Gov. Gary Herbert is busy cultivating an economic “garden” in the Beehive State, planting a culture of enhanced entrepreneurship in fertile soil for business expansions yielding a bountiful crop of homegrown jobs.
Cummins to Expand Seymour Engine Plant Executives from Cummins Inc. joined recently with Lt. Governor Becky Skillman to announce the company will expand its High-Horsepower Technical Center and High-Horsepower engine product line at the newly renamed Seymour Engine Plant, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2015. The Fortune 500 Company plans to invest approximately $100 million in machinery, equipment and the construction of a 28,500 square-foot expansion of its technical center. The technical center expansion will almost double the current engineering footprint in the facility and increase Cummins’ High-Horsepower mechanical development capability. “Cummins is a homegrown Indiana company making its mark in nearly 200 countries and territories around the world. We are proud of what they’ve grown here and are excited to see them add even more high-wage, high-tech positions in southern Indiana,” said Skillman. The selection of the Seymour Engine Plant for this expansion is further evidence of Cummins’ commitment to Indiana. The facility opened in 1976 and currently manufactures diesel and natural gas engines used in mining, power generation, marine, oil and gas, and rail markets around the world. “Cummins is excited to be able to strengthen its presence in Indiana and provide more good jobs in our home region,” said Mark Gerstle, vice president and chief administrative officer. Preparations for the technical center expansion are scheduled to start immediately and construction is expected to be complete by mid-2011. Cummins plans to begin hiring engineers and mechanics immediately. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Cummins, Inc. up to $2.4 million in performance-based tax credits and $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Lawrenceburg will provide Seymour a $1.75 million regional economic development grant from its municipal development fund to assist with the project. The city of Seymour will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation. The company’s commitment is contingent upon all state and local government approvals “This is, obviously, great news for the entire region,” said Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman. “We are pleased that Cummins selected Seymour for this new project, and we have pledged to work with them as this project unfolds.” Portland Agriculture Expands into Solar Fort Recovery Construction & Equipment, LLC has announced it will expand its SolarAg division here, creating up to 120 new jobs by 2013. Founded in 2003, Fort Recovery Construction & Equipment designs agricultural buildings and equipment. In late 2009 it launched SolarAg to develop and produce solar collectors and equipment. The company plans to invest $1.9 million to renovate […]
The Race to Plan the “Ultimate City” Starts at the Airport
The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded more than $2.2 million to build a second small business innovation center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The announcement was made by Willie Taylor, regional director of the Economic Development Administration’s Philadelphia office. Taylor was joined at the downtown Wilkes-Barre site by U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Luzerne County Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla and officials from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corporation, an affiliate of the chamber, will undertake the project, which involves constructing a 30,000-square-foot building at 27-29 S. Main St. at an estimated cost of about $5 million. In addition to the award of $2,263,500 in federal funds, the project already received $2 million from the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Industrial Development Program and Local Share Account grant funds. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corp. will pay the remaining debt through equity financing, said John Augustine, senior director of economic and entrepreneurial development for the chamber. Construction of the new innovation center should begin in the first quarter of next year and will take about one year to construct, according to the chamber. Since its opening in 2004, the current Innovation Center on South Main Street has housed 15 start-up companies, which have created more than 115 jobs paying average annual wages of $62,000, according to the chamber. Twelve remain today in the entrepreneurial resource center. which provides service to start-up and early stage firms. The site for the second center is located in a Keystone Opportunity Zone, excluding it from specific state and local taxes.
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief
Gov. Chet Culver and CGS Tyre have announced that the company will invest $43 million in a new agricultural tire plant in Charles City, IA. The announcement was made at the Farm Progress Show. CGS Tyre said it would create 159 jobs at the new plant, which is expected to open in 2012. Gov. Culver said the Iowa Department of Economic Development has been talking about bringing the company to Iowa for the past six years. CGS Tyre and the Iowa DED signed an agreement at the news conference this week.
For almost 80 years, the Empire State Building has reigned supreme over the New York skyline. Although it was supplanted as the world’s tallest building in the 1970s, the Empire State Building never lost its unsurpassed majesty. The awesome spire that rose from the depths of the Great Depression in less than 14 months and soared into the imagination of everyone who wanted to touch the sky remains an iconic symbol of power, determination and achievement. The Empire State Building towered alone and apart from all the pretenders, a reassuring sentinel connecting our past with our future. Until now. A real estate outfit called Vornado Realty Trust has convinced New York City’s Planning Commission that it would be a great idea to build a hulking 1,216-foot-tall monstrosity on 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, two blocks west and directly in line with King Kong’s favorite roost on 34th and Fifth. If Vornado’s block of granite and glass goes ahead as planned, only the top 34 feet of the Empire State Building’s antenna will be visible to everyone west of the Hudson River. From the north, the two towers will look like a poorly planned replica of the World Trade Center, or perhaps the South Tower and the box it came in. Vornado is a large, faceless conglomerate that buys and sells properties. One of its first ventures in the late 1950s was a shabby department store in New Jersey called Two Guys From Harrison. After selling a few truckloads of discount lampshades, a second store was opened in another Jersey town and the name was reduced to Two Guys. From this inspiring vision, a real estate dynasty was born. The ingenious planners of New York decided to permit Vornado to exceed the height limit for its tower at 15 Penn Plaza by a whopping 56 percent because the site is across the street from Pennsylvania Station, gotham’s busiest transit hub. The site of Vornado’s proposed atrocity adds irony to insult. New York City natives painfully recall the City Planning Commission’s 1967 approval of the demolition of the original Penn Station to make way for a third and depressingly round iteration of Madison Square Garden. The original Penn Station was a Victorian masterpiece. Its wanton destruction has long been considered the vilest desecration of New York’s architecture in the city’s storied history. The current Penn Station is a cramped and underground rat warren that is so bad the city has been trying without success for two decades to convert the mammoth U.S. Post […]
The Pentagon is not backing down on its claim that clusters of huge wind turbines springing up across the land are a threat to military operations and national security in general. To the contrary, the Department of Defense has made itself the biggest obstacle to the development of wind energy in the United States. A report in today’s New York Times includes this mind-boggling statistic: last year, DOD succeeded in blocking projects that would have generated an estimated 9000 MW of wind power—nearly as much as the total amount of wind-energy capacity that actually was built in 2009. Faced with the prospect of taking on the military-industrial complex, many developers either abandoned or delayed their wind-farm plans. Projects that came under fire from the big five-sided building in Washington have included wind farms in the Columbia River Gorge and turbines planned for the Great Lakes Region. More recently, the Pentagon has turned its guns on plans to erect the nation’s largest wind-energy combine in the Mojave Desert in California. The military says the largest wind turbines, which can be as high as 400 feet, are indistinguishable from airplanes on radar and can even cause “blackout” zones in which aircraft disappear from radar entirely. Clusters of wind turbines can look like storm activity on weather radar, the generals say, making it harder for air traffic controllers to give accurate weather information to pilots. DOD maintains that wind turbines pose an “unacceptable” risk to training, testing and even national security in certain regions. In an interview with the Times, Gary Siefert, who has been studying the radar-wind energy clash at the Idaho National Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy facility), called the argument between the military and the emerging wind-energy industry “the train wreck” of the new century. “The train wreck is the competing resources for two national needs: energy security and national security,” he said. Before things get out of hand—and a 2010 version of Gen. Ripper orders Air Force pilots to start using U.S. wind turbines for target practice—we have a few questions for the Joint Chiefs: — Regarding the alleged threat to national security, are you really going to wait until enemy jets reach the Great Lakes before you shoot them down? — You say wind turbines will cause our aircraft to “disappear” from radar. Haven’t we spent billions on stealth technology to make our aircraft disappear from radar? — If wind turbines look like aircraft on radar, won’t this help prevent our pilots from flying into them? — […]
TPI Composites, Inc., a leading global supplier of wind turbine blades, has announced plans to open a wind blade innovation center in Fall River, Massachusetts that will support TPI’s manufacturing facilities around the world. The Fall River plant will serve as a center for development of advanced blade manufacturing technology and a launching pad for new wind blade products. The facility will also offer limited production capacity for land based as well as offshore wind turbine blades. Governor Deval Patrick, U.S. Representative Barney Frank and Fall River Mayor William Flanagan took part in the announcement. The 69,000 square foot Fall River development center will initially allow TPI to manufacture blades as long as 62 meters with even larger blades possible with further expansion. Prototype blades produced at this location will be delivered by barge to the new Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, Massachusetts for testing and optimization. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our wind blade development and prototype capabilities through this new innovation center,” said Steve Lockard, president and CEO of TPI. “The efficient access to the water, proximity to an outstanding work force and support received from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city made Fall River the ideal place for TPI’s expansion. The addition of this facility will position TPI well for the future as the demand for larger, higher-performance wind turbine blades continues to grow.” “I welcome TPI Composites to Massachusetts, where they become part of our growing wind energy industry,” said Governor Patrick. “With facilities like the Wind Technology Testing Center and companies like TPI, Massachusetts will lead the nation in the next generation of wind energy technology.” To support this facility, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has awarded TPI a $250,000 grant, contingent upon creating and maintaining 30 jobs. The facility, located at the Tillotson Complex at 63 Water Street, is expected to open in early 2011 and will initially employ 30 to 50 associates. Neil Tillotson, who the complex is named for, was one of TPI’s initial investors in 1968. TPI built recreational boats in the building during the 1970s and 1980s. “Bringing a major wind blade manufacturer to the state to carry out development, testing and training for the advanced manufacturing of wind blades will help build the wind blade cluster in Massachusetts, and provide a local customer for our Wind Technology Testing Center,” said MassCEC’s Executive Director Patrick Cloney. The innovation center will operate as a sister facility to TPI’s Warren, Rhode Island plant located […]