April 2017

The South leads all U.S. regions in population growth

With a 6.8 percent growth in regional population, the South led all U.S. regions in growth from 2010 to 2016 according to the Census Bureau. The West was close behind at 6.5 percent, followed by the Northeast with 1.6 percent and the Midwest at 1.5 percent. 

 

Houston named fastest growing metro in U.S.

According to a recent Census Bureau report, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area was the fastest growing U.S. metro from April 2010 to July 2016. The Houston region grew from 5.92 million people in 2010 to 6.77 million in 2016. That translates into a net increase of 2,612 people a week. Dallas-Fort Worth was second, averaging the addition of 2,474 persons a week. Rounding out the top five were New York City, Atlanta and Miami-Fort Lauderdale, all with population increases of more than 1,500 people moving in per week. 

 

What happened to the Texas economic miracle? 

For the better part of three decades, the Texas economy was the envy of all states. Led by two of the nation's largest metros (Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth) and one of the most innovative (Austin), the overall Texas economy topped most, if not all, U.S. states in several critical economic measures. But, the Texas economy is slowing. As of March, Texas is ranked 10th in job growth, has the 26th lowest unemployment rate and Governing magazine just ranked Texas 21st in personal income and overall production. And if Congress passes a 20 percent border tax on imports, things could get worse in the state. Imports make up about one dollar in every five dollars in the Texas economy because of its location on the Mexico border. 

 

South places 13 markets on the 20 best performing U.S. metros

Brookings' 2017 Metro Monitor saw 13 Southern markets ranked in the top 20 performing U.S. metros based on gross metropolitan product and job gains. Provo (Utah) ranked No. 1, followed by Austin, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Nashville, Houston, San Jose, Sarasota-Bradenton, San Antonio, Orlando and Denver. Dallas-Fort Worth, Charleston (S.C.), Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Tampa Bay, Raleigh and Atlanta made the top 20. 

 

Pew Research says without immigrants, U.S. workforce would shrink significantly

For decades, economists could rely on about 200,000 people a month joining the workforce in the U.S. The last two years has seen that figure drop to about 70,000. And with Baby Boomers retiring in droves over the next decade, Pew Research says a steady flow of immigrants will be needed to keep the workforce growing. Pew claims that if the current rate of both legal and illegal immigration continues, the number of working-age adults (24 to 64) will rise to 183.2 million in 2035. Without immigrants, the workforce will fall from today's 174 million to 165.6 million in 2035. It should be noted that immigrants currently are responsible for nearly half the population growth of the U.S., and that illegal immigration has dropped significantly in the last five years. 

 

U.S. enters third-longest economic expansion

In March, the U.S. entered the 93rd month of economic expansion, surpassing the 92-month expansion of the 1980s. That makes this 93-month growth in GDP the third-longest economic expansion in U.S. history. Only the expansions from 1991 to 2001 and 1961 to 1969 were longer. 

 

The U.S. economy has reach "Goldilocks" state

John Williams, the head of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, declared in late March to the Forecasters Club, a group of economists in New York, that with a 4.7 percent unemployment rate the nation is "at full employment." He also declared that with inflation "nearing" the Fed's goal of 2 percent, the U.S. has achieved the not-too-hot, not-too-cold "Goldilocks economy." 

 

Arkansas employment falls to 3.7 percent, lowest on record

In February, Arkansas' unemployment rate continued to fall to the lowest on record at 3.7 percent. The rate was 3.8 percent in January 2017 and 4.1 percent in February 2016. 

 

Merck picks Austin for IT hub

Merck & Co., a global pharmaceutical giant, has chosen Austin's Innovation District for a 600-employee information technology hub. Merck is revamping its IT strategy and has placed similar tech centers in New Jersey, the Czech Republic and Singapore.

 

First "smart" steel mill now in production in Arkansas

San Francisco-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Noodle.ai has teamed up with Big River Steel to develop the first smart steel mill production facility in Osceola, Ark. Sensors have been positioned throughout the mill, optimizing a variety of functions. The AI enables the mill to react to production challenges automatically as the facility itself learns how to be more accurate and efficient in the same way a driverless car learns with each trip. Much of the steel made at Big River is used in the automotive industry. 

 

Automotive industry in Mississippi keeps growing

Mississippi is home to two OEMs, the Toyota assembly facility in Blue Springs and Nissan's plant in Canton. The two plants support an estimated 31,700 direct and indirect jobs, and an annual payroll of $722 million, not including almost 200 suppliers to the plants. 

 

Honda investing $85 million in Alabama assembly plant

Honda's $2.2 billion, 3.7 million-square-foot assembly plant in Lincoln, Ala., is about to get bigger. The Japanese automaker announced in the spring the first phase of a multi-phase project to improve manufacturing, logistics and prepare for future technologies at the plant. The facility produces the Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV, Ridgeline pickup and the Acura MDX SUV. The plant also produces V-6 engines for each of those models. Honda's Alabama assembly plant employs more than 4,500 employees and has drawn about 30 tier one suppliers that employ another 7,600. 

 

Lockheed Martin relocating F-16 assembly to South Carolina

Lockheed Martin is moving its production of the F-16 jet fighter from its facilities in Fort Worth to Greenville, S.C. The relocation will make room for expanded production of the F-35 in Fort Worth and will create about 250 jobs. The U.S. has not purchased the F-16 since 1999, but Lockheed Martin has orders from several other countries for the jet. 

 

New UPS regional hub to house 1,400 workers

Arlington, Texas is apparently the site of a new UPS regional shipping hub that will create at least 1,000 jobs and possibly as many as 1,400. The Atlanta-based company will invest $105 million in the project. 

 

Oil jobs are back; Halliburton adding 2,000 

Houston-based Halliburton reported that it has added 2,000 oilfield jobs in the U.S. in the first quarter. Most of the jobs are in West Texas. 

 

California-based biotech company plans to hire 450 in Tampa

Amgen announced in the spring it will open a capability center in Tampa, creating 450 jobs. The company is investing $25 million in the project. 

 

Auto supplier expands in Tennessee

Toledo Molding & Die is one of the newest manufacturers in Fayetteville, Tenn., but it already is expanding. The company expects to add 250 to 400 jobs within the next year and will double the size of its plant in 2018. 

 

Disposable products manufacturer to set up shop in Morristown, Tenn. 

Wisconsin-based Rockline Industries is investing $40 million in a new plant in Morristown and hiring 250. The company makes everything from coffee filters to wet wipes. 

 

Candy maker expands in Northern Kentucky

Perfetti van Melle, the maker of Airheads, Mentos and other candies, is investing in new equipment and production lines at its plant in Erlanger, Ky. The company is investing $11 million and adding 70 full-time jobs in the deal. 


Lash Group could double current job count in South Carolina

Lash Group, a healthcare firm owned by AmerisourceBergen, is growing again at its campus in Fort Mill, S.C. The company is building a new 173,000-square-foot building next to its current office that houses 1,200 workers. The new facility could increase total jobs at the campus to 2,500. 

 

Ford supplier investing in Kentucky plants

Tower Automotive is investing almost $50 million in two existing facilities in Bardstown and Shepherdsville, Ky. Operations at the two plants include stamping, welded assemblies and frames for a variety of vehicles assembled in Kentucky. The projects will create 60 jobs. 

 

Six-hundred jobs being created in McAllen, Texas

Charter Communications is establishing a bilingual call center in McAllen. The $17 million project calls for 600 new jobs. 

 

New Walmart distribution center set for South Alabama

Walmart is beginning construction on a 2.6 million-square-foot distribution center in Mobile, Ala. The $127 million facility is expected to house more than 500 workers and when fully operational, will draw about 600 truckloads a day from the Port of Mobile. 

 

Monster Moto opens HQ, manufacturing facility in Ruston, La. 

Monster Moto has opened its new headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Ruston. The plant assembles minibikes, go-carts and other vehicles. Combined, the two deals will create 287 jobs. 

 

Houston tops nation in office vacancy rate

With millions of square feet of new office space coming online, Houston's office vacancy is expected to top 21.5 percent later this year. Nationally, the office vacancy rate is 14.3 percent. 

 

Dow Chemical completes $6 billion Texas cracker

Dow Chemical has completed is massive $6 billion ethane cracker plant in Freeport, Texas. The facility will produce 1.5 million metric tons a year of ethylene, the primary stock used for most plastics. 

 

Another LNG export terminal is slated for Louisiana

The natural gas energy revolution continues to draw massive projects to the Gulf Coast. In the spring, Venture Global LNG announced it will invest $8.5 billion to build a natural gas liquefaction plant and LNG export terminal in Plaquemines Parish, La. 

 

Joint venture will build $1.7 billion Gulf Coast petrochemical facility

Paris-based Total SA is joining Canada-based Nova Chemicals and Austria-based Borealis AG in building a $1.7 billion petrochemical plant in Port Arthur, Texas. The joint venture will construct a 1 million ton-per-year ethane steam cracker next to Total's existing refinery in Port Arthur. 

 

Aerospace company expands in Mobile, Ala.

Continental Motors has been in business for 50 years in Mobile, operating out of several facilities. The company will consolidate with a new plant at the Brookley Aeroplex, home of Airbus' assembly line in Mobile. The company is spending $60 million on the project, which will retain 400 employees. 

 

South Carolina port breaks ground on inland port

The South Carolina State Ports Authority broke ground on its second inland port in the spring quarter in Dillon County, S.C. The $40 million Inland Port Dillon facility will be served by CSX, where containers from the Port of Charleston will be loaded onto trains. 

 

$40 million investment in Virginia dairy farm

Shamrock Farms, one of the largest family owned dairies in the U.S., is investing $40 million to expand its operation in Augusta County, Va. The project will double the farm's production capacity and add 70 jobs. 

 

Steel Dynamics opens new $100 million paint shop in Columbus, Miss. 

Gov. Phil Bryant, CEO Mark Millett and local representatives gathered in late March for the grand opening of Steel Dynamics' new $100 million paint facility. The project created 40 new jobs.

 

Another Amazon e-commerce facility in the South

More than 1,000 jobs are coming to Virginia thanks to another Amazon e-commerce warehouse. The company will build a 1-million-square-foot facility in Frederick County, Va. 

 

Amazon announces 10th Texas fulfillment center

Seattle-based Amazon is on a job-generation roll announcing new fulfillment centers seemingly every week. The latest is a 1 million-square-foot center in Katy, Texas, near Houston. The facility will pack and ship large items, such as music equipment and electronics. The center will house 1,000 workers. 

 

Spice manufacturer locating distribution center in North Mississippi

McCormick & Co. is locating a warehouse and distribution operation in Marshall County, Miss. The $6 million investment will generate 48 jobs. 

 

Charlotte manufacturer investing, hiring

Southeastern Metal Products, a sheet metal maker, is investing $5.1 million to expand its plant in Charlotte. Seventy jobs will be created. 

 

Window plant expanding in Macon, Ga. 

YKK, a Japanese-owned manufacturer of vinyl windows, is expanding its plant in Macon, Ga. The $10 million project will create 150 jobs. 

 

Two-hundred engineering jobs up for grabs in Palm Beach

Parametric Solutions, a manufacturer of gas turbines used in jets and for energy generation, is expanding its facilities in Jupiter, Fla. The company is investing $1 million and adding 200 jobs. 

 

Hershey adding jobs in rural Virginia

Hershey Chocolate is expanding its plant in Stuart Draft, Va. The plant is Hershey's second largest U.S. plant with more than 900 employees. This latest expansion will add 69 new jobs. 

 

Healthcare insurer adds jobs in West Georgia

Insurer Anthem is adding 450 employees at its Blue Cross Blue Shield campus in Columbus, Ga. The new workers will be in IT. The company is investing $3 million in the project. 

 

Company relocates HQ from Texas to South Florida

Spain-based Cosentino, a company that manufactures stone building materials, is relocating its Americas headquarters to Coral Gables, Fla. The project will create 85 jobs. 

 

Call center hiring 330 in Myrtle Beach

STARTEK, a national call center firm, is expanding its customer engagement facility in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The deal will create 330 jobs. 

 

Apparel company acquired; 133 jobs to be added in North Carolina

Sri Lanka-based MAS Capital, an apparel and textile manufacturer, has purchased Acme-McCrary's assets in Asheboro, N.C. The new company is investing $20 million in the plant and adding 133 jobs to the existing workforce. 

 

Satellite builder breaks ground on Florida Space Coast plant

OneWeb Satellites broke ground on an $85 million satellite assembly plant in Exploration Park, Fla. The plant will contain a high-volume assembly line to produce orbital satellites, the first such facility in the world. The 100,000-square-foot structure will house 250 workers. 

 

Hyundai marks 5 million Alabama-built engines

In the spring quarter, Korean automaker Hyundai celebrated its 5 millionth Alabama-made engine at its large Montgomery complex. The company made its first Lambda six-cylinder engine in Alabama in May 2005. 

 

Toyota's engine plant in Alabama supports 9,700 jobs

A recent study by the Center for Automotive Research shows that Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville, Ala., supports an estimated 9,700 jobs in the state. The facility is the only place in the world where Toyota makes V6, V8 and 4-cylinder engines under one roof. 

 

Exide to restart battery plant in Northeast Tennessee 

Exide Technology is restarting battery production at its plant in Bristol, Tenn. The company shut down the plant in July 2013 when its parent company filed for bankruptcy. Forty jobs will be created in the deal. 

 

$100 million solar farm to be built in South Carolina

Dominion announced in the spring it plans to build, own and operate two solar generating facilities in Jasper County, S.C. The $100 million project will be built on 900 acres and will generate 81.4 megawatts of power. 

 

Manufacturer expanding in rural Mississippi

KeyTronicEMS, a contract electronics manufacturer based in Spokane, Wash., is investing $500,000 and adding 75 jobs at its plant in Corinth, Miss. The company current employs 230 at the facility. 

 

Manufacturer relocating to West Virginia

Elgin Industries is moving its plant to Princeton, W.Va., from Virginia. The $1.8 million project will create 79 jobs. 

 

GE Healthcare expanding in Florence, S.C.

GE Healthcare has broken ground on a $40 million expansion of its facilities in Florence, S.C. The company makes components for magnetic resonance imaging devices and other medical imaging systems. The deal will create 100 jobs. 

 

Baxter Healthcare creating 90 jobs in North Carolina

Baxter Healthcare is expanding its IV solution bag manufacturing facility in McDowell County, N.C. The company makes about 1.3 million IV bags a day at its 1.4 million-square-foot plant in North Cave. Baxter is investing $7.4 million and adding 90 jobs. 

 

Goods-producing jobs added most jobs in 17 years

In February, goods-producing industries, which include mining construction and manufacturing, added 95,000 jobs, the most since 2000. In February, employers added an above-forecast 235,000 jobs. 

 

DFW airport rated No. 1

In the spring quarter, the Airports Council International ranked the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as the "best large airport in North America." The ranking came from passenger surveys conducted by ACI at over 320 airports worldwide. 

 

Canadian pharmaceutical company sets up shop in South Florida

Apotex, the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, is investing $184 million in a new research, development and manufacturing facility in Broward County, Fla. The project will create 150 jobs. 

 

UCF to break ground on $1 billion downtown Orlando campus

In May, the University of Central Florida will break ground on its $1 billion Creative Village mixed-used development in downtown Orlando. The project will add 7,000 students. 

 

$450 million refinery to rise in West Texas

Austin-based MMEX Resources announced it will build a $450 million refinery in the Permian Basin in the West Texas county of Pecos. When operating, the project will have the capability of processing up to 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day, converting crude into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. 

 

$50 billion worth of petrochemical capacity to come online this year and next

Cheap and plentiful natural gas brought about by the shale gas boom is transforming the Gulf Coast with tens of billions of new petrochemical plants coming online this year and in 2018. The U.S. is expected to see a wave of $50 billion in new plant openings -- mainly ethylene -- in the next two years, followed by another wave of over $75 billion from 2020 to 2023. In total, the plants being built could generate 80,000 direct jobs. Between 2000 and 2010, some petrochemical plants on the Gulf Coast were closing, but shale has allowed the industry to come back like never before. The large ethylene plants are so energy intensive that it is now cheaper to operate them in the U.S. -- specifically the South's Gulf Coast -- than in any other country in the world. One petrochemical plant can consume 75,000 of barrels of oil equivalent a day. 

 

Toyota and its suppliers support nearly 30,000 jobs in Kentucky

Toyota's assembly plant in Georgetown, Ky., is one of the largest in the world. According to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, in 2015, Toyota and its suppliers accounted for $1.8 billion in payroll and supported nearly 30,000 jobs in Kentucky. The study also showed that Toyota's 30-year impact on the Commonwealth's economy stood at $6.6 billion. 

 

French automotive supplier lands in South Carolina

Plastic Omnium is building a new plant in Greer, S.C. The company manufactures large exterior auto body parts and supplies them to Mercedes, BMW and Volvo. In the last three years, Plastic Omnium has invested $300 million in four new U.S. plants. 

 

Financial services firm adding jobs in South Carolina

LPL Financial is adding more than 150 jobs to its Fort Mill workforce. The added workers will bring employment for LPL in Fort Mill, S.C., to 1,650. 

 

MP Husky expanding in Upstate South Carolina

MP Husky, a manufacturer of Cable Tray and Cable Bus systems, is adding a new 150,000-square-foot facility to its operations in Mauldin, S.C. The deal will create 50 jobs. 

 

Big eyewear company adding 1,000 jobs in Georgia

Luxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley eyewear, is expanding its distribution center in McDonough, Ga. The company is adding frame and lens assembly at the center. The deal will create 1,000 jobs. 

 

Poultry producer hiring 100 in rural Georgia

Aviagen, a broiler breeder, is investing $18 million in a hatching facility in Brooks County, Ga. The project will create 100 jobs. 

 

Call center creating 400 jobs in Missouri

Alorica is expanding its customer service center in St. Joseph, Mo. The deal calls for 400 jobs. 

 

New distillery opens in Kentucky

Bulleit Distilling Co. opened its new distillery in Shelbyville, Ky., in the spring quarter. The $130 million project will create 30 jobs. 

 

Claims manager hiring 500 at new Atlanta-area HQ

Crawford & Company, a claims management provider, has moved its headquarters to Peachtree Corners, Ga. The $15 million headquarters move will create 500 jobs. 

 

Birmingham-based Altec adding 105 Missouri jobs

Altec Industries, a manufacturer of heavy mobile equipment used by utilities and tree-care companies, is expanding its facility in St. Joseph, Mo. The expansion will add 105 jobs. 

 

Another deal for Ashley Furniture

Ashley Furniture has announced another facility. . .this one in Mesquite, Texas. The $65 million distribution and fulfillment center will house 350 workers. 

 

West Virginia call center growing

GC Services is expanding its call center in Huntington. The deal calls for 150 more jobs. 

 

Auto supplier investing $129 million in South Carolina

Madrid, Spain-based Gestamp is investing $129 million in its plant in Union County, S.C. The maker of metal automotive components is also adding 130 jobs. 

 

Cerner says it will create 16,000 jobs in Kansas City in 10 years

Health information technology giant Cerner opened the first phase of its new campus in Kansas City, Mo. The company moved 3,000 workers into that phase in the spring quarter. Eventually, when the 4.3 million-square-foot campus is completed, Cerner officials say it will house 16,000 workers. 

 

Canadian company picks West Virginia for new plant

Bidell Gas Compression will repurpose a 100,000-square-foot building in Weirton, W.Va., to fabricate natural gas compression equipment. The project will create 130 jobs. 

 

Healthcare tech company adding 200 jobs in San Antonio

Healthcare technology company CaptureRx is moving its headquarters to downtown San Antonio and adding 200 jobs. 

 

Firearms manufacturer announces big deal in Missouri

American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith & Wesson, will build a 500,000-square-foot facility on 189 acres near Columbia, Mo. The $55 million project will create 154 jobs. 

 

Microsoft adding jobs in St. Louis

Microsoft will be the anchor tenant for St. Louis' Cortex tech hub. The software giant will add 150 jobs in the move. 

 

Medical device company expanding in South Florida

3D Medical Manufacturing is expanding in Palm Beach County. The manufacturer of implants will invest nearly $12 million and add 178 jobs. 

 

Progress at new Mercedes-Benz van plant in North Charleston, S.C.

In April, all of the new Mercedes-Benz Van plant's buildings in North Charleston were enclosed from weather, a new construction milestone. The $500 million, 1.1 million-square-foot facility that will house 1,300 jobs is expected to be operational by 2019. 

 

Manufacturer expands in Greenville County, S.C.

AVX, a manufacturer of electronic components used in a variety of industry sectors, is investing $35 million in its Greenville County facilities. The deal will create 100 new jobs. 

 

Insurer hiring in Hampton Roads

Optima Health is locating a customer service center inside the former J.C. Penney at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk, Va. The project will create 200 jobs. 

 

Kroger building distribution center in Northern Kentucky

Grocery giant Kroger announced in the spring it will locate a $60 million distribution center in Florence, Ky. The 674,000-square-foot facility will house 100 workers. 

 

Tennessee has best small business job growth prospects

A study called the Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index that came out in the spring showed that Tennessee leads the nation in the prospects for small business job growth. 

 

Honda investing $100 million in Georgia transmission plant

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company is investing $100 million at its transmission plant in Tallapoosa, Ga. The investment will enable the plant to produce the world's first 10-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel-drive vehicles. The 10-speed transmission will first be installed in the 2018 Odyssey minivan model that is assembled 58 miles to the west of the Georgia plant at Honda's assembly facility in Lincoln, Ala.

 

Six-hundred new jobs for Fort Myers, Fla.

Gartner, an information technology research firm, is building a new facility in South Fort Myers next to its current offices to house the 600 workers it plans to add. The company is investing $21 million in the project. 

 

Alabama assembles more than 1 million cars a year, but makes many more engines 

In 2016, Alabama-based automakers (Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai) assembled more than 1 million cars, SUVs and minivans for the second consecutive year. Last year, Alabama manufacturers produced 1.75 million engines. Toyota led the pack producing a record high 702,014 engines at its plant in Huntsville. Hyundai produced 682,700 engines for use in vehicles made at the Korean automaker's assembly plant in Montgomery and Kia's plant in West Point, Ga. Honda's factory in Talladega County, Ala., built more than 369,000 engines. 

 

Alevo adding jobs in Charlotte metro

Switzerland-based Alevo Group, an energy storage company, is adding more than 200 jobs to its manufacturing facility in Cabarrus County, N.C. The company is investing a whopping $251 million in the expansion. 

 

Cosmetics manufacturer building new campus near Tulsa

SeneGence International, a cosmetics company, is planning to build a 1.5 million-square-foot campus that will include manufacturing, warehouse space and other facilities. The project will create "hundreds of jobs." 

 

Chinese manufacturer expanding in rural Alabama

GD Copper USA, a subsidiary of China-based Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, is adding 40 jobs at its plant in Wilcox County. The company, which employs about 300, produces about 100 million pounds of copper tubing each year.

 

AT&T reshoring 3,000 jobs, mostly to the South

AT&T and its largest union announced they had struck a four-year contract deal for workers in the company's telephone, cable and Internet business. Part of the deal is a promise by AT&T to hire 3,000 in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas for jobs that had previously been outsourced to overseas locations. 

 

LG Electronics picks Tennessee for $250 million plant

South Korea-based LG Electronics announced in the spring it will build a $250 million plant in Clarksville, Tenn., to assemble washing machines. The company will construct an 829,000-square-foot plant on a 310-acre site that is about 40 miles outside of Nashville. The deal will create 600 jobs. The six-year site search included eight states for study. 

 

Louisville is No. 1 in U.S. for gains in manufacturing jobs

With a manufacturing job growth rate of 27.2 percent between 2011 and 2016, Louisville, Ky., is the nation's No. 1 market in manufacturing job gains. At 27 percent, Nashville came in second and Daytona Beach was third. Also in the top 10 for manufacturing job gains in the South were Cape Coral-Fort Myers; Columbia, S.C.; Lakeland, Fla.; and Sarasota-Bradenton. Los Angeles, Chicago and New York all lost manufacturing jobs. 

 

Energy recovery systems manufacturer adding jobs in rural Virginia

Munters Corp., a manufacturer of energy recovery systems and custom air-handling equipment, is investing $2.5 million to upgrade its plant in Buena Vista, Va. The deal will create 100 jobs. 

 

North Carolina life sciences sector is surging

North Carolina's life science ecosystem continues to grow with employment rising 11 percent since 2010. The overall economic effect on the state has grown by 34 percent since 2010 to $86 billion in 2016 when 31,000 jobs were created. Direct employment by 650 life science companies in the state was at 259,963 at the end of 2016. 

 

Utility-scale solar farm to be built in Aiken County, S.C.

ESA Renewables, an alternative energy provider, is building a new utility-scale solar farm in Aiken County. The company is investing $11 million in the project. 

 

Another auto supplier expansion in Laurens County, S.C.

Fukoku America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Fukoku, is investing $13.9 million to grow its operations in Laurens County, S.C. Fukoku is the largest producer of wiper blade rubber in the world. The deal will create 65 jobs. 

 

ServiceMaster adds jobs to IT department

Memphis-based ServiceMaster has returned 120 information technology jobs to its hometown that were outsourced throughout the country. The company's IT department in Memphis is now staffed by 340 workers. 

 

Spain-based auto supplier to open facility in Birmingham, Ala.

Grupo Antolin, a supplier of a wide variety of interior components for automakers, plans to build a $10.4 million plant in Birmingham. The company, which has 28,000 employees worldwide, will hire about 150 workers in the deal. 


March 2017

Southern MSAs dominate fastest-growing manufacturing workforces

Metros in the South made up seven of the top 10 fastest-growing manufacturing workforces according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2011, Louisville led all U.S. metros with 27.2 percent growth in manufacturing jobs. Nashville was second at 27 percent, followed by Daytona Beach, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Columbia, S.C., Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton. 

 

Military shipbuilder hiring 3,000 in Virginia

Huntington Ingalls Industries, the nation's largest military shipbuilder, announced in the winter it will add 3,000 jobs at its shipyards in Newport News, Va. The company's shipyards build and overhaul nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines. 

 

Alabama auto production hits 10 million mark

In 2016, Alabama's cumulative auto production surpassed the 10 million mark. The state is home to assembly plants operated by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai. 

 

LG to build new plant in Tennessee

South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics, announced it will build a new plant in Montgomery County, Tenn., near Clarksville. The $250 million, 829,000-square-foot facility is expected to house 600 workers. Beginning in 2019, LG will manufacture washing machines at the factory.  

 

Alevo Energy adding 200 jobs in Charlotte region

Alevo Energy, which builds parts for its 2-megawatt GridBank battery systems at a plant in Concord, N.C., is investing over $250 in the facility. The project will create 200 jobs. 

 

Auto supplier picks Alabama for new plant

Spain-based Grupo Antolin is investing over $10 million to establish a plant in Jefferson County, Ala., near Birmingham. The parts supplier has 161 production plants worldwide. The new Alabama plant will house 150 workers.

 

DHL expanding Northern Kentucky hub

DHL Express is hiring about 900 people at its air hub at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. The company is investing $108 million in the deal. 

 

Large distribution center set for Louisville

Chicago-based W.W. Grainger, a distributor of industrial supplies, announced that it will build a new $273 million distribution center in Louisville. No word yet on job counts for the project. 

 

Southern states top employee engagement list

A new report by Gallup showed that Alabama is the No. 1 state in the U.S. when it comes to employee engagement, with 37 percent of the state's workers engaged in their jobs. Following Alabama were Kentucky, Delaware and Louisiana. 

 

Toyota sets milestone at Alabama plant

In February, the 5 millionth engine was produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing's plant in Huntsville. The facility has been open for less than 16 years. The Huntsville factory is the only Toyota engine plant in the world where V6, V8 and 4-cylinder engines are assembled under one roof. 

 

Call center adding jobs in San Antonio

Alliance Data Systems, a financial services company that sells private label credit cards to retailers, is adding 150 jobs at its call center in San Antonio. 

 

Ernst & Young to open Louisville support center

London-based Ernst & Young, one of the largest business services companies in the world, is establishing a support center in Louisville, Ky. The $4.35 million project will create 125 jobs. 

 

Company consolidating HQ, adding jobs in Memphis

Sedgwick Claims Management Services is investing $33 million to consolidate its Memphis headquarters into a single campus. The project will create 130 jobs. 

 

Agricultural startup building $50 million Kentucky greenhouse

AppHarvest announced in the winter quarter it will build a $50 million high-tech greenhouse in Pikeville, Ky. on the site of a former surface coal mine repurposed for industry. The project will create 140 jobs.  

 

Herbalife sets landmark in Winston-Salem hiring

Herbalife, which moved into the former Dell facility in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 2014 to manufacture its nutrition products, reached the 1,000-employee mark in February. The company has invested $130 million in the facility. 

 

Publix opens new Alabama distribution center

Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix opened its newest distribution center in McCalla, Ala. in the winter quarter. The 638,000-square-foot center will house 300 workers by year-end. 

 

Alabama auto parts supplier adding 100 jobs

Nemak Alabama, a maker of aluminum engine heads and cylinders, is expanding its plant in Sylacauga, Ala. The company is adding 100 jobs. 

 

Pharmaceutical company hiring 300 in Louisville

Startup PharmaCord, a patient case management and pharmaceutical distribution firm, is establishing its headquarters and pharmacy operations in Louisville, Ky. The $7.3 million deal will create 300 jobs. 

 

N.C. call center grows by 600 more

Alorica will add another 600 jobs at its call center in High Point, N.C. That number is in addition to the 800 jobs the company created last year.  

 

Pharmaceutical warehouse being built in Georgia

AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, announced it will build a 350,000-square-foot distribution center in Buford, Ga. The deal calls for an investment of $40 million. 

 

Altec adding jobs in Missouri

Birmingham-based Altec, a maker of heavy mobile equipment used by utilities and other industries, is adding jobs at its manufacturing facility in St. Joseph, Mo. The company is expanding by 105 jobs. 

 

Alabama exports set record

In 2016, companies in Alabama set a record for exports. State exports rose 6.4 percent to $20.6 billion. The previous record was $19.6 billion in 2012. Alabama exports have almost doubled in the last 10 years. Transportation equipment, including automobiles, auto parts, aircraft and aircraft components led the way in 2016. 

 

Kentucky shatters export record

Kentucky's exports broke a record in 2016 with $29.24 billion in goods and services shipped from the Commonwealth. The total was a 5.8 percent increase from 2015. Aerospace-related products topped all industry sectors in Kentucky's exports for last year. 

 

BB&T breaks ground on S.C. mortgage center

Winston-Salem-based BB&T broke ground on a 140,000-square-foot mortgage servicing center in Mauldin, S.C. in the winter quarter. The deal will create 600 jobs. 

 

Chewy creating 600 jobs in Ocala, Fla.

South Florida-based Chewy, a retailer of pet supplies, is establishing an e-commerce center in Ocala. The $31 million distribution center will house 600 workers. 

 

Formosa Plastics seeking permits for $9.4 billion investments in the South

Taiwan's Formosa Plastics plans to build two petrochemical facilities in St. James Parish, La. and another in an unnamed location in Texas if it can earn permits to do so. The chemical producer will spend a total of $9.4 billion on the two facilities. 

 

Corning to create more than 400 jobs in two N.C. counties

Corning and Corning Optical plan to invest over $175 million on two facilities in Cabarrus and Catawba counties in North Carolina. The projects will create 410 jobs. 

 

Augusta area led Georgia in manufacturing projects last year

Richmond County, where Augusta is located, led the state last year in new and expanding manufacturing projects, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Richmond County captured 11 major manufacturing projects in 2016. 

 

Lowe's setting up customer center in Wilkesboro, N.C.

N.C.-based Lowe's is putting a customer support center in Wilkesboro, N.C. that will house 600 workers. The center will serve customers by phone and online. 

 

U.S. sets oil export record

U.S. shale oil producers exported 7 million barrels during a week in February, an all-time record. The amount of oil exported is about the same OPEC members have cut back on in recent months. 

 

Health care services company hiring 300 in Richmond

Owens & Minor, a health care services company, is investing millions to establish a new Client Engagement Center is downtown Richmond. Richmond competed with about 60 other cities for the project that will create 300 jobs. 

 

GE Aviation invests $4.2 billion in five years

Between 2011 and 2016, GE Aviation invested $4.3 billion to expand its U.S. operations. The investments included new plants in Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. 

 

Nestle relocating HQ from California to Virginia

Nestle USA is the latest company to relocate its headquarter operations out of California due to high operating costs. The company is moving to Rosslyn, Va. and hiring 700. According to a report by business relocation expert Joseph Vranich, from 2008 to 2015, some 1,687 companies moved their operations out of California. 

 

Glass plant expanding in Wichita Falls

Vitro Architectural Glass is investing $55 million in its commercial glass plant in Wichita Falls, Texas. The project will generate 50 new jobs. 

 

Aerospace manufacturer locating new plant in Bay County, Fla. 

GKN Aerospace is locating a new plant at VentureCrossings Enterprise Center in Bay County, Fla., near the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. The British company will invest $50 million and will create 170 new jobs. Panama City and Bay County competed globally for the project. 

 

Poultry processor to open Mississippi plant

Pearl River Foods will open a chicken processing plant in Carthage, Miss. The $2 million deal will create 150 jobs. 

 

Technology company relocates HQ from California to Kansas City

AutoAlert, a software company that mines customer data to create sales applications used by automobile dealerships, is relocating its headquarters from Irvine, Calif. to Kansas City, Mo. The project will create 200 jobs. 

 

Manufacturer expanding HQ in rural Kentucky

Whitworth Tool, a manufacturer of components for the tool and die industry, is investing over $3 million in its Hardinsburg, Ky. headquarters. The deal will create 50 jobs. 

 

Pratt & Whitney's big deal in Columbus, Ga. 

Aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is investing $386 million in its facilities in Columbus, Ga. The expansion will double the company's capacity for engines in Columbus. The deal will create 500 jobs. 

 

BMW is No. 1 vehicle exporter in the U.S.

S.C.-based BMW remained the No. 1 automobile exporter in 2016. The German automaker exported 287,700 X SUV models last year valued at $9.53 billion. 

 

Grocery distributor adding jobs in W.Va.

H.T. Hackney, a wholesale grocery distributor, is opening its first warehouse in West Virginia. The company is moving into a 246,000-square-foot building in Milton that will house 70 workers. 

 

FERC: Majority of new generating capacity came from renewables in 2016

For the second consecutive year, the majority of electric generating capacity installed in the U.S. came from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came out with a report in February that showed that renewables added 16,124 megawatts of power in 2016, or 61.5 percent of the total added, surpassing that of fossil fuels and nuclear power.  

 

Distribution center going up in Georgia

ELK Group, a lighting and decor manufacturer, is setting up a distribution center in Sylvania, Ga. The $2 million project will create 100 jobs. 

 

Tech firm hiring over 500 in Northern Virginia

IOMAXIS, a cloud-based tech firm, is investing nearly $4 million in its operations in Fairfax County, Va. The company, which does work for the Department of Defense, will hire 555 in the expansion. 

 

Orthodontics company creating 440 jobs in Nashville area

SmileDirectClub is investing $4.5 million to expand two facilities in the Nashville region. The project will create 440 jobs. 

 

Sock manufacturer to create over 400 jobs in North Alabama

Renfro Corp. has struck a deal with Walmart to make socks for under the Fruit of the Loom, Russell, Dr. Scholl's and Faded Glory brands. The deal will create 442 jobs at the company's plant in Fort Payne, Ala. 

 

Web design firm adding jobs in Kansas City

Code Koalas, a website design firm, is expanding its operations in Kansas City. The company is hiring 88 employees. 

 

$330 million being invested in North Carolina paper plant

Clearwater Paper, the largest private-brand tissue maker in the U.S., is growing in Shelby, N.C. The company is investing $330 million in the plant and adding 180 jobs. 

 

India-based Volvo supplier setting up shop in Dorchester County, S.C.

Sundaram-Clayton, an India-based maker of aluminum cast products for the automotive industry, is building a new plant near the Volvo facility that is under construction in Berkeley County, S.C. The company will invest $50 million in the plant and hire 130. The facility will be operational when Volvo begins assembly cars in late 2018. 

 

Austin named best city to live

The annual U.S. News and World Report's "Best Places to Live in America" came out in the winter quarter. Austin topped the ranking this year and Washington, D.C., Fayetteville, Ark., and Raleigh-Durham made the top 10. 

 

Midtown Atlanta is one of the South's hottest urban submarkets

Several companies are expanding or moving into Midtown Atlanta to cozy up to Georgia Tech and the overall tech scene that has clustered there. NCR is moving its headquarters to Midtown, adding 3,000 employees. Anthem, Honeywell, Interface, Payscape, Kaiser Permanente and Sage Software are just a few of the many companies adding jobs in Midtown. Currently, about 12,000 new jobs are headed to the Midtown submarket. 

 

Coastal Cloud hiring 30 in Louisville

Coastal Cloud, a Florida-based cloud-based software company that offers services to a number of industries including economic development and real estate, is establishing an office in Louisville, Ky. The Louisville office, which will house 30 workers, will be run by Erik Dunnigan, former Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary. 

 

Jobs coming to Spotsylvania County, Va. 

idX, a fixture manufacturer for retail markets, is relocating its plant from Maryland to Spotsylvania County, Va. The $7.2 million project will create 150 jobs. 

 

Auto supplier expands in Aiken County, S.C.

The Carlstar Group, a manufacturer of specialty wheels and tires, is expanding its facility for more capacity in Aiken County, S.C. The $6.9 million project will create 43 new jobs. 

 

More jobs coming to Aiken County, S.C.

Emerson Electric, a valve components manufacturer, is expanding its operations in Aiken County, S.C. The company is investing $8 million and bringing 86 jobs to Aiken. 

 

Additive manufacturer investing $55 million in Charlotte area

Swiss manufacturer, Oerlikon, is expanding its additive manufacturing sector with a new 3D printing facility in Huntersville, N.C. The new facility will focus on surface solutions and advanced materials. The $55 million project will create 100 jobs. 

 

GM investing $27 million in its Tennessee plant for vehicles headed to Australia

General Motors is investing $27 million so its workers can assemble the Holden Acadia, a right-hand driving SUV that will be exported to Australia. The additional work will retain 215 jobs at the plant. 

 

New solar array set for S.C.

Tradewind Energy announced it is building a new solar production facility in Orangeburg County, S.C. The $85 million array will generate 75-megawatts.


February 2017

January hiring means economy still has room to grow

The Labor Department's total of 227,000 jobs in January, and the fact that the unemployment rate rose from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent, suggests that there is still room to grow the economy in the face of full employment pressures. Full employment drives up wages and inflation, but wages hardly grew at all in January. According to the Labor Department, about 7.5 million people are officially unemployed, with about 1.9 million of those out of work for longer than six months.

 

Manufacturing grows for fifth consecutive month in January

The Institute for Supply Management's index that counts manufacturing orders rose for the fifth straight month in January. The index rose to 56, the highest number since November 2014 and up from 54.5 in December. A reading above 50 means the manufacturing sector is expanding. Twelve of 18 industries surveyed expanded, with machinery, transportation equipment and electronic products leading the index for the month.

 

Can we even find enough legal workers to build a wall, or any massive infrastructure project?

President Trump's proposed infrastructure stimulus has a problem before it even starts -- labor shortages. The unemployment rate in the construction trades is currently at 4.5 percent, the lowest in a decade. The labor shortage in the construction sector has already delayed announced factories, particularly in Texas and Louisiana in the South. "Contractors in general throughout the country have been saying it's been difficult to get workers," said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America in a Bloomberg story published in the winter quarter. The fact that in Texas about half of all construction workers are undocumented makes the task of finding labor for large projects, such as the Southern U.S. border wall, even more difficult. In other words, it would be nearly impossible to find enough legal workers to build the wall in Texas.

 

Tenn. Gov. Bill Haslam proposes free community college for adults

In his state of the state address in the winter quarter, Gov. Bill Haslam introduced a proposal called the Tennessee Reconnect Act that is designed to offer free community college for adults. The program, if passed by the Tennessee General Assembly, would award adults last-dollar scholarships to attend community college. The initiative will come at no cost to taxpayers. The added tuition and fees will come from the Tennessee Education Lottery.

 

Bell cow of Alabama's automotive industry turns 20

In February 1997, the first M-Class SUV rolled off the assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala. Since that day 20 years ago, Alabama's automotive industry captured two more assembly plants -- Hyundai in Montgomery and Honda in Lincoln, Ala. Also, Toyota built a huge engine plant in Huntsville and hundreds of automotive suppliers now call Alabama home. Mercedes has invested almost $5 billion in its plant in Alabama to date. The three automakers in the state assembled more than 1 million cars, trucks and SUVs in 2016.

 

Hankook Tire to complete Tennessee plant; to hire 1,200

South Korean tire maker Hankook will complete its new factory in Clarksville, Tenn., later this year. The plant will meet growing demand boosted by increased sales of vehicles made by Hyundai in Montgomery, Ala., and Kia in West Point, Ga. Hankook officials said they expect up to 1,200 workers will be housed at the Nashville area plant by the end of the year.

 

Samsung considering Alabama and South Carolina for new appliances plant

Various sources claim that Korean manufacturing giant Samsung Electronics is searching for sites in Alabama and South Carolina to build a new home appliances plant. The move reportedly is being made to remain competitive with other appliance makers in the U.S. if import taxes are levied under the new administration.

 

Harris hiring on Space Coast

Defense giant Harris Corp. is adding 200 workers in Central Florida. The company won a contract with the Air Force to complete a variety of tasks, and all of the work will be done at the company's facilities in Palm Bay, Fla.

 

France-based food manufacturer to place new plant in Banks County, Ga.

Citing its proximity to customers and high-quality local and sustainable foods, France-based Diana Food is investing $50 million in a new plant in Banks County, Ga. The facility, which will house 80 workers, will process meat.

 

St. Louis gains 300 jobs as Nestle leaves California

Nestle USA is moving its headquarters from California to Northern Virginia. In the move, Swiss-based Nestle, the world's largest food company, will also centralize its IT operations in St. Louis. Nestle is familiar with St. Louis as the headquarters for its pets products division is located south of downtown. That operation employs 2,700.

 

More cranes in the air in Nashville than in New York

The hits keep coming in Nashville, particularly from the construction industry where a bevy of major projects are being built in the city. According to a report from Rider Levett Bucknall, a real estate and construction consultant, Nashville has 27 tower cranes operating in the metro area. Most of the projects are high-rise offices, hotels and apartments. At the first of the year, New York had 21 cranes, San Francisco 24, Austin 20, Denver 18 and Boston had 11. Seattle had the most cranes with 62, according to the report, and Chicago had 56. Nashville has the lowest office vacancy of any city in the country at 6.2 percent. In the last quarter of 2016, the vacancy rate in Nashville was 4.6 percent.

 

Missouri becomes last Southern state to pass right-to-work legislation

In the winter quarter, Missouri became the 28th state to bar mandatory union fees and dues from nonmembers. Passing the measure means that now all Southern states are right-to-work.

 

Texas is No. 1 for inbound moves

Texas was named the top state in the U.S. in U-Haul's annual report on inbound moves. Corporate expansions and relocations by Toyota, Apple and Amazon, to name a few, are credited with the state attracting new residents. 

 

Austin No. 1 on U.S. News "Best Places to Live" ranking

According to U.S. News and World Report, the best place to live in the U.S. is Austin, Texas. The Texas capital city ranked No. 2 last year in the annual report. The media property ranks metro areas on a number of factors, including education, migration, cost of living, unemployment, health care and household income.

 

West Virginia's economy turning around

From 2011 to 2015, the state of West Virginia lost jobs, with each year losing more jobs than the previous year. That losing streak ended in 2016, as the state had a net gain of 7,000 new jobs. Last year, the West Virginia Legislature passed pro-business measures including eliminating the business franchise tax and the state lowered the corporate net income tax to 6.5 percent.

 

New, massive, dual-rail North Carolina megasite looks for certification

Called the Moncure Megasite, the dual-rail (CSX and Norfolk Southern) site near the convergence of Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Wake Counties, is located just 25 miles southwest of Raleigh. The site has doubled in size to 2,285 acres, and many consider it the No. 1 site in the South for a large manufacturing operation such as automotive assembly. Officials with the megasite expect state certification later this year.

 

Amazing Amazon

In January, the online retail giant announced plans to create more than 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. by mid-2018. The additional jobs would swell Amazon’s U.S. workforce, which stood at 180,000 last year. The Seattle-based company said that many of the new jobs will be at already-announced warehouses under construction in Texas, California, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere. Highlights include two fulfillment centers bringing up to 2,700 jobs to Jacksonville, Fla., and 1,000 full-time workers at a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center to be built in Coppell, Texas. The company also plans to build a $1.5 billion centralized air hub in Kentucky to help meet the demand created from Amazon Prime. When the site opens, the company expects to create more than 2,000 new jobs.

 

Big deal: Amazon to establish $1.49 billion air hub in Northern Kentucky

Amazon has chosen the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for a $1.49 billion, 2,000-employee air cargo hub for its current roster of 40 cargo aircraft. Amazon took a 50-year lease on about 900 acres owned by the international airport in Hebron, Ky. The company will build its air hub on that property. Amazon currently employs about 10,000 people at 11 fulfillment centers in Kentucky.

 

Steel Dynamics investing in mini-mill in Roanoke, Va.

Steel Dynamics, a steel producer and recycling company, is investing $28 million at its mini-mill in Roanoke. The company is purchasing new equipment to increase capacity of its rolling mill operation. The plant houses 300 employees.

 

Software firm adding jobs, relocating HQ to Midtown Atlanta

Midtown Atlanta is a hotbed for tech firms and the area just landed another company. Software firm SalesLoft is moving its headquarters from Buckhead to Midtown, next to Atlanta Tech Village. The deal will create 250 jobs.

 

Company reshoring jobs from China to Missouri

Trans-Lux, a manufacturer of LED and LCD display boards, is moving production of its products from Shenzhen, China to Hazelwood, Mo. The company is investing over $2 million in the Missouri plant that will house 90 workers.

 

Auto parts supplier investing in its Kentucky plant

Windshield manufacturer Pilkington North America is investing $7.5 million in manufacturing and technology upgrades at its plant in Versailles, Ky. 

 

Sawmill opens in Arkansas

Conifex Timber, a Canada-based sawmilling company, has restarted a state-of-the-art former Georgia Pacific sawmill complex in El Dorado, Ark. The company is investing $80 million in the project that will create 120 full-time jobs.

 

Huhoco Group investing in new Georgia plant

Germany-based Huhoco Group is investing $24 million and creating 200 jobs as it builds a new plant in Bartow County, Ga. The company refines metal products for the automotive and construction industry. 

 

Manufacturer expanding in Lincoln County, N.C.

Blum, a manufacturer of cabinet hardware, is expanding to meet growing demand for its products. The company, which has 390 employees, is investing $16 million in the plant and adding 20 workers.

 

$230 million plants breaks ground in Corpus Christi

Chemours, a maker of a new environmentally friendly refrigerant for automobile air conditioners, broke ground in the winter quarter on a $230 million plant in Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Jackson Healthcare adding 1,400 jobs in Atlanta area

Jackson Healthcare, one of the nation's largest healthcare staffing companies, will expand its headquarters by 306,000 square feet at its current facility in Alpharetta, Ga. The project will create 1,400 new jobs.

 

La-Z-Boy investing in rural Tennessee

Furniture manufacturer La-Z-Boy will expand its plant in Dayton, Tenn. The $26 million project will create 115 jobs.

 

Dallas-Fort Worth second only to NYC in total construction starts

Dallas-Fort Worth construction starts hit a record in 2016, with almost $21 billion in new construction. Last year's building starts were $2 billion more than the peak of the last construction cycle prior to the Great Recession. In 2016, only New York City had more construction starts than Dallas-Fort Worth.

 

Houston's office market has not bottomed out

While Houston's economy may have finally stabilized after nearly three years of an oil and gas industry crater, its office market has not stabilized completely as of yet. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a commercial real estate firm, claims that Houston's office market vacancy rate is at 19.6 percent. But a wave of office construction will come online this year, delivering 2.4 million square feet of new office space. That will add about 1.4 million square feet of vacancy in the Houston market this year, according to the company.

 

Charlotte's office market is in good shape

At the end of 2016, Charlotte's office market had a vacancy rate of 8.5 percent, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. Nearly 1.7 million square feet of office space was absorbed in the Charlotte metro in 2016.

 

American Express opens $200 million operations center in South Florida

American Express has completed its 400,000-square-foot operations center in Sunrise, Fla. The building will house up to 3,000 workers.

 

Rocket engine maker hiring 100 in Alabama

Aerojet Rocketdyne has started manufacturing the new AR1 rocket engine in Huntsville, Ala. The engine is slated to replace the Russian-made RD-180 engines currently being used by several American space companies. The project will create at least 100 jobs.

 

Facebook's $1 billion data center now operational in Fort Worth

California-based Facebook's latest massive data center is now operating in Fort Worth on 110 acres. The company purchased another 40 acres of land adjacent to the $1 billion center for future expansion.

 

Automotive facility expanding in North Carolina

Keihin Carolina System Technology, a company that assembles and tests electrical components for Honda, is expanding its operations in Edgecombe County, N.C. The plant, which is located in Tarboro, will see an investment of $13 million with the addition of 42 jobs to the 400 currently employed there.

 

Forklift manufacturer signs deal with Volvo, will expand in Summerville, S.C.

Forklift maker Kion North America is investing $5.7 million in its plant in Dorchester County, near Charleston, S.C. The expansion is related to a contract with Volvo, which is building an assembly plant in nearby Berkeley County, S.C. The project will create 50 jobs.

 

Entergy breaks ground on $869 million Louisiana power plant

New Orleans-based Entergy has broken ground on a new $869 million, 1,000-megawatt power plant in St. Charles Parish, La. The project will create 2,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

 

Monsanto breaks ground on $975 million expansion in St. Charles Parish, La.

In the winter quarter, Monsanto broke ground on a $975 million expansion of its massive plant in Luling, La. The project, to be completed in 2019, will enable the company to launch the Roundup brand's Ready Xtend Crop System and produce a new herbicide called Dicamba. The company currently makes the herbicide Roundup to kill weeds. The deal will create 120 jobs. 

 

Mid-scale LNG facility announced for Louisiana

Energy World USA announced in the winter quarter it will build a LNG production and export facility at Port Fourchon, La. The $800 million project will eventually produce up to 2 million tons of LNG per year for export.

 

Solar power employment dominating energy sector

In calendar year 2016, there were about 373,000 people employed by the solar energy industry in the U.S. In the coal, oil and gas sectors, employment in the U.S. had dropped to 187,000 workers by the end of 2016. That figure, in large part, centers on the fact that the coal industry has lost 53 percent of its electricity generation in the last decade, while natural gas generation has increased by 33 percent in the last 10 years and generation from solar has expanded by 5,000 percent. According to a report from the Department of Energy, solar power employed 43 percent of the power generation sector's workforce in 2016, while fossil fuels combined to employ just 22 percent. Solar energy added over 73,000 jobs last year, while the wind sector added almost 25,000 new jobs. In fact, one in every 50 new jobs created in the U.S. last year came from the solar industry according to the Solar Foundation's Solar Job Census 2016.

 

The number of available home lots in Atlanta is off the charts

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Atlanta region has 80,491 vacant developed home lots, by far the largest stock in the country. Atlanta's lot count compares favorably with Chicago, which has 38,000 lots. Houston has 46,000 and Baltimore had the least available vacant home lots of any large U.S. metro area with 5,283.

 

Small business growth? Only in the South in 2016.

The 2016 year-end Paychex/IHS Small Business Jobs Index came out in the winter quarter, and the American South (specifically Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) is the only region where small business employment grew last year. The Central South, which is made up of the four aforementioned states, saw small business employment grow by 2.62 percent last year. In the Southeast, employment grew by 0.86 percent, but in the Southwest (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas), employment among companies with 50 employees or less declined by 1.81 percent. That gave the South a net gain of 1.67 percent in small business growth. The Northeast saw growth of 0.14 percent, the Midwest declined by 0.24 percent and the West saw a decline of 0.83 percent among its small businesses according to the Index.

 

Largest single job announcement in the South's history is moving along in Kansas City

Cerner Corp. began moving employees into its new Innovations Campus in Kansas City. The Kansas City-based IT company is building a massive $4.5 billion campus that will eventually house 16,000 employees. The first phase has been completed and a total of 3,000 employees are moving in incrementally throughout the winter quarter.

 

Kentucky Bourbon Trail reaches milestone

Tourism in Kentucky bourbon country has been increasing for years. In 2016, a milestone was set. Last year, more than 1 million people visited bourbon distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the smaller Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Kentucky's bourbon industry accounts for $8.5 billion in total economic output and supports about 17,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. Total payroll in the sector topped $800 million last year, and more than 2,000 distillery jobs have been added to the Kentucky workforce in the last two years. 

 

Augusta, Ga., becoming cybersecurity mecca

As the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon prepares to be the headquarters of the $2.1 billion Army Cyber Command, Augusta is quickly becoming the center of influence and the hub of cybersecurity and cyberspace operations for the Army. The activity of cybersecurity in the Augusta region is growing exponentially as the area develops a growing relationship with the National Security Agency. Add $50 million in funding from the state of Georgia for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center to be located in Augusta, and the East Georgia market is being transformed into a world-class cybersecurity center. 

 

As financial services come back to life, Florida finds legs

No industry was struck down as hard as the financial services industry during the Great Recession. From the mid-1990s through 2004, the sector was a massive job generator in states such as Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Most every Southern state saw the financial services sector create thousands of jobs each year. Beginning in 2005 in Florida, where the first "housing crisis" started, financials began pink-slipping folks in unreal numbers. For example, from 1995 to 2004, financials averaged 47 projects creating at least 200 jobs in the American South. By 2008, that number had dropped to single digits. As late as 2011, only nine financial services projects were announced of 200 jobs or more in the region. In 2015, that number skyrocketed to 69. Many of those projects over the last two years found Florida to their liking. Yes, Wall Street loves Florida. Office rents in places like Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Orlando are about one-fourth the price of rents in New York. Firms such as Raymond James, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman have created thousands of jobs in Florida since 2012 when the industry started to find its footing. Number of financial services announcements of 200 jobs or more in the South 2011-2015: 69 jobs in 2015, 42 in 2014, 31 in 2013, 19 in 2012, and 9 in 2011. Source: SB&D

 

Automotive parts industry has grown substantially since 2012

A new study by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) shows that employment in the auto parts manufacturing sector has grown by 19 percent since 2012. More than 871,000 Americans are employed by parts manufacturers in the U.S. In addition, motor vehicle parts manufacturing contributes $270 billion in employee compensation in the U.S., up 22 percent from 2012.

 

Gov. Nathan Deal names 2017 "Year of Georgia Film"

In fiscal year 2016, Georgia's film industry had a record economic impact of $7 billion, prompting Gov. Nathan Deal to proclaim 2017 as the Year of Georgia Film. In response, the state released a travel guide to help tourists find film locations in Georgia. The state has reported that around 300 film and television productions will take place in Georgia in 2017.

 

Southern state job growth in 2016

Alabama             1.0 percent

Arkansas            0.4 percent

D.C.                    2.3 percent

Florida                3.1 percent

Georgia              2.4 percent

Kentucky             0.6 percent

Louisiana           -0.2 percent

Mississippi           -1.0 percent

Missouri              2.3 percent

North Carolina    2.0 percent

Oklahoma           -0.3 percent

South Carolina    1.7 percent

Tennessee                  1.6 percent

Texas                  1.8 percent

Virginia               1.3 percent

West Virginia      0.3 percent

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Six of top 10 places to live are in Northern Virginia

In the winter quarter, 24/7 Wall Street named six cities and counties in Northern Virginia in its top 10 best places to live based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability. The six are Falls Church (1st), Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Alexandria, and Fairfax. The other four making the top 10 include Marin County, Calif., Howard County, Md., Los Alamos, N.M., and Douglas County, Colo. 

 

Unemployment claims at 43-year low in Virginia

In December, Virginia's unemployment rate was 4.1 percent. It's been lower over the years. In the late 1990s, Virginia's unemployment rate barely topped 3 percent. Yet, unemployment claims in 2016 were at their lowest level since 1973. In 2016, there were 178,400 initial claims filed in the Commonwealth.

 

Six oil and gas states were in recession in 2016

S&P Global Ratings says six oil- and gas-producing states in the U.S. were in recession in calendar year 2016. Those states were Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Two other oil-producing states evaded recession -- Texas and Montana.

 

Foxconn is considering $7 billion U.S. plant

Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest assembler of iPhones and iPads, is considering building a $7 billion display manufacturing facility in the U.S., according to a story in Reuters. The company is considering a joint venture with Sharp Corp., the Japanese company that Foxconn purchased last year. The plant, if built, could house as many has 30,000 workers. Foxconn employs about 1 million workers in China.

 

Southern cities lead in-migration based on housing

Charleston, S.C., led the nation in a wave of in-migration based on home values, income and education levels, according to Realtor.com. The city's median home prices have risen 77.5 percent since 2000 with median home prices up from $152,000 in 2000 to $270,000 in 2015. Other U.S. cities making Realtor.com's top 10 include Asheville, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Portland; Denver; Nashville; Sacramento; Jersey City; Long Beach, Calif.; and Austin.

 

South Carolina adds manufacturing jobs for fifth consecutive year

The state of South Carolina added 2,030 manufacturing jobs from September 2015 to September 2016, according to Manufacturers News. Automotive OEM and parts suppliers accounted for 1,454 of those jobs. It was the fifth straight year the Palmetto State added manufacturing jobs. The state is home to 4,629 manufacturers employing over 270,000 workers. Manufacturing jobs in the state have grown by 7.4 percent since September 2011.

 

Labor shortages showing up in Texas

In 2013 and 2014, Texas' job generating machine was in high gear as the state created 361,000 jobs and 297,000 jobs respectively. In 2015, Texas added 175,700 jobs and in 2016, that total slightly improved to 210,200 jobs. The slowing job totals in the South's largest state don't indicate that things are going poorly. It means that the state is running out of labor. Dallas-Fort Worth's unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, Austin's is 3.2 percent and San Antonio's rate is 3.7 percent. The state's unemployment rate is 4.2 percent. Austin's unemployment rate is below full employment and project activity in the state's capital has dropped dramatically in the last 18 months. The cooling off of Austin's economy is probably a good thing, as labor constraints could be eased.

 

GreenTech Auto closes its factory in Mississippi

Electric car startup GreenTech Automotive has shut down its factory in Tunica County, Miss. After starts and stops, the plant opened in the Delta in 2014, first reporting it would make a small two-seat electric car called MyCar. GreenTech later struck a deal with a Chinese automaker to develop an electric car based on an existing gasoline model.

 

Elio Motors announces another production delay

Shreveport, La.-based Elio Motors has delayed initial production of its three-wheel vehicle from late 2017 to 2018. The startup small car company still needs about $300 million to get up and running.

 

South Korean automakers to spend $3.1 billion in the U.S.

Officials with Korean automakers' Hyundai Motor Co. and KIA Motors Corp. said in the winter quarter they will collectively spend $3.1 billion in the U.S. in the next five years. The investment is more than the $2.1 billion the two automakers spent in the U.S. in the last five years. Hyundai operates its only U.S. plant in Montgomery, Ala., and KIA operates its only U.S. plant in West Point, Ga., just 81 miles from the Hyundai plant. The companies are also considering constructing a new assembly facility in the U.S. to build their luxury brands, which are currently being imported from Asia.

 

U.S. jobless claims about as good as they get

In January, U.S. jobless claims dropped to 234,000. The last time initial unemployment filing claims were that low was in the 1970s, more than 40 years ago. But since the current U.S. labor force has gained millions compared the 1970s, that 234,000 figure equates to about half of the low number last seen more than 40 years ago. The reasons for the low jobless claims are two-fold: For one, there are currently very few mass layoffs as the economy continues the second-longest expansion in U.S. history, and the longest stretch of consecutive monthly job growth (77 months) -- a modern day record. There is very little slack in the labor force as the U.S. is nearing or at full employment. Employers know that if they lay off workers, it will be very difficult replacing them with such a tight labor shed.

 

New Orleans tops in population growth

U.S. Census data shows that New Orleans is No. 3 among all major U.S. cities in population growth from 2010 to 2015. As the measurement started five years after Katrina, it indicates that migration to New Orleans is more than a rebound phenomenon. The same Census data also showed that New Orleans is No. 1 in foreign-born population growth from 2010 to 2015. In the South, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Washington, D.C., all made the top 10 in foreign-born population growth during the period.  

 

Wind energy sector reaches 100,000-job mark

U.S. wind power now employs over 100,000 workers, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. Wind energy now employs more Americans than natural gas, nuclear, coal and hydroelectric energy sectors. DOE's Wind Vision report revealed that wind energy could create 380,000 jobs by 2030.

 

$800 million LNG plant coming to Port Fourchon, La.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission and one of the port's tenants, Energy World USA, have announced a proposed development. Energy World USA's proposed plant will eventually produce up to 2 million tons of LNG per year for export.

 

Chemical company announces $13 million investment, 53 jobs in Spartanburg

Michigan-based Pacific Industrial Development Corp., a specialty chemicals manufacturer, is opening a manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County, S.C. The $13 million capital investment will create 53 new jobs.

 

Charter Communications hiring 160 in Morrisville, N.C.

Charter Communications is adding 160 new jobs to its Morrisville call center operation. In total, the cable provider will be hiring for 215 open inbound sales positions there.

 

$47 million Gatlinburg project breaks ground

A hundred people gathered recently as a track hoe turned over symbolic shovelfuls of mud and rock at a 2.1-acre site -- the $47 million Anakeesta project. “We have multiple phases for the mountain project,” said Managing Partner Bob Bentz. It should open in mid-June, followed by the first single-rail “mountain coaster” in the U.S. in July, and about 35 to 45 tree houses and cabins by next summer. Anakeesta is expected to create about 130 jobs.

 

Chemicals manufacturer opening in Spartanburg County, S.C.

PIDC (Pacific Industrial Development Corporation), a specialty chemicals manufacturer, intends to open a manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County. The $13 million development is projected to create 53 new jobs over the next five years. PIDC is a chemical company focused on advanced materials, including specialty alumina materials, rare earth powders, aqueous solutions and a variety of formulated powders.

 

AT&T adding 40 jobs at Alabama call center

AT&T is on a hiring spree at its DirecTV Call Center in Huntsville. The telecommunications provider is adding 40 full-time customer service jobs through the end of March.

 

Health care giant to hire 160 people in Florida

UnitedHealthcare plans to hire at least 160 customer service representatives for its office in Oldsmar.

 

V&F Transformer Corporation expands Tennessee manufacturing facility

V&F Transformer Corporation is investing $1.4 million to expand and upgrade its manufacturing facility in Celina, Tenn., and expects to create approximately 50 new jobs. The company’s focus is manufacturing custom-designed transformers and reactive magnetic components used in natural gas power plants, data processing plants and a variety of other high-tech power related applications.

 

Response Packaging expansion creates 100 new jobs in Greenville County, S.C.

Response Packaging, a returnable packaging manufacturer, is expanding its existing facility. The expansion is projected to bring $5 million of new capital investment, and will accommodate the growth of the automotive industry in the region. The company supplies original equipment manufacturers and provides manufacturing, design and prototype support.

 

Starbucks will hire 10,000 refugees

In response to President Trump's executive order calling for an immigration ban in the U.S., Starbucks announced it will give jobs to 10,000 refugees, according to founder Howard Shultz.

 

Teknor Apex investing $32 million to expand Tennessee facility

Rhode Island-based materials supplier Teknor Apex will spend $32 million to build a 200,000-square-foot distribution facility at its site in Haywood County, Tenn. The water hose manufacturer, already the largest employer in the county with more than 600 employees, will also be adding 50 new jobs.

 

Stark Truss relocating to Franklin, Ky., will create 22 jobs

Stark Truss will invest $1.66 million in relocating its Kentucky operation from Auburn, Ky., to a vacant former Wal-Mart store in nearby Franklin. The move is expected to create 22 full-time jobs, in addition to retaining the current 25 employees that make roof and floor trusses.

 

Manufacturer to invest $13 million, bring 130 new jobs to York County, S.C.

A Charlotte fabric manufacturer plans to move its manufacturing and distribution operation to a new, $13 million facility in Fort Mill, S.C. Oxco Inc., which makes and distributes nonwoven fabrics in a facility in Charlotte, will relocate to York County with 130 jobs at the new plant.

 

Williams Sausage to build second plant in Union City, Tenn.

Williams Sausage Company, a longtime Tennessee food manufacturer, will build a second plant in Obion County. The expansion will create 226 new jobs. Founded in 1958, the family-owned company produces fresh and fully cooked sausage, bacon, sandwiches and other food products.

 

Dulles Glass and Mirror to invest $7.5 million in Prince William County, Va.

Dulles Glass and Mirror, a manufacturer of glass, mirror and shower doors, will invest $7.5 million to consolidate its corporate headquarters, research and development, manufacturing, and warehouse operations in a renovated 84,010-square-foot facility in Prince William County. The company will retain 96 jobs and create 40 new jobs over the next five years.

 

Vorsight to expand its corporate HQ, workforce in Arlington County, Va.

Vorsight, a sales effectiveness firm, will create 112 new jobs and invest more than $105,000 to expand its corporate headquarters in Arlington County.

 

Sonoco creating 595 jobs in Georgia

Sonoco Products Company will create 130 full-time and 465 part-time jobs in a new $20 million packaging center in metro Atlanta. The center will support Duracell’s new battery packaging operation and will be located in the battery maker’s facility in Fairburn, Ga.

 

IBM will build $62 million cloud data center for Army at Alabama base

IBM will build, manage and operate a private cloud data center for the U.S. Army at Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal. The deal is worth $62 million to IBM. It is a pilot for the first of four private Army cloud centers that will consolidate hundreds of military data sites around the world.

 

Favor TechConsulting to create 1,200 new jobs

Favor TechConsulting, an IT solutions company to the federal government, plans to invest $1.65 million and hire 1,200 to expand in Virginia as it establishes its headquarters in Fairfax County.

 

Lear Corporation expands manufacturing in South Carolina

Lear Corporation, a supplier of automotive seating, is expanding its existing operations with more than $7.7 million in new capital investment in Spartanburg County. The expansion will launch the automotive seating programs for South Carolina’s Volvo and BMW assembly plants.

 

Kentucky’s Big Ass Solutions receives incentives for expansion

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave final approval to Big Ass Solutions of Lexington for $6.5 million in tax incentives on a $10.7 million expansion of office, storage and warehouse space, and a production line. The expansion is expected to create 562 jobs. Big Ass Solutions manufactures fans, lights and controls for Big Ass Fans, Big Ass Light, and Haiku fan product lines.

 

Asahi plans $40 million expansion in Kentucky, 50 jobs

Asahi Bluegrass Forge Corporation plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Richmond, Ky. Asahi, which specializes in press forging for the automotive industry, producing gears, bearings and joints and transmission parts, would create 50 jobs.

 

Builders FirstSource to open facility in Bowling Green, 79 jobs

Builders FirstSource, a manufacturer of trusses, wall panels, pre-hung doors and other building components, will invest nearly $6.4 million in a new facility in Bowling Green that is expected to create 79 full-time jobs.

 

Credit Bureau Systems to open office in Paducah, 40 jobs

Credit Bureau Systems, a family-owned Kentucky company, will build a $1.67 million office in Paducah adjacent to its current facilities, hire 40 additional full-time employees and relocate 10 from out of state.

 

Proposed call center could create 500 jobs in Williamsburg, Ky.

The Kentucky Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval to Senture for a proposed $9.9 million investment in a new location in Williamsburg that would create 500 jobs.

 

Louisville, Ky., lands major employer bringing 400 jobs

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Diversified Consultants (also known as DCI Collect), which specializes in debt collection for telecommunications companies, will locate a new operation in Louisville with a $6.65 million investment expected to create 433 jobs.

 

TierPoint investing $20 million in Tennessee data center expansion

One of the nation's largest data center operators plans to invest $20 million in an expansion that would increase capacity of its location in Franklin, Tenn. The St. Louis-based TierPoint is partnering with Compass Data Centers of Dallas in the project, which would more than double the size of the facility.

 

Service company in Anderson, S.C., adding 100 jobs

Cross Country Home Services, a home warranty and service company in Anderson, plans to add 100 new workers.

 

$100 million Alpharetta expansion planned, 1,400 new jobs

Staffing giant Jackson Healthcare is designing a $100 million expansion of its Alpharetta campus, with Italian Renaissance-inspired architecture featuring a replica of the Roman Coliseum.

 

Forrester Research to bring 120 jobs to Nashville

Research and advisory firm Forrester Research will locate its newest office in Davidson County, Tenn. Forrester will invest $2.8 million and create approximately 120 new jobs.

 

$10 million investment in Davidson County, Tenn.

A paint, coatings and specialty chemicals manufacturer, AkzoNobel, is set to invest more than $10 million and hire about 70 people in Davidson County over the next five years.

 

AEP taps San Benito for $10 million office, moving 110 new jobs

AEP Texas (American Electric Power) is returning to San Benito and bringing 110 jobs with it. The power company, which once had a district office in the Texas city, announced that the city of San Benito has been selected for a new $10 million service center for the eastern end of AEP’s Rio Grande Valley District.

 

KPMG announces massive global training center in Lake Nona

KPMG, one of the four largest accounting and professional services firms in the world, is set to officially announce its new $430 million, 55-acre global training and conference center in Lake Nona, Fla.

 

The final act: Ringling Bros. to lay off 462 employees

Feld Entertainment’s 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey notified the state that it will lay off 462 employees between March 24 and May 28 -- one of Florida’s biggest layoffs since 2015. “Ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. . .This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company,” according to CEO Kenneth Feld.

 

Pepsi opens distribution center in south Louisiana, creates 200 jobs

Pepsi Beverages Company officially opened its distribution center in Livingston Parish in January, the only of its kind in south Louisiana. The 140,000-square-foot facility brings more than 200 new jobs to the area.

 

Holt Cat comes to Georgetown, Texas

Holt Cat, a Caterpillar dealer, will invest a minimum of $20 million to build a regional sales hub facility for Caterpillar in Georgetown. The business is expected to create 129 new jobs.

 

Texas Pete moving into renovated HQ in Winston-Salem

TW Garner Food Co. of Winston-Salem, best known as the maker of Texas Pete hot sauce, has moved into new corporate headquarters in the renovated Nash-Bolich building. Originally built by J.A. Bolich Jr., the 14,500-square-foot Renaissance Revival-style, office features exposed brick and original hardwood floors from its days as a secretarial college. About 26 employees, including the company’s fourth-generation family management team, will work in the building. Garner also produces salsa and tortilla strips under the Green Mountain Gringo brand.

 

Landmark deal for J.C. Penney’s Texas HQ

J.C. Penney Co.’s decision to sell its Plano, Texas headquarters attracted interest from investors from all over the world, but Dallas investor Sam Ware and a group of Texas billionaires won the contest with a bid valued at $453 million.

 

Movement Mortgage expands South Carolina HQ

Movement Mortgage is expanding its existing corporate headquarters in the Indian Land unincorporated area of north Lancaster County, S.C. The company expects to invest $18 million to construct an additional 91,000-square-foot building that will accommodate more than 700 new employees.

 

Mountaire Farms to locate feed mill in Scotland County, N.C.

Mountaire Farms will launch a feed mill operation that will bring 65 jobs to Scotland County. The integrated poultry processing company plans to invest nearly $44 million at a site near Laurinburg.

 

Texas company stakes out land to build new LNG export facility

The Woodlands-based NextDecade LLC has signed lease agreements for nearly 1,000 acres in Texas City, where it plans to build a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas export facility. It would be the first such LNG facility in the area, according to NextDecade.

 

Northrop Grumman’s $8 million contract means 200 new jobs in Florida

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s location in Melbourne, Fla., has landed an $8 million defense contract, and the firm is on a hiring spree for Central Florida workers. The Falls Church, Va.-based company will work with the U.S. Navy to support the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft — a radar and communication airborne system.

 

AT&T unveils $100 million redevelopment plans for its Dallas campus

Telecom giant AT&T plans to begin construction "fairly quickly" on the $100 million redevelopment of its downtown Dallas campus. The completion of the upgraded campus, named AT&T Discovery District, is slated for late 2019, and will mean additional hires.

 

Call 2 Answer plans contact center in Maury County, Tenn.

Call 2 Answer will invest $800,000 for a new medical and urgent call center that will create 250 jobs in Maury County. Call 2 Answer provides service primarily for physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare entities.

 

Ascend Performance Materials expanding operations in Greenwood County, S.C.

Ascend Performance Materials, a global provider of high-quality fibers, chemicals and plastics, is expanding its Greenwood County operations. The company plans to invest $3.8 million and create 20 new jobs. Ascend manufactures a variety of compounds, including fibers and resins, for a wide range of industries and applications.

 

Myrtle Beach call center seeking 200 employees

StarTek is seeking to hire 200 full-time and temporary employees at its call center in the Carolina Forest area of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

 

Montgomery call center bowling for dollars

“We are currently a 330-person call center, and we're going to be expanding to over 600 people,” said Rick Burley, owner of the call center ASK. “We're taking a dead, old bones of a building and turning it into a super useful building again.” ASK has started a $2 million renovation of an old bowling alley in Montgomery, Ala., which includes a new parking lot, new roof and a total overhaul of where the bowling alley fixtures used to be.

 

Daisy, Gamo Outdoor USA to combine, expand Arkansas plant

Two makers of airguns are planning to expand the Daisy plant in northwest Arkansas. Keith Higginbotham, president of Rogers-based Daisy and Gamo Outdoor USA, joined Gov. Asa Hutchinson to announce the expansion of the plant in Rogers, Ark. The plant will be the U.S. headquarters for Daisy and Gamo, which was formerly based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The expansion will create about 25 new jobs during the next two years. Management at Gamo's former offices will relocate to Rogers, as will several warehouse and customer service managers from the company's distribution facility in Missouri.

 

IT company to relocate, build new headquarters in Frisco, Texas

Frisco-based IT service provider Skinny IT plans to build a new North Texas headquarters in its home city, which will include office and warehouse space. Skinny IT should then expand by more than 700 percent and increase its in-house workforce by 150 new employees.

 

New Apple investment could bring total in North Carolina to $4 billion

Apple wants to spend another $1 billion on its complex of buildings in Maiden that houses servers for the iCloud. That would bring the Cupertino, California’s company’s total investment in Catawba County close to $4 billion. Apple has about 400 employees associated with the site in Catawba County.

 

St. Jude, ALSAC plan Memphis expansion and 1,800 new jobs

ALSAC (the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) and St. Jude are expanding with an investment of at least $1 billion dollars. The project is expected to bring 1,800 new jobs to Memphis and the Mid-South.

 

GM to spend an additional $1 billion on U.S. plants

General Motors has announced it will spend an additional $1 billion on U.S. manufacturing plants. . .a move the automaker estimated would add or retain 1,500 jobs. The company will also move 450 jobs from GM supplier plants in Mexico back to the U.S. In addition, GM is adding 5,000 jobs to its finance and technology operations. Factories to be affected will be announced throughout the year.

 

One hundred jobs coming to Monroeville, Ala., with MillenniumBlock

Gov. Robert Bentley announced a $300,000 grant that officials say will be used to create 100 new jobs in the Monroeville area. The money will pay for site and drainage improvements for MillenniumBlok International, Inc., a Colorado-based producer of composite insulated concrete.

 

Heckler & Koch announces expansion in Columbus, Ga.

Heckler & Koch, a manufacturer of firearms and accessories, will invest $28.5 million to expand its existing operations in Columbus. The decision is expected to create 84 new jobs. HK will also consolidate its New Hampshire operations into Columbus.

 

Jones Plastic expanding in Tennessee, adding 52 jobs

Custom injection molder Jones Plastic & Engineering Co. plans to expand its Camden, Tenn., production plant with a $4.5 million investment expected to create 52 new jobs. Founded in 1961, the business began molding caps for whiskey bottles, but has evolved into a major supplier in the appliance and automotive sectors with 2,400 employees worldwide.

 

Auto manufacturer adding 100 jobs in western Kentucky

Kayser Automotive Systems is expanding into a facility next door to its current plant in Fulton, Ky. The company will add 100 jobs as part of a $26 million investment to make mechanical and passenger-cabin automotive parts.

 

Kinedyne expands Alabama facility, creates 100 jobs

Kinedyne, a manufacturer of cargo control products for the transportation industry, is close to completing a major relocation, consolidation and expansion effort in Prattville, Ala. The expanded 200,000-square-foot facility will house employees specializing in engineering, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain management, customer service and government contracts.

 

LKQ Corporation plans major expansion in Nashville

LKQ Corporation, a distributor of specialty parts to repair and accessorize autos and other vehicles, will expand its regional headquarters in Davidson County, Tenn., and expects to create 150 jobs.

 

Connexions Loyalty opens in Tulsa

Connexions Loyalty, a provider of consumer loyalty programs, has opened its newest customer service center in Tulsa, Okla. The company purchased an existing travel service center, retaining the jobs of more than 50 travel consultants, and hopes to add 200 additional new jobs.

 

New plant will bring 35 jobs to Cook County, Ga.

The Linde Group, a Munich-based manufacturer of industrial gases, will invest $40 million for a new plant in Adel, hiring 35 jobs there.

 

Health services company brings 500 new jobs to Jacksonville, Fla.

Formativ Health will be bringing 500 new jobs to Jacksonville within the next 18 months. The physician management company, founded in January by healthcare provider Northwell Health, will lease and build out 65,000 square feet of office space for a new patient access services center.

 

Walmart to spend $6.8 billion, create 10,000 jobs in 2017

Walmart plans to create 10,000 new jobs and open 59 new stores in the coming year, officials announced in January. The nation's largest private employer is planning $6.8 billion in capital investments in 2017, including construction of new and remodeled stores and expansion of its Online Grocery Pickup service. The new jobs will be store personnel and staffing for e-commerce services.

 

Lockheed Martin to cut F-35 cost and create 1,800 new jobs in Texas

Following a meeting with Donald Trump, Lockheed chief executive Marillyn Hewson announced that the aerospace giant is close to a contract to lower the cost of the F-35 fighter jet and create 1,800 jobs at the company’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

BlueLine Associates relocating to Tampa

BlueLine Associates will create 150 new jobs in Tampa and invest $2 million as it relocates its headquarters from Cary, N.C. BlueLine, a professional services firm that provides consulting, staffing and other services, is in line for $900,000 in incentives under Florida’s Qualified Target Industry program.

 

Navy Federal expansion to create 1,400 new jobs

Vienna, Virginia-based Navy Federal Credit Union, already the largest credit union in the world, will get much bigger with a $100 million expansion of its operations center in Winchester, Va. As part of the expansion, it will create 1,400 new jobs, nearly doubling its workforce in Frederick County, Va.

 

Cybersecurity company to open in Brookhaven, Ga., create 500 jobs

Ireland-based Sysnet Global Solutions will invest $2 million in a contact center for its cybersecurity services to the payment industry in Brookhaven. The 24-hour, multilingual call center will create 500 jobs.

 

TopGolf coming to Huntsville, Ala.

High-tech driving range and entertainment center TopGolf plans to open a $20 million facility in Huntsville. The entertainment venue will be replacing the Madison Square Mall, once a top shopping destination in north Alabama, which will be demolished over the next few weeks.

 

Cott Corporation expands Tampa HQ

Beverage producer and distributor Cott Corporation will be expanding its headquarters in Hillsborough County, Fla. The expansion will create 60 new jobs and $800,000 in investment.

 

German logistics company to hire 200 in Houston

Germany-based Talke Group is bringing 200 jobs to the Houston area in connection with a 10-year contract it won from Exxon Mobil. Talke will handle logistics around packing and exporting the 1.3 million tons of additional capacity coming online in 2017 with the start of two polyethylene production lines at Exxon Mobil's Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant near Houston.

 

Virgin Mobile to hire 100 for KC HQ

Virgin Mobile plans to open its permanent U.S. headquarters in downtown Kansas City and hire up to 100 people.

 

Taco Bell on track to create 100,000 jobs by 2022

Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol says the company is on track to add 100,000 new jobs in the U.S. over the next five years. Back in November, the company said it hoped to grow to 8,000 locations nationally by 2022 (and 9,000 globally).

 

Z Gallerie to create 115 jobs in Douglas County, Ga.

Los Angeles-based home fashion company Z Gallerie will build an East Coast distribution and customer service center in Douglas County. The center represents a $3.7 million investment and is expected to create 115 new jobs.

 

Kaiser Permanente call center means 800 jobs for Gwinnett County, Ga.

Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest integrated healthcare system, recently celebrated the grand opening of its Duluth contact center, where nearly 300 employees have already been hired. By 2020, the Gwinnett County center will employ 800 people.

 

Big deal near Nashville

A subsidiary of Mohawk Industries, which is headquartered in Calhoun, Ga., is pursuing a $140 million investment near Nashville that would create almost 250 jobs. The carpet, flooring and tile maker is looking to move into a plant that shut down almost two years ago 40 miles west of Nashville.

 

TCube Solutions expanding operations in Richland County, S.C.

TCube Solutions, a software provider and innovation firm, is expanding its existing operations in Richland County. The company is investing $1.7 million to move into a new facility and create 100 jobs.

 

Chemical plant making $50 million investment in Georgia

A Milledgeville specialty chemicals manufacturer is making a $50 million investment and plans to create 75 highly skilled jobs in Middle Georgia. Zschimmer & Schwarz, a Germany-based chemical company that opened its Milledgeville plant in 2000, has acquired the Lexolube division of Pennsylvania-based Inolex Chemical Co., and plans to build a new facility in Gordon.

 

All Traffic Solutions locates HQ in Fairfax County, Va.

All Traffic Solutions, provider of cloud-based traffic management solutions for law enforcement, transportation and smart cities, invested more than $100,000 to establish its corporate headquarters operation in Fairfax County. The company plans to add 25 employees in 2017 and create up to 86 new jobs total over the next three years.

 

Tire company makes hub expansion in Grand Prairie, Texas

Continental Tires has decided to expand its North Texas distribution hub in Grand Prairie, bringing the total footprint of the building to more than 1 million square feet of industrial space.

 

Chris-Craft seeks to expand Florida plant

Chris-Craft is seeking approval from Manatee County for a 48,000-square-foot addition to its manufacturing facility. The $10 million expansion will mean the creation of 55 new jobs during a five-year period.

 

Bridgestone makes additional $180 million investment in Wilson, N.C.

A year after Tennessee-based Bridgestone America Tire Operations announced a five-year, $164 million investment in its Wilson facility, the company announced that it would be making an additional investment of $180 million over the next 10 years at the site. The expansion will include 16 new jobs as production gets underway in fall of 2018.

 

Proterra to triple production in Greenville, S.C.

Electric bus maker Proterra plans to triple production at its Greenville facility in 2017, thanks to a $140 million infusion of cash. The new investment should boost Proterra’s 165-employee workforce in Greenville by 25 jobs.

 

Toyota plans to invest $10 billion in U.S. over five years

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to invest $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years -- the same as in the previous five years -- to meet demand and upgrade plants to build more fuel-efficient models according to North America CEO Jim Lentz.

 

Silicon Valley company hiring 250 in Nashville

An online platform for home design and remodeling headquartered in Silicon Valley, Houzz Inc., has signed a decade-long lease in downtown Nashville's second-biggest office skyscraper, where at least 250 people will work.

 

Investment of $35 million in Garland’s plastic industrial cluster approved

The City of Garland has approved a deal worth more than $35 million. True Velocity, a tech company specializing in sophisticated products for clients who require precise, will open a new 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Garland, which will initially employ 30 people.

 

Lumenier expands Sarasota plant

Lumenier, a designer and manufacturer of racing drone products, has expanded into a 24,000-square-foot facility one mile from downtown Sarasota, Fla. The new facility will be home to drone design engineers and administration.

 

Athenahealth to bring 500 more jobs to Atlanta

Healthcare tech company Athenahealth will add 500 jobs and double its operations at Ponce City Market (the historic Sears & Roebuck building) in Atlanta.

 

NARENCO plans two solar farms in South Carolina

NARENCO (National Renewable Energy Corporation) will be constructing two new solar farms in Orangeburg County. Both projects are expected to bring $89.1 million in new capital investment to the area that is about 37 miles 


January 2017

Fed's Lockhart: Recovery "largely done" 

In one of his last speeches before retiring, Atlanta Federal Reserve bank president Dennis Lockhart said in the winter quarter that the recovery from the Great Recession is "largely done." Lockhart said the U.S. is near full employment, inflation is low and that the country is kind of locked in to steady growth of about two percent for the next two years or more. 

 

End of 2016 saw the longest job growth streak in 75 years

As of the end of 2016, the U.S. economy added jobs for 75 straight months, the longest consecutive monthly job generating period since the 1930s. The job growth has been somewhat slower than previous recoveries. However, it must be noted there has been no job growth in the last 75 months from the public sector. In the past 75 months, there has been a reduction of over 300,000 government jobs.  

 

Wages finally rising

The economic recovery since 2009 has produced plenty of winners, including homeowners, investors and companies. But workers haven't been winning as wages have remained stagnant throughout the recovery. However, the Labor Department reported in January that in calendar year 2016, the average hourly earnings rose by 2.9 percent, the best annual performance since the recovery began in mid-2009. 

 

Final tally: 11.3 million net new jobs created in Obama's two terms 

Former President Barack Obama entered office with one of the most daunting tasks any President has faced in history regarding the economy. Unemployment would spike shortly after he entered office to over 10 percent nationwide. That figure was more than cut in half during his last term in office. In comparison, Clinton's terms saw job gains of 22.9 million, followed by Reagan at 15.9 million and Bush at 2.1 million. 

 

Right-to-work, and states with no income tax populations dominating U.S.

From 2010 to 2016, the U.S. saw population growth of 4.7 percent, from 308.7 million to 323.1 million residents. In the same period, states with no income tax grew by 9.1 percent, while those with state income taxes grew by only 3.5 percent. Right-to-work states' populations grew by 6.2 percent while those with forced unionization grew by only 3.3 percent, according to the Census Bureau. 

 

Dallas-Fort Worth beats U.S.’s amazing monthly job streak

At the end of the year, the U.S. saw 75 consecutive months of job generation, the best streak since a streak began in 1939. But Dallas-Fort Worth's consecutive monthly job generation stood at 80 months at the end of the year. 

 

Gov. Haslam: VW committed to Chattanooga facilities

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in January that in the midst of pleading guilty to criminal charges over the diesel emissions scandal, German automaker Volkswagen is committed to growing its only U.S. plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Haslam said he talked to several VW officials after the company settled with the federal government for $4.3 billion for cheating on emissions tests and destroying evidence to cover it up. VW officials assured him that the automaker will continue to add jobs at the plant. 

 

Charlotte will soon reach population milestone

In 2017, Census data shows that metro Charlotte will reach a population milestone. According to Census, the population of Charlotte will reach 2.5 million by May. 

 

Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston to reach population milestone

Census data predicts that Texas' and two of the South's largest metros will reach population milestones this year. Dallas-Fort Worth is projected to reach 7.4 million residents later this year and Houston's population will reach 7 million by the end of the year. 

 

Amazon adding 1,000 jobs at Kentucky fulfillment centers

Seattle-based Amazon announced it will add 1,000 jobs at its Kentucky fulfillment centers in Shepherdsville, Campbellsville, Hebron and Lexington. The company currently employs more than 10,000 in Kentucky. 

 

Texas LNG clears critical hurdle

The Woodlands, Texas-based company Texas LNG has executed four 20-year terms by state-owned and private buyers in Southeast Asia and China to purchase up to 3.1 million tons of natural gas per year. The deal will almost assuredly pave the way for Texas LNG to build a multi-billion dollar LNG export facility at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas if it can meet environmental regulations. Currently, Cheniere Energy is the only large-scale exporter of shale gas in the U.S. That plant is located in Southwest Louisiana in Cameron Parish. Other LNG export plants on the Gulf Coast are under construction. 

 

Oil and gas jobs see first gains in over two years

Labor Department data shows that in November of 2016, jobs linked to the oil and gas sector rose for the first monthly gain in over two years. Employment rose in the sector by 3,300 for the month. Total jobs in the oil and gas sector now are at 384,300 compared to over 530,000 two years ago. Over 500,000 jobs have been lost globally in the oil and gas industry in the past two years. 

 

Right-to-work passed in Kentucky

Kentucky adopted right-to-work legislation in the winter quarter. The measure gives workers the choice to not pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state. . .now all states in the South are right-to-work except for Missouri. Missouri is also expected to pass the measure soon.  

 

German logistics firm bringing 200 jobs to Houston

Germany-based Talke Group will create 200 jobs in the Houston area as it has won a 10-year contract from Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil. Talke will do the logistics in exporting the 1.3 million tons of additional capacity of polyethylene coming online this year at Exxon Mobil's expanded Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant near Houston. 

 

Ireland-based cybersecurity firm to open center in Atlanta metro

Sysnet Global Solutions will open a call center in Brookhaven, a suburb of Atlanta. The 24-hour multilingual call center will eventually house 500 workers. 

 

Firm relocating from North Carolina to Tampa

BlueLine Associates, a professional services firm, is relocating its headquarters from Cary, N.C., to Tampa, Fla. The company will hire 150 in the move. 

 

Beverage company expanding in Tampa

Cott Corporation, a beverage maker, is expanding its headquarters in Tampa, Fla. The project will create 60 new jobs. 

 

Sarasota-Manatee region tops all others in Florida

The Sarasota-Manatee region in South Tampa Bay was the only metro area in Florida that saw more employment growth in 2016 compared to 2015, according to economist Hank Fishkind. The Sarasota-Manatee region added over 10,000 jobs in calendar year 2016. 

 

Navy Federal adding 1,400 jobs in Virginia

Virginia-based Navy Federal Credit Union is investing $100 million in its support and service operations in Winchester, Va. The project will create 1,400 new jobs. 

 

German gun manufacturer expanding in West Georgia

Hackler & Koch is investing over $28 million to expand its gun manufacturing operations in Columbus, Ga. The project will create 84 new jobs. 

 

Retailer setting up center in Georgia

Z Gallerie, a fashion retailer, is investing almost $4 million in a distribution center in Douglas County, Ga. The deal will create 115 jobs. 

 

Healthcare provider hiring 800 in Atlanta metro

Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest integrated healthcare system, has opened a call center in Gwinnett County, Ga. The deal calls for 800 jobs. 

 

German company expanding in Georgia

Zschimmer & Schwartz, a Germany-based chemical company with facilities in Milledgeville, Ga., is expanding into Gordon, Ga. The company will build a $50 million facility and hire 75 workers in the deal. 

 

Startup technology company creating 725 jobs in South Florida

Magic Leap will move into the former Motorola factory in Plantation, Fla., to create a "R&D Center of Excellence." The $150 million investment will create 725 jobs. 

 

Silicon Valley firm to create 250 jobs in downtown Nashville

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Houzz Inc., a provider of online platforms for home design and remodeling, is moving into the UBS Tower in downtown Nashville. The company will occupy 37,000 square feet and hire 250 employees. 

 

Baretta supplier moving headquarters to Tennessee

California-based Axem Distributing, a supplier to the new Baretta firearms plant in Gallatin, Tenn., is relocating its operations to the city. The project will create 50 jobs. 

 

Virgin Mobile opens HQ in Kansas City

Communications firm Virgin Mobile has chosen downtown Kansas City for its U.S. headquarters. The project will create 100 jobs. 

 

Software provider adding 100 jobs in Columbia, S.C.

TCube Solutions, a software services provider, is investing $1.7 million to expand its operations in Richland County, S.C. The deal will create 100 jobs. 

 

HP could add 2,400 employees in Houston

HP Inc. has pre-leased 378,000 square feet of space at the 2,000-acre mixed-use community in north Houston called Springwoods Village. The California-based company's new campus will house about 2,400 employees. 

 

Toyota planning to spend $10 billion in the U.S. in next five years

Including its new headquarters being completed in Plano, Texas, the CEO of Japanese automaker Toyota said in January the company will spend $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years. CEO Jim Lentz, in response to criticism from President Donald Trump over building cars in Mexico, said that the company will spend $10 billion in the U.S. on autonomous vehicles, to update existing plants, and finish its new North American headquarters in Plano.  

 

Toyota begins relocating employees from Kentucky 

One of Toyota’s former headquarter operations in Erlanger, Ky., is relocating its employees as the Japanese automaker consolidates three U.S. headquarters into one in Plano, Texas. Toyota has already relocated hundreds of employees from its former headquarters in Southern California. When completed later this year, Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano will house 4,000 to 5,000 employees. 

 

Toyota's Alabama engine plant sees record production

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama saw record growth at its engine plant in Huntsville. The workers at the facility built 702,014 engines in calendar year 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2015. 

 

BMW sets unit record at South Carolina plant

German automaker BMW recorded its largest annual production total in calendar year 2016 at its plant in Greer, S.C. The plant produced 411,171 X models in 2016. Of those, the company exported 287,700 vehicles last year. 

 

Continental Tire expanding North Texas distribution facility 

Continental Tire is adding almost 300,000 square feet to its distribution center in Grand Prairie, Texas. The expansion will give the company more than 1 million square feet. No word yet on job additions. 

 

Bridgestone investing $180 million in North Carolina operation

In 2015, Tennessee-based Bridgestone invested $164 million in its facility in Wilson, N.C. The company announced in the winter quarter it is investing another $180 million in the facility, however, only 16 jobs will be added.   

 

Alabama’s auto industry sets assembly record

Alabama’s three automotive assembly plants set a record in calendar year 2016 with 1,048,597 cars, vans and SUVs assembled. It was the second year in a row that the three automakers combined to produce over 1 million vehicles. 

 

Auto industry sets U.S. sales record

Last year was the seventh consecutive year of growth in car sales. In the U.S., 17.55 million cars and light trucks were sold, an industry record. 

 

Electric bus manufacturer expanding in South Carolina

Thanks to an infusion of $140 million in cash, electric bus manufacturer Proterra will triple assembly production at its plant in Greenville, S.C. The company, which employs 165 workers, will add 25 jobs and produce about 90 buses this year. 

 

Hyundai subsidiary to take over part of former GM plant in Shreveport

Glovis America, a subsidiary of South Korea-based Hyundai, will take 125,000 square feet of space in the former General Motors plant in Shreveport, La. The company will use it as a distribution center and a parts aftermarket for imported vehicles. Glovis will outfit imported vehicles with equipment and exterior upgrades such as security systems, sunroofs and additional electronics. The project will create 400 jobs. 

 

Manufacturing boom at end of 2016

The U.S. manufacturing sector saw an expansion in December of 2016 that was the best since August 2009. 

 

Construction spending reaches highest level since 2006

Construction spending on homes, nonresidential buildings and government projects reached $1.18 trillion in November 2016. The total was the highest since April 2006. 

 

German auto supplier invests in North Carolina

Kaco USA, a Germany-based manufacturer of sealing solutions for the automotive industry, will expand its facility in Lincolnton, N.C. The company is investing $8.4 million and adding 100 workers in the deal. 

 

Linde Group building plant in rural Georgia

The Linde Group, an industrial gas manufacturer, will invest $40 million in a new plant in Adel, Ga. The new large-scale air separation facility will supplement other facilities in Cartersville, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. The deal will create 35 jobs. 

 

German company opening facility in Richmond region

Germany-based iMPREG Group, a manufacturer of fiberglass pipe liners, will open a warehouse in Henrico County, Va. The $5.4 million expansion will create 60 jobs. 

 

Tyson expanding Kentucky plant

Tyson Chicken is expanding its poultry plant in Henderson County, Ky. The $13.5 million project will create 66 jobs. 

 

Online cabinet retailer opening design center in St. Louis

CliqStudios, a designer and retailer for custom kitchen cabinets, will invest almost $2 million on a new cabinet design center in St. Louis. The project will create 98 jobs. 

 

Utility-scale solar farms set for South Carolina

Two large solar farms will be built in Orangeburg, S.C., by the National Renewable Energy Corporation. The project calls for an $89.1 million investment. 

 

Aerospace systems provider Safran expands in South Carolina

A leading supplier of aircraft equipment for Boeing, Safran will invest $7 million in its Ladson, S.C., operations. The expansion will create 15 new jobs.

 

Daniel Defense breaks ground in Georgia

The arms manufacturer is starting construction on a $29.5 million expansion of its corporate offices in Black Creek, Ga. The project is expected to bring 75 new jobs.

 

Snack maker Snyder’s-Lance expanding in Charlotte

The company will invest $38 million in expanding operations in its facility in Charlotte, N.C. With this investment, 130 new jobs will be created with an average annual salary of $45,000.

 

American Marksman invests $35 million in ammo manufacturing facility

The commercial ammunition provider plans to renovate 336,000 square feet at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Missouri. The Omaha based company will create 400 jobs. 

 

Chinese fiberglass manufacturer to start construction in South Carolina

China Jushi, a company based out of Zhejiang, China, broke ground in Richland County in December for a $300 million plant that is expected to create 400 new jobs. 

 

Kubota begins expansion in Georgia

The construction equipment manufacturer has begun a $16 million dollar expansion of its distribution center in Jefferson, Ga., to meet growing consumer demand. 

 

Data Analytics Firm to hire 500 in Central Florida

TeleTech Holdings will hire hundreds of new customer service and tech support representatives for its customer experience center in Rockledge, Fla.

 

The Weather Company to hire 400 in relocation

The IBM business and weather forecast company is relocating its headquarters within Atlanta. The move will help the company, which makes 40 billion forecasts daily, to grow with an additional 400 new positions.

 

800 new call center jobs coming to N.C. Triad area

Expert Global Solutions, an Alorica company, is planning to add 800 new positions at its call center in Greensboro, N.C.

 

Leading boat seat manufacturer to create 74 new jobs in Tennessee

The Wise Company announced it will hire 74 new employees and expand its current facility in Savannah, Tenn. 

 

Furniture firm Crown Mark expanding in Triad area

The company will invest $11.7 million for a new 250,000-square-foot distribution center in High Point, N.C. 

 

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Patheon to acquire facility in South Carolina

Patheon has acquired the former Roche Holdings facility in Florence, S.C. The company hopes to increase capacity in the 300,000-square-foot facility producing active pharmaceutical ingredients. The deal will create 200 jobs. 

 

Chemical company Ashland growing to accommodate upward demand

Global chemical company Ashland is expanding existing facilities in Greenville County, S.C., with a $5.6 million capital investment.

 

Spacecraft supplier production facility to be built on Florida’s Space Coast

Swiss-based RUAG Space USA Inc. will create 60 high-wage jobs with the construction of its plant in Titusville, Fla. 

 

ConocoPhillips will relocate HQ in Houston

The company is scrapping a sublease plan for Energy Center 4 and will instead make the 597,629-square-foot building its new headquarters.

 

Chinese garment manufacturer moving to Little Rock

Tianyuan Garments will acquire a 100,000-square-foot plant to set up operations producing clothes for brands like Adidas, Reebok and Armani. This marks the first Chinese manufacturer to produce clothing within the U.S. With a $20 million investment, the firm expects to hire 400.

 

Atkinson Candy Company expanding in Texas

The business, located in Lufkin, Texas, is investing $5 million in additional facility space.

 

SolarCity adding hundreds of jobs in Florida

The California-based solar panel company is increasing services in Florida, and, if growth in Nevada and elsewhere is any indication, the company is prepared to add hundreds and later thousands of jobs with multiple locations. The $2 billion Tesla-acquired company will need to hire electricians, roofers, construction workers, sales consultants and managers. 

 

Erlander will invest $50 million in Chattanooga

The health services provider will create 400 new jobs with its $50 million expansion in the East Brainerd area. Included in the expansion will be an intensive care unit, four operating rooms and a cardiovascular lab, as well as almost doubling the number of hospital beds.

 

Automaker GM will expand its in-house finance company in Arlington, Texas

The $35 million investment at GM Financial will bring 1,300 new jobs to its Arlington campus. The addition of 250,000 square feet of new office space will allow the company to surpass 4,000 employees. 

 

Major carpet manufacturer completes new plant in Georgia

Shaw Industries Group has finished construction of its new carpet tile manufacturing plant in Adairsville, Ga. The new $85 million facility will accommodate 500 new jobs.

 

Wink Equipment will create 50 jobs in Kentucky

The aluminum trailer manufacturer will invest $1.55 million in operations in Dawson Springs. The 69,000-square-foot facility will manufacture 400 to 600 aluminum side dump trailers a year.

 

Ortec plans for 60 new jobs in South Carolina

The polymer and biomaterial technology company is investing $20 million in its 200,000-square-foot facility in Anderson County.

 

Custom box manufacturer invests $17 million in Charlotte expansion

Company Box will add 25 new employees and invest $17 million to expand operations to meet increasing online orders of its custom boxes and packaging.

 

Industrial equipment supplier to open in San Antonio

With a $3.9 million investment, W.W. Grainger opened its new operation center in San Antonio, Texas. The project is expected to provide 200 new jobs for the area.

 

Cargill, Calysta opening fish food factory in Memphis

To meet demand for farm-raised fish bound for China, Cargill and Calysta will build a new factory that will employ 75 new people.

 

Home cabinet manufacturer to consolidate HQ in Virginia

American Woodmark Corporation will bring its headquarter operations to Frederick County, Va. The company will invest $30 million in the consolidation, and create 55 new jobs.

 

BP to go ahead with a $9 billion project in the Gulf of Mexico

The UK-based major oil company announced it will be resuming the second phase of its project in the Gulf of Mexico. 

 

Automotive supplier constructing new plant in South Carolina

Magna International is building a new automotive seat manufacturing plant in Spartanburg County. The company will invest $29 million and create 480 new jobs. 

 

B&W Fiberglass is launching new operation in South Carolina

The advanced materials manufacturer has acquired a new facility in Greenville County, and with an investment of $5 million, the company will create 46 new jobs.

 

Pin Oak Holdings closes on a $100 million investment in Louisiana

A petroleum and chemical storage terminal is being built in St. John Parish and will be operational by June of 2017.

 

Shaw Industries Group completes manufacturing plant in Atlanta

Shaw Industries, a major producer of carpet tile, has announced that their new $85 million facility is now operational. The company plans to employ an additional 500 new people when the facility reaches full capacity.

 

Leclerc Foods expands in Tennessee

The food production company is expanding its existing facility in Kingsport. The company will also build an additional $49 million facility that will create 105 jobs.

 

Everest Textiles USA opening new manufacturing plant in North Carolina

The Taiwan-based sports apparel maker will add 610 new jobs in Rutherford County. The company, which supplies Nike, Columbia and Patagonia, will invest $18.5 million in the plant with a $3 million tax incentive.

 

Fareva opens new plant in Virginia

The household, cosmetic and pharmaceutical contract manufacturer has opened a new aerosol plant in Henrico County. The $40 million investment and expansion will employ 80 to 100 people.

 

Skylight and window manufacturer expands in South Carolina

Velux, a leading roof window maker, is expanding with a $4 million investment and an additional 21 new jobs in Greenwood County, S.C.

 

Raven Petroleum to build new refinery in Texas

The first refinery to be built in decades, Raven will invest $500 million to build a facility that will produce 50,000 barrels a day. The facility will be located east of Laredo and will export nearly all its refined fuel to Mexico.

 

Fresco Foods to bring 50 new jobs to Tampa

The prepared and pre-packaged meal company will build a new commercial kitchen and food service production facility in eastern Hillsborough County. The new facility will employ 50 people.

 

Consumer healthcare provider bringing jobs to South Carolina

PL Developments plans to hire 450 new employees at a new warehouse in Greenville County, S.C. 

 

CompuCom relocating HQ to South Carolina

The technology infrastructure services company will locate its new headquarters in Lancaster County, S.C. The project will bring $41 million in capital investment and will provide the area with 1,500 new jobs over the next several years.

 

Cabinet hardware manufacturer to expand near Charlotte

Blum Inc. will invest $16 million to upgrade its existing facilities in Lincoln County, N.C., and hire 20 new workers. 

 

Mortgage company opening new headquarters in Texas

Service First Mortgage will move its headquarters and employ 128 people at the McKinney Corporate Center in McKinney, Texas. 

 

Linak expands in Louisville

The company, which makes parts used in healthcare equipment, furniture and other products, will create 413 new jobs with the planned $33 million expansion. 

 

Qorvo plans expansion in Florida

Tech manufacturer Qorvo will expand existing operations in Apopka, Fla., with an additional 100 new employees.

 

Geico hiring in Virginia Beach

The insurance company plans to hire more than 500 people by the end of 2017.

 

Peet’s Coffee invests $58 million in Virginia

The craft coffee brand will establish a new manufacturing operation in Suffolk, Va. The 175,000-square-foot roasting operation will create 135 new jobs.

 

LignoTech Florida to locate in Fernandina Beach

The joint venture of chemical company suppliers will create 50 new jobs in Nassau County.

 

INC Research to relocate HQ in North Carolina

The Raleigh-based company has announced it will invest $37.9 million and move to Morrisville. The project will create 550 new jobs.

 

Credit Karma expands in Charlotte

The San Francisco-based company will hire 100 new employees with a new office in Charlotte.

 

Poultry plant to bring jobs in Arkansas

Summit Poultry will open a plant in Pine Bluff that will employ 100 workers.

 

Tencel fiber company to build new plant in Mobile

Austrian-based company Lenzing will spend $300 million in construction of a new plant that will bring 163 new jobs. 

 

Tire industry supplier Evonik to build plant in South Carolina

Evonik Industries will build a $120 million plant near Charleston. The project will create 55 new jobs.

 

PL Developments to bring jobs in South Carolina

The manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceutical products will invest $45 million in a new facility in Greenville County, S.C., that will bring 450 new jobs. 

 

Wacker Chemie AG will build a new plant near Chattanooga

The chemical company has announced it will construct a new production facility with a $150 million investment. The move will create 50 new jobs in Bradley County, Tenn.

 

Healthcare tech firm invests in Tampa HQ

CareSync will hire 350 new employees at its new Tampa headquarters. 

 

US Steel to reopen part of plant in Granite City, Mo.

United States Steel Corp. will refill 220 jobs at the reopened hot strip mill in Granite City, Mo.

 

Novatech to bring jobs to Virginia

The door and door glass manufacturer will invest $3 million to build a new facility in Henry County, Va., that will employ 50 people.

 

ProBrass Inc. investing in South Carolina

The manufacturer of rifle brass cartridge cases is establishing itself in Clarendon County. The start-up firm will invest $40 million in the new facility, creating over 70 new jobs.

 

Mars Petcare expands in Arkansas

The pet food manufacturer will expand its Fort Smith operations with a committed $72 million investment. The expansion will create 130 new jobs.

 

Citrix adding 400 new jobs in North Carolina

The tech company will employ an additional 400 new workers at its Raleigh location.

 

KPS Global will expand in Tennessee

The walk-in cooler, freezer and environmental chamber manufacturer will bring 64 new jobs with an investment of $1.5 million in Sullivan County, Tenn.

 

Magnum Venus Products to expand in Knoxville

The manufacturer of composites application equipment has acquired space to build a $12 million facility that will employ 70 new workers.

 

EnviroSep will expand in Georgetown, S.C.

The manufacturer of integrated solutions for fluid handling, heat transfer and energy recovery will invest $5.2 million in its expansion with an addition of 100 new jobs.

 

Kerry Group expands in Missouri

The food ingredients company will spend $14.3 to expand operations in Greenville, Mo.

 

R+L Carriers investing in South Carolina

The global logistics and shipping company will hire 25 new employees and invest $7 million in expanding operations in Yemassee, S.C.

 

Fiber-optic cable manufacturer expands in North Carolina

Italian-based Prysmian Group will invest $20 million in its Catawba County plant, and will add 95 new jobs.

 

E-commerce marketing software firm to hire in Atlanta

Atlanta-based Springbot will invest $10 million and hire about 70 new employees.

 

Acquisition brings jobs back in Georgia plant

Gossen, North America’s largest integrated plastics manufacturer, will bring 49 jobs back to its plant in Cartersville, Ga.

 

myNexus expands in Nashville

The healthcare information tech company will expand operations with an investment of $1 million and the addition of 260 new jobs.

 

Techtronic Industries expanding in South Carolina

The manufacturer of home improvement and consumer products will invest $75 million over the coming years. The company will hire an additional 200 or workers.

 

Flooring company Unilin expands, hires in North Carolina

The Mohawk-owned company will invest $36 million in its facility in Thomasville, N.C., adding 50 new employees.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement to bring jobs to Folkston, Ga.

The government agency will hire 200-plus workers after opening a privately run detention center in Folkston.

 

Volkswagen hiring in Chattanooga

Hiring for production of the new VW Atlas SUV is underway in Chattanooga. The factory plans to hire 600 more workers by mid-March. 

 

Skuid is adding jobs in Chattanooga

The cloud software company is hiring 60 new employees after a new product launch.

 

Sparks Custom Fabrication grows plant in Tennessee

The company, which specializes in stainless steel, stone and millwork products for the food industry, will expand manufacturing operations in Adamsville, Tenn. The company will create 140 new jobs over the next five years.

 

Unanet expands in Virginia

The web software company will add 100 jobs at its Loudoun County location. The company will invest $7 million after receiving a $125,000 incentive package from the county’s Department of Economic Development.

 

Ebtron expanding in South Carolina

The manufacturer of air flow measuring devices will expand operations in Horry County. The $2.5 million in capital investment will lead to the creation of 100 new jobs.

 

Comprehensive Health Services adding jobs in Cape Canaveral

The medical management services provider will create 150 new jobs as a part of a consolidation move. The new jobs have an average annual salary of $66,000.

 

After economic incentive approval, GKN Driveline to create 302 jobs in N.C.

The auto parts manufacturer will expand four of its plants after North Carolina economic development leaders approved $3 million in incentives over the next several years. The company plans to invest $179 million at plants in Alamance, Catawba, Lee and Person counties.

 

Dolphin Pointe Health Center to add 500 jobs in Florida

North of the Jacksonville University Campus, the 120-bed skilled nursing center will add as many as 500 new jobs with an $18 million investment.

 

Liquefied natural gas plant to create jobs in Louisiana

The $8.5 billion Venture Global LNG project planned for Plaquemines Parish will generate 250 new jobs.

 

Triangle Services to open regional HQ in Fort Lauderdale

The provider of management services for commercial real estate will invest $7.88 million and will create 300 jobs.

 

Carbon Cycle Energy building $100 million biogas plant in North Carolina

Located near Warsaw, N.C., the plant will produce biogas for energy and transportation fuel by utilizing anaerobic digestion of animal and food waste. The facilities will be the largest in the U.S. 

 

Bosch expanding North Carolina plant

The German engineering and electronics company will make a $13.3 million investment in new equipment and machinery for its Robert Bosch Tool Corp’s facility in Lincolnton, N.C. The investment will include the addition of more than 50 jobs. 

 

Blue Ridge Aquaculture expands in Virginia

The largest tilapia aquaculture operation in the world is expanding with an investment of $3.2 million at its facilities in Henry County, Va. The project will create five new jobs. 

 

Computer tech start-up Magic Leap expanding in South Florida

The company has acquired a second facility. The “R&D Center of Excellence” will provide 725 new jobs and a $150 million capital investment in Plantation, Fla.

 

Jones Plastic expanding in Tennessee

The plastic injection mold manufacturer will invest $4.5 million in its facility in Camden, Tenn. The company plans to hire 52 new workers.

 


December 2016

"Mass migration from Mexico is over." 

We all know how tight the labor market is getting, particularly the slim pickings among the skilled labor set. But what about low-skilled workers, the folks hired by business owners in construction, agriculture and the hospitality industries? A shortage of Mexican immigrants is making it difficult for those industries to fill job vacancies. "Mass migration from Mexico is over," Pia Orrenius, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas told The Wall Street Journal in an article published in the fall quarter. Data suggests Orrenius is dead on. Between 1995 and 2000, almost 3 million Mexican-born immigrants left Mexico for the U.S. according to the Pew Research Center. That figure was reduced by half to about 1.4 million between 2005 and 2010. And from 2009 to 2014, only about 870,000 Mexican immigrants headed to the U.S. In fact, today, more Mexicans return to their country from the U.S. than cross the border into the U.S.  

 

Largest new U.S. refinery in 40 years to be built in South Texas

Houston-based Raven Petroleum will build a $500 million oil refinery in Duval County, Texas. When completed in 2018, the facility will be the largest new refinery built in the U.S. in nearly 40 years. 

 

U.S. Army breaks ground on Army Cyber Command near Augusta, Ga. 

The U.S. Army broke ground on the $85 million first phase of its Army Cyber Command headquarters at Fort Gordon, Ga. The facility, located just outside Augusta, is expected to house up to 1,200 workers who will be at the front line of the nation's cyber defense. Georgia officials estimate the new command could create an additional 16,000 jobs from civilian defense contractors.  

 

Chattanooga top candidate for VW electric vehicle

Volkswagen announced in the fall quarter it plans to assemble its first electric vehicle in North America starting in 2021. The German automaker's Chattanooga plant is considered the front-runner for the zero-emissions vehicle. VW also operates plants in Mexico. 

 

Ernst & Young study shows VW supports almost 17,000 jobs in Tennessee

A new study by Ernst & Young showed that Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga was responsible for 16,794 direct and indirect jobs in Tennessee in 2015. Wages for those jobs topped $1 billion and gross economic output totaled $7.8 billion in 2015. The German automaker's plant is expected to house 3,500 workers in April of 2017, shortly after VW's new SUV begins full production. 

 

Texas shale play holds record 20 billion barrels

In the fall quarter, geologists discovered a vast new field of shale rock near Midland, Texas that could be the largest source of shale oil in the U.S. Called the Wolfcamp Shale geologic formation in West Texas, the area could yield 20 billion barrels of oil, 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. If true, the find could be worth nearly $1 trillion. The new discovery is part of the large, energy-rich Permian Basin that is located in West Texas and southern New Mexico. 

 

TVA territory sees record investment total in FY 2016

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporate agency of the U.S. government that provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven Southeastern states, saw a record-breaking year of capital investment in fiscal year 2016. TVA assisted in growing or retaining 72,000 jobs and $8.3 billion in capital investment in its territory in the last year. 

 

Boeing Dreamliner supplier expanding

French aerospace supplier Safran has invested $7 million to expand its plant in Charleston County, S.C., that supplies Boeing's 787 full assembly plant in North Charleston. The deal will create 15 jobs. 

 

RUAG Space USA to build facility on Space Coast

RUAG Space, a supplier of spacecraft structures and equipment, is building a new facility at the Port Canaveral Titusville Logistic Center. The facility will house 60 workers. 

 

Auto supplier to build new Alabama plant

Wheel & Truck Group plans to build a $35 million wheel assembly factory in Vance, Ala., near the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant. The Spanish company is hiring 85 workers in the project. 

 

Big River Steel opens in Arkansas

The $1.3 billion Big River Steel mill near Osceola, Ark., has begun production. The first shift of 260 employees is now housed at the facility, and at buildout up to 600 are expected to work at the plant. 

 

Pfizer plans biopharmaceutical facility in Missouri

Pfizer will invest $200 million in a new biopharmaceutical facility in Chesterfield, Mo. The deal will create 80 jobs. 

 

Rural South Carolina county lands $200 million solar project

Clarendon County, S.C., will be the home of two separate solar projects. Adger Solar will build the two solar farms at a cost of $200 million.  

 

Aerospace composite manufacturer opens plant in South Carolina

Advanced Ceramic Coatings, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Turbocoating Corp., has opened a new plant in Duncan, S.C. The $15 million facility will house 50 workers. 

 

First Quality expands tissue plant in Anderson, S.C.

First Quality Enterprises will invest in a new tissue-making machine at its plant in Anderson County, S.C. The deal will create hundreds of jobs. 

 

GKN adding to North Carolina plant

GKN Driveline is investing almost $29 million at its automotive parts plant in Mebane, N.C. The project will create 36 jobs. 

 

Housing has best month in nine years

Construction in the residential sector soared by 25.5 percent to 1.3 million new homes in October. That is the largest increase in new home construction since July 1982. New construction is also at the highest level since August 2007.  

 

A chicken in every pot

The South is the largest poultry producing region in the country, and the U.S. is the second-largest producer of chickens in the world (China is first). Exports of the product support millions of jobs, but according to Mike Giles, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation, we will need to double poultry production worldwide by 2050. China and Russia were the largest export markets for U.S. poultry, but now Mexico is No. 1. Giles said at a breakfast sponsored by the Greater Hall County (Ga.) Chamber of Commerce that the world's population is expected to grow from 7.3 billion today to 10 billion by 2050, requiring a doubling of poultry production.  

 

$229 million wood pellet plant opens in Pine Bluff, Ark. 

Highlands Pellets has opened its 600,000 metric-ton-per-year wood pellet facility in Pine Bluff. The pellets are used by European industrial utilities to provide energy. The $229 million facility will house 68 workers. 

 

Deloitte expanding center in Orlando metro

Deloitte Consulting is expanding its U.S. Technology Delivery Center in the Orlando metro. The company is investing $24 million and hiring 850 new associates. 

 

UPS investing in Jacksonville hub

Atlanta-based UPS is investing $196 million to expand capacity at its Jacksonville regional distribution hub. Ten jobs will be added to the 1,650 who are already employed there. 

 

FEUER opens first U.S. plant in Mississippi

FEUER, a manufacturer of powertrains for the automotive industry based in Nordhausen, Germany, officially opened its first U.S. plant and headquarters in Tunica County, Miss., in the fall quarter. The company will produce crankshafts at the $140 million facility. The project will create 300 jobs. 

 

Alabama transforms state's workforce system

Alabama business, education and workforce training leaders unveiled a new system called Alabama Works. The program will seamlessly link employers looking for skilled workers with residents seeking jobs or job training. Alabama Works brings together key components of the K-12 and two-year college systems, state workforce training and placement services and industry. 

 

Magna Seating to set up new plant in South Carolina

Canada-based Magna Seating will set up shop in a new 230,000-square-foot facility it will build in Spartanburg County, S.C. The $60 million automotive seat plant will house 250 workers.  

 

Weather Company relocating, adding jobs in Atlanta

The Weather Company, which makes apps and provides forecasts and data to the aviation, energy and insurance companies, as well as for governments, is relocating its headquarters to Brookhaven in the Atlanta area. The IBM-owned firm will also add 400 employees with the move. 

 

Champion Petfoods adds capacity, jobs in rural Kentucky

Champion Petfoods is expanding its high quality pet food plant in Logan County, Ky. The company's employment will rise to 200, and so far more than $178 million has been invested in the facility. 

 

Brose expanding parts plant in Alabama

Brose Tuscaloosa is investing $26.5 million in its auto parts plant in Vance, Ala. The door systems supplier will add 50 jobs. 

 

Bombardier plans West Virginia expansion

Montreal-based Bombardier will nearly double its service center for regional jets and turboprop planes at the West Virginia Air Center in Bridgeport, W.Va. The company currently has about 400 employees at the center, and it expects to add 150 more. 

 

Boeing consolidates, adds 400 jobs in Huntsville, Ala.

Boeing announced in the fall quarter it will consolidate its strategic defense and intelligence systems by closing plants in Texas and Virginia. The moves will create 400 jobs in Huntsville. Boeing is investing $70 million in the project. 

 

Boeing consolidation to bring 500 jobs to St. Louis

Boeing is moving 500 jobs from Huntington Beach, Calif., to its facilities in St. Louis. The project is part of Boeing's consolidation of its Defense, Space and Security division. 

 

CBS Radio moving 200 jobs to Nashville

The radio division of CBS is moving 200 jobs to downtown Nashville. The media property is investing $5 million in the project. 

 

Japanese company investing $600 million in South Carolina

Japan-based Teijin Ltd. announced plans in the fall quarter to build a carbon fiber plant on 440 acres in Greenwood, S.C. The company will manufacture carbon fiber to supply the automotive and aerospace industries. The $600 million project will create 220 jobs. 

 

Company investing $13 billion in unfinished nuclear plant

A Washington, D.C.-based company purchased TVA's unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant in Hollywood, Ala., and will spend $13 billion on the facility to bring it online as an energy producer. The project will create 2,000 jobs. 

 

Microsoft expanding rural Virginia data center again

Microsoft Corp. is investing $251 million to expand its data center campus in Boydton, Va. The expansion, which will create 44 new jobs, is the fifth for the company since it opened in 2011. 

 

UPS investing $400 million in Atlanta

Atlanta-based UPS is investing $400 million in the city to build the company's third largest processing facility. The 1.3 million-square-foot regional hub is being built on a 341-acre site in west Atlanta near Charlie Brown Airport. The project will create 1,250 jobs. 

 

Call center adds 175 jobs in South Carolina

Finance firm OneMain Holdings is expanding its call center in Fort Mill, S.C. The company is adding 58,000 square feet and adding 175 jobs. 

 

Big call center deal in High Point, N.C.

Expert Global Solutions is adding 800 workers at its call center in High Point. The call center currently has a staff of over 1,000, making it one of High Point's largest employers. 

 

Facebook expanding Fort Worth data center

Facebook will increase the size of its data center under construction in Fort Worth to nearly 2.5 million square feet of space, tripling the original size of the project. The project is expected to cost more than $1 billion. 

 

German company building plant in North Carolina

Norafin Industries, a manufacturer of fire and heat-retardant fabrics, is building a new 75,000-square-foot plant in Henderson County, N.C. The $18 million project will create 46 jobs. 

 

Nutritional supplement company sets up shop in South Carolina

Thorne Research, a nutritional supplement manufacturer, is building a new facility in Summerville, S.C. The $35 million project is expected to create 330 new jobs. 

 

Uranium enrichment project to create hundreds of jobs in Paducah, Ky. 

GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment is spending $1 billion to enrich uranium at a new facility being built in Paducah, Ky. The project will create 800 to 1,200 jobs. 

 

Flooring company hiring in North Carolina

Mohawk Laminate is expanding it plant in Thomasville, N.C. The company is adding 50 positions. 

 

Manufacturer reopening Tennessee facility

Huber Engineered Woods plans to reopen its flooring and roofing products plant in Spring City, Tenn. The facility was closed during the housing downturn in 2011. The reopening will bring back 140 jobs. 

 

Big bakery set for Mebane, N.C.

Belgium-based Lotus Bakeries has chosen Mebane, N.C., for a new 160,000-square-foot bakery to produce Lotus Biscoff cookies. The $48 million project is the first for the company in the U.S.

 

Packaging company adding jobs in Virginia

Dominion Packaging, which does business with Anheuser-Busch, Philip Morris, McDonald's and other companies, is investing $25 million in its plant in Henrico County, Va. The deal will create 60 jobs. 

 

Tory Burch hiring 150 in Georgia

New York-based clothing and home goods retailer Tory Burch is setting up an e-commerce fulfillment center in McDonough, Ga. The project will create 150 jobs. 

 

Pepsico adding jobs in rural Mississippi

Pepsico is building a new distribution facility in Leflore County, Miss. The project will create 60 new jobs. 

 

New Chattanooga-made SUV to be exported worldwide

The new SUV being made in Tennessee will be exported worldwide. The VW Atlas model is part of Volkswagen's $900 million expansion of its Chattanooga plant. The German automaker is adding 1,100 employees to its Tennessee plant to produce the Atlas. 

 

Continental breaks ground on $1.45 billion Mississippi plant

In the fall quarter, German tire manufacturer Continental AG broke ground on its $1.45 billion tire plant in Clinton, Miss. State and local governments are offering up to $650 million in incentives to the company that will hire 2,500 at the facility. 

 

Jeld-Wen to build new HQ is Charlotte

Jeld-Wen, a window and door manufacturer that moved to Charlotte from Oregon, is building a new headquarters in southwest Charlotte. The project will create 200 new jobs. 

 

Minnesota firm hiring hundreds in Orlando

Optum, an information technology-enabled health services firm, is hiring over 400 customer service representatives in Orlando. The company is part of Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group. 

 

Chinese appliance manufacturer moving HQ to Louisville

Haier America, which recently purchased GE Appliances and its Appliance Park in Louisville that houses 6,000 employees, is relocating its headquarters from Wayne, N.J., to Louisville. About 80 employees will relocate to Louisville. 

 

GM adding space in Atlanta area

General Motors is adding an additional 250,000 square feet of space in north Atlanta. The informational technology unit will add several hundred jobs. 

 

Charles Schwab now planning for 5,000 new jobs at its DFW hub

Originally, financial services giant Charles Schwab planned for 2,000 workers at its new Dallas-Fort Worth hub in Westlake. Now the California-based company is planning on hiring 5,000 for the new campus. 

 

Textile manufacturer to build North Carolina plant

King Charles Industries plans to build a $12.5 million textile plant in Anson County, N.C. The company will produce textiles for the automotive and medical industries. The deal will create 100 jobs. 

 

Insulation manufacturer investing $45 million in North Carolina

K-Flex, a maker of thermal and acoustic insulation, is investing $45 million in its facilities in Franklin County, N.C. The project calls for 100 new jobs. 

 

Health care firm to place HQ in Nashville

After eliminating Austin, Atlanta and Tampa, Apricity Resources announced it would place its headquarters in Nashville. The company provides back-office functions for nursing centers. The project will create 200 jobs. 

 

CVS building large distribution center in Kansas City

Retailer CVS announced in the fall quarter it will build a 752,000-square-foot distribution center on 72 acres in Kansas City. The facility will house 400 workers who will work three shifts. 

 

South African auto supplier sets up shop in Henderson County, Ky. 

Hansens Aluminum LLC is locating an aluminum extrusion facility in Henderson. The company, which will supply automakers in the U.S. and Mexico, is investing $18.4 million in the project that will create 90 jobs. 

 

Want skilled manufacturing labor? Check out Eastern Kentucky

Coal miners keep getting laid off in East Kentucky. In fact, the coal industry cut jobs in the region by 27 percent in just the first six months of this year, and layoffs have been ongoing for three years. This has created a skilled and available workforce of about 10,000 people in Eastern Kentucky, including welders, molders, electricians and industrial truck and tractor operators. 

 

Top three millennial growth cities are in the South

A new report from the U.S. Census showed that millennial population growth (adult ages 18-34) grew faster in Charlotte than any of the 50 largest U.S. metros. Charlotte's millennial population grew by 30.7 percent from 2005-2015. Following Charlotte was Houston, at 17.4 percent and Austin at 16.4 percent. 

 

Air Force and Rolls-Royce create jobs in Oklahoma

A new public-private partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Rolls-Royce is creating jobs at Tinker Air Force Base's Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. The partnership will overhaul and repair F137 engines that power the Air Force's fleet of Global Hawk drones. 


November 2016

Amazing turnaround by the automotive industry

By 2008, the automotive industry was declining rapidly. By 2009, it had essentially collapsed. General Motors and Chrysler bankrupted and federal bailouts were needed to save tens of thousands of jobs. Since then, the automotive sector, including its retail and wholesale components, has created massive numbers of jobs. The following chart shows automotive jobs in each Southern state in 2008 compared to 2015.

 

Auto jobs by state 2008 and 2015

State                           2008                  2015

Alabama                      49,346             165,470

Arkansas                     17,142                62,110

Florida                         99,199              242,335

Georgia                        54,954             206,810

Kentucky                    65,468               205,800

Louisiana                     19,404                84,230

Mississippi                 20,879                  73,820

Missouri                     55,722                167,060

North Carolina            59,276             197,465

Oklahoma                    21,484               69,400

South Carolina            41,285             138,800

Tennessee                   79,424             268,870

Texas                           137,191           460,650

Virginia                        47,485             152,760

West Virginia              8,966                  39,160

*Includes auto assembly, auto parts supplier, auto wholesale, parts wholesale and new car dealership jobs. Source: Center for Automotive Research.  

 

Samsung investing $1 billion, adding jobs at Austin semiconductor plant

South Korea-based Samsung will invest more than $1 billion in its Austin, Texas semiconductor plant. The plant makes chips for mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices. The project will also create hundreds of new jobs.

 

Volkswagen’s new made-in-USA crossover has a name!

Volkswagen’s largest-ever crossover SUV will be called the Atlas. The seven-passenger sport utility vehicle will be built at VW’s Chattanooga plant and is expected to launch in the spring of next year. By then, the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga will house about 3,500 employees, the most ever.

 

KLX Aerospace Solutions takes off in Miami

KLX Aerospace Solutions, a global distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables, is expanding its operations and building a new global headquarters/distribution center in Miami-Dade County, Fla. KLX will also hire 100 new employees.

 

Anthem ensures 1,800 jobs in Atlanta tech center

Indianapolis-based Fortune 50 health insurer Anthem Inc. will invest $20 million in a technology hub in Atlanta. The Indianapolis-based company will create about 1,800 jobs at the software development center in Midtown's Bank of America Plaza.

 

GKN Aerospace shipping 300 jobs to Alabama

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers says about 300 jobs will be leaving GKN Aerospace's St. Louis location for the company's facility in Tallassee, Ala. No timetable has been announced.

 

Computershare to add 850 jobs in Louisville, Ky.

Computershare, a financial services firm based in Australia, plans a much larger presence in Louisville than the company first announced in September 2014. Computershare now plans to add 1,100 jobs in Louisville – up from the company’s initial estimate of 250. Price tag for the expansion looks like $20 million.

 

Crystal Distribution launching operations in York County, S.C.

A Charlotte HVAC equipment manufacturer is establishing new operations in York County. The project is expected to bring $4.8 million in new capital investment and will allow the company to relocate existing positions from its operations in Charlotte. Crystal Distribution will also add new jobs to create a total of 83 positions in South Carolina.

 

CTD Holdings locates corporate headquarters in Jupiter, Fla.

CTD Holdings, a biotech company, will establish its corporate headquarters in Jupiter, Fla. The company expects to add 42 jobs and invest $2.75 million in the region.

 

Harry’s Fresh Foods opens Nashville production facility, adding 300 jobs

Harry’s Fresh Foods, an Oregon-based manufacturer of refrigerated and frozen foods, has expanded its operations with the opening of their new 200,000-square-foot production facility in Nashville.

 

New development on Jefferson Davis corridor to bring 300 jobs

A developer hopes a new project will bring jobs to the Jefferson Davis corridor in the area’s biggest development initiative in over 40 years. Fountainhead properties is transforming the former Philip Morris tobacco storage facility into Clopton Siteworks. The development in Richmond, Va., will house offices and warehouse space for small and medium sized businesses.

 

Warner Music adds 175 finance jobs in Nashville

Warner Music is expanding its Nashville presence, adding 175 finance jobs over the next two years. Warner Music Nashville will remain at its Music Row location and the new jobs will be located in the downtown Nashville City Center.

 

New investment, jobs in Buckingham County, Va.

Rock Wood Products of Dillwyn will invest $8.75 million to expand sawmill operation in Buckingham County. The company will create 12 new jobs in the county and source 100 percent of its timber needs from Virginia land owners.

 

Kentucky’s Bed Wood and Parts to expand, add 42 jobs

Bed Wood and Parts, an automotive aftermarket supplier of domestic and exotic wood bed kits for pickup trucks, plans a $3.7 million expansion of its operation near Hopkinsville, Ky., a project expected to create 42 full-time jobs.

 

Pepsi Bottling Ventures plans distribution center in Robeson County, N.C.

Pepsi Bottling Ventures will create 50 jobs over the next five years at a new $16.5 million distribution center in Robeson County, N.C.

 

Dothan-area distribution center expanding, adding 50 jobs

A Houston County (Alabama) grocery distribution center has announced a $17 million expansion that is expected to add 50 jobs. McLane Dothan is adding between 70,000 and 80,000 square feet to its existing 320,000-square-foot distribution center near Cottonwood.

 

GE Digital finds its home in Buckhead

GE Digital has chosen the Buckhead area of Atlanta for its new global digital operations center, bringing 250 high-paying jobs. The company has announced that software development is the future of GE, and the Atlanta office will help make the programs and applications that not only go in its products, but will help GE run its sprawling businesses.

 

New jobs coming to CSRA in Louisiana thanks to $166 million contract

A $166.9 million contract awarded to CSRA (which provides IT services to government clients in national security, civil government, health care and public health) by the Defense Intelligence Agency will create about 35 to 40 new jobs in the near future at the company’s Integrated Technology Center in Bossier City.

 

Food packaging company to create 310 jobs in Spring Hill, Tenn.

Food packaging company Armada Nutrition will expand its operations in Maury County, investing $2.1 million and creating 310 new jobs over the next five years at the company's Spring Hill plant.

 

Morley opens new facility, creates 270 jobs

Morley, a 153-year- old customer service company, is hiring to fill the 270 new jobs at its new customer contact center in Greenville County.

 

Arkansas foam manufacturer expanding, adding 100 jobs

A foam manufacturing company is expanding its Fort Smith facility and adding more than 100 new jobs. Elite Comfort Solutions, which creates foam for bedding and furniture, will be hiring employees for “all facets of the plant’s daily operations.” After the expansion, the manufacturing facility will have about 185 employees.

 

Textile company to bring 100 jobs to the Charlotte region

With an investment of $12.5 million, textile company King Charles Industries plans to hire 100 people at its new manufacturing site in Anson County, N.C. King Charles Industries is a joint venture between Taiwan’s Kingwhale Corp. and Hornwood Inc., a 70-year-old North Carolina textile company.

 

United Airlines begins construction in Houston

United Airlines has begun construction of the airline's new $162 million United Technical Operations Center at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

 

Global plastics distributor headed for Houston

A global plastics distribution company has purchased 200 acres in Houston's Cedar Port Distribution Park, the largest rail- and barge-served industrial park in the nation. Ravago Americas, a subsidiary of Belgium-based Ravago, will develop a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution and manufacturing campus on the land. The campus will be equipped to handle more than 2 billion pounds of plastic resin annually.

 

Textron to add 150 jobs in Augusta, Ga.

Textron Specialized Vehicles will add 100 to 150 jobs to its Augusta workforce during the next year as it combines operations with Jacobsen of Charlotte, N.C., a leading manufacturer of turf-care equipment. The new jobs will come in addition to an expansion announced earlier this year, which will create about 400 new jobs over the next five years. The company expects to have about 1,100 employees in Augusta at the end of 2017.

 

GENCO to expand in Memphis

FedEx subsidiary GENCO has announced a new Memphis warehouse for health care manufacturers. The 1.1 million-square-foot multi-tenant facility comes as “. . .manufacturers of medical devices, diagnostic testing and pharmaceuticals are hyper-focused on streamlining their supply chain,” said Kevin McPherson, VP at GENCO.

 

Giant Tennessee employer pursues new headquarters

One of the 10 largest employers in Williamson County, Tenn., is pursuing a headquarters that would ignite a nearly $1 billion mixed-use development in Cool Springs. Mars Petcare, known for pet brands such as Pedigree and Sheba, already employs 1,000 people in the fastest-growing county in Tennessee.

 

CoStar picks Richmond for major research center; hiring 730

Washington D.C.-based CoStar Group, a research and analytic company for the commercial real estate industry, has selected Richmond as headquarters for its research operations center. The company is also starting an aggressive recruitment strategy to hire 730 people there.

 

HTS International to locate global HQ in Knox County, Tenn.

Advanced manufacturer HTS International Corporation will invest $21.4 million to establish its global headquarters and new U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County. HTS plans to create 200 jobs to manufacture components for use in injection molding, die casting, extrusion, and hot stamping.

 

Medline creates 200 new jobs in Lithia Springs, Ga.

Illinois.-based Medline is adding another 200 jobs at its Lithia Springs, Ga., facility. The medical supply company invested an additional $60 million to increase manufacturing of disposable incontinence products.

 

GoHealth Insurance opens Charlotte office, adds 500 jobs

A Chicago-based health-insurance tech and services company has opened a new office in Charlotte, bringing about 525 jobs to the area during open enrollment. GoHealth operates a private health insurance marketplace, and works in conjunction with 300 health-insurance companies.

 

New jobs coming to the Upstate South Carolina

A Michigan chemical company is planning to expand into Spartanburg County and bring 100 new jobs. Pacific Industrial Development Corporation focuses on innovative research and development.

 

Jacobs Engineering Group relocates HQ to Dallas

Jacobs Engineering Group will be relocating its global headquarters from Pasadena, Calif., to Dallas. The move means more than 100 new jobs and $4 million in capital investment. The company currently occupies 80,000 square feet in downtown Dallas, and will expand to 100,000 square feet once relocation is completed.

 

Hi-Rez Studios to expand Alpharetta headquarters

Hi-Rez Studios, Georgia’s largest developer of online games, will expand its headquarters in Alpharetta and create 75 additional jobs.

 

McLane Dothan is expanding its grocery distribution center

McLane Dothan, a grocery distribution center, has announced a $17 million expansion. The facility in Cottonwood, Ala., will add 50 jobs in connection with the expansion.

 

Mount Franklin Foods opens in Sumter County, S.C.

Mount Franklin Foods, a leading manufacturer of high-quality candy and nut products, is launching new operations in Sumter County, S.C. The project is expected to bring $10 million in investment and 225 new jobs.

 

Little Rock lands U.S.’s first Chinese garment plant

Suzhou Tianyuan Garments, a Chinese company that makes clothing for Adidas and other brands, has agreed to put a garment plant in Little Rock, Ark., investing $20 million and employing 400 people.

 

New Johnson & Johnson center to bring 500 Tampa jobs

Gov. Rick Scott was on hand to formally open J&J’s new North America Global Services Center, which will ultimately employ 500 people by 2020. The $23.5 million deal was announced last year, and there are already 240 employees at the center.

 

Gibbs Die Casting expanding in Henderson, Ky.

Gibbs Die Casting, a supplier of innovative, high-quality aluminum die cast components and assemblies, will expand its North American Manufacturing Complex in Henderson with a $10 million investment projected to create 46 full-time jobs.

 

EuWe Group boosts investment in Anderson County, S.C.

A BMW supplier will “double down” its investment in Anderson County. EuWe Eugen Wexler US Plastics Inc., the American subsidiary of Germany-based EuWe Group, will invest an additional $5 million to expand its facility and create 29 jobs during the next five years.

 

Pepsi bottler to add 40 jobs, spend $45 million in South Carolina

Carolina Canners, an independent Pepsi bottler in Cheraw, will add 40 jobs and spend $45 million as it expands its plant to make room for Lipton’s Pure Leaf iced tea.

 

U.K.’s Holroyd bringing jobs to Spartanburg County

A manufacturing company based in the U.K. is establishing its first U.S. operations in Spartanburg County, S.C. Holroyd Precision Components, a division of Precision Technologies Group Limited, is making a $12.5 million investment and is expected to create up to 23 new jobs for high precision machine tool design, build and supply for a variety of industries.

 

Daniel Defense to begin $29 million expansion outside Savannah, Ga.

Firearms maker Daniel Defense plans a $29 million expansion at its Black Creek, Ga., facility, a move that will create 75 new jobs. The company is consolidating the Black Creek facility and Ridgeland, S.C., facility into a single operation.

 

MöllerTech to locate $46.3 million plant in Bibb County, Ala.

MöllerTech will build a $46.3 million production plant in Bibb County. The plant will be the German auto supplier's third location in North America, and its flagship production facility, employing about 220 people to manufacture interior parts for the next generation of Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

 

BL Harbert begins $27.5 million FBI expansion project at Redstone

A Birmingham company is behind a $27.5 million expansion to the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal. Herbert recently held a career fair in Huntsville to hire up to 200 crew members for federal and industrial construction jobs, including the FBI expansion project.

 

Auto supplier to expand in Athens, Tenn.

E & E Manufacturing of Tennessee, a Tier 1 automotive supplier, will expand its manufacturing facility in Athens. The automotive components manufacturer will invest $23.5 million and create 123 jobs in McMinn County. The plant produces stamped and welded parts for a number of car manufacturers.

 

Drug firm to add over 1,000 jobs at new $113 million Texas campus

AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group has decided to consolidate its North Texas workforce within a new $113 million, 40-acre campus in Carrollton, Texas. The Pennsylvania-based wholesale drug company  will initially relocate almost 1,200 workers to the campus.

 

Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems expands in Danville, Ky.

Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems recently opened the $9.3 million expansion of its manufacturing and distribution campus in Danville. The project that will create 66 jobs.

 

Defense contractor Envistacom locates center in Duluth, Ga.

Atlanta-based defense contractor Envistacom will open an engineering and innovation center in Duluth, Ga. The 20,000-square-foot center will focus on research and development for counterterrorism technologies and will employ up to 100.

 

$100 million venture in Mississippi commits to 150 jobs by 2020

Praxair Surface Technologies and GE Aviation announced a $100 million joint venture — PG Technologies LLC in Ellisville, Miss. The project is expected to increase employment at the former GE Aviation facility (currently at 100) to 250 by 2020, with the potential to grow to 400 jobs.

 

GE Aviation opens center in Austin

GE Aviation is opening what it calls a "digital collaboration center" in downtown Austin. The digital center is an effort by GE "to bring the industrial world into the digital era," according to a company statement. The digital center in Austin is the company's fourth worldwide. The others are located in Dubai, Paris and Shanghai.

 

Hallmark completes 100-job KC-area distribution center

Hallmark Cards  recently cut the ribbon to mark completion of its new 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Independence. The Kansas City-based company leased underground space in Carefree Industrial Park, a 4.2 million-square-foot subsurface development.

 

Charter Communications hiring hundreds in San Antonio

Connecticut-based Charter Communications is planning to double its call center footprint in the Alamo City after acquiring Time Warner Cable's network and customer base. The telecommunications company plans to hire 200 employees.

 

International Mold Corporation establishing first South Carolina operation

International Mold Corporation, a Michigan-based aluminum design and build company, is establishing a new manufacturing operation in Spartanburg County. The project is expected to bring $6.2 million in new investment and create 60 new jobs.

 

West Fraser expanding operations in Newberry County, S.C.

West Fraser, a diversified wood products company, is expanding its Newberry County sawmill operations. The project is expected to bring $33 million in new capital investment. Established in 1955, West Fraser has grown into the largest lumber producer in North America, operating facilities throughout western Canada and the southern United States.

 

Endurance IT Services to add 62 new jobs in Virginia Beach

Endurance IT Services, a Virginia Beach information technology services firm, will more than double its workforce with 62 new jobs and build a new headquarters facility.

 

Tech firm to create 100 jobs with new Irving, Texas hub

OKI Data Americas — a New Jersey-based printing technology firm which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based OKI Data Corp — plans to open a regional operations in Irving that will bring 100 jobs and $3.5 million of capital investment into the North Texas city.

 

Pinewood Atlanta Studios to become largest complex in U.S. outside of L.A.

Pinewood Atlanta Studios is wrapping up its third phase of construction, which will make it the largest studio complex in the United States outside of Hollywood, according to Eoin Egan of Pinewood Studios.

 

Polaris celebrates new Alabama vehicle plant

A recent ceremony served as the symbolic opening for Polaris Industries’ new Alabama manufacturing facility, a $140 million greenfield plant. Employment at the Alabama factory, which has around 500 workers, is expected to reach 1,700. Minnesota-based Polaris announced plans for the Alabama plant early last year and launched Alabama production of its Ranger off-road vehicles and Slingshot three-wheeled roadsters in late spring and summer.

 

Company adding jobs in Bowling Green, Ky.

BlueCotton, a custom screen printing and embroidery operation, is expanding in Bowling Green, adding 112,000 square feet of space. The company is also adding 94 jobs.           

 

Auto parts manufacturer locating plant in rural Kentucky

MACA Plastics, a maker of components for the automotive and medical industries, is locating a new plant in Maysville, Ky. The $7.9 million investment will create 156 jobs.   

 

Ficosa opens plant in rural Tennessee

Ficosa, a provider of vision and safety products for the automotive industry, has opened its new plant in Cookeville, Tenn. The company is investing $50 million and hiring 500 workers who will produce rear view mirrors.

 

Jacksonville port sets record for TEUs

The Jacksonville Port Authority announced it moved a record number of twenty-foot equivalent units during its latest fiscal year. Jaxport moved 968,279 TEUs for the year, beating the previous record of 936,972 units in 2014. 

 

Florida led all U.S. states in job creation

From September 2015 to September 2016, Florida added 252,400 new private sector jobs, the highest job gains in the country. The Sunshine State also created 15,300 new manufacturing jobs, which also led all U.S. states. Since December 2010, Florida businesses have created 1.22 million private sector jobs.

 

Toyota marks five years of production in Mississippi

In October, Toyota celebrated its fifth year of Corolla model assembly at its plant in Blue Springs, Miss. Toyota has invested more than $1 billion in the plant in five years, which houses about 2,000 workers.

 

Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth lead real estate ranking

Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth were the top two markets in the nation in PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute's ranking for real estate investing. Nashville was ranked sixth, Raleigh-Durham seventh and Charlotte was No. 9 in the ranking.

 

Voestalpine, a poster child of the natural gas-fed manfucturing revolution on the Gulf Coast

Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine opened its $740 million hot briquetted iron plant in Corpus Christi in the fall quarter. The iron pellets are a key ingredient in making steel. Voestalpine picked the South Texas site because of its location near the Eagle Ford Shale, where natural gas is piped to run the furnaces of the plant. Natural gas prices in Texas are three times cheaper than in Austria. Voestalpine is just one of hundreds of heavy industry projects that have located on the Gulf Coast as a result of cheap and abundant natural gas that has come from widespread fracking.

 

Engineered Floors' Dalton, Ga. facility to be largest carpet plant in the world

Engineered Floors, a Dalton, Ga.-based carpet manufacturer, is finishing up its latest expansion. When completed, the company's plant -- at 2 million square feet -- will be the second largest building in Georgia and the largest carpet plant in the world. The $450 million mega-mill will house 3,000 employees. 

 

Louisiana raking in FDI

Since 2008, Louisiana has captured more than $33 billion in foreign direct investment. The total is the second largest in the country and largest per capita. Most of the investments are from the petrochemical sector in the Mississippi River corridor between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and in Southwest Louisiana where South African-owned Sasol is building petrochemical facilities worth billions of dollars.

 

Top 10 cities for job growth; almost all are in the South

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Naples, Tucson, Dallas, Deltona, Phoenix, Ocala and Provo all made Forbes magazine's top 10 "Best Cities for Future Job Growth" that came out in the fall.

 

Dallas-Fort Worth is the hottest office market in the country

Dallas-Fort Worth was the hottest office market in the U.S. in the first nine months of the year, with net office leasing totaling 3.6 million square feet of transactions according to Cushman Wakefield. The large North Texas metro also was second to Nashville in new office construction with 8 million square feet of office buildings under construction as of November 15, 2017.

 

Site consultant Mark Sweeney: North Carolina losing projects over HB2

Site consultant Mark Sweeney, principal at South Carolina-based McCallum Sweeney Consulting, told those in attendance at a local economic development meeting in Lincoln County, N.C., that North Carolina is losing projects over its controversial House Bill 2. Many contend the bill discriminates against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The legislation, commonly called the "bathroom bill," seeks to regulate access to restrooms on the part of transgenders on the basis of their sex stated on their birth certificates. Sweeney said that at least one of his projects ruled North Carolina out because the company told him the state is "not the kind of place we want to invest in" because of HB2. Sweeney also said at the meeting that "you're not going to know how many projects have passed" on the state.

 

Oil states slammed, Florida No. 1 manufacturing state in the South

From September 2015 to September 2016, Texas lost 26,800 manufacturing jobs, almost all in the oil and gas mining and equipment sector. Much worse per capita was Oklahoma and Louisiana, as they saw manufacturing job losses of 9,300 and 7,400 respectively. Incredibly, Florida led the South in manufacturing job gains for the year gaining 11,800 jobs.

 

Manufacturing Job Gains and Losses

Alabama                  +4,300

Arkansas                     -700

Florida                   +11,800

Georgia                    +3,700

Kentucky                     +300

Louisiana                  -7,400

Mississippi                  +500

Missouri                    -2,300

North Carolina         -1,200

Oklahoma                 -9,300

South Carolina        +4,400

Tennessee                +7,500

Texas                        -26,800

Virginia                       -4,400

West Virginia                -800

*Year ended September 2016. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

First layoffs we've seen from the automotive industry in years

In October, Ford idled Ford F-150 production at its plant in Kansas City for one week. All three shifts were affected. In Louisville, Ford laid off employees who assemble the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC for two weeks. A total of 9,000 workers were affected by the temporary layoffs. 

 

The first new nuclear generator in 20 years at full power

The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Unit 2 in Spring City, Tenn., began operating at full power in the fall quarter. It's the first new nuclear power plant in 20 years to begin operations. During the testing phase, the plant produced more than 500 million kilowatt/hours of carbon-free energy. The $4.7 billion plant can meet the electric needs of more than 4.5 million homes.

 

Toyota begins moving employees to Texas

Toyota has been moving about 100 employees a month from California to Plano, Texas, site of its new North American headquarters. The relocated employees are working in temporary space as construction continues on the new headquarters campus. More than 4,000 employees will be housed at the new headquarters in Plano, and Toyota believes 3,000 will relocate from three former hubs in California, Kentucky and New York. Another 1,000 will be hired from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The campus is being built to accommodate up to 6,500 employees.

 

NCR to receive an additional $45 million in incentives for Atlanta HQ move?

One of the largest projects in the South in 2016 was NCR's announcement that it would relocate its headquarters and 3,600 employees from Gwinnett County, Ga., to Midtown Atlanta. The city of Atlanta offered $16 million in incentives for that project. In September, NCR officials announced there would be a second phase to its new headquarters, adding a second tower to the 20-story building now under construction and 1,800 more jobs. The expanded headquarters could fetch NCR $45 million in additional state and local incentives.

 

Alabama ranks No. 1 in the nation in critical education attainment. . .again

For the eighth consecutive year, Alabama ranks No. 1 in the nation in the percentage of growth of students achieving qualifying scores on math, science and English Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Almost 28,000 students took the AP tests in 2016, up from 5,327 test takers in 2008. The figures represent a 422 percent increase in eight years of AP exams in Alabama. During those years, the national increase was only 65 percent.

 

Georgia shows rising high school graduation rate

Georgia's high school graduation rate in the 2014-2015 school years saw a considerable leap. In those two years, the state's graduation rate was 78.8 percent. In 2013-2014, it was 72.5 percent.

 

Cheniere Energy given approval to export more LNG

In the fall quarter, Houston-based Cheniere Energy was given approval by federal regulators to export liquefied natural gas from a second plant at its Southwest Louisiana terminal. The newly approved volumes could double the amount of LNG the U.S. exports. In February, the Cheniere terminal became the first large-scale LNG export facility in the U.S. Several are being built in Louisiana and Texas now. Cheniere spent billions originally on the terminal as a LNG import facility. When widespread fracking began in this country, the company spent billions more turning the facility into an LNG export terminal.

 

Will Hyundai build new plant in Alabama?

Media property Wards Auto reported in the fall quarter that Korean automaker Hyundai plans to bring two Genesis luxury models to the U.S. for assembly. But where? Hyundai's only U.S. plant is in Montgomery, Ala. Sister automaker Kia operates its only U.S. plant in rural West Georgia near the East Alabama border. Both plants are at full capacity and there is no space for two more lines for the Genesis models. Wards Auto wrote in the fall article that "Montgomery, where Hyundai's current Alabama plant is located, is a likely spot." That spot would likely be the 1,800 acres in Montgomery across Interstate 65 from the current facility if Hyundai decides to build two more lines.   

 

AT&T decides to keep HQ in downtown Dallas

After looking at Hillwood Urban's and Spire Realty's new downtown Dallas developments for a new headquarters, AT&T is instead going to spend millions on its current headquarters facility in the southern portion of Dallas' central business district. The Dallas-based telecom giant will work with the city of Dallas, Downtown Dallas and Dallas Area Rapid Transit to make the company's four-building complex an urban destination. The redevelopment of the company's headquarters into an "urban tech center" is expected to start in 2017 and will create more than 1,300 jobs.

 

Empty new buildings in Houston

Because of the oil and gas industry's downturn, there are numerous large blocks of available space throughout Houston, much of it newly built. ConocoPhillips, the Houston-based oil company, recently built Energy Center Four, a 22-story tower in Houston's Energy Corridor. The building was expected to be completed by the end of 2015. ConocoPhillips has now put the entire 597,629-square-foot tower on the sublease market.

 

In rural Kentucky, U.S. farm chief launches $401 million program to reduce rural poverty

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Berea College in the fall quarter to launch a $401 million federal program to reduce rural poverty in the U.S. The program will make long-term, low-interest financing available to groups with track records of successful programs that reduce poverty in rural areas. The money will be used to build, maintain or renovate essential community assets such as those in education or health care, and infrastructure such as housing and roads.

 

Greenhouse operation to create 75 jobs in Kentucky

Kentucky Fresh Harvest broke ground in the fall on a $10.7 million high-tech greenhouse operation that will produce cherry tomatoes. The facility, located in Lincoln County, Ky., will house 75 workers.

 

Belgian company picks Clarksville, Tenn.

Verstraete IML USA will locate a new in-mold labeling plant in Clarksville. The $20 million investment will create 59 new jobs.

 

Michelin building $270 million distribution center in the Upstate

Michelin will break ground soon on a $270 million tire distribution center in Spartanburg County, S.C. The project will create 350 jobs.

 

French company selects Virginia for HQ

French cloud provider OVH has chosen Fauquier County, Va., for its first U.S. data center and North American headquarters. The company will invest $47 million in the deal that will create 54 jobs.

 

Wayfair sets up distribution center in McDonough, Ga.

Wayfair, one of the largest e-commerce companies for home furnishings, is locating a distribution center in McDonough. The center will house 150 workers.

 

Verizon adding jobs in Little Rock

Verizon has expanded its facility in Little Rock. The call center operation will add 85 positions.

 

New hospital to open next year in Arkansas

Acadia Healthcare will build a new behavioral health hospital in Conway, Ark. The new facility will create 150 jobs.

 

Georgia healthcare firm to open facility in Cullman, Ala.

Alpharetta, Ga.-based Sequence Health will open a healthcare contact center in Cullman. The healthcare technology firm will create 128 jobs in the deal.

 

Corning Optical expands in Winston-Salem

Corning Optical Communications is expanding its optical cable plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. The company is investing $30 million and adding 100 jobs.

 

Citi adding jobs in Northeast Tennessee

Citi, one of the largest employers in Washington County, Tenn., is adding positions. The company will create 200 jobs at its call center in Gray, Tenn.

 

Swiss biotech firm plans major expansion in Houston area

Swiss pharmaceutical and biotech firm Lonza has announced plans to add 150,000 square feet to its facility in Pearland, Texas. The expansion will enable the company to produce commercial quantities of viral gene and cell therapies. The project is expected to create 100 jobs.

 

Italian manufacturer sets up shop in South Carolina

Ritrama North America, a manufacturer of coatings and adhesives for the automotive and packaging industries, is investing $85 million in a 350,000-square-foot facility in Spartanburg County, S.C. The deal will create 150 jobs.

 

Manufacturer breaks ground in Missouri

Advanced Drainage Systems broke ground on a 72,000-square-foot plant in Harrisonville, Mo., in the fall quarter. The company, which makes products for water management solutions, will hire 50.

 

Manufacturing in Florida is growing and fast

Florida has emerged as one of the nation's fastest growing manufacturing states, as unlikely as that might read. For years, Florida was where NASA launched rockets and the shuttle, but today, much of the manufacturing for the space industry is also being done in the state. In fact, a recently published analysis by PwC ranked Florida No. 2 in the nation for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited Florida with the second largest growth in manufacturing firms between 2012 and 2015. And from September 2015 to September 2016, Florida led all Southern states with a net gain of about 12,000 manufacturing jobs.

 

San Antonio and Austin top fastest growing economies list

The Bureau of Economic Analysis delivered a report in the fall quarter ranking metropolitan areas by gross domestic product growth in calendar year 2015. Of the large metros, those with populations of two million or more, San Antonio topped the list with a growth rate of 5.9 percent. Neighboring Austin ranked second with 5.0 percent growth. Collectively, real GDP for U.S. metro areas increased 2.5 percent in 2015.

 

This Southern city is the fastest growing in the country

In another ranking done by WalletHub, Frisco, Texas was named the fastest growing city in America. The study examined 515 U.S. cities using 14 metrics, including population growth. Frisco was followed by League City, Texas; Lehigh Acres, Fla.; Kent, Wash.; and Surprise, Ariz.

 

Honda celebrates 4 million in Alabama

In the fall quarter, Japanese automaker Honda Manufacturing of Alabama celebrated a key milestone. In October, the automaker produced its 4 millionth vehicle and V-6 engine made at its Alabama plant. Honda assembles the Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV, Ridgeline pickup and the Acura MDX luxury SUV at its Alabama plant.

 

Another foreign-owned manufacturer decides to make it in the U.S.

Almost unnoticed, foreign-owned manufacturers are deciding to "make it where you sell it" for profit-driven reasons. Paris-based Sediver, a maker of glass insulators used to insulate electric power lines, is opening a 130,000-square-foot facility in West Memphis, Ark. The company has been selling the product to U.S. utilities for about 60 years and this is the first time the insulators will be made in the U.S. since 2001. The deal will create 70 jobs.

 

Textile company expands in North Carolina

Specialty Textiles is expanding its plant in Kings Mountain, N.C. The company is investing $11.5 million to add 150,000 square feet to its existing plant. The deal will create 59 new jobs.

 

Little Rock manufacturers expand

Two manufacturers that are owned by the same family are expanding in Little Rock. G.C. Evans and Sleeve Seal, makers of packaging and labels for the food industry, are moving their operations to a larger facility. The $6.4 million project will create 43 new jobs.

 

Space Florida official: 200 launches a year possible

Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello said in the fall quarter that the Kennedy Space Center could see up to 200 launches a year as space companies such as Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance, SpaceX and OneWeb boost production. DiBello said that Space Florida is quickly transitioning from a federally funded operation to one that is highly responsive to commercial markets. 

 

Charleston Harbor project gets go-ahead

The $500 million deepening of the Charleston Harbor cleared a hurdle in the fall as the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act. The bill frees up $200 million in federal money for the deepening project.

 

New megasite in the South being marketed

In the Florida panhandle, near the Alabama-Florida state line, lies the South's newest megasite. Called the Florida-Alabama Mega Site, the site features 2,240 contiguous acres near U.S. Highway 231 near Campbellton, Fla.

 

Economic miracle: millions of Americans climb out of poverty

In 2015, more Americans climbed above the poverty line than any year since 1999. In addition, the poverty rate fell by the largest percentage in almost 50 years. According to census data released in the fall quarter, more than 3.5 million Americans saw their income rise above the poverty level. The census data showed that African-Americans and Hispanics, who account for more than 45 percent of those below the poverty line of $24,300 for a family of four, saw the most gains in income. Last year, incomes in metro areas grew by 6 percent while incomes in rural areas of the U.S. grew 3.4 percent in 2015.

 

Mercedes-Benz USA breaks ground on new Atlanta HQ

In the fall quarter, Mercedes-Benz broke ground on its $93 million Sandy Springs, Ga., headquarters. The automaker is relocating its North American headquarters to metro Atlanta from New Jersey. The 200,000-square-foot facility will house up to 1,000 workers and will be completed in the second quarter of 2018. Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, stated that the company was attracted to Atlanta because of the workforce, transportation infrastructure and quality of life. Mercedes operates its only U.S. plant just over 200 miles to the west on Interstate 20 in Vance, Ala. Mercedes is the latest in a series of automotive industry headquarters to call the South home, joining Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan and Porsche to name a few.

 

Lake Charles, Fort Myers land on top five cities adding the most jobs

Lake Charles, La., and Fort Myers, Fla., are two of the top five cities in the U.S. in terms of employment increases from June 2012 and June 2016, according to 24/7 Wall Street. During that time period, Fort Myers-Cape Coral and Lake Charles saw a 16.9 percent employment increase. 

 

Amazing job stats from Texas' big four

Texas' unbelievable growth since the recession ended is bolstered by four large metros: Austin, Dallas-Forth Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Known as the "Texas Triangle," the four cities contain two-thirds of Texas' population and almost 70 percent of all the jobs in the state. The four markets account for almost 30 percent of job growth in the entire country.

 

Look to the South for rising income growth

The Census Bureau released a report in the fall that showed that Nashville and Birmingham were the top two cities in the nation for income growth between 2014 and 2015. Nashville saw incomes rise by 10 percent and Birmingham residents' income rose by 9.3 percent. The national average for median household income rose by 5.2 percent during that time. Atlanta, Kansas City, Orlando and Memphis made it into the top 10 in metro income growth.

 

Automotive parts suppliers spending big bucks in Alabama

Alabama's automotive sector is booming. The three assembly plants are expanding, as is Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville. Over the past year, parts suppliers have invested nearly $1 billion in the state and over 2,500 jobs have been created.

 

Houston led all U.S. markets in exports

The Houston metro area ranked No. 1 for total goods exported in 2015, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report. Houston exported $97 billion worth of goods last year, beating out New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. It's the fourth consecutive year Houston has led all U.S. markets in exports. Metros in the U.S. exported $1.3 trillion worth of goods in 2015.

 

Boeing opens $200 million aerospace composite plant in St. Louis

Chicago-based Boeing opened a $200 million plant in St. Louis that will produce composite parts for the aerospace manufacturer’s new 777X airliner. The 424,000-square-foot facility will produce composite wing and empennage parts.

 

Carbon Fiber manufacturer to break ground on new plant in Northeast Tennessee

LeMond Composites, a manufacturer of carbon fiber for the transportation, renewable energy and infrastructure markets, will break ground on a new plant in Roane County, Tenn. The Oak Ridge-based company will spend $125 million in the deal that will create 242 new jobs.

 

Cushman & Wakefield adding 600 jobs in St. Louis area

Commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is adding 600 jobs in the St. Louis area, most of them in Town and Country.

 

Manufacturer breaks ground on Richmond area plant

Officials with Polykon Manufacturing, a maker of ingredients for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics markets, broke ground on a new 55,000-square-foot facility in Henrico County, Va. The $60 million project will create about 50 jobs.

 

Big lumber mill set for rural Alabama

Two Rivers Lumber Co. will invest $65 million to build a state of the art sawmill in Demopolis, Ala. The project is expected to create 95 jobs.

 

GM adding 650 jobs at Tennessee plant

General Motors is adding a third shift and 650 jobs at its plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. The company said the new overnight shift will boost assembly of the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 models.

 

Another Amazon facility going up in the South

Amazon is expected to open a large warehouse at the Opa-locka, Fla. Airport. The 900,000-square-foot facility will house about 1,000 workers.

 

Honeywell locating software center in Midtown Atlanta

Honeywell is locating a $20 million software development center and division headquarters in Midtown Atlanta. The deal will create 800 jobs.


October 2016

Honeywell to create more than 800 jobs in Atlanta

Honeywell, a Fortune 100 company specializing in technology, software development and manufacturing, will create more than 800 jobs and invest $19 million to establish a software development center and the headquarters for its $9.4 billion Home and Building Technologies business in Midtown Atlanta.

 

Holiday Hiring

Christmas is still a few months away, and competition for workers to make sure online holiday orders arrive on time is heating up fueled by the growth of online shopping. UPS said recently that it plans to bring roughly 95,000 workers on board. Minnesota-based Target said it plans to hire 70,000 seasonal team members across its stores and another 7,500 workers for its distribution and fulfillment facilities. Toys"R"Us is hiring 400 workers in Alabama alone, and expects that 15-20 percent of those will become permanent employees. Versant Supply Chains recently announced it needs as many as 2,000 new employees to help in the intense shipping season. Another logistics company, Radial, made a similar claim to 3,000 employees just last month. Even if these positions are temporary, they will have an impact.

 

Arkansas’ Highland Pellet hires more than 50 workers

Highland Pellet, Arkansas’ first full-scale wood pellet manufacturing facility, recently hired 54 new workers for the company’s $200 million plant in Pine Bluff. The biomass energy facility will be commissioned and ready to ship wood pellets to the United Kingdom before the end of this year.

 

Upholstery company in Kings Mountain, N.C., expands

A Kings Mountain upholstery fabric company, Kings Plush doing business as Specialty Textiles, will add 59 employees and spend $11.5 million to build a second facility alongside its existing plant in Cleveland County. 

 

UniFirst expands distribution hub in Owensboro, Ky.

UniFirst Corp., one of North America’s largest workwear and textile service companies, plans a $12 million expansion of its distribution center in Owensboro. The company plans to add up to 25 employees in the next three years. 

 

Incitec Pivot-Cornerstone Chemical opens $1 billion plant in Jefferson Parish

Incitec Pivot Limited and Cornerstone Chemical recently dedicated a $1.025 billion production plant, which includes the combined construction of Dyno Nobel’s $850 million ammonia plant with Cornerstone Chemical’s $175 million investment in upgrades and infrastructure, at the 800-acre Fortier Manufacturing Complex on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish, La. 

 

SCA to spend $24 million in Bowling Green

SCA, a global hygiene and forest products provider, will expand in Bowling Green, Ky., with a $24 million investment expected to create 20 jobs.

 

Auto supplier to add 134 jobs in Versailles, Ky.

Yokohama Industries, a supplier of fluid conveying products and adhesives for the automotive industry, plans to add 134 jobs at its facility in central Kentucky.

 

Reynolds to expand west Louisville aluminum plant, add 50 jobs

Reynolds Manufacturing plans to expand its west Louisville plant where it makes Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil, adding up to 50 jobs. 

 

Saudi chemical company expands Houston hub, eyes sites for massive plant

Saudi Arabia's top petrochemical company made Houston its North American hub this summer and will soon decide whether to build a multibillion dollar chemical plant there. The plant, a joint venture with Exxon Mobil, would include the world's largest ethane cracker. The Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp., known as SABIC, is considering sites along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana, and expects to make the selection by the end of the year.

 

Virginia’s ST Tissue spending $35 million to expand

ST Tissue, a manufacturer of high-quality tissue, towel and napkin products, will invest $35 million to expand its operations at the old International Paper mill near Franklin, in Isle of Wight County, Va. The deal will create 50 new jobs.

 

High style in Henry County, Ga.

Tory Burch, best known for creating women’s high-end clothing and accessories, will create more than 150 jobs and invest more than $60 million in a Henry County facility. The distribution center will support Tory Burch’s ecommerce business and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2017.

 

First Tennessee moving HQ to Raleigh

Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank is moving its mid-Atlantic headquarters from Winston-Salem to Raleigh, N.C. Mid-Atlantic president Billy Frank says the bank, which already employs about 60 in Raleigh, will “definitely” grow in terms of headcount in the Triangle.

 

KPMG confirms 200-job tech center in Midtown Atlanta

KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services, confirmed it will put a technology hub in Midtown’s 50-story One Atlantic Center, and create about 200 jobs.  The expansion involves a $1.3 million investment. 

 

Shoe distributor off and running with Middle Tennessee expansion

Online shoe distributor Ebuys, which was acquired by DSW in February, is opening a new 600,000-square-foot distribution facility in La Vergne, Tenn. The company will also add 160 jobs there. Ebuys already operates a facility in Antioch, where it employs 120 workers. 

 

Military contractor adding 123 jobs in Alabama

HDT Expeditionary Systems, an Ohio-based producer of shelters, generators, and other technologies for the military, civilian government and commercial industries, is planning to invest $4.2 million to move manufacturing operations to Limestone County, Ala. The company plans to hire 123 workers to manufacture deployable, mobile command units for the military at the new Huntsville operation.

 

Walton, Ky., lands $100 million expansion

Safran Landing Systems recently broke ground on its $100 million expansion that will not only increase production of carbon brakes for aircraft, but will also add 80 new employees there.

 

Novo Nordisk’s expansion proceeds in North Carolina

Drug giant Novo Nordisk, which operates a large insulin production plant in Johnston County, says it remains committed to the $1.8 billion expansion underway at the facility, although it has imposed a hiring freeze. It also announced 1,000 layoffs, but the North Carolina operation is not affected, according to a company spokesperson.

 

Ultrafab expands South Carolina manufacturing center

Ultrafab, an original equipment manufacturer of weather stripping and weather seals, is expanding its existing operations in Greenville County, S.C. Ultrafab is investing $2 million and adding about 35 jobs.

 

Boeing jet deal big boost for St. Louis jobs

The administration of President Barack Obama has approved $7 billion in long-stalled sales of Boeing fighter jets to Kuwait and Qatar, a decision that could preserve thousands of jobs in the St. Louis area. 

 

ABB opens Mississippi plant, to employ 200

Swiss-based ABB’s Senatobia facility to manufacture molded-case circuit breakers is open for business. ABB renovated an existing 85,000-square-foot building once used by another company to make solar-power panels. The electrical component manufacturer expects the new plant will create 200 jobs by the third year of operation and another 100 jobs by the fifth year. 

 

Pasture-raised egg company to open Missouri facility

A Texas-based company that produces pasture-raised eggs sold in Whole Foods and other retailers plans to open a processing facility in northwest Springfield. Vital Farms, which processes eggs from chickens raised on more than 100 small independent farms, each of which agree to provide at least 108 square feet of outdoor pasture per chicken, expects to create 50 new full-time jobs in the first year, with plans for up to 50 additional jobs in the future. 

 

Adidas brings jobs to Atlanta, but not for humans

The robot revolution now means that more companies are bringing their manufacturing back to the U.S., or wherever they are based. However, they may not be bringing jobs back with them. Sportswear company Adidas recently produced their first pair of shoes from a new, highly automated factory in Germany and announced plans for another similar factory in Atlanta to be up and running by the end of 2017.

 

Duke Foods to establish manufacturing facility in Texoma

Duke Food Productions is acquiring a new manufacturing facility in Texas, which marks the company's first expansion outside of South Carolina. Duke is making a $10 million investment to renovate an old Sherwin-Williams facility in Bonham, Texas, and plans to hire 200 new full-time jobs at the location over the next 5 years.

 

Proto Labs to debut Cary 3D manufacturing facility

Two years after entering the North Carolina technology scene with the acquisition of Raleigh-based FineLine Prototyping, Minnesota manufacturing innovator Proto Labs is preparing for the grand opening of its new facility in Cary, N.C. The company, which pledged last year to create 170 new jobs at the site, has made a big bet on 3D printing with the flex building it purchased last year for just under $5 million.

 

Crestwood to build, operate $180 million Permian natural gas system

Houston-based Crestwood Equity Partners will build, own and operate a $180 million natural gas facility in Texas’ Permian Basin. As part of Crestwood’s deal with SWEPI (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell), Crestwood has a long-term agreement to gather natural gas over 100,000 acres in Loving, Reeves and Ward counties in West Texas.

 

Carolina Bank to bring jobs to Downtown Florence, S.C.

Carolina Bank is moving its headquarters from the city of Darlington to Downtown Florence. The $4.8 million dollar expansion will bring about 60 employees into the downtown area.

 

Old Selber building becomes new data center in Shreveport

The century-old Selber Department Store, closed for nearly three decades, has a new purpose. Venyu Solutions, an EATEL company, will make a $20 million capital investment and create 15 new jobs in its new data center in Shreveport.

 

Kooks Custom Headers expanding with $3.2 million investment, new facility

Kooks Custom Headers expects to invest $3.2 million into Iredell County, N.C., in the coming months, with $1 million of that specifically slated for Statesville. Kooks is an automotive manufacturing company that specializes in headers and exhaust systems. 

 

Corning Optical Communications’ two-city expansion in North Carolina

Corning Optical Communications, a provider of fiber optic communications solutions, will expand its facilities in Hickory and Winston-Salem. The company plans to add a total of 205 jobs — 105 employees at its Hickory plant and 100 in Winston-Salem — while investing nearly $83.5 million over the next five years. 

 

ESP confirms Arkansas site for $3 billion project

CEO Roger Williams announced that Energy Security Partners has selected land in Jefferson County, Ark., as its final and official site for a $3 billion-plus plant to convert natural gas into diesel and other liquid fuels, a project billed as the largest economic development endeavor in Arkansas history. 

 

South Florida call center announces 700 openings

Global Response is hiring more than 700 people at its Margate call center. The company is seeking customer service reps to handle inbound customer calls, chat, email and social media.

 

Tire makers invest $10 billion in expansions, improvements

After easing back on the capital expenditure accelerator in 2014-15, the world's leading tire makers picked up the pace again over the past 12 months, committing nearly $10 billion to new projects and more than $2.5 billion to strategic acquisitions.

 

350 more Michelin men in South Carolina

Michelin North America, which already operates seven tire manufacturing plants in South Carolina, is expanding again. Michelin is adding a new distribution center in Spartanburg that will create 350 jobs. The company has its North American headquarters in Greenville, and announced recently that it's investing more than $270 million in the new distribution center.

 

Polo Custom Products expands Mississippi plant

Polo Custom Products is expanding operations in Louisville, Miss. The custom industrial sewing company will invest $150,000 and create 30 jobs in Winston County.

 

Arkansas company to invest $6.7 million, add 100 jobs

Lecheek Nutrition, a company that makes and distributes nutritional supplements, will invest $6.7 million into a new 437,000-square-foot facility in Harrison, Ark. After adding 100 new employees, the facility will employ more than 170 people in total.

 

Memphis manufacturer to bring jobs back from China

W.M. Barr & Co. is planning a 10,000-square-foot, $12 million expansion of its facilities on Presidents Island, Tenn., a project that will add 40 new jobs to its current staff of 179. The company manufactures paint removers, solvents and cleaning products.

 

UST Logistical Systems to locate headquarters in Greenville County

UST Logistical Systems, a third-party logistics company that specializes in the delivery of furniture and appliances from a retailer’s warehouse directly to a customer’s home, will establish its headquarters in Greenville. The move means a $1.6 million investment and 50 new jobs.

 

Port San Antonio creates 500 jobs, more expected

At the annual State of Port San Antonio, Roland Mower, port president and CEO, told attendees that 500 jobs had been created in the last several months and more are predicted by the end of the year. 

 

Belgian firm to move U.S. headquarters from Texas to South Florida

Betafence, a fence manufacturer based in Belgium, will move its U.S. HQ operations from Ennis, Texas to Sunrise, Fla. 

 

Velocity Resource Group relocates HQ to Tampa

Velocity Resource Group, a global talent acquisition services provider, will relocate its corporate headquarters to Tampa, Fla. The relocation means 50 new jobs and a $375,000 investment in the local community.

 

235 jobs jump state line to south Kansas City

Chalk one up for the Missouri side in the ongoing border war for Kansas City-area businesses and jobs. eScreen Inc., which provides employment screening services, will be moving its headquarters and 235 jobs across the state line from Overland Park to Kansas City, Mo.

 

Alorica to create 830 jobs in Owensboro, Ky.

California-based Alorica plans to establish an 830-job customer engagement center in downtown Owensboro’s former BB&T building, marking one of the city’s largest-ever economic development projects. The company plans to hire 500 employees in the first 12 months of operations and expand to about 830 team members over three years. Alorica provides customer engagement services through voice, online, mobile telephone and social media to companies in nine key industries. 

 

Nucor plans $230 million mill at Blytheville, Ark.

Nucor will add a $230 million cold mill to its Blytheville operation as it seeks to grow sales to the automotive market. The company shared some of its plans — including the 100 new hires it will require — with Blytheville city leaders last week when it requested a property tax abatement for the project. 

 

Eastern Shipbuilding Group wins largest contract in U.S. Coast Guard history

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, which has two shipyards in Bay County, Fla., recently landed a $10.5 billion contract — the largest in U.S. Coast Guard history — to build the first series of nine offshore patrol cutters. “This is a big win for the people of Northwest Florida,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said in a news release. “The 2,000 new jobs that this contract will create will provide a significant boost to the local economy.”

 

Virginia Beach announces four expansions and a relocation.

Virginia Beach will soon get 177 new jobs, as the result of four business expansions and one relocation. The city said that the Virginia Beach Development Authority has approved incentive grants totaling $165,000 to the five businesses. The biggest job creator is expected to be Chantel Ray, a female-owned residential real estate company founded in 2011. It plans to launch a national franchise from a new headquarters location in Virginia Beach, creating 87 new jobs. 

 

Fay Servicing locates headquarters in Tampa

Fay Servicing, a mortgage services firm, will locate its new Southeastern regional headquarters in Tampa. The expansion will create 100 new jobs and invest more than $1 million in the local community. 

 

Independent Stave breaks ground on $18 million mill in Marshall County, Ky.

Gov. Matt Bevin, company and city officials in Benton, Ky., recently broke ground on the company’s second Kentucky mill, which will produce barrel staves for the bourbon and whiskey industries. The $18 million project will create 47 full-time positions and provide the company with additional production capacity and flexibility.

 

Gadsden metal plant expansion bringing 84 jobs

Eighty-four new jobs are expected to be coming to Gadsden, Ala., over the next three years with an expansion of Prince Metal Stamping USA. The city council recently approved a 10-year abatement of taxes for the $34,550,000 investment.

 

Fehrer Automotive expanding in Etowah County, Ala.

Fehrer’s $10 million expansion is expected to bring about 150 new jobs to Etowah County. The company makes automotive seating components.

 

Giant Kentucky sheet plant opens

A $150 million, 225,000-square-foot automotive sheet plant opened recently in Kentucky. The joint venture between Netherlands-based Constellium and Japan-based UACJ began construction on the plant in 2014 in the Kentucky Transpark. The plant will employ 65 workers and is designed to allow for expansion in the future. According to Constellium, automotive aluminum body sheet demand in North America alone is projected to double from 500,000 metric tons in 2015 to 1 million by 2020.

 

Austin company to break ground on $200 million data center

Data Foundry Inc. is ready to break ground in Southeast Austin on a 325,000-square-foot, $200 million data center which will be called Texas 2. Austin-based Data Foundry already operates Texas 1 at that location, which it calls “Data Ranch.”

 

J Royal moving to Winston-Salem

A Clemmons company known as an industry leader in the manufacture of seals and O-rings is moving to Winston-Salem. J Royal Seals & Engineered Products is moving to Salem Industrial Park. A building permit for $2,259,647 was issued for the work.

 

Avadim to add 551 jobs in Buncombe with new headquarters

Asheville life-science company, Avadim Technologies, will begin construction of its new corporate headquarters outside Black Mountain, N.C. The company will add 551 jobs in Buncombe County while investing $25.4 million in capital. Under its brand Theraworx, Avadim makes skin products for uses in the medical, sports and military fields.

 

$75 million Army aviation training center opening in Alabama

A Tampa-based aviation training company plans to begin offering flight training to U.S. Army aviators at a training facility opening in Dothan, Ala., a little more than 20 miles from Fort Rucker and the U.S. Army’s Aviation Center of Excellence, the headquarters of Army Aviation and primary location for Army helicopter flight training for more than five decades. CAE USA plans to open the facility in 2017 as part of the company’s $75 million investment in the state.

 

Pilot training business to add 100 jobs in Pasco County, Fla.

TRU Simulation + Training is expanding its pilot training business, adding 100 jobs and a nearly $30 million capital investment to its existing Pasco County operations.

 

Joint venture to create 60 jobs in Duncan, S.C.

A new joint venture called Albis Barnet Polymers will invest $14 million in a new facility and create 60 new jobs in Duncan, S.C. Their belief that recycling of high quality, engineered resins has a great future, especially in the automotive industry, is one reason for the partnership of William Barnet & Son of Duncan and Albis Plastic of Hamburg, Germany.

 

Ritz Instrument Transformers expands in Hart County, Ga.

Ritz Instrument Transformers, the world’s largest manufacturer of transformers in the 600V through 72KV range, will expand its current operations in Hart County. The company will invest $8 million and create 50 full-time jobs within the next five years. 

 

Champion Home Builders cuts ribbon on Kentucky facility

Champion Home Builders held a ribbon cutting for its $6.3 million production facility in Benton, Ky., that will employ 150. The 100,000-square-foot facility will be used to produce manufactured, modular and mobile homes for distribution to retailers in Kentucky and other states. 

 

Medical software company relocates HQ to Richardson, Texas

Aprima Medical Software, a provider of electronic health records for medical practices, recently completed a move of its corporate headquarters to Richardson, Texas. The company is relocating its 250 Dallas-area employees into a single location. 

 

IAAPA intends to move world HQ to Orlando

The attractions industry's premier trade group plans to relocate its global headquarters to Orange County, Fla., from Alexandria, Va. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' move next year will bring about 40 jobs contingent on receiving incentives from Florida and Orange County.

 

Japanese company buys land for manufacturing facility at Texas’ Brooks City Base

Nissei Plastic Industrial Co., a Japanese manufacturer of injection molding machines, plans to build a manufacturing facility on nine acres of land it bought recently at Brooks City Base — the former Air Force base San Antonio leaders are trying to transform into an economic hub on the South Side. 

 

Kasai opens North American HQ in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Kasai held a grand opening ceremony for its new North American headquarters last month in Murfreesboro. In late 2014, the Japanese-based company, which supplies Nissan and other automotive companies, announced plans to invest $13.4 million and add 250 jobs in Rutherford County.

 

New energy plant to bring hundreds of jobs to Henderson, Ky.

"It's going to require about 500 construction jobs over a three-year build," said Brad Schneider, Henderson County Judge Executive. And in 2020, HenderSun Energy will burn natural gas into electricity. The plant will employ 30 full-time employees and will generate $700 million in capital investments.  

 

Embraer Aero Seating Technologies opens new Florida facility

Embraer recently inaugurated a new 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for its premium seating subsidiary, Embraer Aero Seating Technologies, in Titusville, Fla. The operation will soon begin production with 150 new hires.

 

Lyft plans Mid-Atlantic regional HQ in Virginia

Lyft, a San Francisco-based ride-hailing company, will invest $350,000 to establish a Mid-Atlantic regional headquarters operation in Arlington County, Va. The facility will create 32 new jobs.

 

Floor & Decor plans huge Savannah distribution center

Floor & Decor, an Atlanta-based chain of floor covering stores, plans to build a 2.5-million-square-foot distribution center complex about 10 miles from the Port of Savannah. The distribution center will be one of the largest single facilities in the greater Savannah distribution complex, according to port officials.

 

Chinese tire maker to open first U.S. plant in Georgia

Chinese tire manufacturer Sentury plans to build its first U.S. factory in western Georgia. The $530 million facility in LaGrange will create more than 1,000 jobs in the production of tires for cars and light trucks. In addition to production positions, Georgia officials said that Sentury plans to employ people in national sales and marketing, warehousing and distribution and about 100 technical positions in the facility's research and development center in LaGrange.

 

Summit Racing to build superstore, add 250 jobs in Arlington, Texas

Summit Racing Equipment, a leading seller of performance auto parts and accessories, plans to build an $82 million 700,000-square-foot warehouse, data-processing center and auto parts superstore in south Arlington that will employ as many as 330 jobs by 2021.

 

FedEx to open new Little Rock facility, adding 100 jobs

FedEx is opening a new 300,000-square-foot facility as part of the FedEx Ground network plan. In the last decade, FedEx Ground's volume has doubled. This new facility will create over 100 new jobs, and its processing rate is estimated to be over 15,000 packages per hour.

 

FedEx Ground to build Tennessee warehouse

FedEx plans to construct a large distribution center near Nashville for its FedEx Ground operations. The 1-million-square-foot warehouse on Murfreesboro's south side is expected to cost $189.5 million and to create 41 full-time jobs.

 

American Airlines’ Envoy bringing 60 jobs to Little Rock

A subsidiary of American Airlines Group, Envoy Air, plans to invest $2 million to establish a new aircraft maintenance facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock. The facility will require 60 new hires to provide maintenance support for the growing fleet of 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft there.

 

Intimidator plans 400 jobs for Batesville, Ark., as part of $12 million expansion

Intimidator Inc., the Batesville manufacturer of four-wheel-drive utility vehicles and its Spartan "zero-turn" lawnmowers, will add more than 400 employees over the next four years as part of a $12 million expansion.

 

Steel Ventures expands plant in Kentucky

Steel Ventures, an affiliate of Steel of West Virginia, plans a $16 million buildout of an existing facility in Wurtland, Ky. The company will establish a 65-job galvanizing and distribution operation. 

 

Auto parts maker expands in Greenville, S.C.

Alfmeier Friedrichs & Rath, which produces automotive components using precision plastic injection molding, is expanding its operations in Greenville County. The expansion is expected to cost $5.8 million and create 50 new jobs. 

 

Premium Waters building plant in Mississippi

Premium Waters is building a new $25 million plant to manufacture and fill water bottles in Hinds County, Miss. The project will create 42 jobs, according to the Mississippi Development Authority.

 

Fiber optics firm creates 375 jobs with new South Florida HQ

Hotwire Communications will relocate from Pennsylvania and make South Florida its new home, creating 375 jobs there. The former BankAtlantic building in Fort Lauderdale is now called the Hotwire Technology Center. Along with the headquarters, Hotwire will invest more than $27 million dollars in the Fort Lauderdale community. 

 

Nashville public company is preparing to hire 10,000 workers

Goodlettsville-based Dollar General Corp. is going on a hiring spree. The retailer intends to hire 10,000 new employees within the next month to support new store openings and fill current vacancies. 

 

Dollar General breaks ground on distribution center in Jackson, Ga.

Dollar General has broken ground on its $85 million, 1 million-square-foot Jackson distribution center. The facility is expected to employ more than 500 workers by the time it is operating at full capacity in the fall of 2017, making it one of Butts County’s largest employers — rivaling the local school system — and, according to Butts County Development Authority Director Laura Sistrunk, would be the largest industrial building in the county.

 

Frito-Lay seeks $150 million in bonds for expansion in Jonesboro, Ark.

Frito-Lay of Texas has asked the city of Jonesboro to issue industrial development revenue bonds not to exceed $150 million and enter into a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for another planned expansion of its facility there. The Jonesboro Sun reported that the move would lead to 30 new jobs.

 

Raymond James moves closer to 750-job expansion in Pasco County, Fla.

St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial has closed on 65 acres in Wiregrass Ranch, Fla. Plans, which have been forming since 2011, call for the construction of a 100,000-square-foot facility and 750 new jobs there.

 

Mary Kay breaks ground on $125 million manufacturing facility in Texas

Cosmetics brand Mary Kay has begun construction on a 470,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Lewisville, Texas. The project, dubbed R3 (short for Regal Row Relocation), will house the company’s 700 manufacturing workers and 100 corporate employees. 

 

Manufacturer to create 260 jobs in Nowata County, Okla.

More than 250 new jobs are expected in northeastern Oklahoma after Houston-based Star Pipe Products, which produces iron products, announced plans to buy a manufacturer and subsidiary in the area. Star Pipe Products is purchasing Jensen International of Coffeyville, Kan., and subsidiary Jencast of South Coffeyville. The facility will retain 88 jobs, and officials say 260 new jobs will be created.

 

Sabre expands headquarters in Westlake, Texas

Sabre GLBL Inc., a technology provider to the travel industry, will be expanding its headquarters at the Solana development in Westlake, Texas. At least 500 new jobs will result from the $37 million investment. 

 

JEAR Logistics expands in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

JEAR Logistics, a third-party logistics company, is expanding its existing operations in Charleston County, S.C., which will result in a $2.8 million investment and create 152 new jobs.

 

German subsidiary coming to Berkeley County, S.C.

A manufacturer of metal precision parts and components for the automotive industry, stoba, plans to build a new plant in Berkeley County, S.C.. The development is expected to bring $7.7 million in capital investment and create 61 new jobs.

 

NCR to create more than 1,800 jobs in Midtown Atlanta

NCR Corp., currently headquartered in Duluth, has confirmed plans to expand its Midtown headquarters. The expansion by the American computer hardware, software and electronics company involves a second tower, 1,800 new tech jobs, and a $145 million investment.

 

Triad manufacturer adding 42 jobs in Alamance, N.C.

Yarn manufacturer CS Carolina will nearly double its workforce at the company’s Burlington facility, with plans to add 42 workers over the next three years and invest nearly $9.8 million in technology and machinery.

 

New coal mines could bring 400 jobs to Appalachia

Kentucky-based coal developer Ramaco Development announced in September a $90 million investment that should enable two new coal mines and related facilities to open in West Virginia and Virginia within the next year. The company, in partnership with two private equity firms, would directly create about 400 jobs in mines that would extract metallurgical coal, which is the type used in steel production.

 

LyondellBasell chooses Houston area for $700 million plastics plant

Chemical maker LyondellBasell will build a $700 million plastics plant in the Houston area. LyondellBasell, based in Houston, said construction of the plant, to be located at the company’s La Porte complex, will begin early next year as part of a $4 billion expansion in Texas. The project is expected to create nearly 1,000 construction jobs and as many as 75 full-time positions once it’s up and running.

 

Volkswagen ramps up hiring in Chattanooga for new SUV production

Volkswagen expects to have about 3,400 people working in Chattanooga by mid-April — a new high — as hiring cranks up for production of the automaker's midsize sport utility vehicle.

 

Amazon to add hundreds of jobs at second fulfillment center in Coppell, Texas

Three years after Amazon started opening fulfillment centers in Texas as part of a settlement with the state over the collection of sales taxes, the online retailer said it will open its eighth major shipping facility in the state. Amazon’s second fulfillment center in Coppell will be in an existing 1-million-square-foot building on Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport property. Hundreds of people will work at the facility to ship large items such as big screen televisions, kayaks and furniture.

 

Amazon announces plans to hire 1,500 workers in Florida

Amazon plans to begin construction of an $87 million, 800,000-square-foot distribution center in North Jacksonville that will create an estimated 1,500 full-time jobs in the region. Matt Galnor of the JAX Chamber said it’s the largest number of jobs offered by a business at one time in Jacksonville’s history.

 

Tech company to open operations in Tampa, add 170 jobs

In a move expected to create 170 new jobs, Virginia-based Iron Bow Technologies is opening a new contact center in Tampa. 

 

Textile manufacturer opens $28 million facility in North Carolina

Yarn producer Unifi has invested $28 million in a new bottle processing center in Reidsville, N.C. Repreve, which is Unifi’s recycled product line that makes use of materials like plastic water bottles, will hire 87 for the recycling facility.

 

Kingspan Insulation expands Virginia manufacturing center

Kingspan Insulation, an Ireland-based insulation manufacturer, will spend $25 million to add capacity to its manufacturing site in Winchester, Va. 

 

Furniture maker thriving in North Carolina

Case goods and upholstery manufacturer Whitewood Industries, a 37-year-old Thomasville company, has a $1.1 million expansion underway that could bolster its Triad workforce from 250 to more than 300 in the next year. This marks the second expansion for the company in one year.

 

Cincinnati company expands plant in South Carolina

Illinois-based Meyer Tool, which makes parts for gas turbine engines, is expanding its operations in Greenville,S.C., investing $6 million and creating almost 60 new jobs. 

 

Ashley Furniture moving California jobs to Mississippi and North Carolina

A good portion of the jobs that were eliminated by Ashley Furniture Industries in Colton, Calif., are heading South. The company, which recently laid off 840 workers at its manufacturing plant in Colton, will move production to plants in North Carolina, Mississippi and Wisconsin. The company currently employs nearly 4,000 people in Northeast Mississippi. Reasons behind the California exodus point to the state’s new $15 minimum hourly wage. . .over 9,000 companies have left California in the last seven years.

 

Mississippi furniture manufacturer plans $20 million expansion

A Mississippi furniture manufacturer is investing $20 million in an expansion in the northeast part of the state. Southern Motion will create 600 new jobs in the city of Baldwyn as it expands into a former Hancock Fabrics location.

 

Freightliner to launch new big truck in Rowan County, N.C.

Freightliner has a new model of its largest truck that will begin rolling off the production lines at its Rowan County plant in January. The new Cascadia will become the Class 8 flagship for its heavy trucks in North America, where parent company Daimler Trucks North America has a 43 percent market share.

 

Home Chef cooking up 1,200 jobs in DeKalb County, Ga.

Home Chef, a meal kit delivery service, will create more than 1,200 jobs and invest $3.35 million in a new DeKalb County facility by 2020. 

 

Solid Gold Pet opens HQ in Chesterfield, Mo.

Solid Gold Pet, America’s first holistic pet food brand, opened its new corporate headquarters in Chesterfield, Mo. The company will add about 20 jobs over the next several months.

 

Container manufacturer plans Mississippi expansion

Columbus, Mississippi-based Plum Creek Environmental is moving and expanding its facilities in North Mississippi. The company, which manufactures and distributes waste and recycling containers and equipment, is investing $825,000 into a new facility in West Point, Miss., and creating 50 jobs. 

 

Steel company expands into Houston

An Illinois-based steel company is setting up operations in Houston. Lex Holding Co., a distributor of flat rolled steel products, has opened inside a 110,000-square-foot facility in northwest Houston as part of a strategy to target the Southwest market, including Mexico.

 

Tyson to expand North Carolina plant

Tyson Foods plans to expand its Wilkesboro chicken processing cook plant. The $14 million-plus expansion will result in 75 additional jobs. 

 

Topgolf set to hire 500 Jacksonville workers

Topgolf's Jacksonville location is set to hire a large round of new employees next week. The 65,000-square-foot entertainment facility, which plans to open in late October, will be hiring employees to fill 500 new jobs.

 

Tennessee hospital expansion to bring 399 jobs

TrustPoint Hospital will add 399 new jobs paying an average of $67,800 when it expands its existing facility in Murfreesboro.

 

Appliance maker breaks ground on R&D Center in Louisville

Midea recently broke ground on a research and development center in Louisville, a $10 million facility projected to create up to 25 jobs. 

 

Prescient bringing 205 jobs to North Carolina

Prescient will establish a 205-job operations center in North Carolina’s Alamance County to serve its East Coast customer base. The Colorado-based manufacturing and design tech company will invest more than $18.8 million near Mebane.

 

Japanese tire company creating 56 jobs in Concord, N.C.

Japan-based tire company Yokohama will invest nearly $2.7 million to create a technical development center in Cabarrus County, generating 56 jobs.

 

Variety Wholesalers to create 320 jobs in Coweta County, Ga.

Variety Wholesalers, a retail store chain, will establish its second major distribution center in Coweta County, creating 320 jobs and investing approximately $10.5 million in the Newnan area. 

 

Missouri plant to expand, add 135 jobs

Dana Light Axel Products, a company that manufactures parts for major automakers, is planning to invest $39 million in machinery and equipment to add a new production line at its Boone County facility. The company said the expansion will create 135 new jobs over the next few years.

 

Mars to invest $20 million into old P&G site in North Carolina

Mars plans to invest more than $20 million into an eastern North Carolina plant it inherited through its purchase of Procter & Gamble’s pet food business. While Mars may be most famous for candy – chocolate brands such as M&Ms – it’s also the parent behind several pet-focused brands, such as Pedigree and Whiskas.

 

Tenneco to open clean air plant in Tennessee

Tenneco will open a new 117,000-square-foot facility near GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant, and create up to 200 new jobs during the next three years. Tenneco’s new Clean Air manufacturing plant will support programs for General Motors.

 

Universal Woods to add more than 100 jobs, new facility in Louisville

Universal Woods, a company that manufactures the finishes used for metal and wood products such as coasters, license plate frames and picture frames, has purchased land and filed plans to construct a new facility in Jeffersontown, Ky. The project could bring with it more than 100 new jobs in the next few years.

 

Coca-Cola subsidiary to hire 300 in North Carolina

Red Classic, the trucking subsidiary of Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Bottling Co., is adding almost 300 employees in Charlotte as it expands its office there. 

 

Lakeshore Learning Materials locates in Woodford County, Ky.

Lakeshore Learning Materials, a developer and retailer of high-quality educational products, will locate a 500,000-square-foot fulfillment and distribution center in in Woodford County, Ky. The company will make an investment of more than $47.4 million and is projected to create 262 full-time jobs. 

 

Solar products company to locate in Jackson, Tenn.

Aldelano Solar Cold Chain Solutions will locate a new R&D and manufacturing facility in Jackson. The solar-powered products manufacturer will invest $1.5 million and create 68 new jobs in Madison County. Aldelano specializes in developing solar-powered products including portable cold storage and water- and ice-making technology, which produce clean drinking water and ice by pulling the moisture from the air.

 

Telos Global to establish manufacturing center in Tennessee

Automotive supplier Telos Global will invest $32 million and create 63 new jobs in a new manufacturing facility in Campbell County.

 

Honda of South Carolina Manufacturing expands

Honda of South Carolina Manufacturing has announced a new investment of $45 million in a 115,000-square-foot expansion designed to meet growing demand for Honda side-by-side vehicles produced exclusively in the Florence County plant. The investment is expected to result in the creation of 250 new jobs.

 

Gunmaker to establish manufacturing in Nashville

Gunmaker Vantage LLC is investing $5 million into a Nashville-based manufacturing plant, bringing with it 100 jobs over the next 5 years.

 

Shaw Industries hiring for Adairsville plant

Shaw Industries is recruiting 100 lift truck operators for its plant in Adairsville, Ga. 

 

Auto parts maker to expand in Bowling Green, Ky.

American Howa Kentucky plans to invest $7,586,727 to expand production in Bowling Green. The manufacturer of interior products for the automotive industry says the expansion would create 44 jobs.

 

Texas’ Nationstar Mortgage adding 600 jobs

Nationstar Mortgage will create 600 new jobs at a customer call center opening in Longview in East Texas. The Coppell, Texas-based company employs about 7,000 people across the U.S. 

 

AutoZone plans Ocala hub

AutoZone, the retailer and a leading distributor of automotive parts and products, will build a new distribution facility in Ocala, Fla. The $50 million facility will create 240 jobs.

 

Plastipak Packaging expanding in Alabama

A plastics manufacturer in McCalla, Ala., is adding two manufacturing lines in a $10.4 million expansion. Plastipak Packaging, a Michigan-headquartered company, makes plastic beverage bottles at its factory in Jefferson County. When complete, the new lines will mean at least five new jobs. The facility currently employs 117 people.


September 2016

2015: Record year for foreign direct investment

After a poor 2014 with only $171.6 billion invested directly by foreign companies in the U.S., 2015 was a record year. In 2015 the U.S. saw more than $421 billion in FDI, by far the largest ever. Most of the investment came from Europe; however there is a growing trend with fast-growing Chinese investment. Just 10 years ago Chinese investment in the U.S. was a mere $200 million. Last year it was $15 billion and some are predicting it will top $30 billion this year. The Chinese are on track to do it. In the first two quarters of this year, the Chinese invested more than $18 billion in the U.S. in real estate, corporate acquisitions and greenfield projects, according to the Rhodium Group. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, nearly 70 percent of foreign investment in the U.S. in 2015 flowed to the manufacturing sector. 

 

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 currently the world's safest 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. 

 

Bloomberg: "Go South, Young Folk: High-Tech Graduate Jobs Await You in Dixie" 

That was Bloomberg's title of an article in the summer quarter that suggests job growth for graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is rising much faster in the Deep South than in Seattle, San Francisco or any other place outside the South. The article based its findings on a recent Brookings Institution report that "Dixie is where it's at" for tech job growth. The article published a chart that showed job growth in advanced industries and Nashville led the list, followed by San Francisco, Jackson, Miss., Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla., Kansas City, Raleigh, Charlotte and rounding out the top 8 was Memphis. The high concentration of high tech automotive jobs is partly responsible for the rise in high tech jobs in the South, the Brookings study showed. According to the study, Tennessee ranked No. 1 in job growth in advanced industry jobs and Georgia was No. 2.  

 

CNBC names Austin No. 1 to launch a startup

In the summer, Austin was named the best place in the U.S. to launch a startup by CNBC. Provo was No. 2, followed by Washington, D.C., Denver, Charlotte and Houston. Both San Francisco and New York City didn't make the top 20. 

 

Austin industrial properties "full up" 

According to Jerry Heare, SVP of REOC Austin, the Austin industrial real estate market is "full up." Heare was quoted in an Austin Business Journal article, saying, "The market is the tightest it’s been in our 30-year history of tracking local industrial lease space. Overall in Austin, vacancy for warehouse and flex space stands at 4.8 percent as of July 2016.  

 

North Texas real estate has never been hotter

There are so many companies relocating their headquarters to Dallas-Fort Worth that the residential real estate sector has never been more active. The largest such relocation is happening now with Toyota's headquarter relocation to West Plano, Texas from Southern California. Toyota employees are finding the move delightful. For one, they say a person can buy two very nice houses in the Dallas-Fort Worth region for the price of a not-so-nice house in the Los Angeles area. That's essentially Toyota giving their employees a raise without having to pay a dime. Also, there is an 8 percent state tax in California but no state tax in Texas, giving relocating companies another way to give a raise to an employee by relocating to Texas. 

 

Huge surge of Chinese coming to U.S. to work for companies they've acquired

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. That is four times the number of Chinese executives that were approved for the visas in 2014. The L-1 allows companies with U.S. and foreign operations to move staff and their families to America. 

 

Longest ever economic recovery not that far-fetched

The recovery from the Great Recession is now 86 months old. The record was in the 1990s when the nation's economic expansion lasted 120 months. 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 this expansion in mid-2009 and now services or consumerism, is taking hold in the U.S. economy. Historically, it is rare when services and manufacturing are expanding at the same time and 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 where you sell it" trend truly sets in. Combined with low interest rates and wages just beginning to rise across all sectors, this recovery look as if it is in its early stages. 

 

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 the total imported oil to meet our needs by 2020 will only 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 11 percent of its daily needs from Mexico and Canada.

 

First LNG ship sails through 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 Southwest Louisiana liquefaction terminal. Cheniere is the first company to export LNG in the lower 48 states. Several other terminals are being built now 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 in Arkansas' economy in the first quarter. 

 

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. 

 

Virginia's unemployment rate lowest in the South; region matches U.S rate

Inching a two-tenths of a percent lower than Arkansas' 3.9 percent unemployment rate in July, at 3.7 percent Virginia's unemployment rate was the lowest in the South. For the first time since the end of the recession, the South's unemployment rate matched the U.S. rate of 4.9 percent in July. 

 

Tennessee below full employment

Tennessee saw its unemployment rate to fall to 4.3 percent in July. Economists set Tennessee's full employment rate at 5.0 percent. 

 

South Carolina unemployment rate at 15-year low

South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in July from 5.6 percent in May. The July rate marks the lowest unemployment rate in the Palmetto State since July 2001. 

 

Aerospace industry growing quickly in South Carolina

A study done by the University of South Carolina shows that aerospace-related employment growth in the Palmetto State is growing by an average of 11.8 percent annually, seven times faster than the state's 1.6 percent annual growth. Anchored by Boeing's 787 campus in North Charleston, counting both military and private, about 100,000 jobs are in aerospace in South Carolina. The industry had a $19 billion annual economic impact on the state last 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 of 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. 

 

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 industry 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.  

 

Atlanta population surging

The 10-county Atlanta metro area added 69,200 new residents from April of 2015 to April of 2016. The population increase is being driven by strong job growth. The 29-county Atlanta MSA added almost 77,000 jobs between May 2015 and May 2016. The Atlanta region now has 4,401,800 people. 

 

Memphis industrial leasing setting records

New and renewed industrial space leases filled 8.7 million square feet of space in the Memphis area in the first half of 2016. That's a 31 percent increase in leasing activity from the first half of 2015. Class A space accounted for 6.2 million square feet. The record for Class A space leases in Memphis -- a huge distribution market with FedEx's world hub located there -- was set last year at 6.8 million square feet. That total will be surpassed in Memphis by the time this is read. 

 

Tennessee No. 1 in foreign direct investment jobs last year

According to the 2016 IBM Global Location Trends report that came out this summer, Tennessee was No. 1 for job creation from foreign direct investment in calendar year 2015. It was the second time in three years Tennessee has earned the honor. In 2015 Tennessee captured 43 job generating projects that announced totals of 7,880 jobs and $2.2 billion in capital investment. 

 

Meal kit delivery company adding 1,200 jobs in Georgia

Home Chef, a meal kit delivery company, is investing over $3 million on a new distribution center in the Atlanta area. The deal will create 1,200 jobs. 

 

Container manufacturer expands in Mississippi

Plum Creek Environmental, a maker of waste and recycling containers and equipment, is expanding in the Columbus, Miss. area. The expansion will move the company into a new facility in West Point. The deal will create 50 jobs. 

 

FedEx building facility in Middle Tennessee

Memphis-based FedEx, Tennessee's largest company, announced it will build an $189 million distribution facility in Murfreesboro. The project will generate 190 jobs. 

 

Roofing company picks Tampa for headquarters

After getting snubbed by Sarasota officials who feared that a new headquarters would poach existing jobs in a full employment situation in that city, North Carolina-based North American Roofing has picked Tampa for its project. The new headquarters will house 180 workers. 

 

US Methanol announces plans to move plant to West Virginia

A California-based company is planning to move a methanol plant to Kanawha Valley, W.Va. US Methanol will move a production facility to the city of Institute creating more than 60 permanent positions when the plant begins operations 2017. This type of facility, commonly known as a gas-to-liquid plant, converts natural gas into methanol used as a chemical feedstock to manufacture items such as gasoline and antifreeze. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced that the production facility will also bring more than 300 construction jobs to the area beginning this November.

 

Bank of Texas to bring jobs to Irving

Bank of Texas and its parent company BOK Financial are planning to open a new center in Irving for handling home loans, which could mean as many as 75 new jobs for the area. The bank has outsourced its mortgage servicing duties, but is planning to bring the operation in-house.

 

Canadian lumber giant moving U.S. headquarters to Mobile, Ala.

Canfor Southern Pine, a subsidiary of Canada-based Canfor Corp., is relocating its United States headquarters from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Mobile in the coming months. The relocation will cost at least $5 million, and will result in 20 new hires.

 

MillerCoors investing $60 million In Virginia

MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company, will invest $60 million to expand its Shenandoah brewery in Rockingham County, Va. The project will create 27 new jobs.

 

Mettler Toledo scale company building $30 million plant in Pasco, Fla., bringing 500 jobs

Switzerland-based Mettler Toledo, an international supplier of precision scales and instruments for laboratory, food-retailing and other industrial uses, is relocating its operations from Hillsborough County to a new $30 million manufacturing plant in Pasco County, Fla. The firm will also be closing its facility in Dryden, N.Y., as it consolidates its operations in the Sunshine State. The new plant will employ over 500 people.

 

Local healthcare technology company creating 100 jobs in Bay County, Fla.

Jellyfish Health, a Florida company that's created new technology aimed at reducing wait times for patients, will be hiring 100 people over the next three years. "We have built an application that allows you to stay at work, stay at home, lets you be in constant communication with your actual physician's practice so that you arrive when they're ready to see you and then you're able to actually go back receive your service and then leave," said Dave Dyell, President and CEO of Jellyfish Health.

 

SpaceX to build new facility at Port Canaveral 

SpaceX is set to transfer its operations on refurbished Falcon rockets to a new facility in Port Canaveral, Fla. The California-based aerospace company intends to lease a building on the north side of the port, and also plans to construct a second facility nearby, which will serve as a hub for the processing of refurbished rockets and other functions for SpaceX.

 

Solvay doubles capacity in South Carolina

Belgian chemical company Solvay is inaugurating a new carbon fiber production line at its U.S. Piedmont Facility in South Carolina. The expansion will double production of a key raw material used in lightweight composite materials in the aerospace industry. The new line has won qualification by The Boeing Company to manufacture secondary structures such as wing flaps and engine nacelles, as well as interior applications.

 

UPS breaks ground on Louisville Centennial hub expansion

Construction is in full swing on UPS’s $300 million investment, which will triple the size of the package facility and nearly double sorting capacity. The project will create a mix of 300 new full and part-time jobs.

 

Tyson breaks ground on $136 million expansion

Tyson — one of the largest employers in northern Arkansas — recently broke ground on a $136 million plant expansion in Green Forest, Ark., which is expected to add 85 jobs in the near future.

 

Manufacturer to move HQ to Central Florida

Machine-part manufacturer Prime Global Group is moving its headquarters and operations to Ormond Beach. The company, formerly headquartered in New Jersey, will set up shop in an existing warehouse creating 38 new positions over the next three years.

 

MGM Products expands in eastern North Carolina

Georgia manufacturer MGM Products has decided on eastern North Carolina for its second U.S. manufacturing facility. MGM Products is a sheet metal fabricator for products intended to stabilize HVAC equipment that is fastened to roof tops. The company will initially employ 10, but plans to double that headcount within its first year.

 

Anyone Home announces 500 jobs for Greenville County, S.C.

Anyone Home, a contact and management company for the rental housing market headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif., is investing $1.1 million in a new location in Greenville County, which is expected to create more than 570 jobs.

 

Voxpro creating 500 new jobs In Georgia

Voxpro, a multilingual customer service and tech support provider based in Cork, Ireland, will create more than 500 jobs and invest $4 million in a new Center of Excellence in Athens-Clarke County, Ga.  The company will be one of the largest private, non-medical employers in the county, behind Pilgrim's and Caterpillar.

 

HAECO Americas breaks ground on $60 million hangar in North Carolina

One of the Triad's largest aviation MROs has announced a major expansion and the addition of 500 new jobs. Gov. Pat McCrory recently joined executives with HAECO Americas and other dignitaries to break ground on hangar number five.

 

Ateb completes expansion of Raleigh HQ

Ateb, a provider of pharmacy-based patient care solutions, has completed the $3 million expansion of its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., almost doubling its existing footprint.

 

Appalachian Mountain Spirits expands in Smyth County, Va.

While committing to source 100 percent of its corn, barley, and rye from Virginia farmers, Appalachian Mountain Spirits invested in a major expansion of its distillery in Smyth County, Va. The company will invest $1.95 million, create 13 new jobs, and purchase more than 3 million pounds of Virginia-grown corn, barley, and rye.

 

ThousandEyes announces expansion in Austin

San Francisco-based ThousandEyes, a provider of network intelligence software, has announced a new location in Austin, Texas. The company plans to hire around 30 in Austin by the end of the year to align with the company's fast-paced growth.

 

uShip to build new HQ in South Austin

uShip is building a new headquarters in South Austin, which will house the company’s 200-person workforce while accommodating aggressive hiring plans. The 13-year-old tech company is an online marketplace for shipping services.

 

Sasol increases Louisiana project cost to $11 billion

Sasol has raised its cost estimate for the Lake Charles chemical project by almost 25 percent to $11 billion, the Johannesburg-based company recently said in a statement. It expects most units at the project to start producing in early 2019, with the remainder completed by the end of that year.

 

JR Automation Technologies expands South Carolina manufacturing complex

JR Automation Technologies, a leader in custom automation solutions, will invest $3.4 million to expand its existing operations in Pickens County, S.C. The $3.4 million investment will mean 56 new jobs.

 

Southern Power moving to Virginia’s Berry Hill Industrial Park

Southern Power has announced it will be moving into Berry Hill Industrial Park in Pittsylvania County, Va. In June, the subsidiary of Southern Company signed a $250 million purchase agreement and is in the first stages of developing the land for a natural gas facility. "The mega park has certainly been years in the making. . .we just got our permits from the state and with those permits we can start developing it a little," said John Gilstrap, Mayor of Danville. "We just need to be patient, but things are falling into place." The development will generate jobs and stimulate the economy in Virginia and surrounding areas.

 

Advanced manufacturing equipment company growing In Tennessee

ATC Automation will invest $10.4 million to expand the company’s operations in Cookeville, Tenn., and create 110 new jobs during the next five years. The expansion will help ATC meet growing national and global demand for its advanced manufacturing equipment. 

 

Expansion of Choctaw Resort in Oklahoma to create 80 new jobs

Choctaw tribal leaders officially broke ground on several expansion projects at the nation’s Grant Casino Resort in August. The expansion will create 80 new jobs, but no word on the price tag for the expansion. 

 

Manufacturer breaks ground on expansion in LaGrange, Ga.

Nesper International, a German manufacturing company, broke ground recently at its facility in LaGrange, Ga. The $1.5 million expansion will facilitate manufacturing of plastic and hybrid parts made of plastic and metal, and create 12 jobs.

 

Pinnacle Foods expands plant in Fayetteville, Ark.

Pinnacle Foods, a producer, marketer and distributor of food products, plans to expand its manufacturing in Fayetteville. The company is adding a new brand line, EVOL, to the Fayetteville location that will result in the addition of 25 new jobs. EVOL is a line that contains no antibiotics, no artificial ingredients, no GMOs and cage-free eggs.

 

Skyline Steel adding 15 Mississippi jobs

Skyline Steel is investing $15 million and adding 15 employers in an expansion of its facility in Iuka, Miss. Skyline, whose parent company is Nucor, now employs 45 workers at the facility.

 

Lohmann Corp. expands manufacturing complex In Orange County, Va.

Lohmann Corp., manufacturer of high-tech adhesive tapes, has begun construction of an addition to its manufacturing facility in Orange County. The company anticipates the project will create an additional 56 jobs.

 

Chattanooga Seating Systems expands

Chattanooga Seating Systems will invest $5.4 to expand its facility, creating 190 jobs in Hamilton County, Tenn. The joint venture of Magna Seating and Hollingsworth Logistics manufactures and supplies seats for vehicles assembled at Volkswagen Chattanooga.

 

Gaming developer locates in Orlando

Particle City, a video game development company, is locating in downtown Orlando, Fla. The company plans to make a multi-million dollar capital investment over the next three years. Particle City headquarters is based in Los Angeles, but chose Orlando as the home of its new East Coast games studio.

 

Power Truss plans $1.6 million expansion in Graves County, Ky.

A producer of wood trusses is expanding its operation in Mayfield with a $1.6 million dollar investment. Power Truss plans to double the size of its operation in Graves County, which is expected to create eight new jobs.

 

Company to invest $36.4 million in move to Northern Kentucky, expects to create 500 jobs in state

CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, a global company providing therapeutic expertise to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, will relocate its headquarters to Covington with a $36.4 million investment projected to create up to 500 jobs.

 

Manufacturing plant to open in Paragould, Ark.

Corbitt Manufacturing, a component manufacturing operation within American Railcar Industries, will open a new facility in Paragould. The company plans to invest nearly $3.5 million and create up to 60 new jobs with the new facility.

 

Health and beauty manufacturer moves to Cocoa Beach

A new health and beauty company is setting up shop in Brevard County, Fla. Cross Brands Manufacturing announced it will move into an existing 75,000-square-foot distribution center in Cocoa. The new facility will generate up to 70 new jobs.

 

Ulta is beautiful in Dallas

Ulta Beauty celebrated the official opening of its newest distribution center in Dallas after completing construction this summer. The new 700,000-square-foot facility is the company’s largest distribution center and is expected to bring in more than 500 new jobs to North Texas by 2018. The company has already hired 125 associates and plans to hire 155 more employees by the end of September.

 

San Francisco-based tech company bringing jobs to San Antonio

Dialpad, a San Francisco-based information technology company, got City Council approval for incentives that will help create 50 new jobs in San Antonio’s tech district.

 

California manufacturer expands to North Texas

California-based VPET USA, a food-grade plastic bottle manufacturer, has expanded its operations to Texas with a facility in Garland. The company will bring 50 full-time jobs to the area and plans to invest at least $16 million in the expansion.

 

CS Carolina gets green light from Burlington, N.C., council

The Burlington City Council approved nearly $200,000 in economic incentives to bring in more than 40 jobs and $10 million in new investment. CS Carolina, which produces synthetic nylon and polyester yarn, will expand by adding an extrusion mill to bring the latest technology to their facility.

 

Incentives clear the way for Best Buy operations center in San Marcos, Texas

Best Buy will be bringing as many as 50 high-tech jobs to San Marcos following approval of an economic development agreement in August. The Minnesota-based electronics retailer plans to establish an e-commerce operations center in Hays County.

 

KO Distilling to expand in Manassas, Va.

KO Distilling recently announced plans to expand its operations in Manassas, and purchase all of its corn, wheat and rye products from Virginia agricultural producers. The company, founded in 2013, will create six new jobs and triple its production capacity.

 

Startup to hire 50 after opening downtown West Palm office

Halo Technologies, a 3-D printing and 3-D scanning startup, plans to create dozens of jobs in its recently opened office in downtown West Palm Beach. The company will hire 50 new employees by 2018 and make a $300,000 capital investment.

 

Bondex expands plant in Trenton, S.C.

Bondex, a manufacturer of thermally-bonded nonwoven substrates, is expanding its manufacturing operations in Trenton, S.C. The project is expected to bring $11.5 million in new investment and lead to the creation of 17 new jobs in Edgefield County.

 

Aldi to build distribution center and establish HQ in Virginia

German grocery retailer Aldi is planning to establish a divisional headquarters and build a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Dinwiddie County near one of Amazon's fulfillment centers. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the $57 million project, which will create 145 new jobs.

 

Voestalpine Automotive Body Parts adding 150 jobs in Georgia

Germany-based Voestalpine Automotive Body Parts will spend $50 million to expand its operations in Bartow County, creating 150 jobs. The company currently operates a 100-employee plant about six miles north of Cartersville that makes metal parts for car bodies.

 

New Gulf Coast plant will make a splash

Earlier this summer, ExxonMobil announced its joint plan with Saudi chemical giant SABIC to build a new plant in America’s Gulf region. Exxon and SABIC are currently considering four sites in Texas and Louisiana for the plant. The new facility, "a world-scale steam cracker and derivative units," is expected to create about 600 permanent jobs, another 3,500 indirect jobs during operations, as well as 11,000 construction jobs during the five-year build out phase. 

 

Global Payments to add 200 jobs in Atlanta expansion

Financial technology company Global Payments plans to add more than 200 jobs as it increases its Atlanta area footprint. The payments processor will expand its research and development operations at its current main office in Sandy Springs, while shifting top executives and headquarters functions to Buckhead next year.

 

One hundred new jobs for Fort Smith, Ark.

Shared Services Center-Fort Smith, a provider of office support functions for hospitals and health care facilities, will expand its presence in Fort Smith, adding 100 new jobs.

 

Chiquita returns to Gulfport 

For the first time in almost two years, Chiquita Brands International is returning its shipping operations to the State Port of Gulfport, Miss., restoring about 40 full-time jobs at the facility. The fruit company departed in late 2014 for the Port of New Orleans after 40 years in Gulfport. 

 

Cargo Transporters opens $6 million terminal In North Carolina

Cargo Transporters will begin operations in Rocky Mount, N.C. The company will initially base 50 trucks and drivers at this facility, and plans to grow to 100 drivers in the next 12 months with an additional investment of $6.9 million.

 

Direct Pack to open in Rockingham, N.C.

Direct Pack, a California-based maker of food-product packaging, will establish an East Coast facility in Rockingham, N.C. The company plans to invest over $12.7 million and employ 94 workers. 

 

Telecommunications company expands in the Sunshine State

Granite Telecommunications will open a new office in Orlando and expand its operations in West Palm Beach. The expansion will create more than 100 jobs for the company, which provides voice, data and other communications services to businesses and government agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

Colorado company investing $18.8 million in North Carolina

Prescient, an integrated manufacturing and design technology company, has chosen the North Carolina Commerce Park near Mebane, N.C. for its East Coast center. The company will hire 205 in the deal. 

 

Retailer to establish distribution center in Georgia

Variety Wholesalers, a retail store chain, will establish its second distribution center in Coweta County, Ga. The $10.5 million project will create 320 jobs. 

 

Tyson breaks ground on Arkansas poultry plant

Tyson Foods broke ground on a $136 million, 200,000-square-foot poultry processing plant in Green Forest, Ark. in the summer quarter. The new plant is located adjacent to an older Tyson facility that has 1,250 workers. 

 

Japanese tire maker brings R&D to N.C.

Yokohama Tire is consolidating its research and development to International Business Park in Concord, N.C. The $2.7 million project will create 56 jobs. 

 

New call center to create 600 Texas jobs

Nationstar Mortgage will create about 600 jobs by opening a new call center in Longview, Texas. 

 

Bourbon barrel manufacturer to build new Kentucky facility

East Bernstadt Cooperage, a maker of bourbon barrels, will invest over $20 million to build a new plant in Laurel County, Ky. The deal will create 75 jobs. 

 

Volvo job seekers crash website

In the late summer, Volvo posted its first slate of job openings on a website for its new $500 million plant being built in Berkeley County, S.C. In two days, the site received 24,000 visits, most of whom applied for the jobs openings. The activity swamped the website until it crashed on the third day. 

 

Honda expanding South Carolina ATV plant

Honda announced it is expanding its ATV and SxS vehicle plant in Florence County, S.C. The $45 million project will create 250 new jobs. 

 

Parts supplier expanding in Kentucky

American Howa Kentucky is investing over $7 million in its plant in Bowling Green. The project will create 44 new jobs paying an average of $18 per hour.

 

Auto parts supplier locating new plant in Tennessee

Telos Global will invest $32 million in a new plant in Caryville, Tenn. The deal will create 63 new jobs. 

 

Supplier to open plant near GM plant in Tennessee

Tenneco, a manufacturer of clean air and ride performance products, is locating a new plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. The plant will serve the local GM plant. The project is expected to create 175 jobs in three years. 

 

More jobs coming to NOVA

A maker of software that helps analyze large amounts of data is expanding its headquarters in Northern Virginia. The company, Applied Predictive Technologies, is adding 368 jobs in Arlington County, Va. 

 

The South lands 12 cities on CNBC's "Top 20 Metro Areas to Start a Business in America" 

Atlanta, (17), El Paso (16), Sarasota (15), Raleigh (14), McAllen, Texas (12), Richmond (11), San Antonio (10), Dallas (8), Houston (6), Charlotte (5), Washington, D.C. (3), and Austin (1), all made CNBC's "Top 20 Metro Areas to Start a Business in America." The ranking came out in the summer quarter. 

 

Another big project in D-FW

California-based financial service giant Charles Schwab Corporation announced in the summer it will build a new $100 million regional campus in Westlake, Texas, just North of Fort Worth. The project will create 1,200 new jobs. 

 

South dominates fastest growing cities for financial services job growth

Tampa Bay (15), Raleigh (13), Miami (10), Richmond (9), Louisville (8), San Antonio (7), Charlotte (5), Austin (4), Dallas (2) and Nashville (2) all made Forbes magazine's ranking of the cities in the U.S. creating the most financial services jobs. 

 

$930 million Corpus Christi bridge project breaks ground

Officials broke ground in the summer on the $930 million Harbor Bridge replacement project in Corpus Christi, Texas. When complete, it will be the largest precast concrete cable-stayed bridge in the U.S. The new bridge will have enough clearance to accommodate larger ships into the Port of Corpus Christi. 

 

Mississippi furniture maker adding 600 jobs

Upholstered furniture manufacturer Southern Motion announced plans for a major expansion at the end of the summer. The Pontotoc, Miss.-based company that employs 1,200 there, is adding 600 employees at its newest plant in Baldwyn. The company is investing $20 million in the deal.    

 

Peco Foods on hiring spree in Arkansas

Alabama-based Peco Foods has hired more than 500 workers at its new poultry plant in Pocahontas, Ark. The $165 million plant is expected to hire 1,000 more workers over the next two years. 

 

Mississippi county adds third TVA-certified megasite

Lowndes County, Miss., is now home to a third Tennessee Valley Authority certified megasite. The Infinity Megasite is located west of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, Miss., and the Lowndes County and Crossroads Megasites. The 1,144-acre site features 100 megawatts of electricity, and major water capacity. The community owns the site. 

 

Niagara Bottling investing $95 million in Virginia

Niagara Bottling will invest $95 million in a new bottled beverage plant in Chesterfield County, Va. Niagara is the largest private label bottled water supplier in the U.S. The project will create 76 new jobs. 

 

Flooring manufacturer expands in Northeast Tennessee

Mullican Flooring, a solid hardwood flooring manufacturer, is expanding for the fourth time in Johnson City, Tenn. since it moved its operations there in 2000. The company is adding 200 new jobs. 

 

Rehau Construction adding jobs in Alabama

Rehau Construction, a manufacturer of polyethylene pipes, is investing $5 million to expand its plant in Cullman, Ala. The deal will create 50 jobs. 

 

Texas call center hiring 500

C3 Customer Contact is hiring hundreds at its call center in McGregor, Texas. The center has several insurance clients that call for 500 more jobs. 

 

Nashville-based Asurion hiring in Orlando

Asurion is hiring 350 for its Orlando call center. The company provides call center support for AT&T and Verizon, among other major clients. 

 

Japanese company expanding in Virginia

Toray Plastics is investing $45 million to expand its Front Royal, Va. plant. The company makes a variety of films, fibers and plastics. The project will generate 30 new jobs. 

 

Fehrer Automotive expanding in Alabama

Fehrer Automotive is investing $12 million in its plant in Gadsden and adding more than 150 jobs. The company is adding a new hot cure foaming line that will help it produce more foam products for automakers like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Ford. 

 

Adidas opening first U.S. plant in metro Atlanta

Adidas, the Germany-based footwear maker, will open its first U.S. plant in Cherokee County, Ga. The $20 million factory will house 160 workers. 

 

Louisville Plate Glass opens plant 

Louisville Plate Glass, a maker of building-panel glass, opened its new plant in Louisville over the summer. The $5 million project will create 90 jobs. 

 

Textile manufacturer adding 150 jobs in Tennessee

Polartec is adding 150 jobs to the factory it moved from Massachusetts to Cleveland, Tenn. The company is best known for inventing fleece used by companies like Patagonia, North Face and LL Bean. 

 

Software firm expands in North Little Rock
Elyxor, a software engineering firm, is expanding its facility in North Little Rock, Ark. The company is adding 45 workers. 

 

Pharma manufacturer building East N.C. facility

Australia-based Mayne Pharma Group is building a new $65 million oral dose manufacturing operation in Pitt County, N.C. The project will generate 100 jobs. 

 

Logistics company hiring hundreds in Tampa Bay

BlueGrace Logistics, a company based in Riverview, Fla. that ships products for more than 10,000 companies, is adding 500 to 700 jobs and could move its headquarters to downtown Tampa. The company just received a $255 million investment from New York-based equity firm Warburg Pincus. 

 

Auto parts supplier announces in S.C. 

German auto parts supplier Brose will open a new facility in Duncan, S.C. The deal will manufacture door systems and controls for air conditioning systems. It will be the company's fourth U.S. facility. The $6 million project will create 60 jobs. 

 

Japanese auto parts maker building Kentucky facility

Japan-based Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions began construction on a new facility in Bowling Green over the summer. The company, a subsidiary of Kobe Steel, will make aluminum bumper beams and frames for the automotive industry. 

 

Georgia's manufacturing jobs rise for sixth straight year

According to the Georgia Manufacturers Register, manufacturers in Georgia added 2,188 new jobs between May 2015 and May 2016. It was the sixth consecutive year Georgia added manufacturing jobs after more than a two decades of manufacturing job losses. Since May 2010, Georgia has added 23,399 jobs in manufacturing. 

 


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. 


2015: Record year for foreign direct investment

After a poor 2014 with only $171.6 billion invested directly by foreign companies in the U.S., 2015 was a record year. In 2015, the U.S. saw more than $368 billion in FDI, by far the largest ever. Most of the investment came from Europe, however there is a growing trend with China. Just 10 years ago Chinese investment in the U.S. was a mere $200 million. Last year it was $15 billion and some are predicting it will top $30 billion this year. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, nearly 70 percent of foreign investment in the U.S. in 2015 flowed to the manufacturing sector.

 

Arkansas, Virginia at full employment; South finally bests U.S. unemployment rate

With an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in May, Arkansas is at full employment. And with a rate of 3.8 percent, so is Virginia in the South. Next best is Tennessee with a 4.1 unemployment rate, followed by Missouri (4.3) and Texas (4.4). Currently, the South's unemployment rate is 5.0 percent while the U.S. rate is 5.5 percent. Over the last 25 years, the South has typically seen a lower unemployment rate than the nation as a whole. However, May was the first month since the end of the recession that the South's unemployment rate was lower than the national rate.

 

Study grades manufacturing industry health in U.S. states

The South saw more A and B scores than any other region in the U.S. from a study done by Ball State University on manufacturing industry health. Called the 2016 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card of the United States, the study used data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Outside the South, only Indiana, Iowa and Michigan received an A score in manufacturing health. In the South, the following states were graded in the study:

 

State                  Grade

Alabama             B+

Arkansas            C

Florida                D

Georgia              D+

Kentucky            A

Louisiana            C

Mississippi          B

Missouri              C

North Carolina   C+

Oklahoma           C-

South Carolina   A

Tennessee          B

Texas                   C

Virginia                D

West Virginia      C-

 

Source: Ball State's 2016 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card of the United States

 

Huge contribution by auto industry to Alabama's economy

According to M. Keivan Deravi, an economist at Auburn University at Montgomery, the auto industry in Alabama contributes about 10 percent of the state's gross state product. The figure tabbed by Deravi is more than $18 billion pumped into Alabama from the state's automotive industry, which includes three major assembly plants and many large suppliers and engine manufacturers.

 

Citi moving jobs to Tampa

In the summer quarter, Citi decided to move some jobs from Hartford, Conn., to Tampa. The relocation will mean 100 new jobs for the Tampa Bay area.

 

SKF opens new facility in St. Louis

SKF has opened its North American headquarters for its lubrication unit. The $34 million deal will create 73 new jobs.

 

California-based rocket engine manufacturer to place division in Huntsville

Aerojet Rocketdyne has consolidated multiple business units into two units, Space and Defense. The company will place its Defense Business Unit headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., a move that will create 40 jobs.

 

Massachusetts-based CRO picks Research Triangle

Veristat, a clinical research firm, is opening a new office in North Carolina’s Triangle. The company plans to hire 150 workers.

 

Trailer manufacturing expanding in Georgia

Great Dane Trailers is adding 100 jobs at its plant in Statesboro, Ga. The added hires will bring employment at the facility to 650.

 

Virginia shipbuilder adding jobs

Newport News Shipbuilding is expanding its facilities in Newport News, Va. The company is adding 52,000 square feet of production area, new heavy cranes and plate-forming equipment. The project will create 125 jobs.

 

Call center hiring 200 in Florida

Call Direct Partners, an inbound call center provider, is adding 30,000 square feet of space at its facility in Merritt Island, Fla. The deal will create 200 jobs.

 

Insurer to open center in Virginia

Pacific Life Insurance Company will invest $4 million in a new business center in Lynchburg, Va. The project calls for 300 new jobs.

 

Sawmill to be reopened in Arkansas

Caddo River Forest Products will invest $50 million to reopen its large sawmill in Glenwood, Ark. The project will create 136 new jobs.

 

Austrian building material maker investing over $360 million at Alabama plant

Austria-based Kronospan, a manufacturer of wood-based panel products, is investing $362 million into its plant in Calhoun County, Ala. The big deal will create 200 new jobs.

 

GM expanding Kentucky Corvette assembly plant

Bowling Green, Ky., is the only place in the world where GM produces Corvettes. The plant, which has recently expanded twice, is going to expand again. GM will invest $290 million in the facility for upgrades and will also add 270 jobs.

 

Aerospace manufacturer adding jobs in Missouri

LMI Aerospace is expanding in Washington, Mo. The aircraft parts supplier is adding space and 60 new jobs.

 

Massachusetts-based telecommunications firm expanding in Atlanta area

Granite Telecommunications, a provider of telecommunications to business and government, is expanding in Cobb County, Ga. The company will hire 50 new workers.

 

Amazon to open center in Georgia

Amazon will open another distribution center in the South, this one in Jackson County, Ga. The online retailer will move into an existing 600,000-square-foot facility that will house 500 employees.

 

MRO adding jobs in North Carolina

HAECO, an aircraft maintenance and repair company, is spending $32 million on a new hanger in Greensboro, N.C. The project calls for 400 new jobs.

 

Software maker establishing new center in midtown Atlanta

California-based Keysight Technologies is investing $14 million in a new software development center in Atlanta. The deal will create 250 jobs. Atlanta beat out Silicon Valley and Seattle for the project. 

 

Foreign auto parts supplier to open plant in Alabama

Austrian-based automotive supplier Voestalpine Automotive will open an $11 million plant in Birmingham. The project is expected to create 42 jobs.

 

App developer hiring 100 in Louisiana

Waitr, a mobile software solutions company based in Lake Charles, La., is opening a 100-job technology operations center in Lafayette, La. The company, which provides local restaurant delivery service through a free app, will hire software engineers at the center.

 

Indian solar panel manufacturer plans new facility in North Carolina

India-based SWELECT Energy Systems will put a new plant in Halifax County, N.C. The company will produce "high quality" solar modules at the plant that will house 155 workers.

 

Alcoa expanding forging plant in Virginia

Alcoa is investing $8 million to expand its aerospace forging capacity at its titanium facility in Henry County, Va. The $8 million deal will create 15 jobs.

 

Subcontractor hiring 600 in rural East Kentucky

Dallas-based SourceHOV is hiring 600 clerks and quality assurance specialists in Mount Vernon, Ky. The workers will help digitize Department of Veterans Affairs records to help reduce backlogs.

 

German auto parts supplier expands in Alabama

Germany-based Eissmann Automotive is investing $14.5 million to expand its plant in St. Clair County, Ala. The expansion includes 130,000 square feet of new space and 200 new employees. The company supplies parts to Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and other automakers.

 

Grant Thornton adding jobs in NOVA

Grant Thornton, a professional services firm, is investing almost $16 million in its offices in Arlington, Va. The company is retaining 994 jobs and adding 348 in Northern Virginia.

 

BMW supplier opens plant in Mississippi

Germany-based hago Automotive opened its auto parts plant in Tishomingo County, Miss., in the summer quarter. The BMW supplier is investing $10 million in the Iuka facility where 80 employees are building more than 50 parts for the BMW X3 models made in Greer, S.C.  

 

Payment processor relocating HQ to Buckhead

Fortune 1000 payment processor Global Payments is investing $220 million in a new headquarters in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The company is also expanding its current headquarters in Sandy Springs, Ga., and adding a new data center in the Atlanta area. The move to Buckhead gets the company closer to the large fintech cluster in midtown Atlanta. The projects will create 275 jobs.

 

North Carolina megasite certified

The 1,800-acre Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site has received certification from the North Carolina Department of Commerce's certified sites program. That means most of the engineering and infrastructure work has been completed, and it is deemed shovel-ready for large projects. The site is the largest certified site in North Carolina.

 

Oil and gas industry in the South perking up

A Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey in the summer quarter indicated that in the second quarter, oil and gas activity picked up sharply. More than half of those energy executives surveyed indicated that oil and gas mining has expanded in Louisiana and Texas. It is the first increase in activity in the long-declining industry since the glut began two years ago.

 

Kentucky-made Toyota Camry named "most American-made car"

The Toyota Camry, which is built in Georgetown, Ky., was named the most "American-made car" by Cars.com's 2016 American-made index. The index ranks cars based on the highest percentage of domestic parts used in the assembly process.

 

Call center in rural Virginia to hire 500

Frontier Secure will locate a call center in Wise County, Va. The technical support facility is expected to house 500 workers.

 

Cast-iron skillet maker breaks ground on largest-ever expansion in Tennessee

Lodge Manufacturing has been making cast-iron cookware for 120 years in South Pittsburg, Tenn. In June, the company embarked on its largest expansion ever, announcing that Lodge will spend $90 million on a new foundry and distribution center that will increase capacity by 75 percent. The project will create 92 new jobs, bringing the headcount to 400 at the plants.

 

New background check firm to hire 150 in Georgia

Wholesale Screening Solutions, a new background check company, is opening its first facility in Flowery Branch, Ga. The company expects to hire 50 initially, and 100 more next year. 

 

Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems opens expanded plant in Kentucky

Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems opened its new expanded plant in Russell Springs, Ky., over the summer. The expansion doubled the company's workforce to 300. The company makes vent systems for a variety of automakers. The company has spent $43 million on the facility since it was announced in August 2013.

 

Converted TVA plant in Kentucky 75 percent complete

Work on the conversion of the Tennessee Valley Authority's largest power plant is 75 percent complete, and the facility in Muhlenberg County, Ky., is expected to be online in the spring of 2017. TVA is spending $1 billion converting the facility from coal to natural gas.

 

Florida's gross state product to top $1 trillion by 2018

University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith's latest Florida & Metro Forecast showed that Florida's economy is projected to grow by 2.9 percent through 2019, outpacing the estimated 2.3 percent GDP growth by the U.S. during that time frame. Furthermore, the forecast noted that Florida's gross state product will top $1 trillion for the first time by 2018.

 

GE relocates North American IT HQ from Connecticut to Atlanta

As GE shutters its current headquarters in Connecticut and moves to Boston, Atlanta snagged an important unit of the company. General Electric is moving its North American IT headquarters to Atlanta. The project will generate 400 jobs.

 

This one company has given out $1 billion in work to small businesses in Huntsville, Ala.

Virginia-based defense giant Northrop Grumman has recently sub-contracted about $1 billion worth of work on the nation's ballistic missile system to small businesses in the Huntsville area. Northrop Grumman is the fifth largest defense company in the world.

 

Tennessee hopes Chattanooga plant to receive some of $2 billion for VW zero emissions technology

Gov. Bill Haslam said he has "strong hopes" that Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant will get some or all of the $2 billion in spending on zero-emissions technology that was part of the German automaker's settlement with car owners, states and the federal government in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. As part of the settlement, VW agreed to a $2.7 billion environmental remediation fund and will invest $2 billion in initiatives to promote the use of zero emissions vehicles in the U.S. Volkswagen will pay approximately $15 billion in the settlement.

 

Nissan's economic impact on Mississippi growing

According to Mississippi State's National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., contributed $2.9 billion in direct and indirect measures in the state. That's up from $2.5 billion in 2013. Additionally, local and state tax revenue is up from $180 million in 2013 to $300 million last year.

 

Manpower projects top five and bottom five U.S. markets hiring

The Q3 U.S. Manpower Employment Outlook Survey showed that Albany, N.Y., with 34 percent of executives surveyed, is the top market in the U.S. for positive net employment in the third quarter of this year. Richmond, Va., was second, followed by Charleston, S.C., Salt Lake City and Grand Rapids, Mich. The oil industry's struggles put three Southern markets in the bottom five in employment outlook in Q3. . .they were Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

 

Louisiana governor signs executive order on property tax breaks for industry

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order in late June that will place more scrutiny over how industrial property tax breaks are given out to manufacturers. Local governments -- both parish and city -- will now be involved in approving tax exemptions for new and expanding industry. Companies applying for 10-year property tax breaks will also have to verify the number of jobs and investment in each project. According to the nonprofit Together Louisiana, approved property tax breaks for industry total $16.7 billion in lost property taxes to local governments.

 

Memphis job growth, industrial real estate surging

In May, Metro Memphis saw its strongest job growth in 20 years. Nearly 19,000 jobs were created in the Memphis area in May, helping bring the unemployment rate down from 6.6 percent in May 2015 to 4.5 percent in May 2016. Memphis is also working on a record year in the absorption of industrial real estate. In 2015, the Memphis MSA's industrial real estate sector saw a record-breaking year with an absorption rate of 8.4 million square feet. The market continued to soar in the first six months of this year, with about 7 million square feet of newly leased space.

 

The largest company headquartered in every state in the South

 

Alabama - Regions Financial

Arkansas - Walmart

Florida - Publix Super Markets

Georgia - Home Depot

Kentucky - Humana

Louisiana - CenturyLink

Mississippi - Sanderson Farms

Missouri - Express Scripts Holding

North Carolina - Bank of America

Oklahoma - Love's Travel Shops

South Carolina - Domtar

Tennessee - FedEx

Texas - Exxon Mobil

Virginia - The Long & Foster Companies

West Virginia - Camcare

 

*Based on annual revenues. Source: 24/7 Wall St.

 

Southern cities where manufacturing is thriving

In the summer quarter, Newgeography.com put out a ranking titled "The U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Is Thriving." Their methodology was based on a variety of measures, notably manufacturing employment growth in 2014 and 2015. The ranking included three peer groups: Small Cities, Medium Sized Cities and Large Cities. Below are all cities in the South that made the top 20 in each peer group followed by their ranking nationally according to Newgeography:

 

Small Cities (in the top 20)

Lake Charles, La. (3)

Elizabethtown, Ky. (9)

Naples, Fla. (12)

Bowling Green, Ky. (13)

Tuscaloosa, Ala. (14)

Punta Gorda, Fla. (15)

The Shoals, Ala. (16)

Cleveland, Tenn. (19)

In the top 25: Morgantown, W.Va. (25)

 

Medium Sized Cities (in the top 20)

Savannah, Ga. (1)

Charleston-N. Charleston, S.C. (3)

Mobile, Ala. (4)

Columbia, S.C. (5)

Daytona, Fla. (7)

Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (8)

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (10)

Baton Rouge, La. (12)

Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. (14)

Jackson, Miss. (18)

Asheville, N.C. (19)

Greenville-Anderson, S.C. (20)

In the top 25: Montgomery, Ala. (24)

 

Large Cities (in the top 20)

Louisville, Ky. (3)

Kansas City, Mo. (4)

Orlando, Fla. (5)

Nashville, Tenn. (13)

Raleigh, N.C. (14)

Atlanta, Ga. (15)

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (16)

West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. (17)

In the top 25: Jacksonville, Fla. (21); Charlotte, N.C. (22)

 

Source: Newgeography.com

 

Website names its top 15 U.S. destinations

Worth.com editors ranked the 15 most dynamics cities in the U.S. and called it "Worth Destinations 2016." The ranking was based on measures of sustainability, cultural offerings, entrepreneurial environment, business climate, quality of life and civic leadership. Making the top 15 in the South were Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans and Orlando.

 

Toyota celebrates 15 years of making engines in Huntsville

There is only one plant in the world that makes all of Toyota's engines under one roof, and that facility is in Huntsville, Ala. Toyota produces 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines at its Huntsville plant, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this summer. The 1-million-square-foot plant houses about 1,350 employees, and the Japanese automaker has invested $864 million in the facility over the 15 years.

 

TVA certifies Huntsville megasite

The Tennessee Valley Authority has certified a 1,252-acre megasite in the city of Huntsville in Limestone County, Ala. The certification means that the site has met TVA's criteria, including interstate access and rail service. TVA has certified seven megasites over the past 12 years and five sites have large tenants such as Volkswagen in Chattanooga.

 

Hyundai starts assembling Santa Fe SUV in Montgomery

Korean automaker Hyundai began mass production of the Santa Fe sports SUV in the summer at its plant in Montgomery, Ala. The model was previously made at the Kia plant in West Point, Ga. The Santa Fe joins the Sonata and Elantra sedan models at the Alabama plant. 

 

New GE Aviation facilities in Alabama will be unlike anything else in the world

General Electric Aviation broke ground in the summer on two Huntsville facilities that will work together in a way unlike anywhere else in the world. The company is investing $200 million in one facility that will mass-produce silicon carbide materials used to produce ceramic composite components for jet engines. The other facility will turn the material into tape for ceramic components. This will be the first time the two processes will occur in the same location.

 

Manufacturing jobs rose 2.5 percent in Florida

According to the Florida Manufacturers Register, manufacturing jobs in the state rose 2.5 percent from March 2015 to March 2016. The total number of manufacturing jobs increased by 11,645 in Florida during the year.

 

Huge deal for downtown Memphis

Memphis-based ServiceMaster, the city's fourth-largest public company, announced in the summer it would relocate its headquarters and 1,200 employees from East Memphis to the long vacant Peabody Place mall in downtown Memphis. The project is one of the largest in three decades for downtown Memphis.

 

Toyota celebrates 30th anniversary of Kentucky plant

In the summer quarter, Toyota celebrated 30 years of car assembly in Georgetown, Ky. The plant has produced over 10 million cars in those 30 years. The plant has 8,000 workers under roof, and the Japanese automaker has a $1.9 billion payroll in Kentucky.

 

North Carolina's life science jobs at all-time high

North Carolina's life science jobs are growing at three times the national average. Job growth in biotechnology grew by 2.2 percent in the U.S. from 2012 to 2014, according to the TEConomy. But in North Carolina, jobs in the sector grew by 6.6 percent in those years. Currently, the total number of people working in the life sciences in North Carolina is just above 70,000 -- a new record.

 

Record investments in TVA territory

The Tennessee Valley Authority is on a record-breaking investment pace in its seven-state region. Since 2006, TVA has helped attract more than 500,000 jobs and $60 million in investment. But it looks like this fiscal year may top the list. Already this year, companies have invested nearly $7 billion in TVA’s territory.

 

South places third in top five of entrepreneurship index

The 2016 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship Growth named Washington, D.C. as the No. 1 market in the U.S. for startup and entrepreneurship growth. Following D.C. were Austin, San Jose, Columbus, Ohio and Nashville. Also making the top 10 were San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth.

 

$1.5 billion Louisiana port one step closer to reality

In the summer quarter, a proposed $1.5 billion deepwater port in Cameron Parish, La., received approval to issue bonds to finance the project. Port Cameron, if built, is situated on 500 acres on the Calcasieu Ship Channel that serves the Port of Lake Charles.

 

BASF adding new line in South Carolina

Auto parts manufacturer BASF is investing up to $60 million at its plant in Seneca, S.C. The company is upgrading equipment to produce a new product used in heavy diesel engines.

 

Lotte Chemical, Axiall break ground on $3 billion Louisiana facility

In the summer quarter, Lotte Chemical and Axiall broke ground in Lake Charles, La., on a $3 billion ethane cracker complex. The joint venture will generate 215 jobs.

 

Cable manufacturer creating jobs in Tennessee

General Cable Industries is expanding its plant in Jackson, Tenn. The manufacturer of wire and cable used for data communication is investing $3.7 million in the facility and adding 51 jobs.

 

Door manufacturer expanding in rural South Carolina

Masonite International, a maker of doors and door systems, is expanding its plant in Bamberg County, S.C. The company is adding 50 jobs.

 

Boeing hiring in Alabama

Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems is expanding its PAC-3 missile plant in Huntsville. The expansion will call for 70 new jobs.

 

Manufacturer adding 100 jobs in rural Mississippi

BMSI, a manufacturer of specialty products for the Department of Defense as well as commercial restaurant equipment, is investing $6 million in its plant in Burnsville, Miss. The project will create 100 jobs.

 

GE Digital launches center in Atlanta

GE Digital will launch its first global Digital Operations Center in Atlanta. The center will provide customers with industrial solutions and software. The $3 million deal will create 250 jobs. 

 

Company bringing 100 jobs to Katy, Texas

Pepperl+Fuchs, a company that provides automation for industries, including the oil and gas sector, is creating 100 jobs and investing $25 million in Katy, Texas. The company is consolidating its facilities currently located in Twinsburg, Ohio.

 

 

Xerox hiring 425 in Oklahoma

Xerox is adding 425 jobs at its customer care facility in Yukon, Okla. The call center will be located at the Xerox plant that makes toner.

 

Auto parts supplier expands in Alabama

Germany-based Eissmann Automotive is investing $14.5 million in its facility in Pell City, Ala. The parts supplier to Mercedes, Audi, VW, Porsche and Tesla is building a new 130,000-square-foot addition for a new production line. The new facility will house 200 workers.

 

German downstream solar company relocates HQ to Miami

Conergy, one of the world's largest solar companies, has relocated its U.S. headquarters from Denver to Miami. The company, founded in 1998, designs and builds solar power systems. The relocation has created 60 jobs in Miami.

 

Renewable energy supplier expanding plant in Pensacola

Denmark-based Jupiter Group, a supplier to General Electric's wind energy plant in Pensacola, is adding more than 200 jobs at its Pensacola facility. The plant makes coverings for GE nacelles as well as components in wind turbines.

 

Chinese auto supplier locating plant in South Carolina

JGBR, a Chinese manufacturer of steel balls and ball bearings used in the automotive industry, is locating a new plant in Colleton County, S.C. The company is investing $7 million in the facility in Walterboro and hiring 65.

 

In-flight entertainment systems developer hiring in Orlando

Paris-based Thales Group, a developer of in-flight entertainment systems, is adding space and jobs at its Orlando facility. The company is hiring 173.

 

Call center growing in South Texas

Advanced Call Center Technologies, which already employs 756 workers at its office in Harlingen, is adding 330 more employees. The company is one of the largest employers in the city.

 

Online job recruiter hiring 200 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Job recruiter randrr will locate a new operation in Jacksonville. The company, which picked Jacksonville over the Silicon Valley and New York, is making a $9 million investment and hiring 200.

 

Southwest Airlines expands OKC call center

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which has had a call center in Oklahoma City since 1995, is expanding the facility. The airline will add 250 jobs. The new hires will help resolve customer issues and assist with reservations.

 

Progrexion to open Oklahoma City office

Utah-based Progrexion, a credit repair firm, is opening an office in Oklahoma City that will house 500 workers. The location is the eighth for the company in the last seven years.

 

Milwaukee Tool working hard in Mississippi

Milwaukee Tool is investing $1.5 million to expand its facility in Greenwood, Miss., after completing a $16.8 million expansion last summer. The expansion will create 75 jobs, bringing employment at the facility to 583.

 

New $265 million casino coming to Mississippi coast

A Connecticut Indian tribe and others say they'll partner to build a $265 million casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Mashantucket Pequot tribe, which operates the massive Foxwoods Resort Casino in eastern Connecticut, says it will lend that name to Foxwoods Resort Casino at Biloxi Pointe.

 

Italian company investing millions in new Alabama facility

Morganton Pressure Vessels, the North American arm of Italy-based Baglioni Group, a producer of compressed-air systems, is investing $1.5 million in a manufacturing plant in Bay Minette, creating 70 jobs. The company is taking the former Citation Aluminum site.

 

CarMax driving 350 jobs in Kenner, La.

The multi-billion company that bills itself as the nation's largest used car dealership, has won approval from the Kenner City Council to build its second store in Louisiana. The $30 million project is expected to bring 350 jobs.

 

Hytrol cuts the ribbon in Jonesboro, Ark.

Hytrol, a maker of conveyors, recently celebrated the completion of its $12 million expansion in Jonesboro, Ark.

 

Jacobs Engineering to move jobs from Pasadena to Texas

Jacobs Engineering Group, one of the world’s largest engineering companies, is preparing to move employees from its Pasadena headquarters to Dallas, becoming the latest major corporation to relocate significant operations from California to Texas. Jacobs employs 64,000 worldwide.

 

ServiceMaster to relocate HQ, 1,200 employees to downtown Memphis

ServiceMaster, the home and commercial services provider, will move its headquarters and 1,200 employees from East Memphis to the long-vacant Peabody Place mall in downtown. The four-level building will be renamed One ServiceMaster Center.

 

Ford supplier opening in Ky., still hiring

Automotive supplier Faurecia has opened its new seating plant in Simpsonville, Ky. The company is looking to add 100 more to the future payroll.

 

Charlotte area Freightliner plants cut 800 jobs

Daimler Trucks North America will cut another 800 workers from two of its Charlotte-area Freightliner plants as new orders for certain models of its trucks continue to decline. The cuts — 600 at the Mount Holly plant and 200 at the Gastonia facility — will be effective July 1.

 

Pilgrim’s Pride boasts expansion in Graves County, Ky.

Pilgrim’s Pride, a leading poultry producer, has announced a $24 million expansion creating about 140 new jobs at its Graves County plant.

 

Investment set to create 56 new jobs in Altavista, Va.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has announced that Abbott will invest $34 million to expand its nutrition manufacturing facility in Campbell County, creating 56 new jobs.

 

Total Quality Logistics opens in Sarasota, adds 100 jobs

Ohio-based freight brokerage firm Total Quality Logistics is expanding to open a Sarasota office, the company’s seventh location in Florida. The company plans on making a $600,000 capital investment.

 

Feds okay Savannah LNG export project

Federal regulators have authorized the expansion of the Elba Island LNG facility on the Georgia coast and upgrades to the pipeline that connects to it. The $2.3 billion projects will allow Houston-based Kinder Morgan to convert the facility from an import to an export terminal.

 

Metal parts company to add 44 jobs in Cleveland County, N.C.

Bessemer City-based Porter’s Group is adding a Cleveland County shop to its list of locations in the Carolinas and Virginia. The company will spend $3.75 million to open the plant and hire 44.

 

El Toro Marketing unveils expansion in Louisville

Executives from El Toro Internet Marketing officially opened the company’s new, larger headquarters in Louisville, a $2.1 million project creating space for 60 new jobs,

 

Ficosa North America hiring hundreds for new Tennessee Plant

Ficosa North America is hiring hundreds of employees for its new 270,000-square-foot automotive manufacturing facility in Cookeville, Tenn., which is about 80 miles east of Nashville.

 

Zanini Tennessee plans $3.4 million expansion at Winchester manufacturing plant

Automotive plastic components manufacturer, Zanini Tennessee, will invest $3.4 million to expand its production plant in Winchester, Tenn. The company plans to create 74 jobs in Franklin County.

 

Denmark-based Brodrene Hartmann plans $30 million food packaging hub In Missouri

Brodrene Hartmann has begun construction on its $30 million food packaging facility in Rolla, Mo. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs.

 

Atlanta company opens Richmond office

Atlanta-based consulting firm Thought Logic has chosen Richmond, Va., for its first outpost outside its hometown. The company, whose clients include Coke and GE, has 40 employees in Atlanta, and expects the Richmond office to hire 10 people this year.

 

Automation provider to expand in Greenville County

An automation controls engineering company plans to expand its Greenville, S.C., operations. PA Solutions, a supplier of “automation solutions for the chemical, pharmaceutical and automotive industries,” plans to construct a facility that amounts to an additional $65,000 in capital investment and adds 40 jobs.

 

St. Jude's next endeavor: $28 million data center

A multimillion-dollar building permit was recently filed for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, marking the second seven-figure permit in a two-week period. The permit is for the construction of a new data center valued at $28 million.

 

Southland Concrete expands its Virginia facility

Southland Concrete Corp. will invest $6 million and add 30 new jobs to Prince William County, Va.

 

Rite Aid opens South Carolina distribution center, 600 jobs

Rite Aid Corporation recently announced the grand opening of its first new distribution center in 16 years. The facility, located in Spartanburg, will mean 600 new jobs.

 

Newport News Shipbuilding is recalling 210 laid-off employees

Newport News Shipbuilding is calling back 210 of the workers it laid off earlier this year. The recall follows another in early April, when 75 employees who had been let go were called back. The 285 recalled employees had been among 738 laid off in February.

 

Comcast Southeast HQ officially opens in Georgia

Comcast officially opened its southeast headquarters on May 26, in Peachtree Corners. The nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its new regional headquarters, adding 150 new jobs and relocating the company’s existing 532 full-time local employees.

 

Lifetime gearing up to build $115.6 million facility in Tennessee

Lifetime Products recently broke ground on its $115.6 million manufacturing and distribution facility in northeast Knox County. The plant, which will eventually employ 500 people, will make water sports products including kayaks and paddleboards.

 

USAA adding more tech jobs in Austin

USAA — the San Antonio-based insurance and banking company for military members and their families — is boosting its technology brainpower in San Antonio and in downtown Austin. The company anticipates hiring about 200 more tech workers between the two markets in the coming year. 


June 2016

Fed official: "We're basically at full employment" 

In the spring quarter, San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said that "we're basically at full employment." Williams also said there is a lot to be happy about regarding the current economy, citing growth of about 2 percent a year, an unemployment rate that has been cut in half since the recession and the nation averaging about 200,000 new jobs a month for the past two years. 

 

Ga., S.C., moving ahead with shared port

The Georgia Ports Authority approved $7.5 million to conduct an environmental assessment for a proposed $5 billion Jasper Ocean Terminal, a new port near the Georgia and South Carolina border. South Carolina officials have already funded their part of the environmental work. The new port will be shared by the two states and will include 10 berths on 1,500 acres in Jasper County, S.C. The project is expected to open in 2030. 

 

Port of New Orleans sets back-to-back record container months

The Port of News Orleans set a record of 48,594 containers handled in March, then a record. But in April, the port handled 50,974 containers setting another monthly record. 

 

Construction begins in November for new $1.5 billion Louisiana port

Construction on the first phase of Port Cameron on the Calcasieu Ship Channel south of Lake Charles will begin later this year. The $1.5 billion project when fully leased will generate about $2.8 billion in sales and create 10,000 jobs. The four-year build-out phase will create about 16,000 construction jobs.  

 

Chinese manufacturer creating 400 jobs in S.C.

China Jushi, a manufacturer of fiberglass products, is investing $300 million in a new plant in Richland County, S.C. The project will create 400 new jobs. 

 

Amazon hiring 1,000 at Texas center

Amazon.com will open a new distribution center in San Marcos, Texas in the summer. The 855,000-square-foot warehouse will house 1,000 workers. 

 

Engineering firm relocating HQ from California to Dallas

Jacobs Engineering Group, a large engineering and design firm with 230 offices around the world, is relocating its headquarters to Dallas. The firm already has about 300 workers in Dallas. The company expected to relocate 100 top executives to Texas. 

 

What? Sarasota County votes not to accept relocating HQ

You know the economy is good when communities begin to reject prospective projects. That's exactly what Sarasota County, Fla. did in the spring quarter. The County Commission voted 4-1 in May against offering $720,000 in incentives for a national roofing company to relocate its headquarters to Sarasota. About 20 local contractors and professional associations also spoke out against the project. They argued that the new company would make it more difficult for local companies to retain key employees. The unemployment rate in Sarasota is 4.3 percent.  

 

FedEx hiring 700 for new Louisville distribution center

Memphis-based FedEx has already hired 300 workers for a new distribution center in Louisville. The 300,000-square-foot facility will eventually house 700 employees. 

 

Glass plant back in business in Northeast Tennessee

Heritage Glass has sold its closed solar glass facility in Kingsport, Tenn. to EnviraGlass. The new company is reopening the plant and will initially employ 104 workers. 

 

San Francisco-based apparel company bringing 300 jobs to Ga. 

thredUP, an online retailer of secondhand women's and children's clothing, is opening a warehouse in Gwinnett County, Ga. The project will create 300 jobs. 

 

Manufacturer expanding in Bay Springs, Miss. 

Hol-Mac Corp., a manufacturer of oil field equipment and hydraulic cylinders, is expanding its facility in Bay Springs. The $5 million deal will create 40 new jobs. 

 

Hallmark expands in Missouri

Hallmark Cards has hired about 345 full-time employees at its Liberty, Mo., distribution center. The company expects to hire 300 more workers at the center in the summer. 

 

Texas ammunition manufacturer to build plant in West Virginia

Texas-based Ranger Scientific announced in the spring it will build an ammunitions factory on 1,000 acres of reclaimed mountaintop land in eastern Kanawha County. When operational, the plant will produce more than 500 million rifle rounds per year. The project will create 400 jobs. 

 

Silicon Valley company picks Raleigh for regional HQ

WalkMe Inc., a Silicon Valley-based software company, announced it picked downtown Raleigh for a new regional headquarters that will house hundreds of workers. The company designs software that simplifies the online user experience. The Raleigh office will be one of only five worldwide for WalkMe. 

 

Georgia-based furniture manufacturer top open rural Alabama facility

Farmer's Home Furniture plans to open a new factory in the Northwest Alabama town of Russellville. The 325,000-square-foot plant will house about 80 workers. 

 

Humana hiring 100 in South Florida

Health care giant Humana is adding 100 workers at its telesales facility in Miramar, Fla. The company provides enrollment assistance at the facility. 

 

TVA achieves nuclear reaction at Watts Bar

The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Unit 2 achieved its first sustained nuclear fission reaction in May and is now operating. The plant will eventually provide up to 1,150 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 1.3 million homes. 

 

New plant slated for South Alabama

Morganton Pressure Vessels, a subsidiary of Italy-based Baglioni Group, will establish a new compressed air system manufacturing plant in Bay Minette, Ala. The $1.5 million plant will create 70 new jobs. 

 

Virginia lands another major craft beer brewery

San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits announced it will open a new brewing operation in Botetourt County, Va. The $47 million project will create 178 new jobs. 

 

Packaging company to create jobs in rural Georgia

Polymer Logistics, a retail packaging firm, is investing $4 million in a new 73,500-square-foot distribution center in Dublin, Ga. The center will house 110 workers. 

 

Citi relocating jobs from Connecticut to Tampa

Citigroup is relocating employees from Connecticut to its Citi Service Center in Tampa. The move affects about 150 workers. 

 

Nashville has a ridiculous number of jobs available

We all know there are over 5 million jobs available and unfilled in this country. Of those, there are about 1 million tech-based jobs available right now. As of late May, there were nearly 100,000 jobs available and unfilled in the Nashville metro. 

 

New auto parts distribution center sets up shop in Winchester, Va. 

FCA US, a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler, is investing over $12 million in a parts distribution center in Winchester, Va. The 400,000-square-foot center will house about 70 workers. 

 

New data center breaks ground in Virginia

In May, Seattle-based Sabey Corporation broke ground on a new 900,000-square-foot data center in Ashburn, Va. The center will be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. 

 

People flocking to Southern major markets

According to Realtor.com, 8 of the top 10 inbound migration cities in the U.S. are located in the South. The No. 1 city was Tampa, followed by Jacksonville, Charlotte, San Antonio, Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Nashville, Raleigh and Portland. 

 

Massive expansion announced by bourbon distillery

Kentucky's bourbon boom continued in the spring quarter as officials with Buffalo Trace Distillery announced they would invest $200 million in an expansion that will take place over 7 years. The Frankfort-based company is currently converting seven former barrel aging buildings back to their original use and 30 new aging warehouses are planned. One is scheduled to be built every five months. Kentucky bourbon makers filled almost 1.9 million barrels in 2015, a 44 percent increase over the previous year. 

 

200 new tech jobs coming to Midtown Atlanta

California-based Keysight Technologies and Georgia Tech are collaborating on a new software design center near the university's campus in Midtown Atlanta. The facility will focus on Keysight's transformation into a software-centric solutions provider for its customers. The deal will create 200 new jobs. 

 

Technology firm adding 300 jobs in South Carolina

Charleston-based technology firm Blackbaud is building a new headquarters on Daniel Island. The new $150 million, 360,000-square-foot campus will house the company's existing 1,500 employees and 300 more. 

 

Shipping broker expands in Knoxville

Axle Logistics, a logistics broker, is expanding its downtown Knoxville headquarters. The company is adding 40 employees.   

 

Japan's automotive industry impact on the Southern Auto Corridor

Japanese automakers operate 7 major assembly plants in the Southern Automotive Corridor and several large engine and transmission facilities. The plants are located from Texas to West Virginia, but most are located near the spine of the Southern Auto Corridor, which is Interstate 65 that runs through Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) released its 2015 advance contributions data in the spring quarter and it showed that Japanese automakers have a cumulative manufacturing investment in the U.S. that totals $45.4 billion. The release also stated that 75 percent of Japanese-brand vehicles sold in the U.S. are produced in North America. Other data from the release includes: 

 

2015

 

Japanese vehicle production in the U.S. 3,850,000

Japanese exports from the U.S. 417,699

Number of U.S. employees (Mfg) 60,640

Number of U.S. employees (R&D) 5,086

Number of U.S. employees (HQ) 22,062

Number of U.S. employees (dealerships) 375,143

Total employees 462,931

 

Source: JAMA

 

German manufacturer launches HQ in S.C. 

A manufacturer of electrical railway couplings is setting up its headquarters in Pickens County, S.C. Germany-based era-contact USA is investing $3.6 million in the deal, which will create 45 new jobs. 

 

BMW rolls out 3.5 millionth vehicle in S.C.

BMW Manufacturing Co. set a milestone in the spring quarter. The German automaker rolled out its 3.5 millionth vehicle. The company produced 400,000 SUVs in calendar year 2015.

 

Artificial intelligence software firm expands in Middle Tennessee

Digital Reasoning, a leader in cognitive computing and artificial intelligence software for government agencies, financial institutions and healthcare companies, is expanding its headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. The company is adding 189 employees. 

 

Newport News Shipbuilding adding 1,000 jobs

The large shipyard in Newport News, Va., is adding more than 1,000 jobs. The hires are a result of more submarine contracts with the Navy. 

 

United Technologies building new headquarters in South Florida

United Technologies Corp.'s Climate Controls and Security division broke ground on its new $115 million headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens in the spring quarter. The project is expected to create about 400 jobs. 

 

Canadian manufacturer growing in Tennessee

Montreal-based Bath Fitter Manufacturing, a maker of tub and shower liners, is investing $5.1 million to grow its plant in Springfield, Tenn. The deal will create 51 jobs. 

 

New Jersey pharmaceutical firm expands in Durham, N.C. 

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals announced in March it will invest about $20 million in a new manufacturing and research facility in Durham County, N.C. Braeburn's new facility will house 52 bio-manufacturing workers as well as R&D specialists. 

 

Michelin to build $300 million distribution center in S.C.

Michelin announced in the spring it will build a $300 million tire distribution center in Spartanburg County, S.C. The new center will house about 350 workers. 

 

MRO hiring 75 in Myrtle Beach

Executive Helijet, an aircraft maintenance company, is investing $1 million at its facility at the Myrtle Beach International Airport. The project will create 75 jobs. 

 

Two large Georgia megasites gain certification 

Two large sites in middle Georgia gained certification by the state in the spring quarter. The Heart of Georgia Megasite in Laurens County near Dublin features 2,000 acres and is located on Interstate 16. The other is the Sibley-Smith Industrial Park on the U.S. 441 bypass in Baldwin County, Ga., which consists of 1,657 acres. Both sites have rail access.  

 

New York-based Paychex expands in Baton Rouge

Paychex, a payroll and personnel services firm, is expanding its operation in Baton Rouge by 100 jobs. 

 

Big call center deal in Texas

Results Companies is setting up a new call center in Palestine, Texas. The project calls for at least 500 new hires. 

 

Call center to create hundreds of jobs in Columbus, Ga. 

Ohio-based Convergys is moving into the former Road America facility on the riverfront in Columbus, Ga. The new call center will be staffed by about 450 workers. 

 

Packaging conglomerate locating HQ in Memphis

Three packaging companies have merged to create a $5.5 billion conglomerate. The new company, Evergreen Packaging, will locate its headquarters in Memphis and add 70 jobs. 

 

Japanese auto parts company locating second facility in Bowling Green, Ky. 

Kobe Steel will build a new plant near its sister company, Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, in Bowling Green. The new plant will produce aluminum parts for cars and trucks. It will be staffed by 106 full-time workers. 

 

Largest Chinese greenfield investment to open by end of the year in Corpus Christi

By the end of this year, the largest Chinese greenfield investment in the U.S. will be operational. The $1.3 billion Tianjin Pipe (TPCO) facility near Corpus Christi will produce seamless pipe for the energy industry. Much of the pipe will be used at the nearby Eagle Ford Shale formation in South Texas. The project is expected to create 600 jobs. 

 

Sprint opens regional office in Little Rock

In the spring quarter, wireless carrier Sprint opened a regional headquarters office in Little Rock that will serve Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma. About 100 jobs will be created. 

 

Danish company adding 150 jobs in Pensacola

Danish wind power turbine manufacturer Jupiter Group is expanding its manufacturing facility in Pensacola. The company is adding space and 150 new jobs at its plant. 

 

Online retailer expanding in Kentucky

Rue La La, an e-commerce company with facilities in Shepherdsville, Ky., is adding space and investing $15 million there. The Boston-based company is also adding 102 jobs. 

 

City of Melbourne, Fla., approves Northrop Grumman's expansion

While there has not been an official statement yet from Northrop Grumman where it will design and build the new Air Force's Long Range Strike Bomber, the City of Melbourne has approved a site plan that would accommodate the project at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne. Northrop Grumman recently opened its Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence at the Melbourne airport. If the bomber is built in Melbourne, the number of new employees for the project has risen to 1,900. 

 

Boeing employment up to 2,500 in Oklahoma 

Just a few years ago, Boeing employed a few hundred workers in Oklahoma City. Now that workforce has grown to 2,500 and should top 3,000 by the end of the year. In Oklahoma, Boeing works on defense, including designing modifications to the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), cargo, bombers and fuel tanker aircraft. Another engineering facility is being built in Oklahoma City and should open by the end of the year. Another 600 engineers are expected to be hired when the new facility opens. 

 

UPS to build $70 million facility in Texas

Atlanta-based UPS announced it will build a $70 million distribution center in Round Rock, Texas. The new center will bring additional capacity to the Austin area. The project will generate 300 jobs. 

 

Local recycler, Chinese company work on joint project in S.C. 

A Berkeley County, S.C. tire recycler and a Chinese chemical company have announced a joint venture to form Viva Holdings Group. The new company is building a $28 million rubber and plastics recycling plant that will make industrial and consumer products from scrap plastics and rubber that have been molded together. The project will create 200 jobs in Berkeley County.

 

Health care company adding jobs in Charlotte region

Ensemble Health Partners, a health care revenue consultant, is expanding into a larger facility in Huntersville, N.C. The company will also add 120 jobs. 

 

Sitel adding jobs in Oklahoma

Call center operator Sitel is expanding its call center in Bartlesville, Okla. The company is adding 70 new jobs. 

 

Coatings manufacturer expands in rural Virginia

Lohmann Specialty Coatings is expanding its plant in Orange County, Va. Lohmann's products are used in a variety of industries including automotive, where the company has clients such as BMW and Bosch Siemens. The $6.7 million project will create 56 new jobs. 

 

TAG Manufacturing adding 200 jobs in Chattanooga

TAG Manufacturing, one of the first tenants of Chattanooga's Enterprise South industrial park where Volkswagen's assembly plant is located, is expanding its plant. TAG produces attachments such as buckets for heavy construction equipment. The company is investing $15 million in the purchase of 19 acres for a new 200,000-square-foot building. The deal will create 200 jobs. 

 

The cost of putting all 4,000 Toyota headquarter employees under one roof: $1 billion

Toyota is currently building its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. Its current headquarters is in Torrance, Calif. However, Toyota has employees in Kentucky and New York that it wants to consolidate to Plano. Moving those and its employees in California to Plano will ultimately cost $1 billion Toyota officials revealed in the spring. Toyota's new headquarters project is more than half finished and is expected to open early next year. 

 

LMI Aerospace expanding in Missouri

LMI Aerospace, a manufacturer of aerostructures and components for the commercial, military and corporate aerospace markets, is expanding its machining facility in Washington, Mo. The project calls for 60 more employees. 

 

Sioux Chief Manufacturing establishing new plant in S.C.

Sioux Chief, a manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, is establishing operations in Cherokee County, S.C. The $2.5 million deal will result in 77 new jobs. 

 

GE relocating division to Houston

General Electric is relocating a small division to Houston as it closes a Pittsburgh plant and consolidates its operations. GE's Power Conversion unit will add about 70 jobs in Houston to the 50 it already has there. 

 

Big deal in Georgia

Texas-based Sparta Industries, a maker of foam insulation air ducts for commercial buildings, is moving into the former Rheem complex in Milledgeville, Ga. that has been vacant for years. The project will produce more than 1,000 new jobs. 

 

Aerospace parts plant going up in South Alabama

Huntsville-based Brown Precision, a manufacturer of precision parts used in the aerospace and medical industries, is building a new plant in Atmore, Ala. The company, which provides parts of GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and GKN Aerospace, will create 35 new jobs initially with 100 expected within a few years. 

 

Sitel's new call center in Spartanburg to house 400

Sitel's new call center in Spartanburg County, S.C. opened in the spring quarter. The $2.5 million, 47,000-square-foot facility houses about 400 workers. 

 

Dollar General plans 1 million-square-foot center near Atlanta

Tennessee-based Dollar General is building a large distribution center in Jackson, Ga. The project is the retailer's 15th distribution center and will create 500 new jobs. 

 

Coca-Cola Bottling opens new Montgomery facility

Coca-Cola Bottling opened its new $35 million distribution facility in Montgomery, Ala., in the spring quarter. The project created 63 jobs. 

 

Memphis industrial real estate market soaring

Because of the FedEx hub in Memphis, the city’s industrial market is a good barometer of the economy. In 2015, the Memphis MSA's industrial real estate sector saw a record-breaking year with an absorption rate of 8.4 million square feet. The market continued to soar in the first three months of this year, with 4 million square feet of newly leased space. 

 

South lands six states on Chief Executive's "Best States for Business" 

Once again Texas was Chief Executive's 2016 "Best State for Business." Texas was followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Nevada and Ohio in the top 10. The bottom five were Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, New York and California. 

 

19th century textile mill to be converted into data center in Augusta, Ga. 

The Historic Sibley Mill, a long-idled, 600,000-square-foot former denim plant near downtown Augusta, is being converted into a 10-megawatt data center and technology park. Two South African entrepreneurs are partners in the venture called Cape Augusta Digital Properties. The $90 million to $150 million project will be known as Augusta Cyber Works. The mill's location is unique in that it is directly on the Augusta Canal. The building has a built-in 2.5 megawatt hydroelectric system. Together with the canal and the hydroelectric system, the mill can provide the two things data centers need the most: water and electricity. 

 

Customer service center generating 120 jobs in Tennessee

Empyrean Benefit Solutions, a benefits technology firm, is opening a new customer service center in La Verge, Tenn. The project calls for 120 jobs initially. 

 

Health care solutions firm expanding in Knoxville

TeamHealth is investing $6.7 million in a renovation of 62,000 square feet of space located adjacent to its Knoxville headquarters. TeamHealth is one of Knoxville's largest employers. The expansion will mean 250 more workers for the company. 

 

California smoothie company moving HQ to Texas

Jamba Inc., operators of Jamba Juice shops, is relocating its headquarters from Emeryville, Calif., to Frisco, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro. The move will affect about 120 workers in California. Once settled, the company will employ about 100 in Frisco. 

 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott takes job poaching trip to California; Miami Beach mayor counters

Gov. Rick Scott took another recruiting trip to California in the spring quarter, provoking California Gov. Jerry Brown again. Scott's message to California execs was the usual sales pitch; lower taxes and wages in Florida compared to California. Scott claimed that Brown had hurt California's business climate by boosting the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the state by 2021. But after Scott's trip, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine purchased radio ads in major California metros that stressed the positive value of minimum wage hikes, which he is trying to do in his city. The ads partly read: "I want the people of California to know that Miami Beach is about to vote on a historic measure; a living wage for all its residents, one that allows them to not only work here but live here." Gov. Brown and Gov. Scott have been going at it recently as Scott tries to poach jobs from California. If you recall, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry took similar highly publicized recruiting trips to California a few years ago. 

 

$20 billion Texas LNG export terminal has taken another step forward

The Woodlands, Texas-based NextDecade LLC filed its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in May. The company plans to build a 137-mile pipeline and a LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville. NextDecade is filing for permission to take natural gas mined from the Eagle Ford Shale region south of San Antonio and export it overseas to customers. The project, called Rio Grande LNG, is expected to cost $20 billion. 

 

Poultry plant to reopen in Siler City, N.C.

Delaware-based Mountaire Farms is acquiring the former Townsend poultry processing plant in Siler City. The plant has been closed since 2011. Once the plant is renovated, the new owner plans to hire about 500 workers. 

 

Software company expands in Florida

eMaint, a provider of maintenance software, is relocating its headquarters from Estero to Bonita Springs, Fla. The $2 million move will result in 150 new jobs. 

 

Bama Foods expands in Oklahoma
Tulsa-based Bama Foods is expanding its plant in Owasso, Okla. The company recently won a contract to provide pancakes to McDonald's. The expansion will add 55 jobs. 

 

Italian company to create 300 jobs in Brownsville, Texas
Italy-based SATA USA, a manufacturer of high technology components, is investing $114 million in a machining facility in Brownsville. The project will create 300 jobs.

 

Minnesota company establishes plant in South Carolina
J&L Wire is establishing its first South Carolina plant. The $2.5 million project will create 50 new jobs. 

 

Husqvarna adding 513,000 square feet in Orangeburg, S.C.
Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products, a manufacturer of outdoor power machines, is adding 513,000 square feet of space to its existing operations in Orangeburg County. The project will cost $29 million. 

 

Furniture maker hiring 50 in N.C.
‚Äč
Hughes Furniture, the fifth largest employer in Randolph County, N.C., with 800 employees, is adding 50 jobs at the company's Randleman plant. The company is building a 300,000-square-foot distribution center. 

 

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 logi


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.