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Siemens reports show regional workforce

December 24, 2015

Siemens has exceeded job creation projections over the course of a current tax break agreement with the town and state, but only about 5 percent of the jobs created are currently held by Walpole residents, according to reports submitted by the company to the town.

The reports (available online here) must be submitted annually as required by the 2006 tax-increment-financing agreement between the town, state, and Siemens, in which the company promised to construct a 115,171 square-foot addition at their Coney Street facility to retain 412 jobs and create 70 new jobs in exchange for a 10 percent tax break each year for 10 years. The reports are required to detail “job creation, job retention, and new investments” at their facility, and must specify the number of people hired from within the I-495/95-South Regional Technology Economic Target Area, which includes Walpole, and from the town itself.

The reports show that by the time construction on the building’s expansion ended in FY 2010, the company had added only 39 new employees, 7 of whom lived within the Economic Target Area. The company invested about $106.9 million in the expansion, which was about $3 million short of the $110 million they had promised to invest.

The FY 2012 report is not included in the files, but by 2013, the company apparently began taking on more employees, reporting 609 total employees in FY 2013, far exceeding the 412 jobs they promised to retain and 70 jobs they promised to create. The company reported that nine of those 609 employees lived in Walpole.

In FY 2014, the company reported hiring an additional 25 employees at their Walpole plant, totaling 634 people. It appears that many of those additional new hires came from Walpole, as the company reported a total of 30 employees lived in Walpole.

As of the most recent report, filed in 2015, Siemens indicated no new hires but employs 634 people, 32, or 5 percent, of whom live in Walpole. The company still reported being about $3 million short of their total $110 million investment goal, but reported paying a total of $8.9 million in taxes to the town since 2006.

The tax break took effect as soon as the expansion received a certificate of occupancy in 2008, and expires in 2018.

Additional information obtained by Selectman David Salvatore, which appears to be current, indicates that Franklin and Attleboro residents make up the largest and second largest group of employees, while Walpole ranks third within its three zip codes. That information indicates that as of the time of the information, Siemens employed 31 Walpole residents, compared to 38 from Franklin and 32 from Attleboro.

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