August, 2010 Archives
Caterpillar Inc. plans to invest $150 million to build a manufacturing plant in Victoria, TX that will create 500 jobs when it’s fully operational. The Victoria Economic Development Corp. will provide $5.5 million in incentives to have the equipment giant become the primary tenant at the 320-acre Lone Tree Business Center. Caterpillar Inc. will take over the entire park, which has been largely vacant for almost 10 years, to build a 600,000-square-foot plant. The city council is scheduled to approve a 10-year, 100-percent property tax abatement on city taxes. The commissioners court will consider the same deal for county taxes after the council acts. That’s the maximum abatement allowed by the state. Mayor Will Armstrong said the tax abatement is an incentive any community would have been willing to offer in exchange for the size investment Caterpillar plans to make. The abatement applies only to the improvements the company plans to make, which include a 600,000-square-foot building to manufacture hydraulic excavators. It does not apply to the property on which the plant will be built.
Medical device maker Biomet Inc. will expand operations at its base in the northern Indiana city of Warsaw and create 278 jobs by the end of 2012. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced the expansion, saying Biomet plans to invest $26 million in the project by expanding its headquarters and research and development operations and upgrading equipment. The company also will transfer some manufacturing from New Jersey. The state economic development agency offered Biomet up to $2.75 million in tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants. The Kosciusko County Council has approved 10-year real and personal property tax abatements. Biomet makes products used mostly by orthopedic surgeons for procedures like hip or knee implants.
Viper Motorcycle Company has announced plans to begin manufacturing motorcycles in Auburn, AL. The company will move its operations from Hopkins, MN to Auburn as soon as possible with full production beginning in 2011. A new facility in Auburn Technology Park West will become the new headquarters and production facility for Viper. Company officials expect the creation of 100 new jobs in Auburn over the next two years. Viper Motorcycle, a subsidiary of Viper Powersports Inc., produces high performance, super cruiser motorcycles for bike enthusiasts. The motorcycles are produced with over 80% of proprietary parts designed and manufactured by Viper. “The Auburn facility and community support places us in a position to achieve our annual goal of 2000 motorcycles and 2000 aftermarket engines within 5 years,” added John Silseth, CEO of Viper Powersports. Company officials say the timing is ideal to relocate their operation and that Auburn has all of the assets for the Company to expand and satisfy the increased demand. “The market is ready for a new original equipment manufacturer to be a leader in the super cruiser niche,” said Terry Nesbitt, president of Viper Motorcycle Co. Andrew Broadley, Technical Director of Viper Motorcycle Company, sees the proximity to Auburn University as an opportunity to integrate a wealth of knowledge and expertise from students and faculty. “The ability to develop a relationship with such a high-quality University is of particular interest on the technical side, which will allow us to expand our research and development capability towards new projects,” said Broadley. The company sees unique opportunities for creative students to be involved in design and engineering, he added. AL State Representative Mike Hubbard and Gov. Bob Riley assisted in recruiting the Company to Alabama and both had seen the product prior to its official launch. Gov. Riley congratulated Auburn on the economic development news. “This is a great win for Auburn and really for our entire state. We’re proud to welcome Alabama’s latest economic development success to Alabama and look forward to a long and productive relationship with Viper. I know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing those bikes that will be built in Alabama out on the road,” Riley said. State Representative Mike Hubbard welcomed the new company to Auburn. “The company was attracted to the area because of its excellent conditions including skilled personnel, a diverse manufacturing base, Auburn University, and the local quality of life,” Hubbard said. Auburn City officials say the announcement is good news for the local economy. “We are proud to bring in another dynamic company that […]
In what is being hailed as a major victory for U.S. manufacturing, two of China’s leading power generation companies have agreed to use U.S.-made components to build a $1.5-billion wind farm in Texas after two U.S. senators and several major unions protested that the original project plan would have sent 2,000 jobs overseas. The United Steelworkers (USW) announced it has cut the landmark deal with A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd, and Shenyang Power Group (SPG), two of China’s leading alternative energy companies. The Chinese companies agreed to source 50,000 tons of steel from U.S. producers as well as “ work together on all aspects of the companies’ U.S. market strategies—including manufacturing, assembly, component sourcing, distribution and wind energy project development,” according to the AFL-CIO blog site. The two Chinese power generation giants are involved in a project to build a 615 MW Texas wind farm. The deal with the USW was reached after public outrage that only 30 U.S. jobs would be generated from the Texas project, while 2000 jobs would go to workers in China. Two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, had threatened to block federal stimulus funds for the project if a significant portion of the work did not go to U.S. parts manufacturers and steel producers. “We will work with A-Power and SPG to create long-term, good-paying, green American jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, after the deal was reached. “The USW is committed to building a strong domestic supply chain that will be key to the future of America’s global renewable energy leadership.” “Through our partnership with the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, we had the unique opportunity to meet President Gerard and understand his vision for win-win relationships between manufacturers and workers,” said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, Shenyang Power Group chairman and CEO. “We quickly discovered that our company’s high standards at every level of the clean energy technology supply chain were the same as those of the USW. A-Power, SPG and USW know that the success of our organizations is dependent on developing the world’s most sophisticated and skilled workforce.” “It is an honor to team up with the Steelworkers for this historic partnership that will result in hundreds of American jobs and help create a clean energy future for the U.S.” said Cappy McGarr, US-REG Managing Partner. “We look forward to working closely with the USW on further projects to help expand wind power and renewable energy in the U.S.” “Our cooperation with USW will benefit the […]
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger probably thought he was taking a well-deserved break from California’s endless budget crisis when he agreed to film a cameo in Sylvester Stallone’s new action movie, The Expendables. The Governator’s brief star turn comes at the beginning of Stallone’s new opus, which features an all-star cast of aging action heroes and has been met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception by film critics since its Aug. 3 world premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Arnold was supposed to walk the red carpet at the famous pagoda-shaped film house on Aug. 3, but he had to sneak in through the theater’s back door when he was confronted by angry state workers protesting Schwarzenegger’s decision to order them to take unpaid “vacations.” With furloughs originally set to take effect on Friday, state workers also have responded by creating a mock-up of The Expendables movie poster. The fake poster is illustrated with a muscular back sporting a tattoo of the state capital with a vulture perched atop it. It lists Arnold as the star of the film and has a revised title: “The Expendables—State Employees Won’t Know What Hit Them.” Service Employees International Union Local 1000, the Association of California State Supervisors, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and other unions are suing to stop the furloughs. They say the cuts amount to a 15 percent reduction in pay. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven A. Brick said Monday that the unions had raised “serious questions” about the governor’s ability to order the unpaid vacations. Judge Brick blocked the furloughs pending a resolution of the court case. Lawyers for Gov. Schwarzenegger appealed the decision on Tuesday. We’re just guessing here, but we suspect that if Judge Brick’s wall against the furlough scheme turns into a permanent injunction, Schwarzenegger may be tempted to dust off a favorite old movie script and reprise one of the most famous scenes in his cinematic oeuvre. Arnold will turn slowly to the camera, eyes glaring, and inform the protesting state workers: “You are terminated!”
Stanly County and two towns will offer Michelin $900,000 in incentives for the promise of adding 70 jobs to the company’s aircraft tire plant just outside of Norwood. Michelin plans to spend $11 million to expand its aircraft tire retreading operation and add the jobs to the plant’s work force of 320. Kevin Gullette, executive director of the Stanly County Economic Development Commission says the tire company attracted 1,100 applications through the North Carolina Employment Security Commission when it announced hiring plans. The expansion is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. The expansion will bring retreading of aviation tires to complement the current new aviation tire business. The new jobs will vary in salary depending on job function. However, the annual wage will be $35,884 plus benefits. The Stanly County average is $28,288. “Michelin’s Norwood facility is where some of the best aviation tires in the world are made: tires for commercial planes, military jets and the space shuttle,” noted Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America. The Norwood plant has produced tires for the space shuttle and is also the major supplier of every branch of the U.S. According to aviation officials, on commercial airlines, 25 percent of the tires are new while 75 percent are retreads; tires are retreaded 3-5 times each.
Allison Transmission has opened a new hybrid manufacturing plant in Indianapolis, which will be capable of churning out more than 20,000 commercial-duty hybrid propulsion systems a year. The new Allison hybrid propulsion system captures kinetic energy and later reuses the energy to propel or reaccelerate the vehicle. The recovered energy can also be used to power vehicle accessories. “Over $130 million is being invested in the renovation of this facility and the development of our new commercial hybrid truck product,” Allison Transmission Chairman and CEO Lawrence E. Dewey told a group of employees, government officials, state and local representatives and project collaborators gathered at the plant’s dedication recently. The dedication of the facility follows an August 2009 visit to Indiana by President Obama. During his visit, Obama announced that Allison was being awarded a $62.8 million matching grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to increase the U.S.’ capacity to manufacture the commercial-duty hybrid truck propulsion systems. With the DOE grant, Allison Transmission will be rolling out the truck hybrid products in 2013.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced that Adobe Systems Inc. plans to build a new technology campus in Utah, a decision that could potentially create up to 1,000 new high-tech jobs in the state over the next 20 years. “This is a major announcement for our State and its citizens, and offers further proof that Utah’s software and technology industry is thriving,” Gov. Herbert said during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol. “I have personally assured company leaders that Utah’s business climate will allow operations to thrive, and that we, as a State, can provide them with a workforce that is well-educated, tech-savvy and ready to go to work for Adobe.” The new Adobe campus to be constructed in Salt Lake County or Utah County will accommodate future growth for the company and its Omniture Business Unit operations, which are currently based in Orem. The multi-phase project includes construction of a new campus to be completed in 2012 and the possibility of additional facilities expansion over 20 years. If growth projections are met, approximately 1,000 new employment opportunities with Adobe could be created in Utah over that same period, generating approximately $1.6 billion in new state wages. “Adobe’s plans for expanding in Utah are a natural extension of the growth and success of our Omniture Business Unit operations,” said Mark Garrett, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Adobe. “Utah’s vibrant communities, skilled talent base and business-friendly environment are appealing. We appreciate the efforts of the Governor’s Office and the State of Utah in working with Adobe, and we look forward to contributing to the vitality of the region.” Adobe acquired Omniture, a homegrown Utah company, in October 2009. It is now known as the Omniture Business Unit within Adobe, employing approximately 620 people in Utah and 1,100 worldwide. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board voted in a special session today to approve a post-performance economic development tax incentive for the project. New state tax revenue is expected to exceed $134 million over a 20-year period as a result of the Adobe projected expansion, job creation and capital investment in Utah. The maximum value of the post-performance refundable tax credit incentive is $40.2 million, or 30 percent of new state revenue for 20 years. “The Omniture success story demonstrates that Utah has the fertile fields to cultivate and grow great ideas into great companies,” said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Today’s announcement confirms the fact that Utah has the business environment […]
The Boeing Company today announced it will relocate the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and B-1 Program from Long Beach, CA to Oklahoma City. The move will begin with C-130 AMP starting in the first quarter of 2011 and conclude by the end of 2012 with the move of the B-1 Program. Both programs are part of the Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades (MM&U) division of the Global Services & Support (GS&S) business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The programs now employ approximately 800 people in Southern California. About 550 positions will be relocated to Oklahoma City. The remaining positions will be reduced from the programs over the next two years as contracts are fulfilled. MM&U Vice President and General Manager Mark Bass said relocating the programs will help Boeing provide a more competitive cost structure for customers. “Making a decision like this is never easy, but as we reviewed our anticipated operating costs for the next several years, it became clear that Boeing needs to take major actions on these programs in order to remain affordable for our customers,” Bass said. “We remain committed to maintaining the excellent record of performance that our employees deliver for our U.S. Air Force B-1 and C-130 AMP customers during this transition.” During the move, some employees will be relocated, while other positions will be posted and hired locally in Oklahoma City. Company managers are determining which employees will be offered relocation to Oklahoma City. Boeing will provide assistance for workers who do not make the transition, including help in searching for other potential positions within the company. “We will communicate openly and often with our employees throughout this process,” Bass said. C-130 AMP brings commonality to the C-130 fleet by offering flexibility in assigning aircrew, regardless of the model design type, and reducing aircraft operating costs while addressing obsolescence and providing for future capability growth. The program recently was approved by the Air Force for low-rate initial production. The Boeing B-1 Program is modernizing the B-1 Lancer bomber to further enhance its conventional munitions capability. Multiple upgrades are being tested this year to improve the bomber’s capabilities. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.
Business Facilities has announced the following rankings for the Tucson Region in its 2010 Rankings Report: #1 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY INDUSTRY LEADERS: This category ranks the top 10 metros in overall leadership in alternative energy manufacturing, growth strategy and development of renewable energy. The magazine considers the Alternative Energy Industry Leaders ranking one of its most important “flagship” categories. Editors considered overall economic development strategy and growth potential as well as new project activity to determine its flagship ranking of alternative energy leaders. “There were many worthy competitors for the top position in our first annual Alternative Energy Industry Leaders metro ranking, but Tucson was head-and-shoulders above everyone else,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers. Tucson, a global leader in solar energy manufacturing, earned the top spot with a highly coordinated strategy that brings together industry, higher education, effective incentives and sensible regulation, Rogers said. “In addition to Tucson’s well-earned reputation as The Solar City, we were really impressed with this region’s intelligent approach to maximizing its resources,” Rogers said. “An aggressive and innovative economic development strategy combined with unlimited growth potential made this an easy choice.” “This recognition reflects our success in working with local leaders and our utility customers to tap into southern Arizona’s abundant solar energy resources,” said Paul Bonavia, Chairman, President and CEO of Tucson Electric Power and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “This community has always been very receptive to our efforts to promote the use of renewable energy.” “From research to student initiatives to the campus itself, the University of Arizona is a global leader in sustainability and conservation,” said UA President Robert N. Shelton. “Throughout the history of the UA, our entire campus community has fostered a commitment to a culture of conservation and innovation.” TOP 10 METRO – ECONOMIC GROWTH POTENTIAL: Tucson’s alternative energy achievements — and its position as a leading player in the aerospace/defense manufacturing and an emerging hub for biotechnology — also made it a Top 10 Metro for Economic Growth Potential in Business Facilities’ annual rankings report. A benchmark ranking for economic development excellence, the magazine considers Economic Growth Potential to be a most important ranking, because it reflects not only what a location already has accomplished but what can be expected in coming years as a result of its development strategy. “The Tucson region has received more than 25 positive national rankings over the last few years. Being number one as a solar leader in a highly-read economic development publication is an achievement Tucson can […]