Garfield Heights, Ohio-based manufacturer Chart Industries, Inc., plans to open a plant in Owatonna that will create at least 100 jobs in the southern Minnesota city, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Friday.
The company-which serves the energy, industrial gas, and health care industries-will lease a vacant 141,000-square-foot industrial building along Interstate 35 in Owatonna, where it will manufacture equipment that is used to store and distribute liquefied natural gas.
The new jobs will mostly be welding and fabricating positions that will pay between $15 and $22 an hour, according to DEED.
In exchange for the company's hiring commitment, DEED has provided Chart Industries with a $500,000 forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund. According to a Pioneer Press report, the agency's Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) program has also granted the company tax incentives under which the plant won't have to pay property taxes through 2015. DEED might also provide job training assistance to the company under its Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program.
"Chart's expansion is welcome news that will bring high-paying manufacturing jobs and economic growth to Owatonna," DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement.
Chart Industries already has a manufacturing facility in New Prague, where 415 people work. The company said the Owatonna expansion was prompted by increased demand across the continent for liquefied natural gas, a green fuel alternative, according to DEED.
Production at the new facility is expected to begin in January.
DEED's Minnesota Investment Fund is a job-creation program that focuses on industrial, manufacturing, and technology-related industries. The program's goal is to increase the local and state tax base and improve economic vitality statewide. The agency's JOBZ program provides local and state tax exemptions to companies that expand or relocate into certain regions outside of the Twin Cities metro area.