February 27, 2014 11:09:29 AM
Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins was honored in Denver, Colo. Wednesday for the organization's work to bring Yokohama Tire Company among other major companies to the area.
The Site Selectors Guild, an association of the world's top professional site selection consultants, presented Higgins with the award at its annual conference. Matt Highfield of Deloitte Consulting, the site selector used by Yokohama to identify potential locations for Yokohama's tire manufacturing plant, nominated Higgins and the LINK.
The SSG said Higgins worked "thoughtfully and methodically" to position industrial sites to respond to the needs of companies looking to build new production facilities. In the case of Yokohama, Higgins helped oversee the installation of industry-ready infrastructure at the Prairie Belt Powersite in West Point as well as the marketing of the site.
Last April, state lawmakers passed a $130 million economic incentive package that drew the tire company to West Point after the LINK gave Yokohama executives a tour of the site. The plant's first of four phases is scheduled to begin operation next year and create 500 jobs. The plant is expected to bring a total of 2,000 jobs once it is complete in 2023. Yokohama will invest $300 million in the first phase and the same amount for each of the following three.
The SSG only gave three similar awards to development groups in Oklahoma, New Jersey and France.
"Being recognized by the site selection guild is the biggest honor a local practitioner can receive," Higgins said in a statement. "Most recognition is from peers. This was from a group that represents the world's best companies."
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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