Evonik chief says N.J. work force, market opportunities kept it from leaving
When the lease of Evonik Degussa Corp.'s Parsippany office expired a few years ago, President Tom Bates seriously considered a move to the South for cheaper office space and closer proximity to the company's manufacturing plants. But when Bates realized the company would have to trade its work force and market opportunities for the cost savings, he decided to lock in a 12-year lease at a new administrative center less than five miles away from Evonik's original location.
"We looked at the offers other states were making, and it gets very competitive when you're moving your headquarter operations," Bates said. "The other states had great packages, also, but it kept coming back to New Jersey's great work force and pro-business support. We're satisfied with the education system … and we would've hated to lose that by moving somewhere else."
Working with Parsippany Mayor James Barberio and the 150,000-square-foot property's owner, Vision Equities, Evonik was able to obtain business incentives from the state designed to stimulate job growth and employment retention.
According to a spokeswoman for the Economic Development Authority, in March 2011, Evonik was approved for a $1.017 million Business Retention and Relocation Assistance grant to retain 339 jobs and a $1.5 million Business Employment Incentive Program grant, paid over 10 years, to create 77 jobs.
Bates said the company has created only a few positions since it relocated within Parsippany in November, but it expects to steadily increase employment in all departments — including sales, biotechnology, marketing and administration — within 10 years.