Massachusetts company hires 40 of 80 employees anticipated for Belfast branch

By Ben Holbrook | Sep 08, 2015

Belfast — OnProcess Technology, the Massachusetts-based logistics company moving into a wing of Bank of America's complex on Route 3, is aiming to hire 80 people by the end of October, according to City Manager Joe Slocum.

Updating councilors Sept. 2 regarding coordination of efforts between the city and OnProcess, Slocum said the company has hired 40 employees to date. He said OnProcess is hoping to increase that number to 80 employees by the end of October.

As part of its efforts to bring the branch to Belfast, the city helped OnProcess secure an $800,000 grant through the Community Development Block Grant program.

Slocum said the grant requires the company by certain dates to hire at least 50 people, and 51 percent of those hires must be from low- to moderate-income households. If the company fails to meet that requirement, Belfast would then have to pay back the $800,000 grant.

Because of that potential liability, Slocum said the city is pursuing what is known as a clawback agreement by which Belfast would recover the money from OnProcess so that no city taxpayer dollars would be used in the event the company failed to satisfy grant requirements.

However, Slocum said the city might not even need the agreement because of the 40 people OnProcess has already hired, almost 80 percent of whom are from low- to moderate-income households.

“If we get to the end of October ... if they've already reached the threshold the city will have no requirement to back them up at all,” Slocum said.

In a May statement, OnProcess CEO Ed Barry explained his company's reasons for selecting Belfast for its new branch.

"As a Massachusetts-based company, we wanted to expand in New England, and Belfast was the ideal location," Barry said, according to previously published reports. "Not only were we attracted by Belfast’s vibrant business community and highly skilled workforce; its proximity to major universities, several of which have supply chain curricula, also makes the area great for recruiting employees. With the help of Maine & Company, the support of the Maine government, and the great local cooperation and support from the city of Belfast, we were able to secure a facility that meets all our capacity, commutability and environment needs.”

Slocum said he has been approached by company representatives asking how OnProcess can become involved in the community.

“What I love about OnProcess is it's like a prep school for, you know, it fits so well with Bank of America and athenahealth on the type of jobs,” Councilor Mike Hurley said.

Councilor Neal Harkness added, “they might become, like, a farm team for those other companies.”

A date for an official ribbon cutting celebrating the opening of OnProcess's Belfast branch has not yet been determined, Slocum said.

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