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 Economic Development News 
Friday, July 25 2014

Illinois-based company approves feasibility study for surfactants site in Ascension Parish

Baton Rouge, LA -- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Stepan Company President and CEO F. Quinn Stepan Jr. announced the company will complete front-end engineering and design work for a potential $60 million to $70 million chemical production facility in the existing industrial corridor of Ascension Parish. The company, headquartered near Chicago, recently authorized the feasibility work and will make a final investment decision on the project in the second quarter of 2015.  

If completed, the project would create 33 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $70,000 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 98 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 130 new jobs in the state. Another 65 construction jobs would be created by the project.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 03:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, July 25 2014

voestalpine Texas Earns Greenhouse Gas Permit

Port Corpus Christi, TX -- One of Port Corpus Christi’s newest customers, voestalpine Texas LLC, broke ground in April this year, and just recently received permitting from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their project on the Port’s La Quinta Trade Gateway. The relatively quick approval of the greenhouse gas permit is a testament to voestalpine’s commitment to sustainable energy and safeguarding the environment.

EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said, “voestalpine shows energy efficiency is a common-sense strategy for success, not just in business but for the environment as well.”

The voestalpine Texas facility at Port Corpus Christi will produce Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) using locally sourced natural gas from the South Texas Eagle Ford Shale as an alternative to solid fossil fuels. The approximately $740 million project will produce approximately 1,400 jobs in the construction phase, and 150 permanent jobs.

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Friday, July 25 2014

Las Cruces, NM -- A new movie, titled Captain Fantastic, is set to start filming in Las Cruces within the next month. The film stars Academy Award Best Actor Nominee Viggo Mortensen as an idealistic father of six who tries to assimilate back into society after living ‘off the grid’ in the forests of the Pacific Northwest for ten years.
Starring opposite Mortensen will be three time Tony Award winner and Academy Award Nominee Frank Langella. The film, written and directed by Matt Ross, is being produced by Electric City Entertainment and ShivHans Pictures.
Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima stated, “It’s wonderful to have a film like Captain Fantastic choose Las Cruces as a film location. Film production is a great way to promote Las Cruces, create jobs and bring outside dollars to the region, and the City will be stepping up its efforts to recruit more film production to Las Cruces region.” The film will bring a cast and crew of more than 100 to Las Cruces for nine to eleven days of filming.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 24 2014

Bill encourages more individuals to invest in small businesses

Covington, KY -- Angel investors now have another reason to invest in Kentucky’s small and startup companies – tax credits.

Gov. Steve Beshear joined state lawmakers, community leaders and angel investors today to ceremonially sign House Bill 445. The legislation expands the Kentucky Investment Fund Act (KIFA) so that individual angel investors – people who provide capital for startup companies – can receive tax credits. Currently, only groups of angel investors (with fund managers) can take advantage of the credits. The signing took place at UpTech, a small business accelerator in Covington.

The expansion is designed to encourage more investment in Kentucky’s small businesses. The expanded credit, in turn, is expected to spark more innovation, business creation and jobs.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 02:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 24 2014

Mankato, MN -- Forbes recently released its list of “Best Small Places for Business and Careers,” ranking Mankato 3rd best in the United States. Forbes considers a “small place” to be a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with a population less than 250,000. The Mankato MSA, which is officially known as the Mankato-North Mankato MSA and includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, has a population of approximately 98,900, according to Forbes. This is up seven spots from the 2013 ranking of 10th in the nation. In 2012 the MSA was ranked 11th and in 2011 it ranked 25th on the same list.

“Our marketplace is a region on the rise,” said Jonathan Zierdt, president & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. ”The visibility and attention Greater Mankato continues to gain is based on numerous successes, not just one; from successful partnerships, businesses and people, every moving part has contributed to accolades such as this.”

The “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” list included 184 MSAs. Other Minnesota MSAs on the list were Rochester and St. Cloud at 23rd and 24th respectively. The Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA was ranked 17th and Duluth 64th on Forbes list of “Best Places for Business and Careers,” which included 200 MSAs with populations greater than 250,000.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 23 2014

Freeport, TX -- Port Freeport is pleased to announce the arrival of our two Post Panamax Cranes.  “The Gantry cranes departed from Shanghai, China on May 7th and arrived at Port Freeport on July 19th,” Executive Port Director/CEO Glenn Carlson said.  
The Zhen Hua 28, delivered the two 100-foot gauge container cranes completely erect for Port Freeport.  Being approximately 80 feet wide each, both cranes will occupy a portion of Berth 7 at Velasco Terminal.  They stand just less than 300 feet from the ground and can lift up to 75 tons.  “This commitment from the Commissioners demonstrates that Port Freeport will make the financial investments to support the petrochemical industry in our region.  For these companies to be able to ship directly from the port will allow them to reduce their supply chain costs and have access to the world-wide markets,” Carlson said.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 02:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014

Louisville, KY -- A Kentucky brewery plans to boost production by more than 400 percent with a new facility in Louisville.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office said Monday that Against the Grain Brewery is expanding with a new production and packaging facility in the Portland neighborhood in western Louisville. The addition will include a barrel brewhouse and a number of barrel fermenter tanks.

The expansion also will allow the company to eventually develop an area to include a tasting room and retail space.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 03:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014

200MW Facility to Open in Michigan in 2014
Norcross, Ga. -- Suniva, Inc., a metro-Atlanta based manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules, announces today that it is opening a second U.S. manufacturing facility, to be located in Saginaw Township, Michigan.  Construction will begin in August, with production in the 4th Quarter of 2014 and will provide up to 200MW of additional capacity of its highly-regarded American-made modules.  
The new facility further strengthens Suniva’s position as America’s leading solar module manufacturer, employing a higher percentage of American workers than any other tier-1 solar manufacturer.  The company currently produces its high-powered Optimus monocrystalline module line with power ratings up to 280W (60-cell format) and an industry-leading 330W (72-cell format).
The fully-operational plant is expected to add 350 new jobs to the Saginaw community, and represents the next step in the fulfillment of the company’s vision of growth in the Saginaw Valley.   “The U.S. market has spoken and has clearly stated that it values a company that was born in the USA, is owned in the USA, and builds high-quality products here.  We are honored by that validation, and pleased that our success is allowing us to give back by the creation of additional U.S. jobs”, said John Baumstark, chairman and chief executive officer of Suniva.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 01:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 22 2014

A new report released by Brookings Institution indicates that German foreign direct investment accounts for over 500,000 jobs in the United States, a significant portion of total foreign job creation in the US. According to the report, 9.1 percent of foreign jobs in the US have been created by German companies. This makes Germany the third largest contributor to the US job market, behind England and Japan. Two German states, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg, also ranked among the top ten highest investing regionsin the US.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 21 2014

Charleston, SC -- Today SC Ports Authority reported a strong finish for the 2014 fiscal year with 8 percent container growth, an increase of 2 percent over projected plans.

"Our above-market fiscal year growth again this year is testament to strong performance in our major business segments," said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. "The implementation of our strategic plan is paying off, and the large capital investments committed to port infrastructure by the state of South Carolina and Ports Authority are yielding great dividends. Significant capital investment by major port users has also positively impacted volumes."   
In June the SCPA handled 149,183 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 19 percent from 125,257 TEUs handled the same period last year. For the total fiscal year period, July through June, the SCPA moved 1,684,907 TEUs.
On the non-containerized cargo side, the SCPA handled 83,399 pier tons in June for a total of 763,230 pier tons during the fiscal year in Charleston, an increase of 3.6 percent over plan.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 02:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, July 11 2014

Project will provide technology solutions for major domestic customers

Lafayette, LA -- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Enquero Inc. executive Hemant Asher announced the company’s selection of Lafayette for its first Agile Delivery Center™, a high-performance technology center providing enterprise software products and services to commercial clients.

The company will create 350 new direct jobs with an average salary of $64,300 per year, plus benefits. In addition, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 354 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 700 new jobs in the Acadiana Region and surrounding area.

Gov. Jindal said, “Enquero is the latest in a long string of IT and software companies that we’ve welcomed to Louisiana, including CGI, CSC, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, GE Capital and IBM. Since we took office in 2008, Louisiana’s technology sector has experienced absolute growth of 25 percent, making it the fastest-growing industry in our state and a great source of diversity, vibrancy and innovation for our economy. Louisiana now has more people working than ever before and this project provides further validation of our work to create a new Louisiana. With Louisiana’s outstanding business climate, strong technology infrastructure and talented workforce, we are encouraging more companies like Enquero to invest in our state and create great jobs for Louisiana’s families.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 10 2014

Sacramento, CA -- The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) Committee today approved $28.9 million in tax credits for 29 companies expanding and creating jobs in California.
“The inaugural round of California Competes awardees represents a broad range of industries and regions across California,” said committee chair Michael E. Rossi. “I am confident these companies will use the tax credits to invest in their business, hire more people and contribute to California’s ongoing economic growth.”
Rossi, senior jobs advisor to Governor Brown and chair of the Committee, convened the inaugural meeting of the Committee which includes Treasurer Bill Lockyer, director of the Department of Finance Michael Cohen, Senate appointee Denise Zapata and Assembly appointee Greg Conger.
The awards approved by the Committee are projected to help these companies create almost 6,000 jobs and generate over $2 billion in investments across California.  Awardees are exempted from paying state income taxes in the amount awarded. The complete list of approved companies and award amounts can be found here.  
“These credits provide significant incentives for companies to invest, create jobs and strengthen California’s economy,” said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a member of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. “Unlike some tax incentive programs, this one has a competitive selection process and requires real accountability from businesses. To be awarded credits, companies must demonstrate how the credits will help create jobs and then make the investments they promise.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 11:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 09 2014

New State-of-the-Art Facility in Northern Kentucky Will Serve Mubea Employees and Families

Boone County, KY -- Mubea North America, a Tier One, high-tech advanced manufacturer of lightweight, high-performing automotive parts for the global automotive industry, marked the opening of a new Health & Wellness Center at its Florence, Kentucky manufacturing campus today with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Our focus is on providing the highest quality, lightweight and best performing components to our customers while being the preferred employer in Northern Kentucky,” said Doug Cain, CEO of Mubea North America. “The new Mubea Health & Wellness Center is just the latest example of our commitment to provide an environment in which our employees are proud to be part of the Mubea family.”

Currently, Mubea has more than 1,200 employees at six facilities in Northern Kentucky. The new Health & Wellness Center, located at 8200 Dixie Highway, will be managed by the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Physicians Group, and operate independently of Mubea North America. The Center will be a full family practice center and equipped to handle occupational injuries with a trauma room, two examining rooms, a pharmacy, nurse station and waiting room. The Center will be staffed by a family practice physician, registered nurse and medical assistant.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 09:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 08 2014

Backed with $1.36 million in state tax credits, project expected to create as many as 200 new jobs over two years

MADISON, WI -- Power management company Eaton today announced a $54 million investment in its Waukesha-based Cooper Power Systems business. The project, which calls for expanding one facility and renovating two others, will help Eaton meet growing demand for its utility, commercial and industrial power distribution products and solutions.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is providing up to $1.36 million in tax credits for the project that could create as many as 200 jobs in the region over the next two years.

“There is no question that energy is a vital and growing component of Wisconsin’s economy, and power management is an important part of that sector,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “This project not only solidifies Eaton’s commitment to Wisconsin, but also is an indication that the company is continuing to look toward the future.”

“Eaton is an outstanding business not just in Waukesha but throughout Wisconsin,” added Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development agency. “WEDC is pleased that it played a role in helping this project come to fruition.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 08 2014

Baytown expansion will create 10,000 construction jobs and more than 4,000 related jobs
Final regulatory approvals received -- Houston-area community colleges receive $1 million for workforce training

Houston, TX -- ExxonMobil Chemical Company announced today that it has started construction of a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker at its Baytown, Texas, complex and associated premium product facilities in nearby Mont Belvieu. This project, and major investments ExxonMobil has made to develop oil and natural gas resources in the United States, including the merger with XTO Energy, demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to American economic growth and job creation.

The steam cracker will have a capacity of up to 1.5 million tons per year and provide ethylene feedstock for downstream chemical processing, including processing at two new 650,000 tons per year high performance polyethylene lines at the company’s Mont Belvieu plastics plant.

“The project is made possible in large part by abundant, affordable supplies of U.S. natural gas for energy and chemical feedstock,” said Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. The chemical industry and other industrial sectors account for nearly 30 percent of U.S. natural gas demand. “Shale development has provided U.S. chemical producers a double benefit as an energy source and as a key raw material to make plastics and other essential products, creating jobs and economic activity across the value chain.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 09:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 07 2014

Company will create 21 new direct jobs and install new machinery to embroider stars on the American flag

Baton Rouge, LA -- Gov. Bobby Jindal and President Steve Pack of Allied Materials & Equipment Company announced Allied will make a $340,000 capital investment and create 21 new direct jobs at the company’s Bogalusa, Louisiana, facility, where it manufactures the field of stars for the U.S. flag. 

Allied, which produces U.S. flags for federal agencies, is purchasing new embroidery equipment for the application of stars onto the blue canton of the American flag. The company will retain 21 jobs at the facility while creating the additional 21 new direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in another 12 indirect jobs, for a total of more than 30 new jobs in Washington Parish and surrounding areas.

Gov. Jindal said, “On the eve of our nation’s Independence Day celebration, it is truly fitting that we celebrate this expansion by Allied Materials & Equipment Company today in Washington Parish. Not only do the dedicated workers at Allied assemble our national flag, the company’s expansion here in Louisiana is a testament to our strong business climate and skilled workforce. The new jobs the company will create in Bogalusa mean new opportunities for more Louisianians to purse the American dream here at home, in Louisiana.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 09:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 03 2014

Harlingen, TX -- A 72-bed psychiatric hospital under management by Strategic Behavioral Health LLC will break ground for construction late this summer, city officials announced Wednesday, July 2.

Mayor Chris Boswell told a news conference at City Hall that capital expenditures for addition of the new hospital are estimated at more than $10 million. Strategic Behavioral Health LLC will strengthen Harlingen’s prominent position in the health-care industry which includes a cluster of nationally recognized facilities and specialists. The new psychiatric hospital planned near the intersection of Hale Avenue and Victoria Lane will make mental health-care more easily accessible to residents in Cameron, Willacy and Hidalgo counties.

“Our health industry cluster in Harlingen will be a valuable resource for the medical school that will open with the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,” Boswell said. “High paying jobs for professionals is one aspect of the new hospital that makes this a great project to advance our community’s economic base.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 01:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 03 2014

Capabilities With New Singapore Office

The Woodlands, TX -- In response to increased market demand, Global Shop Solutions, a global leader in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software industry, announces the opening of its new Singapore office. Working in tandem with the Global Shop Solutions’ Jakarta, Indonesia location, which focuses on technical and customer support, the Singapore office will primarily serve as a sales and consulting hub for the company’s growing customer base throughout Southeast Asia. Located in the heart of Singapore’s bustling downtown core, the new office will also provide a central location for customer training as well as educational events for interested manufacturers.

“With the rapid growth of manufacturing in this region, more companies are turning to ERP software to cut costs and streamline operations,” says Dusty Alexander, CEO of Global Shop Solutions. “The Singapore office will enable us to strengthen the personal touch for our Southeast Asian customers that our customers in the U.S., Latin America and elsewhere expect and value from us.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 03 2014

$100 million investment by shipping supply distributor to create 500 new jobs

Pleasant Prairie – Today, Governor Scott Walker joined Uline founders, Dick and Elizabeth Uihlein, in Pleasant Prairie to announce the company’s latest plans to grow the shipping supply distribution business in Wisconsin.

“This project is another example of how Uline—a successful, growing company—is invested in Wisconsin and our workforce,” Governor Walker said.  “We will continue our work to improve the business climate and develop our workforce, to encourage more job creators to expand and grow here as Uline continues to do.”

Liz and Dick Uihlein started the company in their basement in 1980.  In the summer of 2010, they moved the corporate headquarters from Waukegan, IL to the current 200-acre corporate campus in Pleasant Prairie.  The existing $125 million campus includes a 200,000-square-foot office building and a one million square-foot, state of the art warehouse dedicated to supplying regional distribution centers.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 01 2014

Envirotainer is pleased to announce that the company has, as of today, established its own ground handling and container center in Amsterdam. This follows the take over of  part of the assets and staff of  the former Air Repair facilities in Hoofddorp, which were dedicated to Envirotainer repair and handling.

This commercial arrangement supports the strategic decision, communicated to the market one year ago, to run Envirotainer-operated ULD competence centers to further strengthen its ability to serve the cold chain market with state-of-the-art air cargo containers, and will further strengthen Envirotainer’s pool of competency in the Global Service Network organization.

The part of Air Repair B.V. i.e. the repair and handling of general cargo ULD’s & Cargo Nets, will stay under control of ACL Airshop that continues to be fully FAA & EASA licensed and, effective today, transferred to the headquarters and facilities at ACL Airshop in the Netherlands, which is only 15 minutes from Amsterdam Airport. Here business will continue as usual.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 01 2014

$1.3 billion mill is largest investment in state’s history

Little Rock, AR -- Big River Steel LLC today announced it has officially closed on its financing necessary to build a $1.3 billion steel mill in Mississippi County, Arkansas, that will employ more than 500 people with an average annual compensation of $75,000. A formal groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled for later this summer.

“It’s truly been a team effort between our investors, local and state leadership, our management team, and many others to get to this point,” said John Correnti, Big River Steel’s CEO.  “I know firsthand Northeast Arkansas has everything we need to operate a world-class mill. Now it’s time to get to work.”

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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