Make us your home page
Instagram

Plant City manufacturing firm James Hardie adding 100 jobs, investing $80 million in expansion

James Hardie, an Irish manufacturer of fiber cement siding, plans to invest $80 million in an expansion of its Plant City operations that will create 100 new jobs by 2015.

"This is an exciting time for James Hardie in both Plant City and around the world," Ryan Sullivan, south division general manager for James Hardie, said Tuesday. "This process expansion underscores the importance of our local workforce and its ability to meet our customers' needs, and build upon James Hardie's innovative legacy that began in 1888."

The announcement caps off a particularly strong year for job creation throughout Hillsborough County. Most recently, health care firm Covidien promised to create up to 165 new jobs in opening a manufacturing center in Riverview.

Among other pledges in Hillsborough this year: USAA said it will add up to 1,215 jobs by 2019 as it builds a 420,000-square-foot facility in Brandon; HealthPlan Services is adding 1,000 jobs in Tampa; Amazon plans to build warehouses in Ruskin and Lakeland, adding about 1,000 jobs; Bristol-Myers Squibb is adding 579 jobs by 2017; Time Warner plans to create 500 jobs by 2016; and Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. is adding 255 jobs at its campus by 2016.

Last year, the city of Plant City approved a moratorium on collecting transportation mobility fees to make itself more competitive in pursuing economic development projects. As a result of that program, James Hardie will receive a fee waiver of $37,300.

The company also will be eligible for a sales tax exemption for new machinery and equipment, a new pro-business incentive approved by the Florida Legislature this year.

The news is a coup for efforts to bolster Florida's manufacturing sector in particular. Although Florida has added 182,000 jobs over the past year, many of them are in the lower-paying retail and tourism arenas. The state continues to struggle in the manufacturing industry, which is up just 400 jobs year-over-year.

"This is a big win for Plant City and Hillsborough County," said Allen Brinkman, chairman of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and chairman, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank Tampa Bay. "Manufacturing projects are among the most competitive and highly prized in economic development, and as the industry begins to show signs of recovery and expansion, we're well-positioned to leverage this momentum."

Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Mark Sharpe said the latest news, coming after other job-creation announcements such as Covidien's, shows that efforts to bolster manufacturing are paying off.

James Hardie said it will double its production capacity through the expansion. It plans to retrofit an existing pipe plant for sheet production, adding 100,000 square feet.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, James Hardie bills itself as the first company to introduce fiber cement siding products to the United States as a durable, lower-maintenance alternative to wood, oriented strand board (or OSB) and vinyl siding. The company opened operations in Plant City in 1994 and currently has about 100 workers at a facility on S Woodrow Wilson Street.

Plant City manufacturing firm James Hardie adding 100 jobs, investing $80 million in expansion 12/03/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 7:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]