As the economy slowly rebounds, businesses will need to restructure their distribution networks to maximize efficiency and minimize miles to capitalize on the recovery when it occurs.
Many states are considering replacing state economic development agencies with public-private partnerships. We asked IEDC’s chief executive to tell us how these partnerships work. BF: Is a public-private partnership a more effective vehicle for job creation than a state economic development agency or a Department of Commerce? MR: It certainly has worked for us in Indiana. If you look at the results, IEDC has been three- or four-fold more productive as a public-private partnership. Indiana is now leading the nation in per capita private-sector job growth. We are very responsive—we move at the speed of business. If you ask us for a site search and an offer on your project, we can get that accomplished in a week and often within three days. We are a transactional agency. BF: How does IEDC interact with the governor and other top state officials to execute Indiana’s overall economic development strategy? MR: What separates us from our predecessors is not only the structure of the public-private partnership, but the focus that Gov. Daniels has brought to economic development. The governor chairs the IEDC board of directors and he has made it clear to every member of his cabinet that job growth is the top priority in the state of Indiana. So across state government, everyone is working to expedite economic development needs, including permitting and building roads. We have a great espirit de corps across the state government. When we prepare to bring a project to Indiana, we can bring together any parts of the state government that are needed to close the deal, get them in the same room, and get a positive answer that will create new jobs in Indiana. BF: How does a public-private partnership like IEDC maintain the transparency of its development efforts? MR: We are audited routinely, these audits are made public, and all of our transactions and expenditures are public, even more so than our predecessor agency. BF: State economic development agencies and some public-private partnerships have been challenged recently about their claims of job growth. What is the best way to verify that projects actually are generating the jobs they have promised? MR: We are precluded by statute from indicating an exact number of jobs because these jobs are attached to taxpayer ID numbers, and that information cannot be released. Also, many companies prefer not to release precise job numbers or undertake the cost of capturing and providing that information. We make certain that our tax incentives are post-performance, meaning the jobs have been created first […]
A new form of entertainment is coming to Jersey City later this year when Pole Position Raceway opens its doors just a mile away from the Statue of Liberty. The state-of-the-art indoor karting center will feature two giant race tracks inside a 75,000-square-foot-facility, and the location couldn’t be much better. “I think people are going to really be amazed at what we are creating,” said owner Eyal Farage. “Since I was introduced to this sport, I wanted to bring it to the East Coast, and there isn’t a better market or location. It’s appealing to people ages six to 60, and older.” Pole Position Races into Jersey City Pole Position Raceway was founded in Los Angeles, California in 2005 and has become the nation’s premiere chain of indoor kart tracks in the United States with six locations. Those involved with the Pole Position Raceway brand includes 2004 NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch, 7-time AMA Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath, X-games freestyle gold medalist Mike Metzger, and several dozen professional car and motorcycle racers. The company’s motto is “built for racers, by racers,” and they feel that everyone has a desire to go fast. Think karting is just kid’s play? Well, think again. The average customer age at the other facilities is 31 years old, and indoor kart racing is fun for the entire family and both casual and serious racers alike. The Jersey City facility will allow up to 10 drivers at a time to compete in side-by-side action. Best of all, the karts use electric technology so there are no fumes! “The idea of building a green facility was very important to me,” Farage added. “Electric technology has made significant advances during the past few years, and that really influenced our decision to bring it to this area. We have adult karts for racers who are at least 56 inches tall and separate junior karts for kids who are at least 48 inches tall.” With a plan to open additional Raceway’s in the Tri-State area, Eyal choose Jersey City for his first venue. First, Jersey City has become the “6th borough”. The transit system to and from enables millions of people from NYC boroughs to visit easily. Secondly, Jersey City dwellers are the people Pole Position Raceway targets to enjoy the karting experience. Thirdly, because a track requires a large space, most Pole Position Raceway’s are in industrial areas. “Jersey City has done a tremendous job incentivizing commercial business’s to add value in former industrial areas,” Farage said. The Liberty […]
Caterpillar Grows in Lee County, NC Caterpillar Inc. will enlarge its Sanford plant in Lee County, NC and create 325 jobs over the next four years. A Caterpillar supplier will also come to the city bringing 160 jobs. The $28 million expansion is expected to be complete by July of 2011 with new jobs paying an average annual wage of $35,602. Caterpillar is the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. The Sanford development will include a 270,000-square-foot building addition providing additional capacity to meet the growing demand for skid loaders used in landscaping and construction. Michael Walden, an economist with N.C. State says that Sanford offers an abundance of skilled labor and is connected to a good transportation network that allows the factory to supply businesses on the East Coast. This is the latest in a string of investments announced recently by the 13-county Research Triangle Region, which is home to The Research Triangle Park (RTP), the three urban core counties of Durham, Orange and Wake and the 10 rural counties of Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Person, Vance and Warren. In 2010, new and expanding companies announced more than $233 million in capital investments in those 10 counties for projects expected to create 675 jobs over the next few years. That follows more than $316 million in investments and 1,240 new jobs announced in those counties during 2009. Caterpillar’s decision has broad implications for the Research Triangle Region, as the company can receive as much as $8 million in state and local incentives if it meets hiring goals in Sanford and retains at least 739 existing jobs at its factories in Clayton and Sanford. The company must also keep 86 administrative jobs in Cary or move them elsewhere in North Carolina. ATG Access Gears Up Transition to Harnett County ATG Access Inc., a UK based company that came to Harnett County, NC in 2009, announced that they have acquired the vehicle barrier and gate division of the Canadian Allen-Vanguard Corporation. ATG will fully transition the business from Canada to their facility in Lillington, NC. The company will remain at eight employees, but 2,000 square feet of space at its Lillington site has been identified for future expansion related to this acquisition. “They assured us there would be room for our expansion here in Harnett County,” CEO Ray Barnett says, “and they certainly have supported us. This acquisition comes on the back of strong performance for almost […]
Business Facilities LiveXchange is an invitation-only event for corporate executives responsible for choosing a new location for their companies’ next facility. Delegates meet with senior economic developers from across North America; attend seminars, workshops, and think tanks led by experts in the field of relocation and expansion; and network with other corporate executives faced with the same corporate growth challenges. This month, we preview some of the high-profile speakers who will be making presentations at our 2010 LiveXchange keynote address, seminars and workshops.
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.
The Race to Plan the “Ultimate City” Starts at the Airport
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 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.