August 2016

U.S. close to energy independence

In 2005, the U.S. imported 65 percent of its daily oil demand, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Shortly after 2005, widespread fracking began in this country and by 2010, the U.S. imported 55 percent of its daily oil demand. That dropped to 28 percent last year, and a new Raymond James report believes that total imported oil to meet our needs by 2020 will be 11 percent. The report also stated that by 2020, America would need no oil imports from Russia or the Middle East. . .it will be able to import that 11 percent from Mexico and Canada.

 

First LNG ship to use expanded Panama Canal

The first liquefied natural gas tanker ship went through the newly expanded Panama Canal in the summer quarter. The ship was carrying LNG loaded at Cheniere Energy's new, multi-billion-dollar Southwest Louisiana liquefaction terminal. Cheniere is the first company to export LNG in the lower 48 states. Several other terminals are now being built in Texas and Louisiana. After those are built, the U.S. will be one of the world's top LNG exporters. 

 

Arkansas' economy ranked No. 1 in nation

In the first quarter of 2016, Arkansas' economy grew 3.9 percent -- more than any other state -- compared to the last quarter of 2015, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. State officials cited a growing forestry industry in Arkansas as one of the factors behind the growth.

 

Kentucky's high school graduation rate at 87.5 percent

Kentucky's high school graduation rate is among the highest in the country according to the Johns Hopkins School of Education and Civic Enterprises. The Commonwealth is one of just six states in the country that has a higher grad rate for low-income students above the national average, which is 82.3 percent. Kentucky's grad rate for low-income students was 84 percent in 2014. 

 

Kentucky Toyota plant earns high marks from J.D. Power

J.D. Power released its ranking of plants with the fewest number of manufacturing defects worldwide, and Toyota's Georgetown, Ky., assembly plant tied with the Lexus facility in Kyushu, Japan for the least number of defects. Toyota has been assembling Lexus models in Kentucky -- the only place outside of Japan -- for more than a year.  

 

Toyota's Alabama engine plant marks 15 years

The Toyota engine plant located in Huntsville is the only engine plant for the Japanese automaker worldwide that produces V-8, V-6 and 4-cylinder engines under one roof. The plant celebrated its 15th anniversary in August. The plant has about 1,350 workers that work in more than 1 million square feet of space. The automaker has invested nearly $1 billion in the facility and produces almost 3,000 engines a day. 

 

Mercedes-Benz Vans breaks ground on new plant in South Carolina

Mercedes-Benz Vans broke ground on its new $500 million plant in North Charleston, S.C., in the summer quarter. The site for the new plant is next to a facility where Mercedes has been reassembling the Sprinter van model after receiving disassembled vehicles from Germany. The vans were disassembled because of the high duties on importing finished vehicles. The new 1 million-square-foot facility will house 1,300 workers when completed. 

 

Employment up to 6,000 at Georgia's Vogtle Plant

Construction worker employment at one of the largest construction sites in the U.S. has now passed 6,000. Co-owner Georgia Power is building two nuclear reactors in East Georgia that will be completed in 2019 and 2020. The project, set on a 3,100-acre site, is more than one-third complete. 

 

Orlando leads Florida in job generation

The Orlando metro led all Florida metros in jobs created from July 1, 2015 to July 1 of this year. Orlando added 51,600 jobs, followed by Tampa-St. Pete with 43,400. Third place was Fort Lauderdale with 35,900 jobs.  

 

Lowe's building center in Tennessee

North Carolina-based Lowe's Companies will invest $100 million in a fulfillment center just north of Nashville in Robertson County. The center, which will help speed up online orders, will house 600 workers. 

 

Trucking company hiring 105 in Northeast Tennessee

Forward Air, a trucking and logistics company based in Greeneville, Tenn., is expanding in the Northeast Tennessee town. The company is investing $4.3 million and adding 105 jobs in Greene County. 

 

California-based company relocating to rural Tennessee

Cabinets to Go is relocating its headquarters and operations to Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The deal will create 88 jobs. 

 

Dollar Tree expanding Virginia HQ

Dollar Tree is spending $110 million to expand its headquarters in Chesapeake, Va. The project will create 600 jobs. 

 

Boeing opens Oklahoma City facility

Boeing and Oklahoma officials celebrated the opening of a new 300,000-square-foot facility where research will be done to find ways to prolong the life of existing aircraft. The lab facility will house 800 workers. 

 

Huntsville company expands to South Alabama

Huntsville-based Brown Precision, a provider of precision machining for the aerospace and medical industries, is opening a new manufacturing facility in Atmore, Ala. The $7 million deal will create 100 jobs. 

 

Auto supplier expands plant in Alabama

Automotive parts supplier Lear Operations is expanding its Vance, Ala. plant. The company makes seats for the Mercedes C-Class, also made in Vance. Lear will also make seats for the GLE and GLS SUVs made at the plant. The deal will create 500 jobs. 

 

Gestamp hiring in Chattanooga

Spanish parts supplier Gestamp is expanding its Chattanooga plant as it gears up to make parts for Volkswagen's new SUV that will be built nearby. The project calls for 115 new workers. 

 

Citibank adding hundreds of workers in Jacksonville

New York-based Citibank is adding at least 800 employees to its facilities in Jacksonville, Fla. The financial services giant already employs 4,000 at its Southside Jacksonville campus. 

 

Another fulfillment center for Amazon in the South

Amazon is building an 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Jacksonville, Fla. This new center, one of almost two dozen in the South (more than any other U.S. region), will house 1,500 workers. 

 

Exxon Mobil investing $450 million to expand Texas refinery

Texas-based Exxon Mobile is expanding capacity again at its Beaumont refinery in East Texas. The $450 million expansion will add 750 construction jobs and will increase production of ultra-low sulfur fuels by about 40,000 barrels a day. 

 

Florida Blue hiring in Central Florida

Florida Blue, the state's largest health insurer, is adding 280 jobs at its facility in Seminole County, Fla. The deal will triple the company's workforce there. 

 

ADP staking a claim in Central Florida

New Jersey-based payroll processing company ADP is moving into new offices in Maitland, Fla., near Orlando. The company will hire 1,600 workers for the new operation. 

 

Call center adding 500 jobs in Northeast Tennessee Valley

Teleperformance is adding 500 workers at its call center in Bristol, Tenn. The company already has 700 employed at the facility. 

 

Manufacturer adding jobs in Virginia

Innovative Refrigeration Systems is adding new jobs at its plant in Lyndhurst, Va. The deal will create 100 new jobs. 

 

International joint venture adding jobs in rural Tennessee

Eurotranciatura USA, a joint venture between Japan-based Kuroda Precision Industries and Italy-based Euro Group S.p.A., is expanding in Paris, Tenn. The company makes steel lamination products for generators and electric motors. The project calls for an investment of almost $13 million and 170 new jobs.

 

Georgia Ports Authority to build new inland terminal

The GPA will invest $19 million to construct the Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth, Ga. CSX Transportation is making off-site improvements to build the inland port. 

 

Tech support firm to open service center in Athens, Ga. 

Ireland-based Voxpro, a provider of tech support, will open a customer service center in Athens, Ga. The $4 million deal will create 500 jobs. 

 

Another startup hiring big in Atlanta

Terminus, a startup marketing software company, will invest $1.5 million and create 100 jobs at its home in Buckhead. The project calls for 24,000 square feet of additional space. 

 

Motley Fool adding jobs at Virginia HQ

The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial advice firm, is keeping its headquarters in Alexandria, Va., and adding 60 new jobs. The company already has about 280 people working at its headquarters. 

 

E-commerce firm hiring 1,250 in Georgia

Radial, formerly Ebay Enterprise, plans to hire 1,250 new workers at its e-commerce facilities in Lawrenceville and Brunswick, Ga. The company is expecting a large demand before and during the holiday season. 

 

Call center expanding in Texas

Convergys is expanding its call center in Laredo, Texas, The company has secured a new line of business in the healthcare industry and will add 200 jobs. 

 

Window and door manufacturing adding jobs in West Virginia

Wincore Windows is adding jobs at its plant in Wood County, W.Va. The company is adding 50 full-time jobs. 

 

South Carolina unemployment rate earns 15-year low

South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent from 5.6 percent in May. The June rate marks the lowest unemployment rate since July 2001. 

 

Montgomery is Alabama's "best-run city" 

The site WalletHub ranked America's "best-run" cities, and in Alabama, Montgomery was No. 1. Nationally, Montgomery came in at No. 51 overall. 

 

Raytheon opens new cyber facility in Augusta, Ga. 

Raytheon has opened its cyber facility in Augusta, and is now delivering a variety of cyber security capabilities to the Pentagon. The facility will work with the U.S. Army's Cyber Command, which is relocating to nearby Fort Gordon. The Army is adding 2,600 military, 900 civilian and 200 contract jobs to Fort Gordon by 2019. 

 

Another Chinese greenfield deal announced in the South

U-Play Corp., a China-based manufacturer that makes disposable sanitary products, is investing $21.3 million in a plant in Mount Olive, N.C. The deal will create 88 jobs. 

 

Parachute manufacturer adding jobs in Tennessee

Precision Military Aerodynamics, which makes parachutes for military and sporting use, is investing almost $2 billion in its Dunlap, Tenn., plant. The deal will create 100 new jobs. 

 

Tennessee at full employment

Tennessee saw its unemployment rate fall to 4.1 percent in June. Economists set Tennessee's full employment rate at 5.0 percent. 

 

Virginia's unemployment rate is lowest in the South

Inching a tenth of a percent lower than Arkansas' 3.8 percent unemployment rate in June, Virginia's unemployment rate at 3.7 percent  was the lowest in the South for the month of June. 

 

Oil industry still slamming Louisiana. . .Lake Charles, Baton Rouge the exceptions

Up until the oil and gas industry collapsed, Louisiana's economy was doing very well, winning or sharing "State of the Year" from this publication six times from 2009 to 2016. Then, Louisiana lost more than 12,000 jobs last year, a time when job growth in the South has been astounding. This indicates how crucial the petroleum industry is to the state. However, there is a job-generating oasis in Louisiana — Lake Charles. In that market, a healthy 3,200 new jobs have been created over the past year, and that does not even include some of the surrounding areas like Cameron Parish, where billions in LNG export plants are planned, and the first in the lower 48 states is now operating in Cheniere Energy. In Baton Rouge, the capital city continued its six-year job gains streak. From June 2015 to June 2016, Baton Rouge added 11,300 jobs. As of July, Baton Rouge has the highest number of people employed in non-farm jobs in history at 414,600. 

 

Louisiana is No. 1 for low business costs. 

According to a study released in the summer by KPMG, Louisiana maintains the lowest business costs in the U.S. The study compared business costs in 100 U.S. cities to come up with the ranking. 

 

$272 million intermodal terminal to built in North Carolina

CSX will build the $272 million Carolina Connector intermodal terminal in Rocky Mount, N.C. When completed the terminal will be capable of processing more than 260,000 containers per year. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will invest $100 million in the project. 

 

Huge surge of Chinese coming to U.S. to work

We have written about the large increase in Chinese acquisitions of U.S. companies as well as the rise in new Chinese greenfield projects going up in the South. In 2010, the Chinese spent just $4.6 billion in the U.S. on new and expanded projects as well as acquisitions. That figure has risen to over $18 billion in the first two quarters of this year. This dramatically higher interest in the U.S. by the Chinese is creating another sector that is spiking. The number of Chinese expat executives working in the U.S. has risen dramatically. It is a direct result of the incredible rise in Chinese companies acquiring U.S. companies. In 2015, the U.S. granted 10,258 L-series visas to Chinese executives and their family members in 2015. That is four times the number of Chinese executives that were approved for the visas. The L-1 allows companies with U.S. and foreign operations to move staff and their families to America. 

 

Denso breaks ground on $400 million expansion in Knoxville area

Japanse auto parts supplier Denso Manufacturing Tennessee broke ground on a $400 million expansion of its plant in Maryville, Tenn. The company makes a variety of parts for several automakers including Nissan in Tennessee. The expansion will add space and 500 new jobs. 

 

Here's how one California city is trying to stem the tide of companies relocating to Texas

Toyota is in the midst of relocating its entire headquarters from Torrence, Calif., to Plano, Texas. As many as 4,000 folks could move to Texas in the deal. The chief reason Texas captures so many corporate relocations from California is overall cost, but particularly housing cost. The average home in Torrence is in the $700,000 range. The average in Plano is $200,000. But Sacramento, Calif., is another story. So many companies are relocating to Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin from California, that the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council is now targeting those same companies in those high costs areas as an alternative to Texas. 

 

McCall Farms expanding in South Carolina

McCall Farms, maker of brands such as Glory Foods, Margaret Holmes and Bruce's Yams, is expanding its facilities in Florence County, S.C., where it is headquartered. The company, which has been around since before the Civil War, is investing $23 million and adding 150 jobs. 

 

Duracell moving production of batteries to LaGrange, Ga.

Duracell is shifting North American production of its AA and AAA batteries to an existing plant in LaGrange, Ga., from Lancaster, S.C. The move will add jobs in LaGrange. The company will continue making C and D size batteries at its plant in Cleveland, Tenn. 

 

Billion-dollar Chinese paper mill delayed

A $1.3 billion super paper mill project in Clark County, Ark., has been delayed for at least six months. Sun Paper Industry of China planned on starting construction in early 2017. Holding up the project are some pre-engineering and feasibility studies still to be done regarding the large project. 

 

Volkswagen's German bosses to let North American unit name new SUV

Volkswagen AG is gearing up its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant to produce a second vehicle, this one a seven-seat SUV. The company is spending hundreds of millions of dollars, adding half a million square feet of factory space and 2,000 workers to build the SUV model. In the wake of its costly emissions scandal, VW officials at its Wolfsburg, Germany headquarters are letting the company's U.S. unit headquartered in Virginia to name the new SUV. The company wants a distinct name. . .an American name that fits with the region. Exported SUVs made at the Chattanooga plant will assume a different name. 

 

Hankook Tire plant taking shape in Tennessee

The 1.5 million-square-foot Hankook Tire plant in Clarksville, Tenn., is soon to be completed. The $800 million plant will house up to 1,800 workers at full production. The South Korean company has also moved its North American headquarters to nearby Nashville. At full production, the new plant's capacity will be 16,000 tires a day. 

 

Corporate inversions account for 20 percent of record foreign direct investment in the U.S. 

Corporate inversions, where a U.S. company takes a foreign address, typically by merging or being acquired by a small foreign company to lower its taxes, made up about 20 percent of the record $421 billion in foreign direct investment in the U.S. in calendar year 2015. In addition to the inversions, a record number of acquisitions were recorded in 2015 as foreign firms snapped up American companies in a sign that the U.S. economy is a safe haven for foreign money. The $421 billion was a 68 percent jump from the prior year. Ireland, with $176.5 billion in investments in the U.S., was the No. 1 source of foreign direct investment last year. Most of Ireland's investments were made through acquisitions. 

 

Bakery expanding in Joplin, Mo. 

HS Baking is investing more than $8 million to establish a large bakery in Joplin, Mo. The bakery will house about 60 workers. 

 

Auto supplier expanding in West Tennessee

Automotive parts supplier TBDN is investing $18.8 million in its Jackson, Tenn., facility. The company, which makes oil and air filters and filter housings, is a joint venture between DENSO and Toyota Boshoku. The deal will create 35 new jobs in Madison County. 

 

Feed mill to be set in rural Virginia

Performance Livestock and Feed Company is establishing a feed mill in Henry County, Va. The company is repurposing a former furniture plant that features rail into a feed mill with a retail store. The project will create over 30 jobs. 

 

FedEx undergoing a $150 million expansion in Northern Kentucky

FedEx Ground is now working on a $150 million expansion of its facilities in Boone County, Ky. The project hinges on securing revenue bonds to offset costs. 

 

South's largest manufacturing state loses manufacturing jobs

With more than $250 billion in exports in 2015, Texas is far and away the South's and the nation's largest state exporter. Yet, as a result of the oil and gas meltdown, Texas lost 7,379 manufacturing jobs from May 2015 to May 2016. It was the first time since the recession that Texas lost manufacturing from any year-to-year period.  

 

The South dominates Forbes' top U.S. cities for white-collar jobs; Nashville No. 1

Forbes magazine published its ranking of U.S. cities creating the most white-collar jobs for 2016. The sector focused on where business and professional services jobs, which thrive in good economies, are growing the fastest. The South dominated the ranking. 

 

Top Cities for White-Collar Jobs

1. Nashville 

2. San Francisco

3. Austin

4. San Jose

5. Dallas-Fort Worth

6. Raleigh

7. Orlando

8. Richmond

9. Charlotte

10. Portland

11. Tampa-St. Pete

12. Louisville

13. Atlanta

14. New York City

15. Kansas City. 

Source: Forbes 

 

Herbalife adding jobs in Winston-Salem

Nutrition product manufacturer and distributor Herbalife is expanding its facility in Winston-Salem, N.C. The company is adding 175 full-time jobs. 

 

First tenant of new Winston-Salem manufacturing complex adding jobs

The Whitaker Park manufacturing complex, a former Reynolds tobacco facility in Winston-Salem, N.C., has landed its first tenant, and the company is adding jobs. Raleigh-based Reason to Believe, a biotech startup, is adding space and hiring 47 workers in the deal.  

 

New auto supplier to open fifth Kentucky plant

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems will open a fifth Kentucky plant in Franklin. The company is moving into an existing 65,000-square-foot plant that will house 145 workers. 

 

Korean parts supplier adding jobs in Alabama

Seohan, a supplier to both Hyundai and Kia, is adding jobs in Auburn, Ala. The company is investing $9.5 million in new equipment and new jobs, but there is no firm number as of this writing. 

 

Textile manufacturer expands in Henry County, Va. 

Henry County, Va., once one of the largest textile industry locations in the U.S., still has a handful of successful textile companies. Sold Stone Fabrics is expanding in Henry County, investing $1.5 million and adding 22 new jobs. 

 

Port of Virginia undergoing $350 million expansion

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in the summer quarter that cargo capacity at the Norfolk International Terminals' South Berth will be expanded, increasing capacity by 46 percent. The project represents an investment of $350 million. 

 

Aerospace manufacturer relocating to North Carolina

DAE Systems, a California-based designer and manufacturer of specialty components for the aerospace and defense industries, is relocating its operations to Catawba County, N.C. The $6.8 million project will create 46 jobs. 

 

Big deal in Southwest Florida

Arthrex, a Naples, Fla.-based manufacturer of medical devices, is expanding its campus there in Collier County. The company is investing $63 million and adding 560 jobs. 

 

Samsung expanding in Austin

Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics is doubling the size of its research and development facility in Austin, Texas. The company is leasing 112,000 square feet of space in Southwest Austin. About 300 employees work at the current R&D center. The center supports a massive chipmaking operation in Austin that houses about 3,000 people. 

 

Manufacturer picks Mississippi

Indiana-based AIA Countertops is building a new manufacturing operation in Baldwyn, Miss. The company is one of the largest natural stone and quartz countertop fabricators in the country. The project will create 60 jobs. 

 

Longest ever economic recovery not that far-fetched

The recovery from the Great Recession is now 86 months old. The record for economic expansion was set in the 1990s when the expansion lasted 120 months in the U.S. To beat that record, the economy must expand until June 2019, which, the way things are looking, is not that far-fetched. Manufacturing set off the expansion in mid-2009, and now services or consumerism is taking hold in the U.S. economy. Historically, it is rare that services and manufacturing expand at the same, but that is exactly what we are seeing today in America. Business and professional services are thriving, as is the tech sector. With low cost and abundant energy, manufacturing will continue to thrive as the "make it where you sell it" trend truly sets in. Combined with low interest rates and rising wages across all sectors, this recovery looks as if it is in its early stages. 

 

Gap adds 100 jobs in Middle Tennessee

Gap is expanding its fulfillment capabilities at its facilities in Gallatin, Tenn. The company is investing $3.1 million and adding 100 jobs. 

 

Midland-Odessa CSA led nation in population growth

The Midland-Odessa combined statistical area grew by 17 percent from 2010 to 2015, the fastest growth rate of any metro in the U.S. in that time frame. The CSA saw 47,347 residents added, bringing the population up to 326,115. 

 

The final tab for the BP oil spill? 

BP announced in July the final cost for the 2010 oil spill off the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi is $61.6 billion. Officials with the British company said that the last major expense related to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster was earlier this year. 

 

PwC ranks top aerospace manufacturing states

PricewaterhouseCoopers released its top states for aerospace manufacturing, and like everything else (including GDP, population. . .you name it), the South landed 40 percent in the ranking's top 10. Arizona topped the ranking, but Florida (2), Georgia (4), Missouri (5) and Texas (7) made the top 10. Utah, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Washington also made the top 10. 

 

BMW supplier to establish South Carolina plant

Michigan-based Tower International announced in the summer it will invest $75 million to establish its first South Carolina plant in Fountain Inn. The plant will produce metal components and assemblies. 

 

Big deal for Nashville region

Schneider Electric is consolidating two Tennessee offices and creating 250 new jobs in a move to Franklin, Tenn. In total, the French energy management and automation company will bring 1,140 jobs to the town located just South of Nashville. 

 

Lockheed Martin to open plant on Space Coast

Lockheed Martin plans to open a new manufacturing plant in Titusville, expanding its payroll on the Space Coast. The facility will be used in creating new capabilities for spacecraft. The project will create 300 jobs. 

 

New commercial space company lands on Space Coast

California-based Moon Express has reached an agreement with the Cape Canaveral Air Force Based to license the use of launch pads 17 and 18. The company will use the pads for its lunar lander development and flight test operations. The company will generate 50 jobs. 

 

Honda Aircraft Company receives FAA certificate

After many years in design and testing, Honda, maker of the HondaJet, has earned a production certificate from the FAA. The certificate means that Honda can ramp up mass production of the $4.5 million jet at its facilities in Greensboro, N.C. 

 

German auto supplier to build in Montgomery, Ala.

Gerhardi Kuntstofftechnik announced in the summer it will build a new facility in Montgomery. The $37.9 million investment will generate 235 new jobs. 

 

Nashville has less available office space than any other major market

The Nashville boom times have placed the city in a tough spot. There is less office space to rent in Nashville than any other market, according to Cushman and Wakefield. There was just 5.5 percent of all office space in Nashville available for rent as of the end of June. At the same time, Nashville has more office space under construction than any other city. 

 

KPMG certifies North Carolina megasite

The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite has been certified by KPMG. The 1,480-acre site in Randolph County passed a lengthy process that evaluated infrastructure and site readiness. The megasite is located about 30 miles outh of Greensboro. 

 

MRO setting up shop in Myrtle Beach

Arizona-based Kingman Airline Services, a maintenance, repair and overhaul company, is establishing operations in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The $2.5 million project will create 180 jobs. 

 

Healthcare company adding 450 jobs in North Carolina

Relias Learning, an online healthcare training firm, is adding jobs in Cary, N.C. The $4.5 million project will include 450 new jobs. 

 

India-based auto supplier investing in Kentucky plant

Rane Ltd., a manufacturer of high pressure aluminum steering and compressor components for the automotive industry, is investing in new equipment and tooling at its plant in Russellville, Ky. The company is investing $5.8 million. 

 

Spanish car parts maker will establish HQ and plant in Virginia Beach

Barcelona-based car parts manufacturer Sanjo Corte Fina will locate its North American headquarters and plant in Virginia Beach, Va. The company will serve as a supplier to Stihl as well as other automotive suppliers. The $17.5 million project will create 85 jobs. 

 

Remington adding workers at Alabama plant

Remington Outdoor is adding 100 jobs at its gun manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Ala. The plant currently houses 350. 

 

Two-year college enrollment surges in Tennessee

With the passage of the Tennessee Promise in 2014, Tennessee has seen its two-year college enrollment surge to unprecedented levels. The program essentially makes technical college free of charge in Tennessee. For the first time in history for many counties in Tennessee, more students are enrolling in two-year colleges than four-year schools. 

 

Volvo export surge good sign for new Volvo plant in South Carolina

The number of cars Volvo exported to the U.S. and other countries from its plant in Gothenburg, Sweden has doubled over the last year. Over 170,000 Volvo cars were exported last year from Gothenburg's port. It's an indication that Volvo has recovered the carmaker's brand, which should bode well for the automaker's plant being built in Berkeley County, S.C. 

 

Big bakery breaks ground in Kentucky

Indiana-based More than a Bakery broke ground on a 310-employee facility in Versailles in the summer. The bakery will make cookies, crackers and other baked goods. The company is investing $57 million in the deal. 

 

Aerojet Rocketdyne expands in Mississippi

Aerojet Rocketdyne announced in the summer that assembly and testing of its ARI rocket engine will take place at its existing facilities at NASA's Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi. The ARI is being developed to support the mandate to eliminate the use of Russian rocket engines for space launches. The project will create nearly 100 jobs.     

 

Bridgetone adding jobs in Middle Tennessee

Bridgestone is adding 450 jobs in Nashville. The company has signed a decade-long office lease in Antioch. The jobs are in addition to the 1,700 employees that will move into the company's new headquarters being built in Nashville's SoBro community. 

 

Media property names Charleston, S.C., "best city in the world" 

In the summer quarter, Charleston was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as the "best city in the world." The only other U.S. markets making the top 10 were Savannah (9th) and New Orleans (7th). 

 

Mercedes-Benz relocating New Jersey engineering division to Jacksonville

Atlanta-based Mercedes-Benz is moving an engineering division to Jacksonville, where it also operates a 500,000-square-foot facility at the International Trade Port. That facility includes sales operations for the Southern region, a parts distribution center and other divisions. The new engineering unit will create 50 jobs. 

 

Company hires 400 in Missouri

Serco, a federal contractor for national health benefit exchanges, has added 400 workers at its customer service center in Wentzville, Mo. Serco is based in Reston, Va. 

 

Midland-Odessa CSA led nation in population growth

From 2010-2015, the Midland-Odessa combined statistical area was the fastest growing metro in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau. According to the data, the West Texas market grew by 17 percent during those five years, adding 47,347 people. 

 

Another auto supplier captured by Laurens County, S.C. 

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, the world's largest supplier of auto interiors, is making a $71 million investment in a new plant in Laurens County, S.C. The company will supply the nearby BMW plant with a variety of interior components. The project will initially create 35 new jobs. 

 

MOHELA adding 365 jobs in Missouri

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority is adding 365 jobs at its facility in Chesterfield, Mo. The jobs are student loan counselors and loan processors. 

 

German chemical company announces big deal in South Carolina

Germany's Evonik Industries will invest $129.4 million to build a plant in Berkeley County, S.C. that will produce chemicals used in the production of tires. More tires are made in South Carolina than any state in the country. Evonik will hire about 50 workers at the plant. 

 

Call center hiring 300 in South Carolina

Concentrix is expanding its Greenville call center, adding to the 1,500 employees it has now. The new expansion will add 300 jobs. 

 

Michigan-based parts supplier to build plant in S.C.

International Mold Corp. is building a new plant in Greer, S.C., where it will supply the nearby BMW plant with floor molding and rim tooling equipment. The project will create 110 jobs. 

 

Company to open customer engagement center in North Louisiana

CSRA, a next-generation IT solutions firm, will open a 300-employee customer engagement center in Bossier City, La. 

 

Auto supplier expanding in S.C.

Pure Power Technologies, makers of new and remanufactured diesel fuel injectors for automakers, is expanding its operations in Blythewood, S.C. The $15 million project will create 79 new jobs in Richland County. 

 

Distributor expanding in Bullett County, Ky. 

Alliance Entertainment, one of the world's largest wholesale distributors of CD, DVD and Blu-Ray titles, is expanding in Shepherdsville, Ky. The company is adding 150 associates. 

 

Pratt & Whitney expanding Georgia operations

Pratt & Whitney is investing $65 million to expand its engine overhaul plant in Columbus, Ga. Construction will start this year on a new engine test facility. No jobs will be created in the deal. 

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