Voss Industries seeks revised pact to bring Berea more jobs

William Arsn

BEREA, Ohio — Voss Industries in Berea wants city officials to amend a 2019 job creation tax credit and energy grant agreement so that it can bring more jobs to the community.

The city entered into a 10-year agreement with Voss early last year that provided incentives for creating a minimum number of jobs and also helped the company to institute upgrades to the 1000 W. Bagley Road facility. Voss relocated its operations from Ohio City in Cleveland.

Company officials agreed to employ 325 people or achieve a $17 million annual payroll within three years. Voss already has surpassed the annual payroll goal by more than $2 million.

There currently are 240 employees in the Berea operation, with 35 employees anticipated to finish at another facility by Oct. 15 so those jobs can relocate to Berea.

The agreement returns to Voss 60 percent of the 2 percent payroll tax that employees pay, provided it maintains a specified minimum total payroll.

Berea Economic Development Director Matt Madzy told City Council at its Aug. 24 special meeting that 80 more full-time equivalent jobs will come to the facility over the next four years if council approves revisions to the original deal. Annual additional payroll generated would be approximately $2.4 million over that time.

“The parent company and Voss are considering acquiring an additional company that has operations in a different state,” Madzy said. “If they were to acquire the other company, then they would be looking to move the jobs that are out of state to one of their other facilities. Berea is one of those facilities they would like to consider.”

Additional building improvements will be needed if those jobs come to Berea, including new equipment and machinery.

Berea would add $30,000 to the energy grant, spread evenly from 2021-23. An initial outlay of $100,000 for facility upgrades was part of the 2019 energy grant agreement.

The original job creation tax credit was slated to begin in 2019 and end in 2029. Due to delays in facility upgrades, however, Voss is proposing the tax credit start July 1, 2020, and end June 30, 2030.

“From my conversations with Voss, they feel that if this incentive is approved, Berea would stand a very, very good chance of having the jobs come here to Berea,” Madzy said.

The ordinance received its first of three public readings at the Aug. 24 meeting.

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