The way Borsight executive Martin O’Loughlin sees it, the $825,000 incentive his aviation service company is getting from the state will produce more than 95 jobs in the Ogden area.
“It has the potential for revitalizing the entire aviation ecosystem at the [Ogden] airport,” said O’Loughlin after the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board approved the post-performance, tax-credit rebate Thursday for Borsight, which integrates modern communications equipment into older aircraft and helicopters, mostly for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Predicting Borsight’s expansion will lure other aviation companies to the area, he said “building on this scale assures other aerospace firms that the Ogden aerospace industrial sector is the right place to be. They grow more confident that their own relocation to Ogden will be a profitable move.”
The incentive was one of three approved by GOED’s board. Centrify, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity company with operations in Murray, received a $557,000 tax credit rebate to add up to 200 jobs, mostly engineering positions.
Third party logistics provider a2b Fulfillment also will get a $55,000 tax rebate to create 75 jobs in Ogden.
A prime contractor to the U.S. Air Force and NASA, Borsight already has a hangar at Ogden-Hinckley Airport. The largest facility there, it is sized to hold large aircraft such as the Air Force’s KC-135 aerial refueling plane and commercial Boeing 737s.
Founded in 2009 and employing 65, the company plans to invest $6.3 million in an addition to that hangar. It will provide office and shop space for 95 engineers and avionics-installation technicians who will make modern systems — data link, voice communication and defensive counter-measure equipment — that can be installed to replace outdated instruments in older aircraft.
“We make some of the equipment we install, buy other components and develop our own software to make everything work together — and with the existing aircraft systems,” O’Loughlin said.
Borsight is owned by a military veteran and employs numerous veterans and graduates of engineering programs at Utah universities. He said it also does work for some European and Asian customers and has working relationships with Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Harris, Curtis-Wright and Genesys Aerosystems.
“Northern Utah continues to be a hotbed for aerospace innovation,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO at Economic Development Corp. of Utah.
Over the seven-year life of the agreement, wages paid to the 95 new Borsight employees (earning 110 percent of the Weber County average) are projected to add up to $33.3 million. New state taxes could amount to $4.1 million.
Centrify has had customer support and sales development teams in Murray since 2014, but is looking to move to a new location now that the state has stepped up to support its expansion plans, said CEO Tom Kemp.
“Creating jobs is the cornerstone for strengthening our national economy,” he added, warning “make no mistake, we’re in a cybersecurity war. Identity is the primary attack vector, showing no signs of slowing down — and creating market demand.”
The 200 engineers who will be hired by the company, making 110 percent of Salt Lake County’s average wage, will help develop Centrify’s “Zero Trust Security” program that protects the privacy of individual networks by verifying every user, validating their devices and limiting access.
“Centrify also uses machine learning to discover risky user behavior and apply conditional access — without impacting user experience,” Kemp added.
The company expects to spend $4.5 million on its expansion, which is forecast to generate $69 million in new wages and $2.8 million in new taxes over the agreement’s five-year life.
“Our strategic relationship with GOED allows us to take advantage of top engineering talent and accelerate innovation and product development,” Kemp said.
Like Centrify, a2b Fulfillment is looking around for a site to house larger warehouse and distribution operations. A capital investment of $840,000 is foreseen to provide space for 75 new employees. The project should raise $12.4 million in new state tax revenues during the agreement’s five-year span, said GOED spokeswoman Aimee Edwards.