Mali R. Schantz-Feld (Feb/Mar 10)
In Minnesota, Daikin McQuay is dramatically expanding in several areas:
2009 heralded the opening of the Daikin McQuay Applied Development
Center, a state-of-the-art facility that serves as the research
institute for all Daikin McQuay applied products and will provide the
research, design, and testing facilities for its products worldwide,
particularly in fast-growing markets like China and India. "This is, in
fact, where we designed the custom HVAC systems for use in the new One
World Trade Center project," notes Bruce Dorey Ph.D., the firm's senior
director of corporate strategy and planning. McQuay has manufacturing
plants in Owatonna and Faribault and has added more than 160 new
employees in Plymouth in the last year alone, bringing their total
Minnesota work force to 850. The company also is relocating 70
researchers from Japan and Italy to Minnesota.
Minnesota appealed to Daikin McQuay for a number of reasons. "The
strong research capability of the University of Minnesota was chief
among them," notes Dorey. "The fact they have a Center for Sustainable
Building Research, an Institute on the Environment, and are tied with
MIT for the number-one ranking in the chemical engineering department
were certainly strong factors. Also, we have felt strong support from
our state government." Dorey also touted the "proximity to such great
companies as 3M, Best Buy and Target" for providing "exciting
Pedigree Technologies pointed out "three primary reasons why we've been
able to grow our business as a North Dakota company in the face of a
difficult economy." Ian McPherson, vice president-sales and marketing,
says, "We have benefited from a well-educated talent pool, from very
good universities combined with an affordable, business friendly
environment, and the presence of core industries in the American
economy like agriculture, manufacturing, and energy. Pedigree came out
of the technology incubator at NDSU (North Dakota State University) so
there are close ties there, but we have employees from universities
throughout the region."
The firm is also working with the NAVAIR division of the Navy to build
a real time surveillance platform. Pedigree helps companies manage
their physical operations by tracking, locating, and monitoring a wide
range of equipment and vehicles in the energy, agriculture, and
manufacturing sectors to move products through the supply chain.
South Dakota's targeted industries include biotechnology, value-added
agriculture, energy development, firearms, and information technology.
Ample hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities give the firearms
industry a good shot at success. In 2009 as a number of
firearms-related companies undertook expansions or
relocations-including Remington, Lakota Industries, TDI, and Bar-Sto.
After spending $2.8 million and doubling in size, Illinois-based
Enertech in Mitchell, S.D., recently completed a 20,000-square-foot
addition to the former Hydron Module facility. In addition to retaining
the 21 existing positions, the manufacturer and distributor of
geothermal heating and cooling systems plans to add 30 jobs in the
Mitchell area. "Enertech Manufacturing has been able to undergo two
plant expansions since 2007 thanks in large part to the South Dakota
REDI loan program," says Steve Smith, president, CEO, and managing
partner of Enertech Manufacturing, LLC, Mitchell. "This financing
option is much more generous than those offered by other states and has
allowed Enertech to enjoy continued growth."
The corridor between Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, has
become a center for the animal health and nutrition industries.
Missouri's animal health sector includes more than 120 companies and 30
U.S. or global corporate headquarters, attracting $638 million in
research by private companies, and providing employment to more than
20,000 private-sector employees. The industry has taken root so
strongly that the U.S. Animal Health Association moved its headquarters
to Missouri in 2007.
The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) strives
to boost the animal sciences and biotechnology and life sciences firms
by creating a stable, ongoing funding mechanism. Companies benefiting
from MOSIRA that will need trained specialists can participate in the
Training For Tomorrow initiative, a component of Governor Jay Nixon's
2010 jobs package that provides $12 million in competitive grants for
that state's community colleges to train workers in a variety of
high-tech, high-demand fields, including nursing, respiratory therapy,
phlebotomy, and veterinary technology.
From wind farms to agriculture, from technology research to technical
improvements, the Plains States are discovering and nurturing new
business, promoting job growth, and following trends that will lead to
a slow, but reliable economic recovery.