The $50 million GE Energy Management expansion in Clearwater, FL was finally publicly announced by Governor Rick Scott.
Instrument Transformers, Inc., a GE subsidiary, already has a facility in Clearwater with 436 employees.
GE Energy Management is now establishing a 190,000 square feet manufacturing Center of Excellence that includes the existing ITI facility and a new capacitor manufacturing facility.
The expansion will bring 250 new jobs to Clearwater and Pinellas County.
“General Electric Energy Management’s investment in Clearwater is great news for Florida families,” said Gov. Scott.
GE Energy Management CEO Mark Begor said that from this facility, they will be able to be serve customers as close as Duke Energy in Florida, and others as far away as South America and Southeast Asia.
Florida managed to secure this expansion after GE decided to relocate an existing capacitor manufacturing facility in Fort Edward, NY because the company was unable to reach an agreement with labor over wage cuts.
The City of Clearwater and Pinellas County worked with a range of local and state partners to quickly put together an appealing proposal and secure the deal. Pinellas County Economic Development, Enterprise Florida, Duke Energy, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity were all part of the collaborative effort.
The Clearwater City Council approved a package of incentives totaling nearly $2 million, including infrastructure improvements, a utility tax exemption, reimbursement of permits and fees required for the project, and gave the company the benefit of an Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption that was approved by voters in a Nov 2012 referendum in order to help the City attract job-creating projects.
Clearwater’s incentive package also includes $42,900 as a 10 percent local match for a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund. Pinellas County is likewise pitching in with another $42,900 as its 10 percent match, and the remaining 80 percent of the QTI tax refund will come from the State.
The City is also working with the company, CareerSource Pinellas and St. Petersburg College to develop job training programs customized to help train their new employees.
Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said that the City is committed to expanding job opportunities, and this GE investment in the community will provide benefits to the entire Tampa Bay area.
Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche said that manufacturing in Pinellas is a point of pride, and GE’s innovators in Clearwater are an important part of the more than 30,000 experienced manufacturing professionals in the county.
Alex Glenn, Duke Energy state president – Florida, said they value their partnership with the City of Clearwater and commend their leadership and shared focus on economic development.
Glenn noted that they acted quickly to assemble the right partners for winning the GE expansion, and added that it is a win for the City, County and the Tampa Bay region that will result in significant capital investment and new high-wage jobs.