LAEDC, SoCal Jobs Defense Council Secure Aerospace Manufacturing Conference

The third annual SpeedNews Aerospace Manufacturing Conference will be held at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, CA.

Speednews Aerospace Manufacturing Conference

Speednews Aerospace Manufacturing Conference (photo –

After hosting the previous two conferences in Mobile, AL and Charleston, SC, Penton’s SpeedNews picked Los Angeles County thanks to the efforts of the SoCal Jobs Defense Council.

The Jobs Defense Council was brought together by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to maintain and grow the aerospace industry in Southern California.

The LAEDC teamed up with other organizations to offer a high-level sponsorship for the event that will highlight the strengths of Los Angeles County and the wider SoCal region, and bring more attention to each of the organizations.

Others joining the LAEDC in bringing the event to the region include the Santa Clarita Valley EDC, Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance, UCLA Extension, CalState LA, CalPoly Pomona, Glendale Community College, CSUN, CMTC, and Frontier Associates.

The SpeedNews Aerospace Manufacturing Conference brings together the leaders of major aerospace industry manufacturers and suppliers. It provides the LAEDC and other regional organizations an opportunity to show them what the Southern California region aerospace and defense industry cluster has to offer.

“We are excited to host our 3rd Annual Aerospace Manufacturing Conference in Los Angeles, California with the support of Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation,” said Joanna Speed, Managing Director, A&D Events, Penton Aviation, in a release announcing the conference location.

Speed added that with California’s robust A&D industry and the recent initiatives for A&D companies within Los Angeles County, they are proud to support the city and state with this annual Aerospace Manufacturing event.

LAEDC COO David Flaks said in the release that Los Angeles County has a rich history in the aerospace and defense industry, spanning decades and developing some of the world’s best innovations.

Flaks added that Los Angeles County is a top location for A&D in the nation, with an expansive supplier base of firms, skilled talent, and unmatched export capacity with an infrastructure to support the location and growth of companies.

The Aerospace Manufacturing Conference will be held April 8-9, 2015 at the Terranea Resort, preceded by the Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Briefing on April 7. The AM Briefinig provides attendees a chance to interact with innovative leaders in the aerospace manufacturing market.

Denver, Colorado Economic Development Incentives Secure WorldRemit HQ

WorldRemit, a European financial services firm which recently expanded its money transfer service to include the United States, announced the selection of Denver, CO as the location for its new North American headquarters and operations center.


WorldRemit (photo –

The company has leased 11,126 square feet of office space in downtown Denver, and plans to open the office next month.

They will create 100 new jobs at the office by Dec 2015, and expect to grow their workforce in Denver to 218 within five years.

Denver competed with other cities in North America for the WorldRemit headquarters project.

In order to secure the project, the Denver Office of Economic Development and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (COEDIT) offered the company a package of state and local incentives totaling more than $3.5 million.

This includes $110,000 in Denver economic development incentives through the city’s Business Incentives Fund, tax credits and workforce development support.

COEDIT has additionally approved $3.4 million in state incentives for the project. This includes a job training grant under the Colorado First program, as well as Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits.

WorldRemit Founder and CEO Ismail Ahmed said in a release announcing the selection of Denver for their North American headquarters that the city offers the perfect combination of a supportive local authority, an idyllic location and a highly skilled workforce.

Ahmed added that the city is already gaining a reputation as a go-to destination for the Fintech (financial tech) sector and stealing the thunder of Silicon Valley and New York.

Governor John Hickenlooper said in the release that innovative financial services firms like WorldRemit thrive in communities around the state, and added that they are thrilled that the company has chosen Colorado for their North American headquarters.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock likewise added that Denver’s position as a top city for business, startups and innovation continues to grow fervently thanks to leading firms like WorldRemit that choose to locate in the city.

The London, U.K.-based WorldRemit has a global reach of more than 110 receive countries and offers its customers innovative ways of sending and receiving money.

Earlier this year, the company received a $40 million investment from Accel Partners, allowing WorldRemit to expand beyond Europe and enter the United States – the world’s largest sender of remittances.

Last month, the company began offering its service in 15 Latin American countries and the U.S. In a release announcing the expansion, Ahmed said that this is also a landmark for the European Fintech revolution and very exciting – to arrive with a world-leading service in the U.S., a country known for technological and financial innovation.

US Economic Development Grant For Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $610,000 grant to support the launch of a program to assist innovative energy companies at the Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester, NY.

IMMSI at Eastman Business Park, Rochester, NY

IMMSI at Eastman Business Park, Rochester, NY (photo –

The EDA investment, matched by private funding, goes to a $1.2 million program administered by the Innovation, Manufacturing and Materials Science Institute (IMMSI) at EBP to help current and prospective tenants in the park accelerate commercialization of their technology.

EBP secured the federal grant with assistance and support from Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who brought an EDA representative down to New York for a tour of the park earlier this year in May. Rep. Slaughter also facilitated calls between the park and the EDA, and submitted a letter supporting EBP’s grant application.

In a release announcing the EDA grant, Rep. Slaughter said that Eastman Business Park is one of the region’s greatest economic assets and is already becoming a magnet for new high-tech energy companies and the jobs that come with those businesses.

Eastman Business Park Marketing Director Kelly Mandarano said in the release that they appreciate the efforts of Congresswoman Slaughter. Mandarano added that federal funding for this program can help them leverage the park’s unique manufacturing infrastructure and skilled workforce to support the growth of innovative energy companies and attract new businesses to the region.

Eastman Business Park (formerly Kodak Park) is a 1,200-acre technology center and industrial complex in Rochester, NY.

The park’s suite of test, validation, prototyping, and pilot manufacturing tools are designed to accelerate innovation out of the lab to high volume manufacturing, especially in the energy storage sector.

EBP has also received more than $90 million in NY State funding for infrastructure development, establishing public-private partnerships and attracting new companies to the park. Some of these initiatives supported by the State at EBP include the EBP Bioscience Manufacturing Center, and the Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Test and Commercialization Center.

Some parts of the park (Buildings 59 and 320) also qualify for the University of Rochester STARTUP-NY Plan where new and expanding businesses can operate tax-free for ten years.

As a result of all the available infrastructure and state and federal support and funding, EBP now has around 50 companies with about 6,500 employees, most of which are non-Kodak jobs.

Montana Awards Planning Grants For Seven Economic Development Projects

Montana has awarded planning grants to seven innovative projects that support key objectives of the Governor’s economic development plan called the Main Street Montana Project.

Montana BSTF grants

Montana BSTF grants (photo –

In a release announcing the grants, Governor Steve Bullock said that through these grants, they’re able to help Montana business owners and communities strategically plan for future business success and continued economic growth.

The $128,026 in grants is being provided through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF).

These grants are not provided directly to the projects. Instead, the BSTF grants are awarded to local CRDCs (certified regional development corporations), tribal governments and local economic development agencies to assist these organizations in supporting planning projects.

The projects in question include everything from a feasibility study for a beef-based energy snack bar to market research for a micro-malthouse and the design for a new welcome center at Yellowstone National Park.

Bozeman, MT-based Prospera Business Network is getting two BSTF grants, one for $5,000 and another one for $15,750.

The $5,000 grant will help them in assisting Montana Maltings with a market research report. The other $15,750 grant will help Prospera assist the Greater Gardiner Chamber of Commerce develop a conceptual design for a new welcome center for Yellowstone National Park.

The Bitterroot Economic Development District, Inc. in Missoula is likewise getting two BSTF grants of $15,750 and $26,250.

The $15,750 grant will be used to assist Omnivore, Inc. complete a feasibility study. The company is trying to determine how to expand production of their Omnibar beef-based energy snack bar. The second grant of $26,250 will be used to help Consumer Direct Grant Creek Campus, LLC’s design development of a new facility for their health solutions business.

The Butte, MT-based Headwaters Resources, Conservation and Development Area, Inc., has been awarded two BSTF grants of $17,615 and $23,511.

The first grant of $17,615 will be used to support a historic building restoration project undertaken by Electric Light Building, LLC in Anaconda, MT. The second $23,511 grant will be used to assist Butte-Silver Bow’s feasibility study to determine the costs of redesigning a building to match the needs of Highlands College.

The seventh grant of $24,150 was awarded to the Libby, MT-based Kootenai River Development Council, Inc. The funds will be used by them to support a rail Preliminary Engineering Report for the Lincoln County Port Authority -Kootenai Industrial Park.

Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary said in the release that these funding programs are proven Montana economic development tools that expand the state’s economy.

O’Leary added that all of these grant dollars go towards helping Montana communities and businesses invest wisely in their main streets and provide good-paying jobs for Montanans.

Digital Healthcare Startup Spreemo Relocating to Lower Manhattan

Spreemo, LLC, which offers a value driven digital healthcare platform, is relocating to Lower Manhattan and will subsequently expand its operations in New York.


Spreemo (photo –

The company, which is currently located across the Hudson in Hoboken, NJ, will be investing $250,000 to renovate and equip 7,500 square feet of space at their new NYC headquarters at 88 Pine St in the Financial District.

Spreemo also plans to invest $1.15 million over the next five years for research and development.

They will be relocating 40 existing jobs to New York, and plan to more than double their workforce in New York to 95 jobs. The company will be exploring workforce training opportunities with veterans and local universities.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a release announcing the project that Spreemo’s decision to relocate to New York City and expand their workforce is another sign that the local economy is on the move, and added that he is proud they were able to help make this exciting announcement possible.

In order to secure the project, Spreemo was offered an incentives package that includes $600,000 in tax credits over a ten-year period, tied to the company’s job creation plans.

Empire State Development, the lead New York economic development agency, will provide these performance-based tax credits under the Excelsior Jobs Program.

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said in the release that they worked with Spreemo to assist in their future growth because their relocation from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan will bring 95 new jobs to New York City.

Commissioner Adams added that promoting job creation and business growth in key industries such as healthcare and technology is a top priority for Gov. Cuomo and the Greater New York City region.

Spreemo CEO and Co-founder Ron Vianu said that as they seek to transform the healthcare industry, Lower Manhattan offers a highly appealing mix of professional talent who are technologically savvy and bold in their approaches to problem solving.

Vianu added that they are thankful for New York State’s support in helping companies like theirs take root in this ecosystem.

Spreemo’s digital healthcare platform is currently focused on radiology services for the workers’ compensation market, offering predictive analysis and quality-based metrics that enable insurers and large employers to make better informed decisions and provide the best treatment for injured employees.

Their relocation and expansion in the new Lower Manhattan headquarters will enable the company to scale the business model to provide services in additional states and expand their offering beyond the radiology sector.

South Dakota Economic Development Office Fires Back After Chicago Airport Ad Rejection

The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is firing back at Chicago officials after being told to take down business recruitment advertising messages at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

The whole thing started in August when GOED launched the next phase of a South Dakota economic development and branding campaign in the Chicago and Minneapolis markets.

As part of the “Where Big Things Happen” campaign, GOED bought space on three large tension fabric banners right outside a security area at O’Hare.

The initial messages on the banners were a play on TSA checkpoint hassles – ‘No Government Pat Downs,’ ‘Keep Your Change in Your Pockets’ and ‘We’re Hands Off When it Comes to Business.’

Chicago airport authorities asked GOED to submit new messaging that did not conflict with TSA regulations. GOED complied and provided new messages.  Two of them were ‘Our Economy is First Class’ and ‘Prepare Your Business For Take Off.’

It’s the third message about ‘keeping your profits’ that was still causing a problem. After that, GOED was told by their airport ad representative that Chicago city officials were no longer allowing South Dakota or any other state’s economic development or tourism entity to advertise at the airport.

According to a release issued by GOED, the ban was later revoked but the three messages had to be replaced again. GOED submitted three more new messages, which have now been approved by the City of Chicago and will go up on the banners early next year.

The new messages will read – ‘Our Economy is First Class,’ ‘Prepare Your Business For Take Off’ and ‘Build Your Business in South Dakota.’

South Dakota also put this experience doing business in Chicago to good use by taking out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune that shows the ‘keep your profits’ ad that was rejected, along with some of the back-story behind the ad.

In a release explaining the newspaper ad, Gov. Dennis Daugaard says that “They thought ‘Keep The Change in Your Pockets’ was too aggressive so we resubmitted the ad with the message ‘Keep Your Profits.’ When we were told our ‘Keep Your Profits’ banner was not acceptable, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to showcase exactly why companies should move or expand to South Dakota.”

“We want companies to know that doing business is easy in South Dakota. Our experience in Chicago has made us realize just how important that is,” added Gov. Daugaard.

Castellini Group’s Food Distribution Project Creating 300 Jobs in Conley, Georgia

The Castellini Group of Companies announced plans to establish a refrigerated fresh produce processing and distribution center in Conley, GA.

Castellini Group

Castellini Group (photo –

The company, which is already one of the largest fresh fruit and vegetable distributors in the United States with 15 million cubic feet of refrigerated facilities, will invest $52 million to construct a 180,000-square-foot facility to service their customers on the East Coast.

The project will create 300 direct new jobs in Conley and Clayton County. Another 360 construction jobs are expected to be created while the facility is being built.

The office space in the facility will aim for LEED certification, and the rest of the design also includes green and energy efficiency features to reduce energy usage.

The 300 permanent jobs being created in Clayton County are especially valuable because Castellini chose to locate the facility in the underutilized Highway 42 industrial corridor.

The location is about 25 minutes from downtown Atlanta. Castellini got past this transportation problem by deciding to offer their own shuttle service to transport employees to and from work.

The advantages the company has at the site include the fact that it has excellent access to major interstates and is ideal for a distribution center. With this new facility in their network, Castellini will be within a one-day truck drive of 80 percent of the U.S. population. Specifically, the new facility will allow them to service Southeast markets from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. and Miami.

Another advantage of picking a location with an unemployment rate that’s twice the national average is that they were easily able to arrange financing for the project. Around 40 percent of the 300 jobs will go to low-income residents in the area.

This enabled the company to secure $40.7 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocations for the project from multiple CDEs (community development entities). This includes, among others, $8 million from Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., and a $27.5 million leverage loan and NMTC investment from U.S. Bank.

The company is additionally receiving $5 million in Clayton County and State of Georgia economic development incentives to support the project. This includes tax credits for job creation, fee waivers and infrastructure investments.

Site preparation at the location has already started, and Castellini expects to be able to open the facility in September next year.

Bill Schuler, president and chief executive officer of the Castellini Group of Companies, said in a release announcing the project that by working together with Clayton County and the state of Georgia, they’re able to further grow their business while bringing much-needed jobs and economic growth to the region.

Governor Nathan Deal said in the release that he’s confident that Georgia will provide Castellini with the support and resources it needs to remain competitive in today’s fast-moving market, and in return deliver high-quality jobs to the state’s citizens.

Apart from state support provided by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD ) and local assistance from the Clayton County Office of Economic Development, other organizations who helped secure the project include the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Power Co., and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Grant Wainscott, director of the Clayton County Economic Development and Film Office, said they are so proud of the incredible partnerships that evolved over the two-year course of this hugely impactful project.

Virginia Community Business Launch to Support Small Business Development

Governor Terry McAuliffe unveiled a pilot program called the Virginia Community Business Launch (CBL) that will support community-based small business development.

Virginia CBL

Virginia CBL (photo –

As part of the launch, Gov. McAuliffe announced $100,000 each for small business development under CBL for the first three communities – the cities of Staunton and Hopewell and Gloucester Courthouse in Gloucester County.

The Governor said in a release announcing the pilot program that small business development is critical for building a new Virginia economy.

“Through this new initiative, we are placing the community at the center of small business development in order to help Virginia entrepreneurs thrive and contribute to our state economy starting in their own backyards,” added Gov. McAuliffe.

The Virginia CBL program takes a community’s own vision for its future and pairs it up with a local business competition to find and foster entrepreneurs that can connect with that vision.

Multiple entrepreneurs will be provided with the tools they need to prepare for operating successful businesses in downtowns or neighborhood commercial districts. CBL will also help them compete for funding to start new businesses.

The initiative is a part of Governor McAuliffe’s new Virginia economy Strategic Plan, spanning across the pillars of economic development, small business development and entrepreneurship.

You can keep track of updates and news about the Virginia CBL initiative here.

The Governor also announced a business plan competition for Virginia in 2015 with $1 million in prizes for the winners. The competition, which will focus on strategic growth sectors including agriculture, energy, social entrepreneurism, cybersecurity and bio-life sciences, will begin in the spring and the winners will be announced in early summer.

The competition finalists will be paired with mentors who will help them prepare for in-person pitches to a panel of judges. The mentors will continue to help the winners with access to venture funding, business strategy and other resources.

The winners must be willing to relocate their business to Virginia for at least 24 months, or use intellectual property from universities or research labs in Virginia.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said a release announcing the business plan competition that entrepreneurism is a key Virginia economic development strategy. Sec. Jones added that entrepreneurs create jobs, they generate wages for residents, and they help communities grow, prosper and raise children.

“It is important for us to be the best place in the country for people to both own and operate a business and to launch one,” said Sec. Jones.

Subaru Selects Camden, NJ for New Corporate Headquarters

Subaru of America, Inc. announced the selection of a site in the Gateway District in Camden, NJ as the location for its new corporate headquarters.


Subaru (photo – To-emon/Wikimedia)

The company, which markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories, will be consolidating existing corporate jobs from different offices to the new headquarters in Camden.

The relocation project brings $117,832,868 in capital investment to Camden, along with up to 100 new jobs the company plans to create.

Not to mention consolidating hundreds of existing jobs that might otherwise have been relocated out of state. All told, Subaru plans to house more than 500 employees and contractors in the new facility.

The company’s proposed 250,000-square-foot headquarters in the Gateway District will be a mere four miles from their existing headquarters in Cherry Hill, NJ. The new site is currently owned by the Campbell Soup Company, and will be developed for Subaru by Brandywine Realty Trust.

Subaru expects to make a final decision by April 2015 after all the approvals and agreements are in place, and hopes to complete the project by the last quarter of 2016 or in early 2017.

Apart from being close to their current headquarters, Subaru also picked the Gateway District site to take advantage of the large amount of incentives the state is offering to companies relocating to Camden.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s next meeting agenda includes an application from Subaru of America, Inc. for a Grow New Jersey Assistance Program Grant. The EDA is considering approving an annual award of $11,783,286 for a 10-year term, which adds up to total incentives worth $117.8 million over 10 years.

Grow NJ tax credits are offered per job, per year for a period of up to ten years for each new or retained full-time job to be located at the qualified business facility, subject to limits and provided the project will generate a net positive benefit for the State over a 35-year period.

Subaru of America President and COO Thomas J. Doll said in a release announcing the site selection decision that they are very excited to be moving this project forward as they seek to bring all their corporate employees together on one site, in a first-class facility.

Doll added that this move cements the long-term future of Subaru in the Delaware Valley and they are pleased that after more than 45 years in the region, they can plan to continue to be a part of the local community the company has supported for so long.

Subaru of America, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese company Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., has been headquartered in Cherry Hill since 1986, and also has offices in Pennsauken, NJ.

First Data Corp’s Telecheck Division Relocating to Sugarland, Texas

Global payment processing technology and services company First Data Corporation’s Telecheck Services Division is relocating its headquarters operations to the City of Sugar Land, TX.

City of Sugar Land, TX

City of Sugar Land, TX (photo – derrickcollins/flickr)

Telecheck’s relocation project will bring $10 million in investment to Sugar Land, along with 600 new jobs over three years.

These are new jobs with an average annual salary of at least $64,000, with higher tiers at an even higher average annual salary.

The company is taking up a ten-year lease on 90,000 square feet of space in the Sugar Creek on the Lake building that was formerly occupied by Unocal. The property has since been completely renovated with an investment of more than $13 million by developer PM Realty Group.

Atlanta, GA-based First Data Corp decided to relocate its Houston-based Telecheck division to Sugar Land after a comprehensive evaluation of regional opportunities.

Based on the company’s job creation and investment plans, the City of Sugar Land Economic Development Department came up with a $300,000 incentives package that will be paid to the company in ten annual payments.

Based on the economic development department’s recommendation, the Sugar Land Development Corporation approved the performance agreement with First Data, Corp. and TeleCheck Services, Inc. and secured the headquarters relocation.

Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson said in a release announcing the project that they are thrilled to welcome First Data’s Telecheck offices to Sugar Land. The Mayor added that not only is this relocation a reflection of the robust Class A office market in Sugar Land and the millions of dollars invested in the building by PMRG, but also a reflection of Sugar Land’s presence as a regional employment center within the Houston metropolitan region.

Mark Wallin, General Manager (TeleCheck) at First Data Corporation, said they are delighted to have selected Sugar Land as the home of their new offices, and look forward to many years of growth in this outstanding facility.

First Data Corporation is a Fortune 500 company with 24,000 employee-owners and operations in 35 countries. Businesses in nearly 70 countries use First Data payment systems to process more than 2,000 financial transactions per second, all of which adds up to $1.8 trillion in annual transactions. Last year, the company facilitated 59 billion transactions worldwide, which led to First Data generating revenues of $10.8 billion.

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