$700,000 to aid employers, in the Northeast Kingdom and Bethel/Royalton area
On Oct. 19, Gov. Peter Shumlin recommended using funds from the Vermont Enterprise Fund to attract over 120 jobs – more than 50 in the Northeast Kingdom and up to 73 in the Bethel/Royalton area. In addition to the jobs, the $700,000 in awards would more than pay for themselves, generating millions in state revenue.
The Enterprise Fund was established to help the state move quickly to seize opportunities and encourage the retention or creation of jobs throughout Vermont. Under the design of the Fund, legislative approval is required from the Emergency Board, which is made up of the Legislature’s fiscal committee chairs.
“There are over 120 jobs on the table for which Vermont is competing with other states, and I want them to go to Vermonters,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This is exactly why we created this fund – to allow us to move quickly to help companies decide to grow jobs right here in Vermont, not somewhere else. Not only will these investments help us create over 120 jobs for Vermonters; they will get paid back and more through the generation of millions in state revenues.”
The governor’s recommendations include two awards totaling $700,000.
The first recommendation is for $200,000 to attract a Canadian company looking to establish a new facility in the U.S. The project would create in excess of 50 jobs over five years in the Northeast Kingdom. The Canadian company is currently deciding between three U.S. locations. One obstacle to the company’s expansion in Vermont is limited real estate options, and the Vermont-based facility being considered by the company will need immediate work. The Enterprise Fund award will help reduce those initial project costs and make Vermont more attractive. The company is looking to make a decision by the end of October, and the award will be contingent on the company choosing to locate in Vermont. The emergency board authorized the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to commit the funds to the Canadian prospect on Oct. 19. The funds will be released to the named company on final approval of the Board after commitment of the company to locate in Vermont.
The second recommendation is for $500,000 to support an expansion at G.W. Plastics in the Bethel/Royalton area that would add up to 73 new jobs. G.W. currently employs over 300 full-time workers and is the largest manufacturing employer in the region. Due to ongoing growth, the company has no available manufacturing space in its Vermont locations. The expansion need is being driven by a recently awarded contract with a new customer. G.W. has several options for growth, including current facilities in Texas, Arizona, Mexico, and China. The company has also identified a potential site in N.H., close to the customer with whom G.W. obtained the recent contract that is driving the current growth plan. The Board also gave approval to the Governor’s recommendation Oct. 19. The Enterprise Fund award will be contingent on G.W. choosing to expand its operations in Vermont.
If these two awards totaling $700,000 are disbursed, the Enterprise Fund would have a balance of $1.4 million.