Project will generate more than 100 new jobs and nearly $80 million in capital investment by 2015
PLANT CITY, FL – December 3, 2013 – James Hardie, global manufacturer of fiber cement siding and interior products, today announced plans to expand its existing presence in eastern Hillsborough County with the introduction of new manufacturing capacity in Plant City. The project is expected to create more than 100 new jobs and nearly $80 million in capital investment by 2015.
“This is an exciting time for James Hardie in both Plant City and around the world,” said Ryan Sullivan, James Hardie South Division General Manager. “This process expansion underscores the importance of our local workforce and its ability to meet our customers’ needs, and build upon James Hardie’s innovative legacy that began in 1888. Innovation that happens in Plant City resonates around the world, and the catalyst is the great environment we have here. Employees see themselves as a family, and that says a lot about the people in the city and the surrounding community.”
Headquartered in Ireland, James Hardie was the first to introduce fiber cement siding products to the U.S. as a durable, lower-maintenance alternative to wood, OSB and vinyl siding. All James Hardie siding products are Engineered for Climate®, meaning that they are formulated to resist damage from weather conditions in one of two distinct regions of the United States. The 125-year-old company established operations in Plant City in 1994, and currently employs about 100 associates at its South Woodrow Wilson Street facility.
As part of the expansion, the manufacturer will retrofit an existing pipe plant for sheet production, adding 100,000 square feet of space, as well as new machinery and equipment. The growth will double production capacity and allow James Hardie to meet increased demand for its fiber cement siding products, which are used on 5.5 million homes across North America.
“James Hardie has been a valuable member of our business community for more than two decades,” said Plant City Mayor Mary Thomas Mathis. “Its decision to expand in Plant City is a testament to the strong business environment we’ve created, and validates our role as a top manufacturing and distribution center.”
Last year, the City of Plant City approved a moratorium on the collection of transportation mobility fees to increase competitiveness in pursuing high-impact economic development projects. As a result of this program, James Hardie will receive a fee waiver of $37,300. The company is also eligible for Florida’s new Machinery and Equipment Sales Tax Exemption program, approved by the state legislature in May.
“This is great news for our community,” said the Hon. Mark Sharpe, Chairman of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. “Manufacturing is an important part of our economic growth strategy, and with recent announcements by Granex Inc., Covidien, and now James Hardie, it’s clear that our efforts are making an impact.”
To attract the project, Plant City competed against alternative Southeast locations.
“This is a big win for Plant City and Hillsborough County,” said Allen Brinkman, Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and Chairman, President and CEO of SunTrust Bank Tampa Bay. “Manufacturing projects are among the most competitive and highly prized in economic development, and as the industry begins to show signs of recovery and expansion, we’re well-positioned to leverage this momentum.”
In 2012, the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, in partnership with TECO and the City of Plant City, hired a dedicated project manager to drive job creation and capital investment in Plant City and eastern Hillsborough County. To date, nine companies have announced plans to expand, generating more than 200 new jobs and $105.6 million in capital investment.
About the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (www.TampaEDC.com) is the lead economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace. Established in 2009 as a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention and expansion of high-wage jobs and capital investment within targeted industry sectors, including Corporate Headquarters, Financial and Shared Services, Life Sciences, Defense and Security, and Manufacturing. Working with C-level executives, site selection consultants, commercial real estate professionals and other influential decision-makers, the EDC provides customized, confidential relocation services to domestic and international companies interested in growing within Hillsborough County. Locally, the EDC helps existing businesses access the tools and resources they need to succeed, now and in the future.
About James Hardie
James Hardie is the global leader in fiber cement technology and has been furthering founder James Hardie’s entrepreneurial legacy around the world for more than 125 years. It invented fiber cement siding products in the early 1980s as a durable, lower-maintenance alternative to wood and vinyl. Its products combine innovation and versatility to offer a variety of design possibilities, matched with specific performance attributes relative to the climate where the product is being used. Currently installed on more than 5.5 million homes in North America, James Hardie has earned a favorable reputation within the industry and have been specified in some of the country’s most prestigious projects. For more information about James Hardie visit http://www.jameshardie.com.