New Green Mountain Coffee plant welcomed in Tennesee

first_imgKNOXVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An empty 334,000-square-foot building and an eager workforce explain only in part why Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (Nasdaq: GMCR) chose the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley of Tennessee for a major expansion site that eventually will employ 300 workers.”The central location makes us more efficient, reduces our transportation and distribution costs and shortens delivery lead times of our products,” according to Jon Wettstein, Green Mountain’s vice president for supply chain operations.But he says a well-coordinated economic development community also helped seal the deal.The Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley economic development partnership between the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Knoxville Chamber, Loudon County Economic Development Agency, Oak Ridge Economic Partnership, the Roane Alliance, and Tellico Reservoir Development Agency, Wettstein says, “provided an incredibly efficient process.”Quality of life considerations also played a major part in attracting the socially-conscious coffee roasting and distributing company. Knoxville has fared well in recent polls by Forbes, Inc. and Site Selection magazines.”The skilled workforce, the prospects for continuous learning, the opportunities for us to partner with the community, the quality of life for employees and the physical beauty of the area all were important factors in our decision to locate here,” Wettstein said.For their part, Innovation Valley officials welcome Green Mountain’s progressive business model. RO Magazine, Forbes and SustainableBusiness.com have recognized Green Mountain as a good corporate citizen and an innovative, high-growth company.”We think they’ll be trendsetters in corporate and social responsibility – both locally and internationally,” said Doug Lawyer, director of economic development for the Knoxville Chamber.Because nearly 100 million people work in the coffee industry worldwide – many of them in developing countries – Green Mountain has ample opportunity “to distribute value more equitably through the supply chain and support sustainability in coffee-growing communities,” said Mike Dupee, the company’s vice president of corporate social responsibility.Dupee said Green Mountain also places a high premium on human capital at home, has aggressive plans to reduce waste and minimize energy use, and continues to increase the percentage of its fair trade products.”In the workplace, a chain reaction occurs when employees are safe, have the opportunity to learn and grow, and have meaningful work: ideas and innovation flow among coworkers, customers are happier with our products, profits grow, and then we have more human and financial capital to invest in sustainable business practices,” he said.SOURCE Innovation Valley Inc.last_img read more

FHP Arrests Alleged Partner in PBC Driver’s License Scam

first_imgThe Florida Highway Patrol says a ring including a driving school owner, two instructors, and another man, allegedly helped at least 63 individuals to fraudulently obtain driver’s licenses at the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s office in Greenacres.Officers have arrested at least 30 people who got the tainted licenses since the investigation began nearly two years ago.They arrested 33-year-old Isaac Zamora Martinez, of Hialeah, last Thursday, one month after tracking down his alleged partner, 62-year-old David Aguilar Hernandez.According to the FHP, the men agreed with Alejandro Rodriguez, who owned Rodriguez Driving School in Haverhill, to bring people to the Greenacres office and have clerk Norman Giddings issue the licenses.An FHP report reads, “Aguilar, Martinez, Giddings, and Rodriguez maintained a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud the PBC-Tax Office, the State of Florida, and its procedures as it relates to the issuances of Florida DLs.”Records show that Rodriguez has not yet been charged.Giddings died in February 2018, days before he was to be criminally charged, says Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon.Gannon adds that for people who are undocumented or otherwise ineligible, a fraudulently obtained license is concerning, as it allows them to obtain other documents in the same manner.Martinez was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail early Friday. A judge has set his bail at $15,000. He is facing five counts each of using false information to get a driver’s license, supplying another with an unlawful driver’s license, altering a public record and falsifying a record. He has also been charged with fraud of less than $20,000.Officials say that Martinez and Hernandez, who was arrested on August 14, used a car that was registered to Rodriguez.Giddings issued 20 sham driver’s licenses in November 2017. Eleven of those were for people who are listed as having used Rodriguez’s car for a driving test, but investigators say no such test was administered.The investigation also shows that in January of last year, Martinez and Hernandez brought in another 10 applicants who also received licenses after “passing” driving tests which they never actually took.FHP reports also show that some of the people paid Giddings as much as $450 for their licenses, while others gave Hernandez up to $500 to help them through the fraudulent process.Martinez admitted to officials that he worked for Rodriguez from 2014 to 2016, bringing up to seven applicants to the office every day. He denied that he participated in the non-existent driving tests, but could not explain why he was at the office on a daily basis.When investigators showed him video footage, he claimed he was helping people their fix ticket and license suspensions at no charge.Hernandez, of West Palm Beach, is currently charged with 17 counts of charges similar to those Martinez is facing. He left jail within two days of his arrest, after posting $10,000 bond.Like Martinez, he has also denied any involvement with fraudulent licenses, and said the video footage of him helping the people was coincidental, since he recruited customers for the driving school.last_img read more