Setting the stage for a first-of-its-kind enterprise zone in Temple, the City Council held a special meeting today to vote on the nomination for Wilsonart International, Inc. to participate in Texas Enterprise Zone Program. State approval is still required, however Wilsonart also announced plans to invest heavily in its Temple operations and has committed to retaining a minimum of 500 jobs in the city. This is the first time the City Council has nominated a company for this state program.
“Wilsonart’s business focus as we move forward is on growth, innovation and, importantly, renewal,” Bill DiGaetano, president of Wilsonart in North America said. “The City’s approval of the Enterprise Zone project allows us to focus additional resources on our core business here in Central Texas. We are committed to investing more than $5 million over the next 5 years on upgrading our current facilities and capabilities here in Temple and appreciate the support of the City Council and the Temple Economic Development Corporation in this groundbreaking effort.”
The Texas Enterprise Zone program is a state incentive program to encourage companies to create and retain employees in Texas. If approved by the state, Wilsonart will be eligible for a reimbursement of state sales and use taxes of up to $2,500 per job retained. The state benefit is limited to $1.25M which is paid over five years. State approval requires a local nomination by Temple which was approved in the special council meeting on August 30. The city will not be providing financial assistance for the project.
“Business retention of our existing businesses is as important as recruiting new business to our community,” Mayor Bill Jones III said. “The opportunity to form the Enterprise Zone and nominate Wilsonart as the first company in the zone is an important step in helping business to grow and prosper in Temple.”
Along with the announcement of the new enterprise zone designation, Wilsonart has committed to working on sustainability projects aimed to reduce the demand for energy, water and fuel. Additionally, the company has renewed its pledge to provide jobs with good pay and benefits for their employees in Temple.
“As always, we are thrilled when an existing company reinforces its commitment to the City of Temple and its citizens,” Lee Peterson, president of the Temple Economic Development Corporation said. “Our hope is that by opening up the door to Wilsonart, the City, in partnership with the Texas Enterprise Zone program, will begin to see more companies from Temple applying for a similar designation.”
Wilsonart International, founded in Temple, Texas in 1956, is a world leading manufacturer of decorative surfacing products for countertops, work surfaces, furniture and cabinetry. Wilsonart® Laminate; Wilsonart® Solid Surface; and Wilsonart® Adhesives are among the company’s many brands. Visit www.wilsonart.com for information.
Temple, Texas is a community with a diverse economic base that includes healthcare, distribution and warehousing, and manufacturing as the foundation. Within 180 miles of a population of 17.8 million, Temple is in a strategic location that is central within the southwest U.S. marketplace.