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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Nov. 7, 201805:20 AM EST

The Mathis Report: Project Grid is Rayonier Advanced Materials

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Company is approved for incentives to create 79 jobs.

Rayonier Advanced Materials, which said Oct. 9 it will create 79 positions at its Downtown headquarters by 2022, is the code-named Project Grid that was approved in August for city and state incentives.

Jacksonville-based Rayonier Advanced Materials, a specialty chemical company, said it would create the jobs following its acquisition in late 2017 of Canadian forest products company Tembec. 

The company said the jobs will be professional and administrative roles to support its international operations and will average $69,520 annually.

A news release said the Tembec purchase almost doubled Rayonier Advanced Material’s size to more than $2 billion in annual revenue and added more than 15 operating plants in Canada and Europe.

The release said the expansion secures 80 full-time jobs that are based at the company’s global headquarters Downtown in Riverplace Tower on the Southbank.

Project Grid, as the deal was code-named during City Council review and approvals, proposed to retain 80 jobs and create 79 more positions at an average wage of $69,519, by year-end 2022.

Council adopted a resolution to pay up to $94,800 for the city’s portion of a QTI grant and the state would pay $379,200, for a total QTI refund of $474,000, or $6,000 per job.

Project Grid was described in a July project summary as an existing Jacksonville company that handles the processing and sales of “different products.” Its Jacksonville office serves as a professional support office. 

It said Project Grid will lease about 15,000 square feet of additional office space and invest about $790,000 in building renovations and the purchase of office equipment over the first few years of operation. 

The new jobs would handle IT, accounting and human resource and procurement functions related to its international locations. 

The economic development agreement said 56 jobs would be created by year-end 2019, nine in 2020, five in 2021 and nine in 2022.

The city summary said the incentives are a material factor in Project Grid’s decision to expand and retain its existing employees, whose average wage is $140,000. 

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