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Michelin North America has confirmed plans to invest $50 million to upgrade equipment and expand production at the company’s BFGoodrich Tire manufacturing facility in Woodburn, IN. The project will create about 35 new jobs at the plant, which employs almost 1,600. The Journal Gazette reported in December that company officials were considering the plant for an upgrade. At that time, a union official said he believed the company was already in the midst of a $77 million investment in the Woodburn plant. Michelin officials selected the Woodburn plant after conducting a competitive process among several company plants for the upgrade investment.


Michelin North America has confirmed plans to invest $50 million to upgrade equipment and expand production at the company’s BFGoodrich Tire manufacturing facility in Woodburn, IN. The project will create about 35 new jobs at the plant, which employs almost 1,600. The Journal Gazette reported in December that company officials were considering the plant for an upgrade. At that time, a union official said he believed the company was already in the midst of a $77 million investment in the Woodburn plant. Michelin officials selected the Woodburn plant after conducting a competitive process among several company plants for the upgrade investment.

Michelin Invests $50 Million in IN Facility

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Michelin Invests $50 Million in IN Facility

Michelin Invests $50 Million in IN Facility

Michelin North America has confirmed plans to invest $50 million to upgrade equipment and expand production at the company’s BFGoodrich Tire manufacturing facility in Woodburn, IN. The project will create about 35 new jobs at the plant, which employs almost 1,600. The Journal Gazette reported in December that company officials were considering the plant for an upgrade. At that time, a union official said he believed the company was already in the midst of a $77 million investment in the Woodburn plant. Michelin officials selected the Woodburn plant after conducting a competitive process among several company plants for the upgrade investment.


Meltdown Feared at Nuclear Plant in Japan

Meltdown Feared at Nuclear Plant in Japan

Japan warned there could be a small radiation leak from a nuclear reactor whose cooling system was knocked by Friday’s massive earthquake, but thousands of residents in the area had been moved out of harm’s way, the Vancouver Sun reports. Underscoring grave concerns about the Fukushima plant some 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. air force had delivered coolant to avert a rise in the temperature of the facility’s nuclear rods. Pressure building in the plant was set to be released soon, a move that could result in a radiation leak, officials said. Some 3,000 people who live within a 3 km radius of the plant had been evacuated, Kyodo news agency said. “It’s possible that radioactive material in the reactor vessel could leak outside but the amount is expected to be small and the wind blowing towards the sea will be considered,” Chief Cabinet Yukio Edano told a news conference. “Residents are safe after those within a 3 km radius were evacuated and those within a 10 km radius are staying indoors, so we want people to be calm,” he added. Tokyo Electric Power Co said pressure had built up inside a reactor at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant after the cooling system was knocked out by the earthquake, the largest on record in Japan. Pressure had risen to 1.5 times the designed capacity, the Japan Nuclear Safety agency said. Media also said the radiation level was rising in the turbine building.


Automation Engineering Expands in SC

Automation Engineering Expands in SC

SC Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Greenville Area Development Corporation have announced that Automation Engineering Corporation will expand its existing operations in Greenville County. The $6.1 million investment is expected to generate 78 new jobs over the next five years. “We are pleased to move forward with our plans to grow in Greenville. This expansion will allow us to grow our market share while continuing to offer top-notch service to our existing customers. Greenville has provided an excellent home for our business over the years, and we appreciate all the support we have received from state and local officials,” said Gary Foster, general manager and president of Automation Engineering Corporation. Automation Engineering Corporation will expand the company’s facility located 110 Smith Road in Greenville. The expansion will include research, development, design and manufacture of capital equipment to produce tubular products for the oil industry, a new market for the company. The company already serves companies globally in the automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and metals markets, as well as other segments of the broader energy industry. The company’s current facility is 60,000 square feet, and the company expects to add space to the building over the next five years. “Automation Engineering Corporation’s $6 million investment, expansion and additional jobs are great news, and we’re going to celebrate because, when businesses we already have can expand, it means we’re doing everything right for business development in our great state,” said Gov. Haley. “Automation Engineering Corporation has been a member of South Carolina’s business community for nearly three decades. This announcement offers another indication that South Carolina’s business-friendly climate continues to help foster growth among our existing companies,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce. “We’re pleased that Automation Engineering recognizes the many advantages that Greenville County offers their company for continued growth and success,” said Jo Hackl, chairwoman of the Greenville Area Development Corporation Board. “Their decision to expand operations and to add dozens of quality-paying jobs here is an important affirmation of this area’s focus on developing our advanced manufacturing and engineering clusters. As an innovation-driven organization with blue-chip clients and global opportunities in numerous industries, Automation Engineering is a prized member of the Upstate business community.”


Bartlett Dairy Coming to Newark, NJ

Bartlett Dairy Coming to Newark, NJ

Brick City Development Corp., Newark, NJ’s economic development catalyst, has announced it has completed the sale of a 105,000-square-foot  South Ward Industrial Park site to Bartlett Dairy.  Bartlett will bring more than 400 jobs to the city over the next 5 years. “Creating jobs is one our top priorities,” said Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Brick City Development Corporation.  “The core of our work is focused on building a sustainable economy in Newark. This includes job creation, job retention, and leveraging private and public investment to attract businesses that strengthen the economic base of the city,” Said Richardson. Bartlett Dairy is a major food and dairy distributor with operations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York with sales in 2009 of $141 million. “Distributors rely on efficient access to transportation in order to prosper.  Newark offers advantages over other sites in the region including access to the largest Port in the Northeast, three airports, an extensive highway system, affordable real estate, 50,000 person university community, and a ready workforce,” said Richardson. Lyneir Richardson has overall responsibility for business attraction and real estate development.  Richardson’s primary focus is to actualize the development in the pipeline. Bartlett Dairy is just one of the many projects BCDC is bringing to fruition. Bartlett Dairy will proceed with  the relocation in phases. The initial phase is the relocation of their operation in Clifton, NJ and 175 jobs, which will be completed by June. Over the next 2-3 years, Bartlett intends to relocate to Newark more than 150 jobs from their other facilities in New Jersey and Jamaica, New York.  Bartlett expects to create an additional 100 new jobs through growth over the next five years. As part of the acquisition, Bartlett has agreed to a first-source hiring under which it will give priority to Newark residents for all openings. In addition to Newark residents at large, Bartlett will target job openings to participants in Mayor Cory Booker’s prisoner reentry program. “This is a great example of the type of partnerships we are attempting to create, which help to foster better relationships between employers and the community,” said Ingrid Johnson, Chair of Reentry Initiatives for Newark. Bartlett Dairy is a major food and dairy distributor with operations in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York with sales in 2009 of $141 million.  Crain’s recently ranked Bartlett as the 5th largest minority-owned company in the metropolitan region. Bartlett is the exclusive, tri-state distributor to over 550 Starbucks stores.  Bartlett is also the largest fresh milk distributor in the Northeast for […]


Jackson Lab to Locate in Sarasota County

Jackson Lab to Locate in Sarasota County

Jackson Laboratory has announced it will build a new $130-million research facility in Sarasota County, BradentonTimes.com reports. The project, to be known as The Jackson Laboratory–Florida, will be housed in a 120,000-square-foot facility in Sarasota County and will also occupy laboratories and offices within the University of South Florida Health complex in Tampa. The project is expected to create at least 204 jobs. “Bringing Jackson Labs to Sarasota County will help us meet our biggest priorities over the next several years,” Nora Patterson, chairwoman of the Sarasota County Commission, said in a statement. “The institute will help diversify our economy while creating hundreds of jobs, making this a landmark investment in the future of Sarasota County.” As part of the project, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and other community agencies will spearhead the creation of a major biomedical village, including research, clinical medicine, education, and residential and retail activity, that will grow up around the new Jackson facility, according to a news release. “Our facility in Sarasota County, coupled with operations on the USF Health campus, will build the collaborations essential to breakthrough discoveries, clinical medicine and educational outreach,” Charles Hewett, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Jackson Laboratory, said. “These collaborations will enrich the entire region.” USF President Judy Genshaft said USF will make laboratories, offices and research support facilities available to Jackson at nominal cost. “We are pleased to share our facilities with the Jackson Laboratory,” she said. “This arrangement promotes even closer scientific collaborations, and it lowers the cost to the public.” For months Jackson Lab has been meeting with officials in Sarasota and Hillsborough counties as those two regions were competing for the proposed genetics research lab in partnership with USF. Jackson Lab originally considered Collier County for its research facility.


Ground Broken for Nucor Steel Plant in Louisiana

Ground Broken for Nucor Steel Plant in Louisiana

At a ceremony in Convent, LA, ground was broken this week for the first phase of Nucor’s new $3.4-billion multiphase iron and steel manufacturing facility in St. James Parish, one of the largest industrial projects in Louisiana history. The Nucor project will result in more than 1,250 new direct jobs, averaging approximately $75,000 per year and $3.4 billion in capital investment. Gov. Bobby Jindal, Nucor Corp. President and CEO Dan DiMicco , Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and St. James Parish President Dale Hymel attended the groundbreaking ceremony. “After working for three years to attract Nucor to Louisiana, I am thrilled to join Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco and local officials to break ground on the first phase of this huge new job-creating project,” said Gov. Jindal. “Nucor’s decision to come to Louisiana instead of anywhere else in the nation or the world is a tremendous victory for Louisianians and sends yet another signal that our state is the best place for businesses to locate, grow and succeed. We are competing for the best businesses in the world. We have already announced project wins creating more than 39,500 new jobs since taking office, and the Nucor project will be a tremendous economic boost for Southeast Louisiana and our entire state for years to come,” the governor said. “We are excited to be getting our DRI project underway and to bring good manufacturing jobs to Southeast Louisiana,” DiMicco said. “Manufacturing has long been the cornerstone of the American economy, and we feel that it will once again lead our country back to economic prosperity. America is a place where we make and build things, and the partnership we have formed between the state and Nucor is a testament to the hard work of Gov. Jindal, Secretary Moret, Parish President Hymel and other local officials and residents, all of whom have supported and championed this project.” The five phases of the project described in an incentive agreement with the state include a direct reduced iron (DRI) facility (150 jobs and $750 million capital investment) in Phase I; a second DRI facility (100 jobs and $400 million capital investment); a pellet plant (200 jobs and $500 million capital investment); a blast furnace and coke ovens (300 jobs and $1 billion capital investment); and a steel mill (500 jobs and $750 million capital investment). Phase I of the project, a 2.5 million tons-per-year iron-making facility, will use direct reduction technology to convert natural gas and iron ore pellets into high-quality DRI used by Nucor’s […]


Indiana EDC Supports Entrepreneur Network

Indiana EDC Supports Entrepreneur Network

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has created a new program aimed at attracting new resources and increasing access to capital for Indiana entrepreneurs, the Chicago Tribune reports. The agency will use its 21st Century Research and Technology Fund to create a statewide entrepreneurial network to engage private investors and regional partners in creating and supporting new companies. Executive Director Mark Becker of the Northeast Indiana Fund says the program incorporates the best aspects of other national models developed in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma. The corporation says it hopes to attract an additional $30 million in matching federal and private funding to support Indiana entrepreneurial efforts. The program called Invest Indiana was announced Thursday at a meeting of the corporation’s board of directors in the northern Indiana community of Winona Lake.


Lockheed Martin Invests $26 million in Kentucky Facility

Lockheed Martin Invests $26 million in Kentucky Facility

Gov. Steve Beshear has announced Lockheed Martin is reaffirming its commitment to Kentucky with a $26 million investment at Lexington’s Bluegrass Station.  The global security company was recently awarded a major contract for Logistics Support Services that will result in securing its statewide presence, as well as add 224 new, full-time jobs in Lexington over the length of the contract. “This $26 million investment by Lockheed Martin sends a strong and clear message that Kentucky is a true partner with its existing businesses,” said Gov. Beshear. “Not only will this project enhance Lockheed Martin’s existing footprint in Kentucky, it will add 224 new jobs in the Lexington community.  This is a win-win situation for everyone.” The logistics contract is supported by 1,856 full-time Lockheed Martin and partner company employees across Kentucky, including Bluegrass Station, Fort Campbell and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond.  Lockheed Martin’s investment will entail numerous improvements to existing state-owned facilities, as well as equipment costs that will increase the performance and longevity of the operations. “This investment will improve the existing equipment, tools, and facility infrastructure as well the overall efficiency and quality of work to position us as a world-class sustainment operation within the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Howard Yellen, Lockheed Martin vice president. “Our joint vision is to develop the existing workforce while making strategic investments in equipment and infrastructure for the long-term growth into a Sustainment Center of Excellence.” The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Lockheed Martin Corporation for tax incentives up to $15 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The performance-based incentive will allow Lockheed Martin to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. KEDFA also approved the company for tax benefits up to $415,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).  KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment. “Lockheed Martin is ranked 44th on the Fortune 500 list and is an international leader in the aerospace and defense industries,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.  “These are good jobs with a future.  We’re extremely pleased that Lockheed Martin is remaining and growing jobs in our community.” “Many people don’t realize it, but from an employment standpoint, the military’s impact is felt throughout the Bluegrass. Together, Bluegrass Station in Fayette County and Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond account for an annual economic […]


Green Light Turns Yellow

Historians call the period from 1876 to 1905 the Second Industrial Revolution in America. Here’s a quick rundown of the innovations that remade the nation in this 30-year span: 1876 — Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. 1879 — Thomas Edison invents the incandescent light bulb. 1892 — Rudolf Diesel patents the diesel engine. 1899 — Marconi invents the wireless. 1903 — The Wright Brothers make the first successful flight over Kitty Hawk, NC. Within a few years of these developments, most Americans could sit down in their armchairs, turn on their reading lamps, pick up the phone and make a reservation to travel across the country on an airplane. We are now going through a similar period of innovation and high expectations. Homeowners across the country are thinking about the feasibility of installing a wind turbine in their driveway or covering the roof of their house with solar shingles. The age of alternative energy has arrived. But while individuals are taking the lead in making green energy part of their everyday lives, our government seems to have lost its mojo to Do Big Things. In recent months, the United States has moved to the front burner its effort to power our economy with alternative energy. The federal government has put its full weight behind the fast-tracking of an assortment of mega-projects to build huge wind farms, solar arrays and the beginning of a national renewable energy power grid. The national energy strategy, as enunciated by the Obama Administration, embraces all forms of alternative energy, including hydropower, geothermal energy and nuclear power. Regardless of the lingering debate on global warming (a.k.a. climate change), there seems to be a solidifying consensus that the conversion to renewable energy is a top national priority. But opposition to a fast-track conversion suddenly has emerged from some surprising (and not-so-surprising) quarters. The opponents all have their own particular concerns, but these may cumulatively succeed in flashing a yellow caution signal on the fast track to a green energy future. As reported in this space, the first big alt energy counteroffensive came from the U.S. military. A bevy of Air Force generals fired off a heat-seeking missile from the Pentagon aimed at the heart of the burgeoning wind power sector. The Air Force declared that giant U.S.-based wind turbines pose a threat to national security. According to the top brass at the Pentagon, the radar signature of a giant windmill looks like an aircraft (with propellers, we assume) or a strange weather formation. This might cause a distraction […]


KBA Funds National Animal Health Center of Innovation

KBA Funds National Animal Health Center of Innovation

A new “high-speed lane” will be built along the Animal Health Corridor that spans Kansas and Missouri, thanks to a $1-million investment by the Kansas Bioscience Authority. At its board meeting in Washington, DC, the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) approved seed money to establish a public-private consortium called the National Center of Animal Health Innovation. This “center of innovation” will bring nine area animal health companies, plus regional universities and government agencies together to accelerate job creation, research, development and commercialization of the next generation of animal health and nutrition products. “This proposal is part of an overall strategy to position Kansas as the nation’s innovation hub for animal health and animal disease research and product development,” said Tom Thornton, President and CEO of the KBA. “The center will be led by and responsive to industry. Already, these leading companies have identified opportunities to work together to support new product development to advance the competitive position of their companies and the regional economy. Bottom line, we are talking about the potential to create new products, new companies, new jobs and whole new industries for Kansas.” Participating companies include: Bayer Animal Health, Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Centaur, Ceva Biomune, Hennessey Research, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Intervet/Schering Plough, Nestle/Purina and Teva Animal Health. Participating universities, organizations and government agencies are expected to include: University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, Midwest Research Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Services, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, National Bio and Agro- Defense Facility (NBAF), Morris Animal Foundation, National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization (NISTAC), and others. In its first year, the center plans to establish its operations, recruit a CEO, top scientific advisors and board members, along with completing a strategic plan that will clearly define the Center’s mission, vision and value proposition. Additional funding will be based on the achievement of these and other key milestones. The Center and its goals align with the region’s focus on animal health. A 2006 study revealed 120 companies representing $6 billion of the $19 billion global animal health market were clustered between Manhattan, KS and Columbia, MO. “Our region has the largest single concentration of animal health companies in the world,” Thornton said. “The National Center for Animal Health Innovation will leverage this concentration of global leadership, smart people, incredible investments and cutting edge facilities to the benefit of Kansas for generations to come.” The National Center for Animal Health Innovation is the fourth “center of innovation” the KBA has initiated and funded. The other Centers of Innovation include the Kansas Alliance for Biorefining and Bioenergy, Inc., the Center of Innovation for […]