Today Governor Kitzhaber praised Garmin's announcement that it plans to expand and consolidate its operations in Oregon. Garmin's plans include hiring dozens of engineers and constructing a new 66,000-square-foot building at its Salem Airport site.
Due to capacity issues as well as projected increased demand for its products, Garmin looked at expanding in several other U.S. cities, but ultimately chose Oregon for its estimated $14 million expansion.
"It's great to add Garmin to the list of advanced manufacturers that are renewing their commitment to Oregon." said Governor John Kitzhaber. "The expansion of Garmin's aviation and software development operation in Salem has a big impact on the local economy, helping to reinvigorate small and local business throughout the region."
Business Oregon approved a forgivable loan of $487,500 to the company from the Business Expansion Program (BEP) for the project.
In order to qualify for BEP support, Garmin agrees to create at least 65 new software and other engineering positions at the Salem facility that pay an average salary of at least 150% of the statewide average wage. The amount of an award under BEP is based on two years' worth of estimated personal income tax revenues generated by the new hires from the project and contains clawback provisions if those requirements are not met, in addition to other stipulations.
Garmin employs nearly 400 workers currently at its two facilities in Salem. The company's primary location at the Salem Airport houses product assembly and test operations as well as aviation product development and software functions. As part of the announced expansion, Garmin has also decided to relocate its customer call center employees to the new building at the airport site.