BELFAST, Maine — City councilors decided this week to apply for a $1.1 million state community development block grant in an effort to encourage a Massachusetts-based company to open a branch in Belfast.
OnProcess Technology, based in Ashland, Massachusetts, has more than 1,000 employees in several locations around the world who work to help businesses manage their global supply chains.
Belfast is applying for the Maine CDBG grant on behalf of OnProcess Technology, according to Belfast Development Director Thomas Kittredge. He told Belfast City Councilors at a special meeting held Monday night that if the company receives the grant, the firm will match it with $1.1 million of its own funds, and has pledged to create 50 full-time jobs in Belfast.
Peter DelGreco, is president and CEO of Maine & Company, a firm that provides free, confidential consulting services to companies looking to relocate to Maine or to expand within the state. He has been working with OnProcess and told councilors that about 44 of the jobs in Belfast would be “logistic service representatives” who work directly with the customers. Those jobs would start at $11 per hour. Additional jobs in Belfast would include management positions such as a site director, who would earn as much as $50 per hour.
“Do you see the company growing to create more jobs in the future?” Mayor Walter Ash asked DelGreco.
“I hate to speak for the company, but I would be surprised if they stayed at only 50 jobs. I would expect that number to grow,” he answered.
Maine & Company helped bring athenahealth to Belfast in 2007. That Massachusetts-based company purchased one of the office buildings that made up the former MBNA complex, initially employing just a handful of employees. Now, 800 people work at the campus, making it one of Belfast’s largest employers.
“What I love about [OnProcess Technology] is that it really complements Bank of America and athenahealth,” Councilor Mike Hurley said. “It turns us into a center for this kind of work.”
DelGreco told the BDN Wednesday that his firm has been working with OnProcess Technology for a number of months.
“We’re still trying to get all the pieces in place,” he said. “Hopefully, if all goes well, we’ll look forward to making a formal and more detailed announcement in the near future, but there are a lot of details that have to be finalized before that can happen. The grant is a piece of it.”
According to the city’s website, the CDBG funds Belfast is applying for would be used to provide the company working capital, to purchase telephone, computer and other equipment and to provide job training.