May 2016

The bleeding of manufacturing jobs has stopped
From the time China joined the WTO in 2001 to 2010, it has been estimated that about 3 million manufacturing jobs offshored to the country from the U.S. That's an average of almost 300,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs lost in the U.S. each year and an estimated 120,000 jobs lost each year in the South.

But in 2010, offshore moves by manufacturers began to slow as the U.S. become more competitive as a result mainly of rising Chinese wages and lower energy costs here in the U.S. That is when the word "reshoring" was invented and the South and the U.S. have been adding manufacturing jobs every year since. In fact, nearly 1 million manufacturing jobs have been added in the U.S. since 2010.

 While offshoring is an issue in this presidential campaign, it really shouldn't' be. According to the Reshoring Initiative, today there is a breakeven score between offshoring and reshoring of jobs in this country. In 2015, there were about 60,000 manufacturing jobs offshored to other countries, but about 67,000 manufacturing jobs were reshored to the U.S.

 

The most important political-economic news of the millennium?
According to the International Energy Agency, for the second consecutive year, global GDP grew and global carbon emissions leveled off. It was the first time in 40 years that carbon emissions did not rise when global GDP increased. Here in the U.S., GDP has grown by 28 percent since 2000, while its carbon emissions have decreased 6 percent. About the severing of the historic link between rising emissions and a growing economy, Robinson Meyer wrote in The Atlantic, "...it seems no exaggeration to call this the most important political-economy news this millennium."

 

Chinese investment in the U.S. to set record this year
After investing a record $15 billion in the U.S. last year, the Rhodium Group and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations reported in the spring quarter that Chinese investments are likely to total between $20 billion and $30 billion this year. If the $30 billion mark is reached, it would mean China would be one of the largest foreign direct investment nations in the U.S., joining countries like Japan, The Netherlands and the U.K. Just five years ago, Chinese investments in the U.S. were virtually nonexistent. Most of the investments in the U.S. are acquisitions, therefore politicians and regulators are increasing their inspections of the deals.

 

Deloitte: U.S. expected to pass China in manufacturing competitiveness by 2020
Supporting another study comparing how competitive the U.S. and China are in the manufacturing sector, Deloitte's 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index showed that U.S. manufacturing competitiveness has risen to No. 2 in the world, with China remaining at No. 1. But like a similar study put out by the Boston Consulting Group last year, Deloitte expects the U.S. to surpass China as the most competitive manufacturing country by 2020. Like the BCG report, Deloitte interviewed more than 500 senior executives at global manufacturing companies.

 

North Carolina megasite moving toward certification
The financial supporters of the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite near Liberty, N.C., are moving ahead with several infrastructure projects on and near the 1,400-acre site. The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation, part of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, has signed a contract with Duke Energy to bring power to the site. The Foundation has also signed a contract with a preconstruction firm based in Charlotte to design a large interchange at the site to connect with U.S. 421. In the spring, North Carolina Railroad closed on 800 acres to complete the megasite.

 

New Orleans is much less susceptible to flooding
New federal maps show that New Orleans is much less vulnerable to flooding than before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. So much so less vulnerable that Mayor Mitch Landrieu said more than half of the city's properties will see a large decrease in the cost of flood insurance. Army of Corp Engineers spent more than $14 billion improving the city's defenses against flooding.

 

More than 1,400 new jobs coming to Arkansas
Arkansas is currently at its lowest unemployment rate in state history with a 4 percent jobless rate. Many credit the economic growth to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s efforts, which include the following new announcements: Chinese Shandong Sun Paper will build a $1 billion pulp mill in Clark County near Arkadelphia, which will employ 250. Sprint will be adding a regional headquarters in Little Rock with a hundred more jobs.

 

More ammo for Arkansas
An ammunition plant coming to Jacksonville will bring 50 new jobs to the town. Sig Sauer is relocating from Eubank, Ky., to a "permanent site" in Jacksonville.

 

Insitu adding 25 jobs at new facility at MSU
Last month saw the ceremony opening of Insitu’s new facility at Mississippi State University in Starkville. The partnership between the company that produces unmanned aircraft and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at MSU will create 25 jobs.

 

Spreemo expanding to Addison, Texas, adding up to 100 jobs
Fast-growing Spreemo, a New York City-based health care platform that helps large companies manage care for injured employees, will expand to Addison. The company plans to hire 75 to 100 employees in the coming year and will go into 8,000 square feet of space.

 

Florida Hospital plans new ER that'll create 100 jobs
Florida Hospital has submitted plans to build a freestanding emergency facility near Waterford Lakes. The facility will be 18,500 square feet and include 24 beds, which is nearly identical to Florida Hospital's freestanding ER that's opening in Lake Mary on May 26. The Lake Mary facility is also creating 100 new jobs.

 

Creform breaks ground on new manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Ky.
Creform, which has had a sales office in Georgetown for five years, recently broke ground on a new manufacturing facility. Creform is a handling system for use in the car manufacturing process invented by the Japanese company Yakaki Kako Corp. The new plant means 50 jobs for the company that does a large business with Toyota.

 

New aerospace manufacturing plant to add 260 jobs in Alabama
A new aerospace manufacturing facility is expected to bring 260 jobs to southwest Alabama. UTC Aerospace Systems is developing an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Foley.

 

Texas A&M building $150 million research campus on old air base
Texas A&M will spend $150 million building a 2,000-acre research park and education center on an old air base just west of its main campus between Houston and Austin.

 

Japanese machinery firm moves HQ to Houston from Manhattan
Top Japanese machinery maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has moved its Americas headquarters from Manhattan to Houston, resulting in the transfer of around 40 employees. MHI had maintained its Americas headquarters in New York since 1988, but began operations in Houston last month as one of the world’s leading industrial firms, providing services and products across a wide range of industries including energy, transportation, aerospace and aviation.

 

Sheetz is hiring 8,000 new employees
Sheetz kicked off 2016 by promising $15 million in wage increases to its gas station/convenience store employees. Now it’s hiring 8,000 more people in six states—Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina.

 

Tennessee lands new customer service center
Empyrean Benefit Solutions will locate a new customer service center in La Vergne, Tenn. The Houston-based employee health and benefit solutions provider will invest $2.9 million in the new customer service center operation, creating 120 jobs in Rutherford County.

 

Apple still growing in Austin
Apple is reportedly on track to meet the goals of its tax incentives agreement signed in 2012 and worth $35 million. The California-based tech giant has created 2,000-plus jobs in Austin since 2012. . .on top of thousands of jobs it already had there. To receive the incentives, Apple must create more than 3,600 full-time jobs in 10 years while retaining at least 3,100 full-time jobs year over year.

 

Georgia’s Kumho Tire opens $450 million manufacturing plant
Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Macon’s largest manufacturing plant to open in 40 years. The Kumho Tire Georgia plant is the company’s first U.S.-based manufacturing plant and will have the capacity to produce 4 million tires a year.

 

Chemours plans $230 million expansion in Corpus Christi
The Chemours Co. will spend $230 million to expand its facility in Ingleside, Texas to produce a refrigerant required in European cars. Chemours spun off from DuPont last July and occupies a former DuPont plant on 600 acres along the banks of the LaQuinta Channel. It’s here that the company plans to expand supply of its Opteon family of products.

 

Louisville Forward named one of top economic development organizations
Site Selection Magazine has named Louisville Forward as one of 2015’s top economic development organizations. Louisville Forward has helped bring 60 new businesses, 5,000 new jobs and almost $2 billion in investment into the Kentucky city.

 

Honda to begin production of new pickup truck
At its plant in Lincoln, Ala., Honda Manufacturing of Alabama has begun production of the all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck — what some auto industry experts are calling a second crack at the lucrative American truck market.

 

Germany's Berghoff Group to open $30 million plant in Auburn, Ala.
A German machining operation has announced plans to establish its first United States manufacturing facility in Auburn. The Berghoff Group plans to invest $30 million into the plant and create 100 precision-machining jobs over the next five years.

 

Cable assembly firm to create 72 jobs in Pickens County, S.C.
An Iowa-based company that assembles and distributes fiber optic and copper cables — Zero Connect — is opening up operations in Easley and plans to create more than 70 jobs.

 

Manufacturer to invest $20 million, create 100 jobs with Georgia plant
A Meriden, Conn., retail shopping bag maker will open a new $20 million industrial facility in Walton County, Ga., creating 100 jobs. Flexo Converters USA offers a line of custom and stock paper bags as well as recycled paper bags.

 

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America opens Alabama plant
A leading international compounder of advanced engineered polymers, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, opened its newest plastics compounding facility in Athens, Ala. The Athens facility will serve as a production and distribution hub for the company in the South, to a number of their key segments in the region; automotive, commercial seating, pool and spa, electrical and electronics.

 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. to begin construction on Plano campus
Financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. has bought 50 acres within the $3.2 billion Legacy West development to build its campus, which is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Construction on the 1 million-square-foot campus, which will house up to 6,000 employees, is expected to get begin in the next few weeks.

 

Champion Homes to bring up to 150 jobs to Marshall County, Ky.
Champion Home Builders Inc. will bring up to 150 jobs to Marshall County after deciding to invest $6.3 million in a production facility in Benton. The Michigan-based company will produce modular, mobile and manufactured housing for distribution to retailers in Kentucky and other states.

 

Commercial Metals Company opens mill In Durant, Okla.
Commercial Metals Company began construction on its second technologically advanced micro mill in Durant. CMC's innovative micro mill technology uses a manufacturing process that melts, casts and rolls steel from a single uninterrupted strand, producing higher yields and lower energy consumption than the traditional mini-mill process. The Oklahoma micro mill is expected to create approximately 300 jobs in the Durant area.

 

Health care company plans $25 million expansion, 400 new jobs in Louisville, Ky.
A Louisville-based logistics provider for the pharmaceutical industry plans a major expansion that could create 400 jobs. RxCrossroads received preliminary approval for $4 million in state tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority during its monthly meeting in Frankfort recently.

 

Amazon continues DFW expansion with another hub in Fort Worth
E-commerce giant Amazon has decided to expand its Fort Worth footprint a week after announcing it would open a 1 million-square-foot, 1,000-employee distribution center there. Amazon has signed a lease for 318,488 square feet at another location. Additional jobs have not been announced.

 

Thomson Reuters to add 250 jobs, invest $6 million in Texas expansion
Thomson Reuters will add at least 250 new jobs and invest $6 million by expanding its facility in Carrollton. The financial information and media company already employs more than 1,000 people at its 240,000-square-foot Carrollton facility.

 

Medical manufacturer creating 175 jobs in Daytona
Daytona Beach seems to be on a growth spurt these days, and it's not just because of its well-known tourist attractions such as Daytona International Speedway. B. Braun Medical Inc. — a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of medical products — is expanding to Florida and creating 175 jobs in the process. Gov. Rick Scott officially announced the expansion on April 25, stating that he met with Braun Medical last year in Pennsylvania during a trade mission. The 175 jobs, which will be created by 2019, will pay an average annual wage of $41,963.

 

GE opens first advanced manufacturing plant in South Carolina
General Electric recently opened a new state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing plant in Greenville, S.C. The 125,000-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Works (AMW) facility is expected to generate at least 80 engineering and manufacturing jobs. GE has invested $73 million in the plant to date and will invest another $327 million across the Greenville campus over the next several years.

 

Automotive supplier bringing 170 jobs to Shepherdsville, Ky.
An automotive supplier that manufactures seating for vehicles is looking to beef up its Bullitt County workforce. Magna Seating of America Inc., which does business as Louisville Seating, intends to create 170 jobs at its Shepherdsville facility as part of a $12.7 million plant expansion.

 

Health care tech company adding 75 jobs in Tampa
A health care information technology company has announced plans to add 75 positions to its Tampa office by 2017. Ability Network, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, currently employs 100 in Tampa.

 

Praxair plans major expansion at Geismar plant
Praxair, a global industrial gas company, will invest more than $100 million in its facility in Geismar, La. The company will expand its carbon monoxide production and support growing customer demand in the Mississippi River corridor.

 

Mercom expands South Carolina hub
Technology firm Mercom is expanding operations in Georgetown County, S.C. The company is investing nearly $6 million and is expected to create 152 new jobs over the next five years.

 

New York manufacturer adds 100 jobs in South Carolina
A New York company that makes automatic fire sprinklers is expanding in South Carolina, investing $23 million and creating 100 jobs. Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co. will be adding to its existing plant in Liberty in Pickens County.

 

Groundbreaking for solar energy facility in Hattiesburg
Local and state officials were on hand last month for a ceremonial groundbreaking of a new solar energy facility in Hattiesburg, Miss. Silicon Ranch Corp. and Mississippi Power are partnering to build the $100 million, 50 megawatt solar farm, which is expected to generate enough electricity to supply power to about 6,500 homes.

 

Hardee's to create 100 corporate jobs in Franklin, Tenn.
The parent company of burger chain Hardee's will create more than 100 jobs in Franklin through a relocation of its corporate headquarters from California. CKE Restaurants Holdings will invest $5 million in the move.

 

Allergan brings manufacturing jobs to Texas
Texas manufacturing received a boost as the Ireland-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Allergan broke ground on a $200 million facility expansion in Waco. The move will more than double its capacity to produce eye care and dermatological products and add more than 100 full-time jobs.

 

GM to invest $790 million in Spring Hill plant, create 800 jobs
General Motors recently announced plans to invest $790 million and hire hundreds of workers at its Spring Hill plant as the automaker prepares to launch a new high-efficiency engine program.

 

Nissan adds almost 200 jobs in $57 million project
Nissan will expand and more than double its existing footprint about 30 miles east of Nashville, pushing its real estate there to 1.5 million square feet.

 

Company expanding into Lawrenceburg, 47 new jobs coming
Novus Advanced Manufacturing LLC, based in Jackson, Tenn., will expand its operation and open a facility in Lawrenceburg. The company is investing $1.9 million into renovating a 50,000-square foot facility there and will employ 47 to make metal interior walls used in the construction of hotels and motels.

 

Citigroup adds 1,000 Florida workers to cut costs
Citigroup will add 1,000 new jobs in Florida as part of a broader strategy to cut costs at the New York-based bank — the latest attempt by Wall Street to move workers to cheaper locales.

 

Alabama call center adding 300 jobs
Sitel, a Nashville-based call center outsourcing company, plans to add more than 300 jobs to its Hamilton, Ala., customer care center. "The Hamilton team has continually provided high-quality customer experiences for our clients, which has helped business demand grow and prompted the need for additional support," said John Thomas, the site director for Sitel Hamilton.

 

Pharmaceutical company adding 275 jobs to Durham, N.C.
Generic drug maker Aurobindo Pharma USA plans to establish a new research and development facility in Durham and create 275 jobs. The New Jersey-based company, a division of the Indian drug maker Aurobindo Pharma, plans to invest $31.7 million building a new headquarters that will focus on developing specialty pharmaceuticals.

 

DC tech firm to bring 300 jobs to Nashville area
A company backed by former AOL co-founder Steve Case’s venture capital firm and other investment heavy hitters is bringing about 300 jobs to the Greater Nashville area this year. Washington, D.C.-based Optoro — a technology company that works with retailers and manufacturers to manage and then resell their returned and excess merchandise — plans to bring 300 jobs as part of its warehouse and operations hub.

 

Torch Technologies expands in Okaloosa County
About 170 new jobs will be created when Torch Technologies expands its business in Shalimar, Fla. The company, which specializes in R&D of weapons systems, presently employs about 20 in Okaloosa County.

 

Lumber company investing $3.5 million in Nelson County, Ky.
Legend Lumber Lee Corp. plans to open in a shuttered hardwood lumber concentration yard in Boston, Ky., investing nearly $3.5 million and creating at least 30 full-time positions to produce hardwood for export to Asia.

 

Mohawk investing $100 million in Georgia vinyl tile plant
Mohawk Industries is investing $100 million at its Dalton, Ga., luxury vinyl tile plant, where it will increase U.S. manufacturing capacity and create about 200 jobs. The facility will increase production of flexible and rigid LVT for residential and commercial uses.

 

Nationwide Custom Homes to expand in Martinsville, Va.
Modular homebuilder Nationwide Custom Homes will expand production and hire 59 additional employees in Martinsville.

 

White House launches $100 million grant program to expand workforce development
The White House announced $100 million in grants to provide tuition-free job training at community colleges. This summer, the administration will launch a grant competition by the Department of Labor to expand workforce-training programs. The colleges will partner with employers and agencies that provide training. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, announced America's Promise Grants Monday at the Community College of Philadelphia, a school that adopted the tuition-free model last year.

 

Apparel company plans a big Louisville expansion
Los Angeles-based apparel company Guess Inc. recently spent nearly $29 million to buy its Louisville distribution center, and now plans to significantly expand the facility. Guess filed plans with Louisville Metro Government to build a second warehouse of 232,500 square feet.

 

Alabama projects produce 19,000 jobs, $7.1 billion in investment last year
Mercedes-Benz and Polaris Industries were among Alabama's top companies planning new facilities or expanding their operations in 2015. Gov. Robert Bentley and the Alabama Department of Commerce recently released the state's 2015 New & Expanding Industry Report, which shows there were a total of 19,262 jobs and $7.1 billion in investment announced last year. The report does not include data on incentives tied to projects. Limestone County led the state in job creation with 2,618 new positions thanks to Polaris' $140 million off-road vehicle factory. The plant, which is annexed in Huntsville, will employ at least 1,700 people at full production.

 

New mattress plant in Walton, Ky.
Sherwood Bedding will locate a 174,000-square-foot mattress production factory in Boone County. The company will invest approximately $11.1 million its operation and creating up to 150 jobs.

 

Missouri printer adds 50 jobs
An economic-development tax incentive will allow commercial printing company Modern Litho to add a fourth press and 50 new jobs to its operation in Jefferson City, Mo.

 

Embraer delivers its 1,000th private jet
Tuesday, April 19 was a day of celebration in Melbourne, Fla., as the Embraer facility not only delivered its 1,000th jet, but also toasted 600 hires since 2011, and 500 more on the way.

 

Honda Aero breaks ground for $21 million expansion in Burlington, N.C.
Honda Aero recently broke ground on a 50,000-square-foot, $21 million expansion at its plant in Burlington. The added space will be used for production of the HF120 light-jet engine, and possible future projects. The company plans to hire an additional 20 to 30 people to work at the plant over the next several years.

 

California manufacturer moving its headquarters to Fort Worth
A California-based manufacturer of commercial aircraft engine composites — Calcomp Inc. — plans to move its corporate headquarters to North Texas and has signed a deal for a facility in north Fort Worth. Calcomp will relocate 15 employees from California and hire upwards of 35 employees in North Texas.

 

New FedEx hub will bring 500 jobs to Mesquite, Texas
A new FedEx distribution facility on the former Big Town Mall site in Mesquite is underway and officials expect the 334,000-square-foot hub will bring 500 jobs.

 

Carroll County, Ark., approves incentives for new Tyson Foods plant
A Carroll County Quorum Court judge has authorized incentives that will help Tyson Foods of Springdale build its first new plant in years. The company plans to build a $136 million, 200,000-square-foot processing plant across the street from an existing Tyson plant in Green Forest, with a corridor connecting the two. Tyson says the project will bring about 85 jobs to the county, where it already employs more than 2,600 people.

 

Plasma donation center bringing 50 jobs to Snellville, Ga.
BioLife Plasma Services, a subsidiary of Baxalta, has opened a plasma collection center in Snellville. The new facility will house 50 workers.

 

Tampa distributor expands HQ, creates 70 jobs
Food distribution firm Beneficial Blends is expanding its headquarters in Tampa and will create 70 new jobs by 2019.

 

Total Quality Logistics will bring 100 jobs to Sarasota
Total Quality Logistics (TQL) announced that it is expanding operations to the Sarasota area. One of the country’s largest freight brokerage firms plans on making a $600,000 capital investment and will hire 100 there.

 

Cleveland, Tenn., leads nation in job growth in past year
Cleveland, Tenn., led the nation in the past year in the share of new jobs added from February 2015 to February 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said employment in metropolitan Cleveland jumped by 9.3 percent in the past 12 months, adding 4,968 jobs in the two-county area. Among the nation's 387 metropolitan areas, no other city added a bigger share of new jobs, according to the BLS.

 

BMW opens new vehicle distribution center at the Port of Galveston
The BMW Group opened its new vehicle distribution center at the Port of Galveston on April 20, about a year after first breaking ground. The new 44,000-square-foot facility was developed to better serve the New Jersey-based company's 45 BMW and Mini dealers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. The company expects to import and process approximately 32,500 vehicles annually at the new facility.

 

Shaw wraps up $40 million Tennessee expansion
Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet maker, announced in April the completion of a $40 million expansion at its South Pittsburg, Tenn., engineered hardwood flooring manufacturing plant.

 

Tesla, BMW partner Demmel bringing 50 jobs to Henderson, N.C.
Henderson County workers will soon have a hand in luxury cars made by BMW and Tesla. Demmel will create 50 jobs at a $4 million facility in East Flat Rock. The factory, slated to begin hiring this summer and reach its full employee count within five years, will manufacture automotive sill plates and emblems using metal stamping, printing and injection molding processes.

 

United Phosphorus to establish operations in Williamsburg County, S.C.
United Phosphorus, a manufacturer specializing in chemical blending operations, plans to establish a new operation in Williamsburg County. The company will invest more than $20 million in the project and create 65 new jobs over the next several years.

 

ChartSpan announcing operations in Greenville County, S.C.
ChartSpan Medical Technologies, a health care data company, is establishing operations in downtown Greenville. The development is expected to bring $3.2 million in capital investment and lead to the creation of 300 new jobs.

 

Harry's Fresh Foods plans Nashville facility, 302 jobs
Oregon-based food manufacturer Harry’s Fresh Foods plans to open a Nashville facility in the third quarter of 2016, eventually creating 302 jobs. The 39-year-old company will take over the former Oberto Brands production facility in South Nashville. Oberto announced it would close the facility in January, three years after the Seattle-based beef jerky manufacturer promised to create 310 jobs in Nashville to keep up with growing consumer demand.

 

Tile maker plans $30 million expansion in Tennessee
Del Conca USA, a porcelain tile manufacturer, will invest $30 million to expand its manufacturing facility in Loudon, Tenn. The company plans to create 40 jobs.

 

OneWeb Satellites bringing 250 jobs to Space Coast
A state-of-the art factory opening next year at Kennedy Space Center will put the Space Coast at the forefront of a new type of space business — mass production of satellites. OneWeb Satellites confirmed plans to crank out as many as 15 small communications spacecraft a week from its assembly line; work expected to create 250 jobs in the 120,000-square-foot facility to be built in KSC’s Exploration Park on Merritt Island.

 

Multi-million dollar Frederick County, Va. plant expansion
Ireland-based Kingspan Insulation is investing $25 million to upgrade its manufacturing plant in Frederick County, Va. The company is a manufacturer of rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building service applications.

 

CABTEQ Solutions locates plant In Rock Hill, S.C.
CABTEQ Solutions, a company that specializes in commercial cabinetry, is establishing an 80,000-square-foot industrial facility in Rock Hill. The company is investing $3 million in the facility, which is expected to create 125 new jobs in York County.

 

OxyChem planning $145 million Geismar plant expansion
OxyChem’s expansion will add 12 new jobs (average salary of $80,000 a year) to the 400 the plant already employs in Louisiana. The expansion project includes equipment for producing a new raw material to be used in the making next generation of climate-friendly refrigerants.

 

Over 600 Alabamians to be employed at new auto parts plant
SMP (Samvardhana Motherson Peguform Automotive Systems Alabama Inc.), an India-based automotive parts supplier, is getting ready to break ground on a new 100-acre site in Cottondale, right outside Tuscaloosa. The 700,000-square-foot factory, which will cost $154 million, was originally announced in August last year, but now the groundwork is finally getting started.

 

Beretta opens in Gallatin, Tenn.
Beretta USA recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new facility in Gallatin, Tenn. The gun maker has moved all manufacturing from Maryland to the Nashville metro market.

 

EdenCrete to create 250 Jobs, invest $67 million in Georgia
Australia-based EdenCrete Industries, a manufacturer a carbon-strengthened concrete additive, will establish its global manufacturing headquarters operation in Augusta, Ga. The project represents the creation of more than 250 new jobs and an overall investment of $67 million.

 

Georgia Ports storage warehouse plans to add 70 jobs
A cold storage warehouse company connected to the Georgia Ports plans to add 70 jobs and double it's capacity. Nordic Logistics and Warehousing has doubled capacity at its Savannah location.

 

Logistics company set to move into Greensboro, N.C. distribution center
NFI Industries, headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., is set to move into the former Kmart distribution center in Greensboro, where it will initially employ about 60 people. NFI describes itself as a third-party logistics provider.

 

Perficient dedicates software development center in Lafayette, La.
Perficient dedicated its software development center in downtown Lafayette. A leading information technology and management-consulting firm, Perficient will create 245 jobs in the region by 2020.

 

Biewer Lumber begins construction on $85 million Mississippi sawmill
Biewer Lumber has begun construction on its new $85 million sawmill in Newton, Miss. The sawmill will create 125 jobs once operational in 2017.

 

Fresh Express and Chiquita move HQ to Florida
Fresh Express, the top retail packaged salad producer in the U.S., and Chiquita, the top banana retailer in the U.S., recently moved their corporate headquarters to Florida. The move brings approximately 120 Fresh Express and Chiquita jobs to the headquarters in Orlando, and another 90 jobs to Chiquita’s new headquarters in Dania Beach in South Florida.

 

Equifax to bring 650 jobs to Midtown Atlanta
Financial technology giant Equifax will bring more than 650 jobs to Midtown Atlanta as part of a $17 million expansion. The Atlanta-based company will create up to 150 jobs and relocate the rest from its Sandy Springs and Alpharetta, Ga., offices.

 

Korean tire maker plans North American headquarters in Nashville
Hankook Tire plans to set up its North American headquarters in Nashville. The South Korea-based company is expected to start production by the end of the year at what will eventually be an $800 million tire manufacturing plant in Clarksville. At full operation, that 469-acre plant is expected to employ up to 1,800 people in that Montgomery County city.

 

Monsanto to spend $975 million in St. Charles Parish
Monsanto has approved a $975 million expansion at its St. Charles Parish plant in Luling. The project will add 95 jobs averaging $76,500 a year. The expansion price tag is slightly less than the June announcement's prediction of more than $1 billion. The investment will enable Monsanto to support the launch of its Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.

 

Job count at Walmart's Central Florida distribution center soars to 1,000
The massive Walmart distribution center coming to Davenport will create hundreds more permanent jobs than originally anticipated. When the project was confirmed last summer, it was announced that the new center would create 625 new jobs, but that number has risen to 1,000,

 

Ground broken for $40 million rosin and turpentine plant in Georgia
The French company DRT broke ground April 5th in Effingham County for a $40 million rosin and turpentine plant that will employ 40 people.

 

Ammo plant to open in Florida
An ammunition plant is opening a manufacturing plant in the tiny town of Greensboro, Fla. Armada Ammunition will open next month and hopes to hire at least 30 people in its first year.

 

Lash Group celebrates move to new 1,200-employee Fort Mill, S.C. HQ
A business that Peyton Howell started at her kitchen table 23 years ago in Charlotte dedicated its new $57 million headquarters recently with 1,200 on staff. Gov. Nikki Haley cut the ribbon on the 250,000-square-foot headquarters for Lash Group, a consulting and services practice for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

 

Tax incentives draw GM Financial to San Antonio
San Antonio’s strong workforce and more than $3.23 million in public incentives drew Fort Worth-based General Motors Financial Co. when it chose its location for a new $24.5 million service center that will create about 700 jobs in the Alamo City.

 

New Jersey-based electronics firm expands to West Plano, Texas
Crestron Electronics is leasing 56,000 square feet of space at West Plano's fast-growing Legacy business park. The company makes and sells home automation technology. About 300 people will be hired for the new Plano office.

 

Auto supplier Mando America expanding Alabama plant
Mando America, which moved its headquarters from Detroit to where it operates one of its large plants, is expanding its Opelika, Ala. facilities. Mando makes brakes, suspensions and other parts in Opelika. The company is investing $19 million in its headquarters and adding 32 jobs.

 

Comcast placing center in S.C.; 550 jobs
Comcast is building a new customer support center in North Charleston, S.C. The $21 million project will create 550 jobs.

 

Israeli genomic data company picks St. Louis for U.S. HQ
NRGene, an Israel-based genomic big data firm, will locate its U.S. headquarters in St. Louis. NRGene uses algorithmic models to identify optimal trait selection for seed companies and animal breeders.

 

Metal finishing company investing $16 million in S.C.
Roy Metal Finishing is investing $16 million in its three plants in Greenville County, S.C. The project will create 40 new jobs.

 

Knitted fabric manufacturer adding jobs near Charlotte
Beverly Knits, a maker of fire-retardant knitted fabrics for industrial uses, clothing and bedding, is expanding in Gastonia, N.C. The company is building another factory, adding to the three it already operates. The company is investing $7.2 million and adding 50 jobs.

 

California-based Level Apparel picks Dothan, Ala.
Level Apparel has chosen Dothan for a distribution facility. The company purchased an existing building and will add two 60,000 facilities. The deal will create 100 jobs.

 

Wages are growing faster in big Southern cities
According to Headlight Data and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the top 10 large U.S. cities that saw the highest wage growth in 2015, seven are in the South. Columbus, Ohio led all cities in wage growth last year, but Virginia Beach (2), Jacksonville (4), Tampa (5), Raleigh (6), Orlando (8), Birmingham (9) and Charlotte (10) made the top 10.

 

Cost of Toyota's move to Texas: $1 billion
Toyota announced in the spring that getting its entire headquarters staff under one roof will cost $1 billion. The Japanese automaker is building its new North American headquarters on a 100-acre site in Plano, Texas. The company expects about 75 percent of its 4,000 employees spread out from California to Kentucky to New York will make the move to Plano.

 

DFW leads nation in office space demand
Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation in office absorption in the first quarter of 2016. It also had one of the nation's largest increases in office rents. Over 2.2 million square feet of office space was leased in the first three months of the year. That was more than twice the amount of space leased in Denver, which place second. Miami placed third.

 

Yarn manufacturer expands in Henry County, Va.
Sweden-based Drake Extrusion, a manufacturer of filament polypropylene fiber, is expanding its plant in Henry County, Va. The company is investing $6 million and adding 30 workers.

 

German textile manufacturer to move into rural Georgia spec building
Sandler AG, a supplier of nonwoven textiles that are made into things like air filters and baby wipes, has chosen Houston County, Ga., for a new plant after looking at over 150 communities in 13 different states. The new facility will house 140 workers.

 

Window manufacturer expands in rural Virginia
Ply Gem Windows, a maker of vinyl windows is expanding its facility in Rocky Mount, Va. The company is investing almost $2 million and hiring 76 more workers.

 

Forklift parts manufacturer bringing HQ to S.C.
U.K.-based MSI-Forks USA, has moved its regional headquarters and manufacturing hub to Rock Hill, S.C. The company makes forklift arms. The $3.5 million deal will create 33 jobs.

 

New tube plant slated for NW Arkansas
American Tubing Arkansas (ATA) is putting a new tubing plant in Springdale, Ark. The products will be used in HVAC, refrigeration and defense products. The project will create 100 jobs.

 

Nashville metro county has largest job growth in U.S.
Williamson County, Tenn., saw the largest job growth in the country from September 2014 to September 2015, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth during that period grew by 6.8 percent, more than any other large metro county in the U.S. The 6.8 percent job growth in Williamson County was three times higher than the national average of 1.9 percent.

 

German auto parts supplier expands in York County, S.C.
Schaeffler Group USA announced in the spring quarter that it is investing $36.5 million in its U.S. headquarters and plants in Fort Mill, S.C. The company, which is adding 105 jobs, employs over 2,000 workers at six plants and its headquarters in the Charlotte region of South Carolina.

 

Kamtek's new $80 million Birmingham aluminum plant on schedule
Kamtek's $80 million aluminum parts casting plant is on schedule to produce parts for BMW and Mercedes by this fall. The 148,000-square-foot facility will house state-of-the-art high-pressure aluminum casters that will make parts that reduce vehicle weights by up to 45 percent. Kamtek, a subsidiary of Canadian-based Magna, has invested $473 million in its Birmingham facilities in the last three years. The new casting facility will employ 120, which will bring total employment at Kamtek's Birmingham facilities to over 1,000.

 

Plasma medicine firm plans $210 million N.C. expansion
Grifols Therapeutics, a developer of plasma-derived medicines, is investing $210 million in its 240-acre campus in Johnston County, N.C. The Spain-based company is hiring 250 in the expansion.

 

Chinese manufacturer setting up shop in Upstate S.C.
Jiangnan Mold Plastic Technology Corp., a China-based plastic mold products manufacturer for the auto industry, is investing $45 million to open a new plant in Spartanburg County, S.C. The company will create 150 jobs in the deal.

 

IBM breaks ground on Client Innovation Center in Monroe, La.
In the spring quarter, IBM and Monroe-based CenturyLink broke ground on the 88-acre Century Village development near CenturyLink's headquarters. The development will be home to IBM's new Client Innovation Center and a new mixed-use development. IBM will provide software technology services to its clients and partner with CenturyLink on research and development and product innovation initiatives.

 

Another new distillery to be built in Kentucky
St. Louis-based Luxco announced in the spring it will build a distillery in Nelson County, Ky. The $35 million facility in Bardstown will house about 30 workers.

 

Ford stamping supplier plans new plant in Bardstown, Ky.
Michigan-based Thai Summit America is building a stamping plant in Bardstown, Ky., to supply the two Ford plants in Louisville. The $110 million plant will house 216 workers.

 

Auto supplier expands in Somerset, Ky.
Toyotetsu America, a maker of auto parts, is investing $63 million to expand its plant in Somerset, Ky. The company will add equipment, space and 100 jobs.

 

Anheuser-Busch breaks ground on $175 million Jacksonville plant
Anheuser-Busch broke ground on its $175 million metal container plant in Jacksonville, Fla. The facility, which will produce 16-ounce aluminum bottles, will house 75 workers.

 

Health care sector adding record number of jobs
Over the last year, the health care industry created 503,000 jobs in the U.S., a new record. The previous record was the year before when 486,000 health care jobs were created. Most of the hires were at hospitals, where 183,000 jobs were generated. And the added number of Obamacare patients has created jobs across the board, from physicians' offices to hospitals to home health care.

 

Prospective LNG exporter formally files application to build Texas plant
Texas LNG has filed an application with the FERC to build a multi-billion dollar LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville. The company wants to build a 4 million-metric-tons-per-year export facility that would take gas from the nearby Eagle Ford Shale region to process into LNG then export the product to Europe, Asia and Latin America. Cheniere Energy recently started up its LNG export facility at the Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish, La. That facility is the first large LNG export facility in the country.

 

Enterprise Florida's downsizing
The economic development arm of the state of Florida is facing a major contraction of its budget. In the spring quarter the Florida Legislature rejected Gov. Rick Scott's $250 million budget for Enterprise Florida to recruit business to the state. Soon after that, Gov. Scott ordered the Enterprise Florida board to make $6 million in cuts to its staff and facility. At the time, the agency had 90 employees with a payroll of $9 million. Bill Johnson, the CEO of Enterprise Florida, immediately resigned. In numerous Florida newspapers, Scott said about the failure to fund the state's economic development agency, "It will forever change the face of economic development in our state."

 

Three new cold storage facilities to create jobs in Pharr, Texas
Evergreen Cold Storage, IMAS Fresh and Spring Valley Produce will build three cold storage facilities in Pharr, Texas. Collectively, the projects call for an investment of $52 million and 177 new jobs.

 

Another barrel stave plant for Kentucky
Kentucky's bourbon industry is on fire, meaning the barrel-making industry better keep up. American Stave is building its second Kentucky mill plant in Marshall County. The company, which makes barrel staves, is investing $12 million and hiring 40 workers in the deal.

 

Steel firm expanding in Tennessee
Louisville-based Steel Technologies is expanding by building a new $18 million plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The new plant, which will house 50 workers, will supply finished steel and aluminum to several industries, including the automotive industry.

 

Energy company bringing 300 jobs to Claremore, Okla.
In the spring quarter, Clean Line Energy received approval from the DOE to build a 705-mile electric transmission line from Woodward, Okla. to Tennessee. The line will deliver wind power energy to TVA in Tennessee. Clean Line awarded a $300 million contract to Pelco Structural, which will build the line's transmission towers. The project will create 300 jobs.

 

Animal products maker adding jobs in Missouri
A manufacturer of animal health products is investing $37.9 million in its plant in Bridgeton, Mo. Virbac, a French company, will create 144 jobs in the project.

 

Kia rolls out 2 millionth unit at Georgia plant
Kia's CEO, Hyun-Jong Shi, drove a white 2016 Kia Sorento model off the line in late march at the Korean automaker's only U.S. assembly plant located in Troup County, Ga. The vehicle was the 2 millionth vehicle made at the plant, which began production in late 2009.

 

Peterbilt expanding in Texas
Peterbilt Motors is adding space at its plant in Denton, Texas. The company is in the third phase of a $23 million expansion announced last year.

 

Clothing dye company locating new plant in Tennessee
Stony Creek Colors, an indigo plant processing company, is investing $7.2 million for a new manufacturing facility in Springfield, Tenn. The plant is used to produce bio-based dyes used by makers of denim and other clothing. The project will generate 50 jobs.

 

Auto supplier establishing facility in rural S.C.
WG Plastics Technology Corp., a plastics injection mold manufacturer for the automotive industry, is establishing a new plant in Abbeville County, S.C. The $2.7 million investment will create 50 jobs. 

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