Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bertram Yacht To Relocate To Merritt Island With 221 New Jobs

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida - The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast announced today that Bertram Yacht, an iconic American yacht and boat building brand, will relocate from Miami to a new facility in Merritt Island starting in June.

The EDC and Bertram Yacht were joined by Florida Senator Thad Altman, Florida Representative Steve Crisafulli and Brevard County Commission Chairman Chuck Nelson for today’s announcement at the company’s new facility at 1230 Sea Ray Drive in Merritt Island, Florida.

The new state-of-the-art boat manufacturing facility and marina in Merritt Island is situated on a 37-acre site which provides significant opportunity for future expansion for the Bertram brand.  At full employment, the company’s projected total economic impact will be over $26.3 million.


“Bertram Yacht’s relocation will create more awareness of our state’s dynamic marine industry and make a very positive impact on the local economy, said Gray Swoope, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s lead economic development organization.  “This announcement is the result of solid and effective teamwork among our state and local economic development partners.”


Bertram Yacht will relocate the key management and production employees to the new facility.  However, the company will also draw on the Space Coast’s highly skilled labor force, particularly those with experience in the marine and aerospace sectors, and create 221 new jobs in Brevard County.  The new production operation will also create significant demand for parts and components from local suppliers and vendors.


“Bertram Yacht is a legendary brand and we are pleased to keep this company with a strong Florida history in the state,” said Lynda Weatherman, president & CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.  “The company recognized the competitive advantages of a Space Coast location, particularly within our high-tech workforce.  Bertram Yacht’s creation of 221 new jobs is a positive step in mitigating the effects of our post-Shuttle economy.  We welcome Alton and the Bertram Yacht team and we look forward to the company’s continued success and growth on the Space Coast.”


Bertram Yachts’ move to Merritt Island serves not only as a new foundation for the company’s future, but brings to fruition the successful changes and new strategy developed and initiated within the last two years by the Bertram management team. The brand new facility will also be an opportunity to implement new production processes and systems to continuously enhance and innovate the Bertram model range.


“We at Bertram Yacht deeply value our 50 years of history and culture in the state of Florida and are enthusiastic to remain in the state.  We appreciate the EDC’s assistance and look forward to growing in an area with a highly skilled workforce that will help build competitive yachts well suited for hardcore saltwater sportfishing,” said Alton Herndon, President for Bertram Yachts. “We also plan to bring many existing Bertram employees to Merritt Island to help establish our roots and keep the Bertram legacy growing.”


The Ferretti Group, one of the largest yacht manufacturers in the world and parent company of Bertram Yacht, recognizes the tremendous potential for the Bertram brand and has made a significant investment and commitment to Bertram and the American manufacturing organization. “Bertram is one of the best known yacht brands in the world and we are fully committed to support the Bertram management team as we embark on a new era for this iconic American brand” said Norberto Ferretti, Founder and Chairman of the Ferretti Group.


Bertram Yacht was awarded a State of Florida Qualified Target Industry (QTI) and Brownfield tax refund to offset the cost of relocation, employee training, and infrastructure. The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners awarded Bertram Yacht the required local match for the QTI program through an Ad Valorem Tax Abatement.  Bertram Yacht considered locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before choosing the Merritt Island site.


Bertram will complete the current models in production through the summer of 2012 and will begin the relocation of key models and production at the new facility in the fall of 2012, with a view to launch the first Merritt Island built models in early 2013.


About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies.  The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org.
About Bertram and The Ferretti Group
Bertram is a brand of Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction and sale of motor yachts with a unique portfolio of some of the most exclusive, prestigious brands in the nautical world: Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Mochi Craft, CRN and Ferretti Custom Line. The Group, led by Chairman and Founder Norberto Ferretti and by CEO Giancarlo Galeone, has always been at the very heights of the pleasure boating market due to constant product and process innovation, continuous research and development and cutting-edge technological solutions. The Ferretti Group, founded in 1968, is also present in the United States through Ferretti Group America, which operates a network of sales centers specializing in the sale and marketing of the Group’s luxury yacht brands throughout the North American market. The Group also has a presence in Asia, with a branch of representation and promotion in Shanghai. Overall the Group is represented by an exclusive network of around 60 carefully selected dealers globally with a presence in over 80 countries, thereby ensuring valued clients receive the very best assistance in marinas all over the world.

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