January 7, 2011
St. Johnsbury, VT – Weidmann Electrical Technology Inc. (WETI), a Swiss-owned, family-held company, is a global leader in electrical insulation for transformer manufacturers and transformer users, located in St. Johnsbury, in Vermont’s remote and sparsely-populated Northeast Kingdom. WETI and the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) requested a New Markets Tax Credit allocation from NDC for a $37.6 million project that involves the acquisition and installation of “dry-end” transformer paperboard machines and construction of a 24,338 square foot expansion to house the machinery, substantially improving the company’s production capacity and quality. NDC provided a qualified equity investment (QEI) of $10.62 million, and partnered with two other community development entities (CDEs) – Vermont Rural Ventures andMassachusetts Housing Investment Corporation – which contributed QEIs of $10.0 million and $15.0 million respectively.
The investment will result in the retention of 270 jobs in a rural area that has experienced significant job loss – over 3,200 jobs lost in the last decade in a region with a population of 39,656. Without NMTC, the company would have likely placed the new equipment in another of their international locations (Switzerland, Ukraine or China). With the investment, management believes the plant’s enhanced competitiveness will allow it to maintain a dominant position in what is expected to be a growing North American market. Upon project completion, St. Johnsbury will be the only location in the US with this type of equipment. WETI reports that there are no more than fifteen similar production lines worldwide.
In a region where manufacturing jobs are scarce, WETI has a thirty-year record of direct salary wages paid of over a third of a billion dollars. In addition, WETI purchases approximately $4,000,000 in of goods and services in Vermont each year. Losing WETI would have severely hurt this region, which is designated as a USDA REAP Zone (Rural Economic Area Partnership), and is also eligible for State of Vermont tax credits because of the need to incentivize manufacturing.
For more information, see The Caledonian-Record article.