could create around 6,000 jobs and bring more than $2 billion in investment across California.

“The California Competes tax credit encourages businesses large and small to expand in California and create good paying jobs in a variety of industries,” said GO-Biz Director Kish Rajan.

These projects were shortlisted for recommendation out of 396 companies which applied to Go-Biz, asking for more than $500 million in tax credits.

Those who didn’t make the cut in the first round can reapply in the next application period. GO-Biz will be allocating another $150 million in California Competes tax credits in the next fiscal year.

As far as the 31 selected companies are concerned, their applications will be taken up for consideration by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee (CCTC) on June 19, 2014.

The largest allocation of $6 million goes to Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. The company is investing $357.7 million to build two towers in North San Jose, CA and will be creating 400 new jobs.

The largest project on the list in terms of job creation is Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc., which is getting $1.57 million in tax credits for investing $225 million and creating 1,550 distribution center jobs.

Macy’, Inc. is getting $1 million in tax credits for an expansion of its operations in San Francisco. Macy’s is investing $206.3 million to add 240,000 square feet of leased office space and create 193 new jobs.

Here’s the full list of 31 companies recommended by Go-Biz, along with links to their individual tax credit agreements.

The California Competes tax credit is one of the three core components of the newly enacted Governor’s Economic Development Initiative (GEDI).

The initiative also includes a hiring credit offered to projects in areas of the state with high unemployment and poverty, and a sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing, biotech and R&D equipment purchase.

GE Breaks Ground on $400M Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Greenville, SC

General Electric (NYSE: GE) broke ground on a $400 million advanced manufacturing facility for GE Power & Water in Greenville, SC.

GE Power & Water Advanced Manufacturing Works in Greenville, SC

GE Power & Water Advanced Manufacturing Works in Greenville, SC (photo – GE Power & Water)

The facility, called Advanced Manufacturing Works, is co-located with GE’s existing manufacturing campus in Greenville.

The new facility will be operational in 2015 and is expected to create more than 80 new high tech jobs.

Advanced Manufacturing Works will serve as an incubator for innovative manufacturing process development and rapid prototyping for GE Power & Water businesses which include everything from wind turbines to heavy duty and distributed power gas engines.

The Schenectady, NY-based GE Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business. Its president and CEO Steve Bolze said that Greenville was an ideal location for their advanced manufacturing site.

The Greenville campus covers more than 1.5 million square feet of factory and office space with more than 3,000 employees. Over the past 40 years, the company has established relations with universities and technical programs in the area that provide a steady supply of talent to help the company develop new technologies.

By developing new techniques and production process at the advanced manufacturing facility in Greenville, GE Power & Water will be able to design, test, iterate and bring products to market faster than ever before.

Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said GE had the opportunity to expand anywhere in the world and they chose South Carolina, and added that an investment of this size is a reminder that South Carolina’s business-friendly atmosphere and skilled talent are keys to the state’s economic success.

Over the past five years, GE has already invested more than $500 million to boost manufacturing activities in Greenville. This latest $400 million investment for the advanced manufacturing facility will take place over the next ten years.

Greenville County Council Chairman Dr. Bob Taylor, who is also a board member of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, said that GE’s decision to locate this state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing center in Greenville is a direct result of having national caliber talent to grow with, along with a pro-business community and the commitment of local and state officials who embrace their vision.

Founded in 2001, the Greenville Area Development Corporation is the lead Greenville economic development organization with legislative authority for negotiating incentives for new business projects and expansions.

Module X Solutions Plans Innovative Expansion in Shreveport, Louisiana

Module X Solutions LLC, a manufacturer of modular buildings used by telecom companies, will be joining existing tenant MB Industries LLC at an industrial property owned by the City of Shreveport, La.

Module X Solutions expansion announcement in Shreveport, La.

Module X Solutions expansion announcement in Shreveport, La. (photo –

The company will invest $7.4 million to renovate and upgrade the 750,000-square-foot facility.

Module X Solutions will continue its own work making modular buildings, and help MB Industries with their production of blast-proof building systems.

This innovative arrangement which combines an expansion with a joint venture by two private companies in a city-owned industrial property will help create and retain more than 1,000 jobs in the Northwest Region.

Module X Solutions plans to create 357 direct jobs at the facility with average annual wages of at least $49,800 per year, plus benefits.

According to Louisiana Economic Development estimates, the project will result in the creation of another 578 indirect jobs, which brings the total job creation to more than 930 jobs.

Not to mention around 50 additional construction jobs while the facility is being renovated. Then there’s also the fact that this joint venture helps MB Industries retain 109 existing employees already working at the facility.

Governor Bobby Jindal, who had to cancel a planned joint appearance at the announcement with Module X Solutions CEO Steve Schoonover due to weather, said they’re proud that Module X Solutions is joining the long list of companies that are expanding operations in Louisiana.

Schoonover said they are excited about creating hundreds of manufacturing jobs, and truly appreciative of the support and commitments provided by the Shreveport city administration and Mayor Cedric B. Glover, the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, and the Louisiana Economic Development team.

Jim Dean, vice president and general manager, Module X Solutions, said that without NLEP, they would never have been able to bring all the parties together with the right focus to hammer out a deal, and added that NLEP was the glue that held everything together.

The North Louisiana Economic Partnership is a regional public-private economic development partnership which serves 14 parishes in North Louisiana.

NLEP President Scott Martinez said the new business venture led by Module X Solutions more than triples the facility’s existing workforce, and added that the 357 additional jobs will really boost Shreveport’s economy.

LED began discussions on this project with Module X Solutions in Nov 2013, and secured it by offering to help with the infrastructure improvements to the 35-acre City of Shreveport-owned industrial property.

The State of Louisiana has offered Module X Solutions a $1.8 million Economic Development Award Program grant and another $1.8 million performance-based grant, both of which are to be used for making infrastructure improvements at the site.

The company will also be getting workforce training support from LED FastStart, and they will be eligible for additional state incentives under the Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Module X Solutions is starting to hire new employees right away, and plans to add at least 274 new employees by the end of 2015 when they expect the facility’s renovation to be complete. The remaining new jobs will be filled within the next five years.

Mayor Glover said the prospect of 350 new direct jobs coming to Shreveport in such a short time period is simply outstanding.

Cisco Expansion in NC Research Triangle Park to Create 550 Jobs

Cisco is expanding its workforce in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, and plans to create 550 new jobs by the end of 2017.


Cisco (photo – Prayitno/flickr)

The San Jose, California-based networking giant already has more than 4,600 employees across North Carolina, and employs more than 74,000 people around the world.

The new jobs being created in the Research Triangle Park are for positions that include a mix of operational, finance and network services functions.

Compensation will vary by function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be at least $72,700 plus benefits. By comparison, the prevailing average annual wage in Wake County is $49,410.

The announcement was made by Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker.

“These new jobs will support innovation, add to a strong base of tech-savvy workers and strengthen the Triangle’s economy,” said Gov. McCrory.

Gary Moore, Cisco president and chief operating officer, said that by expanding their presence and hiring the best talent, Cisco will continue to develop technology solutions that enable the Internet of Everything and fuel innovation in RTP.

Cisco’s expansion was facilitated by the approval of state economic development incentives under the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program.

As per the terms of the JDIG award, Cisco could save up to $12.9 million over a 12-year period. This would in the form of twelve annual grants calculated as 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings for the new jobs being created.

This means each annual grant is tied to Cisco fulfilling incremental job creation requirements as per the agreement with the State.

Commerce Secretary Decker said that Wake County and the Research Triangle Park have proven to be an exceptional source of talent for the state.

Apart from the Commerce Dept., other partners who helped in the effort to secure the Cisco RTP expansion include Wake County Economic Development, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, Wake Technical Community College and the NC Community College system.

Rep. Tom Murry, who chairs the North Carolina House Commerce and Job Development Committee, said this defining expansion of Cisco in RTP is proof that the ‘Carolina Comeback’ is reaching companies on a global scale.

TN Economic Development Dept Announces MVP Group Intl Expansion

Governor Bill Haslam, along with Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, announced an expansion project being undertaken in Union City, TN by home fragrance company MVP Group International, Inc.

Obion County, TN economic development

Obion County, TN economic development (photo –

MVP will invest $2 million into the expansion, which is expected to create 100 new jobs in Union City and Obion County.

The expansion is a part of the Charleston, SC-based company’s plan to consolidate its multi-state distribution operations in the South to a location in Obion County. This will give them a centrally located distribution center closer to their manufacturing plants in Kentucky.

Gov. Haslam said Tennessee’s central location is attractive to businesses looking to be strategically located, and this announcement supports their goal of becoming the No.1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.

MVP is upgrading operations and the building housing their existing facility so that it can process more goods transferred to Union City from the company’s facilities in other states. Last year in March, MVP announced plans to establish a $5.2 million manufacturing facility in Fulton, KY with 150 new jobs.

They make private label and branded candles and home fragrance products such as Colonial Candle, Carolina Candles, Olde South Candle Company and the Febreeze Home Collection. MVP is also the parent company of Midwest-CBK, which supplies retailers with home decor, holiday and gift products.

Troy Propes, president of MVP Group International, Inc., said that growing up in Western Kentucky, their family knows firsthand the quality of the work ethic and loyalty of the people in the region.

Propes also expressed their appreciation to everyone who was instrumental in making the expansion project a reality, and specifically mentioned local, state and federal economic development authorities.

TN Economic Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said that the department and MVP have prioritized putting a great labor force in Union City via this newly expanded presence in the state.

Commissioner Hagerty added that MVP has been a solid employer in the region, and will be a great partner as Tennessee plays a more vital role in the company’s further expansion.

Good Customer Service by Clayton County Brings 1120 Call Center Jobs to Metro Atlanta

Chime Solutions Inc., an Atlanta-based firm specializing in contract staffing and contact center services, is opening a new call center at the Southlake Mall in Morrow, GA.

Chime Solutions creates call center jobs in Clayton County, GA

Chime Solutions creates call center jobs in Clayton County, GA (photo –

The 1,000-seat call center will be located in the vacant 65,000-square-foot space in the Southlake Mall formerly occupied by JCPenney.

The project will create 1,120 direct jobs in Metro Atlanta ranging from executive and administrative positions to customer service representatives and their supervisors.

Governor Nathan Deal said that Georgia has become a global hub for communications services. The Governor added that with the help of the state’s top 10-ranked talent pool, this industry has grown to include nearly 300 Georgia-based companies.

Chime Solutions is a minority- and woman-owned business, and was assisted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Clayton County Office of Economic Development.

The company will be able to take advantage of generous state incentives under the Job Tax Credit Program as a result of Clayton County’s Tier 1 (economically distressed) status.

Georgia classifies counties into four tiers based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Census Bureau, with Tier 1 being the most economically distressed. The amount of state tax credits offered to companies for job creation is therefore based on the number of jobs and their location.

Creating jobs in a Tier 1 county makes a company in one of the targeted sectors eligible for a tax credit of up to $3,500 per job ($4,000 for Tier 1 counties participating in a Joint Development Authority with other counties). This tax credit can be used offset state income tax liability, and excess tax credits can be carried forward for up to 10 years or claimed against withholding taxes.

Jeff Turner, chairman of the Clayton County Commission, said this was one of the largest corporate announcements in Clayton County’s history, and they are thrilled to welcome Chime Solutions to the community.

Georgia Economic Development Department Commissioner Chris Carr said that in just the past few years, call center companies have created more than 4,800 jobs in the state. Commissioner Carr added that the robust fiber optic landscape and well-equipped talent pool will help Chime Solutions find the support needed for better serving its clients.

Chime Solutions CEO Shelly Wilson said they are excited about the grand opening of the 1,000-seat contact center in Morrow and the building of an experienced and capable workforce to meet their clients’ staffing and contact center needs.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission lands ArcBest HQ With 975 New Jobs

ArcBest Corporation (NASDAQ: ARCB), formerly the Arkansas Best Corporation, has announced a land purchase agreement for building a new $30 million corporate headquarters in Chaffee Crossing, Fort Smith, AR.

ArcBest Corp

Photo – ArcBest Corp

This is the second major project announced in the same week by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the City of Fort Smith, following the announcement of Georgia-Pacific’s $40 million manufacturing expansion at their Dixie facility in Fort Smith.

ArcBest has outgrown both its current 195,000-square-foot headquarters location at Fort Smith and the additional space it leased in 2012.

The new headquarters building on the 40-acre site will give the company up to 150,000 square feet of additional space to house administrative and corporate offices, along with ABF Logistics personnel. The company’s other subsidiaries, including ABF Freight System Inc. and ArcBest Technologies, are expected to stay put at the larger existing facility.

The new space will therefore be used to support ArcBest’s anticipated growth, including the creation of 975 new jobs in Fort Smith and Sebastian County through 2021. ArcBest already has around 1,200 employees in Fort Smith.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission secured the ArcBest headquarters project by offering the company state incentives under the Create Rebate program tied to their fulfillment of job creation commitments. ArcBest stands to gain around $16 million to $19 million over the 10-year period during which it can claim tax refunds as a percentage of new payroll.

AEDC Executive Director Grant Tennille thanked ArcBest for expanding their Fort Smith headquarters, which he said would benefit the region for years to come, and for their vote of confidence in the strength of Sebastian County’s workforce.

The City of Fort Smith is pitching in with local incentives in the form of sales and use tax refunds for building material purchase associated with the project.

Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders said ArcBest has been an outstanding Fort Smith company for 90 years, providing substantial employment opportunities for people in the area and throughout the nation. The Mayor said this announcement was not only great news for the company, but also for Forth Smith and for all the people who will gain jobs as a result of ArcBest’s continued growth.

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