LAKEWOOD RANCH -- An industrial-grade infrared window manufacturer in Lakewood Ranch will undergo a 15,000-square-foot expansion and plans to add 25 jobs in the next three years.
IRISS and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. announced the expansion Wednesday, adding that the company will be eligible for economic incentive money to help the growth.
IRISS can receive up to $28,196 in performance-based incentives if the company adds 25 jobs over the next three years and completes construction, said Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area EDC. The jobs created must have an average wage at least 15 percent higher than the local average wage of $35,633. The company's building also qualified for the county's rapid response permitting program, in which the county helps guide the permits along to speed the project.
"We have grown our business organically, signed agreements with several electrical manufacturers, partnered with companies that have a lot of depth in key markets, and made our first acquisition of a company out of New Jersey," said Martin Robinson, chief executive officer of IRISS. "In 2014, we will see the fruits of our labor with these projects and will release three new products from our research and development efforts."
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IRISS makes windows paired with infrared cameras used by inspectors to safely survey electrical energy radiating, signaling signs of corrosion and damage to circuit parts while keep
ing panel doors and covers closed.
The business was brought here in April from the United Kingdom by former London residents Martin and Deborah Robinson, who now live in East Manatee. The couple built a $5.7 million, 33,000-square-foot global headquarters at 10306 Technology Terrace, and the addition will be added to that building.
"IRISS originally moved to the Bradenton area to consolidate manufacturing operations and expand its global business," Hillstrom said. "This expansion, within less than a year of the facility's grand opening, demonstrates the rapid growth that makes IRISS a desirable employer in our community."
Since moving to Lakewood Ranch, IRISS invested more than $1.5 million in equipment, and hired 28 employees.
In 2012, IRISS qualified for state economic development incentives based on plans to hire 20 employees in three years; instead, the company hired 28 in one year.
"IRISS is proof positive that Manatee County offers the right combination of community assets and a business-friendly local government that fast-growth businesses are seeking," Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said. "By judiciously applying performance-based economic development incentives and providing a professional, efficient approach to the permitting process, Manatee County government demonstrates its commitment to fostering the creation of quality jobs for local residents."