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Hobart Ground Power Relocates From Ohio To Manatee County, Florida

04/05/2012
GSE Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc., will relocate its Hobart Ground Power business, a manufacturer of aircraft ground support equipment, from Troy, Ohio to Palmetto, Florida in Manatee County.

The move will create about additional 42 jobs at Hobart's new facility that it will share with two existing GSE businesses; Trilectron Industries and ITW Military GSE, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president of the Manatee Economic Development Corp.

"Hobart Ground Power is a welcome addition to Florida's business community and represents further growth in the state's aircraft equipment manufacturing," said Gray Swoope, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida. "GSE Holding's choice of Palmetto for this relocation reflects our state's as well as Manatee County's ability to attract and retain progressive corporations in a very competitive marketplace."

Workers at Hobart Ground Power design and manufacture equipment that delivers power to aircraft when on the ground. The complex housing Hobart's new Palmetto facility will be expanded from 83,000 square feet to almost 100,000 square feet, according to Glenn Greco, human resources manager at GSE Holdings Inc.

"A number of factors including economic recovery, expansion into new markets and new product development are driving Hobart's growth," Greco said. "As we reviewed our options, co-locating with our other business units in an expanded facility in Palmetto, Florida was the best business decision."

As an incentive the Manatee County Commission approved $42,000 in performance-based incentives. The State of Florida also committed $168,000 in incentives. In addition to those incentives, Manatee County approved transportation impact fee credits estimated at $3,836. Expedited permitting to renovate its proposed location, at 11001 U.S. 41 N. in Palmetto, was arranged by Manatee County.

"We welcome this expansion of GSE Holdings' operation in Manatee County, which further demonstrates our community's appeal as a manufacturing location for companies from the Midwest and other regions of the United States," said Hillstrom, Manatee Economic Development spokeswoman. "We are also thrilled to retain and grow Manatee County's relationship with an industry giant like Illinois Tool Works, the parent company of GSE Holdings."

Manatee County Economic Development also is working with the company on workforce recruitment and training services, Greco said. "The MEDC played a critical role in guiding our company to available training grants, faster permitting, and other incentives available through the state and county."

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