February, 2011 Archives

Ashley, IN Snares Two Distribution Centers

Ashley, IN Snares Two Distribution Centers

Western Power Sports, Inc. has announced it will locate a distribution center in Ashley, creating up to 40 new jobs by 2012. Western Power Sports is the second company to announce plans to locate a distribution center in the small town of Ashley, Ind. this year. In January, Family Dollar Stores, Inc. said it would start construction on a $70 million, 815,000 square-foot distribution center in the Dekalb County town this spring, creating up to 350 new jobs starting in 2012. A wholesale distributor of parts and accessories for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, watercraft and bicycles, Western Power Sports will invest $3.8 million to lease and equip an existing facility in Ashley to serve as its distribution center for the Upper Midwest. “Indiana continues to invest in its world-class logistics infrastructure and it’s paying off – two new companies in Ashley in as many months is a tremendous economic boost for Hoosiers in the Northeast corner of our state,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels.


Air Force Tanker Decision Fuels 50,000 Aerospace Jobs

Air Force Tanker Decision Fuels 50,000 Aerospace Jobs

The Pentagon has announced it has picked Boeing Co. to begin building a fleet of 179 new aerial refueling tankers. The $3.5-billion contract to build 18 of the Air Force tankers is the first phase of a $35-billion project that will keep an estimated 50,000 aerospace employees busy for years to come. Boeing was chosen over European archrival Airbus and its parent company European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. (EADS) after a heated 10-year dispute that saw the lucrative contract awarded and challenged twice. The tanker deal became a political football that was debated in Congress, with Boeing’s backers claiming that it heavily subsidized European competitor would assign the tanker work to its overseas employees. EADS would have based the tanker on its A330 jets, which are built in Europe. EADS enlisted the support of governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana who were told the project work would be based in Mobile, AL with thousands of jobs going to tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers in the surrounding region. One estimate concluded that the tanker project would generate an economic impact of $600-million for Mobile. “Boeing was the clear winner,” said William J. Lynn, deputy secretary of Defense, in making the announcement. “We went through a process that evaluated war-fighting requirements, evaluated price, evaluated life-cycle costs. And the process yielded the result it did with Boeing winning.” Much of Boeing’s assembly work for the tanker will be done in the company’s plants near Seattle, WA and Wichita, Kan. The deal also will keep Boeing’s suppliers in Southern California busy churning out parts for the fleet that will replace the Air Force’s aging aerial tankers, which were built in the 1950s. The winning bid was based on a modified Boeing 767 passenger jet. Boeing has said the first phase of the project will create about 4,500 jobs in California, including at Raytheon in El Segundo, Alarin Aircraft Hinge Inc. in the City of Commerce and Lamsco West Inc. in Santa Clarita. Ron Scott, executive director of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, told the local media that he hasn’t been as disappointed by a project decision since Volkswagon chose Tennessee over Alabama in 2008 as the location of its new U.S. assembly plant.


Tropicana Expands in Florida

Tropicana Expands in Florida

Tropicana Products Inc. plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Manatee County, according to the Manatee Economic Development Council. The new facility will occupy 36,000 square feet, and will cost $4 million to construct. As construction nears completion, Tropicana will also invest in new equipment to upgrade its bottling capabilities. The county’s ability to retain Tropicana’s business was boosted by its rapid-response permitting program, which, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker says, “was designed for this very purpose: to accelerate the investment by qualified businesses in their local facilities.” Michael Haycock, a vice president with Tropicana, echoed Hunzeker’s comments, saying the permitting program made, “a huge difference for us in meeting market demand.” “We can’t say enough about how positive our experience has been working with the EDC and Manatee County Government,” Haycock added.


What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Loyal visitors to this space know that we always are interested in the efforts of state, regional and local economicrndevelopment agencies to rebrand their locations in pursuit of the holy grail ofrna catchy tag line that imprints their neighborhood on the collectivernconsciousness. Something like “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Last fall, we reported that the city fathers ofrnColumbus, OH had elevated their search for a new slogan to something akin tornthe Manhattan project. ThernColumbus Chamber of Commerce and representatives from local promotionalrnorganizations including the Columbus Foundation, Experience Columbus and thernjob-creating Columbus Partnership joined forces to leave no stone unturned inrnsearch of the verbiage that will put Columbus on the national radar with thernintensity of a heat-seeking missile. ThernOhio capital’s city fathers indicated they will take their time before adopting arnnew moniker because six earlier branding efforts fizzled out. Previous entriesrnincluded “Discover Columbus,” “Surprise, It’s Columbus” and the currentrnstandard-bearer, “There’s No Better Place.” One of our favorite rebranding efforts took place in Indianapolis, which carved out a unique niche by calling itself the “AmateurrnAthletic Capital of America.” This week, we learned that rebranding feverrnhas crossed the border and is spreading across Canada. From the Standard Freeholder newspaper inrnCornwall, Ontario comes an update on the efforts of six townships within thernUnited Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry to come up with a regionalrnbrand. In October, the six townships thought they hadrnagreed to move forward with a regional branding project. The counties approvedrna budget of $35,000 to engage a consultant to work with the S, D & GrnEconomic Development Working Group, which is comprised of one representativernfrom each township and representatives from the S, D and G Community FuturesrnDevelopment Corporation. However, since that agreement, a significantrncrack emerged in the united branding front: Glengarry county has gone aheadrnwith its own branding process. Glengarry agreed on a new marketing tool tornpromote the region, with South Glengarry adopting the tagline “Glengarry:rnOntario’s Celtic Heartland” at its council meeting last week. NorthrnGlengarry council also approved the idea. Not so fast, said township officials inrnCornwall. They said they aren’t prepared to  bring any funding requests up for approvalrnuntil reassurance is given that all six councils wanted to be involved in thernproject. “Moving forward, I don’t see how we canrnjustify spending the $35,000,” the township administrator told thernStandard Freeholder. “I assume not all six townships (will) agree on arnbranding.” “It’s obviously not a huge amount ofrndollars, but …we want to make sure that we do it, and do it right, and that itrnsticks.” South Glengarry Mayor Jim McDonell […]


Austin Powder Plans Facility in Green County, TN

Austin Powder Plans Facility in Green County, TN

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced that an Ohio-based explosives company is planning to build a manufacturing plant in Greene County, TN that will create 80 new jobs. Haslam says Austin Powder Inc. plans to invest more than $110 million for a facility to produce liquid ammonium nitrate, which is used as a raw material in the production of blasting agents used in mining and construction. According to the announcement on Tuesday, the plans call for construction of a five-building complex on the site and the first phase of construction is expected to employ 120 full-time workers.


Intel Plans $5-Billion Plant in Arizona

Intel Plans $5-Billion Plant in Arizona

Intel Corp. has announced it will build a $5-billion plant in Arizona. The new semiconductor fabrication facility, called Fab 42, will open in 2013 and create 4,000 new jobs in the U.S. Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced the deal during a visit by President Obama to Intel’s plant in Hillsboro, OR last week. “Fab 42 will be the most advanced high-volume semiconductor factory in the world,” Otellini said. “This activity will create thousands of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs in this country.” According to Brian Krzanich, Intel’s senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain, the new fab will create transistors with a minimum feature size of 14 nanometers. Intel announced its next-generation processor chip—codenamed Sandy Bridge—last month. Sandy Bridge-based chips are the first to integrate CPU and graphics processors on one chip, improving performance of the computer.


Atlantic Beverage Picks Spartanburg for Bottling Plant

Atlantic Beverage Picks Spartanburg for Bottling Plant

The South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Futures Group of Spartanburg County have announced that Atlantic Beverage Inc. will locate its new bottling operation in Spartanburg County. The $10 million investment is expected to generate 300 new jobs over the next two years. “We are very excited about bringing our new bottling facility online. Spartanburg County was able to provide us with a building that was the perfect fit. South Carolina has an excellent business environment, a strong workforce and provides us with exceptional access to markets. We appreciate all the support we have received from state and local officials,” said Fran Graham, CEO of Atlantic Beverage Inc. Atlantic Beverage Inc. will open a new facility that will be home to the company’s bottling operations. The company will occupy an existing building near I-26. The company expects to bring the facility online in the next two months. “Atlantic Beverage’s decision to invest in South Carolina is a result of a team effort at the state and local level. South Carolina’s favorable business environment, skilled workforce and top-notch infrastructure offer the winning combination necessary to attract new investment, and because of these strengths we are well positioned to continue to attract new jobs in the future. We welcome Atlantic Beverage to South Carolina and look forward to long and mutually beneficial relationship with them,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce. “We are pleased that Atlantic Beverage Inc. has decided to locate a new facility here in Spartanburg County. We appreciate the efforts of our economic development team, public and private, in securing this business venture in Spartanburg County. We welcome them to our business community and wish them much success,” said David Britt, chairman of Economic Recruitment Committee of Spartanburg County Council and member of the Economic Futures Group Board. The company will be working with Spartanburg Community College on the hiring process, and will gather applications through the college in the coming months. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should visit readysc.org/future where listings will be posted when the company begins hiring.


Nanshan America Puts Plant in Lafayette, IN

Nanshan America Puts Plant in Lafayette, IN

Nanshan America Co. Ltd. has announced it will build an aluminum extrusion plant in Lafayette, IN on land in the Park 350 industrial park near Veterans Memorial Parkway and U.S. 52. “We expect over 200 new jobs in the next two to three years,” said Nanshan America president Lijun Du during an invitation-only announcement at Purdue University, jconline.com reports. “We’ve been studying the U.S. market, the largest in the world, for years. To establish this facility in the Midwest, with the best equipment from Europe and America and an elite American management team and work force, will make us among the leaders in the global aluminum industry.” The new facility will be named Nanshan America Advanced Aluminum Technologies, and the new jobs will pay an average of $15.27 an hour, plus benefits. Nanshan’s U.S. headquarters is in Chicago; its parent company is based in China. Du, a Purdue graduate, met Gov. Mitch Daniels in Shanghai during an Indiana trade mission to Asia last November.


Pratt & Whitney Expands in Columbus, GA

Pratt & Whitney Expands in Columbus, GA

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has announced that Pratt & Whitney, a global aerospace leader, will expand its manufacturing facility in Columbus creating approximately 180 new manufacturing jobs. “Pratt and Whitney’s decision to grow its operation in Georgia attests to our deep business resources for this high-tech industry,” said Deal. “Our outstanding logistics infrastructure and experienced workforce, packaged with the vast amount of aerospace research coming out of our universities, can help give these companies the competitive edge they need to succeed in the global marketplace. “Pratt & Whitney has been a large presence in Georgia for more than 25 years and I am proud to continue our state’s long partnership with Pratt & Whitney by adding these new high-quality manufacturing jobs to Georgia’s skilled work force. This expansion further validates our state’s position as one of the top locations in the United States for aerospace employment.” Pratt & Whitney will expand its existing Columbus Engine Center, part of Pratt & Whitney’s Global Service Partners network, with a building refit, additional tooling, new equipment and an upgrade to the facility’s test cell to accommodate Pratt & Whitney’s F117 engine. Engine overhauls for the F117, which is the power plant for the C-17 Globemaster III military cargo aircraft, will be added to the Columbus Engine Center’s existing engine overhaul capability of International Aero Engine V2500s for Airbus A320 series aircraft. The 215,000-square-foot state-of-the art facility, which opened in 1984, is located on 300 acres east of Columbus and already employs more than 300 people. “I am very pleased with the support the Department of Economic Development has provided to help Pratt & Whitney bring approximately 180 new manufacturing jobs to its Columbus engine overhaul facility,” said Pratt & Whitney President David Hess. “These new manufacturing jobs will allow Pratt & Whitney to remain competitive and viable in the global engine overhaul market while keeping jobs in the United States and better serving its long-time customer, the United States Air Force and its large C-17 fleet located in Charleston.” Georgia Quick Start will partner with the company to provide customized training for its workers. Pratt & Whitney’s Columbus Engine Center has also worked with Columbus Technical College and South Georgia Technical College to establish aviation co-op and intern programs to train new mechanics. Department of Economic Development project managers Candice Scott and Andrew Neumann assisted the company with its decision to locate these jobs in Georgia, as did the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. “On behalf of the business leadership in Columbus, we […]


Wind Tower Plant Set for Cheyenne, WY

Wind Tower Plant Set for Cheyenne, WY

Gestamp Renewables and the Worthington Energy Group, a subsidiary of Worthington Industries, Inc., have announced they will build a wind tower manufacturing facility in Cheyenne, WY under a joint venture, Gestamp Worthington Wind Steel, LLC. The 160,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be established on 30 acres of land in the Cheyenne Logistics Hub at Swan Ranch. The company anticipates hiring 150 local employees and investing nearly $40 million on construction of the facility, land improvements and equipment. Gestamp Worthington considered several states for the location of its North American tower manufacturing facility.  The Wyoming Business Council worked with local Wyoming economic development organizations to help the company evaluate various locations in Wyoming.  Once the company made the decision to choose Cheyenne, the Business Council worked closely with Cheyenne LEADS to help facilitate the company’s ultimate location in Cheyenne. “I want to express my gratitude to the Business Council and Cheyenne LEADS for their work. I am also glad to welcome Gestamp Worthington to Wyoming,” Governor Matt Mead said. “We are certainly pleased to see this added level of economic benefit from the use of our nationally recognized wind resource.” The company plans to manufacture more than 300 wind towers per year to be used primarily in wind farms within the state of Wyoming. The tower sections will be used with 2 to 3 MW turbines. The company selected Wyoming because of its pro-business climate and strong fiscal standing. “We looked at several locations and considered all of the aspects of logistics, business costs, workforce and regional market projections. Wyoming was at the top of the list,” said Ralph Roberts, president of the Worthington Global Group. “In addition, we saw in Wyoming what we considered to be a very good alignment with our company’s strong work ethic, culture and philosophy, grounded in the Golden Rule. Gestamp Worthington and Wyoming will be a very good fit for each other.” “We’re very pleased that Gestamp Renewables and the Worthington Energy Group have decided to locate this facility here and bring these new jobs to the region,” Bob Jensen, the CEO of the Business Council said. “This adds to Wyoming’s reputation for having the right business climate and transportation infrastructure for this type of manufacturing,” Randy Bruns, CEO of Cheyenne LEADS said Cheyenne continues to be a smart choice for expanding businesses.  “We are pleased to have two companies with the stature of Gestamp Worthington bringing 150 good jobs to our community. This illustrates, once again, the value of having available property and a business […]