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Triangle business leaders discuss entrepreneurship with Obama's jobs council

For those wondering where the Triangle's leading entrepreneurs went this morning, they were all in Durham meeting with Obama Administration officials and some of corporate America's biggest names.

The occasion was a convening of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which includes former AOL CEO Steve Case, Citigroup Chairman Dick Parsons, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

It was one of five similar economic meetings held across the Triangle this morning in advance of Obama's appearance today at the Durham headquarters of LED-maker Cree.

The group that met at Durham's American Tobacco Campus was focused on entrepreneurship.

After a tour of American Underground, the the ATC space designed to foster start-ups, the council members joined Triangle business leaders at the headquarters of advertising agency McKinney.

The goal, as stated by Austan Goolsbee, chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, was to talk about things that both the government and the private sector can do to make life easier for entrepreneurs.

The issues raised this morning will be familiar ones to anyone who has followed similar discussions in the past: Access to capital, particularly early seed money; the transfer of promising technology from the labs and classrooms of the area's universities to the private sector; the existence of a mentoring network to help entrepreneurs grow; and the access to talented employees.

IEM wins $100 million military contract

IEM, a risk management firm that recently moved its headquarters to the Triangle from Louisiana, has been awarded part of a $100 million five-year military contract.

IEM will provide support services for the U.S. Army at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. 

MSCoE provides training to make soldiers combat-ready.

IEM has provided support to the Maneuver Support Center since 1999.  

Under the new contract, IEM is one of eight contractors eligible to provide MSCoE with support.

IEM has leased nearly 10,000 square feet in a Research Triangle Park building that houses the headquarters of chemical manufacturer Reichhold.

IEM expects to have 55 employees at its RTP headquarters by the end of the year. It had about 45 employees last month when it officially opened its new offices.

Perdue to attend opening of IEM's new RTP headquarters today

Gov. Bev Perdue and Rep. David Price were among the salons in attendance today at the opening of IEM's new Research Triangle Park headquarters.

IEM, a risk management firm that announced in December that it would relocate from Louisiana to RTP, has leased nearly 10,000 square feet in a building that houses the headquarters of chemical manufacturer Reichhold.

IEM has about 45 employees in the Triangle and plans to have 55 by the end of the year. (Available positions are listed on the company's website.)

Disaster management firm secures new RTP home

A fast-growing risk management firm that's moving its headquarters to the Triangle from Louisiana has found its first local home.

IEM has leased nearly 10,000 square feet in a Research Triangle Park building that houses the headquarters of chemical manufacturer Reichhold. IEM expects to move in July 1, said founder and CEO Madhu Beriwal.

IEM has about 14 employees here now, and plans to have 55 by the end of the year.

Beriwal announced in December that she planned to move IEM's headquarters and create 430 local jobs over the next six years. State officials promised more than $9 million in tax breaks and grants if IEM meets its hiring and salary targets. The new jobs will pay average annual salaries of $62,778.

The Reichhold space "met our needs the best," she said. Eventually, IEM will expand into additional space as it continues to hire locally and shift its operations from Louisiana. Some of the company's 150 Louisiana employees will relocate to fill the local jobs.

Electrolux to move headquarters to Charlotte, add 738 jobs

Another day, another announcement about new jobs in North Carolina. Despite the down economy, there has been a flurry of economic development projects unveiled in recent months.

Today's installment: Swedish appliance maker Electrolux picked Charlotte for its new North American headquarters. The company plans to create 738 jobs over the next five years.

Electrolux will receive state and local tax breaks and incentives worth as much as $27 million if it meets its hiring and investment targets.

The company already employs about 650 people in North Carolina, mostly at a dishwasher manufacturing plant in Kinston. Electrolux is consolidating corporate offices from around the country into the new Charlotte headquarters.

One minor complaint from job seekers and economic boosters in the Triangle: It's another example of a corporation choosing Charlotte for its headquarters. Kevin Scott, chief executive of Electrolux North America, said he was impressed with the area's transportation network and the professionalism of economic development efforts by the city, county and state.

“I am convinced we have made a fantastic choice," he said.

Perdue recused herself from IEM recruitment

Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco played a bigger-than-usual role in recruiting a Louisiana company to this region because the son of Gov. Bev Perdue also was involved with efforts to lure the corporate headquarters.

Perdue recused herself from the recruitment of IEM, our sister blog Under the Dome reports. That meant that Crisco made more decisions in attracting the risk-management firm, including the promise of as much as $9 million in tax breaks and grants.

Perdue's son, Garrett Perdue, worked on the deal as part of his job with the law firm of Womble Carlyle.

IEM and state officials announced Monday morning in Research Triangle Park that the risk-management firm would move its headquarters to RTP and create 430 jobs over the next six year. Perdue, who usually attends such announcements, stayed away.

Read the full Under the Dome report here.

Risk management firm to create 430 jobs in RTP

A risk-management consulting firm plans to move its headquarters to Research Triangle Park from Baton Rouge, La., and create 430 local jobs over the next six years.

IEM, which was founded in 1985, helps government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency assess threats to people, infrastructure and information. The company was attracted to the Triangle by "its highly educated workforce, history of innovation, and culture of public and private collaboration," said CEO Madhu Beriwal, left, in a prepared statement.

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