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Canadian manufacturer expands into St Albans

first_imgSource: Governor’s office, April 22, 2009 Governor Jim Douglas has welcomed a Quebec-based transformer manufacturer opening a factory in Vermont. The firm estimates it will create 16 jobs this year and up to 43 workers by the end of 2011. In a ceremony at the company s new facility in the St Albans Industrial Park, the governor introduced BEMAG Transformers, Inc and celebrated the company s selection of Vermont for their expansion project. The state used $267,569 in incentives to lure the Canadian firm to Vermont, as well as $106,000 for training, and VEDA financing of $718,000. It is gratifying to see a world-class manufacturer appreciate the value of locating in Vermont, particularly one from our largest trading partner, Douglas said. This is another example of our state competing successfully for the jobs of the 21st century, and we look forward to helping Vermont Transformers grow and prosper here.BEMAG Transformers manufactures dry-type electrical transformers at a facility in Farnham, Quebec, but was nearing production capacity at that plant as it moved forward with plans to expand its share of the North American transformer market. As part of our due diligence, we explored potential expansion in Farnham; investigated locations in western Canada; and spoke with officials in New York, said Christian Roberge, Vice President and CFO of BEMAG Transformers. But the job creation and workforce training incentives Vermont offered helped seal the deal, Roberge said. Our new company, Vermont Transformers, Inc. will allow us to significantly expand our Canadian market share and to bring our quality products into the billion-dollar U.S. market.Vermont economic development officials began working with BEMAG in the fall of 2008.  After several meetings in Vermont and Quebec, an incentive package including Green VEGI incentives totaling $267,569 and $106,000 in employee and manufacturing efficiency training from the Vermont Training Program were approved. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) also approved $718,000 in financing assistance.BEMAG has established a U.S. entity called Vermont Transformers, Inc. which will lease the 23,000 square-foot former Vestshell building with the option to purchase in the near future.The new facility will employ innovative manufacturing practices and equipment developed and built in-house by BEMAG engineers, enabling greater efficiency and reliability.  Several million dollars will be invested in facility fit-up and machinery and equipment, and operations will begin with a single shift and the possibility of expanding to multiple shifts once production ramps up.Under reforms proposed by Governor Douglas in 2006 and passed by the General Assembly, the VEGI economic incentives are authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the company earns the incentives and then the company receives incentive installments over a period of years.Vermont Transformers is eligible to earn a maximum of $267,569 in job creation incentives over three years only if they meet and maintain payroll, employment and capital investment targets each year. The incentives would then be paid out over a total of seven years, if the jobs are maintained.The Vermont Economic Progress Council approved the application late last month after reviewing nine program guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis which showed that because of the economic activity that will be generated by this project, even after payment of the incentives the State will realize a positive net increase in tax revenues over five years.The Council also determined that these projects would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized.The Vermont Economic Progress Council is an independent board consisting of nine Vermont citizens appointed by the Governor that considers applications to the state s economic incentive programs.The Council is attached to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, whose mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities.For more information, visit:www.thinkvermont.com/vepc(link is external)Or:www.vermonttransformer.com(link is external) ###last_img read more

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New coordinator Aranda brings experience to UW

first_imgNew defensive coordinator Dave Aranda comes to Wisconsin after just one season at Utah State where the Aggies surrendered just 15.4 ppg.[/media-credit]During his 18 years as a football coach, first-year Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has been with several different schools and in a number of different systems, but one thing has remained constant: His players get to the ball.Aranda has been coaching football for nearly his entire adult life, starting his career in 1995, just a year after graduating from high school. He coached as a graduate assistant all through his college career at California Lutheran. Since then, Aranda has coached at eight different schools and has been a defensive coordinator for five years.Although coaching has now become a part of his life, Aranda didn’t always have his sights set on being a football coach, saying, “it just kind of happened.”Now, Aranda’s defenses are feared because of the pressure he puts on the offense with his intense blitzing packages. The California native credits his high-pressure defensive style to one of his mentors, Greg McMackin.“I was a [graduate assistant] for [McMackin] at Texas Tech and I coached for him at Hawaii. He was a blitz guy and he was a score-touchdowns-on-defense guy, he was a get takeaways type guy and get sacks,” Aranda said. “So those were the type of things that have been kind of imprinted early on. Those are things that we try to impress on people here.”Aranda took McMackin’s fast-paced style of defense and ran with it, becoming one of the most successful defensive coordinators in college football in recent years.In his first season as defensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2010, Aranda’s Warriors led the country with 38 takeaways. Aranda then caught the eye of head coach Gary Andersen at Utah State where he manned the Aggies’ defense in 2012 and turned out the eighth-best defense in the land, allowing just 15.4 points per game.Wisconsin safeties coach Bill Busch, who coached with Aranda under Andersen at Utah State, says it is Aranda’s attention to detail and love for the game that has made him so effective.“The thing that comes to mind first is his great attention to detail in every aspect of the defensive game,” Busch said. “Not just third down, not just first down, pass rush, everything.“He’s a full defensive coordinator. He knows every aspect of every position on the field better than anyone I’ve ever seen. Probably the next thing would be that he is an absolute football rat. Given the choice between a vacation in Belize or watching some NFL film, he’d be watching NFL film. That’s just how he operates and he’s just a great guy to work with.”Aranda now inherits a Wisconsin team that was ranked 17th in points allowed a season ago, giving up an average of 19.1 points per game.The defensive coordinator has already made an impression on his new team and players with his preparation and knowledge of the game.“He’s obviously a really intellectual guy,” fifth-year senior linebacker Tyler Dippel said. “He really knows how to break down an offensive scheme. He really knows how to attack protections and that’s something that you can see in just the past couple of weeks of spring ball.”And while Aranda isn’t the type of coach who will fire players up with his energy and enthusiasm, Busch says he connects with his players through his understanding of the game.“He’s so knowledgable about everything that is going on out there, so automatically the kids just gravitate to him because they all know, because we have such intelligent group of kids here from all positions, that he can make them better,” Busch said.As if the Wisconsin players and coaches didn’t already have enough to rave about when Aranda came to Madison with all of his recent defensive successes, now that they are actually getting to see and play in the new 3-4 defense Aranda has installed they couldn’t be happier.“You see guys coming free like they’ve never come free before,” Dippel said. “The thing about his defense is, I don’t want to say it’s not structured, but it’s not as structured as things we’ve used in the past. Guys have a lot more freedom to go make plays and to go out of their primary gap and go to their secondary gap and do things like that. So, that allows you to make a lot more plays and it’s actually a lot more fun for guys like that.”In just eight years, Aranda went from coaching high school football to coaching the defense of one of the premier programs in the Big Ten. And while the turnover-hungry defensive coordinator has accomplished so much in his career, he has spent too much time preparing himself and his team to look back and reminisce at what he has been able to do.“I guess [looking back at my success] would be something cool to do, but you’ve got to watch the film, you’ve got to get corrections, you’ve got to talk to this kid so he knows how important it is for him to do this or to be that,” Aranda said. “So, there’s always work to be had. It’s a full-time job but I love it. I wouldn’t do anything else.”last_img read more

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