By Brice Wallace
Go Utah was on the go in July.
The first board meeting for the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, previously known as the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and now under the “Go Utah” moniker, included the awarding of five corporate incentives. In addition to TaxBit for a 1,700-job project in Draper, companies receiving incentives produce a broad range of products, from radioisotopes to bullets, from insulation to packaging.
The incentives include three projects for rural Utah — a point of emphasis for new Gov. Spencer Cox — and one headquarters relocation to the state.
Developing and producing uranium-free radioisotopes will be the focus of work at a new West Valley City facility for health tech company Nusano Inc., which will add up to 92 high-paying Utah jobs in the next 15 years and move its corporate headquarters there from Valencia, California.
The company was approved for a tax credit of up to about $2 million for the $46.5 million project.
Brian McKernan, CEO, told the Go Utah board that Nusano had planned to be based in Los Angeles but decided instead to move out of California. “We had in fact found a wonderful location in West Valley City and are very excited to come to Utah,” he said.
McKernan said the company commercializes a cutting-edge technology to manufacture radioisotopes for diagnostics and cancer therapy. The new technology is “better, cheaper, faster,” he said.
“This is an industry that has not been reinvented for six to seven decades, so what we’re bringing to market here is going to solve significant supply constraint issues in the radioisotope world, allow us to bring radioisotopes forward for some very promising cancer therapeutics,” he said.
The 100,000-square-foot facility in West Valley City will include a linear accelerator, a 70-foot-long tube through which the company will shoot particles into stable elements. When those elements heat up, they shed radioisotopes that can be bottled and shipped to companies for clinical trials on the way to therapies, he said.
“So this is a technology that has been long in the making in terms of market need as well as a disruptive technology that can really change things,” McKernan said.
GOED documents indicate the company will invest $5.2 million in facility build-out and $34.9 million in new equipment, as well as transfer $6.5 million in existing equipment. The company anticipates it will have 46 full-time employees in the new facility by next year, with 92 planned by 2026.
The new jobs will pay an average of $132,336. Total new wages over 15 years are projected to reach $172.3 million, and new state tax revenue is projected at $10.3 million during that time.
Ivan Lapchinksi, senior director of finance and administrative operations at Nusano, said the positions will include high-end engineers, chemists and physicists.
“This fits so well into the life sciences cluster and really at the most high-end, cutting-edge technology that’s going on in the whole life sciences space right now and [we] couldn’t be happier to have them in Utah,” said Colby Cooley, vice president of business development at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) and manager of the Nusano project for EDCUtah.
“Nusano will be an awesome addition to Utah’s growing life science industry,” Dan Hemmert, Go Utah’s executive director, said in a prepared statement. “This growth will support almost 100 high-paying jobs, and we look forward to all that Nusano will bring to the state.”
“Nusano will find a good fit in Utah, given our universities’ research capabilities, support for entrepreneurial companies by our state and local governments, and our life science industry talent base,” said Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of EDCUtah. “We look forward to furthering their growth.”
The Go Utah board approved a tax credit incentive for American Packaging Corp. (APC) to open a manufacturing plant in Cedar City. The incentive is tied to the creation of 135 high-paying jobs over the next 10 years, but its president said the company has plans to grow operations there even further.
The family-owned company based in Columbus, Wisconsin, produces flexible packaging covering food, personal care, medical, pharmaceutical and industrial products for more than 200 customers throughout the United States and Canada. It currently has about 1,100 employees.
President Jeff Koch told the board that APC has five manufacturing facilities and $550 million in annual sales.
“We aspire to double the size of the organization,” he said. “It will require much more than what we’re talking about today in terms of Cedar City, and what we’re talking about today in terms of Cedar City is only the beginning. I can envision several years out this will be a 300-employee operation, and it’ll be more than double the size of we’re talking about right now in terms of equipment that will be going in there.”
APC currently ships over $100 million in goods to sites west of the Rocky Mountains, but it has targeted more than $400 million of new business opportunities within a one-day shipping point of Cedar City, he said.
The Go Utah board approved a tax credit of up to $661,260 for the $126.8 million, 275,000-square-foot Cedar City project. It also approved an Industrial Assistance Fund Economic Opportunity Grant for up to $75,000 for to provide infrastructure support for the site and help create better access to the area.
The project is expected to generate new total wages of nearly $32.3 million and new state tax revenues of nearly $3 million over 10 years. The new jobs will pay an average of $49,388 and include equipment operators, ink mixing, plate mounting, maintenance, shipping and receiving, and other support functions.
APC was founded in 1902 and has been owned during that time by two families. Koch said having the facility in Cedar City is “a great, great, great cultural fit.”
“It just seems to be a perfect fit,” he told the board. “This is our first choice. … We did have some other options that were being considered, but always Cedar City has been No. 1 on our list and we’re just thrilled to have an opportunity to expand our business in that region.”
“I think we’ve created a really good match with Cedar City, for both the company and the community,” said Stephanie Pack, who led the project for the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah).
Daniel Royal, director of corporate growth and business development at Go Utah, said the project features high capital expenditure and job-creation figures, “so we definitely like seeing this in the rural areas of the state.”
“We can’t express how happy are about American Packaging coming to Cedar City,” said Danny Stewart, economic development director for Cedar City and Iron County. “It’s a win for Cedar City, and it’s an understatement. We look for the types of companies that we could wish for and that fit our community in a lot of different ways, and really this one just checks every box and then some.
“We’re just thrilled that they’re coming here [and] really excited to get going on this project. We think that they’ll see tremendous success here as they move their operations into the West and we’re anxious to get going helping them to meet and exceed those goals.”
Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson Edwards said the company will be a contributing member to the community. “We know that they will have great success here in Cedar City and their future is beyond bright,” she said.
In a prepared statement, Hemmert said the project is “a big win for Cedar City.”
“As Southern Utah continues to grow, we’re pleased companies are choosing to expand and grow in the area to provide jobs and enhanced quality of life for those residents,” Hemmert said.
Foxley said the company “sees robust potential” in Cedar City “and is confident with investing there, given the infrastructure and workforce present in the community. Iron County will serve as a strategic logistical location for the company, providing excellent access to raw material and customers across the West.”
A longtime Utah bullet slug and ammunition manufacturer will expand its headquarters in Mona in Juab County, adding up to 116 jobs there in the next eight years.
Barnes Bullets LLC was approved for a tax credit of up to $556,171 for the $30.5 million project.
Barnes sells about 30 million rounds of ammunition annually to wholesalers; dealers; consumers; local, state and federal agencies; shooting schools; and international customers. It is one of several brands owned by Clarus Corp., a Salt Lake City-based developer, manufacturer and distributor of outdoor equipment and lifestyle products focused on the climb, ski, mountain and sport markets.
The company was founded in 1932 when Fred Barnes began selling bullets made in his basement workshop in Bayfield, Colorado. Randy and Coni Brooks purchased Colorado Custom Bullets and begin making bullets in American Fork in 1974. In 1994, the company moved to a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Lindon and in 2009 moved to a 75,000-square-foot facility in Mona.
Clarus subsidiary Sierra Bullets LLC, based in Missouri, acquired the assets of Barnes from Remington Outdoor Co. Inc. in a bankruptcy auction and organized a new legal entity called Barnes Bullets-Mona LLC in late 2020. Remington had planned to move Barnes to the East Coast. Barnes has 88 employees in Mona.
Keith Enlow, president of both Barnes Bullets and Sierra Bullets, said the incentive from the Go Utah board “does help and it does make a difference when we’re making these decisions.”
“It allows for growth in Utah,” he told the board. “Again, we’re owned by Clarus, which is also a Utah-based company, and they all live there and they want see those investments in Utah.”
The project is expected to generate total wages of nearly $18.2 million over eight years, with the new jobs paying an average of $48,168. Total new state tax revenues from the project are estimated at more than $1.1 million during that period.
“We’re deeply committed to not only growing our portfolio of ‘super-fan brands,’ but investing in the people and places that make our brand aspirations a reality,” John Walbrecht, president of Clarus, said in a prepared statement.
“Barnes has a nearly 50-year history of doing business in the great state of Utah, and we look forward to building the brand’s legacy in many years to come. We are grateful for the state’s continuing support and appreciate our long-standing, valuable partnership.”
“This is a legacy project for Juab County,” Pack told the board. “This particular production facility is an institution within that location. We’re really thrilled that Clarus has chosen to expand within Mona and really keep that growth there in rural Utah, and we’re excited to definitely see them continue to thrive within that community.”
“It’s been a wonderful company,” said Brent Boswell, economic development director for Juab County. “We worked hard to get them here in the first place, and we’ve helped them weather some storms and they’ve helped us weather some storms, and we especially like the part that they always pay above the county average. [It’s] just an awesome place to work, so, yeah, anything we can do to help them out, we wholeheartedly support.”
“The ammunition market has seen tremendous demand recently, and this will most likely continue for a while,” Hemmert said in a prepared statement. “The decision for Barnes to expand its Utah headquarters will benefit Juab County and its surrounding areas. We wish the company success as it continues to grow.”
“This is a legacy project for Juab County involving a key employer, and we congratulate them,” Foxley said. “The acquisition of Barnes Bullets is also strategic for Clarus Corp., and they will receive the full support of the public-private ‘Team Utah’ to scale and grow the business within rural Utah.”
Owens Corning will expand a manufacturing facility in Nephi in Juab County after being approved for a tax credit of over $2.5 million over 10 years.
Owens Corning Insulating Systems LLC will add up to 70 jobs during that time with the $52.5 million project.
Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning is a building and industrial materials maker. Its three integrated businesses are dedicated to manufacturing and advancing a broad range of insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composite materials. The company has 19,000 employees in 33 countries. The Nephi facility employs about 40 people.
The new jobs are expected to pay an average of $66,999. The project is expected to generate new wages of nearly $61.5 million and new state tax revenue of $5 million over the next decade.
Jim Eckert, director of corporate real estate and global real estate solutions at Owens Corning, told the board that the project is “a great opportunity for us and I hope for the state of Utah as well.”
Owens Corning is trying to address the growing need for building materials in the marketplace due to an uptick in residential housing starts. The Nephi plant currently produces unbonded loosefill (ULF) fiberglass insulation that is typically blown into attics, but the new project would convert it produce insulating batts, a type of pre-cut insulation blanket.
Royal said the Nephi plant conversion is “obviously a great project” in rural Utah that involves a great company and great jobs.
“We’re very excited for Owens Corning to expand its operations capabilities in Juab County,” Hemmert said in a prepared statement. “This expansion will add to Utah’s growing manufacturing industry and create more job opportunities for Utahns. Additionally, we’re thrilled by Owens Corning’s commitment to the safety and well-being of its people and its tradition of giving back to the communities in which they operate.”
“Having a nationally recognized brand like Owens Corning select Juab County for expansion fits well our vision of a quality job for every aspiring Utahn, including those in our rural communities,” Foxley said. “Not only will the company pay desirable wages for the county, but this project will also triple the size of the workforce, representing a significant capital expenditure circulating in the local economy.”