The Sherman Economic Development Corp. delivered a $384,000 incentive check to Modular Power Solutions on Tuesday morning after the electrical builder made good on its two-year pledge to hire new workers.
MPS, which produces electrical infrastructure units for digital data centers, entered into an economic development performance agreement with SEDCO in September 2016 and fulfilled the expansion and investment requirements by retaining 50 employees and hiring an additional 47 employees. A press release distributed by SEDCO said the workforce investment cost MPS an estimated $943,000.
“It was definitely worth it,” SEDCO Vice President of Business Retention and Expansion Stacey Jones said of the payout. “These are good paying jobs and it may well have incentivized them to grow the business here as opposed to somewhere else. And that’s definitely what we try to work toward when we help our businesses.”
MPS General Manager Simon Harkins said SEDCO’s performance agreements are important to businesses of all sizes, but MPS saw the agreement as less of an incentive to expand and more of a vehicle to achieve the workforce growth it already desired.
“These are substantial dollars for a lot of businesses, no matter how big or small,” Harkins said. “We put in the initial investment, but the investment really has an immense return. We’re not doing it for the incentive. The incentive helps us look at our labor and say, ‘This is where we want to be.’”
In addition to expanding MPS’ workforce, Harkins said the company has also grown its footprint since entering the SEDCO agreement. Harkins said MPS started with its facility on Marshall Street but has brought two other properties online for an added 81,000 feet of work space.
“We actually have three buildings locally now, that we’re currently in and are under lease agreements,” Harkins said. “And we’re actually planning on developing another new property. So we’ll be purchasing land and developing maybe up to another 130,000 square feet of integration facility.”
Jones said SEDCO has active performance agreements with 11 other companies in Sherman. Harkins said the money MPS received from its agreement will largely be used for aesthetic and facility upgrades at its 60,000-square-foot warehouse off Fallon Drive.
“Taking it and investing it in the work environment? That supports a better workforce,” Harkins said. “It makes it more so that people move here to work, versus commuting. That’s ultimately what you want — you want people to move and live and buy and shop and invest in the community where your business is. The better our facilities, the better our organization becomes, and the city and the community gets to take advantage of that and thrive.”