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Firms plan at least 250 jobs

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  • | 2:05 p.m. April 5, 2012
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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PALMETTO — An aircraft equipment manufacturer plans to expand its presence in north Manatee County, a move expected to include 42 new hires before the end of 2012.

The announcement, from GSE Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works, is the second major jobs announcement in the Sarasota-Manatee region this week. On Tuesday, Naples-based Health Management Associates said it will expand its regional central business office in Sarasota County. That move is expected to preserve nearly 150 jobs and add 215 positions over the next two years.

In Manatee County, GSE Holdings officials said they will move the firm's Hobart Ground Power business unit from Troy, Ohio, to Palmetto. Hobart Ground Power designs and manufactures equipment that delivers power to aircraft on the ground, according to a Manatee Economic Development Corp. press release.

Hobart will be the third GSE Holdings business unit in the Palmetto facility, which will be expanded from 83,000 square feet to nearly 100,000 square feet for the move. The facility currently houses GSE Holdings' Trilectron Industries and ITW Military GSE. Those firms have about 105 local employees.

Both job announcements were aided by government subsidies. For Hobart, Manatee County Commissioners approved $42,000 in performance-based incentives, while the state of Florida, through Enterprise Florida, committed $168,000. Sarasota County, meanwhile, approved up to $400,000 in performance-based incentives for HMA.


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