Whitesburg KY

Firm to hire at least 400

A fast-growing company that snatches up used laptops, tablets and smartphones and finds new customers for them announced Monday that it will open a processing center and eventually employ more than 400 people in Louisville.

Gazelle Inc. plans to invest $22.3 million in its Louisville operations in coming years. Since launching in 2008, the Bostonbased company has paid out more than $100 million to customers who sent in electronics they no longer wanted. The company, which operates the trade-in website Gazelle.com, has processed nearly 1.5 million devices.

“We’re just getting started,” said Israel Ganot, cofounder and CEO of Gazelle, who predicted that the sector is poised for continued strong growth.

Gazelle plans to open a 37,500-square-foot processing center in Louisville’s Jefferson Riverport area. It will become the largest operation for a company that has had triple-digit yearly revenue growth and expects to generate about $100 million in revenue this year.

“Gazelle saw a consumer need and has worked to fill that void, and that’s what a great business is all about,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who led state and local officials in welcoming the new arrival at a ceremony at Gazelle’s operations.

Ganot said the proximity to the UPS air hub in Louisville played a key role in the company selecting the city.

State officials have given preliminary approval for tax incentives up to $3 million for Gazelle. The performance based incentives will allow Gazelle to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments for meeting job and investment targets.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer praised Gazelle for finding new homes for electronic devices that might otherwise end up in landfills. e company said

Th it expects to fill the projected 438 jobs at the processing center within the next decade. It hopes to reach 100 employees in Louisville in the next year. The average wage will be about $10.75 per hour, plus benefits. Employees will inspect devices, refurbish and wipe data from them and ship them to customers around the world.

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