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EDC: Brandt Surpasses 1st Year Incentive Targets

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council said Brandt Industries has easily surpassed hiring and production benchmarks it promised a year ago to qualify for tax incentives.
Interim CEO Mike O'Grady said the company that took over the former Kongskilde plant between Normal and Hudson last year has already hired more than 85 employees.

“This is a project that I think will probably grow ever bigger than what we had imagined,” O’Grady said. “They are ahead of schedule, not only on their investments but also on the employees we had set as a target that they needed to meet if they are going to get a tax abatement.”

O'Grady said Brandt started production in July, making augers, grain buggies and snow blades. He said he was surprised to learn snow blades were already in production when he visited the plant two weeks ago. He said the company initially said snow blade production was more of a long-term goal. 

The farm equipment maker pledged to hire up to 75 full-time employees by the end of the second year to get their property tax bill cut in half.

Last year Brandt said the company plans to bring 500 jobs to McLean County over a decade. 

“At the rate they are going, they are going to exceed that,” O’Grady said.

The Canadian company plans to spend $20 million in facility improvements to boost production. O'Grady said Brandt is designing an expansion of the building. The company brought an additional 25 acres north of the plant to make way for the expansion.

He said Brandt will soon be expanding parking at the site.

You can also listen to the full interview:

GLT's interview with Mike O'Grady.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.