LAKELAND — Two manufacturers have received a combined $800,000 to grow in Lakeland with the promise of bringing new jobs to the city.
Keymark Corp. of Florida, a custom aluminum parts manufacturer, will receive $400,000 from the city’s new Economic Development Infrastructure Incentive to expand its facilities in Polk County.
Keymark employs about 340 people at its Lakeland facility off Knights Station Road. Joe Crenna, Keymark’s vice president and general manager, said the company was looking to relocate and expand in Central Florida. The Ruthvens were able to help Keymark identify a 76,000-square-foot facility to build a painting facility where it will add 25 new jobs.
Crenna said while the new site initially would be for painting only, it could expand to house extrusion presses in the future and another 100 to 150 jobs. Crenna said the company’s jobs generally start at a rate of $17 an hour and it prides itself on promoting managers and leadership from within.
Lakeland commissioners approved a $400,000 incentive for Keymark under the city’s Economic Development Infrastructure Incentive Program. The program aims to provide financial assistance to companies with extending or relocating electric or water utilities in order to expand operations. It was created in 2019, but Keymark is among the first two eligible recipients.
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Frinsa, a European manufacturer of canned fish and seafood, is looking to make Lakeland the home of its American operations, said Otis Coracides, Frinsa USA’s managing director.
“We had a pretty cumbersome search. We looked at several cities within the state of Florida,” he said. “We made a pretty resounding decision to come to Lakeland.”
Frinsa plans to build a 180,000-square-foot facility at 900 N. Chestnut Road in Lakeland’s North Business Center, across from Kathleen Senior High School. Coracides said the plant will bring 150 new jobs to the area, paying a rough average of $55,000 a year. At full buildout, its facility will have five manufacturing lines representing an investment of at least $21 million.
The company’s first products produced in Lakeland will be sold through Amazon Fresh Groceries, Coracides said, and it is speaking with Kroger Delivery and Walmart Inc. about carrying its products.
Sara-Megan Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-802-7545. Follow on Twitter @SaraWalshFl.