Mettler Toledo plans to build a new, 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Lutz that will bring as many as 500 jobs to Pasco County.
The company will hire 185 new employees and transfer another 320 jobs from operations in Ithaca, New York, and from 6005 Benjamin Road, in the Town ‘N Country area of Hillsborough County.
The announcement was made at an Aug. 23 press conference at the West Pasco County Government Center in New Port Richey. Nearly 20 local and state elected officials and government leaders attended.
Mettler Toledo plans to invest more than $30 million in the project.
The plant will be located within Northpointe Village, off State Road 54 at the Suncoast Parkway.
Securing the manufacturer is seen as a boon for Pasco in its efforts to lure new, diversified industry to the county. It also keeps jobs in the Tampa Bay region. Company officials said they had looked at sites in Georgia and near Orlando.
“It was very important we keep this company in Tampa Bay,” said Pasco County Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey. “We have available land for this company to expand. We play an important role in that, for the region.”
Indeed, Mettler Toledo Safeline’s general manager, Viggo Nielsen said no other area had suitable sites large enough for a building that will more than double the size of its current facility.
After 15 years of growth as a company, Nielsen said, “We really need more space. This actually is quite a central location and also a very nice place for our customers to come visit.”
Some of Mettler Toledo’s current employees live in Pasco, Nielsen added.
The Switzerland-based manufacturer is a global supplier of precision scales and services used in research, and the packaging and production of food and pharmaceuticals.
The company’s American headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
The new facility will be part of the product inspection division for Mettler Toledo Safeline.
A groundbreaking is anticipated as early as October, with an opening in 2017.
The search for a new location began about a year ago when Mettler Toledo officials contacted Enterprise Florida Inc., the state agency tasked with bringing jobs to Florida.
The Pasco Economic Development Council, the county’s marketing and strategic development partner, was among agencies that responded to inquiries about potential sites for an unidentified manufacturer, later revealed as Mettler Toledo.
“It really is a regional win,” said Bill Cronin, president of Pasco EDC.
Partners in the efforts to attract Mettler Toledo included Pasco EDC, Enterprise Florida, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, CareerSource and Duke Energy.
Having available land was important, said Cronin, but a skilled labor pool also was essential.
“Workforce is big and the most important asset,” he said. “We also showed that we have an understanding of their business.”
Mettler Toledo is expected to receive monetary incentives, based on job creation. The Pasco County Commission is expected to receive an agreement detailing those incentives in coming weeks.
However, Nielsen said the incentives weren’t the major driver behind the company’s relocation to Pasco.
“It is about value creation in a broader sense,” Nielsen said.
Company officials looked for a pro-business environment and access to a diverse, skilled workforce.
“We will make this place a great place to work,” he said.
Published August 31, 2016