Monday, February 21, 2011

$3.89 Million For 60 New Lehigh County Jobs?

One of my first jobs was at Baker Chemical Company, where I managed to blow up the lab on three separate occasions. The bosses were very happy to see me go to law school.

It's called Avantor these days, and, according to a news release, corporate headquarters are moving to Upper Saucon's Stabler Center, in Lehigh County, safely away from the occasional ka-boom. Its new location will be twice the size of its old facility.

Existing HQ staffers, and there's about 140 of them, will work from this new location. Over the next three years, Avantor will hire an additional 60 people.

"Anytime a large corporation like Avantor decides to relocate to our county we would welcome them. In light of the economic climate of the last three years it's extra special to have Avantor relocate its corporate headquarters here and support a workforce of 200 full-time employees in Upper Saucon Township,” said Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham. “The Stabler Center is emerging as a magnet for corporate relocations and job growth for our region. We are grateful to Governor Corbett and the state for realizing the importance of this and supporting job creation in Lehigh County and Pennsylvania."

Avantor manufactures and markets high-performance chemistries and materials around the world under the brand names J.T.Baker® and MacronTM (formerly Mallinckrodt® Chemicals). The products are used in biotechnology and pharmaceutical production; in the manufacturing of semiconductors, flat panel displays and photovoltaic cells; and in research, academic and quality control laboratories.

Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation helped the company obtain a $3.89 million funding offer for the project from DCED, including a $200,000 opportunity grant, a $3 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, $90,000 in job training assistance, and $600,000 in job creation tax credits.

“A corporate relocation project of this size and importance comes along once or twice a decade,” said Philip B. Mitman, LVEDC president and CEO. “In this challenging economic climate, the commonwealth, the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh County leadership team continue to work together to bring jobs to our region. This cooperative leadership embodies the spirit of free enterprise.”

Oh, I don't know. That's $64,833 in state subsidies for every new job, attracting from far away Phillipsburg N.J. Nothing about that seems like "free enterprise" to me.

5 comments:

brenda said...

Sounds nice, we''ll see if it brings any local jobs . P-burg isnt too far away.
Remember when Olympus was incentivized to relocated from NY?

How many local people did they hire? Is there any check and balance system to see if these companies actually hire ? Or is it the honor system approach to handing out millions in grants?

Anonymous said...

SSDD. More taxpayer $$ for Philly shipyard as well. Corbett's policies are looking just like Rendell's cardboard checks and corporate welfare.

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

I couldn't agree more with you that this is wrong.

I'm sure the politicians will put it on a campaign flyer come election time, but this is not "job creation". Government should be focused on creating an environment that is attractive to all businesses - not just a select (usually well-connected) few.

We don't have the money to pay for this sort of thing. It's about time our politicians (state and county) realized this.

Anonymous said...

I live in northern NorCo and know three locals who were hired by Olympus. They're still there.

Anonymous said...

I read about possible manufacturing jobs in Macungie. What does this mean? More traffic on Route 22.

Now we if we all can get quai-governement jobs and walk to work from loft apartments above the coffee shop in our traditional neigborhoods we could eliminate the need for all State Roads.