News Releases

December 12, 2007

Council Approves $1.2 million in Job Creation Incentives

MONTPELIER, VT – A new college program to train pharmacists and an organic health and beauty products manufacturer have been approved for over $1.2 million in job creation incentives that could produce over 85 new jobs over the next five years.

At its meeting Thursday the Vermont Economic Progress Council reviewed and gave initial approval to applications by Albany College of Pharmacy to assist with the development of a Vermont campus and Tata’s Natural Alchemy, LLC, an organic skin care products maker, to set up a manufacturing plant on a Whiting farm.

“These projects will create good new jobs with small environmental footprints in areas that leverage Vermont’s strengths,” said Karen L. Marshall, Chair of the Vermont Economic Progress Council. “The College of Pharmacy builds upon our successful higher education sector, which is a key economic driver, and Tata’s Natural will promote both our agricultural and natural products reputation.”

Under the new Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program, the two companies are eligible to receive a maximum of $1,243,149 in job creation incentives if they receive final approval in early 2008.

Albany College of Pharmacy (ACP) will open a Vermont campus in the Burlington area this fall that will provide a four-year professional course offering. Vermont has an acute shortage of pharmacists, causing some drugstores to trim hours of operation.

The ACP Vermont Campus would provide the only opportunity in Vermont to receive a pharmacy degree. The incentive approval of up to $1,048,047 will help ACP proceed with plans to establish the program and open a campus in Vermont that could eventually serve 450 to 500 students.

“We appreciate the incentive offered by the state of Vermont,” said James J. Gozzo, PhD, president of Albany College of Pharmacy. “The awarding of the Vermont Economic Growth Incentive will allow materially more aggressive program growth to occur faster, expediting the economic impact, and enabling the College to be a major ingredient of the state of Vermont’s economic, educational and health care vision in the near future.”

Albany College of Pharmacy is a private, co-educational, not-for-profit organization with a long history of serving its students and health care professionals as one of the premier pharmacy colleges in the nation.

The Pharmacy Program that is being designed for the Vermont Campus would be a four-year professional offering. Students enrolling in this program would have four-year undergraduate degrees or would have completed all college course prerequisites prior to enrollment.

Once operational, the college would also be involved in pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical technology research. The college will also seek to develop academic and research collaborative programs with the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Tata’s Natural Alchemy, LLC, a start-up company by Whiting entrepreneur Tata Guzman, was given initial approval of up to $195,102 for a project to organically grow the ingredients required for a line of natural skin care products.

The company would cultivate, grow and harvest the plants and crops needed for the line’s raw ingredients on a farm owned by Guzman. She would also establish a headquarters, production facility and distribution center using renovated buildings on the farm.

Ms. Guzman’s mission is to create a trustworthy, healthy, all-organic line of skin care and wellness products that will deliver results equivalent to the leading “super-science” brands.

She plans to sell the line to department stores, beauty specialty stores, upscale beauty boutiques, home shopping networks and through the Internet.

Under reforms passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Jim Douglas last year, the VEGI economic incentives were authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the company receives incentive installments over a period of years.

The previous program had companies earning tax credits that were applied against future tax liability.

The Council approved the applications after reviewing nine guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis which showed that because of the economic activity that will be generated by these projects, even after payment of the incentives the State will realize a minimum net increase in revenues of $734,592.

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.

To date, the program has provided incentives for the creation of 1311 new jobs with an average wage of $49,674; $59,917,851 in new payroll; and $116,432,052 in new capital investment over the next five years.

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.

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Source: Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Last Updated at: December 12, 2007 16:44:53