Job Creation

Viewpost Expansion in Maitland, Florida Boosts Orlando Financial Services Industry

Financial services company Viewpost, which offers a business-to-business network for electronic invoicing and payments, will be expanding its operations in Maitland, FL.

Viewpost

Viewpost (photo – viewpost.com)

The company plans to invest $1.9 million and expects to create 262 new jobs in Orange County over the next three years. Viewpost already has 180 employees at its Maitland headquarters.

The new jobs being created are high-wage programming and software development positions with an average annual salary of $80,828, which is more than double the average annual wage in the Orlando metropolitan region.

In a release announcing the expansion project, Governor Rick Scott said that it is thanks to job creators like Viewpost that Florida is on the way to becoming the world’s number one destination for jobs.

CEO Max Eliscu said in the release that he was born and raised in the Orlando area and added that he’s deeply grateful for the supportive business environment nurtured by elected officials and the investment community. Eliscu said he’s pleased that Viewpost’s success will in turn have a positive impact on the region.

The City of Maitland and Orange County worked with the Orlando Economic Development Commission, Duke Energy, Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and CareerSource Florida to secure this project.

Viewpost is getting $1,834,000 in incentives under the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program. This includes $183,400 each from Orange County and the City of Maitland, as a 20 percent match for the QTI award. The State of Florida will provide the rest of the incentives.

Viewpost is additionally getting a workforce training grant from CareerSource Florida through the Quick Response Training (QRT) program.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said in the release that Viewpost’s decision to expand within the community demonstrates the strength of Orange County’s economic climate.

Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker said they are pleased to form productive partnerships with new and expanding businesses, and remain ready to respond if they can be of service in any other way.

Rick Weddle, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Development Commission, said they are thrilled that Viewpost is growing and adding new jobs in Maitland. Weddle added that they will continue to create innovative tools for the critical financial services industry while highlighting their place as one of the nation’s top tech job hot spots.

Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President and CEO Gray Swoope said that Florida is home to more than 100,000 financial and professional firms employing more than 850,000 Floridians, and this sector will continue to grow thanks to companies like Viewpost.

BuzzFeed Expanding Manhattan HQ and Minneapolis Engineering Team

Social news and entertainment company BuzzFeed is moving into a new headquarters space in Manhattan and will create hundreds of new jobs in New York as part of the headquarters expansion project.

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed (photo – buzzfeed.com)

BuzzFeed is taking up 200,000 square feet of space in the tower at 225 Park Avenue South formerly occupied by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is in turn relocating to 4WTC in Lower Manhattan.

According to New York economic development agency Empire State Development, BuzzFeed considered several other locations around the country before deciding to expand in New York.

In order to secure the expansion, ESD has offered BuzzFeed $4 million in incentives through the Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits. These are performance-based tax credits tied to the company’s creation of 475 new jobs in the next five years and retention of existing jobs.

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said in a release announcing the expansion that they are very excited that BuzzFeed will create their new global headquarters in New York, and will be known as one of the marquee companies in this hub for the technology and media industries.

BuzzFeed Chief Financial Officer Mark Frackt said in the release that they’re excited to build a new headquarters at 225 Park Avenue South and contribute to New York City’s fast paced economic growth.

The company already has 700 employees at offices around the world, and is growing at a fast clip after raising $50 million in Series E funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz earlier this year in August. Andreessen Horowitz valued BuzzFeed at around $850 million.

The new funding, which more than doubles the sum total of all their previous funding rounds, is helping fuel BuzzFeed’s recent expansion plans. Apart from the operational reorganization and expansion of their NYC headquarters, BuzzFeed is also beefing up its technological capabilities through acquisitions.

Specifically, BuzzFeed has announced acquisitions of New York-based startup Torando Labs and Minneapolis-based mobile and web applications development company Hyper IQ.

Torando Labs CEO Todd Levy is now leading BuzzFeed’s new data engineering team. Hyper IQ’s team of seven, led by the company’s co-founder and president Phil Wilson, will now form the core of BuzzFeed’s Minneapolis office focused on engineering.

BuzzFeed plans to expand the Minneapolis team to 30 engineers. This talent acquisition push is aimed at kickstarting their mobile app product offerings in verticals including news and video. The company said in a release that they will foster economic growth and innovation in Minneapolis by recruiting some of the best Android, iOS, full stack, front end and QA talent in the Twin Cities.

Massachusetts Economic Development Incentives to Create and Retain 6187 Jobs

At its latest quarterly meeting, the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved economic development incentives for 18 projects that are expected to create 1,696 new jobs and retain 4,491 existing jobs.

Massachusetts State House Dome

MA Statehouse Dome (photo – City of Boston Archives/Flickr)

The incentives, provided through the Massachusetts Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) investment tax credit program, will help the projects leverage a combined total of $362 million in private investment and supporting construction projects.

Out of the 18 projects, four are manufacturing retention projects (MRP), six are expansion projects, and another four are job creation projects.

The rest of the projects are local incentive only-projects that are not receiving EDIP incentives from the EACC but applied in order to get approval for their local tax incentive deals.

One of the local incentive only projects is the new headquarters of the GE Healthcare Life Sciences Division. The company conducted an extensive site selection process that included sites in other states including New Jersey and North Carolina, but ultimately chose to expand into a 160,000-square-foot facility in Marlborough, MA.

GE is investing $21 million to establish the new headquarters, and will retain and transfer 110 employees and create 220 full-time jobs. In order to secure the project, the City of Marlborough has offered GE a 10-Year Tax Increment Financing agreement valued at $106,672.

Similarly, Martignetti Companies, the seventh largest distributor of wines and spirits in the United States, was looking for a location in which to consolidate and expand their two separate Massachusetts facilities in Braintree and Norwood. The company picked a 115-acre site in Taunton, MA where they will be investing $100 million to build an 800,000-square-foot beverage distribution center that will house 800 employees.

The City of Taunton has offered Martignetti Corp incentives valued at $5,144,305 through a 20-Year TIF agreement and personal property tax exemption.

Another local incentive only project approved by the EACC was the $50 million relocation of wine and liquor company M.S. Walker, Inc. to Dedham, MA. The company is losing its current headquarters in Somerville, MA due to eminent domain. The Town of Dedham has offered the company a 15-Year TIF agreement valued at $2,151,502.

21 East Coast Living is getting a 20-Year TIF agreement valued at $481,936 from the Town of North Attleboro for a mixed-use development project in the historic town center. The catch is that it is a brownfield site, so the company is spending $42.5 million to re-develop it. The project will create only four net new jobs, but the retail and other private businesses that will locate at the site are expected to create more jobs.

In a statement announcing the EACC’s approval of these projects, Massachusetts Office of Business Development Executive Director Michael Hunter said that supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is an important part and one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth.

Waco, Texas Approves Economic Development Incentives for SpaceX Expansion

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is considering an expansion of its research and testing facility at the McGregor Industrial Park in McGregor, TX.

SpaceX testing rig in McGregor, TX

SpaceX testing rig in McGregor, TX (photo – jurvetson/flickr)

SpaceX is expanding its land lease in McGregor from 922 acres to 4,280 acres, and plans to invest $46.3 million at the location over the next five years.

The project will create 300 new full time SpaceX jobs with benefits, and the company will retain the existing 261 jobs at the facility.

A part of the City of McGregor comes under McLennan County and the Waco MSA. The project is being supported with local incentives from McLennan County and the cities of McGregor and Waco.

The McGregor Economic Development Corporation and the City of the McGregor are providing an incentivized land lease arrangement and infrastructure improvements at the site. The City is also considering providing a cash grant to SpaceX.

SpaceX will also get $3 million in McLennan County and City of Waco economic development grant funding, with the city and county chipping in with $1.5 million each.

The Waco City Council has just approved a resolution authorizing the Waco McLennan County Economic Development Corporation to enter into an agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. for the expansion project.

As per the agreement, the company will have to create the 300 new jobs by Dec 31, 2018. The jobs will have an average hourly wage of $28.85 and an average annual wage of $60,000. At least 40 percent (or 120 jobs) must go to Waco residents, and at least 80 percent (240 jobs) must be filled by McLennan County residents.

Apart from the SpaceX expansion, the Waco City Council also approved resolutions authorizing the Waco McLennan County Economic Development Corp to enter into agreements for two other projects.

One is an agreement with North Carolina-based mattress and furniture manufacturer Kingsdown Inc. The company is planning on investing $1.375 million to establish a mattress manufacturing facility in Waco and create 36 new jobs. The WMC EDC will offer Kingsdown up to $126,000 in incentives, with the City and County each providing $63,000.

The second project approved by the Waco City Council is a proposed manufacturing facility in Waco by Let’s Gel, Inc. (dba Area 51 Manufacturing), a manufacturer and distributor of gel-based consumer products. The company is investing $1.85 million to establish the facility, and plans to create 35 new jobs. Waco and McLennan County will be providing $87,500 each to support the project, adding up to a total of $175,000.

Three Year Planning Effort Brings Pork Processing Plant With 810 Jobs to Coldwater, Michigan

Clemens Food Group will establish a new pork processing operation in Coldwater Township, MI. The company will make a $255.7 million capital investment to build the 550,000 square-foot facility, and expects the project to create 810 new jobs.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Michigan Strategic Fund actions to support the project, including $12.5 million in CDBG funding for the City of Coldwater.

Video – MEDC

The CDBG funds, which are supporting 644 out of the 810 jobs being created, will be used by the City for land acquisition, infrastructure improvements, and to provide workforce development and training support for the project.

The City of Coldwater is collaborating with Coldwater Township on a land transfer agreement that will enable the City to contribute $4.5 million to support infrastructure improvements at the project site. Including local incentives, the MSF CDBG approval and nearly $16 million in tax savings, the total support for the project adds up to around $55 million.

Clemens considered locations in both Michigan and Ohio for their Midwest expansion before selecting the Coldwater site based on state and community support, site feasibility and labor preparedness.

Governor Rick Snyder said in a release announcing the project that “The new project in Coldwater Township is agricultural entrepreneurism at its best with producers, the state of Michigan and local government working together to bring 800 new jobs to our state.”

The work done to bring this project to Michigan began three years ago, when the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) began working with pork producers in the state to consider the possibility of establishing a pork processing plant in Michigan.

MDARD awarded a $100,000 grant for a feasibility study. The producers and MDARD began pursuing a strategy to find a business partner with the requisite expertise for this project and establish a relationship with this partner that would benefit the pork industry in the state.

This feasibility assessment was one of the key components that led to Michigan’s pork processing partnership with Clemens Food Group.

MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams said in the release that the project highlights the commitment and partnership by local and state officials, economic development groups and private industry to bring new companies and investment into Michigan.

MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney noted that these are significant jobs for the Coldwater community and the region, and added that they commend MDARD for its commitment to bringing this project to Michigan.

Kentucky Economic Development Incentives Secure Kindred Healthcare Expansion in Louisville

Kindred Healthcare announced plans for a major expansion of its corporate headquarters and operations in Louisville, KY.

Kindred Healthcare

Kindred Healthcare (photo – kindredhealthcare.com)

The company is planning to construct a 142,000-square-foot six-story building next to its corporate headquarters in downtown Louisville.

The building will house Kindred’s support center operations, a national training center and Kindred University, and an employee wellness clinic.

Apart from the investment of nearly $40 million and the 500 new full-time jobs the company plans to create as a part of this expansion, Louisville will also benefit from visits by Kindred employees all over the U.S. who will be coming to Louisville for educational programs, seminars and meetings.

Kindred Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:KND) is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenues of $5 billion and 62,600 employees in 47 states, including 2,500 existing employees in Louisville.

Furthermore, Kindred is also on the verge of completing the $720 million acquisition of Gentiva Health Services, Inc. After that, the merged entity will be one of the largest health care companies in the United States with more than 100,000 employees.

Kindred Healthcare CEO Paul J. Diaz said in a release announcing the expansion that they thank Gov. Beshear, Mayor Fischer and representatives from the City of Louisville and Commonwealth of Kentucky for their support of this expansion project.

In order to secure the project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has offered the company up to $11 million in tax incentives under the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Kindred will also receive sales and use tax refunds of up to $500,000 related to its construction material and equipment purchase costs for the project. These tax benefits will be provided through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.

Governor Steve Beshear said in the release that they’re happy to see Kindred continue to expand its footprint in the Commonwealth with the creation of 500 full-time jobs. The Governor added that Kentucky is becoming a critical hub for the health care industry, and Kindred’s continuing success is a big reason why.

Louisville has the nation’s largest collection of headquarters of companies running nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehab clinics and home health administration firms. Last year, Kentucky’s health care industry provided employment for nearly 430,000 people in the state.

Mayor Greg Fischer said that Kindred’s expansion and development of Kindred Square is a major investment in Louisville’s downtown, creating a new headquarters building for the city skyline and a major anchor for South 4th Street.

Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Gets $4.25B Calcasieu Pass Project

Venture Global LNG LLC CEO William M. Wicker and Governor Bobby Jindal announced that the company will invest $4.25 billion to develop an LNG export facility south of the city of Lake Charles, in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LNG Project

Photo – venturegloballng.com

Gov. Jindal said in a release announcing the project that Venture Global’s $4.25 billion investment in Louisiana is the latest in an impressive series of projects in Southwest Louisiana that showcase the state’s tremendous energy infrastructure and outstanding workforce.

The Governor added that Cameron Parish affords the company great access to natural gas supplies as well as deep-water access for shipping LNG to customers around the world.

Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass Project will be located on a 203-acre site along the Calcasieu Ship Channel where it meets the Gulf. The company has already secured federal authorization to export 10 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG to countries with whom the U.S. has a free-trade agreement, and is seeking authorization to export to non-free trade countries.

Venture Global will create 100 direct jobs at the complex with an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits.  According to estimates by Louisiana Economic Development, the project will support the creation of another 326 new indirect jobs in Southwest Louisiana.

Not to mention 1,500 construction jobs for the region while the facility is being built. Construction on the project is set to begin in the third quarter of 2016, and the liquefaction operations are expected to commence by late 2019.

Wicker said that Louisiana is leading the way in industrial development and job creation, and added that they are proud that the project will create high-quality, high-paying jobs and revenue for the state.

LED began formal discussions with Venture Global on this project in June 2013. The project will be eligible to claim incentives under Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

West Cameron Port District Director Stephen Broussard said that due to the geographic location and the Calcasieu Ship Channel’s depth, this project has a significant opportunity to bring vast economic prosperity to the area.

Once fully developed to the targeted export capacity of 10 million MPTA, the facility will be able to accommodate oceangoing tankers with a capacity of 185,000 cubic meters of LNG.

The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance’s David Conner said the Venture Global LNG project supports their mission to remain a globally competitive economy in Southwest Louisiana.

Lear Corp Facility in Portage, Indiana to Create 96 Jobs

Automotive seating and electrical distribution systems supplier Lear Corporation announced plans to expand its Indiana operations with a new facility in Portage, IN.

Portage, IN

Portage, IN (photo – portagein.org)

The Southfield, MI-based company, which has a contract to supply seats to Ford, will be investing $7.28 million for leasing and equipping a 93,000-square-foot facility to meet increased demand for Ford Explorer seat systems.

Once the Portage facility is operational in June next year, the company will be able to move nearly 190 jobs from its Hammond, IN plant to the Portage facility, and create another 96 new jobs in Portage.

The Hammond facility makes car seats for several Ford vehicles, and the new Portage plant will serve as a sub-assembly plant for the Hammond facility. Lear already has 1,200 full-time associates in Indiana, and will fill all the 96 new jobs in the next year.

Mel Stephens, senior vice president of communications at Lear, said in a release announcing the expansion that they have a great workforce in Indiana where have been operating successfully since 1985, and are pleased to be able to grow their business in the state.

Governor Mike Pence said in the release that Lear continues to grow in Indiana because Hoosiers provide the drive, determination and innovation that companies need to excel in today’s competitive business environment.

In order to secure the project, Lear Corp has been offered a package of state and local incentives. Earlier this month, the Portage City Council approved a recommendation by the Portage Economic Development Corporation offering a tax abatement for the project to Lear Corp.

Portage Mayor James Snyder said they believe expansions like these make the region stronger, and added that Lear’s partnership with Ford allows them to continue the diverse job climate with good wages and better living for residents.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation chipped in with state incentives, offering Lear Corp conditional tax credits of up to $675,000 tied to the company’s job creation plans.

Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA) is a Fortune 200 company and a fully-integrated manufacturer of the entire automotive seat. The company has approximately 125,000 employees spread across more than 226 locations in 36 countries that generated $16.2 billion in global sales last year.

Cognizant Expansion in Tampa, Florida to Create 400 Jobs

Global information technology and consulting company Cognizant announced plans to expand its operations in Tampa, FL.

Cognizant

Cognizant (photo – Biswarup Ganguly/wikimedia)

Cognizant will invest $5.7 million over the next four years and plans to add more than 400 new jobs in Tampa. The company already has more than 900 employees in Florida, half of whom are in Tampa.

In a release announcing the expansion, Governor Rick Scott said that the announcement means 400 more Floridians will be able to get a great job and provide for their families, which he said is a big win for Florida.

Hillsborough County and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation worked with Enterprise Florida and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to secure the project.

Dr. Ronald Vaughn, Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough EDC and President of the University of Tampa, said in the release that Cognizant explored multiple options for this expansion but chose Hillsborough County over all of them.

Dr. Vaughn added that thanks to support from state and local partners, Hillsborough County’s reputation continues to grow as a community that is pro-business and attracts world-class technology companies with top IT talent.

Florida Secretary of State and Enterprise Florida President and CEO Gray Swoope said this expansion is a great fit for Tampa’s growing IT cluster, and added that he looks forward to Cognizant’s continued success.

Steven Schwartz, executive vice president and chief legal and corporate affairs officer at Cognizant, said that thanks in part to the work of Gov. Scott, Florida and the Tampa area are an attractive place to do business.

Schwartz mentioned the robust infrastructure that has been created for technology companies, and the rich talent pool fed by the state’s 13 universities and concentration of highly skilled military veterans and their spouses.

Details about incentives provided to secure the project were not released. However, back in June, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution offering incentives for a project named only as Prospect #14-222, which was proposing to expand its information technology operation in unincorporated Hillsborough County.

The resolution allowed the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation to offer the Prospect $494,400 in local financial support. This would be the local match for incentives under Florida’s Qualified Target Industries (QTI) Tax Refund Program. The total state and local QTI incentives for the project would add up to $2,472,000.

The 400 new jobs Cognizant is creating will be for highly skilled technology and business professionals. The resolution approving the incentives also required that the company create and maintain 412 new jobs with average wages of at least $63,669, which is 150 percent of the state’s average private sector wage.

Teaneck, NJ-based Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH) is a Fortune 500 company with more than 31,000 employees in the U.S., and approximately 199,700 employees around the world. Last year, the company generated revenues of $8.84 billion that led to a profit of $1.22 billion.

Denver, Colorado Economic Development Incentives Secure WorldRemit HQ

WorldRemit, a European financial services firm which recently expanded its money transfer service to include the United States, announced the selection of Denver, CO as the location for its new North American headquarters and operations center.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit (photo – worldremit.com)

The company has leased 11,126 square feet of office space in downtown Denver, and plans to open the office next month.

They will create 100 new jobs at the office by Dec 2015, and expect to grow their workforce in Denver to 218 within five years.

Denver competed with other cities in North America for the WorldRemit headquarters project.

In order to secure the project, the Denver Office of Economic Development and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (COEDIT) offered the company a package of state and local incentives totaling more than $3.5 million.

This includes $110,000 in Denver economic development incentives through the city’s Business Incentives Fund, tax credits and workforce development support.

COEDIT has additionally approved $3.4 million in state incentives for the project. This includes a job training grant under the Colorado First program, as well as Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits.

WorldRemit Founder and CEO Ismail Ahmed said in a release announcing the selection of Denver for their North American headquarters that the city offers the perfect combination of a supportive local authority, an idyllic location and a highly skilled workforce.

Ahmed added that the city is already gaining a reputation as a go-to destination for the Fintech (financial tech) sector and stealing the thunder of Silicon Valley and New York.

Governor John Hickenlooper said in the release that innovative financial services firms like WorldRemit thrive in communities around the state, and added that they are thrilled that the company has chosen Colorado for their North American headquarters.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock likewise added that Denver’s position as a top city for business, startups and innovation continues to grow fervently thanks to leading firms like WorldRemit that choose to locate in the city.

The London, U.K.-based WorldRemit has a global reach of more than 110 receive countries and offers its customers innovative ways of sending and receiving money.

Earlier this year, the company received a $40 million investment from Accel Partners, allowing WorldRemit to expand beyond Europe and enter the United States – the world’s largest sender of remittances.

Last month, the company began offering its service in 15 Latin American countries and the U.S. In a release announcing the expansion, Ahmed said that this is also a landmark for the European Fintech revolution and very exciting – to arrive with a world-leading service in the U.S., a country known for technological and financial innovation.

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