Daily News Archives
The Obama administration has invested $8 billion in federal stimulus money to create 13 high-speed rail corridors. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, some $19 billion of new business and 150,000 jobs will flow to four hub cities—Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando and Albany, N.Y.—by 2035, where plans for the rail networks are located. The benefits of traveling between 110 and 220 miles per hour will mean better connectivity, shorter travel times and new development around train stations, according to the report. The rail network will spur tourism, give businesses a wider pool of workers to choose from and help grow technology clusters in cities, said Steve Fitzroy, director of operations for the Economic Development Research Group, which conducted the study, during a phone interview. Albany, which is a political center in New York but not well connected to the metropolitan area, will be pulled into New York City’s economic core, said Fitzroy. A high-speed rail link connecting Albany to New York City, Syracuse and places as far off as Montreal have been proposed at various points by state legislators. If the network does goes up, the report states that it would create $2.5 billion in new business in Albany and would add 21,000 jobs. It would increase gross regional product, a measure of the size of the local economy, by $1.4 billion. The train station would spur development, with new additions, hotels and other mixed-use projects coming up in the area, said Fitzroy. But the Northeast network is furthest from being built, according to Oliver Hauck, CEO of Siemens AG, which sponsored the report. The Germany-based manufacturing giant is looking to expand its U.S. operations to include high-speed rail. It has already bought property adjacent to its current Sacramento plant to produce high-speed rail cars, according to Hauck. The Florida high-speed rail system is closest to completion, with the first phase of construction connecting Orlando and Tampa at 168 miles per hour to be finished by 2015, Dyer said. The state received $1.25 billion in stimulus money, which should help it pay the relatively small bill of $3.5 billion for 86 miles of tracks. Since the state had already secured the right of way to create a track network dedicated to passenger rail, the price tag of construction for phase 1 is relatively cheap. Phase 2 will require $8 billion in comparison. So far, Florida has received $65 million, which is the largest amount of funding that has been actually dealt out in the country so far, said Dyer. […]
Cummins Rocky Mountain has announced plans to build a new diesel engine remanufacturing plant in Commerce City, Colorado creating 70 new jobs for the area. The new facility will remanufacture and distribute a full line of Cummins High Horsepower diesel engines. Construction is anticipated to begin this month. The company will receive about $459,000 in various incentives from the city, including sales and use tax exemptions and construction permit fee waivers, said Brittany Morris, economic development director for Commerce City. The state of Colorado also contributed $300,000 in incentives spread out over five years under the state’s Colorado First and Existing Industry job training program, and $384,711 conditionally approved from the Job Growth Incentive program. Matt Cheroutes, spokesman for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade said the state incentives are performance based and are paid only when the new jobs are actually created. Adams County is matching a portion of the Commerce City incentives, Morris said. Located just east of 104th Avenue and Havana Street, the site will be the home of a $13.3 million, 78,000 square-foot facility that will be the largest Cummins High Horsepower diesel engine remanufacturing plant in North America. The company is calling it the Cummins Rocky Mountain Master Rebuild Center. “This new facility will enable us to improve on our already industry leading customer support capabilities for our existing and future High Horsepower customer base,” states Bill Wolpert, Cummins Rocky Mountain’s president and CEO. Commerce City recently adopted a new Economic Development Strategic Plan and identified industries to target its economic development activities. Brittany Morris, economic development director for Commerce City, said the Cummins Rocky Mountain plan fits within the “advanced manufacturing” target identified in the plan. Eventually, the new facility could employ up to 140 people, according to the city.
The village of St. Johnsville, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Business Development Center, will apply for a $450,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist M.H. Stallman Company in moving its operations to New York state. If the application is approved by the state Office of Community Renewal, the company will use the funds to purchase equipment and machinery as part of a planned renovation project, according to Crystal Ricciuti, an economic development specialist with the county Business Development Center. “This is welcome news for the village of St. Johnsville, as a new company is moving its operations here and is bringing new jobs with it,” said Mayor James Kierzinski. In all, Ricciuti said M.H. Stallman Co.’s project to renovate office, warehouse and manufacturing space in a portion of Cellect’s building on New Street carries a $5.5 million price tag. “Cellect is M.H. Stallman’s top supplier of raw materials, so this move will allow the company to reduce its freight costs, which made reallocation to St. Johnsville attractive,” Ricciuti said. While the terms of the loan require the company to create jobs for 50 new employees, Ricciuti said new developments, including plans to manufacture foam to assist in the cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in Louisiana, the number of jobs created will likely be 80. Thirty of those jobs, under separate terms of the CDBG program, are to be created within 24 months, if the application is successful. At the time of the announcement of the loan, M.H. Stallman officials said the company’s plan was to hire at least six administrative officials, 40 manufacturing employees and upper-level management. M.H. Stallman Co. will lease its manufacturing and office space from Cellect. “This will be a separate company, with separate management and separate employees,” said Ricciuti. “They will be in the same building, but they will not be one company.” Two public hearings will be held on the grant application, on June 15 and June 16. The hearings will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Community House at 16 Washington St.
Officials in Genesee County, Mi say they have not received any applications for more than $60 million in available federal stimulus bonds. The deadline is today, unless state lawmakers approve an extension to July 1. The low-interest loans were made available in June 2009 to hard-hit communities to help stimulate the economy by making money available for special projects and developments. The deadline to draw down the funds is December 31 of this year. If the proposed July 1 deadline is approved by lawmakers, anyone interested in using the funds would have to go through the state. For now, all applications have to go through the Genesee County Economic Development Corp. County officials oppose the July 1 deadline and actually are hoping the federal government will extend the end-of-year deadline, but until then they’re willing to help push projects through as quickly as possible, Genesee County Controller George Martini said. Of the at least $60 million available, $53 million of it is in tax-exempt facility bonds available for private borrowers that can be used for commercial and industrial projects that usually would not qualify for tax-exempt financing — such as large manufacturing plants, distribution centers, hotels or research parks. As of last week, there had been no requests in Genesee County to borrow any of the $53 million in facility bonds, said Janice Karcher, who heads up economic development at the chamber.
Eberspaecher North America plans to open a new automotive facility in Greenville County, SC with an investment of $5 million and the initial creation of 30 jobs to provide exhaust systems for BMW Manufacturing Co’s new X3 sports activity vehicle. The announcement was made Wednesday by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Greenville Area Development Corp. Plans are to begin full production in August, said Gerri Taylor, human relations spokesman for the Mauldin facility at 65 Brookfield Oaks, Mauldin. Dennis Berry, president and chief executive of Michigan-based Eberspaecher North America, said, “The location will put us very close to our customer, BMW, and provide us with an excellent business environment in which to operate. We look forward to starting operations there and appreciate all the support we have received from state and local officials.” BMW is moving production of the X3 from Austria to the Greer plant later this year as it completes a $750 million expansion of the facility, which includes a new assembly facility and expansion of the paint shop. The plant also produces the X5 sports activity vehicle and the X6 sports activity coupe. Eberspaecher’s Mauldin facility will be the Germany-based company’s first South Carolina location. It also has operations in Alabama, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Joe Taylor, state secretary of commerce, hailed the move. “We continue to see growth in the state’s automotive sector as more suppliers locate operations here, and Eberspaecher North America is the latest example,” he said. “South Carolina affords exceptional access, not only to manufacturers like BMW, but to markets throughout the Southeast. Couple that with a skilled workforce and a world-class port in Charleston, and it is no wonder more companies are bringing their business to the Palmetto State.”
“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce Let’s face it, the past two years have been brutal for the denizens of Detroit. Two of Motown’s mighty Big Three automakers went belly up and nearly sank in the depths of the Great Recession before being rescued by a federal bailout. Detroit became the unofficial unemployment capital of America, bottoming out at nearly 20 percent. The mayor was sent to the slammer. If ever there was a city that needed a lift, a kind word, something to cheer about, it’s Detroit. On a sunny June afternoon, they almost got it. Out of what seemed to be the pages of a well-worn Hollywood script came Armando Gallarraga. Armando bounced around Major League Baseball as a journeyman pitcher for a couple of years before getting an audition this spring with the Detroit Tigers. The 28-year-old Venezuelan native had a rough spring training, losing out in a competition for the final spot in the Tigers’ rotation. Armando began the season with the Tiger’s Triple-A minor league squad, the aptly named Toledo Mudhens. That’s where he was, toiling in obscurity in Toledo on May 16, when the call came from Detroit that the Tigers needed a fresh arm to bolster their injury-plagued staff. So Armando stepped onto the mound at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon to face the Cleveland Indians. Eight scoreless innings later, Armando found himself on the cusp of baseball history. Cleveland sent 24 batters to the plate and 24 batters quickly came back to the dugout. The reserve pitcher, who had never thrown a shutout — probably never dreamed about a no-hitter — was better than that. He was perfect. Three more outs, and Armando would join 20 other baseball immortals and achieve one of the rarest feats in baseball history. Three more outs, and the third perfect game of the season — all recorded within the same fortnight — would be in the books. That last factoid should have prepared us for what came next. Clearly, the baseball gods were toying with us. The first Cleveland batter in the ninth, Mark Grudzielanek, took a mighty cut at one of Armando’s offerings and sent it screaming into the nether regions of Comerica’s vast centerfield. Armando grabbed his head with his gloved hand and stared out into the abyss. The crowd and millions more watching on national television held their breath. Everyone waited for the ball to land with a sickening thud yards behind the desperately racing outfielders. Armando’s perfect […]
New Jersey has launched a privately funded nonprofit to market the state. The $2 million effort, called Choose New Jersey, has recruited 15 local corporations to help promote and facilitate business attraction, retention and expansion. The new organization was announced at the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. in West Trenton this week. Choose New Jersey is part of Gov. Chris Christie’s New Jersey Partnership for Action, a three-prong approach to revitalizing the state’s economy. Sixteen business leaders sit on its board and have made a three-year commitment to serve as ambassadors to business and industry and further business attraction and retention initiatives. That commitment includes $150,000 per company, per year, for three years, which will give Choose New Jersey a roughly $2 million annual operating budget. A search is under way for a “world class economic development expert” who will come in and put a team in place, Verizon NJ President Dennis Bone, interim chair of the organization, told Philadelphia BusinessJournal. “When we benchmarked New Jersey to other states we found out New Jersey wasn’t in the game, was not in the game when it came to selecting and attracting businesses to the state, programs to keep businesses here. There is so much more we can do in this area and that is the mission of Choose New Jersey,” Bone said. Under Christie’s state budget plan, all of the components of the state’s Economic Development Authority would be moved into a group that would serve as the one-stop shopping arm of the New Jersey Partnership for Action, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office and Secretary of State would be the government arm of the partnership, she said. Christie said announcements would be made in the next couple of weeks regarding companies that the state is courting. Christie said his team is regularly reaching out to CEOs, and had three calls planned that afternoon. In addition to Bone, Choose New Jersey’s members include: Joe Colalillo, president, Wakefern Food Corp.; Don Correll, CEO and president, American Water; Robert H. Doherty, state president, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO, New Jersey Resources; Bernard Flynn, president and CEO, NJM Insurance Group; Edward Graham, president and CEO, South Jersey Industries; Rev. M. William Howard, pastor, Bethany Baptist Church; Robert J. Iacullo, president and chief operating officer, United Water; Bob Hugin, Celgene president and COO; Ralph Izzo, chairman and CEO, PSE&G ; Vincent Maione, president, Atlantic City Electric; William J. Marino, chairman and CEO, Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield […]
Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company and community leaders in Bowling Green to announce the expansion of Topura America Fastener. A manufacturer of automotive and industrial fasteners, Topura America Fastener will add 30 new jobs in phases over the next three years, bringing their total employment at the Bowling Green plant to 95. Additionally, the company will invest $9.34 million as a result of the expansion and continual improvement in processes and technology. “Topura America Fastener’s expansion is a good example of Kentucky’s strength in the automotive supplier industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “The creation of 30 new jobs and a multi-million dollar investment that will more than double the size of the company’s Bowling Green plant will have a significant impact on the entire region.” Topura America Fastener will be adding 96,000 square feet to its existing 71,966 square-foot facility. The company will also install new equipment and make other improvements that will allow them to increase manufacturing capabilities and improve product flow. “Topura America Fastener is extremely excited about today’s announcement and for the opportunity of organizational growth in a challenging economic time period,” said Darrell Oakley, Topura executive vice president. “The expansion will secure an increase in both job opportunities and process investments for today and long term. We appreciate everyone’s support during this process, especially that of Governor Beshear, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.” The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Topura America Fastener for tax incentives up to $675,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. KEDFA also approved the company for up to $75,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, an incentive program that allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on the cost of construction materials, building fixtures and equipment used for research and development. “Bowling Green congratulates Topura on their announcement today,” said Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker. “Their expansion reflects the great working environment and strong work ethic we enjoy here in South Central Kentucky.” “It’s another great day here in South Central Kentucky because of today’s announcement,” said Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. “We thank Topura for their continued commitment to doing business here.”
President Obama’s announcement last week indefinitely suspending work at 33 deepwater drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico has state officials in the Gulf region making dire forecasts of potential job losses as a result of the shutdown. The president imposed a moratorium on operations at the deepest offshore drilling operations in the wake of BP’s disaster in the Gulf, which has poured an estimated 39 million gallons of crude oil into the ecosystem in the wake of the explosion and sinking of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in April. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that 22 of the 33 rigs covered by the president’s order are off the coast of Louisiana. Moret added that it is possible that some of the remaining 11 could be rigs that were scheduled to start operations in Louisiana waters in the next few months. Moret has three scenarios for how bad the moratorium could be for Louisiana’s economy: In the near term, Moret believes the state will lose 3,000 to 6,000 direct and indirect jobs; if the suspensions are maintained, this could rise to 10,000 jobs; and if the moratorium persists while oil prices rise, the state could lose 20,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months in the form of lost direct and indirect jobs, and missed job creation opportunities because rising petroleum prices stimulate more energy development. “There’s definitely a real risk that some of these rigs could be moved outside of the Gulf of Mexico because of the cost of keeping them idle, the regulatory uncertainty and opportunities in other parts of the world, ” Moret told the Times-Picayune. Others are convinced that rigs will be floated to foreign waters, and if they’re moved, it will take two to three years for the equipment to finish up its new contracts elsewhere and come back. “The drilling equipment and the rigs, if they know that they can’t work for the next six months, they’ll re-deploy to the rest of the world. It will be a lot longer than the next six months, ” said Otto Candies III, secretary/treasurer of the Des Allemands marine transport company Otto Candies LLC.
The Illinois General Assembly has passed—with overwhelming bipartisan support—an Angel Tax Credit that incentivizes early-stage investment in Illinois technology companies. The governor is expected to sign the bill (SB 2093) or a second measure (SB 3710) with an identical Angel Tax Credit sent over to the Senate yesterday by the House. The legislation, which when enacted will be effective on January 1, 2011, provides “angel” and early-stage institutional investors with a capped 25 percent credit against state taxes when the investors provide funding to small, early-stage technology firms. The effort to enact the credit was led statewide over a two-year period by the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), which built a large statewide coalition in support of the measure. iBIO’s President and CEO David Miller hailed the bill’s passage as a major step forward. “Today’s most powerful job engines are small innovative firms. Yesterday Illinois took a huge step in helping to create and attract those companies,” he said. “It’s great news for our economic recovery and for the future of Illinois.” The Kauffman Foundation, National Academies of Science, Brookings Institute and others have identified small innovative companies as the keys to global competitiveness and job creation, identifying them as major drivers of tax revenues and needed public services. Although Illinois is a leading state for many types of basic research, it has lagged other states in providing supportive programs for early-stage technology firms. “The Angel Tax Credit constitutes a big step in changing that situation,” Miller said. “The sleeping giant is waking up.” Miller praised members of the state General Assembly. Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) authored the bill that passed and pushed relentlessly for its passage. According to Miller,“Senator Kotowski deserves great credit and the community’s heartfelt thanks.” The primary legislative champion for the Angel Tax Credit and other startup programs in the General Assembly over the last two years, Miller said, was Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago). “Rep. Mendoza is an inexhaustible champion for building jobs and prosperity in Illinois,” Miller said. “She created a remarkable coalition of advocates in the House and worked with the leadership, other legislators and Governor Quinn’s office to make this happen. Illinois’ innovation community couldn’t ask for a better supporter.” “To make important changes in state policy, you need tireless leadership. iBIO provided that leadership. Without iBIO’s unflagging devotion to the twin causes of technology startups and job creation, this never would have happened. Illinois is a better place to do business today because of iBIO,” responded Rep. Mendoza. According to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie […]