• Free for qualified executives and consultants to industry

  • Receive quarterly issues of Area Development Magazine and special market report and directory issues


Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana Receive 2010 Silver Shovels: Between 5 and 10 Million Population Category

June/July 10
Providing easy access to cash and easy self-checkout technologies are the hallmarks of NCR. New expansion plans for the company are now making it a hallmark of economic growth in Georgia, which is celebrating the company's decision to build a new headquarters in Duluth and a new manufacturing facility in Columbus. The two projects combined represent an investment of more than $30 million and the creation of more than 2,000 jobs.

"In a little under a year, NCR has undertaken a remarkable transition, fueled by an excellent public-private partnership with the state and various local entities," said NCR Chairman and CEO Bill Nuti. "Our new corporate headquarters, conceived and realized to promote innovation and collaboration, opening here in Georgia.positions NCR for a very bright future. It will help us to secure and extend our competitive edge, drive growth, and enhance the service we provide to our customers." NCR plans to leverage the resources of the University of Georgia's Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) for advanced leadership training in setting up a successful operation in the state.

Meanwhile, in Union City, Dendreon has invested $70 million in a new biotechnology manufacturing facility that will create 550 new jobs. The 160,000-square-foot facility will serve as the manufacturing site for Provenge, which was developed for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

"We are pleased to announce that we are expanding our manufacturing capacity with the addition of [a new facility] in Atlanta," said Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Dendreon. "We have particularly enjoyed partnering with the state of Georgia, Fulton County officials, and the local community during this process and are grateful for their partnership and support as we prepare to commercialize Provenge to help the many patients with advanced prostate cancer who currently have few appealing treatment options."

Other major projects commenced in 2009 in Georgia involved the textiles, defense, energy, as well as biotechnology sectors. Any time you can secure an investment of $1 billion in your state, you've achieved something significant.

Tennessee hopes the value of the investment is just the start in its relationship with Wacker Chemie - a second 2009 "Project of the Year."

Project of the Year: Wacker Chemie AG

Munich, Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG has purchased approximately 550 acres in north Bradley County, Tennessee, on which it will construct a new facility for the manufacture of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a key component in photovoltaics for solar energy and semiconductors for the electronics industry. The project represents a $1 billion capital investment and the creation of some 500 highly skilled jobs.
According to Wacker President and CEO Dr. Rudolf Staudigl, "Purchasing the land is an essential prerequisite to quickly build up additional production capacities . . . in line with the projected market trends and growth in [polysilicon] demand."
Carl Hite, chairman of the board for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, also spoke of the significance of the investment - both locally and regionally: "This will be looked upon as a major milestone in this community's history, particularly in light of what is happening with the economy.The fact that we are getting a company that not only excels at what they do but is also a good corporate citizen, as well as good conservationists of the environment, makes it even better."
The company's decision was three years in the making. Gary Farlow, president and CEO of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, explains that TVA's Alan Raymond introduced Bradley County to Wacker three years ago when the company was searching for a location. Ross Tarver, who chairs the Bradley/Cleveland Industrial Development Board (IDB), maintained contact with Wacker's officials located at the company's Adrian, Michigan, North American operations headquarters over that time period.
Ultimately, the size of the site, the availability of reliable power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the supply of chlorine from the adjacent Olin Corporation facility, and excellent transportation infrastructure made north Bradley County the company's location of choice.

The company plans to construct a new, hyperpure polycrystalline silicon facility on property it has acquired in Cleveland, Tennessee. The 550-acre site, which cost the company $20 million in land acquisition alone, will be the home of manufacturing and office facilities. The size of the site, combined with readily available power from the Tennessee Valley Authority and the area's transportation infrastructure, helped to make Tennessee Wacker Chemie's choice. The company expects a major boost in demand for polysilicon from the solar and semiconductor industries, and employment should reach 500 people.

"Government officials at all levels, agencies, and business associates from the state of Tennessee and Bradley County were extremely attentive to our business requirements, cooperative, and made every endeavor to support our plans," said Wacker Chemie President and CEO Rudolf Staudigl.

In nearby Chattanooga, Gestamp Corp. will invest a comparatively small $90 million to construct a new auto parts stamping plant - a project that will create 230 new jobs and continue the momentum of a region that is experiencing solid growth and job expansion. A major new contract from Volkswagen helped spur Gestamp's expansion plans, and the quality of the local work force helped make the location decision an easy one.

"We're pleased to be able to continue our strong working relationship with Volkswagen," said Jeff Wilson, president and chief operating officer for Gestamp. "I firmly believe the excellent business climate and skilled work force of Chattanooga and Tennessee will allow us to benefit from the same qualities Volkswagen found here and to continue our company's long-term growth."

Other firms in the automotive, tobacco, food products, and distribution sectors also located or expanded facilities in Tennessee last year that resulted in significant investment and job creation.

It was a story of renewal for Decatur, Indiana, where the once-idled Fleetwood Enterprises motor home division found a new buyer and new life under the name Fleetwood RV - recalling 600 employees and announcing plans to create an additional 300 jobs on the site by 2012. Reopening in August 2009 with a ceremony that included Governor Mitch Daniels, Fleetwood RV's revival of the old plant helped spur economic progress that stretched across the state and across a variety of industries. The company's new ownership is so bullish on Indiana, it is consolidating its California and Pennsylvania manufacturing operations to Decatur, with plans to invest $7.4 million in building improvements, machinery, equipment, and tooling.

Indiana officials were busy with other ceremonies of this kind last year, including one in Indianapolis where the state welcomed the expansion of facilities for Comlux USA, which serves business aviation in areas such as cabin interiors and aircraft maintenance. The company's new aircraft upholstery facility, which cost $46.3 million to build, will bring 480 new jobs to the area.

"Thanks to the support of the state of Indiana, we have been able to upgrade massively the facilities, and we have developed the skills of our mechanics, craftsmen, and engineers in order to achieve additional qualifications that will bring us more business - among them, we got our Authorized Service Facility agreement and we have been approved as a BBJ completion center," said Ettore Rodaro, president of Comlux USA.

Exclusive Research