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Utah offers incentives to lure hundreds of new jobs
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The state of Utah on Thursday approved an incentive of as much as $3.2 million for Lifetime Products Inc., which plans to add 282 jobs in Davis County in the coming years.

The company, which already has 1,700 employees in Clearfield, accepted the state's incentive offer immediately after it was approved by the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board, which reviews incentive applications and is made up of business people and community leaders.

In all Thursday, the state handed out nearly $6 million in incentives to Lifetime and two other companies, with the promise they will add about 1,300 jobs in coming years.

The incentive to Lifetime, payable in the form of a tax credit over 20 years, is designed to ensure the company will expand in Utah.

Lifetime said it plans to invest an estimated $41 million to grow in Clearfield with a new building. The company, which manufactures sports equipment, storage sheds, tables and other products, said it had been considering expansion in Ohio, Missouri or in Monterrey, Mexico, where it maintains warehouse facilities.

The new jobs are in manufacturing, engineering, technical support and management. Lifetime will begin hiring in November, with about 20 people, said Vince Rhoton, an executive with the company.

State officials said the average wage of the new jobs is about $41,800 annually, including benefits. The company anticipates adding about 40 people a year over the next two decades.

GOED member Jerry Oldroyd, a Salt Lake City attorney, said offering an incentive to Lifetime made sense, given the fact that the company has outgrown its existing facility and could easily have expanded out of state.

The economic development board also improved an incentive of as much as $2.2 million for SAIC, a Fortune 500 technology company that also already has a presence in Utah and has plans to expand. As with Lifetime, SAIC company officials said they accept the state's incentive offer. The company said it plans to add nearly 300 new full-time technology positions over the next 10 years and make a $10 million capital investment in an expansion in Salt Lake, Davis or Utah county.

Average wage for the new jobs at SAIC is about $52,000 annually, including benefits, state officials said.

As with Lifetime Products, SAIC was also considering other sites in which to expand. "We had a lot of other options," said spokesman Dennis Likes.

A third incentive of as much as $522,000 was approved for The Home Depot, which said it plans to open a customer service center in Ogden to handle calls.

The company accepted Utah's incentive offer, payable over 10 years in the form of a tax credit. A spokeswoman said a facility in Ogden will handle inbound customer-service calls and employ nearly 700 people, 600 of which are expected to be hired by fall of next year. Hiring for those positions will begin in August 2012.

Only 181 jobs out of the nearly 700 being added by The Home Depot meet the income threshold set by the state for companies receiving incentive money. The incentive money is based on those 181 positions, which average about $41,000 annually, including benefits, the state said.

Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, said the state doesn't typically extend incentive offers to retail businesses. But the jobs being added aren't in retail and instead are mainly full-time positions with benefits such as health insurance.

He said the company's plans to fill 600 of the jobs in such a short time period also was a factor. "The ramp up is so quick. These are great jobs with great benefits." —

Need a job?

Lifetime Products Inc. • will begin hiring next month for its expansion in Clearfield in Davis County. The company expects to hire about 40 people annually over the coming years. For information on positions, go to Lifetime.com, and under the company header, click on "Join our Team."

SAIC • has job listings at SAIC.com. The company plans to expand along the Wasatch Front. Go to "Careers." Listings can be found by typing in Salt Lake City in the search field.

Home Depot • will be hiring about 600 people next year in Ogden. To keep tabs on job openings with the company, go to Careers.homedepot.com.

Employment • Lifetime Products, SAIC Corp., Home Depot to expand in Utah.
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