A Brattleboro company that was talking about moving to New Hampshire to expand will receive $1 million from the state of Vermont to encourage it instead to stay.
Norm Schneeberger, president and CEO of G.S. Precision, says the grant is one more part of a package that is being put together to convince the company to stay in Brattleboro.
"It's a step in the process," Schneeberger, says. "We're getting closer to the end. Things are not finalized yet, but we're moving in a good direction."
G.S. Precision, a manufacturer of precision machine parts, is one of the region's largest private employers with more than 300 employees.
The company is getting the Community Development Block Grant to purchase more property in the business park where it is located, as well as expand its manufacturing plant.
The money will also be used to purchase high-tech equipment.
The funding is part of a more than $18 million project that could add 25,000 square feet to the company's facilities, and ultimately help create more than 130 additional jobs.
Along with the $1 million grant the town of Brattleboro, the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and the state are trying to come up with enough incentives to encourage Schneeberger to stay in Vermont, but he would not talk about what more he was looking for before committing.
"That's a better question for the state folks," he says. "They're working really hard to put a package together for us, and it's being done incrementally. I would expect that maybe some time next month we'd having even bigger news."
G.S. Precision announced earlier this year that it was looking at land in New Hampshire because it needed to add space and buy the new equipment.
Efforts got underway to help the company instead expand at its present location in the Exit 1 Industrial Park.
Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell says there has been an intense focus on the local and state levels to keep G.S. Precision in Brattleboro.
"An opportunity likes this comes along very rarely where there's an employer, already here in Brattleboro, who has such a long and successful history here, and has provided 300 really high quality jobs already for the local work force, and is now looking to expand by at least 100 jobs more," Elwell says. "When you see that there's a private employer ready to make that kind of additional investment in your community you need to be able to drop everything and collaborate with everyone available in order to make sure it does come true."
The final package, which will include investments from G.S. Precision, could ultimately include more than $1 million in Vermont Employment Growth Incentives and a commitment of Vermont Training Program funds.
The Windham County Economic Development Program and additional VEDA financing and federal New Market Tax Credits round out the deal.