CiCi Corporate Investment Awards | Trade and Industry Development

CiCi Corporate Investment Awards

Apr 25, 2018 | By: Jennifer Alten

Corporate investment in the United States is going strong. The 15 projects included in Trade & Industry Development’s 13th annual Corporate Investment CiCi Awards are derived from corporate development projects announced in 2017 and represent the commitment of nearly $22 billion in corporate investment collectively. This capital commitment goes beyond dollars; it also translates into the promise of new jobs for more than 24,000 people.

This year’s top Corporate Investment CiCi Awards recipient rightfully earned its place with a commitment to a $10.1 billion investment for the project. In 2017, electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group inked the largest development deal in Wisconsin history. Foxconn will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people, with an average salary of nearly $54,000, to manufacture liquid crystal display screens used on phones, televisions, computers and other devices.

Seven other companies also committed to invest $1 billion or more in their corporate development projects. Factor in the multiplier effect of these significant investments and it’s easy to see how the communities where the projects will be located will befit as well.

Digital technology companies and the auto industry dominate the 2018 Corporate Investment CiCi Awards. Social media giant Facebook is opening up two data centers. Facebook is investing $1 billion in Henrico County, Virginia, to establish a 970,000-square-foot data center and investing $750 million for a new data center in New Albany, Ohio, that will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Not to be outdone, Apple is also building a data center powered by renewable energy – a $1.33 billion investment in Waukee, Iowa, a farm town about 18 miles west of Des Moines, Iowa. In addition, digital technology learning company Pluralsight plans to expand its operations in its native Salt Lake County, Utah.

Meanwhile, the auto industry is making significant investments throughout the country. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., known as TMMK, for example, will undergo a $1.33 billion expansion in Georgetown, Kentucky, to increase manufacturing flexibility.

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Mercedes-Benz is expanding a plant that is already in the midst of previously announced $1.3 billion expansion to accommodate the demand for its electric car. This new $1 billion expansion project will create a battery manufacturing facility. Similarly, Volvo Cars is spending $1 billion to expand its facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina – and notably, the Swedish automaker’s first U.S. factory hasn’t even begun production.

Related auto businesses are also thriving. In Maryville, Tennessee, global automotive supplier DENSO is in the midst of a $1 billion expansion that will create 1,000 new jobs. Chinese tire maker Triangle Tyre is set to build a $580 million manufacturing facility in rural Edgecombe County, North Carolina, to manufacture tires for both passenger and commercial vehicles.

Explore each the CiCi Awards Corporate Investment recipients to learn about the story behind the numbers. These projects – and the thousands of new jobs – are a testament to powerful alliance between companies, local economic developers and state entities.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou sign a historic agreement representing a $10 billion investment in the first LCD manufacturing plant outside of Asia.
Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin

In southeastern Wisconsin, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group recently inked the largest development deal in Wisconsin history. This $10.1 billion project will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people, with an average salary of nearly $54,000, to manufacture liquid crystal display screens used on phones, televisions, computers and other devices. The facility will be optimized for efficient production of extremely large (greater than 65” diagonal) TFT-LCD glass and modules used for consumer and commercial displays.
The 32-million-square-foot Foxconn campus will include 20 million square feet of office space over 1.56 square miles, with multiple buildings on at least 1,000 acres. Once the facility is up and running, it will produce nearly seven million high-definition LCD panels a year. The complex will be equipped with 3,263 pieces of equipment and will include molding and tool-and-die operations, final assembly and “back-end packaging” of LCD modules.

The first phase of the production campus is expected to be completed in four years and the second phase will be completed over the following two years.

“We look forward to being a part of the community and contributing to its economic transformation. We will do so while ensuring that the very things that attracted us to Wisconsin – its talented and hardworking workforce, long track record in advanced manufacturing, favorable quality of life and environment – are protected and nurtured,” said Foxconn Founder and CEO Terry Gou.

The new Foxconn facility will create new opportunities for current Wisconsin suppliers while also attracting new businesses and talent to the state. It is projected that the project will create an additional 22,000 indirect and induced jobs throughout Wisconsin.

With a nearly $1.5 billion investment announced in January 2017, Amazon is building its first-ever Prime Air shipping hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The project is expected to create 2,000 full- and part-time jobs in the near term as well as attract other businesses to the region.
Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc.
Hebron, Kentucky
Kentucky is poised to become a global top logistics center. Amazon is building a $1.49 billion shipping hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in Hebron to serve its fleet of Prime Air planes. With it comes 2,700 new full- and part-time jobs.

The online retail giant is expanding its longstanding presence in Kentucky where it already employs more than 10,000 full-time team members at several fulfillment center locations in central and northern Kentucky.

Amazon will build a state-of-the-art sorting, loading and unloading facility on the airport property, which will support its fulfillment and distribution of products.

The new Prime Air hub will create thousands more induced and indirect jobs. Combined with the hub’s direct jobs, total annual payroll and benefits associated with the project will reach well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Similarly, the project’s economic impact will add hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the state GDP.

“As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralized location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfillment locations and an excellent quality of living for employees. We feel strongly that with these qualities as a place to do business, our investments will support Amazon and customers well into the future,” said Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations. “We couldn’t be more excited to add 2,000-plus Amazon employees to join the more than 10,000 who work with us today across our robust operations in Kentucky.”

“Amazon’s Prime Air hub promises to revolutionize the fulfillment industry worldwide, and Kentucky is excited to partner with them as they embark on this disruptive, transformative and exciting venture,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “Kentucky’s ideal location, proven workforce and an already extensive shipping and logistics industry have been the backbone of our relationship with Amazon for nearly 20 years.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks as Wil James, left, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), listens, during an April 10, 2017 announcement at the plant. During its $1.33 billion Reborn project, TMMK is receiving a new paint shop and comprehensive equipment and technology upgrades to produce lighter, stronger and more efficient vehicles. The plant is Toyota’s largest globally.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Georgetown, Kentucky

Already one of the world’s leading automotive plants by efficiency, productivity and technology, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc., known as TMMK, will undergo a $1.33 billion expansion to increase manufacturing flexibility.

The project, called Reborn, is modernizing and making more flexible the largest and oldest automotive facility in North America. It will be the first North American facility to use the Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA), a new approach to the design and manufacture of vehicles. The TNGA will be used on the 2018 Camry. Toyota is also building the North American Production Support Center training facility at this location.

“This major investment further solidifies Toyota’s long-term commitment to its Kentucky plant,” said Secretary Terry Gill of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “Its ripple effects will add to Toyota’s three decades of transformative impact on our communities and for our residents across the commonwealth. Additionally, this strengthens Kentucky’s status as a top state for auto manufacturing.”

Across the next few years, the Reborn project will replace or refurbish equipment and add new technology in multiple manufacturing areas, including stamping, body weld, paint, plastics, assembly and powertrain. In addition, a new paint shop will be constructed and fitted with new equipment and technology.

“This investment speaks directly to the quality of our people and our products, as well as the partnerships we’ve forged in the local community and across the state,” TMMK President Wil James said. “It will allow us to create a more flexible production environment, which will position our plant to compete globally for new models, build ever-better cars for our customers now, and enable us to respond quicker and more capably to market demands down the road.”

Moving to TNGA provides both Toyota globally and TMMK the opportunity to streamline production processes and improve parts handling, logistics, vehicle safety, quality, efficiency and competitiveness. While company leaders expect the Reborn project will not add jobs, employment at the Georgetown plant is at an all-time high of 8,200.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Apple CEO Tim Cook announce the $1.33 billion data center to be built in Waukee, Iowa (August 24, 2017).
Apple Inc.
Waukee, Iowa

In Waukee, Iowa, a farm town about 18 miles west of Des Moines, Apple announced plans to build a new 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center slated to serve millions of people across North America who use Siri, iMessage, Apple Music and other Apple services. As with all Apple data centers, the whole facility will be powered by renewable energy. Construction on the data center is expected to start mid-2018 and Apple plans to bring it online in 2020. To build the data center, Apple will purchase 2,000 acres of land.

This project represents a massive, $1.33 billion investment. It is expected to add 50 permanent jobs, along with more than 1,000 during the construction phase.

With Apple joining other tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft that have selected Iowa as well, the state has earned a reputation as having a knowledge-based economy.

Data center projects have economic impact well beyond the permanent jobs created and the initial capital investment made. A recent study released by the U.S. Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center estimates that a typical data center employs 1,688 local workers, provides $77.7 million in wages, produces $243.5 million in output along the local economy’s supply chain and generates $9.9 million in revenue for state and local governments.

“Apple’s significant investment and commitment to grow in Iowa is a clear vote of confidence in our state,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “This further solidifies Iowa as a hub where innovation and technology flourish and demonstrates this is a place where world-class companies can thrive.”

To further demonstrate its long-term commitment to the community, Apple will contribute up to $100 million to a newly created Public Improvement Fund dedicated to community development and infrastructure around Waukee.

“This new data center will play a very important role in the App Store’s continued success,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “As the App Store grows, we look forward to growing in Iowa.”

A rendering of the 2.5-million-square-foot aluminum mill Braidy Industries will build in Greenup County, Kentucky, with a $1.3 billion investment.
Braidy Industries
Greenup County, Kentucky

Braidy Industries, a startup producer for the aerospace and automotive industries, is spearheading revitalization in eastern Kentucky. The company will build a 2.5-million-square-foot aluminum mill on 300 acres in Greenup County. The facility will produce sheet and plate for the automotive and aerospace industries. Not only is this a $1.3 billion investment, it will create 550 jobs, along with approximately 1,000 more construction jobs.

According to Kentucky officials, the announcement marks a turning point in bringing economic vitality to eastern Kentucky, and came just two days after the 53rd anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 declaration of the “War on Poverty” in Appalachia.

“Braidy Industries’ decision to locate in eastern Kentucky has the potential to be as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “This $1.3 billion investment will create enormous opportunity for people in the region, and would not have been possible without our recently passed right-to-work legislation. I look forward to the success of Braidy Industries as they leverage the incredible work ethic found in eastern Kentucky. The ripple effect of this investment will be significant and will produce positive change in the region for generations to come.”

The company expects to complete construction in 2020. Initially, the facility will produce about 370,000 tons of aluminum per year for the automotive and aerospace industries, with opportunities to expand over time.

The average wage of workers in the new facility will be about $70,000 per year. The company will also provide low-cost healthy meals, a day care, fitness center and other amenities to create an employee-friendly workplace.

“Our team recognizes an opportunity to make incredible impacts both in the global aluminum industry and in bringing well-paying jobs to eastern Kentucky in the heart of Appalachia,” said Craig Bouchard, Braidy Industries chairman and CEO. “The state’s willingness to partner closely with private industry makes this a prime location to found and grow our world-class and cutting-edge rolling mill.”

A rendering of Facebook’s future Henrico Data Center, which will bring more than $1 billion of new investment to the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as thousands of construction jobs and more than 100 full-time operational jobs to the Henrico County region.
Henrico County, Virginia

Social media giant Facebook announced plans to build a $1 billion new data center Henrico County, Virginia, drawing “likes” from economic developers, government officials and future employees. Facebook is directly investing $750 million to establish a 970,000-square-foot data center in the White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County.

In addition, due to a new renewable energy tariff designed by Dominion Energy Virginia and Facebook, hundreds of millions of additional dollars will be invested in the construction of multiple solar facilities in Virginia to service the data center with 100 percent renewable energy.

Once completed, Facebook’s Henrico County data center will be the largest in the region. The project will bring thousands of construction jobs to the region and the company plans to hire more than 100 full-time employees.

As a critical network access point since the early days of the Internet, Virginia has long played a key role in supporting today’s global Internet traffic and has been one of the most active data center markets in the country. Facebook’s decision to locate a major data center in Henrico County further establishes Virginia as a hub for the burgeoning data center industry.

“Virginia has been a home to the Internet since the tech industry’s earliest days,” said Rachel Peterson, director of data center strategy at Facebook. “And thanks to (former) Governor McAuliffe’s focus on making the Commonwealth a great place for investment, as well as Henrico County’s robust infrastructure and attractive business climate for data center development, we could not be more thrilled to locate our next data center here. When considering new data center locations, we not only look for clean and renewable energy solutions, but great partnerships within the local community, a strong pool of local talent, excellent access to fiber and a robust electric grid. Henrico County and the Commonwealth of Virginia has it all.”

The new renewable energy tariff designed by Dominion Energy Virginia and Facebook, called Schedule RF, was a critical factor in Virginia winning this project. The tariff will allow large energy users, such as Facebook, to meet their needs through the addition of renewable energy sources. This new product offering will ultimately lead to new business opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. As a secondary economic benefit, the renewable energy projects served under this tariff must be built in Virginia.

Governor Bill Haslam appears at a DENSO expansion announcement in Maryville, Tennessee.
Maryville, Tennessee

Global automotive supplier DENSO is expanding its operations in Maryville, Tennessee. This $1 billion investment will make its Blount County facility a primary manufacturing center in North America for electrification and safety systems and create approximately 1,000 new jobs in the process. DENSO produces starters, alternators, instrument clusters, safety products and a wide range of electronic components and systems for the automotive industry at its operations in Maryville.

With headquarters in Japan, DENSO has been in the state for over 30 years. The company has two locations in the state – Maryville and Athens – and employs roughly 4,500 people. The Maryville campus, which is DENSO’s largest U.S. manufacturing facility, consists of four manufacturing plants on 194 acres and is Blount County’s largest employer.

“This is an investment in the future of DENSO, and also the future of transportation. We are seeing dramatic shifts in the role of transportation in society, and this investment will help position us to meet those changing demands,” said Kenichiro Ito, chairman of DENSO’s North America Board of Directors and chief executive officer of DENSO International America.

With this expansion, DENSO will expand multiple production lines to produce advanced safety, connectivity and electrification products for hybrid and electric vehicles. These new products will radically improve fuel efficiency and preserve electric power by recovering and recycling energy, and by connecting all systems and products inside the vehicles.

Prior to this expansion, DENSO had invested approximately $2 billion in Tennessee. Japan is the leading source of foreign direct investment in Tennessee over the last 30 years. In total, Japanese businesses have invested more than $17 billion in Tennessee and employ more than 50,000 people.

“Since setting roots here, DENSO has played a major role in helping Tennessee transform into an automotive production leader,” said Jack Helmboldt, president of DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “This investment enables us to provide new opportunities for top talent to advance the next generation of vehicles.”

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International CEO Jason Hoff addresses workers at the automaker’s Alabama assembly plant, which is adding electric vehicles to its production lineup as part of a $1 billion expansion project.
Tuscaloosa County and Bibb County, Alabama

Mercedes-Benz announced plans to invest $1 billion in an expansion project at its Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, operation. The project calls for the German automaker to build a battery manufacturing facility as part of an initiative to produce electric vehicles at its Tuscaloosa County assembly plant. In addition, Mercedes will build a sprawling Global Logistics Center combined with a North American parts hub in nearby Bibb County. Altogether, Mercedes’ new investment in Alabama is expected to create more than 600 jobs and upgrade a plant that the company already describes as one of the world’s “smartest” manufacturing facilities.

Mercedes said its Alabama plant – which is in the midst of a previous $1.3 billion expansion announced in 2015 – will shape the future of electric mobility worldwide as it integrates electric vehicles into its production lineup. The automaker will begin producing SUV models bearing its EQ brand in Alabama at the beginning of the next decade. The Alabama expansion is part of a global initiative by the automaker to offer more than 50 electric vehicles variants by 2022.

Construction of the one-million-square-foot battery facility in Tuscaloosa is expected to begin next year, and it should be operational in a couple of years.

When it opens in 2019, Mercedes’ new Global Logistics Center, located five miles away from Mercedes’ assembly plant in Bibb County, will support the company’s worldwide logistics operations for the products it makes in Alabama. The 800,000-square-foot facility will supply overseas assembly plants with kits used to produce vehicles for local markets. The new 1.3-million-square-foot after-sales North American hub on the same site will provide spare parts to markets around the world once it opens in late 2020.

Once fully operational, the new Bibb County campus will provide $307.9 million in economic impact annually for the state, including contributing $109.2 million to the state’s GDP and $62.4 million in earnings to Alabama households from direct and indirect jobs, according to an economic impact study from the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research.

“Mercedes-Benz has been a powerful catalyst for growth in Alabama for two decades, and the company’s decision to produce electric vehicles at its Tuscaloosa plant and to expand its global logistics operation in the state reinforces the company’s vital role in Alabama’s future,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This initiative, which will bring cutting-edge technology and new jobs to the state, is another great chapter in our relationship with the automaker.”

According to Facebook, its New Albany, Ohio, data center will be one of the most advanced and energy-efficient in the world, featuring Facebook’s latest Open Compute Project hardware designs.
New Albany, Ohio

Facebook is making a major investment in Ohio – the social media network’s first in the state. It’s investing $750 million to construct a 970,000-square-foot facility which will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Located in New Albany, the data center will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient centers in the world, featuring the company’s latest Open Compute Project hardware designs. It will be cooled using outdoor air and direct evaporative cooling systems resulting in world-class levels of energy and water efficiency.

The project, the company’s 10th data center, will be situated on a 345-acre site in the New Albany Business Park. Facebook was attracted to the business park’s robust high-speed tier optic network, triple feed electric capabilities and its technology – and shovel ready site. It is slated to begin delivering services in 2019. After completion, Facebook expects to employ approximately 100 workers there.

In addition to the 100 permanent jobs, a 2017 U.S. Chamber of Commerce data center study estimates that construction of a data center of this magnitude will employ up to 1,688 local workers, provide up to $77.7 million in wages for those workers and produce $243.5 million in output along the local economy’s supply chain during construction. The same study estimates an annual injection of $32.5 million into the economy once construction is completed.

“We’re thrilled to have found a home in Ohio and to embark on this exciting partnership,” said Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president of U.S. public policy. “Everything here has been as advertised — from a committed set of community partners and strong pool of talent to the opportunity to power our facility with 100 percent renewable energy. The Buckeye State is a great place to do business.”

At an event held at the governor’s mansion, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (left) and Triangle Tyre Chairman Ding Yuhua celebrate Triangle’s choice of North Carolina for its first plant outside China. Photo courtesy of Triangle Tyre.
Triangle Tyre
Kingsboro, North Carolina

Being called the largest manufacturing investment ever in the rural North Carolina county of Edgecombe, global Chinese tire maker Triangle Tyre plans to build a $580 million manufacturing facility there. It will bring 800 well-paying jobs to eastern North Carolina.

Triangle will make Kingsboro the home of its two-phase tire manufacturing facilities. The first plant, which will make passenger tires, is expected to start operating in 2019, and the second plant will begin manufacturing commercial tires in 2021. At full capacity in 2023, they will produce six million tires annually. The company says they will be among the most efficient and environmentally friendly tire-manufacturing facilities in the world.

“Triangle Tyre is bringing a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to Kingsboro, North Carolina, giving the region and our entire state a new and highly advanced manufacturing capacity the likes of which we haven’t yet seen in North Carolina,” said state Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “These are quality, efficient, well-paying jobs that require specific skills, and our communities are ready to support people who want the training required to get these jobs.”

The project is estimated to contribute more than $2.4 billion to North Carolina’s economy. This investment is significant because like many rural counties, Edgecombe has struggled with unemployment rates higher than those of urban areas, and the county has an average wage of around $32,600 a year. Salaries for the new jobs will average $56,450, once all the positions are filled at two plants planned at the Kingsboro megasite east of Rocky Mount.

Triangle Tyre Chairman Ding Yuhua said the megasite’s strategic location, quality of the local workforce and the warm welcome from state and local officials were all factors in the company choosing Edgecombe County.

The $500M Volvo Cars plant located in South Carolina.
Volvo Cars
Ridgeville, South Carolina

Volvo Cars hasn’t yet produced its first automobile in Berkeley County, but it is already looking to double its investment there to $1 billion and hire a total of 3,900 workers. Volvo is in the process of opening a new factory in Berkeley County — the automaker’s first in the U.S. — that will produce an estimated 100,000 cars annually. The Swedish automaker announced that it is looking to spend an additional $500 million to add a second production line at its site near Ridgeville, South Carolina. The expansion will add 1,900 workers in addition to the 2,000 people Volvo currently is hiring.

Volvo Cars plans to assemble the next generation of its flagship model, the XC90 sport utility vehicle, in the U.S. in a step toward its “build where you sell” strategy. The plant will begin making Volvo’s top-selling U.S. model in 2021, bringing output of the SUV to South Carolina from Sweden.

“The United States is still the biggest single market for the XC90,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s head of European sales who ran its business in the Americas until September 15, 2017. “It is absolutely a natural choice.”

A shortage of the XC90 early in 2017 led to a drop in deliveries for the brand. In addition to serving the U.S. market, a “considerable amount” of the SUV volume will be exported from the Port of Charleston once output begins.

“The expansion of Volvo Cars in South Carolina is exciting news for our Port and state. Proximity to a port is important to automotive manufacturing, and SCPA (South Carolina Ports Authority) values the role we will play in Volvo Cars’ international supply chain,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of S.C. Ports Authority.

While 3,900 jobs is a major investment in the local economy, an economist expects an even greater impact over time. According to Volvo, Dr. Frank Hefner, professor of economics at the College of Charleston, compiled an economic impact analysis of the plant and said more than 8,000 jobs would be created as a result of the initial 2,000 direct jobs. The annual economic output is estimated at $4.8 billion.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Chairman Qiu Yafu of Shandong Ruyi Technology Group announce that the company has selected Arkansas to be the site of its first facility in North America where Arkansas cotton will be spun into yarn for textile use.
Shandong Ruyi Technology Group
Forrest City, Arkansas

China-based textile company Shandong Ruyi Technology Group is investing $410 million in former Sanyo facility in Forrest City, Arkansas. This is Ruyi’s first facility to locate in North America and will create up to 800 new jobs at the facility, where Arkansas cotton will be spun into yarn for textile use. One of China’s top 100 multi-national enterprises, Ruyi is headquartered in Shandong Province, China.

Ruyi’s renovations on the former Sanyo building were scheduled to begin in late 2017 and production is expected to begin in mid-2018. The Sanyo facility has been vacant since late 2007 when the company shut down production in Forrest City.

“Ruyi Group, as the largest textile manufacturer in China, has been expanding globally,” said Chairman Yafu Qui. “Our manufacturing facility in Arkansas will become the first milestone of Ruyi’s steps into the United States. We are dedicated to provide the product with cutting-edge technology and superior quality.”

The textile manufacturer plans on processing more than 200,000 tons of Arkansas cotton annually at the Forrest City facility. Arkansas is the fifth-largest cotton producer among all states, producing more than 840 thousand bales in 2016.

The impact goes beyond the significant job creation and investment. It will be felt by the state’s cotton industry including growers, ginners and warehousers. Andrew Grobmyer, executive vice president of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas and an advisor to the National Cotton Council, said the mill could help the region overcome recent economic “doldrums” with “a greater capture of value from cotton grown in Arkansas.”

“This project is tremendously important to Forrest City and St. Francis County not just for the great jobs it brings to our region, but also for the value to the cash crop on which the Arkansas Delta economy has been based for more than 100 years,” said Kay Brockwell, economic development consultant for Forrest City. “Our cotton already goes around the world to clothe people, and now our growers will have the security of a market for their crop right here at home. There is great significance in the fact that the continuing globalization of the Delta will go hand in hand with our rich and proud agricultural history.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott (center) attends the KPMG groundbreaking ceremony in Orlando. Photo courtesy of Florida EOG.
Orlando, Florida

KPMG, one of the world’s leading professional services firms, is building a state-of-the art learning, development and innovation facility in the 14-square-mile community of Lake Nona in the city of Orlando. This $400 million investment will also bring 330 full time jobs to the area. The 55-acre campus will further enhance the world-class training capabilities it offers to its partners and professionals.

“At KPMG, we’re passionate about developing our people and creating growth opportunities for them,” said Lynne Doughtie, chairman and CEO, KPMG LLP. “This facility is a significant investment that will ensure our partners and professionals continue to have access to leading-edge learning and development opportunities to enrich themselves, stay connected to our inclusive, innovative culture and remain equipped to deliver the highest quality in this fast-changing marketplace. Delivering a world-class training experience also is an investment in our ability to attract and retain the best talent.”

The facility’s Innovation Center will provide an immersive learning experience that will enhance the skills the company’s professionals bring to client situations. In addition, it will feature 800 guest rooms, fitness and outdoor recreational facilities, as well as multiple food and beverage venues. It’s designed to create a forum for learning and innovation within a larger community that focuses on inspiring human performance.

The new KPMG facility will bring hundreds of the company’s employees from offices around the world – along with their clients – to the Orlando region weekly. This will have an impact on surrounding businesses as visitors to the facility patronize those businesses.
“KPMG’s learning, development and innovation facility will build upon Lake Nona’s development success, creating more new jobs for Floridians and bringing a continuous economic boost to our community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

“KPMG’s presence in Central Florida signals the strength of our professional service sector, as well as the preparedness of our workforce,” added Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

Pluralsight CEO and Co-Founder Aaron Skonnard joins members of the GOED board and executive management following the announcement of 2,400 new jobs and $86.2 million in new state revenue.
Salt Lake County, Utah

Digital learning company Pluralsight is a Utah success story. Founded in Utah in 2004, the company announced plans to expand in the state, adding approximately 2,400 jobs, $86.2 million in new state revenue and an estimated $371.7 million in capital investment.

Pluralsight offers on-demand, digital technology learning tools, including more than 6,000 expert-authored technology courses, adaptive skill tests, custom curriculums for individuals and businesses and live mentoring. In 2016, the company expanded its product offering to serve large enterprises. Since that expansion, Pluralsight serves 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies, helping close the technology skills gap that is prevalent among many companies worldwide.

“Pluralsight is a Utah business success story, and we are proud to support the expansion of homegrown companies,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “As a major player in Silicon Slopes, Pluralsight will continue to benefit from the state’s strong business environment and talent. We look forward to their future growth.”

The company has been profitable since its inception with a compounded annual revenue growth rate of over 80 percent for the last five years. Pluralsight’s hiring has increased substantially since 2015. To accommodate this growth, the company plans to expand in Utah and is currently assessing locations for a new, state-of-the-art campus.

“What began in Utah will stay in Utah,” said Aaron Skonnard, CEO and co-founder of Pluralsight. “Silicon Slopes’ deep talent pool for software engineers and other technical jobs is thriving. That’s why we plan to keep investing in this community. We’ve loved our home in Farmington and are looking forward to creating a new, much larger home south of Salt Lake City.”

“We congratulate Pluralsight on their phenomenal success, and look forward to working with them to select a permanent site in the coming months,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.

Kwik Trip Inc., which owns and operates more than 600 retail convenience stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, is investing $300 million in projects aimed at increasing its operational capacity in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to meet production demands for the foreseeable future.
Kwik Trip, Inc.
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Anyone who has driven through Wisconsin, Minnesota or Iowa knows of Kwik Trip. The company, which owns and operates more than 600 retail convenience stores in those three states, is undertaking a $300 million capital investment project in La Crosse, Wisconsin, that will enable the growing company to meet its capacity needs for the foreseeable future.

Kwik Trip is going to invest $113 million in a new 200,000-square-foot bread and bun production facility, and make multi-million dollar expansions and improvements in its dairy manufacturing facility, kitchen operations and transportation fleet. Construction of the new bakery is expected to be completed by late fall of 2018. This project is expected to create more than 329 non-retail jobs in the La Crosse area over the next five years. In addition, the project is expected to indirectly provide 235 additional jobs in the region. The direct and indirect jobs could generate up to $1.1 million annually in additional state income tax revenue.

According to the company, the project is critical to positioning Kwik Trip to be sustainable for the next 50 years. By expanding and maintaining its vertical integration model instead of outsourcing, Kwik Trip said it can continue to control food quality, food offerings, food safety and company efficiencies, as well as continue to control its costs, allowing it to offer quality products and low prices.

The projects will support the family-owned company’s plans to open 40 to 50 new stores annually. In order to reach the goal, the company needs to make significant investments in its buildings, equipment and employees at its La Crosse support center and production facilities. Otherwise, the company projects that its production facilities will run out of capacity over the next five years.

The multimillion-dollar capital expenditures in Kwik Trip’s bakery, dairy, kitchen and transportation facilities will generate a significant return on investment for the state of Wisconsin and the city of La Crosse in the form of new and expanded tax base, job opportunities for our co-workers, construction contractors, subcontractors and suppliers,” said John McHugh, director of corporate communications and leadership development for Kwik Trip.

Kwik Trip was founded in 1965 and opened its first store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. As a vertically integrated company, Kwik Trip operates its own bakery, dairy, water bottling line, kitchens, food safety lab, distribution center, ice plant, LP plant, blow mold facility, transportation company and health clinic.  The company makes, ships and sells 80 percent of its own branded products.   T&ID

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