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 Economic Development News 
Friday, March 31 2017

Company produces youth-market vehicles in project that will result in 570 new direct, indirect jobs

Ruston, LA -- Governor John Bel Edwards and Monster Moto CEO Alexander Keechle dedicated the company’s new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ruston, where it assembles minibikes, go-carts and other youth-oriented vehicles. Originally based in the Dallas area, the company relocated its operations to the Ruston facility, which houses the company’s headquarters, a product showroom, warehouse space and an assembly plant equipped to make all of the items in Monster Moto’s product line. Over the next decade, the project will create 287 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $46,800, plus benefits, and more than 50 of those jobs have been filled to date. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 292 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 570 new jobs in North Louisiana.

Monster Moto’s relocation from Dallas to Ruston consisted of a $4 million capital investment as part of a public-private development to build a 100,000-square-foot facility housing the company’s operations at the former site of Ruston’s municipal airport. The new facility also will shift the company’s manufacturing operations from overseas to the U.S. to meet the demand of retailers for U.S.-made vehicles. The Monster Moto facility in Ruston was designed to allow expansion up to 300,000 square feet in the future.

Posted by: AT 12:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 30 2017

Italy-based company opens GR plant; German firm expands in Port Huron

Lansing, MI -- Michigan Strategic Fund approved two grants to international companies that will invest collectively up to $32.5 million and create 150 jobs in the state.

The MSF will provide a $286,000 performance-based grant to Siliconature Corp., and a $496,000 performance-based grant to HP Pelzer Automotive Systems, Inc. Funds are provided through the Michigan Business Development program.

“Selecting the west Michigan site is a strategic decision that puts Siliconature amid an efficient, cost-effective supply chain and proximity to the bulk of its Midwest market,” said Steve Arwood, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

Posted by: AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 28 2017

Fully-redesigned site offers companies new view of South Carolina
Columbia, SC -- The S.C. Department of Commerce announced the launch of its brand new website, which offers companies of all sizes a new view of the resources available to them.
For the first time in nearly seven years, the website for the state's economic development agency has received a major overhaul, featuring a responsive redesigned user interface. Developed with S.C. Commerce's various clients and partners in mind, the new website allows businesses looking to expand or locate in South Carolina the opportunity to access a variety of resources and information sortable by industry type, company size, geographic location and more.
"It's impossible to overstate the importance of first impressions when it comes to economic development," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "For many prospective industries, our website is their first point of contact with the State of South Carolina. So, it's imperative that we put our best foot forward and make it easy for these companies to easily access all of the resources available to them."

Posted by: AT 08:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 28 2017

Columbus, OH – Infoverity, LLC, a global professional services organization that provides Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) strategy and implementation solutions, announced it is expanding operations in the Columbus Region, creating 40 new jobs and investing $100,000. Hiring for information management consulting, managed services and operations positions will begin in late Q2 2017.
“We’re excited to focus our growth in Dublin by expanding our office space, and look forward to continuing to draw new employees from the Columbus Region,” said Matt Wienke, founder of Infoverity. “We have received unparalleled support from local, regional and state communities, allowing us to focus on developing our business.”

Posted by: AT 08:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 23 2017

Charleston, SC -- The Site Selectors Guild (SSG), the world’s largest group of senior site location advisors, honored the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) with the 2017 Excellence in Economic Development Award at its annual conference, March 15, 2017.

Winning professionals and economic development organizations (EDOs) are nominated by SSG members and are selected based on mastery of process; ingenuity and creativity; going above and beyond; political acumen; staying power; and personal, caring touch.

"We recognize the top performers in economic development," said SSG Board Chairman Mark Williams. "They are indispensable partners of the Guild and their outstanding efforts deserve to be celebrated."

Posted by: AT 06:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 23 2017

Brownsville, TX -- CSC Sugar began its new packaging and distribution operations at the Port of Brownsville March 22, 2017.

Key to the company’s expansion to Brownsville is the port’s rail infrastructure and cargo capabilities.

“We chose the Port of Brownsville specifically because it provides great access from both Union Pacific and BNSF railroads. It’s excellent rail connectivity. The freight rate to Brownsville is basically the same regardless where you’re coming from, whether it’s from the sugar growing regions in Minnesota or Idaho,” said Paul Farmer, CEO and president of CSC Sugar. “Having the Brownsville Rio Grande International Railway as the local short line is also a key part of the deal,” he added.

In 2014, the port signed a strategic partnership with OmniTRAX to operate BRG and develop the 1,400-acre GEOTRAC Industrial Hub.

Posted by: AT 06:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 23 2017

Corpus, Christi, TX -- On March 3, 2017 at the Port Readiness Committee Meeting, U.S. Army LTC Brad Bane, presented recognition to Port Corpus Christi COO/Deputy Executive Director, Sean Strawbridge, for Port Corpus Christi’s support during recent Military Out-Load operations.  The U.S. Army 842nd Transportation Battalion loaded and deployed over 1600 pieces of equipment including a fleet of Apache Helicopters via Port Corpus Christi.
“At Port Corpus Christi, we are proud to support the operations of our United States Military.  Our port facilitates commerce to the world, and stands ready to back our military for the swift movement of equipment for our troops.  We are grateful of the recognition from LTC Bane, and the 842nd Transportation Battalion,” said Charles W. Zahn, Jr. Port Corpus Christi Commission Chair.

Posted by: AT 06:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 23 2017

Tampa, FL -- As referenced in the memo from Bob Bradway earlier today, Amgen will be opening a new Capability Center based in Tampa, Florida in late 2017. The Capability Center will be responsible for the delivery of essential business-enabling services, including operational, analytical, staff support and business support activities.

Currently, these roles are spread across parts of our primarily U.S.-based Finance, Global Business Services, Information Services and Human Resources organizations. By bringing these services and activities together under one roof, the Center creates the opportunity to improve collaboration, share best practices, innovate and streamline processes for the entire enterprise in a more competitive way.

An exhaustive evaluation of U.S. locations was conducted to select the location of the Capability Center. In the end, the city of Tampa was selected based on availability of skilled talent, proximity to our global sites, high quality and affordable cost of living for our staff and potential to grow in the future.

Posted by: AT 06:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 22 2017
First of four new cranes starts work at Port of Savannah

Photo Caption: The Port of Savannah has commissioned the first of four new ship-to-shore cranes at Garden City Terminal. Each new crane can lift 65 long tons to a height 152 feet above the dock. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority)

Crane fleet climbing to 30 by 2018

Savannah, GA — The Georgia Ports Authority has commissioned the first of four new Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes at the Garden City Terminal, bringing its fleet to 23 -- more cranes than any other U.S. terminal -- with three machines yet to come online.
"Expanding our capabilities means we are able to grow along with our customers, and adjust to changes in the logistics marketplace, such as increasing vessel sizes," said GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy.
In just over four hours, crews working at the Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal lifted the boom of ship-to-shore crane Savannah 34. (GPA Video: Steve Bieberbach)

Posted by: AT 11:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 20 2017

Orlando, FL — CompuTech City, a local medical IT services company, is expanding operations and breaking ground on its new state-of-the-art company headquarter facility in Longwood. The expansion will result in 35 new, high-wage jobs over the next three years and a capital investment of $2,500,000.

Located on a two-acre site, the company’s new 10,000-square-foot building is expected to be complete in the fall. The state-of-the-art facility will feature over 250 solar panels, open concept to maximize natural light, and will incorporate warehouse, workplace and community spaces. 
“For 15 years, we have successfully provided medical IT services - this expansion represents just that. CompuTech City’s modern and environmentally friendly headquarters were custom designed with our employees’ feedback and technology needs in mind. Our headquarters are a reality, due to the trust of our clients and the hard work of our team - and for that we are grateful. Happy employees, happy clients,” said Saurin Patel, CompuTech City’s CEO.

Posted by: AT 09:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 16 2017

Board Praises Record of Success; Announces Search for Successor

Austin, TX — Tracye McDaniel announced plans to depart her position as President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation effective March 22, 2017. She will launch McDaniel Strategy Ecosystems LLC, a specialized consulting firm that will work with businesses, government and non-profit organizations. 

“It’s been an exciting opportunity to work with Governor Abbott and his executive team. We’ve had some dramatic successes together,” said Tracye McDaniel. “But after thirty-plus years managing public and private economic development organizations in and outside of Texas, I’m ready for a change.”

Her new company, McDaniel Strategy Ecosystems, will focus on advising leaders on their organizations’ most critical issues and opportunities. She said that the company’s priority is to position its clients for “epic” success and help differentiate them from their competition.

Posted by: AT 09:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 14 2017

Orlando, FL — Finexio, a financial tech company that provides a business to business commercial payment network, announced that it will relocate from Silicon Valley and open a new corporate headquarters and engineering department in Orlando. This is the first startup company from the Silicon Valley that has partnered with the Orlando Economic Partnership to relocate to Orlando. The company will create 10 new high-wage jobs. Finexio announced $1 million in funding last summer and is working with investors to raise an additional $5 million to support its growth.
“We are excited to invest and build a deep rapport with the Central Florida business community,” said Ernest Rolfson, Founder and CEO of Finexio. “We were impressed by the resources available to us and the assistance provided by the Orlando Economic Partnership. Remaining in Silicon Valley no longer made commercial sense for Finexio, our investors, or customers,” he added. “We are working to secure our first major local customer which will accelerate our continued growth nationally and in the region.”

Posted by: AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 14 2017

MSF approves grant to Huntington Bank; $5.4-million private investment, 60 new jobs into downtown business district

Lansing, MI — In the latest progress toward attracting businesses and employment opportunities to the city of Flint, Huntington Bank will create 60 new jobs and invest nearly $5.4 million in the heart of downtown at its complex on Saginaw Street across from the University of Michigan-Flint campus. The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved a $450,000 performance-based grant to support the company’s commitment of the capital investment and creation of new jobs at the site.

“These investments by Huntington and the cooperation between the State of Michigan and the City of Flint are great examples of how, by working together, we can create more jobs for Flint residents and help move Flint forward,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.

Posted by: AT 10:08 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 10 2017

Savannah, GA and Norfolk, VA -- The Georgia Ports Authority and the Virginia Port Authority filed on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to create the “East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement.”

The agreement encourages voluntary cooperation in the areas of operational and supply chain efficiencies, safety, communications and customer service.

“The U.S. East Coast continues to see larger vessels and cargo exchanges since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal last year,” VPA CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart and GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a joint statement.

“Increasingly, our customers are seeking gateway ports on the East Coast that can leverage sufficient landside infrastructure to ensure the free flow of cargo.

Posted by: AT 08:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 10 2017

Twin Falls, ID -- The City of Twin Falls was one of four communities selected by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to receive technical assistance in developing small-scale manufacturing for downtown revitalization. The assistance will be provided at no cost to the city through Smart Growth America, which is a national program focused on creating economic opportunities through small business development.

Twin Falls - the smallest and most remote of the four communities selected - was recognized as for seeking uses for its underutilized warehousing district and working with other downtown redevelopment initiatives to build economic security and diversity.

“Small-scale manufacturing, which generally includes entrepreneurial, specialized, and boutique-style manufacturing operations, has emerged as a new tool for economic development in urban areas,” said Nathan Murray, City of Twin Falls Economic Development Director. “Smart Growth America’s new technical assistance program helps cities such as Twin Falls integrate small-scale manufacturing spaces into urban redevelopment efforts.”

Posted by: AT 08:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 10 2017

Company’s first U.S. manufacturing and distribution facility will create 15 new jobs

Richmond, VA -- Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Spain-based Atarfil, a world leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing thermoplastic geomembranes, will invest $5.1 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing and distribution facility in the City of Suffolk. Virginia successfully competed against Maryland for the project, which will create 15 new jobs.
“The advanced manufacturing industry is an integral component of a thriving economy, and securing Atarfil’s first U.S. operation is evidence that this critical sector continues to gain momentum in the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “We are proud that Atarfil has chosen the City of Suffolk and Virginia as its starting point to our national market. The company will be a strong addition to the Hampton Roads corporate community, and we thank the company for being a part of our efforts to diversify and build a new Virginia economy.”

Posted by: AT 08:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 08 2017
Orchids Paper Products to Establish Headquarters in Brentwood

Headquarters will create up to 25 new jobs in Greater Nashville

Nashville, TN — Orchids Paper Products (NYSE MKT: TIS), a leader in the private label tissue industry, announced that it is establishing its headquarters in Brentwood, creating up to 25 jobs in Williamson County.

“Tennessee’s business-friendly environment and high quality workforce have attracted some of the world’s most recognizable brands to our state,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “We’re thankful that Orchids Paper, like countless other companies over the years, has decided to call Tennessee home. We look forward to establishing a strong and lasting partnership with Orchids Paper as it establishes its headquarters in Williamson County and creates high quality job opportunities.”

Posted by: AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 07 2017

Orlando, FL — DWM Facilities Maintenance, a national provider of facilities maintenance services, announced the opening of a new office in Orlando to help facilitate DWM’s recent growth. The company, which is based in New York, will create 10 new jobs in the region over the next year with plans to continue to grow.

“We are so excited to begin this new chapter,” said David Meeks, founder and president of DWM. “Orlando’s growth and history of heightened customer experiences marries well with our growth plans and our culture of problem-solving. Expanding into Orlando gives DWM the opportunity to select employees from two labor markets, ensuring we have the best of the best servicing our clients.”
Employees in the DWM Orlando office will focus on customer service and will work directly with the team based in Albany. The new office is located at 7009 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792.

Posted by: AT 09:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 03 2017
China connecting with Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region

Photo Caption: Consul General Hong Lei (left) of the Consulate of People’s Republic of China in Chicago, and Whiteside County Economic Development Director Gary Camarano at an earlier meeting in Chicago

Morrison, IL — The world’s second largest economy would like to have lunch with some of the Whiteside County/Northwest Illinois Region’s businesses, particularly manufacturers and agribusinesses. Gary Camarano, Whiteside County   Economic Development Director explained, “Mr. Hong Lei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China has accepted our invitation to tour Whiteside/Northwest Illinois and meet with some of our businesses to discuss opportunities for mutually beneficial trade between China and businesses in our region. In conversations with Mr. Hong, we both agreed that the large multi-nationals corporations don’t need our help to sell abroad, but our small and mid-sized businesses do need some assistance. That’s why Mr. Hong will meet with our businesses and present information on opportunities for them with small and mid-sized businesses in China.” 

Posted by: AT 09:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 01 2017

Dallas, TX --  Stream Realty Partners, a national real estate development, services and investment firm, has been named to market Gateway Industrial Park, a 126-acre, master-planned industrial park located in northwest Gainesville, just off Interstate 35 in the NAFTA Corridor.  

Bob Hagewood and Cannon Green with Stream Realty Partners will partner with the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) to market the park.

“We are fortunate to team up with the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation to market Gateway Industrial Park,” said Bob Hagewood, senior vice president, Stream Realty Partners. “We see Gainesville as an excellent alternative for companies that want hard working, prideful employees and a city with open arms to development.  It is well located along IH-35, with convenient access to the Dallas-Fort Worth region as well as Southern Oklahoma.”

Posted by: AT 04:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 01 2017

$96 Million Total Highwoods Investment at Ovation in Franklin

Raleigh, NC — Mars Petcare, one of the world’s leading pet care providers, has selected Highwoods to develop its U.S. headquarters at Ovation in the Cool Springs district of Franklin, TN, one of Nashville’s BBDs (Best Business Districts).

Highwoods will develop 224,000 square feet in two connected LEED-Gold certified office buildings. The projected cost of this 100% pre-leased development project with structured parking is $96 million, including the value of Highwoods-owned land.  Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2017 with a second quarter 2019 targeted completion date.

Ovation, encompassing 145 overall acres, will be a high-density, mixed-use development with 56 acres of perpetually-dedicated preserved green space. Highwoods is the owner and developer of the office portion of Ovation, which is planned for up to 1.4 million square feet. 

Posted by: AT 11:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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