GAINESVILLE, TX -- In March, the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation bought 140 acres of land in hopes of bringing large industries to the city, and that is exactly what is starting to happen.
A California based company -- Valew -- manufactures trucks used in construction. They have their sights set on Gainesville. Company officials say they'll hire dozens of people by this spring, and expect to bring at least 200 more well-paying jobs in the near future.
"We had no idea that we would get a tenant this quick. So, for us this is just a blessing," Kent Sharp said.
Tuesday night, GEDC director Kent Sharp announced to the city council that the city's new industrial park has its first tenant. Valew, a family owned truck manufacturing company from California, has accepted an incentives package from GEDC.
"Coming out of California, we're used to a little bit of different rules. We have been very impressed with how proactive the city has been, as well as the state officials that are eager to get us in there," plant manager Brett Manahl said.
Valew has been offered a $350,000 incentives package that includes 15 acres of land at no cost to the company, and a $200,000 employee cash incentive.
"We're giving them $5,000 per job in cash incentives up to the first 40 jobs," Sharp said.
Sharp says they view these incentives as investments.
In exchange, Valew must agree they will pay employees at least $16.50 per hour, full time. Valew's Brett Manahl says they'll hire 40 local employees beginning spring 2014, with hundreds more in the next few years.
He says a big selling point for the company was the local employment force that GEDC and NCTC have created.
"That was huge portion of their decision to come to Gainesville was just actually seeing hands on, not only did they see the machinery and equipment that the students train on or their future workers training on, they actually saw students at NCTC taking those classes, you know, on that equipment welding," sharp said.
Mayor Jim Goldsworthy says the announcement is big for the city.
"We're really proud to welcome to them to the community," Goldsworty said. "North Texas has had a strong economy. Gainesville had a very strong economy and we're going to continue to try to make sure that continues to happen."
The city council will vote on the incentives package later this month.
Sharp says the city will spend the next nine months getting the land ready. The transfer will occur once Valew builds its first of three 20,000 square foot buildings.