Carbon making a pitch County vying for German-based automotive firm
Amy Miller/Times News The Carbon County Economic Development Corporation Building 1, located at 600 Industrial Road, Nesquehoning, may become the hub for a German manufacturing company if Carbon is successful in its attempt to attract the company to the area. Dawn Ferrante, executive director for the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation, will travel to Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday to present the company with a proposal to expand its operations into Pennsylvania.
Carbon County is hoping that a location in Green Acres Industrial Park in Nesquehoning will attract a German-based automotive business to the area.
During a special joint meeting between the county commissioners, the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation and the Carbon County Industrial Development Authority on Friday, Dawn Ferrante, executive director of the CCEDC, and Brian Ross, development specialist for the Pennsylvania Governor's Action Team, presented a PowerPoint presentation that will be used to educate members of the German American Chamber of Commerce and an aluminum manufacturer for the automotive industry about the county.
The presentation will also show the location at Green Acres Industrial Park in Nesquehoning, which currently houses Liquid Fence, and what it can offer the business. Ferrante and Ross will present their findings in front of the group on Tuesday.
Ferrante explained that the company is based out of Germany and does not currently have a plant in the United States.
The manufacturer is described as a "well-experienced German Tier II developer and manufacturer of engine and gear parts for the automotive industry and its suppliers."
Ferrante added that Carbon learned of the company's potential expansion two weeks ago, when officials received an alert from the Governor's Action Team.
Carbon, as well as two other counties in the state filed a proposal with the company, but after learning representatives would have to travel to Atlanta, the other two counties withdrew their proposals.
Ferrante said that Carbon is currently the only county in Pennsylvania vying for this expansion. It will be up against 10 other states on Tuesday.
Ferrante noted that the company is looking to invest $22 million in the business and area over the next six years, including $4.7 million in start-up costs.
She then went over the slides with the members of the boards in the hopes of fine-tuning her presentation.
The PowerPoint that the German American Chamber of Commerce and the manufacturer will see next week will touch on many points that highlight the positives that the county has to offer, including personal messages from county officials and state lawmakers, demographics of the county, and potential incentives, such as tax breaks, grants, and deferred lease payments for moving to the area.
Ferrante and Ross went over the slides, illustrating each point and asking if there was anything that they could add to the presentation to make it more enticing for the manufacturer.
She noted that out of the 18 requirements the company stated in its request for proposal, Carbon meets 11 fully, and six partially.
Currently, the company is looking for a 50,000-square-foot building with room to expand. The building at Green Acres Industrial Park is 40,000 square feet and has additional acreage available for expansion.
Ferrante said that after the presentations, the company will decide which locations it wishes to visit. If Carbon is chosen, a site visit will be set up and further talks will be made.
Thomas McCall, chairman of the CCIDA, and Commissioner Charles Getz both voiced their desire to be selected for a site visit.
Following the presentation, the boards discussed possible points that should be included in Ferrante's speech that would make the company feel more welcome in Carbon County.
Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, and state Rep. Doyle Heffley, then weighed in on the situation, as well as the support each board is giving this proposal.
"It's nice to see everyone together," O'Gurek said. "This is the way it should be. We don't see that all the time and in my eight years experience as a commissioner this is the first time I've seen everyone at the same table working together, from the representative to the senator's office to the school district to the IDA and county and all partners in the corporation. If we don't try, shame on us."
He then thanked everyone for their efforts in making this attempt at growth a positive and strong attempt.
Heffley said that he's happy to see that Gov. Tom Corbett is sending Ross to the presentation as well.
"I think that says a lot about pro-growth," he said. "We need to create jobs. The govenor is determined to do that, Harrisburg is determined, Carbon County is.
"We have an environment here in our state right now that is business friendly. We want people to come in and create jobs. Pennsylvania is open for business and we're going to invite them and work with them as a partner."
Ferrante thanked everyone for their help with getting the proposal and presentation together and said that she feels the that it will reflect the friendliness of the county.