Oemeta Selects Salt Lake County, Utah for First U.S. Manufacturing Facility

Oemeta, a German company that provides environmentally friendly metalworking fluids, announced plans to open their first U.S. manufacturing facility in Salt Lake County, Utah.


Oemeta (photo – oemeta.com)

The company plans to invest $5.25 million to establish the high-tech manufacturing facility, and expects to create 58 new jobs over the next seven years.

These jobs will pay wages and medical benefits that will, in aggregate, exceed 125 percent of the county’s prevailing average wage. The new state wages over the seven-year period are projected to exceed $12.6 million.

Oemeta’s biobased technology is safer than traditional petrochemicals and other chemicals used as coolants and metalworking fluids in industrial machining. The company’s USDA certified biobased products are used by major automotive clients such as Audi and BMW.

Oemeta’s North American headquarters is in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, and their U.S. offices are based out of Fort Lee, NJ.

In order to secure the project for Salt Lake County and Utah, the Board of Directors of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved up to $113,447 in tax credits for Oemeta.

Every year, as the company fulfills its job creation commitments under the seven-year contract with the state, a portion of the tax credits allocated will be made available as an Economic Development Tax Increment Finance incentive.

The Oemeta facility is expected to generate $567,233 in new state taxes over the seven-year agreement period. The total amount in EDTIF incentives being provided is 20 percent of the tax revenue expected to be generated by the project.

Val Hale, executive director of GOED, said that Oemeta’s addition to Utah’s growing list of manufacturing companies hits home two major points – that Utah is actively recruiting foreign firms to invest in the state, and is increasingly aware of bringing environmentally friendly companies to the state.

Utah recently announced a $79 million environment-friendly greenhouse tomato farm project in Juab County, UT by Houweling’s Tomatoes which is bringing 280 new jobs to the state, along with cutting-edge sustainable farming and climate control technology.

Andrew Leech, president and CEO of Oemeta Inc., said they are looking forward to continue working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in their commitment to incorporating the value of more environmentally friendly industrial machining processes.

Utah Economic Development Corp President and CEO Jeff Edwards said Utah continues to attract high-tech companies from around the world thanks to low taxes, a skilled workforce and sound regulations.

Indianapolis Chamber’s Economic Development Unit Lands Financial Services Firm Cortland

Global financial services firm Cortland Capital Market Services announced plans to expand its operations into Indianapolis.

Cortland Capital Market Services

Cortland Capital Market Services (photo – indychamber.com)

The company is equipping a new office in the City, and plans to occupy the facility immediately.

The expansion and office space will allow Cortland to accommodate growth plans including creation of 153 new jobs at the new facility by 2019.

Cortland’s expansion and job creation plans are being supported with state incentives approved by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and the City of Indianapolis is providing additional local support at the request of Develop Indy.

Develop Indy is the business unit of the Indy Chamber, along with the Indy Partnership which represents local economic development organizations in the nine-county Indianapolis region.

The IEDC approved up to $1,825,000 in performance-based tax credits to secure the project. The tax credits are tied to Cortland’s job creation plans.

Cortland Capital Market Services LLC is an independent investment servicing company that provides financial institutions with third-party and outsourced services including commercial bank loan servicing, fund administration, securitization services and middle-office support.

They have more than $40 billion in assets under administration for a client list that includes some of the world’s largest hedge funds, institutional investors, private equity funds, credit funds, real estate managers and others.

The Chicago-based company already has additional offices in New York and Los Angeles, and opened a new London office a few months ago in May.

Governor Mike Pence said that Cortland operates in the world’s largest markets, and out of all the options they chose Indiana for their next office.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard likewise said they are proud to add Indy to the list of cities like New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles where Cortland operates, and added that Indy is rapidly becoming a market of choice for many national and international companies.

Doug Hart, principal at Cortland Capital Market Services, said Indiana’s business climate and talented workforce made Indy an ideal location for Cortland to expand their operations.

Brian Gildea, vice president of Indianapolis economic development for the Indy Chamber, said that competition in the professional services sector is tough when it comes to expansions and relocations.

Gildea added that with this announcement, Indy is showing the nation that its workforce not only has the expertise but also the talent to grow a global client base.

Nevada Legislature’s Special Session for Tesla Incentives Attracts Special Interests

The Nevada Legislature was convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval for a special session to work on approving a package of incentives and bills which the State has agreed to provide Tesla.

Nevada Legislature Building, Carson City

Nevada Legislature Building, Carson City (photo – Dave Parker/Wikimedia)

The Nevada Senate and Assembly didn’t actually vote on anything by late evening on Sept 10, 2014, but they did make significant progress in drafting the bills and clearing the obstacles to ensure that the Legislature will now approve the whole package of four separate bills.

The Senate worked on the large bill of incentives (SB1) including transferable tax credits and tax abatements, while the Assembly started with the other three bills (AB1, AB2 and AB3).

AB1 revises the provisions in the Nevada Economic Development Electric Rate Rider Program in order to authorize cheap electricity for the Tesla Gigafactory project for eight years.

AB2 exempts Tesla from the statutory requirement of having to sell their vehicles only through dealers, thus allowing the company to establish its own showrooms and sell their vehicles directly to consumers.

AB3 moves tax credits available to insurers against the general tax on insurance premiums and directs it to Tesla.

All four bills will need to be approved by both the Assembly and the Senate before they can be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Nevada car dealers and insurance companies are not trying to stop the bills. But with $1.3 billion on the line, a host of special interest groups and lobbyists for other companies landed up in Carson City to sneak some state largesse for themselves into the Tesla incentive bills.

One of the companies was Switch, a Las Vegas-based data center firm which is lobbying for the language in the bills to be changed to include additional tax breaks for companies such as itself.

Film and television industry workers who are members of IATSE Local 720 staged a protest in front of the State Capitol. The State plans to cut film tax credits from $80 million to $10 million, and direct the rest to Tesla.

Nevada’s labor leaders are also lobbying to get the Tesla Gigafactory’s construction and equipment installation designated as a public project, which would ensure that construction workers on the project would be paid the higher prevailing wage.

Iowa State Research Park Breaks Ground on Economic Development Core Facility

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa State President Steven Leath, accompanied by other Iowa State University and State of Iowa officials, broke ground on a new economic development core facility at the Iowa State Research Park.

Groundbreaking of Iowa State economic development core facility in Ames, IA

Groundbreaking of Iowa State economic development core facility in Ames, IA (photo – iastate.edu)

The 49,210-square-foot core facility, located south of the existing research park, will serve as a one-stop shop housing all Iowa State economic development service units.

The construction of the facility is being funded through a $12 million state appropriation. It is expected to have a capacity to house around 100 employees, and will have meeting and conferencing space for several hundred more.

Leath noted that the building, scheduled to open in mid-2016, will be transformational for the University’s economic development efforts, adding that all Iowa State economic development service units being together will enable them to provide services in a much more comprehensive and integrated manner.

The building will bring the research park’s administrative offices and the Iowa State Research Foundation with the Iowa State Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations, Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, and the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

The building will also house the Iowa SBDC and a regional economic development project called the Cultivation Corridor.

The core facility will also serve as the signature building of the research park’s phase-three expansion plans. The park, located south of the Iowa State University campus in Ames, IA, already has around 60 tenants and a total of more than 1,300 employees with an average annual salary of $65,000, adding up to a total annual payroll of $70 million.

The phase-three expansion aims to develop another 200 acres and grow the number of employees to more than 6,000.

Steve Carter, the director of the research park, said that this facility is a huge step forward and provides them with the opportunity for a much more effective way to communicate and work together.

Michael Crum, Iowa State vice president for economic development and business engagement, likewise noted that the core facility will be the gateway to campus for business and industry seeking technology or business expertise, and it’s going to be a catalyst for a lot off greater things to come.

As a matter of fact, it’s already happening. Vermeer Corporation took the opportunity of the groundbreaking to announce plans for an Applied Technology Hub in the research park’s third-phase expansion.

The new Vermeer hub with a high-bay facility will allow Iowa State faculty and students to work collaboratively with Vermeer team members on technology advancements for the company’s agricultural and industrial equipment.

Vermeer CEO Mary Andringa said in a statement that they are excited to continue their relationship with Iowa State to demonstrate how partnership between private industry and Iowa’s education system can best be applied.

Andringa added that when the State, education system and the state’s private industry come together, strong economic development potential can follow.

Lebanon Economic Development Pulls Off Another Hendrickson Expansion in Kentucky

Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems, a manufacturer of suspension systems and components for heavy-duty trucks and trailers, is planning to expand its operations in Lebanon, KY.


Hendrickson (photo – hendrickson-intl.com)

Hendrickson will be investing $11.9 million into the project to build out a shell building adjacent to their existing facility in Lebanon. Once complete, the company will have a total of 229,000 square feet of space in Lebanon.

As part of the expansion project, Hendrickson will create 60 new jobs in Lebanon and Marion County with an average wage of $21 per hour, including benefits.

Their Lebanon facility already has 126 employees. Hendrickson Truck Commercial Vehicle Systems is a subsidiary of Hendrickson USA LLC. Including this Lebanon facility, the parent has three facilities in Kentucky that employ a total of around 450 Kentuckians.

They recently opened a new 100,000-square-foot trailer division in Elizabethtown, KY in March. That project required $20 million in investment and is creating 75 new jobs. Hendrickson also has a third Kentucky facility in Somerset for trailer suspensions.

Governor Steve Beshear said that the fact that Hendrickson chose to expand in Kentucky is a testament to the state’s skilled workforce and thriving auto industry.

In order to secure this latest expansion by Hendrickson, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority last month approved up to $1.5 million in tax incentives for Hendrickson.

These are performance-based incentives under the Kentucky Business Investment program where Hendrickson will get income tax credits and wage assessments tied to the company fulfilling its job creation and investment commitments.

Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw said they appreciate the support of Gov. Beshear, KEDFA and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for encouraging the growth of existing industries.

Richard Mudd, director of operations for Hendrickson’s Truck Division, said they are excited about the approval to move forward with the expansion project.

Mudd added that they have always had a great working relationship with the City of Lebanon and the Marion County-Lebanon economic development team, and that made the decision to expand here an easy choice. He also noted that Kentucky has been a great state for them and continues to support their growth and long-term strategies.

The company’s Elizabethtown project earlier this year had also received state support in the form of $1.55 million in tax incentives approved by KEDFA under the Kentucky Business Investment program.

San Francisco Launches LatinSF Economic Development Initiative

The City of San Francisco has launched a new economic development initiative called LatinSF which aims to serve as a conduit for business and trade between the City and Latin America by attracting Latin American companies to invest in San Francisco and by helping local firms in the City expand in the Latin American markets.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee at Silicon Valley Day event in Mexico City

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee at Silicon Valley Day event in Mexico City (photo – sfmayor.org)

The initiative was officially launched by San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee at Silicon Valley Day in Mexico City.

The Mayor is on an official trade mission to Latin America, and the visit has secured tangible results with the announcement of the first LatinSF partnership with Startup Mexico, a government-backed incubator and accelerator for tech firms in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

The partnership ensures a steady flow of Latin American tech startups coming out of the accelerator will land straight in San Francisco.

Startup Mexico Director Marcus Dantus said that LatinSF is an excellent partner for Startup Mexico and they are looking forward to working with them to assist Latin American technology companies in accessing the amazing opportunities that San Francisco offers to innovative entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, LatinSF has secured sponsors such as AeroMexico and the Mita Institute and Tech Accelerator. MITA is also a business accelerator, tech forum and venture fund which is helping build the innovation economy in Mexico.

MITA General Partner and Fund Manager Robin Reyes said that San Francisco offers a singular ecosystem of needed mentorship, capital and business development opportunities for Mexico’s growing number of tech companies.

Reyes added that they are excited to be partnering with LatinSF to build deeper synergies between the innovation economies of Mexico and San Francisco.

LatinSF is being launched as a public-private partnership between the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED) and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The initiative aims to replicate the success of the China-San Francisco economic development initiative ChinaSF.

SFCED Executive Director Dennis Conaghan said the demand for assistance for Latin American companies has been steadily growing, and they believe the timing is perfect to reach out to the region.

“We can never take our economic recovery and expansion for granted,” said Mayor Lee, adding that LatinSF was another way to diversify the economy, attract new companies and jobs to the City and create opportunities around the world for businesses based in San Francisco.

Dothan, Alabama Launches Aircraft Pre-Employment Training Program

The City of Dothan, as part of a public-private partnership, announced the launch of an aircraft pre-employment training program called CJET Academy.

Dothan, AL CJET Academy

Dothan, AL CJET Academy

Selected applicants who complete the program will gain skills in aircraft structure assembly training, and have a job as a structural assembler with a starting pay of $14 waiting for them at Commercial Jet Services, LLC when they complete the training program.

CJET Academy is being launched as a collaborative effort involving the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Dothan, Commercial Jet Services, LLC, and Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT).

The eight-week training program starting Oct 22, 2014 is free for participants, and all training materials will be provided. Interested applicants can submit applications though the AIDT website.

Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz said that an important role of economic development is the connection of individuals with a business that wants to hire local people who need jobs.

The Mayor added that he’s proud of the work that has been done to connect these two groups and provide the necessary training so that both will succeed.

Commercial Jet Services, LLC announced a 400,000-square-foot MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility at Dothan Regional Airport in April 2013.

Recruiting Commercial Jet was a big win for the Dothan economic development team, since it made it feasible for the Dothan Houston County Airport Authority to continue operating the airport tower as a non-federal tower even after Dothan was included on a list of 149 FAA control towers being closed nationwide.

Apart from the company’s $12 million investment into the project and the support the facility provides to the airport authority, Commercial Jet also announced plans to create hundreds of jobs and hire trained and experienced aircraft technicians from the local area. The Commercial Jet project received extensive support from local, state and business leaders.

AIDT Training Manager Kevin Taylor said they have been providing recruitment, screening and training support for Commercial Jet since the company arrived in Dothan. Taylor added that they are always looking for new and innovative ways to support Alabama companies, and are very excited about the CJET Academy.

Commercial Jet Services, LLC President David M. Sandri likewise added that they are proud to team up with AIDT for establishing the CJET Academy, and look forward to enabling trainees to join the company.

Sandri added that with the Aircraft MRO business expanding, this is a great time to join the commercial aviation industry.

Dublin, Ohio Mulls Economic Development Incentives for $1.1B Vadata Data Center Project

The City Council of Dublin, OH considered a proposal from Dublin Economic Development staff for attracting a large data center project by Vadata Inc.

Dublin, OH Vadata data center project

Dublin, OH proposal for Vadata data center project

Ashburn, VA-based Vadata is an Amazon data center subsidiary conducting a multi-state site selection process for a $1.1 billion data center that involves the build-up of 750,000 square feet of data center, office space and related facilities.

Vadata is planning to create 120 jobs with an average annual salary of $80,000, adding up to a total payroll of $9.6 million.

State incentives for the Vadata project under the Job Creation Tax Credit program were approved by the Board of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority last month. The TCA also approved a 15-year sales tax exemption for the project that will save the company around $4 million.

Now the City of Dublin, in coordination with Columbus 2020, is pitching local incentives and a large parcel of City-owned land in the West Innovation District for the project.

This is a Job Ready site which has been rezoned for promoting fast development for research and high-tech industry projects. The proposed economic development and real estate purchase agreement with Vadata Inc. would transfer 68.7 acres of the City-owned land valued at approximately $6.75 million for the data center project.

The City will additionally offer up to $500,000 as a performance-based incentive for jobs created over the 10-year period of the agreement.

Furthermore, the City of Dublin will extend water and sewerage links to the site along a new entry road, also to be extended by the City. As recommended by Ohio economic development organization Jobs Ohio and approved by the Ohio TCA, Dublin will get $1.5 million in state funding for road and infrastructure improvements if Vadata selects the site for their data center project.

Public infrastructure improvements in the area will be funded through tax increment financing, with a TIF ordinance to be introduced at a later date.

The infrastructure improvements will also serve other development sites in future, and Vadata will serve as an additional anchor tenant for the West Innovation District. The company will be investing heavily in construction and will bring critical infrastructure for fiber optics and broadband expansion. It will help attract and create an IT supply chain, and solidify Dublin’s position as a leader in this sector.

Cullman Economic Development’s Sharkbite Project Brings 130 Jobs to Alabama

Reliance Worldwide Corp. announced plans for a new manufacturing facility to onshore production of their Sharkbite plumbing connection system from Australia to the U.S.

Gov. Robert Bentley at RWC Sharkbite project announcement in Cullman, AL

Gov. Robert Bentley at RWC Sharkbite project announcement in Cullman, AL (photo – madeinalabama.com)

RWC plans to invest $50 million into the project to establish a high-tech facility with robotic automation used in plastic and brass manufacturing processes.

The new Cash Acme Sharkbite factory will add 130 new employees to the company’s existing 170 employees in Cullman.

Cash Acme’s original facility in the Cullman Industrial Park started off with 70,000 square feet and has twice been expanded since, adding up to a total of 250,000 square feet. Cash Acme was acquired by RWC in 2002.

RWC is a global company whose main manufacturing operations are located in Brisbane, Australia, with additional facilities in Sydney and Auckland, NZ.

RWC shifted its global headquarters to Atlanta in 2011, and this is the first time their Sharkbite line, which has until now been produced only in their facilities in Australia, is being produced in the U.S.

RWC CEO Michael Williams said that even as most companies are looking to cut costs by outsourcing labor and relocating operations to low labor cost countries, RWC is leading the way to prove that the U.S.A. can competitively manufacture onshore.

Governor Robert Bentley, who was present for the announcement ceremony at Cullman City Hall, said that Sharkbite plumbing products will be stamped “Made in Alabama” by hardworking Alabamians and sold around the world.

The new facility will be located in the building formerly occupied by AAR/Summa Technologies. The space available in the building is being expanded to offer 150,000 square feet of new space for Cash Acme.

Apart from the Sharkbite manufacturing line, the facility will additionally include a training academy where the company will teach plumbers about use of their products and best practices. The facility will also include an R&D center.

Furthermore, RWC is investing $5 million for expanding their existing distribution center in Cullman from 145,000 to 235,000 square feet.

The City and County of Cullman and the State of Alabama secured all this with a competitive package of state and local economic development incentives.

The State is providing $1.1 million in discretionary incentives for job creation, and the company may be eligible for a higher amount in incentives if they create more than 130 jobs.

AIDT, the state’s job training agency, is additionally providing RWC with pre-employment screening and training services valued at approximately $1.25 million.

Local incentives are being separately provided by the local governments, including tax abatements for purchase of new machinery and construction of the distribution center. The RWC sharkbite project caps a big year for Cullman economic development, which last year secured 56 projects that are creating 570 jobs and generating capital investments worth $92 million.

KY, NC Positioning for Jobs After Announcement of Electrolux Acquisition of GE Appliances

Even before the ink goes dry on the announcement of the $3.3 billion acquisition of GE’s Appliances business to Electrolux, local and state leaders in Kentucky and North Carolina have already started positioning to adjust for the inevitable economic and jobs impact on communities in both states where the companies have a heavy presence.

GE Appliance Park billboard in Louisville, KY

GE Appliance Park billboard in Louisville, KY (photo – genewscenter.com)

GE [NYSE:GE] announced a definitive agreement with Swedish home appliance giant AB Electrolux to sell its Appliances business to Electrolux for $3.3 billion. As part of the transaction, the two companies have signed a long-term agreement that ensures continued use of the GE Appliances brand.

Last year, Louisville, KY-based GE Appliances generated sales worth $5.7 billion. More than 90 percent of this revenue comes from North America. The company has its own distribution and logistics network that services their nine manufacturing facilities with 12,000 employees.

GE Appliances has 6,000 jobs at its Appliance Park in Louisville. In 2010, the company announced it would invest $1 billion to transform its appliances business in the U.S. Since then, GE Appliances has created more than 3,000 jobs in Louisville alone.

Electrolux Major Appliances North America, on the other hand, is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and will continue to maintain its headquarters in Charlotte after the GE Appliances deal is closed in 2015. In Dec 2013, the company announced a major $85 million expansion in Charlotte with 810 new jobs.

The long-term agreement for the use of the GE Appliances brand ensures that production jobs at Appliance Park don’t face an immediate threat, but Electrolux’s product design for all major and small appliances built in North America and R&D for laundry products and electronic systems is located in Charlotte. Another R&D division is located in Tennessee.

Apart from corporate jobs, the design and R&D teams at Appliance Park may also therefore start feeling the impact of the acquisition much faster. Kentucky and Louisville economic development organizations and state and local leaders have already begun positioning to secure the future of Appliance Park.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement that Electrolux is a fantastic global brand that they welcome to the city. Mayor Fischer noted that GE has made unprecedented investments in its people, innovation capabilities, and manufacturing plants in Louisville in the past few years, and added that along with their partners in state government, they will work to present the advantages and capabilities of the community to grow Electrolux even more.

Gov. Steve Beshear will be speaking to Electrolux officials to ensure that the investment and growth plans laid out by GE Appliances continue as before.

Congressman John Yarmuth, who represents Kentucky’s Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives, issued a statement noting that “our community presents tremendous opportunities for growth and innovation, and I am optimistic that Electrolux and the employees at Appliance Park will work together to keep us moving forward.”

Meanwhile, the acquisition is cause for celebration in North Carolina. Governor Pat McCrory spoke with Jack Truong, president and CEO of Electrolux Major Appliances North America and executive vice president of AB Electrolux.

Gov. McCrory said this is great news for Electrolux and North Carolina, and added that he had a very positive conversation with Jack Truong. The Governor added that he is excited to watch Electrolux’s continued growth and success, especially given the fact that the company’s headquarters will be located in Charlotte.

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