Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GROW: Volume 1

This series is part of a new blog series about Frederick County businesses that grow and expand. It is a snapshot of Frederick County business success stories. Check back each month for more businesses that grow in Frederick County.

Costco Distribution Center 
Costco Distribution Center in New Market announced a 600K SF expansion last year, tripling their current size and  adding 200 new employees.  The warehouse distribution center currently employs 400 people. Initially when Costco announced their plans to come to Frederick in 2007, they planned for 300 jobs and a 525K SF building. The average salary of the distribution center in 2007 was 42,000, well above the state and local average at the time. They have a promote from within training program that allows employees with little skills to earn higher than average wages through length of time employed and skill sets learned.

Stulz Air Technology Systems, Inc
In 2008, Stulz Air Technology had 280 employees. The company hired about 80 employees at the end of 2010, bringing its staff to more than 385, and expanded to 37,000 additional square feet. In 2014, announced a $5 million expansion. Stulz Air bought a 41,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing 140,000-square-foot building and plans to hire 25 permanent new employees. “The combination of physical expansion, emphasis on employee training and innovative products has helped Stulz to grow its market share more easily than the competition”, said  Thorsten Weiss, the company's chief financial officer.

Flying Dog Brewery
After acquiring Frederick Brewing Co. (which produced Wild Goose Beers) in 2006 for about $1.8 million, Aspen, Colorado’s Flying Dog Brewery said the sale was expected to add 8 jobs initially to the existing 20 employee operation and had the potential to add 70 new jobs. In 2012, they purchased new equipment that increased their production capacity by 15%.  In 2014, Flying Dog bought the 46,000 SF building they had been occupying for a decade on Wedgewood Blvd. In 2015, they announced an expansion just over the MD line into Lucketts, VA with a new, smaller brewery under a different name and with a different focus. They now employ 100 people in Frederick. 

Since beginning operations in Frederick in 2006, the local brewery has made a name for itself in the craft beer industry, including being named the Mid-Size Craft Brewery of the Year at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, and its American Pale Ale received a No. 1 ranking in the U.S. by The New York Times.

In 2009, Lonza Bioscience in Walkersville employed 400 people and announced an expansion of their facility adding 44,000 SF and 80 new jobs with a $26 million dollar capital investment. Today, they employ 524.  The Biggs Ford Road site was initially opened as BioWhittaker, but was later acquired by Cambrex. Lonza acquired Cambrex's division in 2007. The facility provides approximately 3000 products and services to the biotechnology, clinical, pharmaceutical and research communities. One of the key ingredients for the diagnostic kits made at the Walkersville facility is blood from horseshoe crabs. Each spring, a crew travels to the shore to gather small amounts of blood from the crabs. The diagnostic kits test for pyrogens, a naturally occurring bacterium that can cause shock, fever and even death in patients if not screened out of products.  Lonza, based in Basel, Switzerland, is one of the world's largest suppliers to the pharmaceutical, health care and life sciences industries.

U.S. Veteran's Administration Center for Acquisition Innovation
In 2008, the Veteran’s Administration named Frederick as their new location for their VA Center for Acquisition Innovation. Initially they brought 150 jobs but today employ 207 people in 40,500 SF where Wells Fargo used to be on New Horizon Way before they built their new facility.  They initially looked at Fredericksburg, VA, St. Louis and Pittsburgh before deciding on Frederick. This facility trains VA employees in purchasing in a 3-year program before they are sent to VA offices all over the Country.

Canam Steel
Point of Rocks steel joist manufacturer Canam Steel expanded in 1999 with an $8M capital investment and 80 new jobs. Canam suffered when commercial construction declined in 2007. Yet, finding a new niche in bridgework in 2008 and 2009 allowed the company to add 100 jobs to the plant after layoffs. Now, Canam managers say they have the flexibility to respond to the market cycles that hit at different markets at different times. In 2011, Canam expanded with a $5M investment and 25,000 additional SF. They now employ 300 people.