HMS Global Maritime, one of the industry’s premier passenger vessel and marine management firms, announced its intention to open a training and customer support center in New Albany, Ind., today. The proposed expansion would create up to 50 new positions with pay estimated at 14.5 percent above the Floyd County average wage. The HMS Global Maritime fleet currently includes three overnight river cruise vessels, but an anticipated expansion of the fleet to seven vessels in coming years necessitates the expansion. Company officials would like the new facility to be located at 213 Pearl Street in New Albany, which has been partially vacant for the past year. The project investment is estimated to be approximately $800,000 in renovations in order to accommodate the 200 to 300 trainees expected to visit the center annually.
“We are proud to announce that Mr. John Waggoner and HMS Global Maritime chose New Albany over some other very fine American cities,” said Mayor Gahan. “We appreciate their decision to bring additional jobs to our river city, along with preserving and revitalizing a historic building in downtown New Albany. We look forward to many years of continued success.”
“At HMS Global Maritime and American Queen Steamboat Company, our philosophy is to push ourselves to not only be a world-class company, but to commit to delivering an uncompromising customer experience by providing our employees the very best in training, support, and skills to be successful. This proposed training center in the heart of downtown New Albany would not only help us maintain the quality workforce we need to succeed, but also bring hundreds of visitors to our hometown annually. It is the very definition of a win-win situation,” said President and CEO John Waggoner.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has offered HMS Global Maritime up to $400,000 in conditional Economic Development for a Growing Economy (“EDGE”) tax credits and up to $50,000 in Hoosier Business Investment Tax Credits based on the company’s job-creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Indiana workers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.
While the property being considered is located in a designated Urban Enterprise Zone, the New Albany City Council will have the opportunity to vote on possible local incentives, including the Vacant Building Deduction. Upon the council’s approval, HMS Global Maritime anticipates it could begin operations as early as the end of this year.
HMS Global Maritime has successfully seen a substantial growth over the past eight years, building its overnight cruise division from the ground up to more than $100 million in revenue. In order to accommodate this growth, the company has expanded its employment from 175 in 2011 to approximately 1,000 employees in 2018.
According to Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of 1si, “One Southern Indiana stands ready to assist leaders of HMS Global Maritime and the American Queen Steamboat Company with their proposed expansion in New Albany.” The expansion does not surprise Dant Chesser, who continued, “HMS Global Maritime was chosen as last year’s winner of 1si’s Business of the Year ONE Award, and it’s a tremendous home-grown company lead by an indomitable entrepreneur who has risked everything to ensure his dream succeeds.” She concluded by saying, “We look forward to this step in the company’s evolution and expect even greater things in the future.”