Daily News Archives

Sage Automotive Expands SC Facility

Sage Automotive Expands SC Facility Posted on:

Sage Automotive Interiors and the Greenville Area Development Corporation have announced the company’s investment and expansion plans for its Gayley manufacturing facility in Greenville County, S.C. The plan includes portions of Sage’s initial business and operating plan to grow with the automotive industry and includes an estimated $10 million investment by the company, including the addition of about 80 new positions, over the next five years. Sage Automotive Interiors is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive bodycloth—seating, door panel surfaces, and headliners—to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Global offices and manufacturing locations include the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, Korea and Europe.  The company is a portfolio company of Azalea Capital, a South Carolina based investment company, and recently announced plans to move its international headquarters into a newly-constructed facility on Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) campus in Greenville. “This initiative, already partially implemented, will markedly improve and expand our manufacturing capabilities in Greenville County,” said Dirk Pieper, Sage Chief Executive Officer. “It will extend our capacity to serve OEMs the world over as both the domestic and international markets improve during the next several years.” The Gayley plant is among Sage’s most modern and technologically advanced manufacturing facilities, producing highly innovative products including its YES Essentials line of performance branded automotive fabrics which are used by such automotive manufacturers as Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Hyundai.  The products provide durability, stain resistance and odor elimination that manufacturers demand and consumers crave, noted Pieper. Sage currently employs about 1,000 associates around the world, including more than 400 in Greenville County and over 200 at the Gayley facility.  While the enhancements and expansion will also better position the plant for potential future growth, the Sage team began the investments in the first few months of operations and will continue to make physical improvements as well as adding new equipment to the Gayley facility, added Pieper.   Sage may begin hiring for the new positions by year-end 2010. When hiring begins, persons interested in job opportunities can visit their local employment office for more information. “Sage would like to thank Greenville County and the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC) for their support in helping plan and execute this initiative,” Pieper added.  “The GADC was particularly instrumental in helping us realize the value of investing and growing within the county.” Sage officials also cited the Upstate’s strong technology and innovation resources as a contributing factor in deciding to locate the expansion and new positions in Greenville County.  “From CU-ICAR and Clemson University… …Read More…

Feds Aid Fremont, CA Effort to Convert NUMMI Plant

Feds Aid Fremont, CA Effort to Convert NUMMI Plant Posted on:

The U.S. Economic Development Administration is providing a $330,000 grant to the city of Fremont, CA to study how to reuse the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant, which shut down on April 1 after operating for 25 years. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Brian McGowan said in a statement, “The NUMMI site closure in Fremont is representative of the need to diversity and strengthen the San Francisco Bay area economy by developing new investment and job growth opportunities in emerging high growth industries with global markets. This grant will help develop a strategy to create employment opportunities for the workers displaced as a result of the auto plant shutdown.” The plant employed more than 5,000 people directly and indirectly created about 25,000 jobs at suppliers throughout California. “I am encouraged by the federal government’s action today. As with all the other auto plant closings around the country, the federal government has a central role to play in helping affected communities find alternative uses for abandoned facilities,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said after the grant was announced last week. NUMMI was a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. However, when GM was bailed out by the federal government last year, the Japanese automaker withdrew from the facility and GM decided to close it.

Ontario Awards 184 Mega-Projects for Renewable Energy

Ontario Awards 184 Mega-Projects for Renewable Energy Posted on:

Ontario is awarding 184 renewable energy projects that will create a total of 2.5 gigawatts of alternative energy support under its feed-in tariff program for projects of more than 500 kilowatts in size, according to The Street.com. The largest number of contract awards in solar were made to a Canadian solar company, Northland Power Solar, a company listed by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) as Ontario Inc. and privately held San Fransisco-based Recurrent Energy. Both received more than 10 projects. Recurrent Energy won the most individual contracts, with 23 contracts for a total of approximately 165MW of ground-based solar. Recurrent expects to invest $400 million across the Ontario solar projects. The private solar company, backed by Hudson Clean Energy Partners, has a global pipeline of 1GW. Ontario Inc. received 166 MW of solar contracts, while Northland received 130MW of solar projects.

Gore, Bush, Clinton to Speak at BIO 2010

Gore, Bush, Clinton to Speak at BIO 2010 Posted on:

Two former U.S. presidents and a former U.S. vice president will be headlining the keynote sessions at this year’s BIO International Convention, to be held May 3-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago. President Bill Clinton and President George W, Bush will be on the stage for a panel discussion on domestic and foreign policy issues at Tuesday’s keynote luncheon on May 4. The Wednesday, May 5 keynote luncheon at BIO will feature former Vice President Al Gore, who will discuss climate change. Gore’s speech will focus on the environment, healthcare reform and other pressing global issues with an emphasis on biotechnology’s role in addressing these challenges. “For the past 30 years, Al Gore has been one of the most influential voices on sustainability, climate change and numerous other environmental issues,” said BIO President and CEO James C. Greenwood. “We are honored to have Mr. Gore address our BIO International Convention and share his vision for solving some of the world’s most challenging problems through biotechnology innovations that help heal, fuel and feed the world.” Vice President Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to reduce global warming. He also is the author of An Inconvenient Truth, a best-selling book on the threat of and solutions to global warming, and the subject of the movie of the same title, which is one of the top documentary films in history. “Each year, we endeavor to bring the world’s top thought leaders to share their insights and vision with our attendees,” said Robbi Lycett, vice president of Conventions & Conferences at BIO. “Mr. Gore will continue this tradition of helping cement our Convention’s position as a ‘can’t miss’ event for anyone engaged in the life sciences.” Wednesday’s keynote session is sponsored by Amgen, a leading human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry. Past keynote speakers at BIO have included Colin Powell, J. Craig Venter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Duval Patrick, and Jeb Bush. Presidents Clinton and Bush, who served in the White House for 16 years, will discuss a wide variety of issues relating to both domestic and foreign policy. BIO President Greenwood will moderate the discussion between the two former presidents on Tuesday, May 4th at 11:30 a.m. “We are honored to have the rare opportunity to host two such influential and experienced global thought leaders as they share the same stage at the same time as headliners at our Convention,” Greenwood said . “We look forward to a thoughtful and informative discussion between Presidents Bush and Clinton as they discuss top issues and explore how… …Read More…

Nova Scotia Power to Build Biomass Plant

Nova Scotia Power to Build Biomass Plant Posted on:

Nova Scotia Power and NewPage Port Hawkesbury have reached an agreement to develop a $200-million facility to generate electricity by burning biomass. They are planning a 60-megawatt biomass project that could produce three per cent of the province’s electricity to supply 50,000 homes. This proposal is similar to one rejected by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board last year. But this version is promising to create an additional 150 jobs in the woods of northern Nova Scotia. NewPage already burns bark and junk logs to produce energy at its pulp and paper operation in Cape Breton. If this project proceeds, the company will use “stem wood,” which means tree stumps, tops and branches will be left on the forest floor to restore nutrients to the soil. The project will eliminate the newsprint mill’s need for oil and sell surplus green energy to Nova Scotia Power, thereby reducing its environmental footprint. Environmentalists were critical of the previous proposal, saying it would require too much of the forest to be cut down.

Worldcolor Expands in Kentucky

Worldcolor Expands in Kentucky Posted on:

Gov. Steve Beshear and officials in Simpson County, KY have announced the expansion of Worldcolor’s facility in Franklin, Ky.  The Franklin expansion will create 135 new full-time jobs and entail a capital investment of more than $9.7 million in the Commonwealth. “I’m delighted that Worldcolor has chosen to make such a significant investment in its Franklin plant, creating 135 new jobs,” said Gov. Beshear.  “The vitality of our existing industries is essential to the recovery and growth of our state’s economy.  Worldcolor’s expansion is a positive sign that we are moving in the right direction.” Worldcolor is one of the world’s largest printers of magazines, catalogs, newspaper inserts, books, directories and direct mail products.  The company, which currently employs approximately 425 people at its 460,000 square-foot Franklin facility, is planning to expand by another 105,000 square feet.  Worldcolor will add binding machines and upgrade selected presses to position the site for a significant increase in customer print volume to service magazine and catalog customers. “We are very pleased to make this significant investment in our Franklin facility to serve our magazine and catalog customers,” said Brian Freschi, president of Worldcolor North America. “The addition of the new binding equipment and enhanced presses will provide our customers with the latest technology and will be operated by proven and experienced print professionals.” The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Worldcolor for tax incentives up to $1,950,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. “This is an important opportunity to solidify Worldcolor’s presence in our community,” said Simpson County Judge Executive Jim Henderson.  “It is exciting to see such a large investment in this company’s future.” “Worldcolor’s expansion amid these challenging times reflects the soundness of their business approach, the dedication of their local Simpson County workforce and a vibrant economic development effort in Simpson County,” said Sen. David Givens, of Greensburg. “I particularly applaud current Worldcolor employees, who through dedication and effort, have proven the Simpson County facility worthy of expansion.” “It is good to know companies like Worldcolor are willing to make further investments in strong communities like ours even during trying economic conditions,” said Representative Wilson Stone, of Scottsville. “I want to thank Worldcolor for investing in our community and I look forward to their future in Simpson County.  I would also like to thank Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet for working with Worldcolor and providing the incentives that will allow… …Read More…

More Carbon = More Jobs?

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California’s ballot initiatives, which permit voters to make sweeping changes in state laws by passing statewide referendums, have sometimes had long-lasting and unintended consequences for the nation’s most populous state. Perhaps the most profound impact from these annual edicts from Golden State voters came in the late 1970s, when Proposition 13 placed a ceiling on the state’s tax structure. Unfortunately, Proposition 13 did not put a lid on state spending as well, perhaps setting the stage for the Jupiter-sized budget deficits that have afflicted California in recent years. This year, voters are poised to pass instant judgment on a state law that has not yet gone into effect but already has had a large national impact. In 2006, California passed a law authorizing a cap-and-trade program for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon-credit plan, set to go into effect in 2012, was considered a landmark at the time and triggered a national discussion that culminated in the U.S. House of Representatives passing a similar program last year as part of a comprehensive energy bill. But as the national recession deepened, support for cap-and-trade began to sink amid concerns that any proposal that treats carbon emissions as a regulated commodity—effectively setting a market price for emissions through the trading of carbon credits–will raise energy prices and smother the recovery. The U.S. Senate has yet to act on the House bill, and the Obama Administration is sending signals that it may postpone action on the energy package until after this fall’s Congressional elections. Administration sources also are hinting that cap-and-trade may not make the cut when horse-trading on the energy bill begins in earnest. If a petition now circulating in California gains enough signatures, California voters will weigh in on this critical issue this fall. The proposition, widely expected to gain a place on the statewide ballot, would postpone any carbon limit until the state economy rebounds. Specifically, it would bar California from implementing its cap-and-trade law until the state jobless rate–currently hovering at a dismal 12.5 percent–stabilizes at 5.5 percent. Barring a near-miraculous economic turnaround, this will not happen before the end of 2012. Predictably, energy companies and an antitax group are lining up behind the referendum. The energy concerns are issuing dire warnings about increased energy prices and lost jobs if cap-and-trade goes into effect. On the other side of the argument stands the California Air Resources Board, which concedes that the unit price of energy may rise, but notes that Californians’ total energy bills would be reduced through greater efficiency, theoretically… …Read More…

Science/Tech Park Planned for Western NY

Science/Tech Park Planned for Western NY Posted on:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is laying the groundwork for the creation of  the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), a megaproject that could create an estimated 9,000 jobs for the region. The county is looking at a 1,336-acre site in Alabama township for the proposed science and tech park, according to Buffalo News City & Region. In a development that could take 10 to 15 years to reach its potential, STAMP would be the site of an advanced manufacturer of solar panels, computer chips and flat TV panel displays. It is modeled after a similar park in Saratoga County. Alabama, with a population of 1,900, is also home to the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. STAMP would abut the reservation, and officials say they will meet with tribal leaders to address any concerns about the project. The proposed site is now farmland and is near protected resources, including three large wildlife refuges—the 10,818-acre Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, which spills into Orleans and Niagara counties and two others operated by New York state. Earlier this month, the county center approved a 50-page scoping report that addresses dozens of topics, ranging from ecology and land use to economic benefits to Western New York. The project would include parking for 1,000 vehicles offset by 400 acres set aside for green space and a buffer zone. Provisions also must be made for providing sewer and water—up to 20,000 gallons per day—and minimizing noise and traffic congestion in a rural area. The Economic Development Center was reorganized in 1979 from a county industrial development agency. It has built business parks in Batavia, Bergen and Pembroke.

Cape Wind Inks Deal With Siemens Energy

Cape Wind Inks Deal With Siemens Energy Posted on:

Although it still is awaiting a federal permit to build a controversial offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, Boston-based Cape Wind has signed an agreement to buy 130 wind turbines for the project from Siemens Energy Inc. Siemens concurrently announced it will open an office in Boston for U.S. offshore wind projects. Asked why Cape Wind made the agreement now, before the federal government’s permitting decision, spokesman Mark Rodgers told Boston.com: “We’ve been working hard for the last year to make our selection, and now that we’ve made it, we thought, why wait?’’ Siemens Energy’s parent company, Siemens AG, based in Munich, has a U.S. headquarters in Orlando, Fla. The company’s U.S. Wind Power division has grown from one employee in December 2004 to more than 1,000 employees today. MA Gov. Deval Patrick praised the development. “The opening of a local Siemens offshore wind energy office is another significant step forward for the clean energy industry we have growing in Massachusetts,’’ Patrick said in a statement. The model of Siemens turbine that Cape Wind agreed to purchase is an industry workhorse, with 1,000 units sold and 150 units installed and successfully operating, the company said. Each is capable of generating 3.6 megawatts of power. According to the American Wind Energy Association, a megawatt of wind generates enough electricity to power 225 to 300 households for a year. Globally, Siemens commands more than 50 percent of the world’s offshore wind market. Rodgers told Boston.com Cape Wind’s decision came down to Siemens or Vestas Wind Systems, based in Denmark.