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Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana Receive 2009 Silver Shovels in the 5 to 10 Million Population Category

Mark Crawford (June/July 09)
Georgia - our 2007 Gold Shovel recipient - is well known as the headquarters for global companies such as Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, and UPS. The state keeps its tax rate competitive and provides innovative incentive packages and funding for training and business support, attracting a diversity of both U.S. and foreign investment.

For example, Korea-based Kumho Tire Co. is spending $225 million to construct its first U.S. plant in Macon. The 5.5-million-square-foot facility will require 450 workers and have a second-phase expansion. "The U.S. is home to the automobile industry and the largest tire market in the world," said Sae Chul Oh, president of Kumho Tires. "We can reduce our freight costs and increase market share by having a manufacturing plant in Georgia."

Another Korean company is also constructing its first U.S. plant in Georgia. Located at Callaway South Industrial Park in LaGrange, Sewon America's $170 million, 420,000-square-foot facility will need 700 workers to manufacture automotive components for the Kia plant in West Point, Georgia.

In Rincon, Georgia, Portuguese manufacturer EFACEC Group `s $100 million plant will ultimately create 600 jobs. The new facility will make core form, shell form, and mobile power substations for U.S. customers. "This is an essential step in our growth strategy in the United States," said CEO Luís Filipe Pereira. "We hope to strengthen our connection with current customers, including U.S. utility companies."

Also in the energy sector, GE-Hitachi Nuclear is undertaking a $704 million expansion in New Hanover, along the North Carolina coast, creating 900 new jobs. The GE subsidiary provides services for nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel. New manufacturing, training, simulation, and testing facilities will be part of the expansion on the 1,300-acre campus. Tax incentives worth $25.7 million and $10 million were delivered by the state and city of Wilmington, respectively.

North Carolina - Long known for its innovative approach to business development, North Carolina has built a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture and manufacturing to knowledge-based industries such as software/IT, high technology, pharmaceuticals, and biomedical. In fact, two major medical-device expansions are taking place in Research Triangle Park. Siemens Medical Solutions USA is expanding its operations in Cary, adding 300 jobs and investing $60 million during the next five years. The move is designed to consolidate the company's customer-service operations. And BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.), another medical technology firm, is spending $135 million to build a new plant in Wilson County and expand existing facilities in Durham County.

Virginia - Another Atlantic Coast state, Virginia has ranked first in Forbes' "Best State for Business" study for the third consecutive year. The state received high marks for business costs, regulatory climate, quality of work force, and economic growth. Virginia is dedicated to developing knowledge-based industries such as pharmaceuticals, IT, energy, and advanced manufacturing to further diversify its economy. 

Among its successes, Rolls-Royce is building a modern $500 million aircraft engine facility in Prince George County. Virginia successfully competed against Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas for the project. "From the very beginning, Virginia understood our business needs and put forward a world-class proposal," indicated John Rose, Rolls-Royce CEO.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership also provided $1.5 million in assistance to Com.40 Ltd., a global furniture manufacturer. The company is investing $36.3 million to set up a manufacturing operation in Danville, creating more than 800 jobs. "The city of Danville and state officials offered an impressive pro-business approach and strong financial support," said Bogdan Kaczmarek, CEO for Com.40 Ltd.

And in the pharmaceutical sector, Covance is locating its new pharmaceutical research and development laboratory in Prince William County, Virginia. The $175 million project expands a former Eli Lilly site from 300,000 square feet to 410,000 square feet, creating 100 new jobs. The state contributed $1 million toward the project, and Covance qualified for a $1.5 million performance-based grant.

Indiana - Meanwhile Medco Health Solutions is building the world's largest and most advanced automated pharmacy in Whitestown, Indiana, capping a nearly yearlong search that spanned 48 states. The $165 million operation will eventually employ 1,300 workers. The state offered Medco up to $18.25 million in performance-based tax credits and $850,000 in training grants.

Indiana's Advanced Manufacturing Initiative continues to attract new business by developing world-class resources. Major capital investments in 2008 were made in the logistics, IT, biotech, automotive, and advanced manufacturing sectors.

For example, CLARCOR Air Filtration Products is moving into a fully integrated site at River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana. CLARCOR will invest $8.5 million to lease and equip the 450,000-square-foot headquarters, manufacturing, and distribution center. About $3.6 million in performance-based tax credits and $200,000 in training grants were provided by the state.

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