Piper Aircraft Decides to Stay and Expand in Vero Beach A highly competitive, two-year site selection process ended favorably for Florida when Piper Aircraft announced in May that it would keep its headquarters in Vero Beach and significantly expand its manufacturing facilities at the Florida location. A $32-million incentive package that was included in an agreement between the company, the state and Indian River County sealed the deal, according to officials. The retention of the aircraft manufacturing facility keeps more than 900 jobs in Vero Beach, to which an additional 453 will be added by 2012. “Piper Aircraft’s continued presence will mean thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in wages, economic development and other contributions for Indian River County, surrounding communities and our state,” says Governor Charlie Crist. “Florida is continuing to attract cutting-edge, technology-based companies, like Piper, that expand our state’s innovation economy,” he adds. Piper Aircraft conducted an extensive site search and looked closely at Oklahoma City, OK and Albuquerque, NM, before reaching its decision to remain in Vero Beach. According to reports, the $32-million incentive package for Piper is tied to a commitment from the company to retain a workforce of at least 1,417 through 2015. The incentive package will help Piper make capital investments in facilities, technology, equipment and tooling. During the negotiations with Piper, county commissioners initially planned to have the incentive package approved in a referendum, but they opted not to go forward with the ballot initiative. Most of the new jobs at Piper will be generated in the run-up to production of the company’s new ultralight PiperJet in Vero Beach. Piper currently has about 160 certified aircraft models, an estimated 90,000 of which are still flying. Overall, the company’s operations are expected to generate a $518-million impact on the local economy. Piper Aircraft president and CEO Jim Bass, who joined Gov. Crist at the announcement of the deal in May, characterized the agreement as more than a “vote of confidence” in the company’s longtime home of Vero Beach. “Our decision also is a commitment by Piper to Indian River County and the State of Florida,” he said. Partners in the expansion project include Enterprise Florida, the City of Vero Beach and Indian River County. High-tech Firms Moving into South Florida Three international technology companies-BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, cell phone manufacturer FoxConn International Holdings, and General Dynamics C4 Systems, a communications and information systems firm-recently committed to locate new facilities in South Florida, bringing more than 400 high-paying jobs with […]
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Annette Antoniak heads the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Secretariat, an organization that manages British Columbia’s finances for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Previously, Antoniak worked for the Pacific National Exhibition as the company’s youngest ever CEO. BF: What role does environmental sustainability play when constructing new Olympic venues? AA: Sustainability has been an important component for all 2010 Winter Games venues from the initial planning stages. Some examples include the Whistler Olympic Park, which has an on-site wastewater treatment plant that can be adjusted to accommodate both pre- and post-Games user numbers, while the spectacular wooden roof of the Richmond Oval consists of more than one million board feet of pine beetle-killed timber from British Columbia forests. These are just two examples of how sustainable building practices play a vital role in preparing for the 2010 Winter Games. Once the 2010 Games are over, these venues and others will fulfill a number of important community needs, as well as providing a significant long-term sports legacy. BF: How do the Olympics affect a host city’s workforce? What kinds of jobs are created, and are they filled by local workers or out-of-area workers? AA: British Columbia’s construction sector is booming at the moment, and venue construction has been a key contributor to that trend. As various jobs are created, both local and foreign workers are enlisted to fill the positions. By 2010, the Vancouver Organizing Committee alone anticipates having a total workforce of more than 55,000, including 1,400 paid staff, 25,000 volunteers, 3,500 temporary staff, 10,000 contractors, and 15,000 ceremony participants. BF: What specific industries within a host city are affected by the Olympics? AA: Tourism is expected to be a major boon for the 2010 Winter Games. With more than 1.6 million tickets available for the Olympic Games and 250,000 tickets for the Paralympic Games, British Columbia expects the world at its doorstep. Local businesses will benefit from the sheer number of people walking the streets, while large firms will benefit from tremendous international exposure. Profit and Loss Statistics from Past Summer Olympic Games (1976 to 2004) 1976: Montreal, $1 billion loss 1980: Moscow, $5 million loss 1984: Los Angeles, $225 million profit 1988: Seoul, $341.4 million profit 1992: Barcelona, $5 million profit 1996: Atlanta, $10 million profit 2000: Sydney, $1.7 billion profit 2004: Athens, $8.5 to $10 billion loss Source: The International Olympic Committee and National Olympic Committees Beijing Olympics: Not Business As Usual By Peter Torlucci Businesses in the Beijing metro area will either suspend operations or make […]
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