The first briefing to Killeen City Council led by Scott Connell as President and CEO of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation will include USAMM’s plans to expand into Killeen Business Park.
Operating a 10,000 square foot factory, the military uniform accessories maker has two years to build a 25,000 square foot facility on the property.
“The jobs we create often provide needed income for military families,” USAMM CEO Jared Zabaldo said in a press release. “We try to hire military personnel whenever possible. They intuitively understand the importance of the work we do. There is a pride and attention to detail in their work that is unparalleled.
Keith Sledd, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance of Killeen, agreed.
“It’s gratifying to see a military veteran like Mr. Zabaldo achieve personal success and simultaneously share that success with a military-affiliated community.”
USAMM employs 100 people. The expansion “will create more jobs for military families,” according to Killeen EDC’s presentation. The company opened its warehouse here in the summer of 2021.
USAMM’s starting salary ranges from $12 per hour to salaried positions starting at $35,000. Killeen Business Park was among several sites considered by the company, but USAMM officials chose to stay in Killeen for its available land and dedicated workforce, according to the release.
“I’m glad we were able to provide the necessary land,” Mayor Debbie Nash-King said in the statement. “The company has an impressive commitment to its employees, and I am pleased that USAMM will remain in Killeen for the foreseeable future.”
According to its website, USAMM provides official military medals, ribbons, uniforms, clothing, and equipment for all branches of the military.
Other highlights of Connell’s presentation included signing a contract with a semiconductor manufacturing supplier to acquire a site at Killeen Business Park. The expansion project comprises just over seven acres and the average annual employee salary is $44,400.
Killeen EDC has also signed a contract with a semiconductor manufacturing supplier for 30.3 acres at Killeen Business Park. For these employees, the average annual salary is $50,000.
In the third quarter, Killeen EDC officials attended Retail Live on September 1, authorized support for free zone designations for two industrial companies, provided office and IT equipment to Cole Engineering for the offices of Killeen Business Park, worked with the owner of the downtown HEB building for new uses of the property and met with U.S. Congressman August Pfluger “to discuss the local economy and chamber business”.
Free zones “promote the international competitiveness of U.S.-based companies because zone activities primarily involve domestic operations combining foreign inputs with significant domestic inputs,” according to the Governor of Texas’s website. “Zones also facilitate and accelerate international trade, retain and create jobs, and encourage investment, manufacturing, and logistics in the United States. Companies operating in free zones can reduce customs duties and taxes, as well as streamline their production and processes. »
According to the presentation, other Killeen companies, including MGC Pure Chemicals America, are “in compliance” with an average annual salary of $69,564 and 33 jobs; Z Modular is leveling 20 acres at Killeen Business Park and “production is ‘back to normal’; and Skydive Killeen will offer skydiving and tuition at Skylark Field.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, Killeen EDC documented $3 million in capital investment and the maintenance of 100 jobs. In addition, the value of the Killeen EDC pipeline projects is $90 million in capital investment and 37 jobs.
Connell has been President and CEO of Killeen EDC since September 1. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of the Temple Economic Development Corporation for three and a half years. Connell has worked in economic development for 36 years.
Last year, Killeen budgeted $362,527 of its water and sewer and general funds for the Killeen Economic Development Corporation.
The Killeen City Council meeting on Tuesday is scheduled for 5 p.m. at City Hall, 101 N. College St.