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60 Seconds with Tracye McDaniel, CEO, Choose New Jersey

60 Seconds with Tracye McDaniel, CEO, Choose New Jersey

ZERO NO LONGER      On the first day of this month, a dark cloud that loomed over the 16-acre parcel in New York City known as Ground Zero evaporated with news from overseas that justice finally had been visited upon the perpetrator of the September 11 attacks.      We hope this long-awaited reckoning will enable the 10th anniversary ceremonies in New York this fall to mark the rebirth of the World Trade Center site.      Construction crews in downtown Manhattan are working 24/7 to make sure the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is ready for viewing on the anniversary. The footprints of the Twin Towers are being converted into recessed pools surrounded by trees; a glass-enclosed pavilion will welcome visitors.      Also rising on the World Trade Center site is a 1,776-ft. skyscraper, which upon completion will be the tallest building in New York, and a $2-billion transportation hub featuring a unique wingspan design by architect Santiago Calatrava.      The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which built the original World Trade Center and owns the site, offers a website with a daily view of the construction progress at http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/index.html. Tracye McDaniel, CEO of Choose New Jersey; Don Slaght, Managing Director, Advance Real Estate Solutions; and Andrew Shapiro, Managing Director, Biggins, Lacy, Shapiro & Company, recently participated in a panel discussion on New Jersey’s economic development efforts. Here are excerpts: DS: Mr. Slaght noted that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority currently has more than thirty incentive programs designed to help bring businesses to New Jersey and assist businesses in the state with growth issues. The major negative, despite these initiatives, is the impact of the New Jersey tax profile on profitability and the regulatory requirements that force delays of years to put a shovel in the ground despite the financial incentive programs. Noting that Ms. McDaniel has relocated from Houston, TX, he pointed out that Texas serves as the national model of economic development initiatives. TM: Ms. McDaniel lauded Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno for the bold move in establishing ChooseNJ, an organization that will align business and political leaders to make progress on the issues that stymie business growth in the state. The main function of ChooseNJ will be to generate leads for business attraction and job growth. Ms. McDaniel noted ChooseNJ has commissioned a “Perception Study” of 4,000 CEO’s in and outside of New Jersey as a first step in determining the strategic initiatives to enhance business and job growth. The other major initiative is […]



Minnesota Corporate Moves

AGCO Expands Massey Ferguson Line in Jackson An expansion of AGCO’s tractor plant in southwestern Minnesota is expected to generate up to 150 new jobs, many in production. Gov. Mark Dayton arrived at the plant this month in a Massey Ferguson tractor to officially open the 75,000-square-foot addition in Jackson. Some 900 employees gathered to celebrate the expansion, which brings the Massey Ferguson product line back to the United States. AGCO’s addition includes a visitor’s center with a showroom, dining area and movie theater. The Fairmount Sentinel reports the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development estimates Jackson’s economic output will grow by more than $2 million. AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, recently announced it plans to make investments in its North American manufacturing capabilities. “We are continuing to focus on increasing our manufacturing presence in North America, particularly with investments in our Hesston, Kansas and Jackson, Minnesota facilities,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “We intend to make substantial investments in our North American plants over the next few years. These investments will reinforce our commitment to our North American customers and dealers.” In a first step, AGCO will transfer its high horsepower, wheeled tractor assembly for tractors sold in North America from its tractor manufacturing facility in Beauvais, France to AGCO’s operations in Jackson, Minnesota. “The expansion of high horsepower tractor production will include an extension of the assembly line and investments in advanced material handling systems to efficiently deliver parts and material to the assembly line,” said Robert B. Crain, Senior Vice President and General Manager AGCO North America. “In addition, AGCO will build a state of the art visitor center in Jackson to significantly enhance the experience for our customers and dealers.” In total, the existing plant will be expanded by about 75,000 square feet. Plans are to begin assembly of AGCO’s high horsepower Massey Ferguson 8600 Series and Challenger MT600C Series tractors sold in the North American market in late 2011. AGCO has made significant progress in improving its North American operating results, mainly driven by new products, factory productivity and logistics savings initiatives. “We see continued strong demand in the high horsepower tractor market sector driven by improving economics for the professional farmer,” explained Mr. Crain. “The production of high horsepower row crop tractors in Jackson will allow us to be more responsive to market demands and customer needs.” AGCO’s Beauvais, France facility will also receive significant investment in 2011 in order to boost new model introductions, […]


Mississippi Corporate Moves

Grenada Stamping & Assembly Expands in Mississippi The Grenada County Economic Development District (EDD) has announced that Grenada Stamping and Assembly, supplier of parts to the appliance, automotive, HVAC/R and off-highway markets is expanding its operations in Grenada. The project represents a $500,000 company investment and will create 40 new jobs. The company, which recently received ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) certification, last expanded its operations in March of this year. This latest expansion by Grenada Stamping accommodates the addition of an air tank production line that will manufacture tanks in a variety of sizes and for a number of applications, including those in the over-the-road, defense and aviation markets. The City of Grenada will receive $135,000 in a Development Infrastructure (DIP) grant from the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) to support the company’s diversification efforts. The City will provide a match of $15,000 and the funds will be used to modernize a city owned building that will host the new production line. A subsidiary of Ice Industries, which is headquartered in Sylvania, Ohio, Grenada Stamping and Assembly has a broad menu of capabilities, including the ability to blank, form, weld and assemble a variety of materials of various strengths and thicknesses. In addition to serving a variety of OEMs in the U.S., ICE industries is a supplier to Electrolux® and First Solar Panels in Canada, provides parts to Ford Motor Company in Argentina, Copeland in Northern Ireland, Belgium, Thailand and China, and Nissan in Mexico and Japan. Gary Houston, General Manager of Grenada Stamping, stated, “This new production line is a great leap forward in our diversification efforts for the Grenada plant. The Grenada County EDD successfully expedited all processes to get our project off the ground in record time and that made a huge difference in our ability to get to market expeditiously. We are most grateful to the EDD, the MDA and the City of Grenada for their unwavering support.” Timothy Chism, a member of the Grenada City Council said, “We are thrilled to see Grenada Stamping diversify its business base in the community. The City is committed to supporting our existing companies and will continue to work closely with the EDD to expedite any projects that create jobs for our citizens.” Darrell Robinson, County Supervisor for District 4 added, “The Board is excited to hear that Grenada Stamping will expand again and continue to create jobs in Grenada. We look forward to celebrating their future success in Grenada County.” The EDD also announced that the Grenada […]







Colorado Corporate Moves

Vestas Opens World’s Largest Wind Tower Plant in Pueblo Vestas Towers America, Inc. recently held the grand opening of what it says is the world’s largest wind tower manufacturing plant. The new Pueblo, CO facility features nearly 13 million square feet of space and eight miles of on-site railway tracks for the transport of materials and finished tower components. The opening of Vestas Towers gives Vestas, a global leader in wind turbine production, a substantial capability to address growing needs among North American wind power plants for reliable, high performance wind turbines. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined a host of regional and local Colorado dignitaries, as well as Vestas Towers President Knud Bjarne Hansen and Vestas Americas President Martha Wyrsch, during a ribbon cutting ceremony. Participants at the grand opening ceremony recognized a factory that currently employs more than 400 workers and is capable, at peak production, of producing 1,090 towers per year. The event also kicked off Secretary Salazar’s national renewable energy tour, which spans Colorado, Nevada and California. The steel industry has and will continue to play a large role in Pueblo’s identity, but as seen here today, the renewable energy industry is carving its own path into the city and state’s history, said Secretary Salazar. Colorado is committed to the development of a clean energy economy, and I applaud Vestas for recognizing the potential of Colorado’s landscape and workforce. Vestas Towers America, Inc. has the ability to process more than 200,000 tons of steel per year— enough to build two bridges the size of the Golden Gate every year, or the equivalent of 28 Eiffel Towers. Locating the factory along major highway and railroad lines provides Vestas with the ability to meet customers’ needs with locally managed logistical efficiencies, which translates directly to cost and environmental benefits. “We are extremely pleased to simultaneously provide job opportunities for the local community and outstanding product for our customers made right here in Colorado,” said Hansen. “We have deliberately located our factories in a central region in the U.S.– including our towers, nacelles and blades plants—because regional centralization allows Vestas to build and ship locally in any direction needed in North America, and that translated to a direct competitive advantage for all of our stakeholders.” In the past few months, Vestas Towers America, Inc., has been actively recruiting and hiring people who are skilled in a range of desirable jobs ranging from engineering to human resources and from welding to painting. The company has attended numerous local […]