Audit shows JOBZ still creating jobs

Published 10:23 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

Companies under the Jobs Opportunity Building Zones program in Albert Lea invested $1.95 million in capital during 2013, according to a news release sent out this week by the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.

The organization audits local JOBZ participants each year for compliance in job creation.

Locally, there are seven participating businesses: Agilis, Alamco, Albert Lea Select Foods, Bridon Cordage, Larson Manufacturing, Trail’s Truck Service Center and Zumbro River Brand.

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According to the audit, there have been 825 jobs created in the community through the program, as of the end of 2013. This number is slightly lower than the 846 jobs in place at the end of 2012.

The companies had initially agreed to create a combined total of 134 jobs.

Ryan Nolander, executive director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, said the numbers provide a snapshot of the businesses at the end of the year and noted that the number of jobs at several of the businesses have since increased.

The audit recorded Agilis as having 142 jobs; Alamco, 20; Albert Lea Select Foods, 507; Bridon Cordage, 9; Larson Manufacturing, 45; Trails Truck Service Center, 42; and Zumbro River Brand, 60.

The JOBZ program offers local and state tax exemptions through 2015 to qualified companies that start up or expand in targeted areas of Greater Minnesota.

The companies have invested almost $54 million into the community since the JOBZ program started.