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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Mar. 20, 201312:00 PM EST

Corys Thunder incentives head to Council

by: David Chapman

A City Council committee approved incentives Tuesday to recruit the headquarters of St. Marys, Ga.-based Corys Thunder Inc. to Jacksonville, setting up a Tuesday vote by the full Council.

The Council Finance Committee approved the legislation 7-0. It is the only committee where the legislation was heard.

Corys Thunder, which makes training simulators for nuclear power plants, has requested $297,500 in City and state incentives to relocate and expand its operations to North Jacksonville.

The deal would create 35 jobs at an average salary of $107,133.

Of the jobs, 31 will relocate from St. Marys and four will be created.

The company proposes to lease a 25,000-square-foot facility at 1351 Tradeport Drive in the Jacksonville International Tradeport, part of the Jacksonville International Airport Community Redevelopment Area.

Corys Thunder proposes to invest $450,000, comprising $400,000 in leasehold improvements and $50,000 in machinery and equipment.

The company has requested incentives under the Qualified Target Industry Refund program, including a High Impact Sector Bonus, of $245,000.

The City's portion is a maximum of $49,000, or 20 percent, with the state paying the remaining $196,000, or 80 percent.

The additional $52,500 comes from the state as part of a Quick Response Training grant, according to the project summary.

The company is a subsidiary of Corys T.E.S.S. in Grenoble, France, which is the largest simulator company in Europe, according to its website.

According to documents, Corys Thunder was founded in 2008 to provide engineering services and products to the simulation industry and its technology is the most widely used nuclear power plant training simulators in the U.S. and Europe.

"We believe this company is the type of company we are trying to recruit to the area," Joe Whitaker, a City Office of Economic Development executive, told the committee.

Finance Committee member Greg Anderson said the deal "is not a huge move" but said he appreciated the job skills and wages and the company's commitment to work with local organizations.

"We would love to have them here," Anderson said.

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