Muskogee City-County Port Authority approved an incentives package on Tuesday in support of CaptiveAire System's plan to expand its local manufacturing plant.

The North Carolina-based company plans to invest $27 million at its Muskogee plant and add 80 new jobs during the next three years. The investment qualifies for local incentives worth more than $500,000.

CaptiveAire President Bob Luddy said the planned expansion in Muskogee will double the plant's capacity. He said the company looks "forward to adding more jobs in Muskogee to help us meet this demand."

"We have always appreciated the community here, and we are thankful for the opportunity to expand our production lines in order to better serve our customers throughout the Midwest," Luddy said in a media release. "Demand for our Paragon HVAC units is rapidly growing as our users wish to provide their facilities with fresh, highly filtered, outdoor air."

CaptiveAire, which operates six manufacturing plants across the nation and maintains a network of more than 90 sales offices, is a leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems. The company's expanded line of products provides a complete solutions of fans, heaters, ductwork and HVAC equipment. 

"We are grateful for CaptiveAire's long-term partnership, investment and employment opportunities in our community," Port Director Kimbra Scott said. "The company's planned $27 million investment qualifies for state and local incentives, and we look forward to seeing its successful expansion come to fruition." 

Port authority directors approved financial support available through a strategic incentives program funded by City of Muskogee Foundation grants. The performance-based incentive is based on the number of jobs a manufacturer creates and the amount of its capital investment.  

Jeff Underwood, deputy director of industrial development at the Port of Muskogee, said the jobs must pay 110% of the county's annual average wage to qualify for the program. He said CaptiveAire could qualify for up to $240,000 reimbursement if the 80 jobs expected to be created come to fruition.

"Once they make a showing that taxes have been paid on the amount of its capital investment, they will be eligible for another $270,000 reimbursement," Underwood said. "They have to provide the supporting documents for the jobs and capital investment — that's the way that program works."

Mayor Marlon Coleman said the addition of 80 new jobs will have a positive impact on the local economy. That will be realized, he said, as residents' quality of life improves. 

"Every job expansion matters," Coleman said. "No matter how great or small, new jobs to our community makes our community better."

Shane Mccullough, plant manager at CaptiveAire's plant in Muskogee, said the company is "hiring now and will continue adding positions once the new manufacturing plant opens." CaptiveAire offers a Monday-through-Friday schedule, paid holidays and vacations, and full benefits. 

Prospective employees may apply online at CaptiveAire.com/careers

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