One of Windham County's largest employers will stay in Vermont, after considering a relocation to New Hampshire.
G.S. Precision announced Monday that it would stay in Brattleboro and move forward with a $17 million expansion.
When G.S. Precision applied for a zoning permit in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire earlier this year, it sent shock waves through the southern Vermont business community.
The region was already reeling from the job losses at Vermont Yankee, and business leaders say the loss of an additional 300 jobs would have been devastating.
"G.S. Precision, like Yankee, has high paying, good jobs," says Adam Grinold, executive director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, a private, nonprofit business development group.
"We wanted to make sure those existing jobs were retained," says Grinold. "And the expansion would take place in Vermont."
Grinold started working on an incentive package the minute he heard about the company's New Hampshire plan. On Monday G.S. Precision president and CEO Norm Schneeberger said the company would remain at its current location in Brattleboro.
"This project is actually a really good example of local, state and federal government working with private enterprise to help facilitate an effort that will expand our business and will grow jobs," says Schneeberger. "It will allow us to continue to invest in technology and it will be good for Windham County, and the state of Vermont."
G.S. Precision makes highly specialized machine parts for the aerospace, medical, fiber optic and automotive industries.
The company's decision to stay in Brattleboro came after significant investments at the local, state and federal levels.
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), and the town of Brattleboro worked for eight months to put the financial package together.
A number of private and public financing tools were also used including TD Bank, the Windham County Economic Development Fund, and Vermont Employment Growth Incentives.
The state of Vermont gave the company a $1 million grant, the town provided a low-interest loan and federal tax credits were included, according to Commerce Secretary Pat Moulton.
"Clearly G.S Precision is a critical employer for Windham County, and for Brattleboro, so keeping them here in Brattleboro and enabling them to expand was a priority not just for the region but for the state," Moulton says.
G.S. Precision says the financing will allow it to build a 25,000 square-foot expansion and purchase high tech equipment which will spur up to 100 new jobs over the next five years.
G.S. Precision expects the growth to come from new contracts in the aircraft engine and power generation turbine markets.
The company has manufacturing plants in Mexico, California and New Hampshire and employees more than 500 people.