Florham Park-based Automatic Switch Co., or ASCO, would receive $24.5 million in Grow New Jersey Assistance Program tax credits if it stays in the state under an incentive approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
At today's meeting, the EDA board also approved a $6.78 million incentive for Berkshire Hathaway-owned aviation training company Flight Safety International Inc. to expand at Teterboro Airport.
EDA Chief Executive Caren S. Franzini said the ASCO jobs were at risk of being lost because the company's current building is functionally obsolete, and it is expanding in North Carolina.
EDA board member Marjorie Perry asked why a Grow New Jersey incentive is more appropriate than one of the state's smaller incentive programs. Franzini said that unlike the Business Employment Incentive Program and Business Retention & Relocation Assistance Grant program, Grow New Jersey requires companies to make a capital investment of at least $20 million.
"You're making a real commitment to be in New Jersey," Franzini said of Grow New Jersey recipients. She added that companies wouldn't receive any benefits until they make good on their commitments in capital and employment, which the EDA would check annually for the 10 years the companies receive the tax credits.
EDA board member Laurence Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources, said the requirement that companies follow through on their commitments is reassuring.
"At the end of the day, it is the performance element that gives us the ultimate comfort," Downes said.
In other action, the board approved a $319,000 BEIP for International Vitamin Corp. to add 140 jobs in Freehold Township instead of Salt Lake City, Utah; a $365,000 BEIP to renewable energy monitoring and data analytics provider Locus Energy LLC to add 20 jobs in Hoboken, rather than Brooklyn, N.Y.; and a $144,000 BEIP and $423,000 BRRAG to business insurance firm NIP Group Inc. to add 32 and retain 188 positions in Woodbridge, rather than Florida.
"This is a very great news story because they're looking to on-shore jobs," Franzini said of NIP, noting that it is planning to relocate jobs from China.
In addition, the EDA awarded a $692,000 BEIP and $506,000 BRRAG to Preferred Display Inc., a retail fixture maker, to add 150 jobs and retain 225 jobs in Clifton; a $1.45 million BEIP to marine insurance business ProSight Specialty Management Co. Inc. to add 90 jobs in Morristown; a $347,000 BRRAG to greeting card maker Prudent Publishing Co. Inc. to retain 154 jobs in Ridgefield Park; and a $963,000 BEIP to infrared camera designer Sensors Unlimited Inc. to add 93 jobs as part of a relocation from West Windsor to Hopewell Township, rather than Bristol, Pa.