Trade & Industry Development Magazine Announces IMO as a 2011 CiCi Award Recipient

Birmingham, Alabama

March 10, 2011 – Many of
the companies that receive an award in our Community Impact section
of the 6th Annual CiCi
are making an extremely large capital
investment in
their new or expansion project, which
lead you to believe
there is a mistake, that they belong
in the investment category.

Schulz GMBH, for example, is investing $300
million to locate a new manufacturing facility in
Mississippi. That’s quite a bit of money, but to a
county that has just over 10,000 residents, and has never
had a manufacturing company locate
there, the 500 jobs this project will
generate will have a tremendous impact and be felt throughout the community.

Job creation is the
basis for many of the
awards in the Community Impact category. In today’s economy new and
retained jobs are important in all communities, but in some areas, were
it not for the companies we honor here, hope
for any positive quality of
life was dim. One award-winning company’s expansion project
in North Carolina will
bring more than 300 jobs to three counties that recently experienced
layoff events and 42 closings,
affecting 5,591 people.
In West
Virginia, Macy’s location of an e-commerce fulfillment center there that will
1,200 full- and part-time
jobs and 700 temporary seasonal positions on a
yearly basis is beyond imagination. "It’s
hard to comprehend the impact of a project of this magnitude,"
said an economic development
executive. "This is like winning the Super Bowl."

impact of indirect employment
is considered as well. Facebook’s data center
construction will create
250 construction jobs over 18 months; INEOS, 150 over two years;
and in Louisiana, where
two separate projects will create 917 new direct
jobs, an additional 1,906 indirect
are expected to be generated as well.

The psychological impact of new construction,
expansion and retention goes beyond measure.
It was said, for example, that Allstate’s decision
to locate in Pocatello,
Idaho, has created palpable feelings of hope
among residents and optimism for
the future that has not been
seen for some time.

For six Community Impact winners,
the infusion of new jobs and
capital has come from an unlikely
source: foreign- based companies. Two German
companies are locating a manufacturing plant
in the U.S. for the first time, two Canadian companies chose
the U.S. for expansion, a U.K company is actually relocating
to New Orleans, and perhaps
most notable, a company with Chinese
ties is bringing its operations
to Missouri. Commenting on this
reversal of the trend of U.S. companies
offshoring to China, the
governor of Missouri said, "At a time when too many
American companies are shuttering their plants and moving jobs overseas, we are
thrilled to have a global company creating
of good manufacturing jobs
right here."

a number of Community Impact winners are playing a big role
in expanding communities’
horizons by diversifying
their economies. An example of this
can be found in Fort Payne, Alabama, where
the loss of its textile manufacturing industry is
being replaced by the
manufacture of parts crucial to a broad range
of automotive manufacturers even beyond its
borders. In Flint, Michigan, where
Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy is replacing
the loss of a giant auto manufacturer with
up to 4,000 well-paying jobs
in nursing, pharmacy, information
technology, and call-center operations,
the move could lead to the creation of a new biotechnology corridor. The
president and cofounder of the company described it as an opportunity to
reinvent and
revitalize a community.

The story of
each Community Impact winner follows.


Rutherford County, North Carolina

When it
constructs its new data center in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in which it will
$450 million, Facebook will
an immediate impact on the community by becoming
the county’s sixth-largest
nonresidential taxpayer,
after incentives are factored in. And it doesn’t end there. Facebook’s infusion of new jobs
as a result of its construction project will have a
welcome reverse-impact
on the county’s unemployment
rate. As of October 2010, the unemployment
rate was 13.2 percent,
significantly higher
that the state’s average of 9.1 percent.

The new project
is expected to create 250 construction
and mechanical jobs
during the projected 18-month
construction period. When the data center is completed it is expected
to employ between 35
and 45 full-time and contract workers. Depending on
conditions, expansions
may be
possible in the

In keeping with North Carolina’s growing
for environmental leadership,
the building will be designed to LEED gold standards. In addition, Facebook will
employ innovative cooling and power
technologies to make the facility one
of the most energy-efficient data centers in the United States. Facebook is also a leading
pioneer in efficient software and
the facility will
use technologies
developed by Facebook to rely on
fewer than half the computing power (and related energy consumption) that a similar data center would have required
only a
few years

Perhaps what is most important to the community is what
can’t be quantified—the
cache that follows such a huge
brand name—no one doesn’t know Facebook, the social media network that
connects 500 million. It also adds new muscle to North Carolina’s reputation for attracting Internet
that already include Google and


Wilh. Schulz GmbH

Tunica County, Mississippi

Tunica County, located
in the Mississippi Delta,
has just over 10,000 residents,
and has never had a manufacturing company locate
there. When officials from German firm Wilh.
Schulz GmbH, or Schulz, announced
the company will
invest $300 million to locate an advanced
pipe manufacturing facility in
the impact was felt throughout the community as it was
realized that the project will
500 new jobs for area workers over the next
five years. Not only did Schulz choose a county that had
never had a manufacturing plant before, but the facility marks Schulz’s first North American production plant. Furthermore,
the company considered 300 locations around the world before deciding
to locate in Tunica County.

Headquartered in Krefeld, Germany, Schulz was
established in 1945 and is a recognized leader
in the industry, specializing in serving
the up- and downstream
oil and gas sectors and the nuclear
and fossil fuel power plant
Schulz’s Mississippi
division, known as Schulz
Xtruded Products, will produce seamless
metallurgical bonded pipe for the oil and gas industries using
its breakthrough extrusion process
exclusive to its Tunica County location. "The United States in general and
Mississippi in particular is the perfect location for our ‘crown
investment’ supplying
the global markets,"
said Rainer Floeth, managing director and
CFO of Schulz.

"In today’s
highly competitive environment
for new jobs, we are extremely excited
Schulz’s decision to select Mississippi,"
said Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. "Schulz’s new facility in Tunica
County will employ state-of-the-art pipe manufacturing processes, and the company found the skilled
and dedicated workforce
necessary to make these operations a success here in Mississippi.”


Macy’s Inc.

Martinsburg, West Virginia

Retail giant
Inc. plans to build a new 1.3
e- commerce fulfillment center in Martinsburg, West Virginia,
in spring 2011,
operations beginning in
April 2012 and order shipments
beginning in summer 2012. The
fulfillment center will
support Macy’s growing
business. When fully operational, the new facility is
to create 1,200 full- and
part-time jobs and 700 temporary seasonal associates
are expected to be hired each year to handle
a significantly higher level
of online orders from customers during the holiday shopping

"It’s hard to comprehend
the impact
of a project of this magnitude," said Stephen Christian, executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority since 2008." This is like winning the Super Bowl. Macy’s
single-handedly pull Berkeley County out
of the recession. It’s not just the 1,200 new jobs.
Everything from local
retail sales all the way up
to the housing market should see
the benefit of this project. These
are good jobs for our people,
and because the people who’ll be working here are
living here already, we’re not going
to see much if any additional
load put on schools or public safety. There’s
no downside to this for us."

Terry J.
Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer
of Macy’s Inc. reports, "Our Internet sales continue to grow rapidly
as part of the omnichannel strategy at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. The
Martinsburg fulfillment
center will represent
a significant expansion of our online
will be used in particular to prepare and
ship orders to
customers in Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. This
center will include
the very latest material handling equipment and warehouse management systems so
we can fill orders quickly and efficiently."

Caterpillar Inc.

Victoria, Texas

Caterpillar Inc. selected the city of Victoria,
Texas, as the location for its new state-of-the-art hydraulic excavator
manufacturing facility. The 600,000- square-foot
manufacturing operation
is expected to begin production in mid-2012. Once fully operational, it will
triple the current capacity of
produced by the
company in
the United States, and double the
of Caterpillar employees
in the U.S. making excavators. The
decision to increase manufacturing capacity and
employment in the United
States is part of Caterpillar’s long-term strategic initiative
to develop the appropriate global
footprint to competitively produce
hydraulic excavators.

Victoria, an East Texas town near the Gulf of Mexico, 130
south of Houston, a town with a population
of 60,000, the infusion
of this many jobs, especially jobs
of the caliber offered by Caterpillar, will have
a large impact. A local newspaper
commented, "On a day of further jobless worry and continued stock-market
losses, Caterpillar showed
up to assure the American citizenry that the big manufacturer was doing its part, at least, to save the day."

mayor, Will Armstrong, said, "Victoria is proud
to play a role in Caterpillar’s plans to expand its hydraulic
excavator manufacturing in the United
States, while at the
same time Caterpillar will
be an important
part of the work to reinvent Victoria." Even
the local judge, Don Pozzi, said, "I am certainly happy
that Victoria County is positioned to help
a project that will put local people to work."

A Caterpillar
vice president declared, "Based on our comprehensive
review of possible
Victoria’s proximity to our supply base,
access to ports and other transportation, as well
as the positive business
climate in Texas made this the ideal site for this project."

INEOS New Planet BioEnergy

Indian River, Florida

INEOS Bio and
its joint venture partner, NPE, Florida,
are investing millions of dollars to bring much-needed clean energy jobs to the Treasure Coast region of Florida. The total project investment will be more
than $100 million dollars and will
create 150 construction jobs over the next two years and
55 full-time jobs with
an average annual wage of $45,000. This is welcome news to
the community that recently has been
reeling from layoffs
at the nearby Piper Aircraft facility. Not only will this have an
on job creation, the work at the facility will have a global "green" impact.

Indian River County BioEnergy Center, near Vero Beach, Florida, will produce eight
million gallons of
third- generation bioethanol
per year
from renewable biomass including yard, wood and
vegetative wastes.
The facility will
also generate clean renewable
power for export to the local market.
This breakthrough
technology has been under
development for over 25 years
and will substantially
reduce net greenhouse
gas emissions from cars and energy
generation, imparting a global
impact. Not only does
it reduce the amount of waste going to landfills,
but it also breaks the link between food
crops and bioethanol production. The ability to
make fuel from agricultural, yard,
and wood waste
opens up an exciting
new avenue to achieving sustainable
energy independence.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
in December 2009 announced the provision of a
$50 million dollar grant for the facility. W.L. "Tex" Carter, president of New Planet
Energy, said, "We
are grateful to the U.S. Department of Energy for its endorsement
of this world-changing technology. We
intend to move forward to
achieve full commercial production at
the facility by late 2011." 

Harley Davidson Motor Company, Inc.

York, Pennsylvania

In an effort to remain competitive, Harley Davidson Motor Company Inc. is
restructuring and consolidating
its York, Pennsylvania, manufacturing operations,
$90 million in the company’s
manufacturing facility. Although the restructuring will
involve job loss at the plant, Pennsylvania faced a serious
risk of losing the company altogether. In May 2009 the company announced
that it needed to significantly reduce its per-unit
production costs at the York
plant or it would
be forced to relocate those
operations to another state. The consolidation will
include ceasing operations at an older building on the York campus and moving
all operations under one roof where the company will
focus on motorcycle
assembly, metal fabrication and
paint. When fully implemented in 2012, the restructuring is expected to generate about $100 million
in annual
operating savings, according to Harley. Despite
job reductions, the state’s
investment secured the retention of over 1,000 high-paying
manufacturing jobs (average wage, $28-plus
per hour).

A new labor
agreement is cited as the key to allowing
all of this to happen. Members of International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers
Local 175 voted in favor
of a new seven-year
contract that includes a reduction
in job classifications, a cut in the average wage and
a maximum of four weeks of vacation time, depending on
seniority. Also, Harley said it will reduce the number of hourly workers from about 1,950 to about 1,000. The workforce
will comprise about 700-800
full-time unionized production and maintenance employees,
according to Harley, and on
an annualized basis, about
200 to 300 unionized
"casual" or "as-needed"
employees. "The new labor agreement is critical
to making that [revitalization] happen,"
Harley President and CEO Keith Wandell

IMO International GmbH

Dorchester County, South Carolina

Headquartered in the South of Germany, family-owned IMO
International GmbH has been named one
of "Bavaria’s Top 50" companies
and listed among Europe’s 500 fastest-growing
companies for several years in a row.

With over 20 years’ experience
in the alternative energy sector, IMO serves customers worldwide, including several
of the top wind turbine manufacturers.
In seeking its first U.S. home, IMO executives were focused on locations within
three hours of a major seaport, which had
to a major airport and had an
existing 40,000-square-foot facility. They also sought a region with
technically trained and
academically prepared workers.
It would be quite a coup to land
company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility. There was
an extensive site selection process,
in which Dorchester County, South
Carolina was
up against
multiple locations in the United States.
Nevertheless, on March 9, 2010, IMO announced
the decision to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Dorchester
County. The
IMO Group is one of the world’s
manufacturers of slewing rings and
drives, and an
in the machine and plant
manufacturing sector.
The South Carolina
operation will be called IMO USA Corp. and will ultimately employ 190 workers
and generate a $47 million
capital investment.

company will utilize
the Port of Charleston for both importing materials and exporting products
and will service
multiple markets from its Dorchester County operation including
the U.S., Europe and

"South Carolina
is well known throughout Germany as
a good place to do business," said Rüdiger Unverzagt, CEO of IMO USA Corp. "Charleston’s
strong port coupled with its
strengthening profile in alternative energy gave
us complete confidence in our decision
to come here."

Mamtek International

Moberly, Missouri

We are
all very familiar with U.S.
companies moving their operations
off to China, but when was
the last time you heard of a Chinese
company moving its operations to the U.S.? Well, that’s what’s happening in Moberly,
Missouri. Mamtek International,
producer of sugar substitute sucralose, plans to base
manufacturing operations in a facility owned by the
of Moberly, invest $46 million into the
local economy, and
create 612 new jobs in Moberly. Uniquely,
this will be
the only manufacturing operation worldwide
producing sucralose that is "Made in the U.S."

Mamtek, a multinational company with Chinese
and American ownership
and leadership, worked with Midwest
U.S.-China Association (MWCA)
to explore potential
sites before selecting Moberly. MWCA
promotes governmental, economic,
educational, and cultural
opportunities between
the Midwestern states and China. Reena
Gordon, chief operating officer for Mamtek, said, "MWCA collaborated with
Mamtek to identify stakeholders
and key data such as quality of labor pool,
receptiveness to foreign companies, and
financing flexibility.
Because of this help, we are
able to bring new jobs
to the U.S." Corey Mehaffy, president of the Moberly Area
Economic Development Corporation, said. "We appreciate MWCA,
and in particular the efforts of
[former] Governor Holden to
create an avenue by which
foreign companies can connect with Midwest communities to establish a U.S. presence."

"At a time when
too many American companies are shuttering their plants
and moving jobs overseas, we are thrilled
to have a global company creating hundreds of
good manufacturing jobs right
here in Missouri," Governor Jay Nixon said. "These
will be a significant
boost to Missouri’s economy and
our manufacturing sector, and they’re another positive
sign that our economy
is beginning to move forward."


Pocatello, Idaho

Allstate’s October 2010 decision to invest $22 million and locate
its service center in Pocatello, Idaho,
a community with just over 90,000 inhabitants, is an against-all-odds success
story. In January 2010,
Allstate Insurance Company solicited proposals from communities across the western United States trying to identify a location
for a 575-employee
sales and service center. Idaho’s Bannock Development Corp (BDC)
joined more than 80 cities in pursuing this lucrative
opportunity. BDC knew its
competitors were larger cities and Allstate’s three existing centers are located
in cities well over
10 times the size of Pocatello, making
it an underdog
contender; but it also knew landing this deal was crucial
to the community. Pocatello
has been hard hit in recent years by the
partial or complete closure
of several manufacturing facilities,
along with the weight of the recession. Combined unemployment
and underemployment
for Pocatello was 15.2 percent in 2009.

Allstate’s addition
of 575 jobs in 2011 will make
it the fifth-largest private employer in the metro
area. The addition of Allstate’s approximately $20 million
dollar payroll to a community this size will have a nearly incalculable impact
on the region’s economy. Most of these positions will
between $27,000 and $50,000, compared
to Pocatello’s median annual wage
of $28,600. It is estimated the 10-year aggregate
direct economic impact of this
project to be approximately $300 million;
the indirect impact will be even
still. In addition there
is a clear, priceless, psychological
impact of this project on the community— Allstate’s
decision to locate in Pocatello has
created palpable
feelings of hope among residents and optimism for the future that has not been
seen for some time.


Plasman Corp

Fort Payne, Alabama

Plasman Corp, part of A.P. Plasman Corp. of Windsor, Canada, has located
its first U.S. manufacturing facility in
Fort Payne, DeKalb County, Alabama,
and expects to invest $14 million
to $16 million in that plant, which initially will employ 200 people
and could ramp up to more than
350 in a few years.
These jobs are desperately needed as
the area’s once-prosperous
sock- making industry
lost 6,000 to 8,000 jobs in
the past five years because
the work moved
offshore. As a result, in March 2010, DeKalb
County’s unemployment rate was 13.9 percent.

Last year wasn’t
the only year of unemployment suffering for them; the jobless rate
there has hovered around Neal Wade, director of the Alabama Development Office, said of Plasman’s plans
for DeKalb County, "It
is just great to see an announcement
in an area that truly needs
those jobs. This is going to be a real tipping point for
them in terms of turning around their

The new plant’s capabilities will include plastic-injection
molding, painting, assembly of automotive
exterior parts and tool repair. It will supply items such as front grills, trunk skins and
moldings for
various auto manufacturers. It is speculated that Alabama was chosen
because it is strategically
to ship larger parts to a
whole new market of OEMs in the southeast U.S.,
including Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Kia, Honda and Toyota. While not confirming that rationale, Plasman CEO Dave Wiskel did say the decision to locate a plant
in Fort Payne is the "biggest
milestone and step" that the family-owned
company has taken "strategically."

With the new plant,
local officials hope it is just the beginning of a new type of industry in the area.


Blade Dynamics

New Orleans, Louisiana

Five years
since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Greater New Orleans Region
is proving its resiliency
strength with significant economic
development, most notably Blade
Dynamics, an advanced wind
turbine manufacturer that will
a capital investment of $13 million and create
600 new, direct
by 2015 at an average annual
salary of about
$48,000 plus benefits, and bring state-of-the-art technology to New Orleans. Six hundred new jobs
coming to a region that
several months after Hurricane
Katrina experienced unemployment that peaked at 16 percent will
have a dramatic impact on the people and psyche
of the region. The number
of new jobs has a ripple
effect as well.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the new, direct jobs will result
in the creation of more than 970 new, indirect jobs in Louisiana.

impact doesn’t end there. Blade
Dynamics’ relocation signifies
that the rebirth of New Orleans
not gone unnoticed by foreign
investors, a pleasant reversal of U.S. companies off-shoring. Located in
the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom,
Blade Dynamics’ decision
to utilize New Orleans’
resourceful workforce
to further enhance its state- of-the-art, industry-changing technology
is a sign that New Orleans
is a globally competitive
corporate location.

Blade Dynamics also represents a revitalization of innovative
partnerships in the region. The Dow Chemical
Co., through its Venture Capital
group, and American Superconductor Corp., specializing in electric power
technology, have each made
a minority equity investment in Blade
In addition, Blade’s presence
serves as a valuable catalyst to the region because
the large number of high-paying, high-tech
jobs it provides also serves to help
attract other
high-tech industries
to the region. 

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

Flint, Michigan

A huge, twice-abandoned auto
manufacturing complex in Flint, Michigan, will soon be
home to a fast-growing pharmaceutical
company that vows to create more than 1,000 jobs there in five years — and as many as 4,000
jobs by 2028. Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy purchased
a 360,000-square-foot section of
the 1.2 million-square-foot complex
at auction for just $880,000,
acquiring the space that will serve
as a footprint to expand
the business over the next 10 years. Indeed, this is
a double impact win
for Flint: re-use of an abandoned
auto plant, and creation of huge numbers of well-paying
jobs in
nursing, pharmacy and information technology, as well
as call-center workers.

Family-owned Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy that
currently employs
400 is expected to receive approval for
about $75 million
in state tax credits and
workforce training funds. "We’re flipping our model
around, and we’re
going to put every job we can
in Genesee County,
Michigan," instead of scattering sites around the nation, as is common in the drug industry, said Phil
Diplomat’s president and co-founder.
"While that sounds like
a pie-in-the-sky number," Hagerman said of the
4,000 new jobs by 2028, "it’s really not
a leap, and it’s very doable, and
we’re the guys
that are going to do it."

Diplomat locating
in Flint also represents a major, diversifying
change to the automotive-related industry that
typically locates
in the area. "This is an opportunity to reinvent and revitalize a community," said Hagerman, adding that Diplomat may be able
to provide space in its
facility to other biotechnology companies
to develop their products. "Our
goal would be to create a biotechnology corridor,"
he said.


Magna Composites

Western North Carolina

The workforce
in three Charlotte, North Carolina-area counties is growing,
thanks to the expansion plans of Canadian auto-parts company Magna Composites.
These expansions, which will
represent a corporate investment of $10 million and subsequent creation
of 327 new jobs over four years,
carry more weight
in these three counties than they might in other areas of the country. Each county has experienced
off-the-charts unemployment in recent
years, mainly as a
result of North Carolina’s rapid
decline in its traditional manufacturing base of furniture and textiles.
At the time of the announcement, Rowan County’s
unemployment rate
was 12.9 percent, Catawba
County 14 percent
and Caldwell County 16.3 percent.
In the year prior to the announcement,
these three counties experienced 24 layoff
events and 42 closings, affecting 5,591 people.

Magna had
purchased the plants in these three counties in
June 2009 and grew employment
among them to 360 workers.
With the expansions, the largest of the three facilities, in Rowan
County, will grow by 183 jobs. The
plant in Caldwell County will add
134 jobs,
and the smallest plant in
Catawba County will add
10 workers. While individual wages will vary greatly by job
function, the overall average for the 327 new jobs will
be $33,352 plus benefits.

When initially considering economic
incentives for this project, a Rowan County Economic Development Commission impact study predicted, "If approved, news of
this project will resonate
positively with companies connected
to these operations, both locally and
beyond. Up
to $1.1 million may be awarded
to Magna." North Carolina Representative
Lorene Coates
said, "During this tough economy it’s critical to make the right investments
to create jobs and bring
economic opportunities to this area." 

DG Foods

Bastrop, Louisiana

Unemployment has been
battering Bastrop, Louisiana, since 2008 when
International Paper
shuttered its mill in the town,
leaving 17 percent of the area workforce
facing layoffs or downsizing, followed
three months later by the
closure of four plants
in nearby parishes by Pilgrim’s
Pride, decimating the jobs of 1,300 in mid-North Louisiana. To
compound the dire situation, the
plant closures had a disproportionate impact on lower-income,
low- to medium-skilled workers who were left with few viable employment
opportunities and scarce resources to relocate.

When poultry and
meat processor DG Foods discovered
region had an abundance
of high-quality, experienced
manufacturing workers, it decided in December 2010
to move into an existing, 88,000-square-foot
building in Bastrop, located in Louisiana’s
Morehouse Parish. This will have a grand impact on helping to turn around the unemployment situation as the company
will not only make a capital investment of $9.7
million, but will create 317 new, direct jobs.
In addition, Louisiana Economic
estimates the 317 new, direct
will result in approximately 936 new, indirect jobs and will generate over $13.4 million in new, state
tax revenue and $2.9
million in new, local
tax revenue over the next
seven years.

"DG Foods brings
us an opportunity to show that
the community can successfully transition to a more diverse economic base after the closure of International Paper"
said Morehouse Economic Development
Corporation President and
CEO Kay King. In reply, DG
Foods, LLC CEO Duffy McKenzie said, "DG Foods, LLC is very excited
about the opportunity to expand our company to a facility in Bastrop, Louisiana.
Bastrop is a strategic location which will allow us
to serve customers in Texas,
Louisiana, Arkansas, and others which are
located west of the Mississippi location."

Clearwire LLC

East Milton, Florida

In an area such
as Santa Rosa County,
Florida, where employment has been
hard-hit due to the recession-induced
real estate fallout, the announcement of Clearwire to remain in East Milton,
Florida, to expand
its customer care call center, thus retaining 500
has had an incredible impact. However, not
only will the wireless broadband services provider and operator of the largest 4G network
in the country retain those existing 500
employees by remaining in the
Santa Rosa Industrial Park, it will also
be investing
$8 million and adding an additional 500 employees to support the
needs of its growing customer base. If another location
had been chosen, the Florida operation would eventually have been
phased out. Florida Governor Charlie
Crist declared, "This is welcome
news at a time
when job creation
is of critical importance to Florida’s economy." Adding to that sentiment, Bob
Cole, Santa Rosa County commissioner,
said, “An expansion of this size is a significant opportunity for the Santa Rosa Industrial
Park and a huge economic win
for East Milton."

is a tremendous asset to the county," said Shannon Ogletree, associate
director of TEAM Santa Rosa Economic Development
"This expansion makes Clearwire
the largest single private
employer in the county."

In addition to jobs,
Clearwire also
demonstrates its strong commitment to the local communities in which it operates through its ‘Connecting With Communities’ program.
Clearwire has
participated in numerous community service
projects in the Santa Rosa area,
the most recent being the revitalization of Bagdad
Elementary School. More than

100 Clearwire employees
volunteered to reface the façade of the school building,
add new landscaping at the entrance, and upgrade the
computer classroom.