Biery Cheese Announces Major Expansion – Biery Cheese officials announced plans to expand their operations on Paris Avenue in Nimishillen Township. Both the township trustees and Stark County Commissioners approved a 75% real estate tax abatement for the next ten years on the planned 85,000 sq.ft. expansion. The building project is estimated to cost between $9.6 and $14.4 million when building plans are finalized. In addition, Biery Cheese plans to purchase between $3.2 and $4.8 million in machinery and equipment. The project will result in the creation of 25 full-time jobs and will ensure the retention of Biery’s 248 employees. In relation to the abatement approval, Biery officials have promised two $500 scholarships to Louisville City School students and two internships for students at the operating facility. The scholarships and internships will be awarded each year of the ten-year abatement period. According to company officials, the construction will be conducted in phases and should be completed by the Spring of 2012. The expansion is being driven by increased demand by current and prospective customers. To read about the expansion, click on this Canton Repository article.
Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Receives State Tax Credits and Third Frontier Grant –The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved Job Creation Tax Credits for Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell System’s expansion at Stark State College in Jackson Township. RRFCS has been awarded a 60% job creation tax credit for a ten-year term valued at $705,737. The $4 million project is expected to create 60 positions and retain 31 jobs. Also in December, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission awarded RRFCS a grant through the Third Frontier Fuel Cell Funding Program. Rolls-Royce, in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, was awarded $999,770 for its “Reliability of Fuel Cells for Megawatt Scale SOFC Power Systems” project. The project will help determine the long-term reliability of the Rolls-Royce solid oxide fuel cell. The megawatt size fuel cell is being developed for the stationary power markets and applications. A method to predict performance will be developed so that qualification of the solid oxide fuel cell can be accelerated, and thereby reduce the time for entry into the market place. To read about the tax credit award, click here, and for the Third Frontier Fuel Cell grant, click here.
Stark County’s College Attendance Rate Exceeds State and National Average –For the first time in Stark County’s history, the percentage of its young adults, age 18 to 24, who have been to college has exceeded both the state and national average. This finding, based on new three-year survey estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on October 27, 2009, also shows the gap narrowing on the percentage who have already earned a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. To learn more about this finding, click here for the Stark Education Partnership article.