Cadillac Global Headquarters to be Located in NYC

General Motors announced plans for turning the Cadillac brand into a separate business unit headquartered in New York City.

Cadillac

Cadillac (photo – cadillac.com)

The strategic realignment will focus on Cadillac as a luxury brand with an expansion into trendy loft offices in Manhattan for a multipurpose brand and event space.

Cadillac’s global and U.S. headquarters operations will shift to NYC next year. The management is still reviewing which staffs will remain in their current locations in the Detroit area or elsewhere and which ones will be relocated to New York.

But Cadillac’s manufacturing and assembly operations will be unaffected, and their technical product development teams will continue to remain located in Michigan for now.

Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac’s new president, said in a statement that they are very proud of their Detroit roots and heritage, and the majority of the Cadillac workforce will remain in Michigan.

But he also noted that there is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York, and added that establishing the new headquarters in SoHo places Cadillac at the epicenter of sophisticated living.

Gov. Cuomo said he welcomes Cadillac’s marketing team to New York and commended them on the decision to invest personnel and resources alongside New York’s world-class workforce. The Governor said that as the media and advertising capital of the world, New York is the ideal location for Cadillac to move its marketing operations for enhancing their brand and spurring future growth.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there’s no better home for an iconic American company than an iconic American city.

U.S. Senator for New York Chuck Schumer likewise noted that having an iconic American brand like Cadillac choose Manhattan for its global headquarters is another example that the city is a growing hub of innovation.

The Cadillac Automobile Company was created in 1902 to take over the operations of the dissolved Henry Ford Company. The Cadillac brand is now the second oldest American automobile brand after the Buick.

GM acquired the company in 1909, and Cadillac now has operations in over 40 countries, including assembly plants in Detroit and Lansing, MI; Arlington, TX; Oshawa, Canada; Ramos Arizpe, Mexico; and in Shanghai, China.

An expanded product portfolio and a 75 percent spurt in China sales for the year to-date led to a 28 percent global growth in 2013, and 10 percent to-date for this year.

Rhode Island gets Federal Grants Supporting Tech Incubator and Defense Manufacturers

Rhode Island is getting two federal grants totaling nearly $3.3 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Department of Defense.

Newport TechWorks Innovation Center in Newport, RI

Newport TechWorks Innovation Center in Newport, RI (photo – cityofnewport.com)

The EDA awarded nearly $1.7 million as a grant to the Newport County Development Council in Newport, RI in support of the establishment of a technology business incubator and accelerator.

The Newport TechWorks Innovation Center will foster startups, and is expected to create 108 jobs.

The EDA investment will be matched by an equal amount provided for the project from the City of Newport Urban Development Action Grant.

The incubator will be housed in the building that formerly housed the Sheffield public school. The 33,600-square-foot space is being redeveloped and repurposed to accommodate the incubator.

The facility is being redeveloped as a green building that will meet LEED certification standards. The incubator will also serve defense, environmental, climate change, marine and digital industry clusters and entrepreneurs.

The City of Newport is developing this incubator project with assistance from the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

The second federal grant announcement for Rhode Island is a $1.575 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment for developing a model to expand the state’s defense manufacturing base.

Rhode Island economic development organization Commerce RI prepared and submitted the proposal to the OEA, and Commerce RI will administer the grant and provide nearly $179,000 in in-kind contributions as part of its proposal.

The OEA grant, meant to support diversification by defense manufacturers impacted by federal spending cutbacks, is being looked at as an initial step in the creation of a center for industrial design and manufacturing called STEAMengine.

STEAM here refers to science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. The STEAMengine plan was originally developed by the state as part of its bid to be designated as a manufacturing community under the Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership (IMCP) initiative.

The effort looks like it might bear fruit now with the help of the DoD grant. The program will start as a pilot focused on Rhode Island’s defense industry. The plan now is to use the DoD grant to develop a prototype of how the STEAMengine model could work for supporting manufacturers across industries in Rhode Island develop and commercialize new products.

The implementation of the pilot program using the DoD grant will be done as a public-private partnership involving various partners including colleges, universities and trade associations.

Initial partners the State has identified to take part in the project include the Rhode Island Manufacturer’s Association, Tech Collective, Southern New England Defense Industry Alliance, University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Economic Development Incentives Secure Hill Intl Corporate HQ Relocation

Hill International (NYSE:HIL) announced plans to relocate their global corporate headquarters to an office tower building in Center City, Philadelphia, PA.

Hill International

Hill International

Hill will be investing $8 million on the relocation from Marlton, NJ to the new 60,000 square feet of office space at One Commerce Square in Center City.

The construction management and consulting company plans to bring 222 new jobs to Philadelphia over the next three years, and will be retaining 134 existing jobs at its operations in Pennsylvania. Hill International has around 4,400 employees at 100 offices worldwide.

The new office space across two floors in what is the seventh tallest skyscraper in Philadelphia will consolidate Hill’s headquarters operations with existing offices in Philadelphia.

The Hill relocation was secured by a collaborative effort with economic development professionals in the Governor’s Action Team working with the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, led by Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger.

Hill International is undertaking this relocation assisted by a package of incentives including a $1 million grant under the Pennsylvania First Program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Hill will also get $666,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, and $33,750 in training funds from the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA).

Philadelphia economic development incentives offered to secure the project include tax credits and training grants. Hill is also getting two loans to help fund their relocation plans, including a $750,000 low-interest loan from the City. The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp is additionally pitching in with a $345,000 forgivable loan.

Governor Tom Corbett said in a release that job creators from around the world are choosing Pennsylvania to grow their businesses and Hill International is the latest company to invest in Pennsylvania’s talented and innovative workforce.

David L. Richter, president and chief operating officer of Hill, said they are excited about relocating their global corporate headquarters into the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter said that Hill International’s decision to locate its global headquarters in Philadelphia is just the latest example of businesses choosing to start, stay and grow in the city.

Philadelphia Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger added that they are currently in discussions with a number of organizations, both large and small, who are looking to do exactly what Hill International has announced and make Philadelphia their home.

SpaceX Breaks Ground on Commercial Launch Facility in Brownsville, Texas

Governor Rick Perry and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk broke ground on the SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility near Boca Chica Beach in Brownsville, TX.

SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility groundbreaking in Brownsville, TX

SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility groundbreaking in Brownsville, TX (photo – state.tx.us)

SpaceX will be making an $85 million capital investment into the project, and expects to brings 300 new jobs to Cameron County and South Texas.

The possibility of locating SpaceX’s spaceport in Texas was first broached in 2011 when Gov. Perry was on an economic development trip to California.

SpaceX considered six other locations for the spaceport in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Georgia and Virginia before announcing the selection of the Boca Chica Beach site near Brownsville, TX in August 2014.

Texas closed the deal by offering SpaceX a $2.3 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund, in addition to $13 million allocated to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp via the Spaceport Trust Fund, established by the State Legislature for supporting infrastructure development related to the spaceport.

Gov. Perry additionally announced a $4.4 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant to the University of Texas at Brownsville for building the STARGATE complex. The University of Texas System will chip in with $4.6 million in matching funds for the project.

The STARGATE complex will be testing and commercializing a new phased-array antenna system, and will co-locate the SpaceX launch command-and-control center.

Apart from the generous package of local and Texas economic development incentives and infrastructure support for the project, SpaceX also received heavy assistance for regulatory approvals and changes from the Governor’s Office and the State Legislature.

Gov. Perry has written to the FAA to help ease the process of securing clearances for the spaceport at the Brownsville location, and several members of the Governor’s staff have testified before the FAA to help bring the spaceport to Texas.

The State Legislature additionally approved legislation to facilitate the project, including a new law that allows closure of beaches during space launches.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a release that they appreciate the leadership of Gov. Perry and other local, state and federal officials who he said have make it possible for SpaceX to build the first commercial launch complex in the world designed specifically for orbital missions.

Musk added that the groundbreaking at Boca Chica begins an investment in South Texas that will create hundreds of jobs and over time contribute hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.

NYC Green Buildings Plan to Save $8.5B, Create 3500 Jobs

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a sweeping Green Buildings Plan as part of an overall commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

NYCBuiltToLast

NYCBuiltToLast

The NYC Green Buildings Plan will lead to another 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions caused by buildings, in the process saving $8.5 billion in energy costs over ten years, and creating 3,500 new jobs in energy services and construction.

The “One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future” plan calls for a massive retrofit of both public and private buildings in the City.

That means a huge public investment for energy efficiency and alternative energy projects to retrofit every single building owned by the City which consumes a significant amount of energy. Specifically, NYC will be retrofitting some 3,000 public buildings over the next ten years, with interim goals to be met along the way.

Every year, the City will invest in high-value efficiency upgrades in 150-200 public buildings including schools, hospitals, firehouses, police precincts and libraries.

Over 450 schools will get comprehensive energy upgrades over the next five years. Solar projects to generate 100MW of energy will be undertaken on more than 300 public buildings, starting with 24 schools.

NYC will also set ambitious GHG emissions reductions targets for some 20,000 private buildings through the “retrofit accelerator” program, to be enforced with mandates in case targets are not met. Private solar generation across the city is expected to rise to 250MW in the next decade – eight times the current installed capacity.

All told, the NYC Green Buildings Plan will cut down annual emissions by another 3.4 million metric tons by 2025, or 10 percent of the green house gas emissions from buildings in New York City. This reduction is equivalent to taking 715,000 vehicles off the road.

“Climate change is an existential threat to New Yorkers and our planet. Acting now is nothing short of a moral imperative,” said Mayor de Blasio.

The energy cost savings across both public and private sectors is projected to be around $1.4 billion per year by 2025, adding up to $8.5 billion in cumulative savings over the 10-year period.

In addition to the 3,500 energy services and construction jobs created, this plan will also has several workforce training components including training and skills upgrades for more than 7,000 building staff.

The City will also involve local clean tech startups, giving them an opportunity to test cutting-edge energy technology through pilot programs.

NYC will partner with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the Energy Performance Contract program to undertake large-scale energy efficiency measures. HUD is dedicating an entire team to work with the New York City Housing Authority, the country’s largest public housing owner.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro said in a release that HUD has already leveraged more than $1 billion across the country for retrofitting aging public housing buildings, and they are looking forward to expanding the program in New York City.

Read the full One City:Built to Last Plan – Download (pdf)

Colorado Gets $6.6M DOD Grant to Grow Advanced Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Defense has approved a $6.6 million grant application from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade seeking “Economic Adjustment Assistance.”

Colorado advanced manufacturing

Colorado advanced manufacturing

The announcement was made by Governor John Hickenlooper during his address to attendees at Denver Startup Week.

The DoD program was created to offset the impact of lower federal spending on local economies.

The $6.6 million in the form of a two-year grant, issued through a competitive grant process by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment, will be used to promote public-private partnerships for sustaining Colorado’s economy to offset the impact of federal budget cuts that affect contractors.

The Colorado Economic Development Office’s application for this grant cited the need to create a public-private partnership to strengthen advanced manufacturing by supporting acceleration of technology and research.

This public-private partnership, called SMART Colorado, includes OEDIT, military installations and federal labs, community colleges, research institutions and the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance.

SMART Colorado was created as part of Colorado’s bid to be designated as a manufacturing community under the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.

As a start, four centers of innovation will be established in the first phase of SMART Colorado. These centers will be located along the corridor from Fort Collins through the Front Range to Pueblo.

The centers will provide technical assistance, mentoring and the equipment required by early stage startups and proof of concept businesses in the advanced manufacturing sector.

OEDIT Executive Director Ken Lund said in a release that they are grateful to local, state and federal partners for their support of this application and continued support of the state’s advanced industries strategies for economic growth.

U.S. Senators for Colorado Michael Bennet and Mark Udall issued a joint statement heralding the $6.6 million competitive grant.

Sen. Bennet said that in light of the sequester and defense spending reductions, this funding will help create opportunities for businesses to continue expanding into other markets and keep jobs in Colorado.

The two senators and other members of the Colorado congressional delegation had written to the DoD last month expressing their support of the OEDIT’s application for the grant.

They write in the letter that the assistance provided through this grant will provide an opportunity for strengthening Colorado’s code defense industry while driving opportunities to expand supply chain access to advanced manufacturing, aerospace and related industries.

Iowa Announces Economic Development Incentives for Two Projects and Funding for Six Startups

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board announced approval of tax incentives for two companies creating jobs, in addition to financial and technical support for six startups.

Jobs for Iowa

Jobs for Iowa (photo – iowa.gov)

One of the two Iowa companies getting economic development incentives for job creation is Merchants Bonding Company.

MBC, a Des Moines-based insurance carrier, is planning to relocate to a new corporate headquarters building in West Des Moines that will be able to accommodate the company’s growth plans.

They are investing $14.6 million into the relocation project, and plan to create 11 new jobs. The IEDA board approved tax incentives for this project under the High Quality Jobs program.

The second job-creation project getting state incentives is Shearer’s Foods, LLC. The contract manufacturing and private label supplier is a leading name in the North American snacks industry with eight manufacturing facilities in the U.S. alone.

Shearer’s Foods is planning a $33 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in Burlington, IA that will create 83 new jobs. The IEDA board approved tax benefits for this project under the HQJ program and also under the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program.

Apart from these two job creation projects, the IEDA board also approved startup funding for six startups.

Maquoketa, IA-based Blue-9, LLC, which manufactures a canine training platform (The Klimb), has been awarded a loan of $100,000 from the Demonstration Fund to help Blue-9 execute their marketing and sales strategy.

Coralville, IA-based medical device manufacturer Iowa Adaptive Technologies is also getting a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund to support the company’s plans for clinical field trials and marketing and sales efforts.

Des Moines, IA-based MudbuM, LLC, which has developed a patented product called the HAWG LAWG for catching huge trophy catfish, is getting a $100,000 loan from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund to help build up the company’s reputation as cat fishing experts with a superior alternative to traditional fishing methods.

Ankeny, IA-based Rocket Referrals, a cloud software company that automates referral marketing, is likewise getting a $100,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund to continue product development and boost efforts to acquire customers and establish industry partnerships.

Coralville, IA-based Higher Learning Technologies, which offers software and mobile apps for test prep and education, has been approved to receive $300,000 from the Innovation Acceleration Fund through a royalty agreement to help the company expand its offerings to SAT, GRE, GED, GMAT, ACT and other large exams.

VIDA Diagnostics, Inc., another Coralville-based startup that is working on medical imaging technology, has been approved to receive a $500,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund to grow its commercialization channels and continue developing the product.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Brings Together Startup Founders and Funders

In an effort to spur the growth of early stage technology and life sciences companies, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority held an event at which 30 startups were introduced to 15 prospective funders.

NJ Founders & Funders event

NJ Founders & Funders event (photo – njeda.com)

The Founders & Funders event at the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick, NJ was the second in a series of such events which the NJEDA plans to continue holding every quarter to support TLS startups.

The events offer participating startup founders a chance to connect with angel investors and venture capitalists, with the pairing based on the company profile and investment thesis. Startups are given one-on-one face time with investors to discuss funding and collect feedback on the business model, technology and commercialization plan.

The first event held in June resulted in 190 or so meetings between investors and startups who were introduced to each other at the event.

The participating investors at the second event in North Brunswick included NextStage Capital, Osage Venture Partners, ff Venture Capital, NewSpring Capital, and Milestone Ventures, among others.

The startups who attended included Hulafrog, which has launched a website for connecting parents to events and deals related to their kids that are available in their own community.

Another one of the participating startups was East Windsor-based Bridge-x Technologies, which helps companies in the digital transformation of their B2B commerce operations.

Life sciences companies that attended included VESAG Health and Epi-Gen Pharmaceuticals. High-tech startups at the event included Montclair-based Pendo Systems and Warren-based Chromis Fiberoptics.

These are all startups working on innovative technologies and doing cutting-edge research. VESAG Health combines technology and life sciences by developing technology-based tools that allow people to live healthier and safer. Epi-Gen is doing R&D on innovative drugs for as-yet unmet medical needs.

Pendo Systems is a provider of the infrastructure needed by global financial services companies, and Chromis Fiberoptics makes innovative polymer optical fibers that cost less and perform more efficiently.

The next Founders & Funders event is scheduled to be held on Dec 09, 2014, also at the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technology in North Brunswick, NJ. More details here.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Michele Brown said in a release that as part of the EDA’s commitment to growing the state’s technology industry, the Founders & Funders event connected early-stage startups with established investors, providing access to funding and expertise needed for helping these businesses flourish.

V-Soft Consulting Expansion in Louisville Gets Kentucky Economic Development Incentives

V-Soft Consulting Group Inc., a minority and woman-owned business solutions group, is planning an expansion of its company headquarters in Louisville, KY.

V-Soft Consulting

V-Soft Consulting (photo – vsoftconsulting.com)

The company plans to invest $206,250 for equipment, and create 25 new jobs with wages of $47 per hour with benefits. V-Soft already employs 55 professionals in Kentucky.

Governor Steve Beshear said in a release that he is pleased that V-Soft chose Kentucky to serve its clients around the world.

The Governor noted that even more than the impact of the 25 jobs, V-Soft is a company that helps make other companies better, and that benefit will mean greater things down the road for Louisville and Kentucky.

In order to secure the project, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for V-Soft to be able to claim tax incentives of up to $200,000 under the Kentucky Business Investment program for up to 10 years.

This is a performance-based incentive where the company can recoup part of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments tied to their targets for job creation and investments.

V-Soft President Purna Veer said that this was a huge opportunity for V-Soft Consulting and its future business partners, but an even bigger prospect for the community.

Veer added that they are looking forward to hiring more of Kentucky’s finest business professionals and more opportunities to give back to the community.

V-Soft’s headquarters expansion includes an addition to its sales force and creation of a centralized location for additional tech personnel. The company focuses on IT staffing and recruitment, software implementation and custom application development.

V-Soft says the growth of cloud-based technologies has enabled them to serve clients outside the state from the Louisville facility. Their clients include local organizations such as the Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Louisville Water Company, and also national ones such as the American Board of Family Medicine.

Mayor Greg Fischer said V-Soft’s expansion demonstrates Louisville’s great business environment, and added that they are getting a lot of traction with business services – their newest business cluster. The Mayor said they are seeing more growth in this sector by companies considering Louisville as a place to do business.

The V-Soft project was generated through site selection consultants who worked with the Louisville economic development team on site selection issues and on local and state incentive packages.

HCL Could Get Up to $21M in Incentives for Expansion With 1237 Jobs in Cary, NC

HCL Technologies Ltd has selected Cary, NC as the location for an expansion of their global delivery footprint.

HCL jobs announcement in Cary, NC

HCL jobs announcement in Cary, NC (photo – state.nc.us)

The company will invest $9 million into an expansion of the global delivery center in Wake County, and plans to create an additional 1,237 jobs in Cary by the end of 2018.

HCL already has around 800 employees in Cary, and the new jobs will add an expected average annual payroll of $64 million. The company’s U.S. headquarters is located in Sunnyvale, CA, and it has more than 8,000 employees in 15 states.

HCL chose North Carolina for this expansion over competing sites in New York, Arizona and Texas. The company apparently sees Cary as a strategic talent hub in the Americas.

Governor Pat McCrory, who was present for the announcement in Cary, said in a release that HCL has been steadily building its Wake County presence and one reason is the incredible talent pool the Triangle region has to offer IT companies.

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said that the state has worked hard to establish itself as one of the leading states in the IT industry and they are getting results.

The NC Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership worked on this project with the Town of Cary, Wake County Economic Development and the Cary Chamber.

Other partners involved in securing this project include the NC Technology Association, Capital Area Workforce Development Board, NC Works, NC State University, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the NC Community College System and other educational institutions.

HCL is getting a package of state and local incentives that could be worth more than $21 million. This includes up to $19.6 million under the Job Development Investment Grant program. The JDIG award makes HCL eligible to receive twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of state personal income tax withholdings for the eligible new jobs created.

Apart from the $19.6 million that could go to HCL, the JDIG award also adds the remaining 25 percent of the company’s grant to the state’s Utility Fund, to be used for encouraging economic development in distressed counties.

HCL is additionally getting a performance-based grant of $123,700 through the One North Carolina Fund which supports business projects that stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in North Carolina. The One NC Fund grant requires a local match, and HCL’s expansion will receive support through Wake County and Town of Cary economic development incentives.

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