Governor Martin O’Malley announced that Vorbeck Materials Corp., a Howard County-based high technology company, has plans to purchase a State-owned building in Pocomoke City for their new manufacturing facility. The company, which is headquartered in Jessup and is considered a leader in developing graphene nanomaterials, also announced plans to create up to 50 new jobs at the new 42,000 square-foot Pocomoke facility within three years.
“It is exciting to see a cutting-edge, innovative company like Vorbeck creating high-quality manufacturing jobs on the Eastern Shore,” said Governor O’Malley. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Maryland number one for Entrepreneurship and Innovation because of our commitment to high-tech industries and our willingness to invest in the talents, skills, education and innovation of our people. We are pleased that Vorbeck has chosen to expand in Maryland – a reflection of our State’s support for this growing high-tech industry and affirmation that we are a leader in the nation’s innovation economy.”
“Maryland has been a terrific location for us to start and grow our business,” said Vorbeck Materials CEO John Lettow. “We are excited by this opportunity in Pocomoke City. Along with our headquarters in Howard County, we look forward to continued expansion and to creating new jobs in innovation and manufacturing in Maryland.”
“The addition of this innovative company – and make no mistake, they are garnering national and international attention for their technological advances – is a key component in strengthening our community by securing skilled jobs for our workforce in the STEM field, making Worcester County, the State of Maryland and the nation overall viable entities on the world stage,” said Worcester County Commission President James C. “Bud” Church said.
As part of the agreement, the State will provide incentive-based financing for the building that includes deferred payments and interest forgiveness if the company achieves the employment conditions. The company may also be eligible for other State assistance, including the One Maryland Tax Credit and the Job Creation Tax Credit, as well as county incentives. To date, Vorbeck has received $650,000 in Enterprise equity investments and commitments from DBED.
The Governor also announced today that the Pocomoke-Worcester County Enterprise Zone has been designated. The designation will include an 845-acre zone that includes downtown Pocomoke, the Pocomoke Industrial Park, the riverfront industrial area and other parcels. Several existing local companies, including Hardwire LLC, H&H Furniture Company, Aurora and Bel-Art, were attracted to the area because of the Enterprise Zone benefits. The designation is an important tool in attracting and retaining job, particularly in rural areas. Enterprise Zones enable jurisdictions to provide businesses located within the zones with income tax and property tax credits to help create and retain jobs. The latest data by the State Department of Assessment and Taxation shows that businesses in the State’s Enterprise Zones received property tax credits totaling $38.1 million in FY 2012, based on real property investments made by those businesses totaling more than $3 billion.
The Department of Business and Economic Development approves the State’s Enterprise Zones while local governments are responsible for their administration. Businesses operating within an Enterprise Zone may be eligible for a tax credit towards their state income tax filings based upon the number of new jobs created, and a tax credit on their local real property taxes based upon their overall capital investment into a property.
Founded in 2006, Vorbeck has exclusive license on patented graphene technology from Princeton University and developed the world’s first commercial graphene product Vor-inktm. Earlier this year, Vorbeck was named as one of “America’s Next Top Energy Innovators” by the U.S. Department of Energy and this month, the company was recognized by R&D Magazine for developing one of the 100 most significant scientific and technological products or advances of the year – the commercialization of graphene technology which enables greater use of electric vehicles and faster charging consumer electronics.