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Windstream Picks Little Rock, AR for HQ

Windstream Picks Little Rock, AR for HQ

Windstream is making Little Rock, AR its permanent headquarters and adding more than 200 jobs in Arkansas over the next two years, the company said Tuesday. Officials with the communications company joined Gov. Mike Beebe and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola in making the announcement at the State Capitol in front of a packed-room of supporters. Most of the 210 new jobs will be in Little Rock and each of them will pay at least $40,000 annually. “I am extremely pleased to announce that Windstream has chosen to make Little Rock its permanent home,” company CEO Jeff Gardner said in a statement. “This is due in large part to the fact that the state of Arkansas and the city of Little Rock have created a climate where technology companies like Windstream can grow and achieve long-term success… “ Windstream was created in July 2006 when Alltel spun off its landline division and merged it with Texas-based VALOR Communications. The new company set up in west Little Rock and quickly grew, acquiring five communications companies in the next several years. When it came time to renew the lease this year, the company investigated options around the country. “But in the end, after careful analysis, we decided the best course of action was to remain in Little Rock and in Arkansas,” Gardner said, adding later that financial incentives provided by the state and the regional placement relative to the company’s customers in the southeast played into the decision. “At the end of the day, our comprehensive conclusion was Little Rock was the right place for Windstream to be.” Beebe said the incentives included about $1 million in Quick Action Closing Funds for building and training and additional benefits tied to performance. He called it a wise investment. “I don’t know that you can spend taxpayers dollars in any better way than to create or maintain good jobs,” Beebe said. Keeping a large headquarters in Arkansas for the long-term will cause a “ripple effect” felt across the local and state economy, Beebe said, citing the example of employees frequently flying in and out of Little Rock for meetings or other work at the headquarters facility. Windstream has grown from doing business in 16 states when it was created in 2006 to working in 23 states currently. “The entire idea of having a headquarters of a company that touches so many different areas of our country is big deal for Little Rock and a big deal for Arkansas,” Beebe said. Windstream currently employs about […]


Globalstar Relocates from CA to Louisiana

Globalstar Relocates from CA to Louisiana

Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Globalstar Inc. CEO Peter Dalton, Globalstar Inc. Chairman Jay Monroe, Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis and Greater New Orleans Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht to announce Globalstar will relocate its corporate headquarters to Covington, LA from Milpitas, CA. Additionally, Globalstar will relocate a variety of other global business functions to Covington, including product development, finance, accounting, sales, marketing, corporate communications and customer care. Under a cooperative endeavor agreement with LED, Globalstar has committed to relocate or create more than 150 new jobs by the end of 2011, increasing to more than 200 new jobs by 2013. Additionally, the agreement calls for Globalstar’s total Louisiana employment to increase by more than 500 by the end of 2019. LED estimates the direct new jobs will result in the creation of approximately 800 new indirect jobs, for a total of roughly 1,300 new direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana. LED further estimates the Globalstar project will result in $26.1 million in new, state tax revenue and $8.3 million in new, local tax revenue over the next 10 years. “Today’s announcement is a big win for Covington, the North Shore and our whole state,” said Gov. Jindal. “This is exactly the kind of company that we positioned Louisiana to secure when we created Louisiana FastStartTM in 2008 and enhanced our digital media incentive program in 2009. Since early 2008, leading companies have announced moves of their headquarters or other significant operations to Louisiana from a wide variety of states, including California, Georgia, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon and Texas. And we’re not stopping there. With our nation still enduring tough economic times and our state facing thousands of job losses associated with the federal deepwater drilling moratorium, our efforts to retain and attract jobs are more important than ever.” LED’s Business Expansion and Retention Group began discussions with Globalstar several months ago after the company purchased Louisiana-based Axonn. Prior to selecting Louisiana for its new headquarters location, Globalstar executives considered a variety of locations in other U.S. states and Canada. “Relocating to Covington will help dramatically reduce our operating costs as we execute our next-generation strategic initiatives,” said Monroe. “We are positioning Globalstar for long-term success by lowering our cost of operations, improving revenue growth and speed to market for new products through vertical integration and through the introduction of new and innovative products developed in Louisiana. Thanks to LED’s progressive digital interactive media incentives and tax credits, Globalstar can expect […]


Cummins Expanding Indiana Engine Plant

Cummins Expanding Indiana Engine Plant

Cummins Inc. is expanding its High-Horsepower Technical Center and high-horsepower engine product line at its manufacturing plant in Seymour, IN. The $100 million investment in the plant’s expansion will open the door for Cummins to produce high-horsepower clean diesel and natural gas engines in the future. With the new investment, Cummins expects to add about 200 engineering and manufacturing jobs over the next five years. The plant currently employs nearly 450 people. Cummins has also changed the name of the facility to the Seymour Engine Plant from the Cummins Industrial Center, to reflect the company’s practice at many of its other engine manufacturing locations. The company is working on a new, larger-displacement engine. The product investment will increase the plant’s capacity and manufacturing capability, including a new assembly line, paint area and production test cells. The expansion will almost double the current engineering footprint in the facility and increase Cummins high-horsepower mechanical development capability. Other capital expenditures will include additional equipment, test cells and other facility upgrades. Preparations for the technical center expansion are scheduled to start immediately, and construction is expected to be complete by mid-2011. “This is an exciting expansion and announcement,” said Mark Levett, vice president and general manager of the high-horsepower business. “Cummins was first to market with our EPA Tier 2 high-horsepower engines, meeting both emissions requirements and our customers’ needs for reliability, durability and performance.” The Seymour Engine Plant opened in 1976 and is currently manufacturing V903, K19, QSK19 and QST30 diesel and natural gas engines.


Schilling May Be Moved Before Trading Deadline

When we last checked with Curt Schilling, the beloved Boston Red Sox pitching icon was considering parlaying his status as Beantown’s baseball Moses into a run for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts. Now, Schilling is considering trading the Massachusetts venue of his video game business for a site in neighboring Rhode Island and a $75 million loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. What a difference a year makes. Schilling became a Bosox legend when he won Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series while blood from an injured ankle seeped through his sock. Largely because of Schilling’s red sock, the Red Sox were able to overcome the hated New York Yankees, who at one point led the ACLS 3-0. The famous “bloody sock” episode—and some long-ball from the vitamin-enhanced bats of Manny Ramirez and David “Big Papi” Ortiz—enabled the Red Sox to finally lift the 86-year-old “Curse of the Bambino,” so named because New England’s star-crossed major league team had failed to win a World Series since its owner traded Babe Ruth to New York in 1918. Boston swept the 2004 World Series and Schilling was hailed in Beantown as the greatest thing since clam chowder. In addition to speculation about a potential political career, Schilling became a fixture on talk radio, generated a ton of web traffic with his blog, and started a video game business called 38 Studios LLC, named after his uniform number. Now comes news that Schilling is in active discussions with Rhode Island’s EDC to move the Maynard, MA-based company, which employs 180 (it also has an outlet in Maryland), to Providence. Apparently, Schilling is looking for bigger digs because he just landed a deal with Electronic Arts Inc. to market one of his video games and expects to expand to up to 500 employees. If baseball history is a guide, Red Sox loyalists should not consider this a LeBron James-scale defection. Before he was a World Series hero in Boston, Schilling was a World Series hero in Phoenix when he led the Arizona Diamondbacks to the crown in 2001. And before he was a World Series hero in Phoenix, Schilling led the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 1993. However, the Phillies lost the ’93 series, so presumably that rules out a Schilling candidacy for governor of Pennsylvania.


The Chosen One Chooses

The below-the-belt punch delivered last night to the solar plexus of the city of Cleveland by its wayward native son (by way of Akron), LeBron James, soon may be magnified by an equally devastating blow to the city’s pocketbook. The emotional toll of LeBron’s nationally televised announcement that he is “taking his talents” and moving them to Miami was obvious even before the self-styled Chosen One finished explaining the rationale behind his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and cement himself into a trio of NBA superstars on the Miami Heat. In the middle of King James’ self-centered proclamation (“this was about making me happy”), ESPN cut to a shot of some Cavaliers fans reacting to LeBron’s announcement: They were setting fire to his Cavaliers jersey in the parking lot of a local tavern. Later, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert issue a scathing open letter in which he denounced Clevelend’s “narcissistic former hero” for his “cowardly act of betrayal.” To maintain the suspense in the run-up to his television spectacular on ESPN, LeBron didn’t bother to make a courtesy call to his hometown franchise to clue them in regarding the pain he was about to inflict on them. He gave long-suffering Cleveland sports fans even less notice than their previous most-hated pariah, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell, who years ago abruptly moved the city’s beloved NFL franchise to Baltimore. According to economic analysts, the pain from LeBron’s defection will be financial as well as physical. Analysts estimate downtown businesses in Cleveland will lose at least $48 million per year in the wake of LeBron’s departure; the region will lose an additional $150 million in revenue derived from the Cavaliers perennial appearances in NBA playoffs; and the value of the Cavaliers franchise may be downgraded by more than $100 million. And last, but not least, James pays more than $1 million per year in taxes to local governments. LeBron insists he has no intention of moving out of his Ohio residence, but we can safely assume he may have second thoughts about this when the smell of burning Cavaliers jerseys (and season tickets) reaches his mansion. Those are just the tangible figures. Intangibles, like the value of the LeBron “brand” being synonymous with Cleveland are harder to estimate. But hundreds of millions of dollars does not seem like an exaggeration. The monetary side is only one part of James’ value, said economist LeRoy Brooks of John Carroll University in University Heights. The other part, in economist’s terms, is utility. That’s a bureaucratic […]


Pennsylvania Boosts Alt Energy Spending

Pennsylvania Boosts Alt Energy Spending

Pennsylvania is expanding its commitment to advancing clean, solar energy with the investment of $18 million in 37 projects in 16 counties. “These new projects are creating jobs while helping to make the development and deployment of solar technology more affordable,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Austin Burke. “Ultimately, this means substantial energy savings for families, businesses, schools and municipalities that use clean, renewable technologies.” The 37 projects, approved through the state’s solar energy program, are in Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties. They are expected to leverage nearly $88 million in private investments. The solar projects will have an installed capacity of more than 24 megawatts and will generate at least 26,600 megawatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power approximately 2,700 Pennsylvania homes. In addition to generating 26,600 solar renewable energy credits a year, the systems will annually save $5.2 million during each of the next 20 years.


Technology Expands in Noblesville, IN

Technology Expands in Noblesville, IN

Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from technology services firm, Miller Consulting Group, to announce the company will expand its operations in Noblesville, IN creating up to 230 new jobs by the end of 2013. The company, which provides computer-aided design and engineering services for the aerospace, defense and medical device industries, plans to invest $2.1 million in computer software, hardware and equipment. According to Inside INdiana Business, the company will lease a portion of the historic Model Mill building on Mulberry Street. “Days like today can’t come often enough in Indiana; hundreds of high-quality jobs in downtown Noblesville is certainly reason to celebrate,” said Daniels. Miller Consulting Group will begin hiring engineers, managers, technicians and IT personnel immediately. “We’ve been fortunate to establish some great client relationships out of state and while we considered moving our headquarters to be closer to them, we also realized the many benefits of staying in Indiana,” said Dale Miller, Miller Consulting president. “We sincerely appreciated the way that the Hamilton County Alliance, the city of Noblesville and the state of Indiana supported our project and decision to grow in Indiana.” Miller Consulting Group’s latest expansion comes on the heels of the company’s announced plans to open a Warsaw office to serve orthopedic manufacturing customers. The company expects to hire up to 25 computer-assisted design and engineering technicians by year-end. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Miller Consulting up to $2.5 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $120,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Noblesville will consider additional property tax abatement.


Canadian Chip Maker Plans HQ in Indiana

Canadian Chip Maker Plans HQ in Indiana

Saratoga Potato Chips, with international headquarters in Brampton, Ontario, is investing $4.9 million to establish a U.S. headquarters in Allen County, IN. The facility in Fort Wayne, which will be completed in 2013, will create 175 jobs. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will provide $1 million in Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits  for the project over a 10-year period. The company makes traditional potato chips, kettle chips and popcorn.

With about $27 million in sales last year, its arrival is significant, said Ashley Steenman, senior development officer with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance. Saratoga’s owner, Peter Margie, also owns Olde York Potato Chips, which has a facility in Allen County. But the new business will be under the Saratoga name, making chips and perhaps popcorn for store brands, Steenman said. It will move into a 138,000-square-foot building that has been vacant for some time, she said. “Saratoga’s Indiana headquarters gives us closer proximity to our U.S. customers, many of which are located in the Midwest. State and local officials have created an excellent business environment that made our decision to locate in Indiana an easy one,” Steenman said. Allen County Council will consider phasing in taxes associated with the project. Saratoga could save nearly $131,520 on real and personal property taxes over seven years.

The company is also eligible for $10,000 in recruitment and assessment services, $125,000 in job-specific training, and $10,000 in computer training services from WorkOne Northeast.


Battle Over Film Tax Credits Intensifies

Battle Over Film Tax Credits Intensifies

The national battle among states to lure entertainment industry dollars has intensified this month, with several states upping the ante in film production tax credits whiles others are dropping out of the competition. On July 1, Florida became the latest state to offer generous tax incentives to motion picture, TV documentary and digital media producers. Florida activated its Entertainment Industry Incentives Program, which offers a total of $242 million in transferable tax credits over the next five years for projects that locate in the Sunshine State. More than $50 million of these credits are earmarked for the 2010/2011 fiscal year. Florida’s Office of Film & Entertainment has begun accepting applications for the Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive program via electronic submission for projects with a principal photography or project start within 180 days of the application date (principal photography or project start date must be July 1, 2010 or later to qualify). The priority for qualifying/certifying projects for tax credit awards is determined on a first-come, first-served basis within its appropriate queue. Eligible productions include films, TV, documentaries, digital media projects, commercials and music videos. About 33 states have adopted tax incentives to spur entertainment industry production in their venues, but some budget-strapped states are having second thoughts about the value of these programs. Included in the passage last week of New Jersey’s $28.4 billion budget is the suspension of tax credits for film and digital media content production in the Garden State. New Jersey had offered a 20 percent tax credit since 2006, but the votes to approve the budget by the state’s Assembly and Senate eliminated it effective July 1. About $15 million will be raised as a result of the suspension, part of Gov. Chris Christie’s first budget as the state’s chief executive. Producers, actors and others involved with two network TV shows that filmed in New Jersey—“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Mercy”—lobbied at a public hearing early last month to save the credit. Producers of the former have already said they intend to relocate production across the river to New York, which is considering raising its film incentives pool to $420 million despite a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit crisis.


Joint Venture Brings Electric Car Manufacturing to SC

Joint Venture Brings Electric Car Manufacturing to SC

CT&T, a Korean-based world leader in manufacturing electric vehicles, is forming a joint venture with 2AM Group of Spartanburg, SC to build electric cars in the state. The venture, called CT&T Southeast LLC, will invest $21 million and create 370 new jobs to support its production over the next five years.  Company officials project the Spartanburg County facility to be fully operational by the fourth quarter of this year. “Upstate South Carolina is an ideal location for our first North American assembly facility,” said CT&T Chief Executive Officer Young Gi Lee.  “We are very happy to be located in an area that provides automotive infrastructure, a skilled workforce and proximity to markets that are prime targets for electric vehicle ownership.” Under the joint venture agreement, CT&T will manufacture its flagship e ZONE and c ZONE vehicles in South Carolina. The e ZONE electric low speed vehicle offers a range of up to 70 miles in a single charge through its advanced technology lithium polymer battery. The advanced lithium polymer battery provides twice the mileage and lifespan of traditional lead acid batteries, and is 30 percent smaller and lighter.  The c ZONE line consists of a range of low speed electric off-road and street legal LSVs.  They have applications for commercial use and are ideal neighborhood transportation for planned communities and resort properties. “We are delighted to be part of the history making for South Carolina and CT&T to produce and distribute their vehicles throughout the U.S.,” stated Artie Perry, president and CEO of 2AM Group. “We feel that our knowledge and presence in the automotive industry will factor well in generating a good start up here, and we look forward to adding additional jobs in South Carolina where we are headquartered,” Perry added, “we know we will make a success with all the efforts from the state and county behind us.” Gov. Mark Sanford welcomed CT&T to South Carolina noting, “Today serves as a reminder that South Carolina is making strides even in these challenging economic times. This announcement represents not only a significant investment and hundreds of new jobs, but also another step toward expanding our state’s role in next generation technologies.” CT&T Southeast will locate its new assembly facility in the Hwy. 290 Commerce Park in Duncan, SC, in coordination with the existing 2AM facility allowing for total building access of over 300,000 square feet.  CT&T currently has U.S. operations in Atlanta, GA and Long Beach, CA. CT&T Company Ltd. is located in Seoul, Korea with manufacturing facilities […]