Daily News Articles
Twenty million years ago, the oceans covered the area now known as Panama, flowing through a large gap in the continents of North and South America. Beneath the surface, two plates of the Earth’s crust were slowly colliding with each other, forcing the Pacific plate to slide under the Caribbean plate. The pressure and heat produced by this collision spawned underwater volcanoes. About 15 million years ago, some of these volcanoes grew tall enough to break the surface, forming a chain of islands. The islands gradually filled out as the two tectonic plates pushed up the sea floor, and, about three million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama emerged from the sea, a narrow strip of land dividing the two great oceans. According to scientists, the formation of the Isthmus of Panama was one of the most important geologic events on Earth in the past 60 million years, with great impact on the planet’s climate and environment. The sliver of land re-routed the currents of the great oceans, creating the Gulf Stream and warming the denizens of northwestern Europe. Biodiversity on the continents increased exponentially, as animals were able to migrate on land to all corners of the world. Nobody complained about this magnificently unfolding ecosystem until the guys with boats arrived. In the late 19th century, global commerce was carried on ships. Because there was no easy way to get from the Pacific to the Atlantic and vice versa, these ships had to travel thousands of miles out of their way to reach their destinations, through treacherous waters at the bottom of South America near Antarctica. This nagging problem was solved by one of the greatest feats in the history of human engineering, with a big assist from a political force of nature named Theodore Roosevelt. On August 14, 1914, the Panama Canal was completed, opening a 48-mile waterway between the two oceans and revolutionizing international commerce. Over the past century, the waterway cutting through the Isthmus has been a reliable and indispensable artery for the world’s goods. But, like all arteries, it became clogged as traffic–and, more importantly, the size of ships–increased. Today, this problem is being addressed with a $5.25-billion expansion of the Panama Canal that is scheduled to be completed on the Canal’s 100th anniversary in August 2014. The expansion will permit large ships from Asia to travel directly to East Coast destinations instead of offloading their goods on the West Coast and shipping them across the country by rail and road. The impending unveiling […]
HFL Sport Science Inc. has cut the ribbon on a new laboratory in Lexington, KY that will provide drug surveillance, doping control and research to equine and other sports industries. The lab, which represents a more than $4 million investment, will create 48 new jobs, including 25 high-tech positions, paying an average salary of over $47,000, exclusive of benefits. “HFL is establishing a world-class bioanalytical laboratory to deliver doping control and associated research for horseracing in Kentucky and nationwide,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Their testing services for various sport science activities, such as checking horse feed and sport supplements for banned substances, will help ensure the equine industry remains healthy, while also helping preserve and create high-paying, high-tech jobs for Kentucky residents.” In March 2010, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission selected HFL to provide drug testing for Kentucky race tracks. The lab will begin processing samples in February 2011. In addition to developing laboratory screening tests for fitness and nutritional health, HFL plans to provide services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. The company also anticipates research collaborations with the University of Kentucky, which will improve the basic understanding of issues relating to doping control in equine, canine and human sports. “We at HFL are truly delighted to be partnering with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in creating a world class Racing Chemistry Laboratory in Lexington,” said Dr. David Hall, CEO of HFL Sport Science Ltd in the United Kingdom, and HFL Sport Science Inc. in Kentucky. “We anticipate that our partnership and research-led approach will quickly bring benefits to racing in Kentucky, and are eager to investigate the benefits of forging the transatlantic link with racing in the United Kingdom. It must be noted that the support that we have received from the Cabinet for Economic Development, Commerce Lexington and the wider community has been tremendous, making the start up in Lexington a remarkably smooth process.” HFL’s parent company, HFL Sport Science Ltd, is based in Fordham, near Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, and has more than 40 years of continuous experience in the science of sports doping control. This includes experience testing within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Agency and testing human and animal food supplements for substances prohibited in sports. The company also delivers both operational screening services and innovative research into prohibited substance detection. “This announcement once again illustrates the power of the horse industry and of University of Kentucky brainpower to attract good jobs to Lexington,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry. “After all, we […]
Utah-based Internet retailer Overstock.com Inc. says it plans to double its software engineering staff by hiring 150 people. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development says the new jobs will bring Overstock a tax credit worth more than $1 million over 10 years. Overstock says it will hire most of the Java software engineers in the next 12 months. Provo Mayor John R. Curtis says he’s delighted Overstock chose his city to expand the software operation. Overstock and officials made the announcement Thursday.
A Mississippi-based chicken processing company plans to open a plant in Bastrop, LA that will create 317 jobs. Hazlehurst-based DG Foods Ltd. said it will spend $9.7 million for the plant, the second recent chicken processing project to receive state economic incentives to operate in northeastern Louisiana. DG Foods plans to renovate an 88,000-square-foot building with full operations beginning in July 2011. The project will provide a needed boost to Morehouse Parish following the 2008 closure of an International Paper mill that had been the parish’s largest employer with 550 jobs, Kay King, head of the parish’s economic development agency, told Bloomberg News. DG Foods is receiving a $700,000 state loan for the building and a forgivable $2.85 million loan for building improvements and is eligible for state industrial tax exemptions and work force training programs. State officials said both loans are based on the company following through on its plan and reaching hiring goals. The city of Bastrop has committed to infrastructure improvements and sewer upgrades. Earlier this year, DG Foods announced a $2.78 million expansion of its plant south of Jackson, Miss., adding 200 jobs to a payroll of 350 employees with an incentive package from state and local governments. The company was founded in 2004 by three veteran poultry executives and currently processes about 250 million tons annually.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Dorchester County and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance today joined Robert Bosch LLC, a leading automotive supplier in North America, to announce the company’s plans to expand its Dorchester County operations. Over the next five years, Bosch will invest approximately $125 million in the company’s manufacturing facility in Dorchester County and create approximately 300 new jobs. “We are very pleased to announce this investment which is designed to help us continue to strengthen our business at our plant in Dorchester County,” said Gene Oswalt, vice president and commercial plant manager, Robert Bosch LLC. “Working with our colleagues from the state, the county and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, we have been able to develop a plan through which we can invest in our facility and associates, strengthen our business and support Bosch’s global focus on environmental sustainability.” Bosch will add personnel and equipment to support production of its latest passenger car diesel and gasoline fuel injectors, and next generation anti-lock brake and electronic stability control systems for the North American automotive market. The company expects to begin creating new jobs based on this investment beginning in the second half of 2011. Additionally, as part of the company’s expansion, Dorchester County plans to provide reclaimed water for the company’s manufacturing processes. This initiative aligns with Bosch’s commitment to environmental sustainability while reducing the company’s utility costs and increasing its competitiveness. This sustainable alternative, which will be developed with the assistance of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) and matching funds from Dorchester County, will conserve 80,000 gallons of wastewater per day. The EDA grant is currently pending final approval. “Today’s announcement is another positive sign that our efforts to improve the state’s business climate are paying dividends. This announcement adds to the growth we have witnessed in the manufacturing sector over the past several months. In fact, South Carolina has added 4,500 manufacturing jobs over the past seven months and Bosch’s job creation adds to this encouraging trend in our state. As well, Bosch’s expansion serves as an indication that our state’s automotive industry continues to present opportunity. The company is one with a long history in our state, but its decision to expand and create jobs here reiterates Bosch’s confidence in South Carolina’s workforce and its ability to meet the demands of a growing international corporation,” said Gov. Mark Sanford. “Bosch is a world-class company, and its Dorchester County facility has been an […]
Xerox Corp. will invest $25 million in the coming year to expand its EA Toner plant to handle the increasing worldwide need for chemically grown toner used in Xerox and production presses. The project will increase Xerox’s manufacturing capacity of EA Toner by 50 percent at the company’s plant in Webster, NY. The current emulsion aggregation (EA) Toner opened in 2007 and features more than 20 miles of pipe and stainless steel tanks that produce billions of micron-sized toner particles. Originally constructed for $60 million, Xerox’s total capital investment in the toner plant will now reach nearly $100 million. Construction to expand the plant will begin this month and should be completed by the end of 2011. The expansion will add 10 engineers and union technicians to the current workforce of about 75. Developed by Xerox and protected by more than 300 patents, EA toner produces sharper images using less toner per page. Since EA toner was first introduced, Xerox and Fuji Xerox have designed more than 50 office and production printing products that use EA toner. The current plant produces EA toner for use in Xerox products around the globe. “As one of the world’s largest producers of toner, we have looked at several alternatives on how and where to expand our manufacturing capacity,” said Wim Appelo, president of the Xerox Global Business and Services Group. “We chose to upgrade our existing facility not only because it makes the most economic sense but also because we benefit from the strong local technological expertise and the opportunity to invest in job growth in the U.S.” The five-story, 100,000 square-foot plant located near Rochester, NY was originally designed for energy efficiency, and uses more than 4,000 sensors that track information about temperature, humidity, air flow and other variables. Unlike traditional toner, which is created by physically grinding composite polymeric materials to micron-sized particles, EA toner is chemically grown–enabling the size, shape and structure of the particles to be precisely controlled. This environmentally-responsible Xerox-developed technology leads to improved print quality, less toner usage, less toner waste and less energy required for manufacturing and for printing.
Calfrac Well Services Corp. is expanding its Marcellus Shale extraction infrastructure with plans to hire 200. Calfrac plans to construct an office and shop building, a warehouse and laboratory building, and a wash bay on a 42-acre site in the Fayette Business Park. Headquartered in Calgary, AB Canada, Calfrac is a leading provider of fracturing, coiled tubing and cementing services for the global oil and natural gas industry. “We are pleased that Calfrac has chosen to make this new investment in Fayette County. The combination of KOZ designation, rail accessibility and the near completion of turnpike 43 to I-68 helped tremendously in this most important attraction,” said Mike Krajovic, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.
GlobalFoundaries and New York state economic development officials have reached an agreement on a nearly $16 million incentive package that will pave the way for an expansion of the company’s $4.6 billion computer chip factory in Malta, according to TimesUnion.com. The chip manufacturer, which is already in line for nearly $1.4 billion in cash and tax breaks, can earn an extra $15.8 million from the state if it hires 450 additional workers by 2018. That’s on top of the 1,205 people that GlobalFoundries is required to hire in exchange for the $650 million in cash the state has offered the company to offset construction costs. GlobalFoundries must submit invoices to Empire State Development Corp. to be reimbursed from that original grant. The new incentive package, which is detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding with ESDC, is part of a plan announced in June to expand the size of the manufacturing clean room that it is building for its factory, known as Fab 8, said GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard. An additional 90,000-square-feet of clean room space — part of what’s known as Phase 2 — is expected to cost GlobalFoundries $336 million on top of the $800 million it had already budgeted for the facility. Details of the MOU were revealed Wednesday at a Saratoga County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Iotron Industries Canada, Inc., a provider of contract sterilization services to the medical industry, pest and microbial reduction for agribusiness and materials modification in the production of orthopedic products, will establish a new operation in Columbia City, IN. Iotron Industries will invest more than $15.3 million to construct a 54,000 square-foot electron beam treatment facility in the Park 30 Business Center, a shovel-ready park near Columbia City. The project is expected to create 20 new jobs. “It’s welcomed news to see a high-tech, international company like Iotron recognize the good things Indiana has to offer – low-taxes, welcoming to business and the most concentrated, experienced orthopedic industry workers in the world,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels. The Canada-based company’s electron-beam treatment process serves medical products and products used in the agribusiness industry. In addition, the company’s technology is used for advanced applications such as composite curing in the defense and manufacturing industries. “The selection of Indiana for our expansion facility represented the culmination of more than two years of intensely exploring and considering sites across the United States for a possible location,” said Lloyd Scott, president of Iotron. “We believe we have now secured a highly competitive position that will benefit both Iotron and the Indiana region in the short- and long-term.” “When Iotron commenced the process of expanding the company’s operations, Indiana held a good deal of interest in this expansion due to the state’s leading position in the orthopedic industry and its business-friendly environment,” said Joseph Rangel, chief executive officer of Iotron. “Indiana enthusiastically supported our expansion into the Hoosier state, and Iotron looks forward to helping the state expand its competitive position and assist in attracting companies requiring electron beam processing of their products.” Iotron expects to break ground on the new Iotron Industries USA facility in early 2011, with major construction to be completed by late 2011. The company’s hiring will begin in January 2011 to begin training selected Indiana-based employees in specialized electron-beam processing methods at Iotron’s Canadian facilities before the Columbia City facility is operational. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Iotron up to $200,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job-creation plans. Whitley County worked with three other counties to aggregate $7 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, as well as other local incentives at the request of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.
Indianapolis-based Northwind Electronics LLC, a maker of work-vehicle electrical systems, said Tuesday that it will locate its newest manufacturing facility in the former General Motors Plant 16 in Anderson, IN. The move will create up to 100 jobs by 2013, according to the company and the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which offered $475,000 in tax credits and $22,500 in training grants based on the job creation plans. Anderson officials will consider an additional tax break. The company will invest $954,000 to purchase, improve and equip the former plant.