Crawford Diamond Industrial Park
Meet Nassau Florida
Meet Nassau Florida
Meet Nassau Florida
When people first think of Nassau County, Amelia Island and our beautiful beaches come to mind.  Look beyond our beaches and you’ll see the landscape of our county is as diverse as our residents and businesses.  Nassau County is where tourism intersects with industry, our railways and highways link to over 50 million consumers and the Port of Fernandina unites businesses with the world.  Nassau County is ideally positioned for new industry and expansion opportunities with a skilled military workforce, unsurpassed logistics network and over 17 million square feet of entitled heavy industrial and commercial space, ready to welcome you.

"This is my second time calling Amelia Island “home” and I don’t plan to leave.  I returned to Nassau County in 2013 after 13 years living throughout Florida and California.  Having the opportunity to become managing director at Omni Amelia Island Plantation and being familiar with what the area has to offer I could not resist.  The beautiful natural surroundings, quality of life and sense of community are unparalleled.  I am honored to live, work and play in Amelia Island…true paradise!"
Donald Stamets - Managing Director, Omni Amelia Island Plantation
"It's a great place.  We have a family friendly atmosphere for our employees. 
When our employees come here, they want to stay here."
Jeff Householder - President, Florida Public Utilities
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    • February 3, 2017

      What's next after LignoTech?

      News Leader (Fernandina Beach, FL)
      February 3, 2017

      What’s next after LignoTech? 
      DiBella hints at development to come

      Author: ERIC GUTIERREZ 
      Section: News
      Page: A1

      With the construction of the LignoTech Florida, LLC facility well underway in Fernandina Beach, Nassau County can soon expect a number of new, permanent jobs as a result of the economic venture.
      But what’s next in terms of economic development in the county, and where?
      Though Laura DiBella, executive director of Nassau County’s Economic Development Board, said that “significant activity” is “happening in every corner of the county right now,” she added that one of her next areas of focus for economic development is Yulee.
      DiBella said that she could not go into detail about exactly what the projects might involve, but she did give broad descriptions of the types of industries that could be coming to the area.

      “We have light manufacturing, health care, corporate headquarters (and) lots of retail (looking at Yulee).  Lots of retail is going to descend upon the Yulee area and really everything in between, so restaurants, warehousing, distribution – those types of industries.”

      “Health care is going to become a very big component of Yulee,” DiBella allowed.  DiBella then proposed that a new hospital could eventually come to Yulee “with due time (and) with population growth. … Yulee is – to steal somebody else’s words – the proverbial hole in the donut from a health­care standpoint.  It’s inevitable that we’re going to have something major on the
      health­care front happening out there.”  She said a new hospital would “probably start off as a free­standing emergency room.”

      “Hospitals nowadays are planting their roots via free­standing emergency room types of setup and then the beds get built around it after that,” DiBella said.  “We are far enough away from all of the competition to potentially support a new hospital (in Yulee).”

      Light manufacturing, as described by DiBella, is “generally thought of as more automated, clean, it doesn’t (produce a) smell, it doesn’t make noise, anything that would not be relegated to a heavy manufacturing (location) – which often will be (located) in a sparse, very non­residential area like the Crawford Diamond.”

      “When I say manufacturing, I’m not talking about the big smoke stacks that we have out here on the island.  That is the Industrial Revolution type of manufacturing.  That’s not manufacturing anymore,” DiBella said, adding, “You can potentially have an announcement (for a project) in Yulee, I would say in the next three months.”

      In addition to new health care, light manufacturing, corporate headquarters, retail and restaurant businesses, DiBella said information technology is another industry that could be coming.

      “As far as a data center front, we have a certified data center site that is still kind of being eyeballed right now in Yulee at Nassau Crossing industrial (park) site,” DiBella said.
      DiBella explained why she could not go into specific details about the economic projects coming to
      the area.

      “There’s a cloak of secrecy surrounding what we do and who we talk to, and largely that is for the safety of the company itself and its competition,” she said.  

      “Oftentimes you’re dealing with companies making major decisions that will, if it’s a move … then things are highly secretive because until a final decision is made, nobody wants to, essentially, rock the boat with their employees, with their investors or with anything and risk losing critical workforce because of something that is an unknown still – fear of people losing their jobs or
      having to relocate or something like that.  We try to control the rumor mill.  That’s what it really boils down to.

      “And also these companies are public, like Rayonier Advanced Materials and Borregaard, both of them are public companies. They need to control the information that goes out before they themselves release it for public purposes,” DiBella said, adding that a company’s competition also plays a role.

      “Nobody wants their competition to know really what they’re doing because, heaven forbid, their competition is going to get ahead of them.  There really is a very rational reason why we have to keep things quiet.  I wish we didn’t because I would love to tell everybody, ‘Oh my gosh, do you know who we’re talking to right now?’”

      And Yulee is only one of DiBella’s focus areas for the county’s next economic venture.  DiBella said that she’s also trying to land a big economic project for the west side of the county, specifically at the Crawford Diamond.

      “It is my goal, my personal goal, to land a big project on the west side, on the Crawford Diamond site,” DiBella said.  “That site is really – to use a pun – a diamond in the rough. … It’s one of the best sites in the country, and I can say that from a real estate standpoint because that’s my background – commercial real estate.”
      Some of the advantages that make the Crawford Diamond a “rare” site are its size and its close proximity to railroads, ports and major roadways like Interstates 95 and 10, according to DiBella.  

      In addition to discussing economic projects coming to Nassau County, DiBella also explained the role of the Nassau County Economic Development Board.

      “The Nassau County Economic Development Board is a public­ private partnership funded in part by county and municipal government funds and private funding through individual donations (from) corporate or all the way down to a single individual’s (donation).  The mix is about – I would say – 65 percent private (donations) and the rest public funding.  It used to be 50/­50, but
      now our private investment is growing as we continue to grow,” DiBella said.  

      “To put it simply, I would say we are the chief marketing arm for the business community both outside and inside for Nassau County.  So we’re often thought of as recruiters, which that is a big function of what we do – marketing and recruiting Nassau County as a place to do business.  Equally, we are the conduit for any sort of business needs for companies that are already located here from expansion efforts, retention efforts, workforce coordination, whatever it may be. So anything that involves business here in Nassau County, we are somewhat of a touch point for that.”

      In order to get businesses to invest in Nassau County, DiBella said that the Economic Development Board reaches out to businesses using “web­driven marketing efforts” and by “physically going to see them, participating in conferences and engaging and forming relationships with site selectors and those that are responsible for guiding these corporate entities to make big

      “Our outreach is pretty broad.  We often get the question at times: How do you differ from the Chamber (of Commerce)?  And I think we’re really swinging the bat big on the large corporate, large manufacturing and larger­ scale type of operations that are out there … and targeting certain companies that we think would be ideal for here,” DiBella said.
      She added that the quality of life in Nassau County is another selling point to get businesses to invest in the area.

      “The trends are pointing toward – and they have been for a while – toward development of (a) ‘live, work and play’ atmosphere. … Commuting is becoming less and less attractive,” DiBella said.  “Being able to live within minutes and work within minutes of each other and have all of the amenities at your fingertips, we’re becoming very accustomed to that as a society and I think it’s
      only going to grow from an attraction standpoint.  It’s encouraging and I’m grateful that Nassau County has the foresight … to accept and adopt a plan that will incorporate a lifestyle like that.”
    • December 9, 2016

      Gov. Scott: LignoTech Florida to Create 50 Jobs in Nassau County

      For Immediate Release
      December 9, 2016
      (850) 717-9282

      Gov. Scott: LignoTech Florida to Create 50 Jobs in Nassau County
      FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Scott announced that Borregaard ASA (BRG) and Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. (RYAM) have chosen Fernandina Beach as the location of their new venture, LignoTech Florida (LTF).  The new manufacturing facility will be housed at RYAM’s Fernandina Beach site and will create 50 jobs in Nassau County. 
      Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Fernandina Beach has been selected as the best location for the new LignoTech facility, which will create 50 new jobs for families in Nassau County.  Borregaard ASA and Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. are global companies that could have selected any other state to invest in, but they ultimately chose Florida thanks to our hard work to cut taxes and build a business-friendly environment.”
      The new operation will provide environmentally friendly alternatives to oil-based products used in construction, agriculture and other industrial applications.  Construction for the project is expected to begin shortly with operations beginning approximately 18 months after the commencement of construction.
      Paul Boynton, the Chairman, President and CEO of Rayonier Advanced Materials, said, “We’re excited to move forward with this new business to produce environmentally friendly alternatives to many fossil-fuel based products.  Our partnership with Borregaard will create over 50 high-paying jobs and contribute more than $28 million annually to Northeast Florida’s economy.  LignoTech Florida creates value for the stockholders of Borregaard and Rayonier Advanced Materials and is great for our community and Fernandina plant." 
      Per A. Sørlie, President and CEO of Borregaard, said, “This project creates significant new growth opportunities for our lignin business.  Our partnership pairs Borregaard’s expertise in manufacturing, marketing and product development of lignin-based products with RYAM’s co-product generation and highly-competitive site location.  We appreciate the strong local support this project has already received. Officials at the city, county and state levels have been excellent partners.  We look forward to working with them in the future.”
      Partners in the expansion include Enterprise Florida, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Nassau County Economic Development Board.
      Mike Grissom, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Florida, Inc., said, “We’re excited to announce this expansion by Rayonier Advanced Materials.  This new partnership between Rayonier Advanced Materials and Borregaard ASA made this a highly competitive project.  These are two global industry leaders that could have chosen any location worldwide.  Because of the teamwork between our state and local partners, today we’re thanking these great companies for choosing Nassau County and Florida.”
      Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “It’s great news for Florida families that another international company has recognized the incredible opportunity to grow its business in Florida.  Florida’s strong manufacturing sector leads the nation in job gains, and the 50 new high-skill, high-wage jobs that LignoTech will bring to Nassau County will help us continue to set the bar for manufacturing growth.”
      Laura DiBella, Executive Director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board, said, “I cannot express enough how incredible this expansion is to the City of Fernandina Beach, Nassau County and the Northeast Florida region as a whole.  It is such a uniquely positive project where its implementation will not only enhance operations at the current Rayonier Advanced Materials facility, it will also reduce the carbon footprint in numerous applications by replacing petroleum based products.  All this while creating high wage manufacturing jobs with a tremendous economic impact in what is currently a designated rural county in Florida.  This is economic development at its finest and I am so thrilled and proud to welcome LignoTech Florida to Nassau County!”
      About Rayonier Advanced Materials
      Rayonier Advanced Materials is the leading global supplier of high-purity, cellulose specialties natural polymers for the chemical industry.  Working closely with its customers, the Company engineers natural polymeric chemical chains to create dozens of customized high-purity performance fibers at its plants in Florida and Georgia. Rayonier Advanced Materials’ intellectual property and manufacturing processes have been developed over 85 years, resulting in unique properties and very high quality and consistency.  The Company’s facilities have the capacity to produce approximately 485,000 tons of cellulose specialties for use in a wide range of industrial and consumer products such as filters, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and approximately 245,000 tons of commodity products.  Rayonier Advanced Materials is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 exporters and delivers products to 79 ports around the world, serving customers in 20 countries across five continents.  More information is available at
      About Borregaard ASA
      Borregaard operates the world’s most advanced biorefinery.  By using natural, sustainable raw materials, Borregaard produces advanced and environmentally friendly biochemicals, biomaterials and bioethanol that replace oil-based products.  The Borregaard Group has 1050 employees in 16 countries and had revenues in 2015 of approximately $500 million.  The lignin business constitutes close to 50% of the Group’s turnover with plants in 7 countries.

      Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida.  EFI facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, international trade and exporting, promotion of sporting events, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses.  EFI launched “Florida – The Future is Here” to promote the state as the nation’s premier business destination.
      About Nassau County Economic Development Board
      The Nassau County Economic Development Board is an independent, public-private, 501c3 organization that serves as the unified voice and single point-of-contact representing Nassau County, Florida, as a desirable place to relocate a business or to grow and expand an existing business.  Its vision is to create a thriving and sustainable community - one with a diverse economy and high-wage, quality jobs for area residents, coupled with an unparalleled quality of life.
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  • Thursday, September 07, 2017
    It’s that time of year again here in Florida where residents and business owners are glued to their television or their phone watching updates and hitting refresh as they wait in anticipation...
  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017
    Developing the workforce in and around Nassau County is a challenging task that involves coordinating many different factors. Learn more about how we are developing our workforce in this article.

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