Job Creation

DuraVent Expansion in New York to Create and Retain 161 Jobs

Venting systems manufacturer M&G DuraVent, Inc., announced plans to expand and relocate in Albany County, New York.

DuraVent

DuraVent (photo – duravent.com)

The company is moving from its old 65,000-square-foot facility in downtown Albany to a new 140,000-square-foot facility in the town of Colonie.

The relocation and expansion within Albany County will retain the existing 58 jobs, and the company announced that it would be creating 103 new jobs at the bigger facility in Colonie.

Some of these new jobs will be created to handle existing work that is being consolidated into Colonie from the company’s other plants outside the state.

M&G DuraVent Albany vice president and general manager Michael Wolfe said the new and expanded facility would enable them to take on production of M&G DuraVent’s Polypro, and environment-friendly and 100 percent recyclable alternative used for condensing gas appliances.

Wolfe said the expanded facility would also help them grow in future. The¬†company’s¬†parent is looking to expand its engineered venting systems from Europe to¬†the¬†U.S., and the Colonie facility sets up New York as¬†the¬†prime candidate for¬†this¬†future growth.

DuraVent had decided it needed to expand and consolidate its operations, and had to choose to stay either in Mississippi or in New York. State officials in New York moved in quickly and offered the company a $1.5 million incentive package to stay and expand in the Capital Region.

Empire State Development Corp. (ESDC) pitched in with a million dollars in Excelsior Jobs tax credits. Another $416,000 in CDBG grants was offered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal through Albany County. The NYS Department of Labor, through the regional council and CFA system, has already offered the company $50,000 as a training grant.

As a result, DuraVent has now decided to stay put in New York, and will additionally move some of its operations in Mississippi and California over to the new Colonie facility.

NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said DuraVent’s decision to expand and add jobs in the state was good news for the Capital Region, and demonstrated that businesses are once again starting to see New York as a place to invest and grow.

ESDC CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said he was happy they were able to help DuraVent expand and create a hundred new jobs. He added that DuraVent’s choice to stay and expand in the Capital Region, despite competition from other states, demonstrated the unique assets of the region that make it attractive as a place to do business.

Health Management Associates to Create 500 Jobs in Fort Smith, AR

Health Management Associates, Inc. (NYSE:HMA) announced that it plans to open a regional service center in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Fort Smith Chamber

Fort Smith Chamber (photo – fortsmithchamber.org)

This HMA service center will serve 27 Health Management hospitals with back-office functions and shared services such as billing, collections, insurance verification and scheduling.

HMA will be spending $4 million for renovations and equipment, with the total project cost at $13.5 million. The new service center will be operational by July.

The project will create 500 new jobs in Fort Smith and Sebastian County, with hourly wages of around $15 per hour and a combined gross annual payroll of $21 million. HMA will be filling all 500 positions within the next 12 months.

Kerry Gillespie, executive vice president at Health Management, said they were excited to create new jobs in Fort Smith and reinforce their commitment to the community’s economic growth. He thanked the collaborative effort by the developer and state and local officials that had made the project possible.

The service center will be housed in a 90,000-square-foot space in the building that was formerly the site of the Phoenix Village Mall. Lance Beaty, manager of FSM Redevelopment Partners which owns the property, has been working on bringing together HMA with state and local officials for over a year.

FSM Redevelopment and the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce secured the project with assistance from the Arkansas Governor’s Office and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC).

HMA is eligible for state tax incentives under the Create Rebate program, which helped the company decide on the location in Fort Smith.

Tim Allen, president of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, said that despite setbacks in the last few years (Whirlpool shut down its Fort Smith operations in 2012 and laid off more than 1,000 employees), the chamber continues to promote Fort Smith as a great place for business. Allen said he believed “our best days are yet to come.”

Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders likewise noted that the HMA’s selection of Fort Smith for the service center was welcome news which will have a positive impact on the city.

Naples, Florida-based Health Management Associates has 71 hospitals in 15 states, and has 45,000 employees and 10,000 affiliated physicians.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to Create 400 Jobs in Tarrytown, NY

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN), New York’s largest biotech company, announced plans for an expansion in Westchester County, NY

Regeneron

Regeneron (photo – regeneron.com)

The expansion of Regeneron’s laboratories and corporate headquarters in Tarrytown will create 400 new high-skilled jobs.

NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said this announcement advances the state and Hudson Valley’s reputation in the biotech sector.

Leonard S. Schleifer, president and CEO of Regeneron, said the company had been in New York since its inception 25 years ago, and they were grateful for the financial support from the state that allowed the company to grow and create more jobs.

The company had been considering sites for the expansion in other states until they were offered $8.5 million in Excelsior tax credits by New York. The Town of Mount Pleasant IDA is additionally offering Regeneron local incentives, details of which were not disclosed.

Apart from two locations in New York, the company also maintains a third facility in Baskin Ridge, New Jersey. They relocated their NJ clinical development staff into this place in July 2011, facilitated by a Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) grant offered by the NJ EDA.

Town Supervisor Joan Maybury said the Mount Pleasant IDA was excited to support the project, and noted that Regeneron’s decision to expand its headquarters in Tarrytown was great news that would create hundreds of jobs and would help attract more investments from other innovative companies.

Regeneron is adding 300,000 square feet of office and laboratory space to the existing 590,000 square feet complex in Mount Pleasant. Another 85,000 square feet of space from a previous expansion is scheduled to be occupied later in 2013.

The two new buildings to be constructed in this expansion will help house Regeneron’s growing workforce, which has increased from 682 to 2,000 in the last six years.

This includes 1,300 employees at its Tarrytown headquarters in Westchester County, and nearly 600 more at a product supply and manufacturing facility in Rensselaer, NY. The rest are located in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Last year, the company had announced a $70 million investment for a manufacturing expansion in Rensselaer which is slated to create 300 new jobs.

Combined with this latest expansion in Tarrytown, Regeneron will be adding 700 new jobs in New York in the next few years, along with capital investments worth around $170 million.

GM Announces $332M Powertrain Investments in MI, OH, IN

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced plans to invest $331.8 million on fuel-efficient powertrains across four separate manufacturing facilities in Bay City and Flint, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; and Bedford, Indiana.

GM investments in MI, OH, IN

GM investments in MI, OH, IN (photo – gm.com)

GM also announced an extra $46 million in powertain investments for plants in Saginaw and Romulus, Michigan.

These investments in six GM plants will help retain a total of 1,650 jobs to support production of the company’s new V6 engine, the small Ecotec gas engine and other transmissions.

No new jobs are being created with these investments.

Diana Tremblay, vice president of GM North American Manufacturing, said that this announcement demonstrated the company’s commitment towards strengthening communities where it has plants.

The exact breakup of today’s announcements is as follows:-

Flint, MI – $215 million for a small Ecotec gas engine and upgrades for existing V6 engine production.

Bay City, MI – $12.5 million for the Ecotec engine and $19.2 million to produce V6 engine components.

Toledo, OH – $55.7 million for expansion and tooling so that the plant can produce a new and advanced 8-speed automatic transmission, along with the existing 6-speed transmission.

Bedford, IN – Bedford Castings gets $19 million to produce components for the Ecotec gas engine, along with another $10.4 million to enable production of the aforementioned 8-speed and 6-speed transmissions.

The $46 million addition to previously announced investments in the Saginaw and Romulus plants in Michigan are as follows:-

Saginaw, MI – The Saginaw Metal Castings plant gets $41 million (total of $256 million) to enable production of castings for the new V6 engine.

Romulus, MI – The Romulus Engine plant gets an extra $5 million (total $390 million) for V6 engine production.

Joe Ashton, the UAW vice president in charge of the UAW GM department, said these investments would ensure UAW members continued to support the company’s growth and get their due share of it.

This latest round of investments brings GM’s 2013 commitments so far to $1.2 billion. Since 2009, the company has announced $1.8 billion in powertrain investments at these six facilities.

GM’s total investment across all U.S. operations since 2009 works out to $8.5 billion, which has resulted in the creation and retention of 24,700 jobs.

Navy Federal Credit Union to Add 1500 Jobs in Pensacola, FL

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) announced that it is planning a $200 million expansion in Pensacola, Florida.

NFCU

Photo – NFCU

NFCU will be constructing two new buildings on 240 acres adjacent to their existing campus to house the 1,500 new corporate and operational jobs being created.

Apart from the 342,300 square feet of office space spread across two buildings, the construction also includes a new auditorium, recreation and parking areas, and an energy plant.

Cutler Dawson, president and CEO of NFCU, said the Pensacola expansion was a critical element of their continued growth, and they were proud that NFCU was contributing to the region’s economic growth too.

Gray Swoope, Florida Secretary of Commerce and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, added that the credit union’s growth plans include creation of 2,000 new jobs in the next five years, which he said is an indicator of the NFCU has in Florida’s business climate and its workforce.

This latest expansion comes on the heels of a previous expansion in August 2012 when NFCU announced a $6.5 million investment and the creation of 640 new jobs.

The notable part of that expansion was that it was the first economic development projected funded under the Industry Recruitment, Retention & Expansion Fund Grant Program (IRREF).

The IRREF program, administered by the Office of Economic Development and Engagement at the Univ. of West Florida, offers grants (in addition to state and local incentives) for relocation or expansion projects in one of the eight Northwest Florida counties in that were badly affected by the BP oil spill in 2010.

Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents Florida’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Navy Federal had proven to be a good corporate neighbor and had shown their commitment for the community.

Over the past 10 years, NFCU has invested $225 million and created 2,800 jobs in Pensacola, Florida. The credit union has a total of 10,000 employees spread across 229 branches and facilities. It is the world’s largest credit union with four million members and $54 billion in assets.

GE Announces $110M Oil & Gas Research Center in Oklahoma

General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced that it will build a global research center in Oklahoma. This new center will focus on driving technological advancements and innovation for the oil and gas industry.

Jeff Immelt and OK Gov. Mary Fallin at GE announcement

Jeff Immelt and OK Gov. Mary Fallin at GE announcement (photo – Oklahoma Governor’s Office)

GE will invest $110 million for this project, resulting in the creation of 125 new high-tech engineering jobs.

The announcement was made jointly by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and GE CEO and Chairman Jeff Immelt.

The initial focus of the center will be on improving the reliability, efficiency and safety of production and delivery of unconventional oil and gas (read shale).

Immelt said that GE sees a huge opportunity in oil and gas, and has invested $11 billion since 2007 to shore up the technology, improve productivity and boost innovation. He added that shale gas could be the biggest productivity driver of our lifetime.

The growth of GE Oil & Gas has outpaced all other GE businesses, with $15 billion in revenues and 16 percent growth in both new orders and earnings last year.

Mark Little, senior vice president and CTO for GE, took this though a bit further by saying that the new center would be part of GE’s effort to create the next generation of technologies that will make this “unconventional energy source conventional and sustainable.”

The specific location of the GE global research center has not been finalized. GE Oil & Gas has its Artificial Lift unit with over 550 employees located in Oklahoma City, and this unit will have a definite advantage by being close to the new center.

They are looking for a site which will help the center take advantage of the skilled talent pool present in the Oklahoma City area and from educational institutions such as the University of Oklahoma.

Gov. Fallin said that technology was the key that would unlock new energy resources, and she was thrilled that GE had chosen Oklahoma for developing these technologies.

Since 2009, GE has added 2,300 jobs for R&D, along with hundreds of millions of dollars committed to new facilities such as the Silicon Valley global software center and the Advanced Manufacturing and Software Center in Michigan.

Harim Group Plans $100M Expansion With 700 New Jobs in Delaware

South Korean poultry company Harim Group is planning to buy the former Pinnacle Foods facility in Millsboro, Delaware and turn it into a poultry processing plant.

DE Gov. Markell - Harim announcement

DE Gov. Markell with Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and DEDO Director Alan Levin (photo – Delware Governor’s Office)

The project will require a $100 million investment by Harim, and will create 700 new jobs for poultry processing, cutting and cooking.

The Harim Group entered the U.S. by purchasing the bankrupt Allen’s in Sept 2011, and became Allen Harim. Their U.S. corporate headquarters is in Seaford, DE.

The company has about 1,400 employees spread across facilities in Seaford and Harbeson in Delaware, along with two more facilities in Cordova, Maryland and Liberty, North Carolina.

When they bought Allen’s back in 2011, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said “We care about every job and work to create the conditions that will help make businesses successful.” He added that Harim had many choices ahead and they would make sure Delaware continued to be the right choice.

Also at that time, Hong Kuk Kim, chairman of the Harim Group, said that his first meeting with the Governor gave him a “very good first impression” of Delaware.

The Governor and Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee subsequently undertook a trip to Korea in Dec 2012, and took the time to visit with the Harim Group. This trip further solidified the relationship. All this ground work ensured that when an opportunity arose, Delaware was able to take advantage of it.

This particular expansion project was initiated by Secretary Kee, who broached the subject of buying the Pinnacle Foods plant with Harim executives. The Pinnacle Vlasic plant was shut down last November, which resulted in 200 workers losing their jobs.

Allen Harim CEO Gary Gladys said the company’s expansion into Millsboro and the 700 new jobs would have a significant economic impact in Delaware. He added that it was a “symbol of our deep commitment to the United States market with an investment of an estimated $100 million.”

He added that their base on the Delmarva Peninsula offered a solid foundation to grow their operations, and this expansion into Millsboro was a part of that strategy.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) said he was happy to have been part of the effort to replace the jobs lost at the Vlasic plant, and grateful to Allen Harim for taking over the plant and restoring hundreds of needed jobs in Sussex County.

Pennsylvania Hoping to Avoid US Airways-AA Merger Fallout

Back in 2007, local and state officials in Pennsylvania laid out the red carpet to land the $32 million US Airways Moon operations control center (OCC) near Pittsburgh International Airport that created and retained 600 jobs.

Pittsburgh International Airport

Photo – flypittsburgh.com

At that time, the US Airways OCC which coordinates 3,000 regional fights was moved to Pittsburgh from Phoenix, AZ due to the US Airways merger with America West.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, with Pittsburgh facing possible closure of the OCC as US Airways merges its operations with American Airlines, which has a much bigger OCC located near the company’s Dallas/Fort Worth headquarters in Texas.

As per this transcript (scroll down to pg. 5) filed with the SEC, US Airways CEO Doug Parker told the company’s employees that “if I was talking to people in the OCC what I’d tell them is that if we were betting right now it’s only fair to tell people that, you know, Dallas has a bigger center and is more likely than not that you’d move there.”

He also mentioned the process was a couple of years down the line, and even after that the transition would be phased. All unionized employees at the Pittsburgh OCC would be offered jobs in Dallas.

Half of the employees at the Moon center are not union members, and have been notified that they could be eligible for a severance package. These 300 are part of a total of 4,970 non-contract U.S. Airways workers, which has a total of 32, 213 employees.

But Allegheny County and its airport authority are already on the case, looking at agreements the company has signed to find some way to keep the jobs from being relocated or terminated.

US Airways was offered a $16.25 million incentives package in 2007, with the company committing to create retain and create 600 jobs at the Moon center for at least three years. However, they actually received only $3.25 million in grants and another $750,000 worth of performance-based tax credits.

Apart from the ripple impact of losing the Moon OCC and spending by the 600 employees on the local economy, Pittsburgh Airport also has to worry about further eliminations, such as the US Airways jet maintenance facility located at the airport.

The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pennsylvania Governor’s Office, and the state’s elected representatives in the U.S. Congress are gearing up to launch a coordinated two-year campaign to preserve the Moon center, jet maintenance facility and other US Airways jobs.

More incentives may be offered to convince the new merged American Airlines to close its OCC in Dallas and consolidate operations control in Pittsburgh.

Koch Foods Plans $49M Expansion with 750 Jobs in Georgia

Koch Foods announced that it will be expanding its poultry processing plant in Hamilton, Georgia.

Koch Foods

Koch Foods (photo – kochfoods.com)

The company, which produces fresh as well as frozen chicken products and sells them under several different brands, will invest $49 million for the expansion of the former Cagle plant.

The expansion will create 750 new jobs. Koch retained 350 Cagle jobs when it took over the plant last year, and then added another 350 jobs.

This latest expansion to add a couple of additional processing lines will bring the total workforce count at the plant to 1,400.

Tommy Knight, vice president of the Koch Foods Western Division, said they were happy to expand in Harris County and that their commitment towards investing in the community and building on existing relationships was further affirmed by the help they got during this process.

Based on its investment and job creation plans, Koch is eligible for state tax credits and other state incentives to the tune of $13.9 million. Harris County is taking a lot more trouble with local incentives.

Last November, the county approved an “up-front tax abatement” of $250,000 for the planned Koch expansion, to be paid out through the Harris County development Authority.

Secondly, Koch Foods’ main demand for the expansion was that the county should provide a natural gas pipeline for the plant. This requires laying out a 16 mile pipeline at a cost of about $6 million. The county is looking at the Valley Partnership, and has requested the state for $4 million to fund the gas pipeline.

They justified the gas pipeline and tax abatement by noting that the company’s expansion would have a $100 million impact on the region, fuel growth of chicken producers, and provide cheap energy for residents along the length of the 16-mile gas pipeline.

Harris County Commission chairman Harry Lange also claimed that if Koch did not get the natural gas pipeline, they might have moved the entire operation to Montgomery, Alabama.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said in a statement that Koch Foods is one of the reasons Georgia is the top poultry producer in the U.S.

“Our network of supporting resources and experience makes our state ideal for any existing company to expand its operations and remain competitive,” added Gov. Deal.

New Jersey Spotlights Benefits of $100M Navy Contract for Lockheed Martin

Earlier this month, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) announced that it had won a $100 million U.S. Navy contract under the Aegis Combat System Engineering Agent (CSEA) program.

Lockheed Martin Aegis testing facility in Moorestown, NJ

Lockheed Martin Aegis testing facility in Moorestown, NJ (photo -lockheedmartin.com)

Lockheed said work on the contract would be performed at its Moorestown, New Jersey facility.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie visited this facility yesterday, and the Governor’s Office put out a statement that highlighted the benefits of the contract, along with details about the groundwork and incentive agreement which led to the Moorestown facility being selected for the Aegis CSEA work.

In Dec 2011, Gov. Christie wrote to the admiral overseeing the contract, highlighting the state’s commitment to support its defense contractors, Lockheed’s long presence in the state, and the company’s long-standing and prominent role in the Aegis missile defense program.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority last year approved a $40 million “Grow New Jersey” grant award for Lockheed, to be used for equipment purchase and infrastructure improvements at the Moorestown facility.

The 10-year grant helped retain 1,000 at-risk jobs and created another 47 construction jobs. The expected net benefit to the state over 15 years is $266,200,000.

The navy’s $100 million contract will help retain the remaining 3,000 out of the 4,000 jobs Lockheed has in Moorestown. These jobs might otherwise have been at risk because foreign government Aegis contracts would likely follow whichever company and facility got the U.S. Navy’s Aegis contract.

Lockheed successfully competed for the contract against Boeing and Raytheon. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno said the New Jersey Partnership for Action had worked closely with Lockheed to support the company and help it win the Aegis contract.

“With more scientists and engineers per square mile than any other place on earth, New Jersey is the ideal location for both Lockheed Martin and the Navy’s Aegis program,” she added.

The state is also working with Lockheed to set up the New Jersey Advanced Research Technology and Talent Center. The center aims to provide high-tech training and education to provide Lockheed with qualified talent. The center will also do research to develop new technologies through collaboration between Lockheed’s technologists and academic researchers.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp. generated sales last year worth $47.2 billion, and has 120,000 employees around the world, including 5,200 in New Jersey.

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