BF Staff Archives

Northrop Grumman Picks Northern VA for New Headquarters

Northrop Grumman Picks Northern VA for New Headquarters

VA Gov. Bob McDonnell announced today that Northrop Grumman Corp. has officially selecting Northern Virginia over Maryland and Washington, D.C., for its headquarters site, a move that will create 300 jobs. “The foremost priority of our administration is creating new jobs and getting our economy back on track. Today’s announcement that Northrop Grumman, a Fortune 100 company, is moving to Virginia is a major step forward in this effort,” McDonnell said. Northrop Grumman is a defense giant with 120,000 employees in aerospace, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. In a close contest since the company announced in January that it was moving its headquarters from Los Angeles, Loudoun County, MD was briefly considered as was Washington D.C., and other counties in Maryland. After a four-month search, Falls Church, Arlington and Alexandria reportedly are the remaining contenders for the headquarters facility. All of the sites under consideration would place the corporation close to the Pentagon. “Virginia, Maryland and the District put forward compelling, competitive offers,” said Wes Bush, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman.  “Our final decision was driven largely by facility considerations, proximity to our customers, and overall economics.” Gov. McDonnell told WTOP radio that Virginia will give Northrop Grumman about $14 million in grants and cash incentives.


New Facilities to Create 857 Jobs in Georgia

New Facilities to Create 857 Jobs in Georgia

A German company plans to build a wind energy plant and bring 215 new jobs to Gainesville, GA. ZF Group, an automotive industry supplier, said the plant will make wind turbine gearboxes for systems that convert wind energy into electricity. The company will invest $90 million in the project. The news from ZF Group was the third job-creation announcement in the Atlanta area in the past week. On Thursday, an Arkansas frozen baked goods maker, De Wafelbakkers, said it will take over an abandoned bakery in Henry County and hire 242 workers over the next three years to make waffles, pancakes and French toast. A day earlier, word came that General Electric will create 400 new jobs in Cobb County when it opens its futuristic Smart Grid Center of Excellence this year. As for the wind energy plant, it will be built in the Gainesville Business Park, near an existing ZF facility that makes axle drives and transmissions for passenger vehicles and heavy construction equipment. That facility has been in operation about 20 years, state officials said. “There is a heightened global focus on renewable energy production, and we believe there is an opportunity to leverage our automotive driveline and chassis technology leadership in this exciting and growing alternative energy sector,” ZF executive Elizabeth Umberson said in a statement. Construction is scheduled to begin immediately, with the plant to open in February 2011. Production is set to start January 2012. The company will receive economic incentives for the project including tax credits, as well as free, customized employee training assistance from the Quick Start program, state officials said.


St. Joe Launches 1,000-acre Development in NW Florida

St. Joe Launches 1,000-acre Development in NW Florida

The St. Joe Company has launched VentureCrossings Enterprise Centre at West Bay, Florida. VentureCrossings, one of the nation’s largest, most unique office, retail, hotel and industrial developments, encompasses the first 1,000 acres to be developed by St. Joe within the 75,000-acre West Bay Sector Plan adjacent to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport opening in May. The new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is the first international airport built in the United States in the last 15 years, replacing the existing Panama City – Bay County International Airport. St. Joe donated 4,000 acres within its West Bay Sector Plan for the construction of the new airport. VentureCrossings includes approximately 100 acres designated for retail, office and hotel uses, approximately 300 acres for light industrial uses, and approximately 600 acres for manufacturing, distribution and logistics companies seeking “through the fence” access to the new airport’s 10,000-foot runway. Within VentureCrossings, St. Joe is developing an approximately 50,000 square foot Class A multi-tenant office building with construction beginning later this year. The Company is relocating its corporate headquarters, currently in Jacksonville, Florida, to this multi-tenant building by the summer of 2011. The new offices will provide St. Joe with a location central to its numerous residential communities and commercial properties, as well as its lands slated for new business and development opportunities in the region. “VentureCrossings is an unparalleled greenfield site and a unique multi-modal opportunity for expanding businesses interested in air, land and sea access,” said Kevin Johnson, St. Joe’s Vice President of Economic Development. “Because of our region’s strong military presence and transportation assets, West Bay is an ideal growth area for industries including aerospace, defense, renewable energy and logistics services.” Northwest Florida already has seven military installations and research institutions, including Tyndall and Eglin Air Force Bases. The region is also home to over 1,900 aerospace and defense businesses, in addition to a well-trained workforce that includes military personnel, veterans and retirees. St. Joe has engaged CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, to help attract VentureCrossings’ first retail, office and industrial occupants for this prime development location. “VentureCrossings is an exceptional location for companies requiring large capacity and room for expansion with proximity to the new international airport, the deepwater port at Port Panama City, rail and highway connections, and an attractive quality of life,” said Robert McFarlane, Senior Vice President, CB Richard Ellis Global Corporate Services. “We believe VentureCrossings will attract companies seeking to benefit from the ‘blank canvas’ this major new […]


Drew Industries Plans New Plant in Chester County, SC

Drew Industries Plans New Plant in Chester County, SC

The South Carolina Department of Commerce and Chester County have announced that Kinro Inc., a subsidiary of Drew Industries Incorporated (NYSE: DW) will locate its new manufacturing plant in Chester County. The $978,300 investment is expected to create 125 new jobs. “We are thrilled to move forward with our new facility in Chester County. Our market share has increased, and this new plant will help us meet growing demand from our customers. Chester County has provided us with an excellent pre-existing facility, and the positive business environment and available labor force make the area a great fit for us. We appreciate the support we have received from state and local officials,” said Jason Lippert, Kinro’s president and CEO. The company will manufacture entry doors and windows for manufactured homes and other industries. Kinro is locating its new operation in the former Philips Products plant in Chester. “As businesses prepare for the economic recovery, many companies continue to see the many benefits of investing in South Carolina. In fact, Drew Industries’ decision to locate its new plant in Chester County is another indication that our business-friendly climate and skilled workforce are working to attract new investment and create opportunities for South Carolinians in both our rural and urban communities. We welcome Drew Industries to our state’s business community and wish them success in their endeavors here,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce. “We wish to thank Drew Industries for their vote of confidence in Chester County with the location of their door and window manufacturing operation here. We are confident that Drew Industries has found an excellent environment for growth here and a workforce that is ready, able and willing to go to work to make them successful!  We continue to be focused on creating new and better paying job opportunities for the citizens of Chester County,” said County Supervisor R. Carlisle Roddey. “Drew Industries’ commitment to create 125 new jobs in Chester County is just what the doctor ordered. Chester has a wonderful team working to bring industry to the county and I feel this is the tip of the iceberg. I hope, and I believe, more is to come,” said state Sen. Creighton Coleman. The company expects to begin hiring for the positions now and continue hiring over the next 12 months. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should contact the Chester Workforce Center at 803-377-8147. Drew, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Kinro and Lippert Components, supplies a broad array of components for RVs and manufactured homes, including windows, doors, […]


Brother, Can You Spare a Cot?

Throughout the economic downturn that plagued the nation during the past two years, North Dakota has been immune to the catastrophic loss of jobs afflicting the rest of the U.S. This can be explained in one word: Oil. The explosive growth of the oil-drilling industry in the Peace Garden State (yes, that’s its official nickname) has given it the lowest unemployment rate in the country. While population centers like California and Michigan still are grappling with double-digit joblessness, North Dakota’s unemployment level has not exceeded 4 percent. However, according to a front-page report this week in The New York Times, the robust employment news in the northern Plains has been accompanied by an unexpected down side. The Times reports that laid-off workers from states across the country who have flocked to North Dakota have had little trouble getting hired—but they have been having a difficult time finding a place to live. Joey Scott drove from Montana in his pickup truck to Williston, ND. He found work in the oil fields a few weeks ago—but he is spending his nights sleeping in the truck in a Wal-Mart parking lot. “It’s hard to know where this might end,” Williston Mayor E. Ward Koesler told the Times. “It’s the one thing that sometimes wakes me up in the morning and doesn’t let me go to sleep.” Mayor Koesler has been asking the state for emergency housing aid for Williston after watching his town’s population grow to 15,000 from 12,000 in a fortnight. We’ve got a better idea. When the economic collapse hit bottom, Elkhart, Indiana was cited as a symbol of the national malaise because it had one of the highest unemployment rates in the U.S. The Indiana town got a special visit from President Obama, who gave the workers at one of its manufacturing plants a pep talk. The facility the 44th president visited makes huge RVs—as in recreational vehicles, the kind that are big enough to live in. So here’s a helpful suggestion: If President Obama isn’t too busy rounding up loose nukes and reining in Wall Street fat cats, perhaps he could scoop up some federal stimulus bucks and arrange to purchase a fleet of Elkhart’s finest RVs and send them up to Mayor Koesler. More jobs for Elkhart. More beds for Williston. Problem solved. Pleasant dreams, mayor.


Earth Day at 40: MLB Pitches In

Earth Day at 40: MLB Pitches In

Marking the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Major League Baseball has become to first professional sports league to put its stadium operations under a green microspcope. MLB is collaborating with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to develop a comprehensive software system to collect and analyze stadium operations data. The analysis of operations at 30 baseball stadiums marks the first time a professional sports league will implement a software program throughout the league to collect data for the purpose of documenting environmental practices and for sharing information about environmental best practices at stadiums. Initially, four categories of environmental data will be collected and calculated: — Energy use, including total energy used, sources of energy, and use of renewable energy — Waste generation, including total waste generated, materials diverted for recycling and composting, and cost of disposal — Water use, including amount of water used, water conserved, and cost of water use, — Paper procurement, including the amount of recycled paper used in club offices, in stadium restrooms and for yearbooks, game-day programs and media guides “Major League Baseball has responsibilities to our fans and society at large that go beyond the playing field,” said Baseball Commissioner, Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Our Clubs have made a commitment to sustainability and are leaders in their communities raising awareness and educating fans not just on Earth Day, but everyday about environmental stewardship.” MLB Clubs have worked with the NRDC during the past few years to develop recycling programs, reduce their energy use, purchase renewable energy and educate fans about what they can do to reduce their impact on the planet. “The commitment by our national pastime to enhance its ecological profile in a meaningful and public way marks a watershed in the history of the environmental movement,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council. “No other sporting institution has influenced American culture as much as baseball and MLB is once again putting that influence to very good use. Baseball is a game of statistics and the League’s commitment to systematically document and measure environmental practices of all Clubs at all stadiums underscores the leadership and commitment of MLB to make environmental progress. All professional leagues should follow this important example.”


Romania Aims for Wind Energy Lead

Romania Aims for Wind Energy Lead

Iberdrola SA has won approval to build the world’s largest onshore wind-energy project in Romania, requiring at least $2 billion in investment through 2017, Bloomberg.com reports. The Spanish utility said it acquired rights from the Romanian government to build 1,500 megawatts of capacity, almost five times the power coming from Europe’s largest wind complex and triple the output of the controversial Cape Wind project under consideration off the coast of Massachusetts. Iberdrola, which charges above-market electricity rates for clean energy, now operates in 10 markets including the U.S. and U.K. The Romanian mega-park, near its operations in neighboring Hungary, may extend the Spanish company’s lead over second-ranked wind producer FPL Group Inc. of Florida. Romania currently generates much of its electricity by burning oil and gas. The Romanian government is considering a law to double the number of “green certificates” eligible for wind power and boost the total price per megawatt-hour by 25 percent,. The Iberdrola Renovables SA renewable-energy unit plans 50 Romanian wind parks that would supply the equivalent of almost 1 million homes. The project amounts to a third of the new wind power Iberdrola plans for Eastern Europe, after investing 100 million euros there in 2009. The average cost to buy and install wind turbines around the world is about 1.3 million euros ($1.75 million) a megawatt, according to New Energy Finance. Using those figures, Iberdrola’s Dobrogea project in southeastern Romania on the Black Sea would cost more than $2 billion, Bloomberg reports.


Unilife Medical Solutions Moves HQ to Pennsylvania

Unilife Medical Solutions Moves HQ to Pennsylvania

Gov. Ed Rendell has announced that Pennsylvania is investing $2.2 million to assist Unilife Medical Solutions, an Australian medical supply company, to transfer its headquarters to Lewisberry to bring 241 new jobs to York County. Unilife received the loan as part of the state’s efforts to fund job-creating economic development projects. More than $6.7 million in loans were approved for various business ventures in several counties, including York, Allegheny, Berks, Philadelphia and Washington counties. Gov. Rendell said the projects approved for the loans—anging from $30,000 to $2.2 million—will create more than 10,000 new jobs in the state, according to the Department of Community and Economic Development. Unilife’s $2.2-million loan was approved by the state’s Commonwealth Financing Authority, according to a press release from the state’s DCED. The new jobs will range from engineering and automated assembly to quality control and testing. Rendell said the $2.2 million the state is investing in Unilife also will serve as crucial gap financing to help it finish building a $27 million corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility, according to a report at yorkdispatch.com. “Unilife made a commitment to Pennsylvania when it decided to move its global headquarters from Australia,” Rendell said in a statement. “We’re keeping our commitment by providing financial resources that will ensure this vital project is completed.” Keystone Redevelopment Group LLC received the $2.2 million loan on behalf of Unilife Medical Solutions through the state’s Building PA Program, according to the DCED. Unilife makes medical safety products such as pre-filled syringes to prevent accidental needle wounds. Last year, the company moved its headquarters into a 50,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by its subsidiary, Integrated BioSciences Inc., at 633 Lowther Road, but the projected increase in demand for its products has prompted the company to build a larger facility.


Qiagen Expanding in Germantown, MD

Qiagen Expanding in Germantown, MD

Qiagen has plans to invest around $52 million in expanding its operations at its North American headquarters in Germantown, Md., according to a statement released by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. The firm intends to add 90 full-time positions in connection with the expansion by 2015, as well as 117,000 square feet of new manufacturing and office space. The State of Maryland will aid the expansion with a $700,000 loan provided by the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund. In addition, Montgomery County, in which Qiagen is located, will provide a $300,000 grant through its Montgomery County Economic Development Fund. Qiagen also is eligible for Maryland’s job creation tax credit, as well as local property tax credits and workforce and training programs. “We are experiencing rapid growth of our global business, and are pleased to expand our operations and employee base here in Maryland, a region that is an epicenter of bioscience and genomics research, discovery, manufacturing and commercialization,” Sean Augerson, senior director of Qiagen’s North American Operations, said in a statement. Qiagen currently employs around 3,500 people worldwide, with 1,150 of those positions in the US. It employs 580 individuals in Montgomery County and nearly 700 employees state-wide, according to the statement. Qiagen established its U.S. headquarters in Germantown 10 years ago. It expanded its operations in Maryland through its acquisitions of Digene and SABiosciences.


Pentagon Claims Wind Turbines Deflect Defense Radar

Pentagon Claims Wind Turbines Deflect Defense Radar

The Pentagon is threatening to block a project in eastern Oregon planned as the world’s largest wind farm, claiming that the giant turbines could interfere with an Air Force radar system, according to a report in today’s Washington Post. Caithness Energy had planned to break ground two weeks from now on the 845-megawatt, $2 billion Shepherds Flat wind farm near Arlington, OR. But last month, Pentagon officials moved to deny the developer its final Federal Aviation Administration permit. The move has sparked an intense lobbying battle and threatened 16,000 new jobs. The Pentagon’s objections could put at risk three other major wind projects in the same region, along with proposed farms in states from Illinois to Texas. Sen. Ron Wyden told the Post the dispute “is not about one project. It’s about the future of renewable, domestic, clean power.” The standoff centers on whether the blades of the Shepherds Flat project’s 338 turbines would interfere with a radar system in Fossil, OR because radar signals reflect off the blades when they’re in certain positions.