Job Creation

Pegasus Foods Selects Rockwall, Texas For New Manufacturing Facility

One more California company is making its way towards Texas and the Dallas suburbs. This time, the company in question is Pegasus Foods, which has announced the selection of Rockwall, TX as the location for a new production facility that will expand its food manufacturing capacity.

Pegasus Foods

Pegasus Foods (photo – pegasusfoodsinc.com)

Supported by local incentives secured for Pegasus by the Rockwall Economic Development Corp., the company will invest $10 million to build a new 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, and expects to create at least 325 new jobs.

Los Angeles-based Pegasus Foods Principal Jim Zaferis said in a statement that “We will proudly become part of the community of Rockwall and manufacture safe food of great quality while employing and improving the quality of life for our newly hired fellow Texans.”

Pegasus was founded in 1998 as a frozen food manufacturing company in Los Angeles specializing in fillo dough based appetizers and pastries, and moved to a 55,000-square-foot USDA-approved facility with multiple production areas in 2003. Pegasus, with $22.27 million in annual sales, has now grown into a full-fledged manufacturer of frozen foods and meals for many large retail companies and restaurant chains. Their client list includes Walmart, Cinnabon, Panda Express, Trader Joe’s, and Chili’s.

The Pegasus Foods announcement in Rockwall follows on the heels of San Francisco-based McKeeson Corp’s decision to establish a regional office in Irving, TX where it will consolidate its Dallas area operations and bring 975 jobs.

Governor Greg Abbott noted in a statement that once again, a California company has decided there is no better place to grow and operate a business than the Lone Star State. “Texas offers room to grow, and I look forward to welcoming even more businesses from California,” added Gov. Abbott.

In order to secure the McKeeson Corp project, Gov. Abbott had announced that a Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant offer of $9.75 million had been extended to the company. In the case of Pegasus Foods, the company is coming to Texas supported by Rockwall economic development incentives that include land for the new facility and some infrastructure support required to facilitate the construction and operations of the new Pegasus Foods facility.

Attracting relocation and expansion projects by companies such as Pegasus Foods and McKeeson Corp in vastly different industries is an economic development strategy aimed at diversifying the Dallas region economy, which has been feeling the impact of the instability in the oil and gas industry.

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s newly released economic development guide focuses on just this aspect, explaining why the Dallas Region is still one of the hottest markets for companies that are looking to relocate. More than 70 companies have relocated to the region in the past five years, and hundreds of existing companies have expanded their footprints in the Dallas Region.

Culinary Staffing and Workforce Training Agency SnapChef Marks Jobs Milestone in Massachusetts

At the New England Food Show, Boston-based culinary staffing agency SnapChef announced that it has reached a new jobs milestone in Massachusetts with the hiring of its 1000th employee. SnapChef has a vocational training program called Fast Track Curriculum (FTC) which addresses the critical gap in the culinary industry between minimum wage jobs and chefs trained at institutions of higher education.

SnapChef

SnapChef (photo – snapchef.com)

FTC allows adults with varying levels of culinary skills to develop new technical abilities while earning an income.  To date, the company has filled the 1,000 jobs through recruitment, job fairs and strong collaboration with career centers.

SnapChef employees, trained through ServSafe certified food preparation and handling programs, work for major universities, hospitals, five star hotels, and corporate cafeterias in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Harvard University, Children’s Hospital, Sodexo, ARAMARK, Compass Group, and Tufts University.

SnapChef Founder and CEO Todd Snopkowski said in a statement that “We would also like to thank Massachusetts Governor Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for their support of SnapChef and workforce development programs.”

Snopkowski, who has won the SBA award for Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year, announced the opening of SnapChef’s new office in Downtown Worcester last year in January, and also unveiled their new workforce development center and corporate headquarters in Dorchester, MA.

In collaboration with Worcester economic development officials from the Worcester Business Development Corporation and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, SnapChef selected the downtown Worcester location for its proximity to the region’s workforce and access to public transportation.

Snopkowski said at that time that SnapChef was convinced by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (HED) that the workforce they needed to serve clients existed in Central Massachusetts.

The grand opening ceremony in Dorchester was likewise attended by City of Boston Economic Development Chief John Barros and Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Undersecretary Stephanie Neal-Johnson.

At that time, the company had said it planned to make 50 new hires in the coming months. Undersecretary Neal-Johnson said that they are pleased to see SnapChef’s commitment to training and employment, and added that “Our commitment is to ensuring all in the community have an opportunity to access job training opportunities as the state’s economy continues to improve.”

Apart from its Boston, Worcester and Dorchester locations in Massachusetts, SnapChef also has a location in Providence, RI. The SnapChef Foundation is furthermore providing support to local non-profit culinary training programs.

Mayor’s Fund, CDFA and NYC Economic Development Corp Launch Fashion Forward Paid Internships

The New York City Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, has launched the NYC Fashion Forward initiative to offer specialized paid internships for young people in the fashion industry.

NYC  Fashion Forward

NYC Fashion Forward (photo – nycedc.com)

The public-private partnership, already supported by commitments from 22 fashion companies, will create 100 paid internships citywide this summer.

As part of NYC Fashion Forward, NYC Economic Development Corp will commit to financially back 60 summer jobs, created in collaboration with the Mayor’s Fund, the CFDA and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. Participating students will be paired with employers that will be able to best offer real world training and mentorship.

The Mayor’s Fund and CFDA will work with prominent, large-scale fashion firms across the city to create the remaining 40 employer-funded summer internships. Students who will participate in NYC Fashion Forward will be selected from the NYC Ladders for Leaders program, a nationally recognized employment program established by the NYC Department for Youth and Community Development.

The announcement was made at the Coach, Inc. (NYSE: COH, SEHK: 6388) offices by Coach CEO Victor Luis; NYC Economic Development Corp President Maria Torres-Springer; Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the Mayor and director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships; and Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA.

NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer said in a statement that “NYC Fashion Forward helps nurture the next generation of designers, manufacturers, and fashion professionals, helping to ensure that New York City remains the fashion capital of the world.”

Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the Mayor and director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, noted that connecting the city’s young people to valuable internship opportunities is not just about creating a career launching pad. “NYC Fashion Forward is also shaping a homegrown talent pool that will satisfy the fashion industry’s growing demand for diverse and loyal employees,” said Fialkoff.

CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb added that “By partnering with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the CFDA can provide  high school students and college undergraduates with the opportunity to become tomorrow’s fashion leaders.”

The suite of ‘Made in NY’ fashion initiatives has tripled the City’s investment in the local fashion economy from $5 million to $15 million. To date, the initiatives created under this suite have showcased over 150 local fashion brands to an estimated 650 million people; connected emerging businesses with over 75 industry-leading mentors; generated $500,000 in sales for New York City-based designers; and awarded over $4.5 million in financing and prizes to emerging and small businesses.

Port of Morrow and Boardman, OR Secures ConAgra Foods Expansion

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) announced plans for an expansion of its operations in Boardman, OR to add additional processing capacity in its Lamb Weston business for making formed products such as hash brown patties and potato puffs.

Conagra Foods Headquarters

Conagra Foods Headquarters (photo- usc_ty/flickr)

Apart from the $30 million investment, the Port of Morrow and Boardman economic development benefits from this latest expansion includes the creation of another 50 jobs.

Lamb Weston is a ConAgra Foods brand and leading supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers around the world.

Lamb Weston already employs 390 people in Boardman, and is one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin, with approximately 4,500 employees at a corporate office, and seven manufacturing facilities in the region. All told, the company operates 22 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.

Greg Schlafer, President, Lamb Weston, explained in a statement that with the frozen potato category growing globally, they have tremendous opportunity to support their customers’ growth in the US and around the world. “Expanding our operations in the Columbia Basin – with access to great potatoes, people and ports – just makes sense,” said Schlafer.

ConAgra’s Lamb Weston facility in Boardman is strategically situated to support domestic and international growth, offering proximity to prime growing, storage and shipping operations, along with easy access to the Port of Morrow, located on the Columbia River near Boardman.

The Port of Morrow has three industrial parks served by efficient transportation modes and dependable and modern utilities that make the Port a sensible choice for many industries. With a reputation as a prominent food processing center, the Port is home to fiber and seed processing industries, lumber processing and transportation facilities. Not to mention the Columbia River dock sites that are available for transportation-oriented industries.

Port of Morrow General Manager Gary Neal noted that Lamb Weston’s planned expansion shows their continued commitment to the Port of Morrow, Boardman and the Mid-Columbia region as the right place to do business. “Their ongoing investments add good paying jobs to our Region and we are fortunate to have such great partners at the Port,” said Neal.

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s leading packaged food companies. The Fortune 500 company, founded in 1919 as Nebraska Consolidated Mills, now has net sales totaling approximately $15.8 billion while employing more than 20,000 people. ConAgra recently announced the relocation of its world headquarters from Omaha, NE to Chicago, IL.

Cleveland County, NC Secures Economic Development Projects With $110M Investment and 230 Jobs

Cleveland County, NC has secured economic development projects by two different Chinese-owned companies that are creating a combined 230 new jobs and will bring more than $110 million in foreign direct investment to North Carolina.

Cleveland County, NC

Cleveland County, NC (photo – WashuOtaku/flickr)

One project is the selection of Cleveland County, NC by Uniquetex, LLC, Inc. The company manufactures nonwoven fabrics for use by medical and healthcare providers, as well as other industries.

This is a joint venture between Foshan Nanhai Beautiful Nonwoven Co., Ltd. and Wenzhou Chaolong Textile Machinery Co., Ltd. The former is one of China’s largest nonwoven textile businesses, and the latter is a Zhejiang, China-based developer of equipment and technologies for nonwoven textile manufacturing.

Uniquetex is investing $31.6 million to build its first production facility in the United States in the Town of Grover, NC. The company expects to create 150 jobs at this facility over the next five years with an average annual salary of $36,313, which is slightly higher than the average wage of $35,885 in Cleveland County.

Benny Deng, company CEO and President, said in a statement that “The combination of a skilled workforce, access for quality transportation infrastructure and the pro-business attitude of the community is what attracted us here.”

In order to secure the project, North Carolina offered the company an $800,000 performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund. EDPNC and NC Commerce worked with Cleveland County, the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, and several others to support Uniquetex’s location plans.

The second project is an expansion by German manufacturer of automotive components KSM Castings USA. The company, which is a 100 percent subsidiary of Chinese firm CITIC Dicastal Co. Ltd., is investing $80 million for the expansion, and expects to create 80 new jobs at this facility over the next five years.

This is a new plant that opened less than two years ago with a $55 million investment. The company now plans to add a new 50,000-square-foot building on the site, to be occupied with Counter Pressure Casting (CPC) machines. Including this expansion, KSM Shelby will have made investments of $135 million and will employ a total of 269 employees at its Shelby site.

KSM operates a total of eight production plants in Germany, the Czech Republic, USA and China, with a total of approximately 3,300 employees. Last year, the group generated revenue of approximately $520 million.

Franz Friedrich Butz, CEO of the KSM Castings Group, said in a statement that “With the expansion of this site we will continue with our strategy to be on site, offer different production processes for our Customers and supply the local markets.”

This project was also made possible in part by a performance-based grant of up to $320,000 from the One North Carolina Fund, and supported by Cleveland County, the City of Shelby, and the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership.

McKesson Corp Selects Irving, TX For Dallas Area Consolidation and Expansion

McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) has announced plans to expand and consolidate its operations in the Dallas metro area in a new regional office to be located in Irving, TX.

Irving, TX

Irving, TX (photo – steevithak/flickr)

Supported by $9.75 million in Texas economic development grant funding from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), the company will make a capital investment of $157 million to purchase an existing 525,000-square-foot office building and establish their new regional office.

McKesson’s expansion is projected to create at least 975 new jobs. San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation is a healthcare services and information technology company that helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance.

The company, founded in 1833 in New York City as Olcott & McKesson, is now ranked eleventh on the list of Fortune 500 companies. McKesson, which generated $179 billion in revenue last year, currently has over 70,000 employees worldwide, including more than 3,700 employees at multiple locations throughout Texas. The Irving facility will be in addition to McKesson’s specialty pharmaceutical business that is headquartered in The Woodlands, TX.

David Evangelista, Senior Vice President and General Manager of McKesson Financial Center, said in a statement that “After a thoughtful and thorough selection process, we’re excited to consolidate our Dallas-area offices into a new, state-of-the-art facility in Irving, Texas.”

The City of Irving and the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Office of the Governor to facilitate state and local support for McKesson’s expansion. The company chose Irving, TX after a site selection process that considered sites in five states.

Governor Greg Abbott said in the statement that “This expansion is yet another testament to the power of Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation economic climate that continues to attract industry leaders, innovators, and job creators from around the globe.”

Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne likewise said that “The City of Irving is thrilled the McKesson Corporation has chosen Irving as its new regional home.”

Beth Bowman, president and CEO of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, noted that McKesson’s selection of Irving for this facility marks one of North Texas region’s single-largest corporate commitments this year, as well as Irving’s largest real estate deal in the last decade. “McKesson will immediately become one of Irving’s largest employers, bringing an estimated $4.7 billion in total economic activity over the next decade, while continuing the incredible momentum that Irving-Las Colinas has experienced during the past two years,” said Bowman.

Blue Horseshoe Brings More Jobs to Carmel, Indiana With Headquarters Relocation

Blue Horseshoe, a global software firm specializing in supply chain and logistics solutions, has announced plans to establish a new corporate headquarters in Carmel, IN.

Blue Horseshoe HQ in Carmel, IN

Blue Horseshoe HQ in Carmel, IN (photo – iedc.in.gov)

Supported by state tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corp and additional Carmel economic development incentives, the company will invest $3.5 million to move its operations to a new 50,000-square-foot three-story building and increase its corporate headquarters space by 11,000 square feet.

Carmel, IN-based Blue Horseshoe, founded in 2001, now provides expert management and strategy consulting to Fortune 500 companies and mid-market businesses in more than 15 different countries, with a specific focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP.

The headquarters relocation and expansion plans include the creation of 70 new high-wage jobs by 2020. The company currently has 95 employees in Indiana and employs about 200 associates across its office locations in Carmel, Columbus, Denver, and Charlotte, and also recently opened its first international office in Amsterdam. Blue Horseshoe has been named as one of the Best Places to Work in Indiana by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Cason, president of Blue Horseshoe, said in a statement that “In an industry like ours, we had choices among other cities and states, but we felt it was important to stay in Indiana, particularly Carmel, where we enjoy a strategic location, solid business environment and a quality of life that helps us attract and keep employees.”

In order to secure the new headquarters project, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Blue Horseshoe Solutions Inc. up to $1,125,000 in performance-based tax credits and another $75,000 in training grants tied to the company’s job creation plans. The company will also get additional local incentives from the city of Carmel.

Governor Mike Pence said in a release that “Indiana’s business climate and skilled workforce are encouraging significant growth in the tech industry, and I’m proud that Blue Horseshoe is continuing that trend by choosing to expand its headquarters in the Hoosier State.”

Carmel Mayor James Brainard noted that Blue Horseshoe was one of the city’s shining high-tech stars, with roots as a small firm established right in Carmel and now growing into a major international company. “Today’s news is a testament that Carmel is a great place to start a business, attract a high quality workforce and experience tremendous growth,” said Mayor Brainard.

Carmel’s high-density employment centers have already attracted more than 40 corporate headquarters of major companies that do business worldwide.

Iron Mountain Selects Prince William County, VA For $350M Data Center Campus

The Prince William County Dept. of Economic Development announced that Iron Mountain Information Management, LLC has selected Manassas, VA as the location for a $350 million state-of-the-art data center campus.

Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain (photo – WestportWiki/wikimedia)

The project will bring 25 highly skilled Iron Mountain jobs and another projected 25 tenant positions to Prince William County, all at an average salary of $100,000 a year.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement that “We are delighted to welcome Iron Mountain’s first Virginia data center to Prince William County.”

Mark Kidd, Iron Mountain Senior Vice President and General Manager, Data Centers, said that they explored several U.S. locations for this expansion and Prince William County was a clear forerunner. “Prince William County is a great fit for us with our focus on security, compliance, efficiency and reliability,” added Kidd.

The company cited the availability of large industrial zoned sites and abundant fiber and power among the reasons for selecting the site in Manassas, VA. The site is a short distance from a new power substation and switching station, allowing for underground power distribution. The data center campus plan includes three buildings totaling 375,000 square feet, with future growth capacity.

The PWC Board of County Supervisors have approved an agreement between the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Prince William County and Iron Mountain Information Management, LLC. Prince William County economic development incentives for the project include $500,000 in water and sewer availability fee credits that have been assigned to the IDA, as an incentive for the project.

The Iron Mountain project will not only further diversify and expand the data center colocation market in the County, but also allows Iron Mountain Data Centers to enter the Greater Washington metropolitan area from a strategic location. According to a recent JLL study, Northern Virginia is already the biggest multi-tenant data center market in the country.

Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors noted that “We are continuing to grow these highly skilled job opportunities by attracting global companies that recognize the full advantages of the County’s strategic location and lowest competitive costs in the Greater Washington metropolitan area.”

Boston, MA-based Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM) is a Fortune 1000 company founded in 1951. It is now a leading provider of storage and information management services with a real estate network of more than 69 million square feet across more than 1,100 facilities in 37 countries.

Trinity Health, XPO Logistics Select Fort Wayne, IN For First of Four Distribution Centers

Trinity Health and XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) announced the selection of Fort Wayne, IN as the location for the first of four distribution centers to help transform the former’s 21-state hospital system into a people-centered one that will focus on improving health while reducing costs for the people and communities it serves.

Trinity Health, XPO Logistics distribution network

Photo – xpo.com

Supported by state tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and additional local incentives from Allen County, the $26 million distribution center will create 75 new jobs for Fort Wayne and Allen County.

XPO Logistics will manage and operate the facility, which will serve as the regional distribution hub for medical and surgical supplies for Trinity Health hospitals. Greenwich, CT-based XPO Logistics is a leading provider of freight transportation and logistics services with 89,000 employees worldwide, which includes more than 1,500 jobs at 19 facilities in Indiana.

Non-profit Trinity Health is one of the largest health care delivery systems in the U.S., serving communities in 21 states through a network of 88 hospitals and 126 continuing care locations that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. With annual operating revenues of about $15.8 billion and assets of about $20.4 billion, the organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs.

Lou Fierens, senior vice president of supply chain and fixed asset management for Trinity Health, said in a statement that “The modern, world-class facility and distribution process we are creating with XPO will help us further our Lean/Kanban approach to supply chain management for the benefit of the individuals and communities that rely on us for high-value services.”

Fort Wayne is ideally located in Northeast Indiana approximately two hours from Indianapolis and three hours from Chicago, Detroit, Columbus and Cincinnati. A distribution hub in this location will give Trinity Health the ability to quickly and easily supply its hospitals and other facilities with standardized products, pricing and procedures that eliminate the risk of error.

Ashfaque Chowdhury, president of supply chain for the Americas and Asia-Pacific at XPO Logistics, added that they received outstanding support from Fort Wayne and Allen County in the development of this project. “We’re pleased to join with Trinity Health to bring these investments and jobs to the state of Indiana,” said Chowdhury.

Governor Mike Pence said in a statement that “We’re proudly known as the Crossroads of America, and with the logistics industry expected to more than double by 2035, we’re making unprecedented investments in our infrastructure statewide to ensure that global companies like XPO Logistics continue to choose Indiana for growth and job creation.”

In order to secure this project, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered XPO Logistics up to $750,000 in performance-based tax credits. Allen County has separately approved additional local incentives for the project.

Silicon Valley’s Problem of Plenty Brings 100 Bizness Apps Jobs to San Diego

DIY mobile app platform Bizness Apps is moving its operations from Silicon Valley to San Diego, in a bid to reduce its talent acquisition costs and provide its employees a more affordable cost of living.

Bizness Apps

Bizness Apps (photo – biznessapps.com)

The relocation from San Francisco to La Jolla brings nearly 100 more tech jobs to Southern California, part of a growing trend of tech startups looking to grow faster and stay lean by avoiding the higher cost of life and expensive talent bidding wars with Silicon Valley’s large tech giants.

Bizness Apps issued a release about the relocation in which it notes that “San Francisco’s saturation often hinders mid-size tech companies from hiring and keeping A-players, as they’re forced to compete with the likes of Google and Apple for local talent. High saturation results in higher costs with lesser results, while relocation holds the potential for exponential expansion.”

As for the choice of La Jolla for the relocation, the company’s founder and CEO Andrew Gazdecki noted that San Diego offers a new and growing technology scene where entrepreneurship can blossom. “Startups like Bizness Apps, who are ahead of the curve, can gain ground more easily and become an influencer, not just a follower,” said Gazdecki.

Gazdecki added that they are looking forward to creating a working environment in San Diego similar to Silicon Valley where employee happiness, innovation, and career development are chief priorities.

The company’s relocation plan, first announced earlier this year in January, comes after a months-long site selection process in which their management ultimately determined that relocation promises more long-term growth.

Gazdecki founded the company in the dorms of California State University, Chico in 2010. Bizness Apps offers a do-it-yourself simple mobile app builder platform for small businesses. The platform quickly scans your website for content, and you can add in any more information you want to provide to create, edit and manage mobile apps online. You can choose available templates or build your own app from scratch without any expertise or experience in app development or programming. You can build native iOS, Android and mobile websites.

Supported by angel funding from Build.com CEO Christian Friedland and others, the company moved into offices in the Bay Area. The Silicon Valley location fueled the company’s growth, and Bizness Apps has been ranked among Inc.’s top 100 fastest-growing companies in America two years in a row.

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