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 Economic Development News 
Thursday, May 28 2015

Washington -- The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a $6.8 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad (A&M).  A&M will use the loan to refinance the purchase of three locomotives that improves the company’s operations, enhances safety, and reduces carbon emissions.

“Expanding financing opportunities for railroads will create jobs, grow the economy, and improve the quality of our rail infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “The GROW AMERICA Act will strengthen the RRIF program by reducing the cost of obtaining a loan and making the program more accessible.”

Posted by: AT 10:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 28 2015

U.S.-- NAFTA freight totaled $96.1 billion in March 2015 as three out of five transportation modes – air, rail, and truck – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in March 2014, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by theU.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by all modes decreased by 5.3 percent. The value of NAFTA trade by pipeline and vessel declined in March due to the reduced unit price of mineral fuel shipments.
Freight by Mode
In March 2015 compared to March 2014, the value of commodities moving by air grew by the largest percentage of any mode, 6.0 percent. Rail freight increased by 1.5 percent and truck freight increased by 0.9 percent. Vessel freight decreased by 30.3 percent and pipeline freight decreased by 41.6 percent mainly due to the lower unit price of mineral fuel shipments.

Posted by: AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 27 2015

Frederick, MD -- Matan Companies announced today the completion of two 10-year office leases, totaling nearly 25,000 SF, at the Patrick Center in Frederick, MD. West End Capital purchased the building in April of 2014 and partnered with the Matan Companies on the project.  A substantial redesign of the lobby and common areas preceded the leasing effort, which takes the building from around 70% occupancy at the time of acquisition to nearly 95% with the commencement of the two leases less than 13 months from the purchase date.
The first deal was signed with Miles and Stockbridge, involving a renewal of their current lease on the 6th floor and an expansion into approximately two-thirds of the 5th floor, bringing their total size to around 15,500 SF.

Posted by: AT 06:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 27 2015

Dairy revenue up 12.5% over 2013; First time cheese is #1 dairy export
Twin Falls, ID -- Idaho surpassed New York State as the nation’s third largest milk producer after California and Wisconsin, generating 13.9 billion pounds of milk in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest report. Idaho’s total dairy revenue in 2014 was up 12.5% over 2013 due to investments from companies including Chobani, Glanbia Foods and numerous other dairy processors.

“Over 72% of our state’s dairy production comes from Southern Idaho, supporting a growing dairy, cheese and dairy-related food sector,” says Jan Rogers, executive director, Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO).  “Our dairy producers and processors are committed to quality and growth, generating more economic opportunities for the region.”

The Southern Idaho region, known as America’s Most Diverse Food Basket, is home to Chobani’s $450 million yogurt plant, Glanbia’s $15 million headquarters and Cheese Innovation Center, Davisco, Darigold, Idaho Milk Products, High Desert Milk, Gossner Foods and other processors.

“Dairy production from 2014 demonstrate Idaho’s strong dairy industry and the increased milk production has helped meet the growing demand for Idaho’s high quality milk,” said Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. “We earned this #3 ranking even with fewer cows than New York, a testament to the greater efficiencies of our dairy farmers,” he said.

In 2014, cheese was the #1 dairy export in Idaho, with total dairy generating over $394 million in revenue.
The Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) is a joint venture of public and private sectors formed to help diversify and strengthen the regional economy by retaining and attracting business in the communities of Twin Falls, Jerome, Kimberly, Filer, Gooding, Glenns Ferry, Burley, Heyburn, Paul, and Rupert.

Located along the Snake River, Southern Idaho’s communities are located 120 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho’s state capital, and 340 miles northwest of Salt Lake City.  

Posted by: AT 06:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 26 2015
The Austin Company Announces Promotion of Charles H. Stevens to Vice President, Construction

Atlanta, GA -- The Austin Company (, an international design, engineering, construction and location consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Charles (Charlie) H. Stevens to Vice President of Construction Services.

Charlie joined The Austin Company in 1977 and has over forty years of experience in construction services. He was promoted to Vice President and Atlanta Operations Manager in 2006 and then to Vice President and Project Executive – Southeast Region, in 2013. Prior to that, Charlie was Director of Construction Services, and Manager of Construction – Southeast Region. In addition to field construction supervision, Charlie’s practical experience and counsel have made major contributions to Austin’s design-only contracts. His areas of expertise include: construction management, construction supervision, scheduling, safety program management and quality control.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Charlie’s expertise lead our Construction Services,” said Phil Todd, Senior Vice President, Operations of The Austin Company. “We look forward to Charlie’s continued leadership and client service in this new role.”

Posted by: AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 21 2015

Many U.S. port authorities engaging in Maritime Day-related activities

American Association of Port Authorities -- Kristin Decas, port director and CEO of Southern California’s Port of Hueneme and chairwoman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the recognized and unified voice of seaports in the Americas – has been chosen to speak at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Maritime Day ceremony on May 21.

National Maritime Day, May 22, was decreed by Congress in 1933 as a day for the United States to observe its proud maritime heritage, honor those who serve and have served as merchant mariners, and recognize the many benefits that result from America’s maritime industry. The annual event commemorates the role America plays as a maritime nation and remembers those who gave their lives in service to the industry.

The U.S. Merchant Marine have long been a pillar of the nation’s foundation, security and continued prosperity.

Posted by: AT 08:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 20 2015

Cleveland, Ohio –- The Austin Company (, an international design, engineering, construction and location consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, continues its growth in 2015, announcing the addition of multiple associates located in Ohio, Georgia, California, Michigan and Missouri.

Posted by: AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 20 2015
35,000 attendees at RECon a sign of healthy retail industry, strong economy

RECon -- The deals are rolling, with attendance at RECon higher than it has been for years, as developers, retailers and others reap the benefits of an improving global economy.

Nearly 33,000 preregistered for this year’s show, about 3,000 more than last year. Thousands more are expected to register on-site for the four-day event.

“It’s a great time to be in the business,” said Robert Myers, COO of Phillips Edison & Co., which has had a busy year of acquisitions that promises only to get busier. The company, which added 2,000 square feet to its booth last year for a total 5,000 square feet has 72 people at the show and 800 meetings lined up, says Myers.

“The vibe is good,” said Robert E. Young Jr., managing director of the Dallas-based Weitzman Group brokerage, which has brought 75 executives to RECon this year, and has 375 scheduled meetings — and plenty of unscheduled ones besides. Retailers are expanding in tandem with an expanding job market, and food retailers — whether they be supermarkets or fast-food vendors — are particular hot, Young added.

Posted by: AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 18 2015

Lake Charles project will retain 295 existing jobs and result in more than 110 new direct and indirect jobs

Lake Charles, LA -- Governor Bobby Jindal and W.R. Grace & Co. Chairman and CEO Fred Festa announced Advanced Refining Technologies®, the company’s joint venture with Chevron Products Company, will make a capital investment of $135 million to build a residue hydroprocessing catalyst production plant and additional alumina capacity at the existing Grace manufacturing facility near Lake Charles.

Grace will retain 295 direct jobs at the site, while ART will create 30 new direct jobs with a new annual payroll of $2.4 million, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates another 88 new indirect jobs would result from the project, for a total of more than 110 new jobs in the Southwest Region. In addition, 190 construction jobs will be created at peak building activity by the project, which will expand what is one of the largest refining catalyst plants in the world.

Posted by: AT 09:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 14 2015

Princeton, NJ -- Choose New Jersey’s President & CEO Michele Brown has announced that Margie Piliere will join the organization as Chief Economic Development Officer. Piliere is currently the Director of Business Banking and Community Development at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), which along with the Business Action Center and Office of Secretary of Higher Education, makes up the Partnership for Action. Piliere will join Choose New Jersey in early July.
“Having known Margie for nearly three years during my tenure at EDA and with Choose New Jersey, I am more than confident that her ‘can do’ attitude, dynamic professionalism and deal-closing abilities are a perfect fit for Choose New Jersey,” said Brown. “Her long-term working relationships with the members of the PFA will only serve to strengthen the Partnership’s efforts and her experience in urban redevelopment, and relationships with local leaders will be an incredible asset to our team as Choose New Jersey refocuses efforts to grow business in our cities.” 

Posted by: AT 12:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 13 2015
Port Freeport Announces Winners of 15th Annual Take-Child Fishing Tournament

Freeport, TX -- Port Freeport was proud to host its 15th Annual Take-A-Child Fishing Tournament (TACFT) May 9th at the Freeport Municipal Park.  The entry fee of a canned good benefited the Brazoria County Dream Center.  They received over 300 canned goods to help fill their pantry.  There were 240 registered anglers with their families from communities in Brazoria County and beyond generating more than 700 people in attendance.  The young anglers caught a variety of fish and presented a total of 692 that were weighed.  Port Freeport would like to thank everyone who attended and congratulate this year’s winners:

Posted by: AT 04:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 13 2015

Waterford, Michigan -- Two international manufacturers who met with Oakland County economic developers at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C. confirmed they will establish business locations in Oakland County.

The announcements come little more than a month after the companies – APAG Elektronik AG and Promac – met with the Oakland County business development team. Within a week of meeting with the Oakland County team, company representatives were in Oakland County in search of potential sites.

“These companies have seen what a thousand others who came before them saw – that Oakland County is the best market for international investment,” Patterson said. “We are proud of the business climate we’ve created for international companies and the infrastructure available to support their business. We welcome these two fine companies to Oakland County.”

Posted by: AT 04:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 13 2015

Rupert, ID -- PerforMix Nutrition Systems, a liquid and dry feed supplement and nutrition company for the beef and dairy industry, has announced that it will build a new state of the art production facility in Rupert, Idaho.  PerforMix, a subsidiary of Agri Beef Co., has facilities in Nampa and Fruitland, Idaho and Moses Lake, Washington.

The new Rupert facility will break ground on 10 acres before July 1, 2015 and will be built with the most current technology to be the most advanced liquid feed operation in the Pacific Northwest.

“We are thrilled to build our third Idaho location in Rupert,” said Jim Keppen, president of PerforMix.  “Rupert is ideally located to help us better serve our existing customers as well as the broader industry in the Magic Valley, Eastern Idaho  and surrounding States. We are currently near our full capacity level at our Nampa plant. The Rupert facility will allow us to move our existing Eastern Idaho business to Rupert opening up production capacity for growth in the Treasure Valley. The folks in Rupert have been outstanding to work with and we couldn’t be happier to join this great community,” Keppen said.

Posted by: AT 03:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 12 2015

$500 million Berkeley County automotive factory to create up to 4,000 jobs
Columbia, SC -- Volvo Car Corporation has selected Berkeley County, South Carolina for its first manufacturing facility in the Western hemisphere. 

The new facility will have an initial estimated annual production capacity of around 100,000 cars. Located in northwestern Berkeley County on a portion of the Camp Hall site, the plant will manufacture latest-generation Volvo models for sale in the United States and for export. Construction will begin in early fall 2015, with the first vehicles expected to roll off the assembly line in 2018. 

Once completed, Volvo Cars will be able to manufacture vehicles on three continents, underscoring its position as a truly global car maker. It already operates two plants in Europe and two in China. Additionally, the new U.S. plant forms part of an ambitious medium-term expansion plan to double global sales, boost market share and lift profitability. Volvo began importing cars to the U.S. in 1955. With the development of an American factory, the company crosses an important threshold from an automotive importer to a domestic manufacturer.

Posted by: AT 11:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 11 2015

Bloomington, IN -- Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. is pleased to announce that its new headquarters building has been awarded LEED Gold certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of energy efficient facilities. The program recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve one of four levels of certification. The Gold certification awarded to Hoosier Energy is the second-highest designation the U.S. Green Building Council bestows on buildings that demonstrate energy efficiency and sustainability.

Posted by: AT 04:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 07 2015

Washington D.C. -- The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today closed on a $967.1 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan with New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in order to facilitate the deployment of Positive Train Control (PTC) on both the Metro-North Railroad (Metro North) and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).  It is the largest RRIF loan in FRA’s history.

“This loan will help prevent derailments and ensure the safety of the riding public,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Continuous investment in rail technology and infrastructure will enable us to meet the growing demand for rail while saving lives.”

Posted by: AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 07 2015

'Move America Act of 2015' would help fund landside improvements to U.S. ports

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas—publicly voiced support for the bi-partisan Move America Act of 2015 infrastructure bonding and credits legislation introduced today in Congress by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). The Move America proposal would provide more tax-exempt financing for public-private partnerships, along with the option to use federal tax credits to leverage private equity investment in public infrastructure projects, including critically-needed improvements at, and connecting with, with U.S. seaports.

Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO, said, “AAPA broadly supports the efforts of Senators Wyden and Hoeven, through the Move America program, to enable greater investments in port-related infrastructure through public-private partnerships. We look forward to working with both senators, and with Congress, to address the issue of crumbling freight transportation infrastructure, which our U.S. member ports recently told us represents a nearly $29 billion funding challenge over the next 10 years.”

Posted by: AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 04 2015

Madison, IN -- SuperATV, LLC, a producer of aftermarket parts and accessories for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), announced plans to expand its operations here, creating up to 114 new jobs by 2018.
The homegrown-Hoosier company will invest $4.95 million to purchase, renovate and equip a facility in Madison to expand its storage and test areas for new parts and equipment. Moving most operations from its current 232,000-square-foot facility, the company is currently considering facility options, allowing it to expand production of kits and customized ATV products for its customers at the new facility. 
“SuperATV represents the Indiana story,” said Governor Mike Pence. “With a great idea and that famous Hoosier work ethic, we’re witnessing small businesses across our state rising in success and size. It’s a story made possible by a business climate that’s cutting red tape and letting companies do what they do best—create jobs and grow our economy.”

Posted by: AT 02:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 04 2015

Historic building transforms into the 21 st century town square for entrepreneurs

Salt Lake City, UT –- After more than a year of restoration, the historic building located at 150 South State Street opens as the permanent home of Impact Hub Salt Lake. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and local civic and business leaders celebrated the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 30th.

“Salt Lake’s history is rooted in a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Brian Lemke, Vice President of Business Development, Salt Lake Chamber. “The renovation of this century-old building is consistent with the historic preservation goals of the city, and the vision established in the Chamber’s ‘Downtown Rising’ master plan. The historic building was a thriving center of commerce throughout the 20th century, and today we celebrate the Impact Hub, which is leading Salt Lake’s innovation commerce in the 21 st century.”

Impact Hub Salt Lake is a membership-based, co-working and networking community, and incubator for social enterprises and entrepreneurs. As part of the Impact Hub global network, members in Salt Lake City have access to resources across 75+ Impact Hubs and 10,000+ community members across 5 continents.

Impact Hub Salt Lake consists of three distinct elements:

  • First, it is a vibrant community of passionate and entrepreneurial people who share an underlying intention to improve their communities and act as peers to cross-fertilize and develop their ventures.
  • Second, it is a source of inspiration that provides meaningful content through thought-provoking events, innovation labs, learning spaces, incubation, programs and facilitated conversations that support business development and drive positive impact.
  • Third, it is a physical space that offers a flexible and highly functional infrastructure to work, meet, learn and connect. The magic happens where these three elements connect and are brought to life through the art of hosting. “Innovation is most often the result of collaboration, and the layering and multiplying of ideas,” said Søren Simonsen, Impact Hub Co-founder & President, and a prominent Utah architect and urban designer. “Impact Hub represents a microcosm of how cities came to be. People coming together, as a community, to solve problems and cross-pollinate ideas. Essentially, the Impact Hub is like a modern-day town square, bringing people and ideas together and forward.”

Impact Hub Salt Lake was designed to provide a collaborative environment in which people can work, meet and learn within a modular structure.

“The Impact Hub offers opportunity for everyone, whether you’re a startup nonprofit, an entrepreneur experiencing early stages of growth or an established business,” said Dustin Haggett, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Impact Hub Salt Lake, who first became interested in the concept while completing his graduate program in sustainable management. “I didn’t know such a community existed and was immediately impressed by the energy of the people and the variety of projects and ventures incubating there. Startup life can be difficult and there is something intriguing about sharing a space with other like-minded entrepreneurs who have an interest in your success.”

Over 400 members, across a number of private and nonprofit sectors have joined Impact Hub Salt Lake, which has been in a temporary popup space since early 2014.

“I love that Impact Hub attracts so many innovative and driven individuals,” said Sarah Burroughs, Impact Hub member and founder of Anne B Designs. “It's refreshing being around people who dream big and who don't settle for mediocre products and systems. And everyone at Impact Hub supports each other and gets excited for each others' successes.”

“I came to the Hub to get in on a piece of the action within the SLC startup scene. My sportswear company, Swoob, is a small business that doesn't have the need for dedicated office space,” said Kyle Muir, Impact Hub member and founder of Swoob + Hyperactive Capital. “When I understood the purpose of Impact Hub, and after meeting the people working out the of the space, it felt like the right place for me.”

Community and business partners across the state have shown support from the start by giving time, investment funds and contributing to the community of ideas. Those include Variance Ventures, BoomStartup, CLEARLINK, Zions Bank, Holland & Hart, XMission, Durham Jones Pingar and many more have already seen an impact the investment has made on their own businesses and employees from the idea sharing alone.

"Every business, large or small, benefits by having a place where they can both give back to the business community in unique ways, and foster new thinking and ideas within their employees. It's this collection of community and business relationships that is the essence of what a thriving Impact Economy looks like," said Phil Hansen, CEO of CLEARLINK and Impact Hub partner. "We're excited to be part of the impact growing businesses and nonprofits will have on our local economy.”

Throughout the week of April 27th, the Impact Hub hosted sessions for members and potential members. The week culminated on Thursday, April 30th with the ribbon cutting at 10:00 am and celebration party at 7:00 p.m. All interested in learning more about the Impact Hub, membership opportunities and hearing from those who have experienced the impact it can have can learn more at

About Impact Hub Global:
 Impact Hubs make up a global network of people, places, and programs that inspire, connect and catalyse impact. The first Impact Hub opened its doors in London in early 2005. Now after almost ten years later, there are more than 60 operating locations around the world, with many more Impact Hub startup initiatives in progress.

About Impact Hub Salt Lake:
 Impact Hub Salt Lake is a co-working space, venue, think-tank and incubator for social entrepreneurs. We connect entrepreneurs, investors and supporters with the aim of finding ways to disrupt traditional economic thinking by shifting focus from solely profit towards impact. For membership and upcoming event information visit:

Posted by: AT 02:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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