$490,000 in Economic Development Grants to Benefit Pinal County


FLORENCE – The Arizona Commerce Authority has awarded $490,000 in grants to support specific economic development projects that will bring jobs to Pinal County.

The Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation (CAREDF) was awarded grants for two projects. Ehrmann and Commonwealth Dairy will apply its grant toward a waste pre-treatment facility at a brand new 90,000 square foot dairy processing facility for manufacturing yogurt. Ground was broken for this facility earlier this month. The plant’s partners, Ehrmann and Commonwealth Dairy also own a Brattleboro, Vermont dairy operation.

Phoenix Technology Works Inc. will expand its existing facility. Phoenix Technology Works is a producer of milled patterns, plugs, molds and tooling for the aerospace, marine and transportation industries. The company offers design engineering as well as production in a wide variety of materials from metals to carbon fiber.

The City of Casa Grande’s Franklin Foods project earned the third grant. Franklin Foods selected Casa Grande for its second cream cheese manufacturing plant. The Casa Grande plant will produce a full line of cream cheese products, including the first Greek cream cheese. Franklin Foods’ history dates back to 1899 as a producer of cheese from locally-sourced milk and cream. The company’s other plant is in Enosburg Falls, Vermont.

“During our campaigns for office, my fellow Supervisors and I were united in our call for a more cohesive and energetic focus on economic development,” Pinal County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Steve Miller said. “We know that these projects mean that jobs and opportunities for employment are growing within our county. Supervisors Chase, House, Smith and Rios join me in congratulating the recipients of this important grant funding.”

In total, Pinal County has received almost $873,000 in economic development grants from the Arizona Commerce Authority in the past three annual funding cycles.

These grants are part of the Commerce Authority’s Rural Economic Development Grant Program. The program provides financial support to organizations that initiate and sustain projects that result in capital investment and job growth. There were 14 grant recipients statewide. Projections are that Arizona will add 305 new jobs as a result of this funding.

According to its news release, the Arizona Commerce Authority received 19 applications for 40 projects statewide. Applications were studied by a committee of economic development professionals who considered criteria such as economic impact, project sustainability, quality of the project plan, budget and more.

Media contacts: Arizona Commerce Authority, Nicole McTheny, 602-845-1231 CAREDF, Andrew Clegg, 520-836-6868 City of Casa Grande, Richard Wilke, 520-421-8641
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