Monday, May 7, 2012

Box Elder official works to create jobs, fill empty buildings

As Box Elder County's new director of economic development, Mitch Zundel's main responsibility is filling buildings and jobs.

Two projects on the horizon may do that; one is a still-unannounced, almost secretive, endeavor called Project Cogburn that Zundel said would bring 500 jobs to the county. The other is a $3 million expansion of an existing business that is expected to add about 15 jobs.

Just think, he adds, if each of the 1,200 registered businesses now in the county were to add one position each, "what a difference that would make."

Project Cogburn is "where our energies are focused," said Zundel. The project, which "is close to being announced," is expected to offer 500 start-up positions. There will be three newly constructed sites -- two in the county and one in Brigham City. The company's plans are in a "manufacturing vein," he said. "We're still working on incentive possibilities, both locally and with the state."

Zundel views his other primary responsibility as keeping the doors open to existing businesses. Box Elder County's five largest employers are: ATK with more than 2,000 employees; Autoliv and the Box Elder School District each with more than 1,000 employees, Corinne's Wal-Mart distribution center and West Liberty Foods, a turkey processing plant in Tremonton, each with between 500 and 1,000 employees. Standard Examiner