Audit: JOBZ still creating jobs in final years

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Companies under the Jobs Opportunity Building Zones program in Albert Lea had more than $4.4 million in capital investments during 2014 and created 13 new jobs, according to a news release sent out this week by the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.

Ellen Kehr

Ellen Kehr

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

“Clearly the JOBZ program has been successful for Albert Lea, Freeborn County and the state of Minnesota,” said ALEDA president Ellen Kehr.

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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.

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.

According to the audit, there have been 838 jobs created in the community through the program, as of the end of 2014. That is up from 825 jobs in place at the end of 2013.

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

The audit recorded Agilis as having 138 jobs; Alamco, 25; Albert Lea Select Foods, 509; Bridon Cordage, 9; Larson Manufacturing, 50; Trail’s Truck Service Center, 36; and Zumbro River Brand, 71.

Seeing job growth in 2014 were Alamco, Select Foods, Larson Manufacturing and Zumbro River Brand.

The companies have invested more than $58 million into the community since the JOBZ program was started.

Ryan Nolander

Ryan Nolander

“This investment in our community not only helps stimulate the local economy, but it will provide long-term tax base growth,” said ALEDA Executive Director Ryan Nolander.