Harmony Enterprises, which makes and services recycling and waste management equipment in the small town of Harmony, are one of five companies chosen for the new Minnesota Job Creation Fund program. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced the the first round of businesses on Tuesday.
If Harmony Enterprises does as it has pledged and adds 14 new jobs to its current staff of 60 plus builds a $1.1 million expansion within two years, it will receive the $215,000 in tax credits over four years. The manufacturer, which also has a location in France, has been based in Harmony since 1962.
Owner and President Steve Cremer says the company has been growing quickly in the past few years and more growth appears to be on the way, particularly in Africa and Asia. That prospect had Harmony Enterprises considering its options on how expand its production. With so many of the firms competitors and customers located on the West Coast, they start looking at the possibility of adding a facility in California or Arizona.
Then they found out about the $24 million Minnesota Job Creation Fund, which began in January.
"We wanted to stay here. The community is good to us," said Cremer. "Now we'll start construction of a 6,000-square-foot addition in the spring."
The plan is to create a new drive-through shipping department, which will improve efficiency for the company and open up the current shipping area to revamped into more production space.
In addition to the improved shipping and the expanding production area, Harmony Enterprises is also ramping up its new service offerings. About a year and half ago, it launched a new service business. It contracts directly with companies to maintain and repair all recycling and waste management machines.
"That's our really big growth area. Many of the new jobs will be service jobs," he says.