February 2018

Recent data shows influx of new residents in the South

U.S. Census data that came out in the winter quarter showed a huge influx of new residents in the South from states outside the region. Between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, the South added 1.24 million additional residents, well above the second-fastest growth region in the West with a population increase of 765,672 people. The Midwest saw meager gains of only 201,183. The Northeast saw an increase of just 111,221 residents. 


WSJ says Dallas is the best place for Amazon's new headquarters

In January, The Wall Street Journal chose Dallas as the No. 1 place for Seattle-based Amazon's second headquarters. "A large tech labor force, and middle-of-the-road ranks for nearly everything else, places Dallas at the top of our ranking," the publication wrote. Amazon has narrowed its site search to 20 cities for the $5 billion, 50,000-job project. 


Birmingham named No. 1 metro area for healthcare jobs

The Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., metro area was named the No. 1 market in the U.S. for healthcare jobs according to a study done by ABODO. According to the report, Birmingham has the highest concentration of healthcare jobs such as physicians, surgeons, lab technicians, dentists and physical therapists among the top 50 metros in the country. 


Big win in Missouri 20 years ago comes to a close

One of the most sought-after projects in the South in the late 1990s is coming to a close. Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson is closing its motorcycle assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. The plant opened in 1998. Production is being shifted to the company's York, Pa., plant. The closing affects about 800 workers in Kansas City.  


Top five inbound and outbound U.S. states

According to North American Moving Services, the top five outbound household states in 2017 were Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, California and Michigan. The study also ranked the top inbound states based on household moves, which were Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.  


Kentucky's Bourbon Trail still a big hit

For the second consecutive year, more than 1 million people visited 23 distilleries that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. In 2017, the tourism attraction saw 1.194 million visitors, a 12 percent increase over 2016. 


Mississippi unemployment lowest on record

In December, Mississippi's unemployment rate dropped to 4.6, the lowest on record in the state, or since 1976. The U.S. Department of Labor began calculating state level unemployment figures in January 1976. 


Alabama's jobless rate also at record low

Alabama's jobless rate stood at a record low of 3.5 percent at the end of the year. At the end of 2016, Alabama's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. Also in December, there were more people working in Alabama than any time on record. 


Half of all new U.S. jobs last year were created in just five states

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, Texas, Florida, New York and Georgia captured 51 percent of new job growth in the U.S. last year. The five states are home to about 36 percent of the U.S. population. 


U.K. diplomat says what kept Toyota-Mazda from North Carolina would not be a problem for Jaguar Land Rover

In an article published by the Raleigh News & Observer in January, British diplomat Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, the United Kingdom's Atlanta-based consul general, was in Raleigh in January and was quoted as saying that Jaguar Land Rover could be a future target for North Carolina leaders that want to land the state's first automaker. Toyota-Mazda passed on North Carolina and picked a site in Huntsville, Ala., for the latest plant in the Southern Auto Corridor. Reports indicated North Carolina did not have a large enough existing parts supplier base. Pilmore-Bedford said that would not be an issue with Jaguar Land Rover because if the British carmaker built a plant in the U.S., it would "start from scratch" by bringing in its own suppliers. 


Atlanta airport world's busiest for 20th consecutive year

For the 20th year, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the world's busiest in 2017. For the second consecutive year, Atlanta's airport served over 100 million passengers, the only airport in the world to do so. 


Texas pumping record oil with fewer workers

Texas broke a record in oil production in 2017, but did it with 25 percent fewer employees than in the previous peak of 2014, according to the Texas Petro Index. As of the end of the year, oil jobs in Texas totaled about 222,600, accounting for 54 percent of the 413,400 oil jobs in the U.S. 


U.S. could become the world's largest oil producer this year

Rapid increases in U.S. oil production as a result of higher prices have the U.S. poised to surpass output totals of Russia and Saudi Arabia this year. According to the International Energy Agency,, U.S. crude production could exceed 10 million barrels a day at some point in 2018. 


North Carolina adds fifth certified megasite

In addition to sites in Chatham, Randolph and Edgecombe counties, a new megasite has been certified in North Carolina. The new, 1,394-acre site is in Person County, north of Durham. 


Nissan expects to build new U.S. plant within five years

Hiroto Saikawa, CEO of Nissan, told attendees at the Detroit Auto Show that the Japanese automaker will need to build a new U.S. plant in four to five years. The company operates its largest North American plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and another in Canton, Miss., in the Southern Automotive Corridor. 


Like Amazon HQ2, Apple plans a second campus in North America

In the winter quarter, Apple announced it is opening a second campus in the U.S. as part of billions being spent in the U.S. Apple’s headquarters is in Cupertino, Calif., but this new campus will be in a new location. In addition, company officials announced Apple will invest $350 billion in the U.S. over the next five years and hire 20,000 at its existing campus and at the proposed second headquarters. 


VW to invest $3.3 billion in North America

Volkswagen announced it will invest $3.3 billion in North America over the next three years to increase market share. About $1.2 billion will be invested in the U.S. VW's only U.S. plant is in Chattanooga, Tenn., where it employs about 3,500 workers. 


Tennessee official: Memphis megasite needs $80 million in infrastructure improvements

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolf said in January that the Memphis Regional Megasite will need another $80 million to make it "shovel ready" for a larger user. Toyota and Mazda passed on the site since it was not fully served. 


NCR opens new Atlanta HQ

Atlanta-based NCR opened its new headquarters in Midtown in January. The financial services technology giant has completed one tower of the block-long campus near Georgia Tech and Tech Square, with the other tower slated for completion later this year. The 750,000-square-foot campus can house 5,000 employees. 


Citgo to keep headquarters in Houston

Venezuelan refiner Citgo Petroleum will keep its headquarters in Houston rather than relocate its executives to a new headquarters in the Caribbean. Its new president and CEO, Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, confirmed the news in January. 


With vehicle sales declining slightly, why did Toyota and Mazda make quick work of another plant?

The Toyota-Mazda site search that ended up on a TVA certified megasite at a Huntsville-annexed site in Limestone County, Ala., was really, really. . .and I mean, really. . .on the fast track. From conception in the summer of 2017, the site search ended in Alabama in January 2018. 


With vehicle sales down slightly to 17.1 million in 2017 from 17.5 million in 2016, why did Toyota and Mazda work so fast to locate the $1.6 billion plant in the Southern Auto Corridor? For one, Mazda will make an entirely new SUV at the Huntsville facility that will open in 2021, and we all know Americans love their SUVs. Mazda plans to assemble 150,000 of those SUVs at the Alabama plant. 


The other factor is that Toyota is evolving its North American production capacity. The Japanese automaker ended production of the Corolla in Canada in order to make more RAV4 models, and decided not to assemble the sedan at a new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico that is still under construction. There, it will assemble a much needed vehicle, the Tacoma pickup truck. So, Toyota needed more Corolla capacity, which it will get with the North Alabama plant. 


Corollas are also made 150 miles away from Huntsville at Toyota's plant in Blue Springs, Miss. And, the engines for the Corolla are already being made at Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville, just down the road from the new plant. So, everything was in place at the Alabama site for Toyota, and Mazda needed a partner to build the 4,000-employee, $1.6 billion plant to launch their new SUV for U.S. consumption.


South nearly shut out of "Best Places to Find a Job" top 10

The American South's numerous major markets normally dominate “best places to find a job” lists from whatever media property that publishes the rankings. But in this one, the South didn't fare too well. WalletHub recently published its best places to find a job and Chandler, Ariz., topped the list. Three other Arizona markets made the top 10 along with San Francisco and Irvine in California, Portland, Me., Madison, Wisc., and Boston. Only Plano, Texas made the top 10 from the South. But Austin and Orlando made the top 15.  


Dallas-Fort Worth leads U.S. in jobs and job growth

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area had both the highest job growth rate and the most jobs added in calendar year 2017 among large U.S. metros. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, DFW added 100,400 jobs in 2017, and local non-farm employment rose by 2.8 percent. In terms of job growth rate, Phoenix, Boston, Atlanta and Miami followed Dallas-Fort Worth. 


Skilled and unskilled labor hard to find

According to a recent report from the RSM Middle Market Leadership Council's fourth quarter survey, 72 percent of companies are struggling to some or to a great extent to find skilled labor. We all know that. But here is the number to watch: 42 percent of companies are also finding it difficult to find unskilled labor. That number is surely to increase with a cut in immigration and an increase in deportations. 


The healthcare industry just became the nation's largest employer

In 2017, the health care sector became the largest industry employer in the nation, surpassing the previous No. 1, retail. In 2000, there were 7 million more workers in manufacturing than in health care. Today, there are almost 13 million manufacturing workers and health care employs just over 16 million workers. The retail sector currently employs just fewer than 16 million workers. 


The South lands more top performing cities than any other U.S. region

The Milken Institute's annual "Best Performing Cities 2017 came out in the winter quarter and Provo, Utah claimed the No. 1 spot. Making the top 10 in the South were Raleigh (2); Dallas-Plano-Irving (3); Northport-Sarasota-Bradenton (6); Orlando (7); Nashville (8) and Austin-Round Rock (9). San Francisco and Salt Lake City also made the top 10.


Mercedes-Benz assembles 3 millionth vehicles in Alabama

Mercedes-Benz celebrated a milestone in the winter quarter. The German automaker assembled its 3 millionth vehicle in January, a diamond silver GLE 350 SUV. The company began production in 1997 at the Tuscaloosa County plant. 


North Carolina megasite now at 1,900 acres

The Randolph County, N.C., megasite that reportedly came in second in the Toyota-Mazda site search has added about 140 acres. The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation now owns approximately 1,900 acres. 


Amazon adds 200 acres for its Kentucky Air Hub

Amazon has added 210 acres of privately owned land to its planned air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Amazon officials have not yet disclosed what role the land is going to play.


Tampa International Airport hiring 300

The airport is looking to fill nearly 300 hourly and management positions, including jobs in shops, restaurants, bars and spas.


Old Dominion University wins grants from new initiative

Old Dominion University (ODU) will receive grants totaling nearly $1.3 million from a new Virginia economic development initiative for two workforce programs. The grants come from Virginia Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia), which aims to boost private-sector growth and job creation in regions throughout the commonwealth. The GO Virginia board approved grants for five projects, including two at ODU — a digital shipbuilding workforce training program and the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce and Economic Development Alliance (HRCyber). ODU’s projects, which are expected to be up and running by March, aim to create about 2,000 jobs within five years.


Palm Beach Gardens approves incentive for “Project Knight,” 100 jobs coming

“Project Knight,” an undisclosed company seeking a $560,000 incentive package to consolidate jobs in Palm Beach Gardens, recently won the support of the City Council. Palm Beach Gardens’ share of the package is $70,000, Palm Beach County is expected to pick up another $70,000, and the state will cover the rest. In exchange, the company has pledged to invest $25 million in its building in Palm Beach Gardens and create 100 jobs over the next three years.


New med center to bring hundreds of jobs to East Texas

Five-hundred new jobs are coming to East Texas with the opening of Fresenius Medical Care Business Center. The facility offers support to dialysis clinics across the country, including four in Tyler, Texas.


OU Medicine to create hundreds of new jobs

OU Medicine Inc. has ended a contract with HCA Healthcare, assuming management of OU Medical System hospital facilities in the Oklahoma City area and creating hundreds of new jobs as a result.


New jobs and big bucks coming to Calhoun County, S.C.

 Zeus Industrial Products is expanding its polymer extrusion manufacturing company to Calhoun County, approximately two miles from its existing establishment in Gaston. The move will bring 350 new jobs and a 

$76 million investment.


Manufacturer creating 400 jobs in Bristol, Va.

Bristol took a big hit in 2016 when Ball Corp. closed its beverage packaging plant, eliminating 230 jobs. Now that facility has a new owner who plans to create 405 manufacturing jobs. American Merchant, a newly formed company that is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Merchant House International Ltd., makes home textiles, seasonal décor products and leather shoes.


BASF plans expansion in Geismar, La.

BASF is gearing up to expand its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) capacity at its Geismar facility. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) announced the expansion will result in a $150 million investment and 15 new direct jobs.


CenturyLink adding jobs in Monroe, La.

CenturyLink will create 150 new jobs in Monroe. The jobs will be part of the company’s new outbound sales center for its small business services.


Industrial hemp facility planned for Kentucky

A company founded by Canadian investors will launch a hemp-product development and manufacturing center in Kentucky. AgTech Scientific plans to create 271 jobs in Bourbon County with a $5 million investment to build a state-of-the-art, 50,000-square-foot facility, expected to open in 2018.


Kentucky scores another 120 jobs

Illinois-based Tru-Tone Finishing Inc. is building a new plant in Lexington, creating 120 jobs. In addition to the plant in Illinois, the family-owned provider of industrial e-coating also operates a plant in Brownsville, Texas.


Chinese paper company increasing investment in Arkansas plant

Sun Paper plans to boost its investment in a proposed Arkansas mill from around $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion. The new plans announced recently also include projected employment rising from 250 to 350 new jobs. Instead of a bio-products mill, Sun Paper’s planned Clark County facility will produce linerboard, one of the two products used to make cardboard boxes. There is a growing worldwide demand for cardboard boxes, in part due to the increase in next-day delivery and online shopping.


Intralogistics company opening first U.S. location in Georgia

VanRiet Material Handling Systems, a Dutch manufacturer of automated transport and sorting solutions, will create more than 70 jobs in Fulton County, Ga. It will be the company’s fourth location, and first in the United States.


Boeing of Huntsville awarded another $6.56 billion contract

The Boeing Co. in Huntsville, Ala., just had its Ground-based Midcourse Defense development and sustainment contract modified to include another $6.56 billion for the program. The contract extension, which runs January 2018 through December 2023, will support an expansion of capabilities at Fort Greely, Alaska.


Birmingham startup to expand, create 175 jobs 

Startup Pack Health plans to open a new headquarters in Birmingham and anticipates hiring 175 additional employees over the next four years, including programmers, developers, health advisers and other positions. Pack Health has already hired 30 employees as it renovates a building in downtown Birmingham. Capital investment in the project is $2.9 million.


Drone manufacturer locates hub in OKC 

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. reported its Unmanned Systems Division is opening administrative and engineering offices along with production facilities in Oklahoma City, Okla. The company makes drones for the Department of Defense. According to company officials, the expansion is needed to accommodate increased demand for unmanned aerial tactical and target drone systems, and plans to employ more than 350 workers in Oklahoma within the next few years.


Sabert Corp. begins Greenville, Texas plant

A global manufacturer of food packaging products and solutions, Sabert Corporation, has begun construction on its manufacturing facility in Greenville, 50 miles northeast of Dallas. In addition to making plastic packaging, this facility will also produce 100 percent compostable packaging made from plant based materials. The Greenville facility is expected to bring over 125 jobs to the area.


Software company expands Florida operations complex

Superion, a leading software company that provides solutions to public sector organizations, will invest more than $12 million to expand its operations center in Lake Mary, Fla. The company plans to create 355 new jobs over the next three years.


DC BLOX plans $13 million data center in Huntsville, Ala.

DC BLOX plans to develop a $13 million Edge data center in Huntsville. The project is expected to initially create 10 to 12 high-paying tech jobs.


Electrolux to spend $500 million in the South

Charlotte, N.C.-based Electrolux North America will spend $500 million over the next three years to realign its U.S. major appliances production. The Swedish company will move its Frigidaire refrigerator and freezer plant from Saint Cloud, Minn., to its facility in Anderson, S.C. With 2,000 employees, Electrolux is one of Anderson County’s largest employers. Electrolux will also spend $250 million to modernize its Springfield, Tenn., facility 


West Virginia company brings facility to Oklahoma

A West Virginia-based manufacturer announced the beginning of operations at a facility expected to bring 40 to 50 jobs to Claremore, Okla. The BelGAS Flame Management division of Marsh Bellofram Co. will offer a range of flame arrestors, tank venting accessories, burners and specialty fabrication services for the oil and gas industry.


Tarkett investing $60 million in Alabama plants

Flooring and sports surface manufacturer Tarkett is pumping $60 million into its two factories in Florence, Ala., and will build a new distribution center. The project will create 50 jobs.


JinkoSolar confirms $410 million investment in Jax

JinkoSolar confirmed recently that its U.S. subsidiary will close the deal it has been negotiating with Jacksonville, Fla., under the code name “Project Volt.” The Chinese cell and module manufacturer has not officially confirmed what it will be producing at the facility, but the big deal will result in 800 new jobs.


Union Pacific’s Brazos yard to bring hundreds of jobs 

The company that built railroads across the United States is breaking ground and making their largest investment ever — $500 million — in Texas’ Brazos Valley. “The Brazos Yard will be the largest facility Union Pacific has ever built,” said Brenda Mainwaring, the company’s Public Director. Once open, the project will create 500 jobs.


Food safety company expands North Little Rock plant

Safe Foods Corporation plans to make a $15 million investment in a new facility in North Little Rock, Ark., and add 35 jobs by the first quarter of 2019. The company partners with food processors to provide solutions and products that reduce pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses.


Mayor signs contract to bring 75 jobs to Fayetteville, N.C.

Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin signed a grant that will help bring 75 full-time jobs and more than $600,000 in investment to Fayetteville. Advanced Computer Learning Company will now be able to move forward on a major expansion and renovation project first announced in October. 


Exxon Mobil announces $35 billion in U.S. investments 

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company plans to invest an additional $35 billion in the United States over the next five years. Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon, said the investment is partly due to recently passed corporate tax cuts. Exxon will be investing billions to increase oil production in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, which comes on top of a massive build-out of operations along the Gulf Coast. New projects are expected to create thousands of jobs.


Plastic container company to build plant in Arkansas

Missouri-based Silgan Plastic Food Corp. will build a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that will create up to 150 jobs in Fort Smith, Ark. The company manufactures plastic bottles and food containers.


Daikin to hire 2,000 more for Houston-area campus

Daikin Industries, a Japanese heating and cooling giant, plans to hire thousands more workers at its Harris County manufacturing hub by 2020. The company currently employs about 4,900 workers its Daikin Texas Technology Park, but expects to grow to 7,000. Daikin opened its $417 million campus last year.


Kentucky to get $300 million plant

A division of an Indian conglomerate will invest about $300 million in an aluminum sheet factory just north of Clarksville, Tenn., in Guthrie, Ky. Novelis plans a 2020 opening for a new plant to prepare aluminum for use as automobile parts such as hoods, doors and fenders. Novelis plans to hire about 125 people.


Auto supplier investing $7.1 million In Alabama expansion

A German company that provides third-party logistics services to automotive manufacturers is expanding its operations in Tuscaloosa County. BLG Logistics is investing $7.1 million in an expansion of its plant in Vance, Ala., creating 43 new jobs in the process.


Memphis-based FedEx to invest $3.2 billion 

After Fred Smith recently hinted that FedEx would likely be “responsive to the tax bill,” the company has officially released its response. Memphis-based FedEx Corp. said it will spend more than $3.2 billion on wage increases, bonuses, pension funding and capital investment. It will also invest $1.5 billion to significantly expand its hub in Indianapolis and modernize and enlarge its Memphis SuperHub. The Memphis facility has also just announced it will be hiring an additional 800 workers.


Maker’s Mark to spend $31 million on Kentucky expansion

Maker’s Mark is considering an expansion of its warehouse facilities in Marion County, Ky. The distillery received preliminary approval for $500,000 in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority board based on plans to invest $31.2 million on barrel warehouses.


Spring means hiring at Lowe’s 

Lowe’s says it is gearing up for the busy spring season by hiring more than 53,000 workers nationwide, including 550 in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., area; nearly 3,600 in Texas; 4,272 in North Carolina.


Canadian furniture maker invests $8 million in El Paso plant

Canadian furniture manufacturer South Shore Furniture will build a warehouse and transfer center in El Paso, Texas to ease growing demand for its products in Juarez, Mexico. South Shore will invest $8 million in the warehouse, which will employ 18.


Bath balm maker buys former film studio for Mississippi factory

A bath balm manufacturer has bought the former Mississippi Film Studio in Canton, Miss., for $1.8 million. . .part of an expansion that’s projected to create 40 new jobs. Musee Bath is moving from leased space in Gluckstadt. Musee has 50 workers, and aims to add 40 more to make candles and soaps.


Light manufacturer won’t shift to Mexico, saving Mississippi jobs

A company that makes outdoor lights is abandoning a plan it announced in July to move production from Mississippi to Jaurez, Mexico. Eaton Corp. will make new products at its unionized Vicksburg plant, but the shift is projected to cost 50 to 70 of the plant’s 350 jobs. Eaton spokeswoman Ann Marie Halal says the company still plans to make new products in Vicksburg, but it wasn’t immediately clear if that would spark new hiring.


Biotech device maker to locate in Kentucky

A biotech device maker will locate a new manufacturing operation in south-central Kentucky, creating 50 full-time jobs. Hardin Scientific will open a new $11.6 million plant in Green County where it will make incubators for tissue cultures and stem-cell research.


Facebook’s Atlanta data center investment may hit $42 billion

Facebook’s investment in a data center in Stanton Springs in eastern Newton County could be as much as $42 billion, according to bond documents recently released. The data center is planned in four phases, starting with a facility of 900,000 square feet, potentially followed by three additional phases of 400,000 square feet each. Under the bond agreement, the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties will issue taxable revenue bonds, not to exceed $42 billion, in phases starting with a first issue of $750 million.


Jobs secured in Dallas County, Ala.

There is some good economic news coming out of Dallas County involving two of the county’s major employers. International Paper is adding another quarter billion dollars on top of the $300 million dollars the company announced it would invest to upgrade its Riverdale Mill facility near Selma. Meanwhile, American Apparel has been awarded a new $71 million dollar contract to make combat coats for the Army, which means added job security for the 250 people employed at the Selma facility.


Energy company to add 175 jobs with Brentwood, Tenn., HQ expansion

Delek US Holdings, a publicly traded energy company, will expand its Brentwood headquarters and add 175 jobs, according to state officials. Delek, which has assets in petroleum refining, convenience stores, asphalt and renewable diesel fuels, will invest $4 million in the expansion.


Spartan Light Metal Products expands Missouri plant

Spartan Light Metal Products, an advanced manufacturer of custom die cast aluminum and magnesium products for the automotive and consumer products markets, will expand into a new multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located 120 miles west of St. Louis, in Mexico, Mo. The expansion is expected to add more than 100 new jobs. 


MED-ALLY expands campus in Goose Creek, S.C.

Medical device manufacturer MED-ALLY is locating new operations in the Charleston International Manufacturing Center in Goose Creek, S.C. The $2.38 million investment is expected to create 90 new jobs in Berkeley County. MED-ALLY specializes in implantable medical systems for use in patients with spinal cord injuries or chronic pain, to name a few.


Medical center adding 150 jobs in Cullman, Ala.

Cullman Regional Medical Center will be adding 150 new jobs. The medical center began construction on a 30-bed hospital expansion that will be unveiled on February 27th. They also broke ground on a new Urgent Care Center that should be completed in April.


Cheney Brothers to spend $24 million in Statesville, N.C.

Cheney Brothers, a Florida-based food distributor, will invest $24 million in an expansion that will add 105 full-time jobs at its food-distribution facility in Statesville. The city and Iredell County late last year approved a combined $900,000 in tax incentives for the company, which also considered moving the entire Statesville operation to Georgia or Florida.


West Virginia “Roads To Prosperity” to start in February

Tom Smith, secretary of the WVDOT and commissioner of the Division of Highways, said the first wave of highway work from the “West Virginia Roads to Prosperity” plan will start as soon as the weather allows. Perhaps more importantly, hiring for the work will definitely start in February. In addition to the thousands of promised jobs, WVDOT will also be hiring up to 500 people in all categories — engineers, accountants, environmentalists and highway workers.


Campbell Soup moves Toronto jobs to North Carolina, Texas and Ohio

Campbell Soup Company says it's shuttering its 87-year-old Toronto manufacturing facility within the next 18 months. Soup and broth production at the Toronto facility will be transitioned over the next 18 months to three plants in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.


DHL Supply Chain partners with Campbell Soup in North Carolina project

Logistics company DHL Supply Chain, in partnership with Campbell Soup Company, plans to bring 140 jobs to Cumberland County, N.C. The third-party logistics firm and the legendary soup maker will invest more than $40 million to construct a 627,000-square-foot distribution center in Fayetteville, N.C.


Elk Group adding second distribution center in Georgia

Elk Group International, a designer and importer of lighting fixtures and home decor, is opening a 510,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Rabun Gap, Ga. The center will create about 100 new jobs, including positions in office and warehouse operations.


Innovative Vehicle Solutions expands South Carolina complex

Innovative Vehicle Solutions (IVS), a builder of custom commercial vehicles located in Ladson, is expanding its existing operations in Charleston County, S.C. The company’s $2.5 million investment is expected to create 108 new jobs. Launched in 2012, IVS is a commercial truck body builder and upfitter.


Sumitomo Machinery investing $10 million in Virginia expansion

Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America (SMA) will invest $10 million to expand its manufacturing operation in the City of Chesapeake, Va. The company will add 100,000 square feet to its North American headquarters, which is home to 220 employees. The project will retain 20 existing jobs and create 26 new jobs. SMA, a provider of gear motors and gear reducers, is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of machinery in Japan.


Groupe PSA chooses Georgia for new North American HQ

Groupe PSA, a French multinational manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, will locate its new North American headquarters in Fulton County. With its five world-renowned car brands — Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall Motors — Groupe PSA is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, and the second largest in Europe.


McLane Classic Foods plans hub in Burleson, Texas

McLane Classic Foods is investing $30 million to build a headquarters and food processing facility in Burleson, Texas. The company specializes in soups, sauces and side dishes for national restaurant chains, including Denny’s and Panera Bread. The company will be relocating its headquarters and manufacturing facility from Fort Worth, bringing along 40 jobs.


Massive defense contractor moving to Plano, Texas

General Dynamics will create and transfer approximately 280 jobs to Plano, Texas as part of a $5.3 billion investment. A spokesperson for General Dynamics said the company has outgrown its facility in Richardson, Texas, and will occupy approximately 104,000 square feet of space in Plano.


Glassware maker Corning to invest $189 million in North Carolina

Corning plans to invest $189 million to expand its Durham County plant and create 317 new jobs over three years, including 269 manufacturing jobs. It has around 300 employees there now. The Durham expansion accompanies another Corning-led expansion in eastern North Carolina in Edgecombe County, which will bring 111 new jobs to that county over two years, beginning in 2019.


Automotive supplier to create 150 new jobs in Upstate

Grupo Antolin, a designer and manufacturer of components for the automotive industry, said it plans to establish three facilities in Spartanburg County, S.C. The $50 million investment is expected to create more than 150 jobs over the course of five years.


Mickey Truck Bodies plans 50 jobs in North Carolina

Mickey Truck Bodies will expand the workforce at its High Point, N.C., operations for the second time in less than a year by creating up to 50 jobs. The family-owned company makes truck bodies and trailers and is adding the jobs during the first quarter to meet increased demand for delivery bodies and specially engineered vehicles.


CSRA to hire 500 in Louisiana and Kentucky

CSRA Inc. will be hiring up to 500 additional staff to support the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Service Desk through a $238 million task order. The new jobs will be located in Bossier City, La., and Barbourville, Ky.


American Home Shield hiring 100 in Memphis

The home warranties company has 100 open jobs at its Memphis contact center.


More jobs for Fayetteville, N.C.

After 50 years of business, Pinnacle Food is expanding its south Fayetteville plant. The company is building a 164,000-square-foot frozen meal manufacturing hub next to its warehouse. The $30 million project will add about 15 to 20 new jobs.


Groundbreaking for $872 million Entergy Louisiana plant

Officials and execs of the Entergy utility corporation gathered in southwest Louisiana to break ground for an $872 million natural-gas-fired generating station. The Entergy Louisiana project will employ about 700 people in Calcasieu Parish at the peak of construction. It is expected to create 31 permanent jobs.


Gun maker coming to Burke County, N.C.

A gun and ammunition manufacturer plans to open in the former BSN building in Rutherford College, N.C., and create 151 jobs. ZRODELTA will open a company headquarters in the 120,000-square-foot facility and invest $34 million.


Hundreds of jobs coming to Abilene, Texas

Broadwind Energy is looking to hire more than 100 jobs in Abilene. “Production is way back up and we are producing at a higher rate than we were in 2017,” a company spokesperson said.


PGA Tour unveils plans for new HQ

It started in Ponte Vedra Beach in 1979 with three people working out of a house in the Sawgrass community. Today the PGA Tour has about 800 employees working in 17 buildings in and around the TPC Sawgrass golf club. But the golf tour officially announced in January that it will consolidate all of its employees — and eventually add 300 more jobs — into one 187,000-square-foot headquarters building on property it owns along County Road 210 near TPC Sawgrass.


Orlando Airport begins construction of $2.1 billion terminal

As Orlando International Airport tries to keep up with passenger growth, its main focus this year is construction of a new terminal that will rank as one of the most costly public works projects ever in Central Florida. The $2.1 billion job, which has recently begun, will employ a peak force of 2,200 workers for a scheduled completion in three years.


Textile company expands South Carolina complex

Home Fashions International, a supplier of home textile finished products, is expanding its existing operations in Cherokee County. The $5.5 million investment is expected to create 60 new jobs. The new facility, known as Gaffney Manufacturing, will allow the company to quadruple its business and reduce its reliance on imported raw materials for its decorative pillows, comforter sets, drapery and outdoor cushions.


Metallix Refining opens lab in Greenville, N.C.

Metallix Refining has opened its new state-of-the-art, precious metals analysis laboratory in Greenville. Metallix purchases, recycles and refines gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, serving businesses in a variety of industries around the globe. According to company officials, “the 4,000-square foot facility secures the company’s place among the nation’s top precious metal recycling companies.”


Samsung marks opening of South Carolina appliance plant

South Carolina and Samsung officials in January celebrated the first washing machines made at the company’s first U.S. appliance manufacturing plant. The event came less than seven months after officials announced plans to locate in Newberry, invest $380 million in a former Caterpillar factory and create 1,000 jobs by 2020. The plant already employs more than 540 workers.


Maverick Boat Group expands in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Maverick Boat Group will build a new manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce. The company plans to create 100 jobs and invest $7 million.The new facility will house larger models and free up capacity at the company’s existing 9.5-acre facility. The new facility will add an additional 38 acres to their headquarters.


Advanta Seeds opening lab at Texas A&M, bringing new jobs

Advanta Seeds recently unveiled its new research facility at Texas A&M University. They will study the DNA of crop seeds from around the world, which will benefit farmers in the Brazos Valley and beyond. Currently, Advanta has 22 employees in College Station, but the company tells us they plan to expand. 


Over 400 jobs coming to Central Kentucky

The plant that will destroy chemical weapons in Madison County will begin hiring hundreds of workers this year. Beginning in February and continuing into 2018, the plant will hire 450 to 500 people. About 300 of those people will work in the main plant that will destroy nerve agent.


Newcan moving to Pulaski, Va., creating 40 jobs

Newcan Corporation is moving its headquarters and main production facility from Holbrook, Mass., to Pulaski. The move will bring 40 new jobs and an investment of $4 million to Pulaski County. Newcan produces precision stampings and perforated components. . .a major supplier for the automotive industry.


Citgo will keep its HQ in Houston

Citgo Petroleum said it will keep its headquarters in Houston, warding off speculation that it was considering moving its executive hub to the Caribbean. The Venezuelan refiner was considering moving its headquarters from Houston to Aruba, where Citgo also has a refinery. However, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has temporarily cut off ties with Aruba and some other neighboring Caribbean nations because of concerns about smugglers. Citgo employs about 4,000 people in the U.S., including more than 800 in Houston


Cryptocurrency miner Bcause chooses Virginia Beach for HQ

Bcause LLC, a company developing the world’s first full-stack cryptocurrency ecosystem, will expand its operations and move its corporate headquarters to Virginia Beach, Va. The company plans to add 100 associates and will make a $64.8 million capital investment.


Graham Packaging to expand plastics manufacturing in Virginia

Plastic packaging provider Graham Packaging is planning to invest $6.7 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Campbell County, Va. The new investment is expected to create eight new jobs while training 37 existing employees to operate the next technology.


Amthor International Expands in Gretna, Va.

Amthor International, the largest tanker truck manufacturer in North America, will invest $7.1 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Gretna. The company will build a plant to accommodate increased demand for fabricated tanker trucks, and will designate the new Gretna facility as its corporate headquarters. The company will retain 110 existing jobs and create 90 new jobs in Pittsylvania County.


Virginia gets funding for advanced manufacturing academy

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing has received a total of $12.65 million to fund the construction of an apprentice academy in Prince George County, Va. The Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice Academy will create a pipeline of workers with factory-ready skills and credentials needed for high-paying manufacturing jobs.


Service Center Metals expands in Prince George County, Va.

Service Center Metals, a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions, will invest $45.2 million to expand at its headquarters operation in Prince George County, Va. The project is expected to create 58 new jobs.


Manufacturer adding over 100 jobs at North St. Louis plant

After relocating a manufacturing and warehouse facility from Granite City, Ill., to St. Louis, Mo., last summer, Connecticut-based Fairfield Processing Corp. said recently it plans to add more than 100 full-time jobs over the next five years. The company provides fiber-processed products to the DIY, home decor and industrial trades.


Amazon to hire 2,500 workers at newest Texas location

Amazon announced it needs to hire an additional 2,500 full-time employees at the company’s new fulfillment center in North Texas. The new facility in Coppell (located just north of the DFW International Airport) is the third for the rapidly growing North Texas city and the fourth in the DFW Metroplex. 


Timber Automation plans expansion at Arkansas plant

A company that makes equipment and control systems for use at woodyards and sawmills says it will invest more than $3.5 million at its Hot Springs plant and add 50 jobs. Timber Automation’s capital improvements include a new boring mill that will increase the plant’s capacity and allow it to create more high-skilled manufacturing jobs.


One-hundred new call center jobs for Dothan, Ala., area

A New Jersey accounts receivable management firm, MRS BPO, LLC,  has purchased the Vantage Sourcing call center in Taylor, Ala., and plans to add more than 100 jobs in the near future.


RV facilities expanding in Florida

As the top Northeast Florida RV dealerships prepare for the 2018 Jacksonville RV MegaShow, they’ll be coming off one of the biggest sales years in the last decade. This boom has been driven by a strong economy and more disposable income among consumers, along with the growth in RV popularity among millennials.


Firearms manufacturer creating 366 jobs in Alabama

Kimber Manufacturing has finalized plans to open a production facility in Troy, Ala. The firearms manufacturer will create 366 jobs and invest $38 million.


AGC in Tennessee making $40 million investment, adding 85 new jobs

One of Hawkins County’s largest employers announced an expansion and more new jobs. AGC Glass North America plans to invest $40.6 million into their current Church Hill facility, which will require 85 new positions. The flat glass line manufactured at the Tennessee plant supports a new state-of-the-art MSVD coater that will be installed as part of the new plans.


Mohawk Industries expands Glasgow, Va., plant

Mohawk Industries, a global manufacturer of residential and commercial flooring products, will invest $10 million to expand in Glasgow, Va. The project will bring 15 new jobs to the area.


Interstate Group plans hub in Giles County, Va.

Interstate Group, an industry leader in the manufacturing and sale of enclosed cargo trailers, will invest $4.1 million to establish an East Coast manufacturing and distribution operation in Giles County, Va. The project is expected to create 83 new jobs.


Textile mill adding 100 jobs in North Carolina

Specialty Textiles recently celebrated the grand opening of its expansion in Kings Mountain. The company is adding 100 new textile jobs to the 300 people they currently employ there.


Atlantic Credit and Finance expands Roanoke hub

Atlantic Credit and Finance will invest $4 million to expand its operation complex in Roanoke, Va. The company will move to a new 50,000-square-foot office in downtown Roanoke. Virginia successfully competed against Michigan and Minnesota for the project, which will create 115 new jobs.


Tristone Flowtech USA plans North Carolina manufacturing plant

Tristone Flowtech USA, a subsidiary of a German automotive supplier, will invest $23.6 million to locate its first manufacturing facility in the United States in Mooresville, N.C. The company plans to create 302 jobs in Iredell County to provide engine and battery cooling systems for the automotive industry.


Dippin’ Dots of Paducah, Ky., serves up cryogenics subsidiary

The Paducah-based flash frozen beaded ice cream company is launching Dippin' Dots Cryogenics. According to company officials, “leveraging its 30 years of experience and its intellectual property in cryogenic processes and machinery, Dippin' Dots Cryogenics will make Dippin' Dots' patented technology and equipment available to other cutting-edge industries where cryogenics is applicable including nutraceutical, pharmacy, agriculture, aquaculture and animal feed.”


South Carolina boat manufacturer to add 100 jobs

Tidewater Boats, a manufacturer of saltwater boats, is expanding its Lexington County operations to produce larger models. The company is investing $8.3 million and adding 100 jobs. 


PricewaterhouseCoopers adding 350 jobs in Tampa Bay

PricewaterhouseCoopers will hire 350 assurance and tax professionals at the 250,000-square-foot building to be erected next to the company’s existing offices in Tampa’s West Shore business district. One of the Big Four auditors, PwC already has approximately 3,000 employees locally. 


Georgia’s new cybersecurity campus will grow

The budding cybersecurity center on the outskirts of downtown Augusta is set to dramatically expand before the first phase is even completed. Gov. Nathan Deal recently broke ground on a $35 million addition to the cybersecurity campus, which is to be built a few steps from the $60 million centerpiece that is still under construction. Why build a second phase when the first one still hasn’t been completed? “Demand, demand, demand,” Deal said, adding that the state was flooded by requests from government agencies and private contractors for more space after he announced the first phase last year. The Augusta area is staking a major claim on the growing cybersecurity field. More than 40,000 Georgia residents now work in the field, including about 13,000 in the Augusta area.


Waste Management constructing facility in Hardeeville, S.C.

A new $23 million Waste Management facility using compressed natural gas is being constructed in Hardeeville and will create 53 new jobs.


Penn Compression Molding expands in Smithfield, N.C.

Penn Compression Molding, a manufacturer of custom molding thermoset composites, will expand its operations center in Smithfield. The company’s $3 million expansion will result in the addition of 40 new jobs in Johnston County.


Corrugated sheet manufacturer coming to Harrisburg, Ark.

Officials say 50 new jobs are coming to northeast Arkansas as a company that makes corrugated sheets used in packaging comes to Harrisburg. The new jobs are a result of a partnership between RusCorr and Rusken Packaging. The company buys materials from paper mills to make the corrugated sheets, then sells the material to companies that make boxes.


Sintavia plans manufacturing complex in Hollywood, Fla.

Sintavia, a metal additive manufacturer, broke ground on its new 55,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Hollywood. The $15 million facility, expected to open in late 2018, is the first facility of its kind to employ Lean manufacturing principles for large-scale metal additive manufacturing. The new facility is expected to result in 110 new jobs for skilled technicians and support personnel, and to house over $25 million of advanced manufacturing equipment. 


Cooks BBQ Products plans Arkansas manufacturing plant

Cooks BBQ Products, a provider of eco-friendly natural coconut, hardwood, lump charcoals, flavored smoking chips, wood chunks and pellets, is opening a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pindall, Ark. The company will invest $1.4 million in the facility and create 45 new jobs under the name Ozark Mountain BBQ Products.


Daesol Material Georgia creating 110 jobs in Harris County

Daesol Material Georgia has completed the construction of its new Harris County manufacturing facility, which will create 110 jobs. Daesol Material Georgia, a manufacturer of automotive fiber padding, invested $35 million in the construction and equipping of the facility.


Two-hundred jobs announced for tech hub in Wake County, N.C.

Conduent plans to open an innovation hub in Morrisville that will create 200 jobs and yield a $2.7 million investment from the New Jersey-based company. Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office announced that the jobs will range from research scientists, software developers, finance and legal positions. Salaries are expected to average $100,000.

January 2018

Alabama captures Toyota-Mazda

It's been 21 years since workers assembled the first vehicle in Tuscaloosa County at the famed Mercedes-Benz plant there. And in those 21 years, Alabama now has 57,000 workers directly employed by OEMs and suppliers. In early January, Alabama ascended to a place no state in the Southern Auto Corridor has reached. Alabama landed the huge Toyota-Mazda joint plant, giving the state four assembly operations, more than any other state in the South.  The total incentive package for the plant is right at $700 million. The state package came in at $379.9 million, with the city of Huntsville (where the plant is being built) chipping in an additional $320 million. The $1.6 billion project is expected to create 4,000 jobs with a completion date of 2021. Reports indicate that the project came down to a site in the Triad region of North Carolina and the site where the project is being built off Interstate 65 in Huntsville. 


Kentucky sets record for investments in 2017

The Commonwealth of Kentucky saw new and expanded economic development investments in 2017 that totaled $9.2 billion, a state record. The three biggest deals from Toyota, Amazon and Braidy Industries totaled $4.1 billion and more than 3,000 new jobs. 


Automotive supplier opens new Georgia facility

Daesol Material Georgia has completed its $35 million facility in Harris County, Ga. The plant produces automotive fiber padding and will house 110 workers. 


Wood manufacturer creating jobs in rural Tennessee

Escue Wood Treated Products is building a new facility in Milan, Tenn. The plant will create 100 new jobs in Gibson County. 


Stamping company expanding in Tennessee

MetriCan Stamping, a maker of tooling and stamped metal components, is expanding its plant in Dickson, Tenn. The company is investing almost $19 million and adding 104 jobs.  


Texas population passes 28 million 

In 2017, Texas added almost 400,000 new residents, passing the 28 million mark. Texas is the second most populated state behind only California. Texas grew by 1.4 percent in 2017, the seventh fastest growing state in the U.S. At 2.2 percent, Idaho was the fastest growing state last year. 


Meat plant expands in Missouri

Frick's Quality Meats broke ground in the winter quarter on an $11.5 million expansion of its plant in Washington, Mo. The project will create 40 new jobs. 


Parker Hannifin adding workers in Mississippi

Parker Hannifin, a manufacturer of motion and control systems for the automotive industry, is expanding its facility in Holly Springs, Miss. The deal will add 50 jobs. 


Movement Mortgage adding hundreds of jobs in South Carolina

Movement Mortgage broke ground in the winter quarter on a new 90,000-square-foot building next to its headquarters in Lancaster County, S.C. The $18 million project will create 700 jobs. 


New plant slated for Alabama

John Soules Foods has purchased a 266,000-square-foot facility in Valley,  Ala. The company is a maker of fully-cooked beef and chicken meals. Phase one of the $70 million project will add 210 employees and phase two will add 300. 


Butterball investing in North Carolina operations

Butterball, the nation's largest turkey producer, is investing $20 million to expand its operations in Raeford, N.C. The company will add 50 jobs. 


Avant creating 200 jobs in Tennessee

Avant, a financial services firm, is opening up a new call center in Louisville, Tenn., which is located near Knoxville in Blount County. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Dollar General to build Texas distribution center

Tennessee-based Dollar General announced it will build a new 1-million-square-foot distribution center in Longview, Texas. The center, which will service around 1,000 stories, will house 400 workers. 


World's largest plastic plant to be built in South Texas

Exxon-Sabic will build a $10 billion plastics plant just north of Corpus Christi Bay in South Texas. The ethane plant will create thousands of construction jobs. 


Aerospace-auto parts manufacturer to locate plant in South Carolina

PG Aerospace, a manufacturer of precision parts for the automotive and aerospace industries, is locating a new facility in Liberty, S.C. The plant will house 22 workers. 


$600 million data center slated for Georgia

CyrusOne is investing $600 million in a new data center campus in Douglasville, Ga. The project will create 38 jobs. 


Manufacturer creating jobs in rural Georgia

Modutek International, a manufacturer of modular power systems, will invest more than $6 million in a facility in Treutlen County, Ga. The deal will create 70 new jobs. 


Chinese tire plant goes to North Carolina

In the winter quarter, Chinese tire manufacturer Triangle Tyre announced it will invest nearly $580 million in a new plant in Edgecombe County, N.C. The passenger tire plant will be the first U.S. facility for the company. The project will create about 800 jobs. 


Advanced manufacturer expands in Florida

Danfoss Turbocor Compressors plans to add 120 full-time workers at a new facility in Tallahassee that will be operational by 2019. The new facility, called a Research and Development Competence Center, will include engineering and manufacturing operations. 


Belgian manufacturer to build first U.S. plant in North Carolina

Belgium-based Dhollandia MFG, a family-owned manufacturer of hydraulic lifts for vehicles, is building a new, 160,000-square-foot plant in Bessemer City, N.C. The $30 million plant will house 150 to 200 workers. 


Distribution center set for Burke County, N.C.

Sunrise Global Marketing, the manufacturer of Greenworks Tools, plans to invest $10 million in a distribution center in the former 510,000-square-foot HHG building in Burke County, N.C. The deal will create 187 new jobs. 


Air Force selects Montgomery, Ala., for F-35 fighter jet program

The U.S. Air Force has selected the Alabama Air National Guard's 187th Fighter Wing for the new F-35A fighter jet program, a decision that is expected to spur significant job creation and new investment. Gov. Kay Ivey said about the project, "The decision to send the F-35 to Montgomery is a testament as the leading aerospace state in the nation." The decision means the 187th Fighter Wing will receive the Air Force's latest fighter aircraft to replace its aging F-16 jets. It also ensures a future for the unit and around 1,000 new jobs in the Montgomery area. Over time, as much as $3 billion could be invested in the program. 


Automotive supplier locates in Tennessee

Martin Technologies, an engineering and manufacturer for the automotive industry, will invest $6 million to locate a plant in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The operation will include 240 new jobs. 


SmartAsset singles out Alabama micropolitan area

SmartAsset, a financial technology company, rated the best places in the U.S. for manufacturers in the winter quarter. According to the study, the best place for manufacturing in the U.S. is the Talladega-Sylacauga Micropolitan Statistical Area. The area is home to about 93,000 people and the micropolitan area consists of Talladega and Coosa counties. Approximately 39 percent of the employees there work in manufacturing. Coming in second in the study was the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, S.C., metropolitan area. 


Food ingredients firm to establish center in Tulsa

Chicago-based Ingredion, which makes ingredients for food and beverages, is establishing a shared service center in Tulsa that will be staffed by 60 people. The office will focus on accounting for the company worldwide. 


Manufacturer to expand in rural North Carolina

Pennsylvania-based Plastek, a maker of packaging for hyfiene products, is expanding its plant in Richmond County, N.C. The $4.2 million investment will call for 63 new jobs. 


Alabama company expanding in Arkansas

Rusken Packaging will expand its corrugated fiber box plant in Harrisburg, Ark. The $20 million project will create 50 new jobs. 


New Jersey company opening innovation hub in North Carolina

Conduent plans to open an innovation hub in Morrisville, N.C. The company will invest $2.7 million and create 200 jobs that are expected to average $100,000 in payroll per year. 


Long-term solar project set for South Carolina

Cypress Creek Renewables, a developer of long-term solar energy projects, will build a $115 million solar array in Orangeburg County, S.C. The 550-acre, 75-megawatt facility will be placed into service in 2019. 


Big deal set for Kentucky

Battery manufacturer EnerBlu is relocating its headquarters and production facility to Kentucky from California. The headquarters operation will go to Lexington and the 1 million-square-foot production facility will be built in Pikeville. The company makes batteries that power buses, trucks, military equipment and other vehicles. The $412 million project will create almost 1,000 jobs at the two locations. 


Coca-Cola investing in Alabama plant

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United is investing in improvements at its plant in Montgomery. The company is injecting $28 million worth of improvements at the facility. 


South Carolina company to relocate HQ to Fort Lauderdale

KEMET Corp. will relocate its U.S. headquarters from Greenville, S.C., to downtown Fort Lauderdale. The company, which makes electronic components, will lease almost 65,000 square feet of space, which will house about 150 employees. 


Milwaukee Tool hiring 660 in Mississippi

Milwaukee Tool, which employs more than 1,600 in Mississippi, is adding 660 more workers at the company's sites in Jackson, Greenwood and Olive Branch. The company operates power tool manufacturing, accessory manufacturing and distribution at the three sites. 


Blue Origin moves into new Florida factory

Blue Origin has completed construction of its 750,000-square-foot rocket factory on Florida's Space Coast. The company will build the New Glenn rocket at the $205 million plant, which houses 300 workers. Blue Origin joins SpaceX (where it launches and lands its rockets), United Launch Alliance and satellite manufacturer OneWeb in Brevard County. 


Life sciences company expands in Memphis

Agilent Technologies, a California-based life sciences company, is expanding its logistics operations in Memphis. The project calls for 117 new jobs. 


Aftermarket auto supplier adding jobs in South Carolina

Fab Fours, an aftermarket auto accessory manufacturer, will double its workforce at its Lancaster County, S.C., plant. The company will invest $5.7 million and add 88 workers. 

Cabinets to Go investing in Tennessee

Cabinets to Go, the largest specialty retailer of kitchen cabinets in the U.S., is investing $6.5 million in its headquarters and distribution center in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The project will increase employment by 70. 


South Carolina steel plant restarting

The Georgetown steelworks is reopening after being purchased by London-based Liberty House. The company plans to fire up the plant in the spring with 250 workers. 


Aerospace supplier adding jobs in Alabama

Hexcel will expand its existing plant in Decatur. The site has been chosen by the company for its first integrated U.S. carbon fiber and PAN production facility. The advanced composites are used in the aerospace and industrial markets. The deal will create 90 new jobs. 


Wayne Farms launches $105 million Alabama expansion

Wayne Farms is starting a major expansion at its fresh processing facility in Enterprise, Ala. The company is investing $105 million and adding 400 jobs at the facility. 


Spirit AeroSystems expanding North Carolina operations

Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems is expanding its operations at the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston, N.C. The company, which makes aerostructures for commercial and defense customers, is investing $55.7 million in the plant in Eastern North Carolina. 


Recycler growing in Montgomery, Ala. 

Jet Polymer Recycling is investing $8 million and adding 67 new jobs at its two recycling centers in Montgomery, Ala. 


Apple, Finisar to hire 500 in Sherman, Texas

A partnership between Apple and Finisar will bring 500 high-tech jobs to Sherman, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro. California-based Finisar, a manufacturer of optical communication components such as vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers used in facial identification, will receive $390 million from Apple to fund the new project. Finisar purchased an existing, 700,000-square-foot building in Sherman to produce the components that are used in the new iPhone X for facial ID and portrait mode selfies. 


Bridgestone unveils its new 30-story headquarters tower in Nashville

The new North American headquarters for Bridgestone was unveiled in the winter quarter in downtown Nashville. The $200 million tower is the fifth largest office tower in Nashville. The building houses 1,900 employees, some of which have relocated from Chicago and Indianapolis. Two floors are empty to account for future growth. Gordon Knapp, CEO of Bridgestone Americas, said at the ribbon cutting, "We look forward to calling Nashville home for the next 50 years." 


U.S. manufacturers are fired up

Unprecedented optimism from manufacturers in the U.S. has been the theme since 2010, when the word "reshoring" was apparently invented. But the latest Manufacturers' Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017, done by the National Association of Manufacturers, rose to unprecedented heights. Of those taking the survey, 94.6 percent say they are positive about their own company's outlook. It is the highest optimism level in the study's 20-year history. 


Editorial: Are we in the longest economic expansion in U.S. history?

By Michael Randle


The answer to that headline question is not yet answered. The U.S. has experienced -- so far -- the third longest expansion in U.S. history, and if GDP stays on the positive side until the second half of 2019, we are indeed in the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, beating the long expansion of the 1990s. 


In an article in The Wall Street Journal, on average, economists project GDP growth of 2.6 percent in 2018, followed by a 2 percent trend in 2019 that has been the norm since the recession ended in the summer of 2009. 


There is no question in my mind that a lack of labor might keep the U.S. from setting the more-than-9-year economic expansion record. There is simply no labor left, and with a labor shed that is bare because so many places are beyond full employment, it is going to be much tougher to keep GDP on the positive side for five more quarters. 


We have averaged about 2.4 million jobs created per year since this economic expansion began. In 2017, the U.S. created just 1.7 million jobs, not because the jobs aren't there (there are more than 5 million jobs available in the U.S. right now), but because the workers are not there. 


This slow-but-steady expansion still has some legs. But it is on its last legs. Whether it can continue to be sustained for 16 more months to break the record will be determined by the amount of labor available during that time. 




Hong Kong textile manufacturer to locate in Bristol, Va. 

The former Ball Corp. plant closed in Bristol in 2016. But, picking up the slack in December was Hong Kong textile manufacturer American Merchant (subsidiary of Merchant House International), which announced it would invest $20 million in the old Ball Corp. facility to produce high-end bath towels for sale in the U.S. The company will install 50 high-tech machines and will hire 405 in the deal. 


Tool maker opening new plant in South Carolina

Power-tool maker Stanley Black & Decker announced in the winter it is opening a new manufacturing facility in Fort Mill, S.C. The 345,000-square-foot plant will house 500 workers who will assemble cordless Dewalt tools. The company is investing $31 million in the project. 


Auto supplier expands in North Carolina

Linamar Forgings Carolina, an automotive parts manufacturer, is expanding its facilities in Wilson County, N.C. The company will add two new products — transmission shafts and differential gears. The $6.8 million deal will create 31 jobs. 


Mars Petcare expanding HQ in Tennessee

Mars Petcare is expanding its new headquarters in Williamson County, Tenn. The company is adding 200 employees. 


Tier 1 Hyundai supplier expanding in Alabama

Hwashin America is undergoing another expansion of its plant in Greenville, Ala. The company supplies Hyundai's plant in Montgomery. The $23 million project will create 100 new jobs. 


Assurant adding support center near Atlanta

Assurant, a leader in risk management, is setting up a technical support center in Gwinnett County, Ga. The project calls for 335 jobs. 


T-Mobile adding 350 jobs in Texas

T-Mobile announced it is expanding its regional headquarters in Frisco, Texas. The Washington-based mobile carrier will add 350 new jobs. 


North Carolina wins Corning deal

New York-based Corning will add 428 jobs at plants it operates in Durham and Edgecombe counties in North Carolina. The Durham plant will see 317 new jobs and the Edgecombe plant will see 111. The company, which makes glass products for the pharmaceutical industry, will invest a total of $275 million at the two sites. 


Japanese company to locate first U.S. plant in Kentucky

Takigawa Corp., a flexible packaging and films producer, will invest $46 million in its first U.S. plant in Bardstown, Ky. The company will build an 180,000-square-foot plant that will house 180 workers. 


Oracle moves into new Austin digs

Oracle Corp. has moved into its new Austin campus. About 3,000 worker will move into the campus this year. The company has enough room for 2,000 more. 


Wayfair setting up Florida distribution centers

Wayfair, an online home goods retailer, is opening three new distribution centers in Tampa, Orlando and Pompano Beach. The three projects will create 100 jobs. 


New York medical device firm moving to Atlanta

Koning Corp., a medical technology company that has developed an innovative breast cancer screening device, is relocating its headquarters from Rochester, N.Y., to Atlanta's innovation district at Georgia Institute of Technology. The deal will create 400 jobs. 


Looks like Volkswagen electric vehicle future is in Chattanooga

While no official announcement has been made, it looks like VW will build electric vehicles at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The German automaker has began advertising on social media sites such as LinkedIn for specialized positions in Chattanooga to support electric vehicle production and design. Reports say that VW will build four electric vehicles at its only U.S. plant. 


Shaw investing $184 million in Alabama plant

Shaw Industries Group will invest $184 million in its manufacturing facility in Andalusia, Ala. New manufacturing equipment will be installed at the plant, which produces fiber used to make carpet. Over 1,000 workers are employed at the plant. 


Optical distributor plans $27 million expansion in Florence, S.C.

ABB Optical Group plans to invest $27 million in its facility in Florence. The project will create 173 jobs, more than tripling the current workforce. 


Pork processor expands in Arkansas

Morrilton Packing Co., the parent company for Petit Jean Meats, is expanding its production facility in Morrilton, Ark. The pork processor and wholesaler is investing $2.1 million and adding 34 new jobs. 


Auto wheel manufacturer investing in Kentucky

TOPY America, a company based near Frankfort, Ky., is investing $37 million in its plant there. The upgrades will improve both efficiency and work environment for the 325 employees working there. The plant produces 675,000 multiple wheel types a month for automakers such as Ford, Kia, Nissan, GM and Honda. 


Merchant pig iron producer to build new plant in Kentucky

Ironton Enterprises, a producer of merchant pig iron, will build a new $45 million plant in Paducah, Ky. The iron is used by the steel and foundry industries. Sixty-six jobs will be created. 


South Korean parts supplier picks Kentucky for first U.S. plant

DAE-IL, a manufacturer of powertrain parts used in the automotive industry, will invest $50 million in a new plant in Murray, Ky. The deal will create 120 full-time jobs. 


Big deal in Virginia Beach

Global Technical Systems (GTS) will invest almost $55 million in a new, electro-mechanical energy storage system operation in Virginia Beach, Va. Virginia successfully competed against Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Washington, D.C., for the project that will create 1,100 jobs. 


Alabama parts supplier adding jobs

Germany-based Boysen Alabama is adding more equipment and 70 jobs at its plant in Vance, Ala. The company manufactures exhaust systems for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance. 


Jim Beam expanding in Kentucky

Clermont, Ky.-based Jim Beam Brands is building as many as 15 barrel-aging warehouses in Bullitt County. The $585 million expansion is being done to meet future demand. 


Bosch growing Upstate South Carolina plant

Bosch Group, a maker of automotive electric components, is investing $152 million in its plant in Anderson County, S.C. The project will create 130 new jobs. 


Manufacturing unemployment at record low

While the overall unemployment rate continues to hover around 4 percent, the manufacturing sector has never seen its unemployment rate lower than the 2.6 percent it achieved in December. The rate ties the record low in December 2000. 


Manufacturing hiring tops 1 million since 2010

With 31,000 new net hires in November, the manufacturing sector has now added over 1 million new jobs since the end of the recession in the summer of 2009.  


GEICO hiring 500 in Virginia Beach

GEICO is hiring for about 500 positions at its campus in Virginia Beach. The insurer will add jobs in claims, sales and service. 


USAA on hiring spree in San Antonio

USAA is preparing to move thousands of jobs to downtown San Antonio. During the move, the financial services giant will also add about 1,500 new jobs. 


HVAC manufacturer adding jobs in South Carolina

Allied Air, a manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning products, is investing $10 million in its facilities in Orangeburg County, S.C. The expansion is expected to create 100 jobs. 


Vaccine maker expanding in North Carolina

Seqirus, a global manufacturer of vaccines, is investing $9 million to expand its sprawling plant in Holly Springs, N.C. The company made more than 21 million doses of flu vaccine last year. The expansion will allow the company to store more vaccines in case of a pandemic. 


Biotech company picks Durham, N.C.

Massachusetts-based biotech firm Bluebird Bio has selected Durham for a new facility. The company will open its third U.S. site at a 125,000-square-foot facility. Bluebird develops gene and cell therapies for genetic diseases and T cell-based immunotherapies to treat cancer. The company plans to hire 50 employees. 


German company locates in North Carolina

VEKA, a German vinyl extrusion manufacturer, is investing $18 million in a new plant in Morganton, N.C. The company will hire 102 in the deal. 


Southwire expands Georgia plant

Georgia-based Southwire will expand its operation in Villa Rica. The company will build a 400,000-square-foot addition to its existing facility. The wire and cable manufacturer will invest $20 million and add 60 new jobs. 


Nissan launches new LEAF in Tennessee

Nissan launched production of its new electric LEAF model in the winter quarter at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The new model is a milestone for the 30-year-old plant that houses 8,400 workers that assemble almost 650,000 vehicles a year. 


Over 1,000 jobs slated for Virginia Beach

A Virginia-based company announced in the winter quarter that it will build a 540,000-square-foot facility in Virginia Beach that will house 1,100 workers. Global Technical Systems will make batteries that can store and produce energy. The company will invest $54 million in the deal. 


Tennessee farm adding 120 jobs

Tosh Farms announced in the winter it will add 120 jobs to its family farm in Paris, Tenn. A family farm since 1913, Tosh Farms now has three divisions — Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon by Tosh. The business currently employs 350. 


Macon, Ga., mill gets big investment

Graphic Packaging International plans to invest $136.8 million in new equipment at its mill in Macon. The company designs and manufactures paperboard used in packaging for the food and beverage industry. 


California food manufacturer to build distribution center in North Texas

Irvine, Calif.-based Golden State Foods plans to open a $70 million manufacturing and distribution facility in Burleson, Texas. The company makes and distributes products to more than 125,000 restaurants. The $70 million deal will create 150 new jobs. 


Central Florida tech firm adding 355 jobs

Lake Mary-based software firm Superion is adding 87,000 square feet of space and 355 jobs at its headquarters there. 


Cardone Industries to build South Texas distribution center

Cardone Industries, a maker of car parts, will soon begin construction on a $50 million distribution center in Harlingen, Texas. The 920,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in December 2018. The center will support "hundreds of jobs." 


Toyota Boshoku expands in Jackson, Tenn. 

Toyota Boshoku, a manufacturer of premium automotive interior systems, will invest $31 million in its plant in Jackson, Tenn. The company will add 143,000 additional square feet of space in the expansion, which will also add 139 jobs. 


Praxair, GE Aviation open PG Technologies plant in Mississippi

In the winter quarter, Praxair, an industrial gas company, and GE Aviation opened their PG Technologies plant in Ellisville, Miss. The plant produces advanced coatings that enable next-generation jet engines to operate in higher temperatures. The 300,000-square-foot facility houses 250 workers. 


Mortgage company hiring hundreds in El Paso

Pacific Union Financial will invest millions in a new project in El Paso, Texas. The company expects to hire 700 starting at $23 an hour. 


Irving, Texas lands 1,090 jobs

Cognizant, a Fortune 200 technology company, will invest $8 million in a regional technology and service delivery center in Irving. The project is expected to create almost 1,100 jobs. 


Liberty Mutual's new regional HQ opens in Plano, Texas

Boston-based Liberty Mutual moved into its new $325 million regional hub in Plano in January. About 2,700 employees from offices in Richardson, Frisco and Irving are consolidating into the 1 million-square-foot facility. Thousands more will be hired over the next two years as well. 

December 2017

Plans show Los Angeles company to develop 10.3 million square feet of space in Atlanta's “Gulch.” Is it Amazon’s HQ2? 

The Gulch in downtown Atlanta is a 120-acre site and it is the primary site Atlanta leaders are selling to Amazon for its second headquarters. An October 30 filing with the city shows that Los Angeles-based CIM Group has plans to develop 9.3 million square feet of office space and 1 million square feet of retail space at the Gulch. The site is near CNN and Philips Arena. The development essentially matches the specs for Amazon’s proposed second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Unnamed sources have said that the CIM project is related to Atlanta’s bid for Amazon. The Gulch meets all of Amazon’s criteria, including mass transit. 


A different Amazon project could bring 15,000 jobs to Northern Kentucky

Everyone is talking about the $5 billion Amazon HQ2 project that could create 50,000 jobs for some lucky city (or unlucky city, depending on who you talk to) and state. But there is one Amazon project that is just getting off the ground at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport that is actually located in Kentucky. It is Amazon's new Prime Air hub, which was announced in January. Amazon announced then that it would invest $1.5 billion to build the Amazon Prime Air hub in Hebron, Ky., and that the deal will create 2,700 jobs. However, Louisville is home to the UPS Worldport and that facility houses well over 20,000 employees. FedEx's main hub is in Memphis and it, on any given night, has over 12,000 employees. Considering Amazon's growth and the fact that it is at the forefront of drone delivery, just how many jobs will be created in Northern Kentucky for Amazon's first world air freight hub? 


Panama City base captures 1,600 jobs from the Air Force

The Air Force has chosen Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. as the site for the new MQ-9 Reaper Wing drone division. The $250 million project will create 1,600 new jobs. 


North Carolina wins Forbes' "Best State for Business" 

North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Nebraska and Virginia made the top five in Forbes' annual best states for business report. Rounding out the top 10 were Georgia, Florida, Colorado, North Dakota and Indiana. 


Amazon short list announcement expected in early 2018

Amazon was expected to announce the short list of sites in the running for its $5 billion, 40,000-plus employee second North American headquarters by December 1. That has now been moved to sometime in early 2018. The second Amazon headquarters is known as HQ2. 


Bosch expanding South Carolina plant

Bosch Group is investing $152 million in an expansion in Anderson, S.C. The company, which will hire 130, makes electric components for the automotive industry at the plant. 


German supplier to locate plant in Alabama

German auto supplier SAS Automotive Systems, an automotive module assembler, is launching an operation that will support Mercedes-Benz and its plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The project will create 170 jobs. 


Firm expanding in Louisville

Appriss, which provides data and analytics services to clients to assess safety, risk and compliance issues, is expanding in the Louisville area. The company is investing $11.3 million and adding 200 jobs. 


Korean auto supplier opens second plant in Montgomery

Korean auto supplier, Guyoung Tech USA, plans to employ 130 people at a second North American plant in Montgomery, Ala. The project represents an investment of $7.5 million and the company will supply the local Hyundai assembly plant. 


Parts distribution center to open in South Texas

Cardone Industries is opening a new automotive parts distribution center in Harlingen, Texas. The deal will create 515 jobs. 


Walmart's "Made in USA" program creating jobs in Arkansas

Through a purchase agreement with Walmart and its made in America program, PRADCO Outdoor Brands is expanding its plant in Fort Smith, Ark. The company will install four soft plastics machines to produce YUM baits at the Fort Smith facility. The project will create 60 new jobs. 


Nucor to build new plant in Missouri

Charlotte-based Nucor, the most active steelmaker in the South, plans to build a $250 million rebar micro mill in Sedalia, Mo., located 90 miles east of Kansas City. The company considered other locations in Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina and Florida for the plant. The factory is expected to house 255 workers. Nucor also announced it is looking to build another micro mill somewhere in the Southeast. 


Medical diagnostic company to expand in Henderson, N.C.

Raleigh-based Mako Medical Laboratories will invest $15.4 million to build a new lab and warehouse in Henderson. The deal will create 153 jobs. 


Hulu picks San Antonio

Streaming service provider Hulu has chosen San Antonio for its Viewer Experience Operations Headquarters. More than 500 jobs will be created in the deal. 


Airgas to build $47 million North Carolina facility

Airgas USA, a distributor of specialty gases, will build a new air separation unit in Mebane, N.C. The project will create 35 jobs. 


Georgia expanding cybersecurity training center. 

Gov. Nathan Deal announced in the fall an appropriation of $35 million for the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta. Construction began earlier this year on the $58 million cyber center. 


New drug manufacturer starts up in Arkansas

OurPharma, a startup drug manufacturer, is investing $31.1 million to open a new facility in Fayetteville. The project will start with 12 employees but the company expects to employ over 100 within seven years. 


Big chicken deal in Tennessee

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods announced in the fall it will build a $300 million poultry processing, hatchery and feed mill in Humboldt, Tenn. The project will require the hiring of about 1,500 employees. 


Germany-based health care company expanding in North Carolina

Fresenius Kabi is expanding its manufacturing facility in Wilson County, N.C. The company is a provider of drugs, medical devices and nutrition products. The $100 million project will create 445 jobs. 


A new U.S. plant for Nissan? 

Japanese automaker Nissan is exploring a new U.S., plant, according to its chairman, "At some point, we may need it," said Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America in an article published by Automotive News. Munoz said that its plants in Tennessee and Mississippi are "maxed out." 


Equipment installation underway at new Mercedes van plant in South Carolina

In 2015, Mercedes-Benz Vans announced it would build a new production facility for its Sprinter Van model in Ladson, S.C., near Charleston. The plant is nearing completion as equipment installation -- including 182 robots -- began in the fall quarter. Mercedes is expected to hire about 1,000 workers for the plant that have been trained at other Sprinter Van plants in Australia and Spain. 


Mission Foods builds major plant in Dallas

Mission Foods, a subsidiary of Gruma Corporation, has established a new production plant in Dallas that will house 1,000 workers. The plant has a capacity to produce 30 million tortillas a day. 


Chinese company investing billions in West Virginia

China Energy Investment Corporation announced plans to invest over $80 billion in shale gas development and chemical operations at multiple locations in West Virginia. Planning for the projects is underway and will be done in phases over the next 20 years, according to the West Virginia Department of Commerce. 


Shaw Industries investing in rural Tennessee

Shaw Industries Group is expanding its yarn facility in Decatur, Tenn. The company is investing $42 million and creating 75 jobs in the deal. 


Bus manufacturer setting up shop in Kentucky

New Flyer of America, a manufacturer of transit buses, is setting up a 300,000-square-foot parts fabrication facility in Shepherdsville, Ky. The project is expected to house up to 550 workers. 


Nissan to export Mississippi-made Titan pickups to China

The Nissan Titan has only a 1.7 percent share of the large U.S. pickup truck market as of October. Capacity of the truck at the Japanese automaker's plant near Jackson, Miss., is limited, but whatever is left off of U.S. sales will now be exported to China, where the vehicle is popular. Other potential export markets for the Titan include Australia, Russia and the Middle East. As of the end of October, the full-sized Titan had sold about 40,000 models, which is about the number of Ford F-series pickups sold in three weeks in the U.S.   


Austin is completely out of labor

In October, the Austin MSAs unemployment rate dipped from 2.9 percent to 2.6 percent. 


Big German automotive supplier picks Bama

German Tier 1 supplier Bocar, is investing $115 million in a new plant in Huntsville, Ala. The company will break ground on the facility next year and production will begin in 2020. The project is expected to create 300 jobs. 


Major defense hiring going on in Central Florida

Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are hiring in Melbourne and Orlando, Fla. Both have recently landed defense projects. Northrop is hiring 150 in Melbourne and Lockheed Martin is hiring more than 900, both in Orlando and Melbourne. 


Manufacturer setting up shop in Richland County, S.C.

Woodfield Systems USA, a designer and manufacturer of bulk liquid and gas handling equipment will build a new facility in Richland County. The 39,000-square-foot facility will house 50 workers. 


SAP adding jobs in Northern Virginia

SAP National Security Services, a provider of security and infrastructure solutions, is expanding its operations in Fairfax County, Va. The company will invest $6 million and add 95 jobs. 


Research organization relocates to Northern Virginia

American Institutes for Research, one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations, will invest over $12 million to relocate its major operations from Washington, D.C. to Arlington County, Va. The deal will create 320 jobs. 


Automotive supplier to establish new plant in Franklin, Ky. 

South Korea-based Taeyang Metal Industrial Company, a manufacturer of fasteners and cold-rolled steel products for the automotive industry, will establish a plant in Franklin. The $15.6 million facility, which will house 76 full-time jobs, is the first for the company in the U.S. 


In October, Tennessee's unemployment rate was the lowest in the South

The unemployment rate in Tennessee in October was historically low at 3 percent after employers across the state added 34,800 jobs in the last 12 months. The rate was the lowest of all states in the South. 


Unemployment rates of Southern states October 2017

AL 3.6

AR 3.6

FL 3.6

GA 4.3

KY 5.0

LA 4.8

MS 4.9

MO 3.5

NC 4.1

OK 4.4

SC 3.9

TN 3.0

TX 3.9

VA 3.6

WV 5.1 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


New Orleans captures the single largest jobs announcement in city's history

Virginia-based DXC Technology, a company formed this year when CSC and the enterprise services division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise merged, will create 2,000 jobs with a new operation in the CBD of New Orleans. With 2,000 jobs, DXC will be the largest single jobs announcement in New Orleans' history. The company provides "end-to-end" information technology services. 


Lenovo to establish three AI innovation centers

Lenovo, the Chinese computer manufacturer, is establishing one of its three artificial intelligence innovation centers at its North American headquarters in Morrisville, N.C. Lenovo announced it will invest $1.2 billion in AI and other technologies in the next four years. The company has about 2,700 employees in the Research Triangle. 


Company hiring 400 in Melbourne, Fla.. 

Jacksonville-based Enhanced Resources Centers, a provider of business process outsourcing, is expanding to Melbourne. The company is adding 400 jobs. 


Aluminum plant opens $400 million Kentucky expansion

In the fall quarter, Belgium-based Aleris Corp. opened its $400 million expansion in Lewisport, Ky. The expansion will add new capacity to produce aluminum auto body sheet for the automotive industry. The company houses about 1,000 workers at the mill.  


AEP adding jobs in Roanoke

American Electric Power will add workers at its operations in downtown Roanoke. The company will hire 102 workers engaged in support of the transmission grid in Virginia. 


Cargill investing $146 million in Nashville plant

Cargill's protein business is investing $146 million to expand the company's production facility in Nashville. The company will add 100 jobs to its dried sausage production facility. 


Snack company expanding in Arkansas

One of rural Jackson County's largest employers is expanding its workforce. Shearer's Snacks is hiring 85 workers to bring its employment to nearly 500.


Door manufacturer expanding in Northwest Tennessee

Allegion Americas is expanding it Republic Doors & Frames plant in McKenzie, Tenn. The $4.5 million project will create 70 jobs. 


WestRock investing hundreds of millions  in Florence County, S.C.

WestRock Company, a provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, announced in the fall it plans to invest $410 million in its linerboard mill in Florence County. 


International manufacturer to set up shop in Horry County, S.C.

Teknoware, a Finland-based lighting systems manufacturer, is investing nearly $6 million to set up an operation in Horry County. The project will create 45 jobs. 


McCall Farms adding jobs in South Carolina

McCall Farms, a fixture in Florence County since the 1830s, is investing $35 million to existing operations. McCall produces Margaret Holmes, Glory Foods, Bruce's Yams and other brands. The expansion will add 150 new jobs. 


If built, Airbus-Bombardier project expected to create about 2,000 jobs in Alabama

The Airbus-Bombardier partnership to build C Series jetliners is expected to create 500 direct jobs at Airbus' assembly plant in Mobile, Ala. The project will also create 550 to 700 supplier jobs and an additional 1,000 to 1,250 indirect jobs. The investment to reconfigure a new line at the Mobile plant is expected to top $300 million. The project is wrapped up in a trade dispute with Boeing. Boeing has filled the dispute with the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. 


Mexican auto supplier expanding in Alabama

Nemak USA, a Mexican aluminum auto parts manufacturer, is investing $34 million in its plant in Talladega County, Ala. The company makes engine blocks and structural components. The deal will create 67 jobs. 


Auto parts supplier expanding in Tennessee

Magnum Manufacturing, a company that supplies metal stamping, seat frames and doors for the automotive sector, is investing $2 million to expand its plant in Erin, Tenn. The move will create 50 jobs. 


Telecommunications firm doubling Arkansas operations

First Orion, a company that provides caller ID and call blocking services is moving its headquarters to North Little Rock, Ark. The firm will add about 100 positions. 


Financial website launches new Florida HQ

The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website, moved into its new headquarters in downtown St. Petersburg in the fall quarter. The move will create 165 new jobs. 


Beef processor expanding capacity in Georgia

National Beef Packing, a company that processes high quality beef, will expand capacity at its production plant in Moultrie, Ga. The $30 million project will add 100 jobs. 


GE Appliances begins second shift in Camden, S.C.

GE Appliances' (formerly Haier American) manufacturing plant in Camden started second shift production in the fall quarter. After Haier's acquisition of GE's appliance division last year, Haier restructured its U.S. operations where GE Appliances assumed responsibility for Haier's refrigeration products at the Camden plant. The $31 million expansion has created 100 new jobs. 


M&M Industries expands in Chattanooga

M&M Industries, a packaging manufacturer, is spending $42 million on its Chattanooga facility and hiring 110 workers. 


How many people do Japanese companies employ in the U.S.?

President Trump ruffled some feathers when he said during a visit to Tokyo in the fall quarter, "try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over." Well, they do. A quick fact check shows that Japanese companies employ more than 850,000 in the U.S. (almost all of them are American citizens). And the Japanese pay well, too, more than U.S.-based companies on average and more than any other country other than Germany in the U.S. 


Alcon Invests $97 million to expand Georgia plant

Alcon, a contact lenses manufacturer, is pumping $97 million in its facility in Johns Creek, Ga. The company has invested nearly $600 million in the plant, which houses several hundred workers. The expansion will add 200 more. 


Vodka maker Stoli Group breaks ground on new bourbon distillery in Kentucky

In the fall quarter, Vodka maker Stoli Group broke ground on a $150 million bourbon distillery in Nelson County, Ky. The distillery is being built on a 420-acre site and will include a freshwater lake, gourmet restaurant, convention center and a renovated train station. The main product will be a small batch bourbon called Kentucky Owl. The deal will create nearly 60 jobs. 


Louisiana bank to open regional headquarters in Hoover, Ala. 

Louisiana-based IberiaBank will locate a regional headquarters in Hoover, Ala. The existing 130,000-square-foot office building in Hoover will house more than 450 employees. 


North Carolina megasite adds 370 acres, awaits Toyota-Mazda

Officials with the Greensboro-Randolph County Megasite have added 370 acres, bumping up the site to 1,900 acres. Reports indicate the site is in the running for the prospective Toyota-Mazda project. 


Italian cable plant expanding in North Carolina

Italian energy and telecom cable manufacturer, Prysmian Group, will invest $54 million and add 50 jobs at its plant in Catawba County, N.C. The company makes optical fiber at the plant that houses 500 workers. 


Bakery gets infusion of millions 

Ace Bakery is expanding its baking facility in Cherokee County, S.C. The company is investing $31.9 million in the bakery and adding 40 jobs. 


Scout Boats adding hundreds of jobs in South Carolina

Scout Boats is expanding its headquarters in Summerville, S.C. The deal will create 370 new jobs. 


Mercedes-Benz will invest another $1 billion in Alabama plant

Mercedes-Benz announced in the fall quarter it will invest another $1 billion in its Vance, Ala., plant to assemble electric SUVs for the German automaker's EQ brand. As part of the expansion, Mercedes will build a new one million square foot battery plant next to the assembly plant. This latest expansion will add 600 jobs. 


Call center slated for Anniston, Ala. 

Viiz Communications, a Canadian call center firm, is locating a call center in Anniston, Ala. The deal calls for 150 jobs. 


IKEA to set up distribution center near Houston

Sweden-based retailer IKEA announced the operation of a distribution center in Baytown, Texas. The project will create 200 jobs. 


MetLife adding 430 jobs in Tampa, Fla. 

MetLife will invest $25 million to grow its operations in Tampa. The company currently employs about 1,500 at its Tampa campus. The new expansion will add 430 new positions. 


Tool company adding to South Carolina distribution center

Harbor Freight Tools is expanding its distribution center in Dillon County, S.C. The company is adding 1 million square feet of space and 500 new jobs. 


Armacell to add jobs in West Virginia

Armacell, a leader in engineered foams, is expanding its plant in Spencer, W.Va. The project will create 24 jobs. 


Texas oil companies have hired 30,000 workers this year

Texas drillers have hired more than 30,000 workers over the last year, bringing employment in the sector in Texas to 222,000 as of October. At the peak of the oil boom in 2014, Texas had nearly 300,000 people working in the oil fields. 


Tecumseh is consolidating Canadian operations to Mississippi

Tecumseh Products, a manufacturer of refrigeration and air conditioning products, is consolidating its Canada operations to Verona, Miss. The $1.1 million deal will create 60 new jobs. 


Chemical manufacturer to locate large operation in Kentucky

WhiteRock Pigments will locate a $179 million operation in Hancock County, Ky. The big deal will create 124 full-time jobs. 


Stanley Black & Decker to open big plant in Texas

Stanley Black & Decker, the world's largest tools and storage company, has signed a lease on nearly 300,000 square feet of space in Mission, Texas to make DeWalt power tool products. The project is expected to support 450 new jobs. 


No measurable gain in Kentucky, U.S. coal jobs 

Kentucky's economy is so much more than coal. Yet, the perception is the mining industry in Kentucky is critical to the Commonwealth’s economy. It's important, but it’s not critical. Employment in coal mining in Kentucky totaled just over 9,000 workers. Ford employs more than that in Louisville alone. Kentucky's largest export are products from the aerospace industry. Yet, almost a year into the Trump Administration, the "Trump digs coal" campaign slogan isn't gaining any traction. There were more coal miners on the job in Kentucky from July through September than in the same period in 2016, however, the industry saw job cuts of 350 workers in the last quarter. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are about 50,000 coal mining jobs left in the U.S. and that number has stabilized this year, but hasn't increased measurably. Industry experts expect the number to fall slowly over the next three years based on lower demand as more electric power plants convert to natural gas and other coal plants are closed. A proliferation of natural gas and its preference over coal as an energy source is the primary reason coal jobs have decreased from a high of 180,000 in 1985 to 50,000 in the U.S. today.  

November 2017

BMW CEO threatens to pull out of Southern Auto Corridor if trade restrictions are passed

BMW employs nearly 10,000 at its plant in Spartanburg County, S.C. That doesn't count tens of thousands more American workers that supply the German automaker's only U.S. plant. . .its second largest plant in the world. The facility is the only place where X models are made, and last year the company exported $10 billion X models through the Port of Charleston to over 140 countries. In the fall quarter, BMW CEO Harald Krueger said on BMWblog.com that he is optimistic that trade restrictions will not be implemented by the U.S. But if they are implemented, Krueger said, "If we would have trade barriers, maybe we would need to shift that production from here (South Carolina) to somewhere else because it can no longer be affordable." It should be noted that all of the 19 major automotive assembly plants in the Southern Auto Corridor export their vehicles. 


Fed President: Immigration, trade not to blame for job losses

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan, said in the fall quarter that if your job is being disrupted, don't blame it on trade with Mexico or immigrants. In a speech to the Texas Business Leadership Council in October, Kaplan said, "A lot of the job dislocations are being publicly blamed on trade and immigration." He said that could have been the case 15 years ago, but not today. "More than likely, if your job is being disrupted, it's because of technology," Kaplan said. 


Best cities for tech jobs

In the fall quarter, NerdWallet came out with its 10 best cities for tech jobs. Of course, San Jose came in first, but Huntsville, Ala., was a strong second. Making the top 10 from the South were Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.; Raleigh; Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia; and Austin.  


Alabama's jobless rate in October was the lowest ever

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped from 3.8 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October. The 3.6 percent ties the lowest unemployment rate in the history of the state. 


Cities with the highest percent of college graduates

According to Bizjournals.com, Washington, D.C., has the highest percentage of residents with bachelor's degrees or higher with 50.2 percent. San Jose is second with 50.1 percent, followed by San Francisco; Raleigh; Durham; Boston; Madison, Wisc.; Stamford, Conn.; Austin and Denver. 


Betting site says Atlanta is it for Amazon HQ2

Betting website Paddy Power puts Atlanta's odds at capturing Amazon's second headquarters at 2-to-1, the best odds in North America. Following Atlanta are Austin (3-to-1), Boston (6-to-1), Toronto (7-to-1), Pittsburgh (14-to-1) and Dallas-Fort Worth at 16-to-1. 


South dominates Forbes' "10 Best Cities for Future Job Growth" 

In the fall quarter, Forbes came out with its 10 best cities for future job growth and Myrtle Beach, S.C., took the top spot. Following Myrtle Beach in the South were Orlando; North Port, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Ocala, Fla.; Raleigh and McAllen, Texas. Las Vegas; Reno and Provo, Utah made up the top 10. 


Dow Chemical dedicates $2 billion in Louisiana investments

Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted the dedication of $2 billion in new chemical manufacturing investments by The Dow Chemical Company in Louisiana. Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development joined Dow officials for a ribbon-cutting event at Dow’s 3,300-acre Plaquemine site.


Could Port of Fort Pierce create 600 jobs in St. Lucie County, Fla.?

About 600 jobs could be created within five years by the county taking ownership of the King Maritime Terminal building at the Port of Fort Pierce and making it operational.  Those jobs combined would create $32 million in wages for the area, said Stan Payne, acting port director. The County Commission last month approved borrowing $25 million to buy the 12-acre King Maritime parcel. The county wants to develop the property for a mega-yacht refurbishing business.


Nissan to expand Smyrna, Tenn., battery plant

Crews will expand the battery plant at the Nissan automobile factory by 26,450 square feet after the Smyrna Planning Commission approved the plans in October.


Georgia Ports Authority announces two companies to bring 150 jobs

During his presentation, GPA executive director Griff Lynch announced that two major e-commerce players plan to move into the Savannah market, creating another 150 jobs and adding nearly 1 million square feet to the area’s industrial footprint. Noble House, a national furniture supplier, will build a 630,000 square-foot facility to serve the eastern half of the U.S., while home accessories company Best Choice will build 345,000 square feet.


Talladega, Ala., approves tax incentive for new Georgia Pacific facility

The Talladega City Council approved a $5.2 million tax abatement for Georgia Pacific to bring a lumber production facility to the city. The company said the mill will cost $100 million to build and employ more than 100 people.


Company to bring 300 jobs to Mississippi’s Americold site

A series of resolutions was approved in a joint city-county meeting that would open the door for a major economic development project to bring $50 million in capital investment and roughly 300 jobs to the West Point, Miss., area. The unnamed company would buy a vacant cold storage warehouse and renovate it. Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins says the company would use a lot of water.


Fritz Winter opens Kentucky foundry

Germany-based Fritz Winter North America opened the first phase of its iron casting foundry and manufacturing facility in Franklin, Ky. The large-scale project will produce brake rotors and bring roughly 200 new jobs to the Bluegrass State. The company invested $110 million in the initial phase, which could grow to about $194 million with a planned expansion, and total employment could surpass 300.


Compressor maker announces scaled-down Mississippi expansion

Tecumseh Products Company is expanding its manufacturing center in Verona, Miss. The company will invest $1.1 million and add 60 new jobs for a total of 327 employees. Tecumseh, a manufacturer of refrigeration and A/C products, is consolidating its Canada operations to Verona. 


Briggs & Stratton moving production from Japan to the South

The manufacturer of small engines, Briggs & Stratton, is moving production of its V-Twin Vanguard engines from Japan to existing facilities in Statesboro, Ga., and Auburn, Ala. The Statesboro facility will see $18 million invested, while the Auburn facility will get $12 million, and each plant will see the creation of 50 new jobs.


Ernst & Young to create 600 new jobs in San Antonio

Global accounting giant Ernst & Young plans to build a new client services center in San Antonio that will create 600 new jobs. The company’s $10 million investment is in exchange for incentives from the city, county and state worth up to $3.4 million.


Whole Foods plans to hire 6,000 people

Austin-based Whole Foods, Amazon’s newest subsidiary, is looking to fill 6,000 jobs across its network of U.S. stores.


Humm Kombucha brewing in Roanoke, Va.

Humm Kombucha, an Oregon-based producer of kombucha, a carbonated tea, will invest $10 million to establish a brewing operation in Roanoke. The project will create approximately 50 new jobs.


Intralox expands in Hammond, La.

Intralox, the company that invented modular plastic conveyor belting, has completed a 60,000-square-foot expansion that will bring 40 new jobs to its Hammond facility.


New Orleans’ Michoud Assembly Facility adding a tenant

A new tenant is moving in and another expanding its footprint at Michoud Assembly Facility, changes that will together add 45 new jobs at the New Orleans East manufacturing hub. Not so long ago, the fate of the facility hung in the balance as NASA ended the Space Shuttle program.


Tropic Ocean Airways to add 100 Florida jobs

Tropic Ocean Airways will create 100 new jobs in South Florida next year as it expands its fleet of seaplanes operating out of Fort Lauderdale. The new jobs will include pilots, administrative and salespeople.


Boat manufacturer expands Dorchester County operations

Sportsman Boats Manufacturing plans to invest $3.5 million and create 100 new jobs in Summerville, S.C. The 70,000-square-foot addition follows another recent investment —an 800-kilowatt solar power system mounted on the roof of its existing facility.


LG breaks ground on $250 million plant in Tennessee

LG Electronics recently broke ground at the site of the South Korean appliance manufacturer’s first washing machine plant in the United States. The 1 million-square-foot facility in Clarksville is projected to cost $250 million and create 600 new jobs. 


Coast Brewing creating new jobs for the Lowcountry

Family-owned craft brewery Coast Brewing will be expanding its North Charleston operations. The expansion is a $1.7 million investment that is expected to create 29 new jobs. 


Advanced Superabrasives plans $26 million expansion in North Carolina

Advanced Superabrasives, a manufacturer of high performance grinding wheels and equipment, will expand operations at its facility in Madison County, creating 47 full-time jobs and investing $26 million.


Amazon plans to create 5,000 JAX jobs

Amazon plans to create up to 5,000 jobs at its two fulfillment centers in Northwest and West Jacksonville, Fla.


Amazon adds fourth Georgia fulfillment center, 500 jobs

Amazon will create more than 500 full-time jobs at a new fulfillment center in Macon-Bibb County. This will be Amazon’s fourth fulfillment center in the state. Amazon will lease 1 million square feet of industrial space in Macon for the facility.


Toyota debuts new Kentucky center

Toyota has opened its $80 million, 235,000-square-foot Production Engineering and Manufacturing Center in Georgetown, Ky. The facility will employ approximately 800 people, including 600 production engineers. The Georgetown facility will also help innovate and develop new technology for Toyota’s manufacturing plants across North America.


Tape factory in Cabarrus County, N.C., expanding

Intertape Polymer Group has announced its plans to expand operations its manufacturing facility near Midland. The project will add approximately $13.5 million in investment and 10 jobs.


Tech firm plans 300 new jobs for Myrtle Beach 

Greenwood Hall plans to establish operations in Horry County. The California-based educational tech firm is planning to hire more than 300 employees in South Carolina and make a capital investment of $1.4 million over the next five years. 


Senture’s new call centers bring hundreds of jobs to Kentucky

Senture opened two plants in eastern Kentucky in October. The company expects to house 150 people at its Annville facility in Jackson County, and 700 people at its Williamsburg facility in Whitley County. 


AHT Cooling Systems expanding in Charleston County, S.C.

AHT Cooling Systems USA, a provider of refrigerated and frozen merchandising solutions, is expanding its existing Charleston County facility with a $5 million investment that will lead to the creation of more than 70 new jobs.


New jobs for Olive Branch toymaker thanks to Walmart

Walmart’s “Made in USA” program is driving growth at a toy factory in Olive Branch, Miss., that probably wouldn’t exist without the world’s largest retailer. Michigan-based American Plastic Toys has added 70 people to meet Walmart’s appetite for the affordable plastic toys.


New jobs and investment in Lubbock, Texas

The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) announced the creation of 66 new jobs and $66 million in capital investment as a result of the expansion of two local businesses: X-FAB Texas expanded its operations to include the production of silicon carbide power devices. The company made a capital investment of $15 million and will create 50 new jobs. New Country Organics is also expanding to include manufacturing of its organic feed. The Virginia-based company will create 16 new jobs and invest $1,182,000.


Stanley B&D opening its third plant in Texas

Stanley Black & Decker recently announced that it will open a new 300,000-square-foot factory in Mission, Texas to make Dewalt power tools. The facility will eventually support 450 new jobs in the region.


Oil and gas industry is hiring again

The oil and gas industry is hiring more than its letting go for the first time in three years, according to a new report from recruitment firm NES Global Talent and Oilandgasjobsearch.com. An impressive 60 percent of employers have plans to hire significantly more people over the next 12 months. 


Metlife reveals plans for continued expansion in North Carolina

At a recent groundbreaking for Metlife’s third building at its Cary campus, the company revealed the number of promised new jobs there -- 500. That’s in addition to the more than 1,000 employees the firm already houses at its Cary tech hub. Metlife also disclosed plans to invest $1 billion in technology. 


Royal Technologies expands Cullman, Ala., plant

Royal Technologies plans a $14 million expansion of its manufacturing operation in Cullman. The project is expected to create 25 jobs. The company produces polymer products, primarily plastic and foam, for the automotive, furniture and consumer goods industries. 


Battery maker invests $35 million in new KC facility

Georgia-based Exide Technologies, an automotive and industrial battery manufacturer, has invested $35 million to create a state-of-the-art facility in Kansas City that will create up to 50 jobs. 


Furnace Record Pressing plans vinyl record plant in Fairfax, Va.

Furnace Record Pressing will open a new 50,000-square-foot vinyl record pressing plant in Fairfax. According to company officials, the new plant will fill a desperate industry need for more vinyl record production capacity while creating 40-plus new jobs in Northern Virginia.


Trucast expands operations in Newberry, S.C.

Trucast, a manufacturer of components for automotive engines and power generation, will invest $3 million to expand its operations center in Newberry. Part of the United Kingdom-headquartered Doncasters Group, Trucast supplies automotive manufacturers such as Borg Warner, Cummins and Honeywell.


Arthrex announces new surgical device manufacturing facility in South Carolina

An orthopedic device manufacturer will create 1,000 jobs in Anderson County by 2025. Naples, Fla.-based Arthrex will invest $69 million to establish a new 200,000-square-foot production facility in Anderson County.


FedEx Ground Ocala hiring

FedEx Ground – which has a massive distribution center in Ocala, Fla. — is seeking to hire 150 to 200 new package handlers.


FedEx announces Conroe facility

FedEx is expanding its footprint and has announced plans to build a new freight facility in Conroe, Texas. FedEx will purchase 45.5 acres in the Conroe Park North Industrial Park to build its 78,000-square-foot distribution center, at a cost of $18 million. Once completed, the facility will create 96 jobs in the area.


Company moving into former Alcoa Building in Hancock County, Ky.

WhiteRock Pigments will locate a $179 million chemical manufacturing operation in Hancock County, a project expected to create 124 full-time jobs.


New jobs coming to Jackson County, Ark.

A major manufacturer in Jackson County is expanding, bringing more jobs to the area. Shearer’s Snacks is adding 85 jobs to its factory in Newport.


Delta to hire 300 IT staffers in Atlanta 

Delta Air Lines plans to hire 300 information technology employees over the next 12 months. . .most of which will be located at the airline’s headquarters near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The new hires will help the airline grow its expertise in cloud technology, apps and other areas.


Three-hundred tech jobs coming to rural Alabama community

Three-hundred new jobs are coming to Brewton, Ala., at the site of the old Dogwood Hills Golf Course. Provalus recently broke ground on a new 60,000-square-foot facility that is set to open in three to four years.


Southern Recycling adds second plant in Warren County, Ky.

Southern Recycling will add a second operation in Warren County, Ky. The company plans to invest $6 million and create four full-time jobs.


Automated Technology Company opens Missouri facility

Automated Technology Company, a startup that works in building automation, has opened its new location in Joplin. The company plans to create 130 new jobs as it runs its Boston and New York locations from Missouri. 


Marketing agency VML expands Kansas City operations

VML, a global marketing agency, will expand its operations and add a minimum of 120 new jobs to its current headcount of 600 in Kansas City, Mo.


Logan Aluminum expands in Logan County, Ky.

Logan Aluminum and its parent companies recently opened the aluminum plant’s Phase I expansion in Logan County, as well as breaking ground on Phase II of the project. The expansions represent $407 million in new investment, which is creating about 250 full-time jobs at the sprawling mill in southwest Kentucky.


SMW Manufacturing acquires Caterpillar operations in Lafayette County, Miss.

SMW Manufacturing is taking over operations at the former Caterpillar facility in Lafayette County. The company plans to invest in excess of $15 million and hire up to 50 employees, mostly former Caterpillar employees. SMW manufactures components for the heavy truck, automotive, mining, construction and industrial markets.


World’s largest airport to hire 1,000 

More than 1,000 new positions are available at the Atlanta airport -- from cashiers and cooks, administrators and accountants, project managers and engineers. A jobs fair was held on October 31 in hopes of attracting applicants.


Danonewave invests $60 million in Virginia beverage facility

Six months after Danone completed the acquisition of organic producer WhiteWave, the newly combined DanoneWave is expanding its plant-based beverage manufacturing operations with up to $60 million in investment in its Rockingham County facility. Forty-nine new hires will be added to the current staff of 500 to produce brands including Activia, Dannon, Horizon Organic and others.


Orbital ATK adding 50 jobs to Iuka, Miss., operation

Aerospace and defense company Orbital ATK is adding 50 jobs as part of its $10.5 million expansion in Iuka. The news comes two weeks after defense giant Northrop announced it was buying Orbital ATK for $9.2 billion. As part of the expansion, the 320,000-square-foot Iuka facility will begin production of large aerospace structures for its Antares, Pegasus and Minotaur launch vehicles, and a large national aerospace and defense program. 


New logistics center coming to Henry County, Ga.

Henry County is set for 300 new jobs as national wholesale clothing provider S&S Activewear announced it would put a new logistics center in Georgia. The wholesaler of imprintable apparel will create 300 jobs at the 505,000-square-foot warehouse.


Research company opens Kentucky HQ

Kentucky officials have welcomed a clinical research company that moved its headquarters to northern Kentucky in a $36.4 million project, creating up to 500 jobs. CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services relocated its headquarters from Blue Ash, Ohio, to Covington, Ky. CTI specializes in clinical research, working with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to plan, manage and analyze clinical trials. 


Nucor Steel announces $230 million expansion, 100 new jobs

Officials at Nucor Steel in Hickman, Ark., made a major announcement during their 25th anniversary celebration near Blytheville recently. A $230 million expansion means 100 more jobs. Company VP Mary Emily Slate said the new mill is the first of its kind. “This is the first mill in America that will take deeper reductions on higher strength steels so we can make stronger and lighter steels for many customers, including those in the automotive industry,” she said.


Blue Eye Soft Corporation bringing 120 new jobs to Greer, S.C., facility

Greer officials recently welcomed Blue Eye Soft to the area. The U.S.-based information technology and staffing company focuses on providing IT solutions for its clients. 


Tennessee glass manufacturer to expand

Techni-Glass, a custom glass manufacturer, will expand in Surgoinsville, Tenn., investing $1.5 million and creating 54 new jobs in Hawkins County, 


One-hundred new jobs for Dillon County, S.C.

KB Biotech Solutions is set to open manufacturing operations in Dillon County that will create 100 jobs. KB Biotech Solutions is the largest producer of natural steroidal raw materials and intermediates in China.


Twenty-million-dollar plant, 130 new jobs coming to Jonesboro, Ark.

China-based manufacturer Hefei Risever Machinery is building its first U.S. plant in Jonesboro, less than one hour from Memphis. Risever produces parts for heavy equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar, Volvo, and Komatsu. The new facility will cost $20 million and will employ 130 people when fully operational. 


Ajinomoto Windsor plans Joplin manufacturing center

Ajinomoto Windsor will support the expansion of its frozen foods business in North America by opening a new state-of-the-art coated appetizer manufacturing and R&D facility in Joplin, Mo. The project means 220 new jobs for the community.


Armacell expands West Virginia and Oklahoma plants

Armacell, the inventor of flexible foam for equipment insulation, will expand its capabilities in Spencer, W.Va. In addition, Armacell will expand production in its newly acquired plant in Yukon, Okla.


Missouri offers $20 million to lure company across state line

Missouri offered nearly $20 million in incentives to convince global reinsurance giant Swiss Re to move across the state line to Kansas City from Overland Park, Kan. Swiss Re, which is bringing 400 jobs to Missouri, will have access to $19.8 million in incentives through the Missouri Works program.


Hundreds of jobs coming to idle Texas plant

California-based Finisar Corporation is coming to Sherman, Texas. The optical communications firm, which has a manufacturing plant in nearby Allen, Texas, purchased the MEMC Manufacturing building (which has been idle for five years) for $20 million.


Shaw Industries creating 75 jobs in Decatur, Tenn.

The Georgia carpet maker plans to spend $42 million to upgrade its existing plant in Decatur, Tenn., creating 75 jobs. Shaw Industries Group, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary based in Dalton, Ga., makes synthetic yarn at the Decatur factory for use at its other carpet plants. 


LyondellBasell plans $2 billion project along Gulf Coast

LyondellBasell said it’s planning to build a multibillion-dollar chemicals and plastics plant along the Gulf Coast, and very possibly in the Houston area, although a final decision may still be a year away. LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel said the project would cost more than $2 billion and use propane to make chemicals and the plastic polypropylene to serve American markets.


Candor Healthcare to create 675 jobs in Floyd County, Ga.

Candor, a health-care coverage marketplace based in Rome, Ga., which specializes in pairing consumers with health plans, will create 675 jobs in Floyd County. The company plans to invest $39 million as it hires, builds out and trains its technical, sales and customer management teams. 


Dish Network to expand in Tulsa, bring in 250 new jobs

The satellite TV provider, which employs around 600 people in Tulsa, plans to expand its customer care center there. Governor Mary Fallin said the company is working with the Cherokee Nation and the Tulsa Regional Chamber to educate the community about the 250 jobs the expansion will bring.


Altec Industries investing $30.2 million in Botetourt County, Va. 

Altec Industries will invest $30.2 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Botetourt County, which will create 180 new jobs. Altec is a provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs and contractor markets.


Bessemer, Ala., loves sweet tea

Milo’s Tea is expanding on its 15.5-acre Bessemer campus. The new addition comes at the facility where Milo’s brews and bottles more than 250 gallons of all-natural beverages per minute.


The Blythe Company expanding at Indian Land facility

The Blythe Company is expanding its headquarters and other operations into Lancaster County, S.C., bringing $4 million of capital investment and 21 new jobs. The Blythe Company is a distributor and servicer of parts to a variety of industries, including the natural gas, oil and chemical markets.


Instacart delivers 100 jobs to Columbus, Ga.

An online shopping service called “Instacart” will provide same-day delivery service to 77,000 Columbus households, and will also be providing 100 new jobs. Instacart delivers orders from stores such as Publix, CVS and Petco.


South Korean manufacturer to invest $100 million in DFW expansion, add 1,600 jobs

A South Korean company is making a $100 million investment to expand its operations in Garland, Texas. Nutribiotech USA, a nutritional supplement manufacturer, will renovate part of the old Raytheon campus to expand its research and development and production facilities. The deal will create 1,600 jobs. 


West Virginia Great Barrel Company starts up in Greenbrier County

A new company will harvest white oak and turn it into whiskey barrels at its barrel manufacturing plant (known as a cooperage) on a 23-acre site in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The company will employ 113 workers at its cooperage, and 25 more at its stave mill and log yard in Monroe County.


Aerojet Rocketdyne breaks ground on Huntsville plant

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was on hand to break ground on a new $16 million aerospace manufacturing plant for Aerojet Rocketdyne. The plant is expected to employ a minimum of 750 people with an average salary of $79,560. The 136,000-square-foot plant will produce rocket engines using composites and additive manufacturing. Construction will begin in December. Aerojet Rocketdyne is also building a separate $11 million headquarters in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park. Construction on that will begin in January. City officials say total employment at both facilities could reach 1,200.


Steelmaker moving HQ from Chicago to Alabama

Swedish steelmaker SSAB Americas announced plans to relocate the division’s head office from suburban Chicago to Mobile, Ala. -- a move that will bring 60 new jobs with it. The company has operated a mill north of Mobile since 2001. SSAB develops high-strength steels.


Thousands of jobs could be coming to Tallulah, La.

It looks like Madison Parish may be able to shake its status as the poorest parish in Louisiana. The city of Tallulah there is making headway on a Multipurpose Industrial Plant that’s expected to employ 1,800 people. When completed, it will be equipped with distribution centers, retail shops, a car dealership, a new water plant, a new housing subdivision and a technical workforce development center. In another announcement, the city of Tallulah was selected by the Delta Regional Authority to receive $200,000 to build a new rail spur which will extend the Madison Parish Port Railroad, creating new jobs and retaining over 100.


Louis Vuitton bringing 500 jobs to Keene, Texas

The multi-billion dollar French company, part of the Paris-based LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE conglomerate, is on its way to Texas. They’ve gotten the green light for a $20 million project with a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Keene. Referred to as "Project Mustang" in early proposals, the project promises 100 to 500 jobs.


Sixt Car Rental to create 300 jobs in new Fort Lauderdale HQ

Sixt, a car rental company that made its name in Europe, will establish its North American headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and create 300 jobs. The project means $10.4 million in capital investment.


Military-focused tech firm chooses N.C. over D.C. for expansion

Advanced Computer Learning Company has chosen its Fayetteville, N.C., headquarters for an expansion expected to bring 75 jobs and nearly $613,000 in local investment.


One-hundred new jobs for Greenville County, S.C.

Metromont Corporation, a manufacturer of precast concrete materials, is expanding its existing Greenville County operations.This latest $8.8 million investment is projected to create an additional 100 jobs over the next five years.


Hankook opens $800 million plant in Tennessee

The South Korean-based company unveiled its first U.S. manufacturing site in October at the grand opening event at Hankook’s new $800 million tire plant in Clarksville. Officials estimate 1,600 employees could be hired there.


Toyota and Mazda partner on EVs

Toyota, Mazda and Denso have signed a new partnership through which they will jointly establish a new company for the development of electric cars. Neither Toyota nor Mazda offer fully electric vehicles in their lineup yet, so the new partnership will give both automakers the basic structural components for EVs.


Lockheed Martin contracts mean 900 new Central Florida jobs

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s three-month contract streak — with much of the work happening in Orlando — is leading the defense and tech firm to add more than 900 local jobs. From July to October, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin won nearly 30 military contracts with work tied to Central Florida totaling $12.3 billion.


Canfor’s sawmill in Urbana, Ark., will add second shift

Canfor Southern Pine has made an investment of $8.8 million for upgrades at its sawmill in Union County, Ark. Installing a third continuous dry kiln will potentially lead to 36 new jobs at the mill.


Auto parts company selects Memphis for new home

An auto parts supplier created in the merger of Memphis-area companies, has put its head office in Memphis. Highline Aftermarket will invest $500,000, add  91 jobs and expand its primary distribution center in Shelby County.


Polyquest retains North Carolina jobs through joint venture

Wilmington-based PolyQuest has announced a new joint venture and acquisition of the former DuraFiber Technologies facility in Grover, N.C., stopping the impending closure of the plant and retaining 90 jobs. PolyQuest and Straterra Holdings announced the formation of Fiber Innovators International – a joint venture between the respective companies – which acquired the Grover facility.


Belk to hire warehouse workers in South Carolina

Belk’s Jonesville Fulfillment Center is looking to fill up to 1,000 seasonal and full-time jobs. Tyler Hampton, Belk public relations manager, said the company is hiring additional employees ahead of upcoming busy months.


Five-hundred jobs for road projects in West Virginia

The road bond has passed, and jobs are ready to be filled in the Division of Highways before those projects get started. The road projects under the amendment are expected to create thousands of jobs over the next several years, but there are about 500 that will be filled immediately.


Vital Farms brings jobs and eggs to the Ozarks

Adding to their list of locations, Vital Farms has found a new home in the heart of the Ozarks after opening their Egg Central Station in Springfield, Mo. The new factory, which will receive eggs from all over southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, is now up and running. “On day one, we started by creating 50 jobs here in Springfield, we’re now up over 60, and a year from now, we’ll be up over 100,” said Russell Diez-Canseco, President and COO of Vital Farms.


Amazon’s Jeff Bezos opens a massive wind farm in Texas

Amazon has announced that its biggest wind farm to date is operational. Amazon Wind Farm Texas will add over 1 million megawatt hours of clean energy to the grid annually. The facility, which is located in Scurry County, has over 100 turbines, each standing more than 300 feet tall with a rotor diameter over double the wingspan of a Boeing 787.


Haynesville Shale bringing jobs back to Northwest Louisiana

Natural Gas production in Northwest Louisiana can see an uptick in jobs due to a familiar source — the Haynesville Shale. An economic and policy research group with LSU predicts over 2,800 jobs will be created in the Shreveport region over the next two years.


Smart Wood cuts ribbon on $15 million facility

Smart Wood, a French family-owned manufacturer of ice-cream and coffee-stir sticks, opened the company’s facility in Corbin, Ky. — a 90-job, $15 million operation.


Huge aerospace deal for Alabama

Airbus and Canadian jet-maker Bombardier announced they will bring 50.1 percent of the manufacturing of Bombardier’s C Series passenger jets to the Mobile Aeroplex facility in South Alabama. Bombardier announced in October that it is selling a controlling stake in its 100- to 150-seat C-series jetliner to European manufacturer Airbus, just weeks after the U.S. Commerce Department moved to impose 300 percent tariffs on the plane that is currently being built in Canada. 


Employment at Sasol’s Louisiana complex reaches 500; more hiring expected

Employment at Sasol’s petrochemical complex under construction in Westlake, La., reached 500 in October, and the company plans to hire at least 200 more over the next few years for a total of 700 full-time jobs. Combined with the 450-plus jobs at Sasol’s existing facility, the new complex will bring Sasol’s employment in Southwest Louisiana to over 1,150 by 2019.


Plant expansion to bring 145 jobs to Burke County, N.C.

Governor Roy Cooper came to Burke County in October to tout the expansion and creation of 145 jobs at Continental’s Morganton plant. The investment coincided with the German auto parts plant’s 25th anniversary.


Solamerica Energy Launching operation in Edgefield County, S.C.

Based in Atlanta, Ga., SolAmerica Energy, a provider of solar energy, is launching a new operation in Edgefield County. The project is expected to bring approximately $13 million of new capital investment.


Stihl to invest $20 million in Virginia Beach

Power tool manufacturer Stihl will invest over $20 million to expand its headquarters operation in the City of Virginia Beach. The company will construct an 80,000-square-foot administration facility, as well as a new museum and brand experience center.


Facebook will invest $1 billion in Virginia 

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced that Facebook is set to invest over $1 billion in the state. The tech giant will invest $750 million to construct a 970,000-square-foot data center in Henrico County. In addition, it will spend hundreds of millions building “multiple solar facilities” to power the data center with renewable energy. The project will bring thousands of construction jobs to the region and more than 100 full-time operational jobs


Manufacturer to invest $15 million in Broken Arrow, Okla.

Swedish manufacturing firm Alfa Laval broke ground on an expansion of its Broken Arrow plant. The company’s focus there is advanced welding technology for the oil and gas industry. Alfa Laval is expected to invest $15 million dollars for the first phase of the expansion. One-hundred jobs are expected to be created.


Alabama lands $40 million mill

Koch Foods, one of the nation’s largest poultry producers, plans to invest nearly $40.5 million to build a feed mill in Randolph County, Ala. The new mill in Roanoke will produce feed to support a processing plant in Pine Mountain, Ga. Koch Foods will hire 27 full-time employees, plus an additional 19 truck drivers


Anthem doubles down in Atlanta

The parent company of Blue Cross/Blue Shield has inked a deal to develop a 352,000-square-foot technology hub in midtown Atlanta. The 21-story building will house some 3,000 IT professionals. In announcing its initial investment last year, Anthem said it would bring about 1,800 IT-related jobs over the next six years to the Atlanta area. This new investment nearly doubles that commitment.


Loudoun County, Va., lands $1 billion data center campus

California-based Vantage Data Centers has acquired 42 acres in Ashburn, Va., known as “Data Center Alley,” and plans to invest $1 billion in a data center campus.


Cleaning products company pledges 400 jobs at new Fort Mill HQ

Diversey, the cleaning products company that was spun off from Sealed Air, is moving its corporate headquarters from Charlotte, N.C., to York County, S.C. The relocation promises about 400 jobs and $6.1 million in investment in Fort Mill.


Shipbuilder in Mobile, Ala., lands $584 million contract

Austal USA has contracted with the U.S. Navy to manufacture its Littoral Combat Ship 30 in Mobile — a contract worth up to $584 million.


Port St. Lucie, Fla., lures $38 million facility, 50 new jobs

Dallas-based City Electric Supply plans to build a $38 million manufacturing and distribution facility in Port St. Lucie that will create 50 jobs as part of an economic-development deal worth several million dollars.


Harkness Screens expands with move to Botetourt County, Va.

Harkness Screens will begin manufacturing large cinema screens in Botetourt County. The company, which is relocating manufacturing from Fredericksburg, Va., as part of a multi-million dollar investment, will employ up to 50 people in the first phase with significant expansion potential.


El Paso uniform company to hire 500

ReadyOne Industries of El Paso, Texas is set to fill 500 positions after it was awarded more than $1 million in new contracts for the production of sophisticated military uniforms for the U.S. government. 


Hundreds of new jobs coming to Joplin, Mo.

A Joplin company announces the addition of 400 new jobs. Alorica will nearly double the number of jobs at its call center operation there, bringing the total to 820. The company is the largest provider of call center services in the country.


Ariake U.S.A. expands facility in Harrisonburg, Va.

Ariake U.S.A., a manufacturer of stocks and seasonings for the food industry, will invest $17 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Harrisonburg, where it is headquartered. The project will create an additional 22 jobs.


FedEx plans $10 million expansion in Sherman, Texas

Economic growth and more jobs are coming to Sherman as FedEx grows in Grayson County. FedEx Freight plans a $10 million expansion that will create 45 new jobs.


Call center to bring 200 jobs to Carthage, Mo.

A telemarketing company, iPacesetters, plans to open a new call center in Carthage. The new center could bring 150 to 200 full-time jobs to the southwest Missouri city. 


American Scrappers locates campus in Lake View, S.C.

American Scrappers will invest $15.5 million to establish a distribution and logistics center in Dillon County, creating 200 jobs.


Danish company names Roswell, Ga., as North American HQ

The Georgia Department of Economic Development recently announced that Danish meter manufacturer Kamstrup has selected Roswell as its new regional headquarters, bringing 52 jobs to the area.


Toyota investing in Southern plants 

Toyota just upped the stakes to remain the top manufacturer of hybrid vehicles worldwide with a $373.8 million investment in five U.S. manufacturing plants to support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain. Of the total investment, Bodine Aluminum in Troy, Mo., receives $17 million, and $14.56 million will go to the Bodine plant in Jackson, Tenn. The automaker’s plant in Georgetown, Ky., will get $120 million to expand production of the 2.5-liter engine. Other plants in line for additional investment are located in West Virginia and Alabama.


Perrone Robotics expands in Albemarle County, Va.

Perrone Robotics, a developer of autonomous car software, will invest $3.8 million to expand its research and development operation in Albemarle County, Va. The company expects to create 127 new jobs.


Manufactured homebuilder creating 200 jobs in Leesville, La.

Champion Home Builders will open a facility in Leesville to build manufactured homes, a move that will create 200 new direct jobs in central Louisiana. Champion said it will spend $1.3 million renovating two buildings in a Leesville industrial park to build the housing.


Oilfield company bringing 160 jobs to West Virginia

Fountain Quail Energy Services is bringing more than 160 jobs to Lewis County as part of a new field office the oilfield services company is opening in the Jane Lew Industrial Park.


Tech firm hires in Alpharetta, Ga.

The American arm of a large, global Indian tech firm is adding more than 100 positions in Alpharetta. Tech Mahindra has 115,850 employees and a $4.5 billion-a-year business in the United States. This hiring initiative is in response to a new contract for a major U.S. company.


UPS plans new distribution center in Houston

UPS plans to build a 260,000-square-foot distribution center in northwest Houston in an effort to meet growing demand for package deliveries. The price tag on the project is $17 million.


Software company expands in Guilford County, N.C.

Lake Mary, Fla.-based software firm Superion will expand with 80 new jobs in High Point and an investment of $3.46 million in its Triad operations.


Headquarters captured by Hillsborough County, Fla.

Siemens and Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corporation have chosen the Tampa Regional Industrial Park in Hillsborough County, Fla., as the headquarters location for their new joint venture, Advanced Airfoil Components. The manufacturing facility expects to create 350 new jobs with a capital investment of $139 million.


Denso investing $1 billion in Tennessee plant, creating 1,000 jobs

Japan-based global automotive supplier Denso announced that the company will expand its operations in Maryville, Tenn. Denso will create approximately 1,000 jobs and invest $1 billion to make its Blount County facility a primary manufacturing center in North America for electrification and safety systems.


Z Modular to create 100 jobs with new Birmingham facility

Z Modular, a division of Chicago-based Zekelman Industries, plans to open a 106,000-square-foot advanced production facility in Birmingham that will eventually have 100 employees. At the Alabama facility, Z Modular will produce modular units that will be shipped across the U.S. to modular construction projects.


Satellite firm’s plant rises on Space Coast

OneWeb, whose new $85 million, 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant is under construction in Merritt Island’s Exploration Park, has begun hiring engineers and associates. The plant will ultimately create 250 jobs.


Prysmian Group expanding South Carolina operations

Prysmian Group, a world leader in the telecom cables and systems industry, announced an expansion of the company’s North American headquarters in Lexington County, S.C. The expansion will exceed $15 million of capital investment and is projected to create 30 jobs over the next five years.


Indian manufacturer to expand San Antonio operations

Bangalore, India-based manufacturer Indo-MIM has opened its first U.S. plant at Port San Antonio with 52 workers and plans to expand to 330 employees. First announced in 2015, the metal-injection-molding plant held formal opening ceremonies in September. Indo-MIM has invested $22 million at the 100,000-square-foot factory.


Seven-hundred new jobs coming to Huntsville, Ala.

The Huntsville City Council has approved the Aerojet Rocketdyne expansion project worth an estimated $27 million that will employ over 700 people. Part of the project will involve the creation of an advanced manufacturing plant to build propulsion engines for the SLS deep space rocket. The new development will also feature defense business headquarters and a rocket shop.


German company investing $64 million in White County, Tenn.

A fourth-generation German company is establishing its fourth U.S. manufacturing facility in White County. Hormann (pronounced “Herman”) will invest nearly $64 million to establish a garage-door manufacturing facility in Sparta, and plans to create approximately 200 new jobs there.


Swedish Höganäs opens headquarters in Cary, N.C, plans to hire 100

Swedish research and manufacturing company Höganäs — the world’s largest producer of powdered metals — opened a new office in Cary in an expansion of its environmental sector. Cary will serve as the global headquarters for a division of Höganäs that aims to improve water purification and soil remediation techniques.


Select Comfort dedicates Jefferson Parish center

Select Comfort dedicated the company’s new technical support contact center in Jefferson Parish, La. in the fall quarter. The mattress maker’s support center near New Orleans will create 225 new jobs.


Ericsson launches design center in Texas

Networking giant Ericsson has opened a new design site in the United States, which will be used to develop and test microelectronics for 5G radio base stations. The Ericsson Austin Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Design Center in Texas will provide jobs for around 80 designers.


New company means new jobs for Joplin, Mo.

Zaf Energy Systems has opened a new plant that will hire 20 workers by the end of this year, and will expand to more than 100 next year. The company manufactures nickel zinc batteries.


Two-hundred new jobs for Dillon County, S.C.

American Scrappers is bringing 200 new jobs to Dillon County in a $15.5 million investment. The company is establishing a distribution and logistics center, container storage and a hydroponic facility.


Universal Studios is hiring 3,000 jobs in Orlando, Fla.

Universal Orlando is hiring for 3,000 full- and-part-time and seasonal positions across several theme parks including Volcano Bay, CityWalk, and Universal Studios Florida.


New business to create 200 Spring Hill, Tenn., jobs

A Florida medical call center is going to hire 200 people in Spring Hill, employing agents and triage nurses. Call 4 Health will occupy a 15,000-square-foot space. “The demand for call center services in the medical industry has exploded in recent years,” Joseph Pores, Call 4 Health CEO, said in a news release.


New Pfizer lab will invest $100 million in Sanford, N.C.

The pharmaceutical company recently announced plans for a gene therapy research lab in Sanford. The lab will bring 40 jobs to the location and the company plans to invest $100 million. 


Giti opens in South Carolina

Giti Tires, headquartered in Singapore, has opened its first U.S. plant, set to bring 1,700 jobs to Chester County. The global company partnered with Wal-Mart as part of the retailer’s commitment to purchase $250 billion in products, supporting American jobs.


Purina to invest $320 million in Georgia plant

Pet food manufacturer Purina, owned by Swiss food giant Nestlé, will spend $320 million on a factory and distribution center in northeast Georgia. The plant will be located in Hartwell, and will employ 240 people at full strength. 


New York manufacturer will open new plant, add jobs in Pasco County, Fla.

A New York-based company that manufactures and distributes precision optics will open a new plant in Pasco County. Meopta U.S.A. plans on using the Pasco County Job Creation Incentive program to fill 47 new positions in advanced manufacturing.


DP Facilities South invests $65 million in Wise County, Va.

DP Facilities South will invest $65 million to construct a Mission Critical Tier III Data Center operation in Wise County that will create 40 new jobs.


St. Johns County, Fla., approves incentives for PGA Tour HQ

The St. Johns County commission voted unanimously to approve a $2.8 million incentive package for the Tour to build a headquarters building on property it owns. The Tour told the commission in its proposal that the larger headquarters building and continued growth of the Tour will result in more than 300 additional jobs created by 2030.


Facebook to expand in Austin

Facebook is poised to massively expand its presence in downtown Austin. About 700 employees already work in the city, and the social media behemoth’s plans to lease additional space that could handle more than 1,000 additional employees.


Simmons Foods to build $300 million chicken plant in Benton County, Ark.

Simmons Prepared Foods will spend $300 million on a new chicken facility that will create about 1,500 jobs in Benton County, bringing total employment at the operation to more than 2,300 people by 2022. 


Spectrum hiring 100 positions in Greensboro, N.C.

Cable provider Spectrum is looking to fill 100 Customer Service Specialist and Tier 3 Tech Support positions in Greensboro.


Dominion predicts 2,000 jobs for Virginia coalfields project

A proposed hydroelectric storage power station in Southwest Virginia would bring approximately $576 million in economic benefits to the state — half of it to the coalfields region, according to Dominion Energy. The report also found that the project would support nearly 3,000 Virginia jobs during development and construction, including more than 2,000 in the coalfield region. 


Amazon pursues another Nashville facility

The online retail giant is planning what would be its fifth facility in the region. The existing operations employ about 2,700 full-time workers.

October 2017

Manufacturing is critical to rural areas of the South

In 2015, manufacturing represented a 14 percent share of private nonfarm rural jobs and a 21 percent share of rural earnings, according to a report by the USDA that came out in the summer titled “Rural Manufacturing at a Glance.” According to the report, urban areas saw 7 percent of total employment and 11 percent of earnings come from the manufacturing sector in 2015. 


Chinese aerospace manufacturer investing in Alabama

Continental Motors Group, a subsdiary of Beijing-based AVIC International Holding Corp., will invest in a new plant and headquarters at the Mobile Aeroplex in Mobile, Ala. The site is where Airbus fully assembles the A320 jetliner series. The company will make aviation piston engines and parts in a new 250,000-square-foot facility. The deal is expected to create 450 jobs. 


Amazon asks for bids for new $5 billion second headquarters

Seattle-based Amazon wants a second headquarters and the company has put it up for bid. CEO Jeff Bezos said in a press release that he expects the $5 billion project to "be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," where more than 40,000 people work. Some of the criteria to be chosen, according to Amazon, are communities of at least 1 million in population, an international airport and a "stable and business-friendly environment." 


The Best Cities in the South for Amazon's HQ2

SB&D has come up with its five best cities for Amazon's second headquarters:

Atlanta - Atlanta has the world's largest international airport, and several Fortune 100 companies are headquartered there. More than 5.7 million people live in the Atlanta metro and nearly 100,000 moved there last year. 

Dallas-Fort Worth - Now home to Toyota's new North American headquarters, along with many others including ExxonMobil and American Airlines, there is plenty of land and labor in the Dallas-Fort worth mega-region. Dallas-Fort Worth welcomed more than 140,000 new residents last year. 

Austin - Austin is a tech mecca with a vibrant labor base, and Amazon might want to take a look a the area, including the Hutto-Taylor megasite as well as San Marcos. About 58,000 people moved to Austin last year. 

Northern Virginia - Northern Virginia has a large young population and birth rates there are some of the highest in the South. You can go anywhere in the world from the Dulles International Airport. 

Northern Kentucky - Probably a reach, but Amazon is building its largest world air freight hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Aiport. The $1.5 billion, 2,700-job hub will be home to Prime Air. 


Kamtek opens expanded Birmingham plant

Kamtek, a division of Magna, opened the $60 million, 150,000-square-foot expansion of its automotive parts facility in Birmingham, Ala., in the summer quarter. The project will add 100 workers to the plant, which currently houses 850. The company makes aluminum castings for vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan. 


SAF-Holland expands in Arkansas

SAF-Holland, a maker of trailer suspension and axle systems, is investing $4 million to expand its Dumas, Ark., facilities. The company will add 65 new positions. 


BMW celebrates 4 millionth vehicle made in South Carolina

In the summer quarter, BMW celebrated the 4 millionth vehicle made at its plant in Greer, S.C. The plant began making vehicles at the plant in 1994. 


Brazilian manufacturer to open first U.S. facility in rural Virginia

Koinonia, a manufacturer of foam and tape solutions for the automotive, marine and heavy equipment industries, is investing almost $5 million in a new plant in Pulaski County, Va. The plant will house 40 workers. 


Texas port ready to be deepened

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Port Corpus Christi agreed to terms to deepen the port's ship channel in the summer quarter. The $326 million project will deepen the ship channel from 45 feet deep and 400 feet wide to 54 feet deep and 520 feet wide. 


PowerSchool to create jobs in Roanoke

PowerSchool, a leader in education technology platforms for K-12, is investing $1.8 million to expand its presence in Roanoke, Va. The project will add 96 jobs. 


Big manufacturing capture for Tulsa

Wisconsin-based Greenheck Group, a manufacturer of commercial ventilation systems, broke ground on a new facility in Tulsa during the summer quarter. The company plans to hire about 75 employees when the facility is completed in summer 2018, and up to 900 over the next 10 years. 


Company opens second Kentucky plant

WPT Corp., a manufacturer of nonwovens used in hygiene and filtration products, is opening its second plant in Ohio County, Ky. The $6 million investment will create 40 jobs. 


Chinese textile factory will consume almost all of cotton grown in Arkansas

Shandong Ruyi will build a $410 million textile factory in Forrest City, Ark. The project will create 800 jobs. The facility will process 200,000 tons of Arkansas cotton annually, which is about what is grown in the state now. 


Vehicle glass manufacturer expands in Virginia

Oran Safety Glass, a maker of specialty glass used in the manufacture of buses, military vehicles and trains, is expanding its Greensville, Va., operation. The $4.4 million project will create 55 jobs and retain 75. 


German auto supplier launching new operations in South Carolina

Isringhausen, a seating systems manufacturer, is launching new operations in Charleston County in Ladson, S.C. The company, which has 50 plants in 20 countries, will make seats and assemblies for the Mercedez-Benz Vans Sprinter model. 


Baxter completes Alabama plant expansion

Medical device company Baxter completed the $270 million expansion of its dialyzers plant in Opelika, Ala. The expansion more than doubled the size of the facility to roughly 400,000 square feet. The deal will create 180 new jobs. 


Insurer to create 1,000 new jobs in downtown Kansas City

Spring Venture Group, a Medicare supplemental insurance firm, will move into a largely vacant building in downtown Kansas City, Mo., to accommodate growth. The company expects to create nearly 1,000 jobs in the move. 


Aerospace manufacturer expands in St. Louis

St. Peters-based Seyer Industries, a maker of assemblies for the aerospace industry, is expanding its facilities in St. Louis. The company will invest $25 million and add 125 jobs. 


Film manufacturer to invest $85 million in South Carolina

Charter NEX Films, a specialty film manufacturer, will locate a new plant in Blythewood, S.C. The company will build a new 140,000-square-foot facility that will house 110 workers. 


West Virginia lands new chemical plant

U.S. Methanol broke ground on a new methanol plant in Kanawha County, W.Va., in the summer quarter. The plant will generate 50 new jobs. 


Manufacturer adding jobs in Arkansas

As a result of a partnership with Arkansas-based Walmart, Nice-Pak, a wet wipe manufacturer, will add 30 jobs at its plant in Jonesboro, Ark. The deal is part of Walmart's initiative to purchase at least $250 billion in additional products supporting American jobs. 


Now we know what Apple does in Austin

For years, Apple kept what its 6,000 employees in Austin do under wraps. In the summer quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the company's Austin facilities and said more employees will be hired in Austin. Cook revealed that about 50 percent of the Austin staff works in customer support and online sales. He also explained that about 15 percent are in engineering and another 15 percent in operations. 


Media firm to open office in downtown Richmond

Thomson Reuters, an international information and media firm, will open a new 10,000-square-foot office in downtown Richmond. The New York City-based company will create 60 new jobs. 


Another megasite planned for the American South

The South is certainly not in short supply of large industrial sites of 1,000 acres or more. Add another one to the mix, this one in Chesterfield County, Va. Right before the recession a master-planned community in Chesterfield that would have contained 2,449 single-family homes, 1,331 condos, 908 apartments and 470,000 square feet of commercial space was announced. Called Branner Station, the plan was nixed by the Great Recession. Now Chesterfield wants to develop the wooded property as a 1,700-acre megasite for a large user such an an automotive or aerospace plant. The site is near Interstate 95 and the Port of Richmond. 


Auto supplier expanding in West Georgia

Hyundai Dymos is adding 150 jobs to its workforce of 350 in West Point, Ga., near the Kia assembly plant. The $9.5 million expansion will add car seat capacity. The company makes seats for both the Kia plant and Hyundai's plant in nearby Montgomery, Ala. 


Smokeless tobacco plant expands in Kentucky

Swedish Match, a smokeless tobacco manufacturer, is investing $40.9 million in its facility in Owensboro, Ky. The deal will create jobs for 36. 


Austin, Nashville lead in job generation since recession

In the summer, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released private sector job data for more than 300 metropolitan areas. During the last decade, Austin led all markets in private sector job gains with an increase of 38 percent. Nashville placed second with job gains of 25 percent. 


Munitions manufacturer to locate plant in Arkansas

American Marksman, a maker and distributor of ammunition, is locating a new advanced manufacturing facility in Searcy, Ark. The production facility will house 100 workers. 


Distribution center going up near Savannah

Home furnishings manufacturer Safavieh announced it will invest $60 million to build a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center in Chatham County, Ga. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Almost 4,000 employees to relocate to Northern Virginia

The General Services Administration has agreed to consolidate part of the Department of Homeland Security into a new headquarters in Prince George County, Va. Over 3,700 workers will make the move to Virginia. 


Has Alabama's ROI in the automotive sector paid off? 

By Michael Randle

In September 1993, the state of Alabama was highly criticized for the $253 million incentive package it gave Mercedes-Benz to locate its first plant in the U.S. in Tuscaloosa County. Alabama offered a package that was double that of what South Carolina had given to locate BMW just a year earlier. 

Then in 1999, Honda announced it, too, would build a plant in Alabama. . .this one in East Alabama. That initial package totaled $158 million. In 2002, Hyundai followed Honda with its own plant announcement in Montgomery. Alabama’s initial package to Hyundai was $234 million. 

Counting second and third incentive packages for expansions, the total Alabama has given out in site prep, training, tax breaks and other incentives is less than $1 billion for the three automakers. 

So, to more easily understand the return on investment, let’s eliminate anything Alabama could have received from the three automakers, including the attraction of more than 250 suppliers to the state, tax generation, multipliers, spin-off jobs and anything else that’s difficult to calculate. Let’s just add up the payroll of the three automakers just at their facilities since they began operating. Why payroll? It’s something everyone understands because most of us are on a payroll. 

SB&D’s estimated payroll since Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai have been operating their plants in Alabama is right at $12 billion. That’s a 12-fold ROI and that just counts payroll at the three assembly plants. What’s more, those plants will be operating 50 years from today.


Bus manufacturer expands Alabama plant

Canada-based New Flyer, North America's largest transit bus manufacturer, is expanding its plant in Anniston, Ala. The company is investing $25 million and adding 40 new jobs. 


Aluminum manufacturer investing $110 million in Tennessee

Sweden-based Granges, a manufacturer of aluminum products, is investing $110 million in its plant in Huntingdon, Tenn. to expand capacity from 160 to 200 metric kilotons per year. The company makes light gauge foil and automotive heat exchanger products. The deal will create 100 new jobs. 


Walmart to build new HQ in Arkansas

Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., is a collection of more than 20 buildings built in the 1970s that are spread out across several different communities in Northwest Arkansas. In September, the nation's largest employer of 1.5 million employees announced it will build a new headquarters campus in Bentonville on a 350-acre site. The new headquarters will house up to 17,000 employees and will be built over the next five years. 


Georgia-Pacific to build plant in Alabama

Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific announced in the summer it will construct a $100 million lumber production facility in Talladega, Ala. The $100 million, 300,000-square-foot plant will house 100 full-time employees. 


Japanese auto parts supplier to build new plant in Tennessee

Miyake Forging announced in the summer it will build a 45,000-square-foot facility in Hawkins County, Tenn. The bearings manufacturer will invest $13.7 million in the plant that will house 60 workers. 


Alabama lands truck manufacturer

Autocar, a manufacturer of a wide variety of trucks, announced in the summer plans to build a $120 million facility near Birmingham, Ala. The plant will assemble heavy-duty, cab-over-engine trucks. The deal will create 746 jobs.  


Manufacturer to create more than 200 jobs in Georgia
Meggitt Polymers & Composites, a manufacturer of environmental components, is expanding its facilities in Rockmart, Ga. The company, which employs more than 1,000, will invest $30 million and add 211 jobs. 


Rescare selects Louisville for new HQ

ResCare (the nation’s largest provider of both health and human services) and its 340-employee local workforce will move into a new headquarters building in Louisville, Ky., its home city.


Racing  and auto parts manufacturer adding ops in Franklin, Ky.

Holley Performance Products, a top name in automotive racing and performance parts manufacturing, will establish a $9.15 million facility in Franklin, creating 30 full-time jobs.


Hino Motors Manufacturing expands in West Virginia 

Japan-based truck maker Hino Motors Manufacturing will invest $100 million to relocate its assembly plant from Williamstown to Mineral Wells, W.Va. The company plans to purchase the former Cold Water Creek distribution center and convert it into a 1-million-square-foot truck assembly plant in Mineral Wells, close to its current plant.  The new plant will also house cab assembly, an operation currently conducted in Japan. The company’s president, Takashi Ono, said the move was necessary for growth and the addition of 250 employees.


Window manufacturer to expand Arkansas facility, add 123 jobs

Morfe Manufacturing Company is expanding its facility in Mountain Pine, Ark. The company will invest approximately $3.8 million to revitalize an old Weyerhaeuser property there and create 123 new jobs.


U.S. Silica Holdings builds frack sand plant near Lamesa, Texas

U.S. Silica Holdings, a producer of commercial silica used in the oil-and-gas industry and a wide range of applications, plans to build a second, $150 million state-of-the-art frack sand mine and plant in West Texas’ Permian Basin, about 60 miles north of Midland.


Keg 1 plans distribution hub in Temple, Texas

Alcohol distributor KEG 1 O’Neal will soon begin a $10 million project to expand its distribution center on 23 acres in Temple, Texas. The expansion will include construction of a new office and distribution warehouse and is expected to create 50 additional jobs for a total of 110 employees.


Nestlé Purina to create 240 jobs in Hart County, Ga.

Nestlé Purina PetCare will create as many as 240 new jobs and invest $320 million in a manufacturing facility and distribution center in Hartwell — the company’s first new U.S. factory in 20 years.


Infosys to create 2,000 jobs in North Carolina

Tech firm Infosys is creating jobs, including software developers, analysts and digital architects, at a new hub in Raleigh’s Brier Creek. Five-hundred people will initially be recruited, and will move into offices now under construction.


Cleco expansion will include 150 new jobs in Louisiana

A planned expansion by utility company Cleco will create nearly 150 jobs in the Alexandria-Pineville area.


Billion-dollar expansion for Mercedes-Benz in Alabama

Mercedes is spending $1 billion to make electric SUVs at its Tuscaloosa plant, as well as building a 1 million-square-foot battery plant, a logistics center and after-sales North American hub. Thanks to an earlier investment of $1.3 billion announced in 2015, the Tuscaloosa plant is currently being expanded to prepare for the production of the next-generation SUV including plug-in hybrid models. The expansion will create more than 600 jobs.


Toyota investing $374 million at five U.S. plants

Toyota Motor Corp announced a $374 million investment at five U.S. plants to support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain. The upgrades at Toyota’s factories in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia are part of a previously announced $10 billion in U.S. spending by the Japanese automaker.


Northwest Arkansas plant expansion to create 1,500 jobs

Simmons Prepared Foods announced it will build a new chicken facility in Benton County. The company plans to invest $300 million in the facility, which is expected to create 1,500 new jobs, bringing total employment at the operation to over 2,300 people by 2022.


Sabert Corporation bringing manufacturing jobs to Texas

Sabert Corporation will be celebrating 35 years in business next year with the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Greenville, Texas.  Approximately 125 new hires will support Sabert’s first North American facility to offer 100 percent compostable food packaging.


New plant in Greenville, Texas to create over 800 jobs

Family-owned Brakebush Brothers will build a new 315,000-square-foot chicken processing plant in Greenville, Texas. The new facility will be the second Texas location for Brakebush Brothers.


Auto supplier JTEKT opens new plant in Tennessee

JTEKT recently held a grand opening for its new plant in Vonore, Tenn. The plant means 100 new hires for the Japan-based manufacturer of driveline and steering components.


Volvo will boost U.S. investment to $1.1 billion

Even before the first vehicle rolls off the line at Volvo Cars’ new factory in South Carolina, the Swedish automaker has nearly doubled its investment to $1 billion and promised to build a second vehicle — the next-Generation XC90 — at the site. Volvo says it will spend an additional $520 million and add nearly 2,000 more jobs, bringing total employment to nearly 4,000, to its plant under construction in Berkeley County, 30 miles northwest of the port in Charleston.


Gulfport, Miss., bets on Octopus’s Garden to boost economy

Gulfport is hoping that alligators, river otters, dolphins and stingrays hold the key to revitalizing the economy of the second-largest city in the state. The city, located on the Gulf of Mexico, is selling $35 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance a public improvement project — the Mississippi Aquarium. The “state of the art” aquarium, set to open in 2019 with a $93 million budget, will join casinos and new restaurants in downtown Gulfport.


International Paper to secure future of Alabama mill

A major investment by International Paper is securing hundreds of jobs in Dallas County, Ala. The company is pumping $300 million into the Riverdale Mill to expand its industrial packaging operation and produce whitetop linerboard and containerboard. The massive facility outside of Selma is the county’s largest employer with more than 750 workers.


Ravenswood, W.Va., company to add 30 jobs

Niche Polymer will be adding 30 jobs and expanding operations in Ravenswood, W.Va., where it is headquartered. The company is a custom compounder and toll processor for engineering resins.


Thirty-one new jobs in Charlottesville, Va.

Astraea, a startup company that develops cutting-edge technology to gather satellite data, will invest $1 million to expand in Charlottesville.


South Carolina ports anticipate record growth, upgrades at Greer facility

The South Carolina Ports Authority will invest $5.3 million to upgrade the 50-acre inland port in Greer, part of $263 million in upgrades to ports statewide.


Kamstrup locates North American HQ in Roswell, Ga.

Danish manufacturer Kamstrup will create 52 jobs in the company’s new North American headquarters in Fulton County. Headquartered in Denmark, Kamstrup manufacturers high-tech water, heat and electricity meters.


Computer services company moves jobs to Gwinnett County, Ga.

CGS, a computer-services company with an office in Atlanta, is moving that office and its 350 jobs, to Peachtree Corners. The move will allow the company to expand to as many as 1,200 employees. The global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services, CGS (Computer Generated Solutions) outgrew its Atlanta offices, where it has been for more than 10 years.


Sir Richard Branson holds court at groundbreaking in Nashville

Billionaire Richard Branson was on Music Row recently for the groundbreaking ceremony of his $110 million Virgin Hotel. Branson said his airline, Virgin Atlantic, would also be interested in adding a flight from Nashville to London to compete with a recently announced flight from British Airways. 


OneTrust creating 500 jobs in Atlanta

As part of a $5 million expansion, OneTrust will double its office footprint in Midtown. The company, which has developed technology that helps businesses protect personal data of employees and customers, will create 500 jobs in Fulton County.


Bank of the Ozarks plans HQ in Little Rock, Ark. 

Bank of the Ozarks plans to build a new 247,000-square-foot corporate headquarters building in Little Rock. Approximately 500 employees are expected to move into the building when construction is completed in late 2019, with capacity to accommodate 800 to 900 employees.


NN Inc. moves global headquarters to Charlotte, N.C.

A Johnson City, Tenn., manufacturer will relocate its global headquarters to Charlotte. The $10 million project will also result in the relocation of 200 employees to manufacture industrial parts.


RealPure Bottling Company expands Mississippi plant

RealPure Bottling Company, formerly Shooting Star Beverages, is expanding in Magee, Miss. The project is a $19.75 million corporate investment and creates at least 45 additional jobs.


Duke Energy makes $30 million investment in battery storage 

Duke Energy is investing $30 million into the two biggest battery storage projects in North Carolina — a first for the regulated arm of the Charlotte-based utility.

“We feel the technology has improved, the price has come down, and we think there are some niche applications where battery use makes sense for the regulated utility,” said Duke spokesperson Randy Wheeless.


Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel opens new facility in Bowling Green, Ky.

A family-owned German manufacturer is beginning operations at its facility in Bowling Green. Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel expects to employ about 110 people at its plant, which broke ground in 2015. The company creates thin pieces of steel for a variety of industries. 


Brown-Forman’s investment in Louisville a double-edged sword

Last year, Brown-Forman introduced “Cooper’s Craft” Bourbon to honor the men and women who make whiskey barrels at its cooperage on the south side of Louisville. Brown-Forman has announced plans to invest $45 million over the next two years to upgrade the cooperage with new equipment for making whiskey barrels, but 70 of the company’s hourly workers will lose their jobs once the project is completed in 2019.


Nokian Tires breaks ground on $360 million facility in Tennessee

Nokian Tires recently broke ground on its $360 million manufacturing facility in Dayton, Tenn., Rhea County’s largest foreign direct investment to date.


Sitel to hire 1000 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Florida-based Sitel, described as “a leading global customer experience management provider,” announced it will hire over 1,000 associates over the next eight months due to an increase in clients in health care and financial services.


Three Savannah-area logistics firms to expand

The Savannah Economic Development Authority recently announced that three companies — ONL-RBW Logistics, Distribution Services International and ICON Health & Fitness — will expand their local footprints, bringing another 90 jobs and $42 million in investment to Pooler, Ga. 


Big Four accounting firm will add 150 jobs in Orlando

Ernst & Young says its planning a significant expansion in Orlando, and a move into the city’s tallest building, the SunTrust Center.


Charles Schwab to house 2,600 employees in Westlake, Texas

Financial giant Charles Schwab & Co. says its new campus now under construction north of Fort Worth could house up to 2,600 employees, more than double the number it previously projected. The $100 million complex, which is scheduled to open in 2019, will become a major employment hub for the company and can accommodate up to 5,000.


“Project Dancing Bear” picks North Carolina for expansion

Previously known by the code name “Project Dancing Bear,” a wood products firm has tapped North Carolina over South Carolina for a new 46-job facility. Marshville, N.C.-based Edwards Wood Products will be investing $30 million to open a sawmill in Scotland County, recently identified as having the highest unemployment rate out of all 100 counties for July. The company also plans for a second phase that will include an additional $20 million investment.


Accenture bringing 800 new jobs to Atlanta

Professional services giant Accenture will double its office footprint in Midtown and add 800 tech jobs by the end of 2020. The Fortune 500 company, which employs about 2,800 across several offices in metro Atlanta, its Southeast headquarters, provides management consulting, tech services and outsourcing. 


Atlanta-based UPS to hire 95,000 seasonal employees

For the fourth straight year, the Atlanta-based shipping giant said it plans to hire about 95,000 seasonal employees for the holiday season. The company needs 5,700 of those workers in Atlanta and 8,400 across Georgia. 


No holiday hiring for Walmart, just longer days for its workers

Walmart plans to meet its need for extra work during the holiday shopping season by giving existing employees more hours, according to a release from the company. Rival retailer Target has already announced plans to bring on 100,000 temporary holiday workers.


Toys ‘R’ Us hiring 10,000 for the holidays

Despite filing for bankruptcy protection, Toys ‘R’ Us plans to hire more than 10,000 part-time employees for the upcoming holiday season.


Textile manufacturer to grow South Carolina operation

A textile manufacturer in Gaffney is investing $6 million to expand its facility there. Hamrick Mills will use the capital investment to purchase new equipment for both of its plants in Cherokee County.


Borgwarner expanding in South Carolina

A manufacturer of automotive powertrains is expanding its facility in the Upstate. BorgWarner is investing $71.9 million and creating more than 160 new jobs at its plant in Oconee County, the third expansion to its Seneca plant since 2013. 


BorgWarner investing $20 million, adding 75 jobs in Mississippi

Automotive supplier BorgWarner is investing $20 million and adding about 75 jobs during the next two years at its Water Valley facility. BorgWarner bills itself as a leader in clean technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles.


Metalsa Structural Products expands in Owensboro, Ky.

Automotive frame manufacturer Metalsa Structural Products will be adding 113 jobs at its Owensboro facility as part of a $36.5 million expansion. Metalsa plans to produce a new line of stamped and welded components.


DowDuPont opens massive ethylene and plastics plant in Texas

The newly merged DowDuPont is opening its new ethylene and plastics plants in Freeport, making the nation’s largest chemical giant the first to start up a major ethylene complex along the Texas Gulf Coast.


Geico to hire hundreds and build $12 million facility in Florida

Geico, the insurance company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, plans to create 300 to 500 new jobs and invest about $12 million as it expands its operations in Lakeland.


Cardinal LG expands Ocala production center

Cardinal LG, the nation’s leading developer in laminated glass, is expanding its operations center in Ocala, Fla. The expansion will result in more than 50 new, high–wage jobs, and a capital investment of $38 million. The state-of-the–art building will be located across the street from the current facility on a proposed 40 acre site. 


Port Tampa Bay approves $55 million expansion

Port Tampa Bay is moving forward with a $55 million plan to expand the Big Bend Channel after approving a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The move will make room for larger ships in the channel, which connects to the Tampa Harbor main channel.


Flooring distributor bringing 172 jobs, $6.4 million investment to North Carolina

Maryland-based Haines, the largest floor covering distributor in the U.S., plans to open a distribution center in Concord. The new facility will serve as Haines’ Southern hub and will house Haines’ entire portfolio of floor covering, installation and maintenance products.


Call center to hire 500 in Shreveport, La.

Representatives from Alorica, a nationwide call center company, will hire about 500 people from the Shreveport-Bossier City area. Those hired will answer phones from their homes.


Thrace-Linq expands South Carolina plant

Thrace-LINQ, a global supplier of fabrics for the textile industry and member of the Greece-based Thrace Group, will invest $9 million to expand its operations center in Dorchester County, S.C. The company will be adding a new production line and upgrading existing equipment to produce nonwoven fabrics used in a variety of applications, including geosynthetics, automotive, construction and floor covering.


AIV plans expansion in Houston

AIV LP, a Houston-based distributor of valves and actuators for the oil-and-gas, power generation, chemical, petrochemical, refining, pulp-and-paper and water treatment industries, plans to locate a 320,000 square-foot facility in northwest Houston, Texas.


Chinese automakers plan U.S. factory

Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motor Co, said that the carmaker intends to set up a manufacturing presence in the US, in cooperation with two other Chinese car producers. “The three Chinese auto companies may test the waters by building a factory together,” Wei was quoted as saying, without naming the two other firms. A Beijing-based media group reports that three other Chinese automakers — Geely, Guangzhou and Chery – have all previously announced plans to enter the U.S. market. Geely and Guanzhou both said they were unaware of the plans, while Chery declined to comment. Wei described the move as “brand-building to sell cars in the US.” It also comes under a Trump administration eager to announce new manufacturing jobs.


Ingredion plans to locate 60 jobs in downtown Tulsa

An Illinois-based company announced plans to hire 60 people in Tulsa, Okla., to provide finance services. Ingredion makes ingredients for food, beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical products.


Conecuh Ridge Distillery to base operations in Troy, Ala.

The maker of Clyde May’s Alabama-style whiskey plans to consolidate operations in Troy, where the company will build a $13 million artisan distillery, rack houses and a bottling hub, as well as a tasting experience center designed to attract tourists.


Boeing’s partnership with DFW aerospace supplier to generate 950 jobs

The Boeing Company selected Triumph Group to be a major supplier for its training jet, bringing hundreds of jobs to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Triumph’s flagship plant is in Red Oak — about 20 miles south of Dallas — and the partnership between the two aerospace companies will generate 950 direct and indirect jobs.


Kencoa Aerospace plans expansion at Georgia plant

Kencoa Group, an aerospace holdings company, completed acquisition of Heart of Georgia Metal Crafters, a tier-1 supplier of metal components for the aerospace industry based in Eastman, Ga. The company, which plans a major expansion in the Heart of Georgia Regional Airport Industrial Park in Eastman, will now be known as Kencoa Aerospace.


Pratt & Whitney building $31 million facility, plans 500 jobs in Georgia

A major piece of Pratt & Whitney’s expansion project in Columbus is about to ramp up, with the aerospace company starting construction on a 276,301-square-foot facility on the city’s east side. The price tag on the construction of the new facility for the engine overhaul business is $31.3 million.


Allstate could hire “well beyond” 2,250 in Charlotte, N.C.

Allstate Insurance Company told North Carolina officials the number of jobs it plans to create in Charlotte could go “well beyond” the 2,250 announced last month as part of an expansion project.


September 2017

Dallas Fed President says the U.S. needs more immigrants to achieve stronger growth

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said in August that the U.S. needs and aggressive but responsible approach to immigration in an interview with CNBC. He explained that demographics have our backs against the wall regarding available labor and that situation is one of the reasons the U.S. economy has been growing so slowly. The nation's population grew by less than one percent last year. "One of the big challenges we face in the United States and one of the reasons GDP growth has been so sluggish is our population is aging and our workforce growth has been slowing," Kaplan said. 


Houston lost more manufacturing jobs in 2016 than any other U.S. market

Data released in the summer quarter from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Harris County, home of Houston, lost 19,000 manufacturing jobs in 2016, the most of any county in the country. The losses were tied to the oil and gas market, which is linked to metal manufacturing. With 3,600 manufacturing job gains, Jefferson County, Ky., (Louisville) led the nation, followed by Fulton County, Ga., (Atlanta) and Dallas, Texas.


Southwest Louisiana: The nation's largest LNG export cluster

It wasn't too long ago that Cheniere Energy built a LNG import facility in Cameron Parish, La., at a cost of billions of dollars. Because of the massive increase in fracking over the past six or seven years, Cheniere reversed course and turned the import facility into the nation's first large-scale LNG export facility. The Houston-based company began exporting well over 100 tanker loads of liquefied natural gas in 2016. The company has already begun profiting from the venture and others have noticed. Eight other companies are in the planning stages of building their own LNG export facilities in and around Lake Charles, La., at a cost of billions each. Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles LNG have received permits and are waiting on buyers before making final investment decisions.


Kentucky has become the center of aluminum manufacturing for the automotive industry

In the spring quarter, Braidy Industries announced it will build a $1.3 billion aluminum mill in Greenup County in Eastern Kentucky. The plant will produce aluminum sheet and plate for automotive plants in the South and Midwest. The deal will create 550 jobs. With Ford using more aluminum in its vehicles that are built in Louisville, the plant is needed. Also, Toyota is undergoing a $1.3 billion expansion of its plant in Georgetown, Ky., part of which is to accommodate more aluminum parts in its vehicles assembled there. The move convinced Logan Aluminum, which for decades has made aluminum cans in Logan County, Ky., to invest $248 million in the plant to produce aluminum parts for cars and trucks. 


Texas adds more jobs than any other state

From August 1, 2016 to August 1, 2017, Texas added nearly 300,000 jobs. . .more than any other state during that period. The labor department said the largest jump in employment came from leisure and hospitality.  


Louisiana claws out of recession

After two long years, it looks as if Louisiana has clawed its way out of the recession it has been in. In the summer, the state reached a three-year low in its unemployment rate and is now creating jobs instead of losing them. However, at 5.5 percent, the rate is still more than a point higher than the national average of 4.3 percent.


Engineering firm will add 200 jobs in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Belcan, a global supplier of engineering, technical recruiting and IT services, will expand operations in Palm Beach County. The company plans to create 200 new jobs and invest over $3 million.


Denyo Manufacturing plans Kentucky expansion

Denyo Manufacturing Corporation is planning a major expansion to its facilities and operations in Danville, Ky. The company will invest $8.7 million to construct an additional building and purchase new equipment, adding up to 90 new jobs fabricating sheet metal components used in generator and air compressor assembly. 


Alabama aerospace company plans major expansion

Huntsville-based Dynetics Inc. has broken ground on a three-building complex to develop and test large rocket components. Dynetics plans to use the three buildings in Decatur, Ala., to build the Space Launch System Universal Stage Adapter and perform structural testing for the Department of Defense, NASA and commercial customers.


Robots to make Chinese T-shirts in Arkansas

Chinese company, Tianyuan Garments Co., will soon open a T-shirt factory in Little Rock, Ark. Their workforce will feature 330 robots from Atlanta-based Softwear Automation. The $20-million factory is expected to produce about 23 million shirts a year at a cost of 33 cents each.


Franke Foodservice Systems expands in Smyrna, Tenn.

Swiss-based Franke Foodservice Systems will expand its operations in Smyrna. The food service equipment manufacturer will invest $11.6 million and create 67 new jobs in Rutherford County.


Mission Solutions Group expands in South Carolina

Mission Solutions Group, a company that provides infrastructure and services to the U.S. government, will locate its corporate headquarters to a facility in North Charleston. The $2.9 million investment will allow the firm to centralize its operations and create 41 new jobs.


American Marksman Arkansas expands in Searcy, Ark.

The ammunition maker and recycler is expanding its operations center in Searcy and creating up to 100 new advanced manufacturing jobs.


South Carolina automotive plant moving to Mexico

Kongsberg Automotive will close its plant in Easley early next year and eliminate nearly 100 jobs. The plant makes parts for large trucks and buses.


Weapons maker moving to Richmond Hill, Ga.

C&H Precision Weapons will move its defense unit from LaBelle, Fla. to Richmond Hill. The company is a veteran-owned small business specializing in custom rifle builds, rifle repair and firearm upgrades. 


Medical device company completes $270 million expansion in Opelika, Ala.

A dialyzer manufacturing company has completed a $270 million expansion of its east Alabama facility. Baxter doubled both the physical size of its plant and number of employees to 350, allowing them to increase the production of dialyzers for patients with end-stage renal disease.


Exxon’s XTO Energy relocating 1,600 employees to Houston

Even as Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. shut down the country’s second-largest refining complex in Baytown to minimize the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, not everything is coming to a halt. XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, will continue to relocate about 1,600 workers from Irving to Exxon’s 385-acre campus in Houston. About 1,200 employees will make the move by mid-2018, with another 400 employees moving in 2020. 


Swedish Match to invest $41 million in Owensboro, Ky.

Swedish Match, a smokeless tobacco products manufacturer, will add to its Owensboro production facility with a $40.9 million investment and 36 new full-time jobs in Daviess County.


Duke kills nuclear plant, plans $6 billion in solar and battery

Duke Energy Florida will cease plans to build a nuclear plant in western Florida. Instead, the utility will invest $6 billion in solar panels, grid-tied batteries, grid modernization projects, and electric vehicle charging areas. 


Lockheed Martin’s massive hiring spree in Fort Worth

Lockheed Martin Corporation offered letters of intent to 673 people during a major hiring event recently in Fort Worth. The company had aspirations of offering jobs to upwards of 1,000 heading into the event.


Southwest Virginia pole factory expands

Hapco Pole Products, based in Abingdon, Va., has announced a $6 million expansion of its current facility that produces light and street direction poles, resulting in the creation of 28 new jobs.


Logistics provider to create 170 jobs in Tennessee

NFI will invest approximately $7.2 million to establish a distribution facility in Smyrna, Tenn. The logistics provider plans to create nearly 170 new jobs in Rutherford County.


Who’s in the running for Toyota-Mazda plant?

According to the Wall Street Journal, 11 states — Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas — are being considered for a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant planned by Toyota and Mazda.


Advocates say 500-600 jobs created in Arkansas cannabis industry

Medical-marijuana industry advocates expect cannabis-related jobs to reach between 500 and 600 in the short term, with 1,500 eventually being employed in the state’s industry. “I see that number growing all the time,” said Storm Nolan, president of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association.


Digital Realty plans billion-dollar Texas data center

Digital Realty’s multi-phased, billion dollar, data center campus will be located on 47.5 acres in Garland, Texas. The world’s largest colocation and wholesale data center will be developed in three distinct $350-million phases.


Cherokee Nation hiring for tribal health center in Oklahoma

“When this new facility is complete, it will be the largest tribal health center in the country,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “This world-class health center will open in 2019 and eventually create more than 800 permanent health care jobs.” For now, the construction project in Tahlequah, Okla., has created a need for hundreds more jobs across a variety of construction trades.


Bank adding 200 new jobs in St. Louis, Mo.

U.S. Bank is adding 200 new jobs in the St. Louis area, thanks, in part, to growth in its home mortgage division. To keep up with demand, the bank launched an electronic loan portal over the summer quarter.


Home decorating platform Houzz to add 200 more jobs in Nashville

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Houzz is doubling its workforce to more than 400 in Nashville, and has leased another floor at downtown’s UBS Tower. The company will add employees in sales, logistics, account management and customer service, to support shoppers and vendors on the Houzz Marketplace.


Freightliner to open $27 million logistics center in North Carolina

Rowan County’s huge Freightliner plant, owned by Portland, Oregon-based Daimler Trucks North America, will get a new $27 million logistics center and add more than a dozen new jobs to the 1,400 employees already working there. The idea is to consolidate existing warehouses and pave the way for adding more robot vehicles to the production line.


Toyota Motor North America expands Plano, Texas operations hub

Toyota Motor North America will form a new group focused on new technologies for its Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Called Connected Technologies, the group will employ approximately 100 positions and will include members from Toyota’s existing teams working on connected vehicles, information systems, and research and development.


Orangetheory’s new global HQ forms in Boca Raton

Orangetheory Fitness has moved 120 employees into a global headquarters in Boca Raton. The fitness franchise, begun with a single studio in Fort Lauderdale, is among the fastest-growing brands in the country, boasting more than 700 locations.


Sykes plans 300 new jobs in Wise, Va.

Sykes Enterprises says it is in the process of adding 285 new jobs by the end of the year. The call center Sykes purchased from Frontier Secure earlier this year will add 175 of the new jobs.


Tech firm adding 300 jobs in West Virginia

An Atlanta-based technology sales and marketing firm is opening an office in West Virginia and creating up to 300 new jobs. N3 said in a news release the office will be located at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.


TSA will move HQ, 3,000 jobs to Springfield, Va.

The Transportation Security Administration’s new headquarters — a $316 million contract — and thousands of jobs will be coming to Springfield, Va., ending a years-long search for a new home. TSA’s headquarters is currently in Pentagon City. 


Sentury to build North American HQ and tire plant in Georgia

Sentury Tire’s Georgia-based North American headquarters and manufacturing plant will sprawl across 1.5 million square feet, according to a filing made with the state. Last September, China-based Sentury Tire confirmed plans for a $530 million investment in LaGrange to make tires for cars and aircraft, including the landing gear tire for the Boeing 737. The first phase will employ 1,000 and include R&D and distribution centers.


Parts supplier to establish new operation in South Carolina

Germany-based Frimo Group subsidiary bo parts GmbH, a tier one and tier two supplier to the automotive industry, is establishing a new facility in Greenville County, S.C. The $4.1 million project will create 100 new jobs. 


Boeing’s $349 million contract will boost Alabama

A major aerospace company in Alabama will perform design work for the next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile. The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing Co. a $349 million contract to design a replacement for the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. 


Another brewery expanding in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office announced recently that Heritage Brewing plans to spend $8.9 million and create 66 new jobs to expand its craft brewery in Manassas. The state is providing a $250,000 grant, which the city of Manassas will match. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide additional support.


Battery manufacturer declaring bankruptcy, cutting 290 jobs in North Carolina

Battery manufacturer Alevo USA announced it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and lay off almost 300 people in Concord.


In wake of Toyota-Mazda decision, Chatham County, N.C., approves options on megasites

Chatham County has approved five-year option agreements for both the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site and the Moncure Megasite. Both sites are located in Chatham County and both meet the requirements for an automotive assembly facility. 


LG Electronics breaks ground on Tennessee plant

South Korea-based LG Electronics broke ground in Clarksville, Tenn., on its 1 million-square-foot appliance plant in the summer quarter. The $250 million project will create 600 jobs and will be operational the first quarter of 2019. 


Tech firm to create 800 jobs in Nashville MSA

Amsterdam-based Philips, with primary divisions in electronics, healthcare and lighting, is establishing a new health technology center of expertise in the Nashville area. The deal will create 800 jobs. 


British aerospace manufacturer adding jobs in Georgia

Meggitt Polymers & Composites, a maker of engine and aerodynamic seals, flexible fuel tanks and other aircraft engine components, is expanding its plant in Rockmart, Ga. The $30 million project will create 211 jobs. The company currently employs 1,000 people at the Rockmart facility. 


Revlon expanding in North Carolina

Cosmetics maker Revlon is investing $16 million in its Granville County plant near Oxford, N.C. The company is increasing production of its Elizabeth Arden line. The deal is expected to add 55 jobs. 


HVAC manufacturing adding 700 jobs in South Carolina

Trane, an HVAC manufacturer, is making a $96 million investment in its Richland County, S.C., facilities. The project will create 700 jobs. 


Oklahoma's aviation and aerospace sector is massive

Since 1994, the aviation and aerospace industry in Oklahoma has grown by 250 percent and today there are 1,100 companies in the field, according to an Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The aviation and aerospace industry in Oklahoma generates $43.7 billion annually in economic activity, making the sector the second largest in the state behind oil and gas. 


Auto parts supplier expands in Tennessee

U.S. Tsubaki Automotive is investing $35.8 million to expand its facilities in Portland, Tenn. The parts supplier will also add 70 new jobs. 


Furniture maker expands in Georgia

The HON Company, a maker of workplace furniture, is investing $14.5 million in its plant in Cedartown, Ga. The company is adding 60 new jobs to the 680 that currently work at the plant. 


Organ transplant company adding 300 jobs in Virginia

LifeNet Health, an organ and tissue transplant company, is adding 321 jobs at its Princess Anne biomedical corridor facility in Virginia Beach. The company will invest $12 million in the deal. 


Danish manufacturer to locate new facility in rural North Carolina

Fibertex Personal Care, one of the world's largest manufacturers of spunbond/spunmelt nonwovens used to produce diapers and other care products, is investing $114 million in a new plant in Asheboro, N.C. The project will create 145 jobs. 


Amazon bringing 600 new jobs to Charlotte region

Amazon has announced another distribution center in the South, this one in Kannapolis, N.C. The $85 million, 1 million-square-foot center will house 600 workers. 


Appliance manufacturer adding jobs in Tennessee

GE’s Monogram Refrigeration, a maker of upscale refrigerators and freezers, is adding 210 jobs to its plant in Selmer, Tenn. The company is making a capital investment of $9.3 million. 


Charlotte-based company adding jobs in North Carolina

Albemarle Corp., a producer of chemicals such as lithium for batteries, is adding 170 jobs at its plant in Kings Mountain, N.C. It will also add 30 jobs to its headquarters in Charlotte. 


Video game designer adding jobs at new HQ in Austin

Certain Affinity, which has worked with some of the biggest video games ever, including Halo, Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead, has plans to launch its own intellectual properties at a new headquarters in Austin, Texas. The company, which employs 125, is expected to hire 180 more by 2020. 


Pfizer investing $100 million in North Carolina

Pfizer, a giant pharmaceutical manufacturer, is investing $100 million at its facilities in Sanford, N.C. The company is entering the gene therapy sector and will add 40 jobs. 


Canadian company investing $400 million in new Georgia plant

Canada-based Irving Consumer Products will build a new $400 million, 700,000-square-foot bath tissue and paper towel plant in Macon, Ga. The facility will house 200 workers. 


Louisiana tops all states in energy consumption

Louisiana is the nation's largest energy consumer, based on population. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that Louisiana used 912 million British Thermal Units of energy per person in 2015 (the latest data available). Total energy consumption includes all energy sources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable sources. 


Textile operation slated for South Carolina

Fiber Industries will open a new textile operation in Darlington County, S.C. The company will invest $30 million in an existing facility and hire 135 in the deal. 


Plastics plant closes in rural North Carolina; 215 jobs lost

General Foam Plastics, which makes pools, will close it plant in Tarboro, N.C., in the fall quarter. All 215 employees will lose their jobs. 


Durham, N.C., named best place in U.S. for millennials

Growella, a money management website for young adults, named Durham the No. 1 place in the country for millennials to live. Pittsburgh came in second and Nashville, Charlotte, Austin, Greenville, S.C., and Houston all made the top 10. 


IT services company to open Alabama center

Provalus, a firm specializing in business technology service and support, announced it will locate a $6.5 million center in Brewton, Ala. The deal will create 300 jobs. 


IT firm hiring 400 in Northern Virginia

Mission Services, a provider of information technology services to federal agencies — specifically the Department of Defense — is expanding it footprint in Tysons, Va. The company is adding 400 jobs. 


Allstate adding over 2,000 jobs in Charlotte

Allstate announced in the summer quarter it would bring 2,250 jobs over three years to an operations center in Charlotte. The insurance company is spending $22.6 million on the operations center. 


Lifetime Products opens plant near Knoxville

Lifetime Products, a maker of kayaks, paddle boards and outdoor play equipment, opened its new plant in Knox County, Tenn., in the summer quarter. The company is investing $115 million and hiring 500. 


British online fashion company to hire 1,600 in Georgia

British online fashion giant ASOS will open an East Coast fulfillment center in Union City, Ga. The company will invest $40 million in the project and hire 1,600. 


Kayak manufacturer locating plant in South Carolina

Bonafide Kayaks, a manufacturer of fishing kayaks, is launching a new $2 million plant in Greenville, S.C. The project will create 76 jobs. 


Auto parts maker to expand in Mississippi

Ohio-based S&A Industries announced it will invest $4 million to expand its plant in New Albany, Miss. The company, which will hire 40, makes noise vibration damping products for automakers. 


Union Tank Car adding jobs in Arkansas

Union Tank Car is adding about 100 jobs at its production plant in Texarkana. The Chicago-based company moved into the former General Electric Railcar Repair facility last year. 


Manufacturer restarts operations in Oklahoma

TMK IPSCO, which suspended operations in September 2015, has restarted its pipe welding operation at its facility at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. The restart will bring back 168 new jobs. 


CSX rail hub will bring 1,500 jobs to North Carolina

An intermodal rail hub that CSX is building in Rocky Mount, N.C., will create 1,500 jobs to the state. Called the Carolina Connector Hub, the facility will open in December 2019. 


Japanese manufacturer to establish operations in Georgia

Japanese manufacturer Rinnai, a maker of tankless water heaters, will establish a plant in Griffin, Ga. The $69 million facility will initially house 150 workers. 


Online pet product retailer hiring 1,100 in South Florida

Chewy, an online retailer of pet food products, will create a customer service hub in Hollywood, Fla. The development will create 1,100 jobs. 


Port of Charleston sets container volume record

Container volumes at the Port of Charleston set record highs for fiscal year 2017, according to the South Carolina State Ports Authority. Volumes are up 10 percent compared to fiscal 2016. The port moved 2.14 million TEUs, or 20-foot containers in fiscal 2017. 


Georgia Ports Authority has record year

The Georgia Ports Authority set a new record for cargo in fiscal year 2017. Georgia's ports handled 3.85 million 20-foot containers in fiscal year 2017, an increase of 6.7 percent over the previous year. 


Software firm relocates HQ to Midtown Atlanta

Gro Solutions, a banking software firm, is relocating its headquarters from Johns Creek, Ga., to Midtown Atlanta. The move will create 200 jobs. 


Creamery expands in rural Tennessee

Bongards Creameries, a maker of cheese, is expanding its plant in Humboldt, Tenn. The $35 million deal will create 100 jobs.  


Manufacturer restarts Alabama operations after decade-long hiatus

Wolverine Tube will resume manufacturing at its plant in Morgan County, Ala. The copper tube manufacturer will make aluminum components at the new plant, which will house 250 workers. 


Food distributor adding jobs in Virginia

US Foods, one of the nation's largest foodservice distributors, is expanding its center in Prince William County, Va. The deal will create 100 jobs. 


United Launch Alliance makes capital investment at North Alabama plant

United Launch Alliance is investing in new technology and infrastructure for the production of the Vulcan thrust assembly. The launch system is the newest for ULA. The company is investing $115 million in its facility in Morgan County, Ala. 


Georgia named top aerospace state in new ranking

The 2017 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Ranking by PwC came out in the summer quarter and Georgia was named by the giant accounting and consulting firm as the No. 1 state. The U.S. was named the No. 1 country in manufacturing attractiveness followed by Switzerland, the U.K. and Australia. Other states making the top 10 in the South were North Carolina (4); Virginia (5); Florida (6) and Texas tied for 8th. Michigan, Arizona, Ohio, Colorado and New York made up the top 10.  


Animal feed company invests in Arkansas

Simmons Food, a maker of pet and animal food, is investing $30 million in a new plant in Siloam Springs, Ark. The 72,000-square-foot facility will house 78 workers. 


Textile manufacturer to create 1,000 new jobs in Tennessee

Traditional Southern industries such as textiles are making a comeback in the South as some reshore from overseas. One example is Textile Corporation of America. The company is locating its headquarters and manufacturing facility to Pikeville, Tenn. The $27 million project will create 1,000 jobs. 


Plastipak investing in Central Louisiana plant

Plastipak Packaging, a maker of plastic containers for the food and beverage industries, is investing $15 million in its plant in Pineville, La. The investment will add seven new production lines and 10 workers to the plant. 


Largest U.S. wind farm to be built in Oklahoma

GE Renewable Energy and Invenergy announced in the summer quarter that Oklahoma will soon be home to the nation's largest wind farm. The Wind Catcher project will have a capacity of 2,000-MW, which edges out the current largest U.S. wind farm located in California. That farm, the Alta Wind Energy Center, has a capacity of 1,550-MW. The Wind Catcher will feature 800 wind turbines and is located in Oklahoma's panhandle. 


Study shows that South Carolina's manufacturing costs lowest in U.S.

New Jersey-based site selection firm The Boyd Company released a study in the summer that showed that South Carolina ranked the lowest in the cost of operating an advanced manufacturing plant in the U.S. The study measured key cost factors such as real estate, labor, energy and taxes. The study based costs on a hypothetical 225,000-square-foot plant employing 500 workers, and determined that South Carolina was the least expensive place to operate with an annual cost of $30.1 million. New Jersey was the most expensive place to operate the same manufacturing plant at almost $40 million a year. 


New port slated for Southwest Louisiana

A massive new port is slated to be built over the next four years on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish, La. The location is between Lake Charles, La., and the Louisiana-Texas border. Peterson Offshore Group, a Dutch international energy logistics company, signed a letter of intent to lease 1.2 million square feet of space at the new port, called Port Cameron. The company will co-manage the port, which will serve the Gulf of Mexico's energy industry. The port is being built on 500 acres, with 750 acres available for expansion. Eight thousand construction jobs and about 4,000 permanent jobs will be created. 


Texas oil industry stabilizes

Oil companies in Texas added about 20,000 jobs from July 2016 to July 2017 as oil prices, as well as the industry itself, have stabilized in the Lone Star State. Today, over 210,000 workers are working in the oil and gas industry in Texas. The number of oil rigs in Texas has more than doubled in the past year, from 206 to 464 in July. 


Poultry processor adding jobs in Louisiana

Foster Farms is expanding its poultry plant in Union Parish. The company is investing $30 million to expand its cut-up and deboning operations at the plant. The deal will create 50 jobs and retain over 1,000. 


Another megasite in the South tries to land Toyota-Mazda

The Purchase Area Regional Industrial Authority that covers several counties in Western Kentucky is offering up more than 2,000 acres of free land in an effort to land the latest automotive assembly plant site search in the Southern Auto Corridor. The site is in Graves County near Mayfield, Ky. According to sources, about 15 states in the South and the Midwest are competing for the proposed $1.6 billion plant that will build Toyota Corolla models and a Mazda SUV. 


Smithfield adding jobs at North Carolina pork plant 

Smithfield Foods announced in the summer it will invest $100 million in its plant in Bladen County, N.C. The Virginia-based company will add 250 jobs at its sausage line there. 


Bank adding 200 mortgage jobs in Missouri

U.S. Bank is adding 200 mortgage jobs in St. Louis. The Minneapolis-based bank added 150 jobs in St. Louis last year. 


Canada-based company building $105 million greenhouse in Middle Georgia

Pure Flavor plans to built a $105 million greenhouse in Peach County, Ga. The 75-acre greenhouse will grow tomatoes and cucumbers year-round. The facility will also include a distribution center and will house 200 workers. 


New York furniture manufacturer to build distribution center near Savannah

Safavieh, a manufacturer of furniture and rugs, will build a $60 million distribution center near Savannah, Ga. The project will create 200 jobs. 


USAA plans major expansion in Tampa

USAA is expanding its campus in Tampa, adding a 250,000-square-foot office building in suburban Tampa. The new building will house 1,000 new workers, bringing USAA employment at the site to nearly 4,500. 


USAA doubling workforce in Plano, Texas

USAA is expanding its North Texas campus in Plano by adding a 150,000-square-foot building. The company plans to add 850 workers. 


Lockheed Martin hiring hundreds in Central Florida

Maryland-based Lockheed Martin is hiring 663 workers in Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Melbourne and Titusville, Fla. The defense giant employs almost 8,000 workers in Central Florida. 


Northrop Grumman adding jobs in Central Florida

Virginia-based Northrop Grumman is hiring 102 workers in Melbourne, Fla., for work in cyber security and software development. The work is in support of the E2 aircraft program. That program supports about 800 jobs in Melbourne. 


Automakers in Alabama shipped vehicles to 86 countries last year

Alabama's automotive industry is in its 20th year. Last year, Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes-Benz shipped $7.9 billion in Alabama-made vehicles to 86 different countries. The number is a 13 percent increase over 2015 exports. Germany was the top export market for Alabama-made vehicles with more than $2.4 billion, followed by China, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. 


ConAgra investing $50 million in Arkansas plant

ConAgra Foods is investing $12.5 million per year for the next four years at its plant in Russellville, Ark. The capital investment will be used to add and improve equipment in order to produce a larger variety of foods at the facility. 


Florida-Alabama megasite makes pitch to Toyota-Mazda

In the Florida Panhandle, just South of the Alabama-Florida line and Dothan, Ala., lies the 2,240-acre Florida-Alabama Mega Site. The site is relatively new to the large number of megasites in the South. Alabama and Florida officials have contacted leaders of the Toyota-Mazda joint venture to build electric sedans and SUVs. The site is located 30 miles from Dothan, 49 miles from Panama City, Fla., and 63 miles from Tallahassee. The city of Marianna, Fla., operates a municipal airport 12 miles from the site. 


Boat manufacturer expands in South Carolina

Sportsman Boats is adding 75,000 square feet of space at its facility in Dorchester County, S.C. The $3.5 million project will create 100 new jobs. 


Aerospace manufacturer expands in Alabama

UTC Aerospace Systems unveiled its new 80,000-square-foot nacelle assembly facility in the summer quarter. The plant, located in Foley, Ala., will house 260 more workers and ultimately up to 1,000.

August 2017

Amazon posts 50,000 job openings in U.S.

Delivering on a pledge made earlier this year, Amazon announced in July that it has created 50,000 job openings for various roles across its fulfillment network in the U.S.


Modernizing Medicine announces 800 new jobs in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Boca Raton-based medical records firm Modernizing Medicine, already one of the fastest-growing tech companies in South Florida, announced an expansion in July that will create more than 800 new jobs there. The company, which developed an electronic medical records and data system for specialty physicians, already employs 550 people.


Jobs and millions in investment roll in to Monroeville, Ala.

A Canadian packaging company recently broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility in Monroeville. Sterling Packaging is investing $6 million and is expected to create up to 55 new jobs there.


New “Delta Region” facility to employ 50 in Pine Bluff, Ark.

A new company is coming to Pine Bluff and creating 50 jobs. Western Foods of Woodland, Calif., will open a gluten-free flour mill in an existing 50,000-square-foot building in the city’s industrial park.


Oklahoma will be home to the largest wind farm in the U.S.

GE Renewable Energy and Invenergy just announced that Oklahoma will soon be home to the largest wind farm in the U.S., — the Wind Catcher project. The size edges out the current largest wind farm in the country, California’s Alta Wind Energy Center.


Team Technologies invests $6 million in Tennessee expansion

Team Technologies has announced plans for a $6 million expansion of its medical equipment manufacturing plant in Morristown, Tenn. The expansion is expected to create 160 jobs in Hamblen County. Founded in 1988, Team Technologies is a manufacturer of dental, medical, cosmetic and industrial products.


Ritrama to spend $15 million more in Spartanburg County expansion

Ritrama, an adhesives manufacturer from Italy, plans to invest an additional $15 million into its Spartanburg County facility expansion, bringing the company’s total investment in South Carolina to $100 million.


Tom Benson to build Dixie Beer Brewery in New Orleans

Saints-Pelicans owner Tom Benson is bringing Dixie Beer back to New Orleans with plans to build a local brewery after buying the 110-year-old iconic brand.  Tom and his wife Gayle Benson purchased a majority of Dixie Brewing Co. for an undisclosed price. As part of the agreement, a brewery will be built in Orleans Parish within the next two years.


SWEPCO invests billions in Louisiana wind farm

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) customers could see a drop in their energy bills as soon as 2021, as the power company announced recently that it has invested $3.2 billion in a wind farm project in Oklahoma. SWEPCO will own 70 percent of a $4.5 billion, 2,000-megawatt wind farm under construction in Oklahoma. It said it will send power to the Bossier City-Shreveport area through a 350-mile power line.


Texas bank to build $52 million HQ in McKinney; add 400 jobs

Independent Bank Group— a longtime North Texas company — plans to build a new $52 million corporate campus in McKinney, which will accommodate 400 new employees.


Dallas cybersecurity center to employ 300

Ernst & Young is investing $10 million to expand its Dallas footprint with a new cybersecurity center that will house 300 employees, with about three-fourths of them new hires.


GE could add 225 employees to Fort Worth locomotive facility

In an effort to cut costs amid a sharp downturn in the domestic rail market, Boston-based General Electric plans to end most locomotive manufacturing at a century-old Pennsylvania factory. GE will shift production to a facility in Texas and could recall 225 workers to its Fort Worth facility six months after laying off more than 200.


Tyson’s Hillshire to spend $50 million in Kentucky

A $400,000 tax incentive was recently approved to support a renovation project at The Hillshire Brands (a subsidiary of Tyson Foods) facility in Alexandria, Ky., valued at $50 million. The project will initially create 16 jobs and up to 26 jobs in the future.


Rinnai Corp. expands Georgia campus

Japan-based Rinnai Corp. (a manufacturer of gas appliances) will triple the size of its North American headquarters in Peachtree City, Ga., with a $15 million expansion.


Prysmian Group expands South Carolina complex

Prysmian Group North America, a manufacturer of electrical cables, is expanding in Abbeville County, S.C. The expansion will result in an additional $14 million of capital investment.


Davidson County, N.C., lands 770-job deal

One of the biggest economic development projects in Triad history was announced in July with an Austrian furniture and flooring industry supplier committing to a $700 million project in Davidson County. Egger Wood Products will eventually create up to 770 jobs. The first phase of the particle-board plant project is expected to take six years, will include 400 jobs and a $300 million investment.


Water bottler to grow Oklahoma City jobs

Niagara Bottling, based in California, will build and operate a $57 million manufacturing plant in OKC expected to add about 45 new jobs during the next five years.


Audubon Metals expanding in Henderson County, Ky.

Aluminum producer Audubon Metals will expand its Henderson plant with an $8.3 million investment that will create 39 full-time jobs.


Carter Lumber announces new facility in Bowling Green, Ky.

Ohio-based Carter Lumber recently announced the location of its new $10 million Kight Home Center manufacturing facility at the Kentucky Transpark, creating 50 new jobs in South Central Kentucky.


New jobs for Arlington County, Va.

A tech company that connects people to private investigators is planning to expand in Virginia. Trustify says it will spend $1 million to expand, creating 184 new jobs. The company was founded in 2015 and says it is the first “technology platform” to pair clients and private investigators around the country.


Milestone for East Tennessee community

Twelve years ago Bledsoe County lost its biggest private employer when Dura Automotive shut down its 580-employee plant there. Soon, the shuttered plant will reopen as a textile operation employing nearly twice as many people. Textile Corporation of America will spend $27 million to move its headquarters and manufacturing facility to 1,600-population Pikeville. . .the largest private investment in county history.


European auto supplier to open first U.S. facility in Alabama

An automotive company based in Spain is investing $30 million in a new wheel assembly plant in Tuscaloosa County. Truck & Wheel Group’s move will create more than 70 jobs.


Bolta opens $49 million Alabama plant

Global auto parts supplier Bolta Group has opened its new $48.7 million production facility at the Tuscaloosa County Airport Industrial Park. The factory will add 350 to its current staff of 200. Bolta manufacturers parts such as nameplates and decorative trims for the automotive industry.


Escambia County, Ala., lands 300 tech jobs

The Brewton City Council has finalized a $6.5 million deal with Provalus and its parent company Optomi that will mean about 300 jobs for the area. Optomi, a tech-staffing firm, will begin construction on its flagship U.S. facility once they hire 50 employees. The project will include $1.5 million from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s discretionary fund. “Gov. Ivey made it clear from the start that she was behind new technology coming to Alabama,” Brewton Mayor Yank Lovelace said.


Williams Sausage breaks ground on new Tennessee facility

The new Williams Sausage Company factory in Union City began construction in July. Once completed, the project will bring more than 200 new jobs to the area.


Port Cameron to bring thousands of jobs to Southwest Louisiana

A massive, 500-acre port will be built over the next four years on the Calcasieu Ship Channel, creating close to 4,000 permanent jobs – doubling the employment in Cameron Parish.


ExxonMobil to move 1,600 jobs to Houston by 2020

ExxonMobil plans to move 1,600 jobs from its Fort Worth-based XTO Energy to its campus in Springwoods Village over the next three years. About 9,000 people currently work at the North Houston campus. The relocation will allow XTO Energy to work more efficiently with ExxonMobil’s other business lines housed at the campus, according to a company spokesperson.


New jobs for Russell County, Va.

JennChem will invest $5 million in a manufacturing operation that promises to create 40 new jobs in Russell County. The company makes chemical roof support and sealing products used in mining and other industries.


Ingredion expands in North Charleston

Global ingredients solution company Ingredion is expanding its operations throughout North Charleston bringing five new jobs and $10 million in capital investment to the area. The company’s growth is a result of its exports doubling out of the Port of Charleston. Ingredion turns grains, fruits, vegetables and other plant materials into value-added ingredients and biomaterial solutions for a variety of industries


German logistics firm launches in Greer, S.C.

Rudolph Logistics Group is launching a new warehousing operation in Greer, bringing more than $18 million of capital investment to the Upstate and creating at least 150 new jobs. Its customers include Audi, BMW Group, Continental and Mercedes parent group, Daimler.


Plano, Texas adds another California HQ

Solid, an amplifier, radio and optical transport solutions company, has moved its headquarters from Northern California to Plano and will double its current headcount of 60 employees.


Hunt Industries expanding in Georgia

Hunt Industries, a provider of specialty construction and general contracting services for industrial projects, is expanding in Valdosta with $6.7 million and 49 new jobs.


Robins AFB to hire 400

Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Georgia is seeking about 400 new hires in maintenance, repair, and overhaul of aircraft, commodities, avionics, and industrial equipment as well as information technology.


DuraFiber closing facilities in North Carolina, cutting 462 jobs

Huntersville, N.C.-based textile manufacturer DuraFiber Technologies is closing its plants in Salisbury and Grover, a move that will result in the loss of over 460 jobs.

In a filing with the N.C. Commerce Department, the manufacturer said it is permanently closing its facilities in Salisbury and Grover as part of the company’s efforts to cut costs in a time when the textile industry faces an increasingly competitive environment.


Alabama pharmaceutical plant closing, 875 jobs cut

A generics and specialty branded pharmaceuticals company, Endo International, is planning on shutting down its operations in Huntsville, Ala., over the next year and a half. Approximately 875 positions at Endo may be lost as a result.


NXP to invest $22 million in Austin

Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors announced plans to spend $22 million to expand its production capabilities in the Texas capital and Chandler, Ariz. The expansion will allow NXP to produce more secure chips for U.S. government agencies, including those involved in homeland security.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Pennsylvania-based e-commerce fulfillment company Radial just announced its plan to bring on an additional 3,000 workers in Memphis, Tenn., to handle the holiday shopping hustle. The company will also hire an additional 3,750 workers for its fulfillment centers in Louisville and Shepherdsville, and 4,100 additional workers for its two fulfillment centers in Northern Kentucky


BMW facility to draw thousands to College Park, Ga.

BMW plans to open a training center in College Park next to the Georgia International Convention Center, moving the training out of its Southern region headquarters in Sandy Springs. Officials in College Park expect the training center will draw as many as 10,000 BMW workers annually for corporate training. At 53,000 square feet, the new $16.6 million center will be four times as big as the old one. It will mainly be used for interactive training of dealership employees.


Trump: Corning considering major investment in the Southeast

At a White House event in July, Trump said Corning is investing $500 million alongside Merck and Pfizer to manufacture a new, more resilient kind of glass for injectable drug vials. The move means nearly 1,000 jobs at facilities in New York and New Jersey, as well as at a yet-to-be-determined site in the Southeast, Trump said. According to Reuters, Trump said the deal could mean $4 billion in investment and about 4,000 new jobs.


Lyondellbasell to build $2.4 billion chemical plant in Houston area

LyondellBasell Industries announced in July its final investment decision to build the world’s largest propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant in the Houston area. The $2.4 billion project will be the single-largest capital investment in the company’s history. It’s expected to create up to 2,500 jobs at the peak of construction and about 160 permanent jobs once the plant is operational.


Medical manufacturer plans 100 new jobs in Tampa

Medical device manufacturer Corin USA will expand its U.S. headquarters in Tampa by adding up to 100 new jobs by 2022 and investing $500,000 in new offices.


Gateway Tire to invest $11 million in Alabama

Gateway Tire, a wholesale distributor of brands such as Toyo and Hankook, announced plans  to invest $11 million to open a 200,000-square-foot tire distribution center in Dothan.


Inland Seafood to expand in Alabama

A Georgia-based seafood company has plans to invest $4 million to relocate operations and develop new products at its facility in the Birmingham area. Inland Seafood will renovate an existing storage and distribution center and transform it into a state-of-the-art production plant, where it will make its value-added seafood and meat products. The expansion is expected to create at least new 100 jobs over time.


Cotton distributor expansion to create 72 jobs in Texas

A Mission, Texas-based logistics group, Ci Logistics, considered to be among the largest distributors of U.S. cotton in Mexico is planning an expansion that may create as many as 72 new jobs in Weslaco, Texas.


UPS subsidiary to create 325 jobs in Atlanta

A UPS-subsidiary, Chicago-based Coyote Logistics, will invest $6 million into a new sales and customer service hub in Atlanta. The project will create 325 jobs.


U.S. and China sign rice agreement

A historic trade agreement with China will allow exports of milled rice from the United States. “This is a, I don’t want to say a saving grace, but it’s definitely a huge accomplishment for the rice industry as a whole,” said Glenden Marceaux, a rice farmer and president of the Louisiana Independent Rice Producers Association. China consumes the equivalent of the entire U.S. rice crop every 13 days.


Gulf Coast park opens in Alabama

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians' Park at OWA amusement park officially opened in July. The park, which first two phases cost $241 million, is located in Foley, Ala., about nine miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The facility is the first major amusement park to open in the Gulf region since Hurricane Katrina swamped the now-abandoned Six Flags New Orleans in 2005.


Shapiro Metals opens second Alabama plant

Shapiro Metals recently launched its 11th North American plant with the opening of a new 20,000-square-foot facility in Decatur, Ala. The plant recycles metals from aerospace, trailer manufacturing, automotive and medical device customers.


Jasper Products expansion to create 75 jobs

Joplin, Mo., manufacturer Jasper Products has announced a $25 million expansion that will add 75 jobs at its plant. Jasper Products makes and stores various nutritional beverages.


Knapp expands North American presence in Georgia

Knapp has purchased a new building adjacent to its current location in Kennesaw, Ga. The planned expansion will more than double the current North American workforce to approximately 300 for the company that designs, manufactures and installs integrated material handling distribution systems.


Nomadic Display expands to Fairfax County, Va.

Nomadic Display, a producer of trade show displays, will invest $940,000 to expand its production center and relocate its headquarters to Fairfax County. The company plans to create 30 new jobs.


Manufacturer bringing 150 jobs to Bastrop, Texas

Granite & Stone LLC, a fabricator of granite and stone materials, plans to build a $9 million facility that will eventually house 150 new employees.


Fertilizer company opening in Alabama

Pursell Agri-Tech is set to open a fertilizer coatings plant which will result in the creation of 22 jobs in Sylacauga, Ala., and a capital investment of $8 million.


Georgia’s Premium Peanut to expand with oil facility 

Premium Peanut, a peanut co-operative based in Douglas, Ga., has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art peanut oil facility and significantly expand its current shelling operations. This expansion has been made possible through $90 million in financing arranged by SunTrust Bank. The company will also add 80 employees to its growing roster of nearly 135.


Manufacturers adding jobs in Hillsboro, Texas

The Hillsboro community, about 30 miles north of Waco, is enjoying a manufacturing surge, softening the blow of watching the once popular Outlets at Hillsboro lose dozens of stores over the years as shopping trends change. A $100 million IKO Southwest facility for making shingles will create 65 jobs initially, with payroll increasing to more than 100 if work expands to seven days a week, which the company says is likely to happen.


Kloeckner Metals expands in Greenville, S.C.

Kloeckner Metals, one of the largest producer/independent distributors of steel and metal products, is expanding its existing Greenville County operations. The company, which is headquartered in Roswell, Ga., is planning to invest $11.3 million and create 19 jobs.


Software development company expands HQ in South Florida

Software development startup Zudy has expanded to new headquarters in Miami Beach, and plans to add at least 150 new employees before yearend.


Walmart fulfillment center expected to bring 1,000 jobs to Florida’s Bay Area

The world’s largest retailer has opened a new $300 million large-scale e-commerce fulfillment center campus in Davenport , Fla., that is expected to bring over 1,000 new jobs to the Bay Area over the next year. The 50-acre campus in Polk County features two buildings spanning more than 2.2 million square feet. It currently employs more than 550 recently hired associates with plans to hire at least 1,000 more over the next year.


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announces new manufacturing jobs

Advanced Digital Cable, a manufacturer of electronic and communication wire and cable, is expected to create 65 jobs and invest $15 million in a Union County facility expansion. The new jobs will include positions in manufacturing and operations.


Kaiser Permanente plans $200 million medical hub in Northern Virginia

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is seeking approval to build a $200 million medical facility in Woodbridge on a 15-acre parcel the company already owns as a “hub” for its ongoing growth in Greater Washington.


Hiring in Jacksonville, Fla.

Jacksonville Jaguars held a job fair last month to fill more than 1,000 part-time positions to work at home games and other events. Ikea began recruitment for the 250 positions it will fill by the time its new store opens this fall. Florida Blue announced it would hire 600 temporary contractors in Jacksonville for the health insurance open enrollment period this fall and winter. Cowford Chophouse is holding job fairs to fill 50 positions at the downtown restaurant currently under construction. Goodwill Industries of North Florida is holding a job fair for 30 positions it wants to fill immediately. That’s a total of 3,430 jobs.


Merck locates its hub in Austin, Texas

Global biopharmaceutical company Merck will invest more than $20 million to locate its newest IT Hub in Austin. The company plans to create at least 600 jobs there.


Calsonic Kansei undertakes major expansion at Mississippi plant

Japan-based automotive supplier Calsonic Kansei will invest $16.33 million to expand its manufacturing plant in Madison, Miss. The company plans to create 98 new jobs, bringing its total employment in the area to about 600. Calsonic Kansei is a supplier to Nissan’s Canton automotive assembly plant.


Virginia farmers open new meat manufacturing facility

A new line of meat snacks will be made in a new facility to open in southwest Virginia.

Landcrafted Food, a natural, grass-fed beef company in Grayson County, Va., has completed construction of a $2.1 million meat processing facility that will create 11 new jobs over the next few years.


Three-hundred new jobs coming to Williamsburg County, S.C.

At least three new businesses are planning to move into Williamsburg County:

Starcyl Cylinders, which develops pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders and presses, will open a location in Hemingway snd will create 25 new jobs that will include welding, metal working, assembly and fabrication. United Phosphorus Incorporated will be making pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, at its first United States manufacturing operation in Williamsburg County with 100 new hires. Louis Hornick SC, a new textile company, will be creating blinds and curtains for institutional use in Kingstree. Over 100 jobs are expected to be created there.


Waitr to bring meals and 150 jobs to Monroe, La.

The restaurant on-demand platform Waitr recently debuted in the city of Monroe. To meet anticipated demand, Waitr expects to hire 150 people in Monroe between now and year’s end.


KC manufacturer plans to add 200 jobs

Over $400 million in new contracts have prompted Lake City Army Ammunition Plant to hire about 200 people.


Bongards’ Creameries expands Tennessee production center

Bongards’ Creameries will invest $35 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Humboldt, Tenn. The company expects to create approximately 95 jobs to produce a range of cheese products.


Wright-Mix Material Solutions to build Kentucky plant

Wright-Mix Material Solutions will invest $8.5 million in a production facility in Greenup County, Ky. The company plans to create 130 full-time jobs to produce a variety of cement-based products.


Patheon will expand South Carolina site as part of $45 million global investment

Patheon, a pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company, announced a 15,000-square-foot expansion planned for its Florence location, where it will replace the Roche Carolina operation. The expansion comes as part of a $45 million investment across its global network.


A $13.7 million expansion planned in Murray, Ky.

A manufacturing facility in Murray, Ky., is getting a $13.7 million expansion. Vanderbilt Chemicals makes smectite and bentonite clay used in pharmaceutical and agri-science items and other products.


Ajinomoto announces $30 million expansion in Triangle

The $30 million expansion of Japanese company Ajinomoto comes 35 years after the food and chemical corporation first put down roots in North Carolina. The average salary for the new jobs will be around $70,000 and company leaders want to hire locally.


Lockheed Martin expects to hire 2,000 in Fort Worth

Lockheed Martin says it has 2,000 jobs to fill as it ramps up production of the F-35 fighter jet production at the Fort Worth plant.


Ambiopharm expanding in Aiken County, S.C.

AmbioPharm, a peptide and biopharmaceutical manufacturing company, is expanding its existing Aiken County operations. The expansion is projected to bring $18 million of new capital investment and lead to the creation of 100 jobs.


Thomas & Betts to create 90 jobs in Memphis move

Thomas & Betts, a designer and manufacturer of connectors and components for electrical and communication markets, will move, but stay in Memphis. The company will invest $20.7 million and create 90 new Shelby County jobs as part of the move.


Change of plans for North Carolina’s Alcami

Although Alcami announced in 2015 that it would be locating its global headquarters to Wilmington, N.C., there has been a change in ownership and a change of plans for the pharmaceutical development company. Alcami will retain its offices and 450 employees in Wilmington, but has decided to locate its HQ within the RTP in Durham.


Saint Thomas Health plans expansion in Rutherford County, Tenn.

Saint Thomas Health officials have filed two certificates of need with state health officials for projects expected to meet Rutherford County’s growing population. Plans call for additions totaling more than $71 million.


Netherlands-based manufacturer bringing 71 jobs to Spartanburg County

Netherlands-based AWL-Techniek, a producer of high-tech welding machines primarily for the automotive market, will invest $2.53 million to establish its first plant in the U.S. The project also means 71 new hires.


Formosa expansion underway in Texas

Formosa Plastics Corp. Texas is investing $5 billion into a plant expansion that will extend into Jackson County and provide about 340 jobs. Construction began about two and a half years ago and is scheduled to finish in late 2018.


Topgolf Nashville hiring 500

Topgolf Nashville is now accepting applications for 500 new jobs at the location slated to open this fall.


Wood products manufacturer creating 145 jobs in South Carolina

Roseburg Forest Products, a wood products manufacturer based in Oregon, announced it will bring a much-needed 145 new jobs and invest $200 million in rural Chester County, S.C. The facility will primarily make wooden structural beams used in residential and commercial construction.


Frick’s expanding Missouri meat facility, adding 40 jobs

Sausage maker Frick’s Quality Meats is expanding its manufacturing facility in Washington, Mo., and adding 40 jobs. The company plans to spend $8 million.


Auto supplier adding 98 jobs in Tennessee

Automotive supplier Cooper Standard will create approximately 98 new jobs at its facility in Surgoinsville. Alongside the new jobs, the company, which is headquartered in Michigan, is investing $1 million in new plant equipment.


Prescient moving HQ from Denver to North Carolina

High-tech construction firm Prescient Company recently announced it will move its corporate headquarters to North Carolina after calling the Denver area home for the past five years. The news came at the July 12th grand opening of its new Mebane (N.C.) manufacturing facility. Within the next year, Prescient expects to add 25 to 35 new employees to the Durham space, which has capacity for 65.


Noranda Bauxite & Alumina investing $35 million in Louisiana

Noranda Bauxite & Alumina will invest $35 million to expand and upgrade its alumina refinery in St. James Parish. The company also plans to establish its headquarters at the Gramercy complex. The project will create 65 new jobs.


Electro-Spec launching new operations in Lexington County, S.C.

Electro-Spec, a specialty plating manufacturer for the aerospace and auto industries among others, is locating new production operations in Lexington County. The development is projected to bring $3.1 million of capital investment and create 53 new jobs.


Honeywell to add 30 jobs at South Carolina location

Honeywell plans to add about 30 jobs to its aerospace facility in Greer, S.C.  The company will spend more than $10 million on its airfoil machining and special processes operation in Greer.


Steel galvanizing plant coming to South Carolina

A company that coats steel to prevent corrosion plans to open a plant in Blacksburg, S.C., that will create 72 jobs. Steel Creek Galvanizing Co. will invest $14 million.


MicroHealth to create 65 jobs in Fairfax County, Va.

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that MicroHealth, a provider of health information technology, will invest $395,000 to expand its operation in Fairfax County, creating 65 new jobs.


Honda supplier expanding and hiring in Alabama

A Canada-based automotive metal-forming company is planning another facility for its plant in Sylacauga, Ala. Fleetwood Metal Industries is building a 60,000-square-foot facility close to its current plant in Sylacauga’s industrial district, and plans to hire 70 more employees by year’s end.


Boeing ramping up in Alabama

Aerospace manufacturer Boeing, which already has about 2,700 Alabama employees, expects to add 400 more by 2020, along with an additional capital investment of $70 million.


Ikea begins hiring 250 jobs in Jax

The furnishings company said 250 positions are available at its new facility in Jacksonville, Fla., in sales and warehouse.


Halliburton hiring 100 per month to meet Texas fracking demand

The Houston oil field service company has hired about 100 new workers each month this year to keep up with surging demand for fracturing in West Texas, a sharp turnaround after the job-killing oil bust. Its workforce in the region has grown by more than a third to 2,700 employees.


Tech services firm moving HQ to Charlotte, N.C.

Sitehands, which provides IT field services to large companies, will take 13,524 square feet in the recently-delivered office building along the booming Stonewall corridor. They also plan to add at least 200 new jobs.


Pharma company has prescription for growth in South Carolina

Neither hurricanes nor floods have thrown off major expansion work ongoing at the pharmaceutical operation purchased in 2012 by an Australian company. A Mayne Pharma production facility north of Greenville is scheduled for completion in December. The project represents an $80 million investment and an addition of more than 100 science and technology jobs to its base of 350 workers.


Flexport to locate $100 million Southeast hub in Atlanta

San Francisco-based logistics technology provider Flexport will receive $100,000 in economic incentives from Atlanta to locate a Southeast sales and operations hub in Midtown — a $100 million expansion project that will create 250 jobs.


Boston Whaler to expand Florida Headquarters

Boston Whaler has just confirmed a major land acquisition, resulting in the expansion of its Edgewater, Fla., headquarters by approximately 60 acres on the facility’s northern border.


Georgia program launches $150-hour jobs

Students at Putnam County High School can become commercially licensed drone pilots through a new career pathway there. The drone, or unmanned aircraft, industry is expected to have an economic impact of about $82 billion across the United States by 2025, according to a report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts that the number of commercially licensed drone pilots will increase from 20,000 in 2016 to as many 400,000 by 2021.


Toyota opens the doors of its billion-dollar campus

About 2,000 team members are arriving at Toyota North America’s new 100-acre, 2.1 million-square-foot campus it expects to operate for the next 60 years.


Starbucks to expand Georgia coffee plant, create 100 jobs

Starbucks will expand its coffee roasting facility in Augusta, Ga., creating 100 new jobs and investing $120 million. The new operation is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.


Giti Tire building $560 million campus

Singapore-based Giti Tire, the 10th largest tire company in the world, is on track to open its first North American manufacturing and distribution facility on a 1,100-acre site, 170 miles northeast of Charleston, in Richburg, S.C. The company expects to invest $560 million and create 1,700 new jobs over the next decade in Chester County.


North Alabama aviation firm upgrading Austrian helicopters

Huntsville-based Ace Aeronautics, which does business as Global Aviation Solutions, has about 50 employees and plans to add 25 to 50 positions at its Alabama location over the next two years. Most of the jobs will be at a hangar the company is building at the airport in Guntersville, Ala., to upgrade Black Hawk helicopters.


Infosys plans 2,000 new tech jobs in North Carolina

India-based information technology outsourcing company Infosys plans to hire 2,000 workers within four years in Wake County, N.C., — the second of four planned expansion sites in the U.S. intended to create 10,000 jobs. President Trump has blasted an American visa program that tech companies have heavily relied upon to temporarily bring in workers from other countries at lower wages. Infosys emphasized that the jobs created as part of its U.S. expansion would go to American workers.


Furniture maker adding jobs in North Carolina

Sutter Street Manufacturing, a Williams-Sonoma operation, plans to create 72 new jobs with an expansion in Catawba County. The upholstered furniture manufacturing company plans to invest $1.9 million over three years to upgrade its facilities in Claremont.


British medical device maker plans HQ expansion, 100 new jobs in Tampa

Corin, a manufacturer of orthopedic devices, will invest $500,000 to expand and relocate its U.S. headquarters to a new complex in Tampa, Fla. The expansion will create 100 high-wage jobs by 2022.


Insulation company to build $150 million plant in Ranson, W.Va.

Roxul, which makes stone wool insulation, has announced plans to build a $150 million plant in Ranson, creating 150 new jobs there.


Spectrum opens Texas call center, 600 jobs expected

Charter’s Spectrum showed off its new, modern call center in McAllen recently, where the telecommunications company has already hired 250 of the 600 positions it will fill by the beginning of 2018. The 95,000-square-foot center is the location of a former Kmart. Representatives at the center are bilingual, servicing calls in Spanish, which has previously been outsourced to call centers outside the United States.


Automotive supplier to build in Charleston County, S.C.

Knapheide Manufacturing Co. announced recently it is opening a new manufacturing facility in Charleston County, expected to bring an investment of $1.3 million and create 63 jobs. The new plant will install van interiors and bodies for Mercedes-Benz


New cash crop for Lake City, S.C.?

An industrial hemp extraction plant is coming to Lake City in Florence County. Twenty-five new jobs will be created once the renovated facility is open, with the possibility of more hires after the plant is in operation. State agricultural officials will offer 20 permits to farmers across the state, allowing them to grow hemp, which can be used to treat seizures and other medical conditions. Hopes are high that hemp plants will be just as profitable as tobacco once was in the Pee Dee region.


Arms manufacturer to locate plant in Tennessee

Campbell Arms Manufacturing will invest $1.1 million to establish a facility west of Nashville in McKenzie, Tenn. The company, which plans to hire 50, will upgrade an existing 20,000-square-foot facility to manufacture firearm components predominantly for military agencies and police departments.


International Beams plans $20 million manufacturing center in Dothan, Ala.

International Beams, a producer of engineered wood products, will invest nearly $20 million to open a manufacturing facility near Dothan. The facility will create 60 full-time jobs to produce timber panels and beams using Southern Pine lumber.


BMW commits to new jobs in U.S.

BMW AG is the latest auto maker to commit to new jobs at a U.S. factory following criticism from President Donald Trump, saying it will create 1,000 American jobs through 2021 as it works to boost its production of sport-utility vehicles in South Carolina. The jobs are part of a $600 million investment planned for the German auto maker’s Spartanburg factory.

July 2017

FDI drives the South's economy

A report by Reuters in the summer quarter showed that out of 656,000 new manufacturing jobs created between 2010 and 2014 in the United States, two-thirds were created by foreign-owned companies. Using federal jobs data and estimates from SB&D, the South captured roughly half of those manufacturing jobs created from 2010 to 2014 and nearly 63 percent of the jobs created by foreign-owned firms. In calendar years 2015 and 2016, over $700 billion in foreign capital was invested in the U.S., with an estimated $360 billion spent in the 15-state Southern region. Of that $360 billion, nearly $30 billion was spent on acquisitions and greenfield deals by the Chinese.  


Louisville ranked No. 1 by Forbes in manufacturing resurgence

In the summer quarter, Forbes ranked Louisville the No. 1 city in the nation where manufacturing is thriving. Much of Louisville's manufacturing base is in the automotive sector with two Ford plants in the city and a Toyota plant nearby. The Louisville region's manufacturing jobs have increased by 30 percent since 2011. 


Nashville named top U.S. city for high-wage job growth

In the summer quarter, Forbes ranked Nashville as the top city in the nation for high-wage job growth since 2011. Since 2011, Nashville has created 160,300 high-wage jobs, according to Forbes, or a growth rate of 42.6 percent. Second place Kansas City saw a 28.4 percent increase in high-wage growth in fields such as research and development, law, accounting, architecture, engineering and computer system design. 


One Gulf Coast port is responsible for 30 percent of the nation's oil exports, and it's not Houston

Shipping oil overseas is a relatively new thing in the U.S. From the 1970s to December of 2015, it wasn't allowed. But with the U.S. pumping more oil than domestic refiners can handle, Congress lifted the oil export ban and one Gulf Coast port has a jump on the competition. The Port of Corpus Christi was the No. 1 port for U.S. crude exports last year, besting the congested Port of Houston. In fact, in the first quarter of this year, ships carrying 22 million barrels of oil left Corpus Christi docks bound for foreign countries, a total that was 30 percent of the country's total exports. 


Blue Origin to build rocket engine plant in Huntsville, Ala. 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin will build its next-generation BE-4 rocket engines at a new, 400,000-square-foot facility in Huntsville, Ala. The $200 million capital investment will create 340 manufacturing jobs in Huntsville, dubbed the "Rocket City." 


BMW will expand its South Carolina plant once again

BMW announced another expansion of its massive manufacturing plant in Spartanburg County, S.C. The company already employs about 9,000 workers at the plant. This latest expansion calls for a $600 million investment and 1,000 more jobs. 


"Project Jerky" is a South African food processor

Stormberg Foods, a maker of meat protein snacks, is investing $2.5 million in its first U.S. plant in Goldsboro, N.C. The project will create 60 jobs. 


Grocer to establish regional HQ, distribution center in Georgia

German grocer Lidl announced in the spring it will place a $100 million regional headquarters and distribution center in Cartersville, Ga. The deal will create 250 jobs. 


Supplier of housewares investing in Sumter, S.C.

Sumter East Home, a supplier of housewares and other retail items, is investing $37 million to move into an existing facility in Sumter, S.C. The manufacturing facility will house 88 workers. 


Georgia-Pacific investing $400 million in Florida mill

Georgia-Pacific is investing $400 million in its tissue and towel mill in Palatka, Fla. A new paper machine will be installed and 80 jobs will be created.  


Brazilian company to launch $675 million project in Texas

Brazil-based Braskem will move forward on a $675 million petrochemical plant in La Porte, Texas. The factory will be built next to the company's existing facilities and will be the largest polypropylene line in the Americas. 


Samsung investing $300 million in South Carolina

Korean electronics giant Samsung has agreed with South Carolina officials to invest $300 million in the former Caterpillar plant in Newberry, S.C. The project, which will produce appliances, is expected to create about 1,000 jobs. 


The largest private employer in China wants to plant flag in U.S.

Foxconn, the largest private employer in China and the main source of iPhone assembly worldwide, is intent on building a footprint here in the U.S. Reports state that Terry Gou, the founder of Taiwan-based Foxconn, has set aside $10 billion or more to invest in a plant that could house as many as 50,000 workers. The company's largest plant in China employs nearly 400,000 workers in Zhengzhou, where most iPhones are made. 


Charles Schwab soon to break ground on 5,000-employee campus

Financial services giant Charles Schwab & Co. will get started on its new Dallas-Fort Worth regional campus this summer. The four-building, 555,000-square-foot facility is being built in Westlake, Texas. The campus will be able to house up to 5,000 employees. 


Mobile software firm to add 200 jobs in metro Atlanta

Mobile software firm Movius Interactive raised $15 million in the spring quarter that will enable it to add 200 workers in Johns Creek, Ga. The company designs software that allows users to switch between work and private communications on their smartphones. 


Mohawk to add second Middle Tennessee plant

Mohawk Industries is adding a second ceramic tile plant near its first newly-built facility in Dickson, Tenn. The deal will create 200 more jobs. 


Mohawk adding 150 jobs in Northeast Alabama

Georgia-based Mohawk Industries is making upgrades and adding jobs at its plant in Bridgeport, Ala. The company will add 150 jobs at its nylon fiber plant there. 


Auto supplier adding jobs in Cullman, Ala. 

Topre America, a manufacturer of metal components for automakers, is investing $36 million in its plant in Cullman, Ala. The project will create 65 jobs. 


Digital firm hiring 200 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Genpact, a company that delivers digital transformations to clients, has signed a lease for 37,000 square feet of space in Jacksonville. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Huntsville named fastest growing tech city

According to ZipRecruiter and Payscale, Huntsville, Ala., ranks at the top nationally for year-over-year job growth in the technology industry. The two companies looked at over 8 million active tech jobs in the U.S. to come up with the ranking. Huntsville had a growth rate of 309 percent. Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Phoenix ranked second and third. Orlando, Nashville and Jacksonville, Fla., also ranked high in the study. 


Boston Consulting Group picks Atlanta for center

The Boston Consulting Group announced in the spring it will locate a new regional support center in Atlanta. The $9.2 million project will create 200 jobs in creative services, finance, legal and information technology. 


Centene division relocates HQ to Rocky Mount Mills

Envolve Vision, the vision benefits unit of Centene Corp., will relocate its headquarters from North Carolina’s Rocky Mount business park to Rocky Mount Mills, a mixed-use project on the Tar River. The deal will bring 120 employees to the former mill. 


Ford investing $900 million in Kentucky Truck Plant

In 2015, Ford Motor invested $1.3 billion and added 2,000 jobs at its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville to build the Ford Super Duty truck. Now the company is investing another $900 million in the same plant to increase capacity in assembling Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators, many of which will be exported. The project will retain 1,000 hourly jobs. Ford operates another assembly plant in Louisville that builds small SUVs, mainly the Ford Escape. 


Continental to expand Seguin, Texas plant

Automotive tech supplier Continental AG is investing $113 million in its Seguin, Texas plant, which produces engine control units, sensors and blind spot detection safety systems. The expansion will create 100 new jobs. 


Tyson spending millions to expand Georgia distribution center

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods is investing $59 million in its distribution center in Bibb County, Ga. The company will almost double the size of the facility and add 102 jobs. 


Teletech to open call center in Arkansas

Teletech Holdings announced in the spring it will open a new customer service center in Morrilton, Ark. The deal will create 350 new jobs. 


Distribution center slated for North Mississippi

Cosmetics chain Sephora America will open a distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss. The 720,000-square-foot center will house 400 workers. 


PathGroup to expand Nashville area operations center

PathGroup, a pathology and lab test provider, is expanding its center in Davidson County, Tenn. The company, which will invest $18 million and add 200 jobs, operates three labs in the Nashville area. 


Louisiana stops jobs decline

In May, Louisiana reversed a long-standing job decline as a result of the downturn in the oil and gas industry. Louisiana added 6,300 jobs over a 12-month period that saw big gains in the construction sector. The state's unemployment rate dipped to 5.5 percent. 


Italian manufacturer to build West Virginia plant

TeMa North America plans to build a manufacturing plant in Kearneysville, W.Va. The new 42,000-square-foot facility will produce insulation and drainage systems for the residential, industrial and commercial real estate sectors. The new facility will house 30 workers. 


Ohio manufacturer sets up shop in Tennessee

Ohio-based Pennant Moldings, a manufacturer serving the automotive and appliance industries, will invest $8.6 million to build a facility in Lebanon, Tenn. The project will create 60 jobs. 


GM unveils new North Texas supplier park

General Motors will establish a new parts supplier park and create 850 jobs -- 600 that will be reshored from Mexico -- to support its full SUV assembly plant in Arlington, Texas. The park will feature 1.2 million square feet of space. The automaker has almost completed a $1.3 billion expansion of its assembly plant in North Texas that houses about 5,000 workers. The plant is the exclusive producer of the Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade GM models. 


Florida job generation surging

In May, the state of Florida created nearly 30,000 jobs, outpacing every other U.S. state. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, the lowest mark since August 2007. 


Exxon Mobil relocating entire U.S. shale unit from Fort Worth to Houston

XTO Energy, the U.S. shale drilling unit of Exxon Mobil, announced in June it will relocate 1,600 workers to the Houston area from its Fort Worth headquarters. The company is relocating to Exxon Mobil's 385-acre campus near The Woodlands, Texas, and north of Houston. XTO will keep 350 people at its Fort Worth facility that will run the company's Barnett Shale operations. 


German company to build plant in Auburn, Ala. 

Winkelmann Group, a German company that manufactures metal parts for the aerospace, automotive and defense industries, will invest $12 million in a new plant in Auburn. The project will create 50 new jobs. 


Mattress manufacturer to bring tech jobs to New Orleans area

Select Comfort, makers of the Sleep Number mattress, will open a technical support center in Jefferson Parish, La. The new project will create 225 jobs.  


Five Southern markets make "Best Cities for College Grads" list

SmartAsset.com came out with its best cities for recent college graduates in the spring, and a pair of Ohio towns were ranked first and second. Following Cincinnati and Columbus in the South were Nashville; San Antonio; Lexington, Ky.; Austin and St. Louis. 


Ports in the South breaking records in part to expanded Panama Canal

With an expanded Panama Canal, large Asian cargo ships can reach ports in the South much easier and faster, resulting in increased trade in the last year. Ports in Georgia and Virginia each moved the most cargo ever in May, and the port in Charleston, S.C., had its best month ever in overall volume in July. As for ports in North Carolina, they have doubled container service the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year. 


Renewable energy passes nuclear power

Renewable energy sources from the combined total of wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal now provide more electricity than nuclear power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the second quarter of 2017, renewable sources provided 21.6 percent of U.S. net electrical generation, while nuclear provided 20.34 percent. Natural gas continues to lead power generation followed by coal, which is dropping considerably. 


Label printer doubles workforce in Collierville, Tenn. 

CCL-Korsini recently completed the expansion of its label printing facility in Collierville, Tenn. The $25 million project will add 150 jobs. 


CenturyLink adding jobs in Missouri

Louisiana-based CenturyLink will hire 100 new employees at its Jefferson City, Mo., call center. The company operates call centers in four other Missouri markets. 


Manufacturer expands in Monroe, N.C.

American Wick, a maker of drainage systems for buildings and highways, is expanding its facilities in Monroe, N.C. The company is investing $8.7 million to replace and add equipment at its 100,000-square-foot facility. 


Dynetics to invest in Alabama aerospace testing center

Huntsville-based Dynetics is moving forward on a $14 million aerospace testing center near Decatur, Ala. The company recently won a $221 million contract to design, manufacture and test the universal state adapter that will couple the Orion space capsule to its upper stage. Dynetics will invest $14.2 million in the project that will create 10 jobs. 


James Hardie reopening South Carolina plant

James Hardie Building Products is resuming operations at its idled plant in Dorchester County, S.C. The maker of fiber cement building products will invest $15 million in the plant and hire 100 in the deal. 


Chinese auto supplier to open Tennessee plant

Minth Group, a Chinese manufacturer of body, trim and decorative parts for the automotive industry, will renovate an existing building in Lewisburg, Tenn., for a new parts plant. The $13 million project will generate 200 jobs. 


Auto parts supplier to locate in Georgia

Carcoustics, a German auto parts supplier, will invest $6 million in a new facility in Buford, Ga. The company, which will make solution-oriented acoustic components, will create 200 jobs. 


Gap to add 500 jobs near Nashville

Retailer Gap is investing $42 million in its Tennessee distribution center in Sumner County, Tenn. The San Francisco company will hire 500 in the deal. 


Food processor adding 700 jobs in South Carolina

"Project Horseshoe" has been revealed. It is a $79 million expansion of the Ruiz Foods facility in Florence County, S.C. The deal will create 700 new jobs. 


Amazon Web Services to create 1,500 more jobs in Fairfax County, Va. 

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in June that Amazon Web Services, an Amazon.com company, will expand its presence in Fairfax County, Va., with a new East Coast corporate campus at One Dulles Tower in the Herndon area of the county. The expansion is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs. Virginia competed against Texas and Washington State for the deal. AWS is one of the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platforms. 


Another bourbon distillery expansion in Kentucky

Bourbon's huge comeback over the last six or seven years is continuing in Kentucky unabated. Wilderness Trail Distillery will invest $9.91 million in its facility in Boyle County, Ky. The project will expand production by six, from 6,000 barrels a year to 36,000 barrels. 


Japanese auto parts supplier to build new Tennessee plant

Japan-based Miyake Forging will build a new $13.7 million bearings plant in Surgoinsville, Tenn. The plant, in Hawkins County in Northeast Tennessee, will house 60 workers. 


Stanley Black & Decker adding jobs in Jackson, Tenn. 

Stanley Black & Decker, a maker of tools and hardware, is relocating and reshoring new lines of production at its facility in Madison County, Tenn. The company will invest $29 million and add 255 jobs. 


Turkish textile company investing in Winston-Salem

A Turkish textile company wants to purchase the assets of defunct Microfibres Inc. and start a new company called HPFabrics in Winston-Salem, N.C. The company expects to invest over $1 million and add 260 jobs. 


Structures manufacturer adding jobs in North Louisiana

Sabre Industries, a manufacturer of structures for the utilities and telecommunications sector, is expanding its facility in Bossier City, La. The company will invest $1.6 million and add 50 jobs to its current workforce of 167. 


Another big Amazon facility in Florida

In the spring quarter, Amazon.com signed a lease for its largest facility in South Florida. The company is leasing an 885,000-square-foot fulfillment center that will cost $92 million. Terms of the lease require that Amazon hire at least 1,000 workers at the facility. 


Healthcare giant expanding in Louisiana

Ochsner Health System is investing $100 million in its Baton Rouge facilities. The project will create 450 jobs. 


Mercedes-Benz van plant begins hiring process

Mercedes-Benz Vans is completing its plant in North Charleston, S.C., and has begun the hiring process. The company expects to hire 1,000 workers within three years at the plant. 


Top states for small business growth; all but one are in the South

According to a study done by payroll provider Paychex, Tennessee is the nation's No. 1 state for small business job growth. Tennessee added 3.7 percent more small business jobs over the past year. The top five consisted of Florida, Georgia, Washington and Virginia. 


Williamson County, Tenn. remains the fastest growing job creator in the U.S.

The Nashville MSA county of Williamson is the fastest growing county in job creation in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau released a report in June that showed job growth in Williamson County at 5.1 percent from December 2015 to December 2016. The second largest job growth in the U.S. during that time was York County, S.C., with 4.6 percent growth. 


Manufacturer breaks ground in West Virginia

Italy-based Pietro Fiorentini, a manufacturer of pressure regulators and valves for the natural gas industry, broke ground in June on a new plant in Weirton, W.Va. The deal will create 45 jobs. 


South Carolina captures another mammoth tire plant 

Chinese tire maker Wanli Tire is planning to invest up to $1 billion in a new plant in Orangeburg, S.C. The state is expected to provide $40 million to assist in developing the site in Orangeburg County. The project is expected to create up to 1,200 jobs. South Carolina produces more tires than any other state in the U.S. and is home to foreign-owned tire makers based in France, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Sweden and China. 


Demand for Ford Escape best in history

The automotive industry is preparing for a drop in overall sales this year, but depending on the model, some automakers are still at three shifts, 24/7. Demand for small SUVs like the Ford Escape has never been higher. Ford makes the Escape at is plant in Louisville. Ford will shorten its traditional two-week summer shutdown to one week in order to assemble 8,500 additional Escape models this year. 


U.S. doubling oil exports

It wasn't too long ago that the U.S. was barred from exporting oil. Now it has become the world's swing producer. So far in 2017, the U.S. has doubled oil exports to as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day. 


Amazon opening sorting center in Mobile, Ala. 

Amazon will invest $30 million in a new 362,000-square-foot sorting center in Mobile. The center is expected to house about 400 part-time workers and depending on the season, employment could rise to 1,000. 


German company breaks ground on North Carolina plant

Germany-based Norafin broke ground on its first North American plant in Mills River, N.C. The company makes spun-lace, non-woven materials used in heat and flame resistant barriers such as firefighters' suits. The deal will create up to 100 jobs. 


Chinese e-waste recycler hiring 45 at new North Carolina plant

USB Recycling, a recycler of old computers, mobile telephones and televisions, is opening a plant in Anson County, N.C., at a former shirt factory. The company recycles e-waste into usable parts. The deal will create 45 jobs. 


Company adding 434 jobs in Newport News, Va. 

Ferguson, a plumbing wholesaler, has announced a major expansion at its Newport News headquarters. The company is investing $82.8 million to add a new campus at City Center at Oyster Point. The project will create 434 jobs. 


Wacker expanding in Bradley County, Tenn. 

One year after opening its $2.5 billion polysilicon plant, Wacker is building a $150 million facility adjacent to its plant that will turn a byproduct of polysilicon production into pyrogenic silica. The German company will invest $150 million in the new plant. 


Chinese mattress manufacturer opens Tennessee plant

Sinomax, a China-based bedding and foam manufacturer, opened its first facility outside of China in the Nashville metro city of La Vergne in June. The 500,000-square-foot, $28 million facility will house 350 jobs.


Montgomery creates more jobs than any county in Alabama

Who won the job creation crown in Alabama in calendar year 2016? It was the capital county of Montgomery. The county created 1,704 jobs in 2016, followed by Madison County with 1,548 jobs. Montgomery's year, which earned it an honorable mention in this issue’s SB&D 100, was highlighted by a German auto parts maker's $37 million new plant. 


Canadian auto parts manufacturer setting up shop in rural Tennessee

Canada-based Tennessee Tool and Fixture, a maker of automotive mold and castings, is setting up shop in Manchester, Tenn. The $6.5 million plant will house 60 workers.


Mississippi’s jobless rate lowest since 1976

In May, Mississippi’s unemployment rate fell to a record low of 4.9 percent. The rate is the lowest since current unemployment surveys began in 1976. A year ago, Mississippi’s unemployment rate was at 6 percent. 


Amazon developing new distribution center northeast of Atlanta

Amazon.com will build a new distribution center in Jackson County, Ga., the company announced in June. The facility will be Amazon's second in Jackson County. The deal will create 1,000 jobs. 


Auto supplier opening plant in North Carolina

Borealis Compounds, a maker of plastic materials for use in fenders, dashboards and grills, will open a new plant in Alexander County, N.C. The company, which supplies GM, Ford, BMW, VW, Volvo and other automakers, is investing $15 million and will hire 37 in the deal. 


Amazon to employ more at Houston facility

Amazon.com announced in June it will increase the number of jobs it expects to create at its first Houston fulfillment center. The Seattle-based company now plans to hire 2,500 at the facility, up from 1,000. 


Swiss aerospace firm opening factory in North Alabama

RUAG Space will open a new Decatur, Ala., factory to support the United Launch Alliance. RUAG makes the enclosures and fairings used to cover satellites that are launched into space. The company will invest $40 million and hire 100. 


Northrop Grumman expands unmanned systems plant in Mississippi

Northrop Grumman is expanding production and adding new work to its Unmanned Systems facility in Moss Point, Miss. The expansion will also include sub-assembly work for the F-35 program. The $3.7 million investment will create 60 jobs in Jackson County. 


Big data center slated for Georgia

Las Vegas-based Switch, a global technology solutions provider, will invest $2.5 billion in a Switch PRIME data center in Douglas County, Ga. The new Atlanta area center will be the highest rated data center in the Southeast. The project will create 65 jobs. 


Technology company adding 415 jobs in Kansas City

DST, a global technology, advisory and operations outsourcing firm, is expanding in Kansas City, Mo. The company is adding 415 new jobs. 


Volkswagen adding 200 jobs at Chattanooga plant

VW is adding 200 more workers to the 1,000 who have already been hired since December. The German automaker began assembly of the Atlas SUV earlier this year. VW employs about 3,500 at the plant as of June. 


Japan-based Daiken Industries completes $417 million, 4,000-employee campus near Houston

Daikin Industries, one of the largest heating and air conditioning manufacturers in the world, has completed its $417 million campus on 500 acres outside Houston. The campus features a 4.2 million-square-foot building, the largest tilt-wall structure in the world and the second largest manufacturing facility in North America. The complex will serve as the company's design, engineering and assembly plant of systems for residential and commercial use. 


Plastipak plans $15 million expansion at Louisiana facility

Plastipak Packaging, which designs, manufactures and distributes rigid plastic packaging, will make a $15 million investment to expand its manufacturing facility in Pineville, La. They also plan to add 10 new jobs.


International Beams plans $20 million manufacturing center in Dothan, Ala.

International Beams, a maker of engineered wood products, plans to open a new facility in the Dothan area. The Sarasota, Fla.-based company will invest nearly $20 million in the project that will create 60 full-time jobs. 


Shelltech eyes plant in Pulaski County, Ky.

ShellTech LLC, a newly formed subsidiary of Shell Shock Technologies of Westport, Conn., plans to locate an ammunition shell casing factory in Pulaski County, Ky. The company will make a $3.2 million investment and create 50 full-time jobs.


Knapheide Truck Equipment plans North Charleston facility

Knapheide Truck Equipment Company Charleston Inc. will invest $1.3 million to open a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing, operations and installation facility in North Charleston, S.C. Designed to upfit the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Metris vans, the company will be installing van interiors and more. The projected is expected to create 63 new jobs.


Auto supplier adding jobs in North Carolina

FCC North Carolina announced plans to create 28 jobs and invest nearly $1 million as part of an expansion in Scotland County. FCC, a division of a Japan-based automotive parts manufacturer, has two plants in Scotland County. One manufactures clutch and transmission parts, the other manufactures friction material. Primary customers include Honda, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.


Smyrna, Tenn., auto supplier announces $25 million expansion

The North American arm of France-based automotive supplier Valeo announced a $25 million expansion of its Smyrna facility, adding 80 new jobs. Valeo focuses on smart-driving technology and products that help reduce CO2 emissions. 


Thermo Fisher to invest $9.5 million; 57 new jobs

A medical device maker based in Massachusetts plans to expand its operations in Virginia and create 57 new jobs. Thermo Fisher Scientific will spend $9.5 million expanding its clinical diagnostic operation in Frederick County.


T-Mobile creating 400 new jobs in North Charleston facility

T-Mobile is investing about $17 million in a call center in South Carolina, creating 400 new jobs. T-Mobile plans to move its existing customer center in Charleston to a new and larger facility in North Charleston.


One Call Care Management expands Missouri op center

One Call Care Management, a Florida-based provider of worker’s compensation services, will expand its operations in Springfield, Mo. The company expects to create 100 new jobs by the end of the year. They were attracted to Springfield’s central location and established healthcare industry, and made the decision to move after finding a move-in ready facility, as well as the right talent, officials said.


KC insurance broker picks new HQ site, plans 1,000 new hires

Spring Venture Group, a distributor of Medicare supplement insurance, will move its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. The company is expected to add 450 jobs during the next three and a half years and 1,000 during the next six years as the baby boom generation moves into its wheelhouse. Capital investment associated with the move is estimated at $8 million to $12 million.


Ipsecure to double space at Port San Antonio, hire 50 techies

San Antonio IT firm IPSecure is more than doubling square footage at Port San Antonio and expanding its staff of 120 by up to 50 employees. The defense contractor estimates the expansion will cost around $1.2 million.


Enterprise Products Partners expands Orla, Texas natural gas plant

Enterprise Products Partners is expanding with the addition of Orla II, a second processing train at its cryogenic natural gas processing facility under construction near Orla, Reeves County, Texas.


Three Notch’d Brewing expanding in Charlottesville, Va.

Charlottesville-based Three Notch’d Brewing is investing $2.9 million to expand its Charlottesville brewery. The project is expected to create eight jobs. The brewery, which opened in 2013, will purchase 69 percent of its agricultural ingredients from Virginia farmers.


Adkev to purchase Caterpillar plant, bring 70 jobs to Danville, Ky.

A plastic injection molding company from Indiana plans to invest $15.7 million and create 70 jobs in Danville. Adkev will purchase the Caterpillar plant in the Boyle County Industrial Park by the end of the year, complete a refurbishment and open by mid-2019. The new hires will offset the jobs lost with the closing of the Caterpillar plant.


Fitzgerald Collision & Repair’s $9 million expansion to create 220 jobs

An expansion at Fitzgerald Collision & Repair is expected to create 220 new jobs in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. The company will invest $9 million to expand its existing facility in Rickman and establish new operations in Sparta. According to a press release, Fitzgerald Collision & Repair recently announced a new vocational program and partnership with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Livingston, which offers students training in commercial fleet truck maintenance and repair. With the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer all citizens -- both high school graduates and adults -- the chance to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate free of tuition and fees.


New drone factory bringing jobs to north Mississippi

Delta Southern UAS, a company that specializes in drone technology, is bringing a factory to Clarksdale, Miss., transforming the old Graber Gas building into a drone factory. Hiring plans include 25 to 50 new jobs.


Coca-Cola bottling company to add 100 jobs in Arkansas

A Mississippi-based Coca-Cola bottling company is set to bring 100 additional jobs as part of plans to expand operations to Arkansas. Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works said it would expand its operations subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements.


German auto supplier Ifa expanding Charleston ops with $69 million facility

A longtime Charleston area automotive supplier, IFA (a German-based company that produces parts for automakers including BMW and Volvo) is building a $69 million facility in Berkeley County and will add about 120 new jobs to its existing workforce. The company makes driveshafts for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. 


Clinton, S.C., chosen for GE test facility 

A new research and development facility for wind energy generation will be located in Clinton. GE Renewable Energy said the $29 million spec facility will test prototype bearings and evaluate next-generation bearing technology.


Protomet to invest $30 million in Loudon County, Tenn.

An Oak Ridge, Tenn.-based engineering and manufacturing supplier for the automotive, marine and energy industries will spend nearly $30 million to renovate the former Maremont factory in Loudon County and add 200 jobs over the next five years.


Eldor’s 350-job auto parts plant progressing in Botetourt County, Va.

Eldor Corp.’s high-tech automotive parts factory in Botetourt County is on track for test runs in January 2018 and occupancy by late April. About 350 people are slated to be working at the plant within five years, with another 300 to be added after that, marking the largest expansion of new manufacturing jobs in the Roanoke Valley in at least a decade.


Czech manufacturer coming to Peachtree City, Ga.

A leading producer of technical compounds and polyester staple fibers based in the Czech Republic will invest $20 million in a new facility in Peachtree City, creating more than 20 jobs. SILON’s polyester fibers and polyolefin compounds are used in the automotive, construction and medical sectors, among others.


Bluegrass Supply Chain Services investing $3.35 million in Kentucky, creating 51 jobs

Bluegrass Supply Chain Services, a logistics provider for the automotive and food and beverage industries, will invest more than $3.35 million and create 51 jobs at two locations -- a new operation in Edmonson County and upgrades at its Bullitt County facility. The new jobs will bring its total Kentucky employment to about 590.


Data company bringing 6,300 jobs to Plano, Texas

NTT DATA Services is officially moving into its new North American headquarters in Plano. NTT DATA Services is a division of Japan-based NTT DATA Corporation. A Texas Enterprise Fund grant offer of $7,500,000 has been extended to NTT DATA for the creation of 6,377 new jobs and a capital investment of more than $28 million, according to Governor Greg Abbott’s Office.


Forty-million-dollar Project Hollywood revealed in Charlotte

Staples, the Massachusetts-based office supplies retailer, has been confirmed as the future tenant of a 600,000-square-foot distribution facility in Charlotte. The estimated $40 million project will be their fourth distribution center in the Charlotte region. 


Mobile device company bringing 225 jobs to La Vergne, Tenn.

HYLA Mobile will open a new facility in La Vergne, bringing 225 jobs to Rutherford County. HYLA works with Fortune 100 companies and retailers to collect and refurbish previously owned mobile devices. The company will invest more than $1 million as part of opening the 10,000-square-foot facility.


McGregor call center to hire 1,200

A call center in McGregor, Texas will hire about 1,200 customer service agents in the coming months to field inquiries from medical providers. More than 500 people now work at the C3 call center, which is headquartered in Plantation, Fla., and new staffers will join the company over the next four to six months. The McGregor facility was opened in August 2011, and now is one of the largest employers in the area.


Unanet to create 60 new jobs in Loudoun County, Va.

Unanet, a provider of cloud and on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, will invest $1.67 million to expand its operation in Loudoun County and create 60 new jobs.


Maxim Crane Works growing in Kentucky

Maxim Crane Works, the largest provider of crane rental and lifting services in the U.S., will build a $4.71 million office in Wilder, Ky., creating 100 full-time jobs. Maxim has operated its regional headquarters in Wilder since 1937. It is also where the company bases about 400 cranes for quick deployment to customers across the Eastern U.S.


Dominion Energy to invest $1.8 billion in Virginia

Dominion Energy is planning to invest more than a billion dollars in the construction of a pumped hydroelectric storage station (best described as a big battery) for the coalfield region of southwest Virginia. The company is currently looking at a number of sites in the coalfield counties for the project, which would create hundreds of jobs during the multi-year construction phase, and approximately 50 permanent positions. 


Northrop Grumman, Craig Technologies to hire 200 in Central Florida 

Global defense firm Northrop Grumman Corp. and Cape Canaveral-based Craig Technologies Inc. have both landed big contracts with work in Florida’s Space Coast. Falls Church, Va.-based Northrop Grumman won two contracts totaling $19 million in June and will be hiring 131 workers in Melbourne, 26 in Orlando, and two in Apopka. Meanwhile, Craig Technologies was named a subcontractor on a project that involves NASA's Space Launch System. They are hiring more than 25.


Vacation rental company finds a bigger home in Austin

HomeAway.com Inc., the Austin-based vacation rental company, is adding hundreds of employees in its hometown and plans to move its global headquarters to a 16-story tower in North Austin within the next two years. HomeAway said the new building will have room for more than 2,000 employees. 


Aluminum company investing $26 million in Florida

ATIO USA, an aluminum recycling and manufacturing company, will open a new facility in Clewiston, Fla. The project will create 39 new jobs and a $26 million investment. ATIO USA will use scrap and waste aluminum and primary raw material to manufacture an alloy known as Green Billets for the global automobile industry and OEM suppliers.


Cardworks Servicing opens hub in Lake Mary, Fla.

CardWorks Servicing, a provider of operational support to credit card issuers and installment lenders, will invest $4.2 million to open an operations hub in Lake Mary near Orlando. The firm, which is headquartered in Woodbury, N.Y., expects to create approximately 240 jobs.


Logistyx Technologies chooses Tulsa for global HQ

Logistyx Technologies, a new logistics software company, will establish its global headquarters in Tulsa, Okla. Advanced Distribution Solutions, Agile Network and Pantechnik International merged to create Logistyx Technologies, which plans to bring an additional 30 to 50 high-paying jobs to Tulsa over the next 18 months.


Nationstar bringing offshore call center to Longview and Dallas

Nationstar’s move will mean some 500 jobs will be opened, mostly at its new hub in Longview, Texas. A spokesperson also said that some jobs will be created at call centers in Dallas, Lewisville, and Chandler, Ariz.


Sixty-one jobs coming to Robeson County, N.C.

Ventura Coach and Absolute Bus will create 61 jobs through an expansion of Ventura’s Lumberton facilities. The manufacturer of commercial buses plans to invest $2 million in the project.


Turkish textile company bringing jobs to North Carolina

HPFabrics, based in Istanbul, plans to spend $4 million to reopen an old textile plant in Winston-Salem, creating as many as 260 jobs over three years. 


Israeli plastics company opens plant in Gaston County, N.C.

Israeli-based Tosaf Group now has its first U.S. plastics compounds plant in Bessemer City, where employment is expected to grow to 75. 


German Logistics company expanding Atlanta HQ, 150 jobs

KNAPP will expand its North American headquarters in Kennesaw, Ga. The Germany-based warehouse logistics and automation company has purchased a new building adjacent to its current location and once renovated, will grow its workforce by 150.


Cybersecurity firm to move 500 employees in Texas 

NetScout Systems plans to relocate its regional research and development office and 500 employees from Plano to Allen, Texas. The cybersecurity and business intelligence provider has leased a three-story building  there.

June 2017

Sixteen of the top 20 places to start a business are in the South according to this source

According to a study done by WalletHub.com, Oklahoma City is the No. 1 place to start a business in the U.S. Charlotte ranked third, followed by Tulsa, Durham, St. Louis, Austin and Amarillo. . .all ranked in the top 10. Sixteen of the top 20, and 21 of the top 25 cities ranked were markets in the South. 


All of the five fastest growing U.S. cities are in the South

The U.S. Census Bureau put out figures in May that ranked the top five cities during the 12 months leading up to last July 1. Conroe, Texas (a Houston suburb) was the fastest growing city, increasing by 7.8 percent, 11 times higher than the national average. The Dallas suburbs of Frisco and McKinney, which had growth rates of 6.2 percent and 5.9 percent, were second and third. The rest of the top five included Greenville, S.C., at 5.8 percent and Georgetown, Texas (an Austin suburb) with a 5.5 percent population increase. 


The South dominates 2017 "Best Cities for Young IT Professionals" ranking

Right Click ranked the top cities for young IT professionals, and the South almost made it a clean sweep in the top 10. San Antonio came in first, followed by Savannah; Winston-Salem; El Paso; Columbus, Ga.; Orlando; Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; Fort Worth and Dayton, Ohio. Just outside the top 10, making up the top 15, were Fayetteville, N.C.; Irving, Texas; Memphis; McAllen, Texas and Houston.  


Texas, Florida at the top of Chief Executive magazine's ranking

For the 13th straight year, Texas sat atop Chief Executive's "2017 Best & Worst States for Business." The ranking is based on a poll the publication puts out to CEOs. Florida came in second, followed by North Carolina and South Carolina. Making up the rest of the top 10 were Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin. 


Tennessee is the first state in the nation to make community college free to all adults

Tennessee lawmakers approved legislation in the spring quarter that will expand the Tennessee Promise education program, launched in 2014, which made community college tuition and fees free for recent high school graduates. Now, adults who do not have a two- or four-year degree can also attend for free beginning in the 2018 fall semester. 


Kentucky sets annual investment record in first five months of 2017

Kentucky has set its annual capital investment record in May, thanks to investments by Toyota, Amazon and others earlier in the year. Gov. Matt Bevin announced May 26th that the state has raised $5.8 billion in investment commitments from companies locating or expanding in the Commonwealth. The previous record was $5.1 billion in calendar year 2015.  


Mercedes' big Alabama expansion finishing up

Fifteen months after the groundbreaking, the new $1.3 billion, 1.3 million-square-foot Mercedes-Benz body shop at its plant in Vance, Ala., is nearing completion. Most of the construction is finished and it's now time to install state-of-the-art equipment before the shop can be operational sometime next year. When completed, nearly 1,000 robots will help assemble 300,000 vehicles a year. Driverless, auto-guided vehicles will use 36,000 magnets that have been installed in the floor of the body shop to deliver components and the vehicles to each work station. The magnets will replace the traditional conveyor belts that typically move parts and vehicles through the shop. 


China automaker Great Wall Motor to build North American plant

In May, the CEO of China's Great Wall Motor Company said that the company is searching for sites in Mexico and the U.S. to build a new assembly plant. Great Wall is China's largest SUV and pickup truck manufacturer. Officials with the company told Reuters that the site choice will depend on trade issues among the U.S., Mexico and China. 


Automotive, aerospace industries prompt big deal in Eastern Kentucky

In the spring, startup aluminum manufacturer Braidy Industries announced it will build a 2.5 million-square-foot, fully integrated aluminum rolling mill in Eastern Kentucky that they say will be the "most technically advanced mill in the U.S." The plant will produce about 370,000 tons of aluminum per year. The $1.3 billion project will create 1,000 construction jobs and 500 full-time, high-paying jobs in Greenup County. Growth in the automotive and aerospace industries and their increased use of aluminum as a lighter replacement of steel prompted the building of the new mill. As of May 2017, Eastern Kentucky has lost over 8,000 coal jobs, meaning the mill located near Ashland on the Ohio River should have plenty of labor available in what is an ever-increasing tight labor market in the American South. 


Big Louisiana project is now even bigger

The previously announced LNG export facility on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish, La., was originally an $11 billion project. Now G2, who is building the facility, is adding a petrochemical plant, bringing total investment on the two plants to $23 billion. At buildout, the two projects will create 6,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent positions. 


Manufacturer relocating to Texas

Hudson Products, a maker of heat exchangers, is relocating its plant from Tulsa to Rosenberg, Texas. The company will invest $6 million and bring 150 jobs to the Houston area. Hudson considered Monterrey, Mexico before settling on Rosenberg. 


Big investment in Virginia bakery

Wholesome Harvest Baking, a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo, one of the largest bakery companies in the world, is investing $22 million to upgrade equipment at its operations in Roanoke, Va. 


Call center sets up shop on Florida's Space Coast

Medical Data Systems has opened a new call center in Melbourne, Fla. The company tracks down delinquent medical payments. The deal calls for 300 jobs. 


Valvoline opens new headquarters in Lexington, Ky. 

In the spring quarter, Valvoline opened its new $35 million, 162,400-square-foot headquarters in Lexington. The premium lubricant manufacturer employs about 1,100 people in Kentucky and 5,500 worldwide. 


Hino adds production line in Marion, Ark. 

Hino Motors Manufacturing, a division of Toyota, has started a new production line at its plant in Marion, Ark. The company is now producing rear axles and other components for the Toyota Tacoma. Over the last few years, Hino has invested more than $280 million in the plant that also produces suspension components, stampings and frames for a variety of Toyota models. 


China textile company announces big Arkansas deal

Shandong Ruyi Technology Group, a manufacturer of yarn for textiles, announced in the spring it will invest $410 million to repurpose the former Sanyo plant in Forrest City, Ark. It's the first North American plant for Ruyi. The company, which will process more than 200,000 tons of Arkansas-grown cotton, will hire 800 in the deal. 


TVA approves $300 million strategic fiber expansion

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors approved a $300 million strategic fiber initiative that will expand the company's fiber capacity of its transmission system. The expansion will meet the power company's bandwidth to accommodate new distributed energy resources. TVA's expanded fiber network will also make available added capacity to local communities in rural areas of the South to help attract jobs. 


Truck manufacturer to locate in McKinney, Texas

PACCAR, a manufacturer of a variety of trucks, will locate a new facility in McKinney to produce its Dynacraft series. The $20 million plant will house an undetermined number of workers. 


Sysco adding jobs at Atlanta facility

Sysco Corp. announced in May it will expand its Atlanta facility. The company is adding 100,000 square feet to the current 562,000-square-foot facility and will add 100 jobs. 


Financial services firm hiring 550 in Charlotte

AXA, a financial protection firm, is doubling its workforce to 550 at its location in University City's Innovation Park in Charlotte. The company is investing $18 million in the project. 


Waitr adding 100 jobs in Lafayette, La. 

Waitr, an online and mobile software solutions company for the restaurant industry, is adding 100 jobs at its technology center in Lafayette. The company is headquartered in Lake Charles, La. 


Equifax bringing 800 jobs to Atlanta

Equifax, an information solutions provider, is adding 800 jobs to its workforce total of 3,000 in Atlanta. The company has moved into new office space in Midtown. 


Large solar farm slated for rural Arkansas

Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy is building a 475-acre solar farm near Stuttgart, Ark. Once completed, the facility will be home to more than 350,000 solar panels. NextEra will build, own and operate the solar farm and the energy will serve Entergy Arkansas customers. 


Big call center near Waco, Texas calling for 900 jobs

Empereon-Constar, a provider of inbound customer solutions, is locating a new call center in Lacy Lakeview, Texas, near Waco. The $20 million project will create 900 jobs. 


Dow expanding world's largest ethylene plant

Dow Chemical is investing another $2 billion in its ethylene cracker plant in Freeport, Texas. It is the world's largest, and the deal will create 500 jobs. 


San Antonio lands distribution center, 1,000 jobs

TJX Companies is building a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center in the South Side of San Antonio. The project will create 1,000 jobs. 


IT consultant adding jobs in NOVA

Windward Consulting, an information technology consultancy, is expanding its headquarters in Fairfax County, Va. The company is adding 97 employees. 


Call center adding 200 jobs in Florida

Alorica, the nation's largest customer service outsourcing company, is adding 200 jobs at its call center in Sarasota, Fla. 


Distribution center slated for East Mississippi

Texas-based BWI Companies, a farm and garden retailer, has broken ground on a new distribution in Marion, Miss., near Meridian. The project will create 40 jobs. 


Decor distributor expanding in South Carolina

Fort Mill-based home decor distributor Unique Loom, is expanding to Indian Land, S.C. The deal will create 245 jobs. 


Electrolux investing in South Carolina plant

Charlotte-based Electrolux is investing $200 million to upgrade its plant in Anderson, S.C. The company will add 800,000 square feet. No additional jobs to the 1,300 already housed at the plant will be created.  


Dallas named best city for jobs by Forbes

The Dallas-Plano-Irving metro area was named the best city for jobs for 2017 by Forbes magazine, ousting San Francisco (which placed second) for the first time in years. Nashville place third, followed by Charlotte and Orlando. Other Southern markets making the top 10 were Austin and Raleigh, and in the top 15 were San Antonio, Atlanta and West Palm Beach. 


Vinyl manufacturer expands in Tennessee

Homeland Vinyl, a manufacturer of vinyl deck, fencing and railing, is expanding its plant in Hawkins County, Tenn. The company is adding 50 jobs. 


Apple investing $200 million in Kentucky plant

Apple is investing $200 million in Corning's Gorilla Glass plant located in Harrodsburg, Ky. The glass is used in iPhones. No jobs were given in the announcement. 


Companies in joint venture to create 150 jobs in Joplin, Mo. 

ATC and ABB, which is a multi-national company known for robotics, are teaming up to build a home automation business in Joplin. The work that will be done is everything from programming software to installing the components for home automation. The deal will create 150 jobs. 


World's largest auto refrigerant plant opens in Louisiana

Honeywell celebrated the startup of its $300 million Louisiana plant that makes a next-generation auto air conditioning refrigerant. The facility's product will sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 


Largest ship ever calls on ports in the South 

The COSCO Development, the largest ship to ever call on a port on the East Coast made a stop at the Port of Virginia, the Port of Savannah and the Port of Charleston for the first time in early May. The ship is 100 feet longer than the U.S. Navy's latest aircraft carrier and can carry over 13,000 20-foot containers. 


Jacksonville port lands new Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaxport, one of the leading vehicle import points on the East Coast, is now the Southeast distribution point for the mid-size Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan. The lineup includes the 280-horsepower Giulia, the Giulia Ti and the 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio. 


Telecommunications firm expands in Plano, Texas

New York-based international telecommunications firm Altice USA is expanding its office in Plano. The company, which will hire 400 in the move, provides internet, video and phone services. 


Lockheed moving hundreds of jobs from California to Florida's Space Coast

Lockheed Martin officials are following through on plans to relocate 300 jobs within its fleet ballistic missile division to its facilities at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Maryland-based defense giant employs more than 7,000 workers in Central Florida. The move is being done to reduce costs and centralize programs to key locations. 


Airbus begins assembly of new model in Mobile, Ala. 

After assembling about 30 A321s over a two-year period ending in May, Airbus has begun assembly of the more basic A320 for the first time at its plant in Mobile. The A320s are fitted with the Current Engine Option (CEO), a less fuel efficient version of the New Engine Option (NEO), which is used on the A321s. Eventually, the Alabama plant will build all members of A320 family; the A319, A320 and the A321. 


Credit Suisse expanding by 1,200 jobs at Research Triangle Park

Swiss multinational financial services firm Credit Suisse Group is adding 1,200 jobs at its tech hub at Research Triangle Park, N.C. The company is investing $70.5 million in a new building on its campus. The new jobs are primarily IT and finance and will average nearly $100,000 per year. Credit Suisse moved significant operations to North Carolina in 2004 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The company also cited the Raleigh-Durham area's skilled labor force and lower real estate and operating costs in first moving to RTP. 


Plastics manufacturer expands in Oklahoma

McClarin Plastics, a maker of engineered plastics used by the oil and gas industry as well as other industries, has purchased Custom Composites in Oklahoma City. The acquisition will pave the way for more space and 50 new jobs. 


Manufacturer to create over 400 jobs in Louisville

LINAK, a manufacturer of linear actuators for hospital beds, office desks and farm equipment, is investing $33 million to double its space in Louisville. The project will create 413 jobs. 


HomeServe adding jobs in Chattanooga

HomeServe, a provider of monthly plans to cover major household repairs from plumbing to appliances, is investing $5.5 million at its customer service facility in Chattanooga. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Which states does Apple employ the most people? Three of the top five are in the South

In the spring quarter, Apple released a state-by-state breakdown that showed how many people the company employs in each U.S. state. Of course, with nearly 37,000 employees, California is No. 1. But in Texas, Apple employs nearly 8,500, followed by New York (4,291), Florida (3,868) and Georgia (1,516). 


American Airlines begins work on new Fort Worth HQ

American Airlines has begun work on its new 1.8 million-square-foot headquarters campus in Fort Worth. The 300-acre site is where the airline giant housed its original Fort Worth headquarters in 1983, after the airline relocated its operations from New York to North Texas. The new headquarters will have enough space to house up to 11,000 employees. 


If you are a Facebook user, your posts are likely to go through Fort Worth, Texas

Phase one of Facebook's largest data center is now operational in Fort Worth. The first of five Fort Worth data centers officially came online in May. The $1 billion project includes 20 data halls on nearly 150 acres. Facebook filed for a $267 million permit in May to begin work on the second phase of the data center. 


Ryder adding 200 jobs in Fort Worth

Ryder Integrated Logistics is investing $5.2 million to expand its Fort Worth facilities. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Aluminum manufacturer expanding in Georgia

Douglas, Ga.-based Elixir Extrusions is investing $8 million in its plant in Coffee County, Ga. The company makes custom aluminum extrusions and parts in a 250,000-square-foot facility for a variety of industry sectors. The expansion will add space and 100 jobs at the facility. 


Another tire manufacturer captured by Tennessee

Finland-based Nokian Tyres announced in the spring it will build a $360 million tire production plant in Dayton, Tenn. It is the largest foreign direct investment in Rhea County's history. The new 830,000-square-foot plant will house 400 workers. 


Kimberly-Clark investing in South Alabama plant

Kimberly-Clark, a paper manufacturing giant, is investing $75 million in its 650-employee plant in Mobile, Ala. The project will reduce the mill's emissions and improve capacity performance. 


Manufacturer picks Dyersburg, Tenn., for plant

Frazier Industrial Co. announced in the spring it will build a new manufacturing plant in Dyersburg. The company makes structural storage racking systems. The $17.4 million, 175,000-square-foot deal will create 120 new jobs. 


Glass manufacturer in Wichita Falls breaks ground on expansion

Vitro Architectural Glass broke ground this spring on an expansion of its facilities in Wichita Falls, Texas. The company makes glass for commercial facilities. The $55 million project will create 50 jobs. 


BAE adding jobs in Aiken County, S.C.

BAE Systems, which integrates electronic and tactical vehicles, and provides IT security services at its facility in Aiken County, S.C., is upgrading its facilities there. The company will invest $8.4 million and add 120 jobs.   


One of the largest yarn spinners in the world adding jobs in rural Alabama

Frontier Spinning Mills, the second largest yarn spinner in the Western Hemisphere, is adding new equipment and jobs at its plant in Elmore County, Ala. The company will invest $6 million and add 18 jobs to the 120 that are housed at the plant now. 


Toyota moving thousands of employees into new Texas headquarters

They are coming from Kentucky, California and New York to a spanking new headquarters in Plano, Texas. We're talking about Japanese automaker Toyota and the consolidation of its three North American headquarters into one in the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. About 250 team members moved into the new 100-acre, 2.1 million-square-foot corporate campus in May, and each week since Toyota has moved about that many employees into the new facility. The new headquarters has room for 6,500 employees.  


U.S. Rig count reaches 1,000 for the first time in two years

Recovery in the oil patch continues as data from Platts RigData showed in May that the U.S. rig count surpassed the 1,000 mark for the first time since April 10, 2015. In mid-2016, U.S. rig counts fell to 316, the lowest in decades. More than half of the current operating rigs are in Texas, where nearly 10,000 oil and gas jobs were added in the first quarter of this year. 


Automotive sales and assembly boom is slowing in the U.S. and the Southern Automotive Corridor

The automotive industry is one of the most important forecasters of any economy. Its expansion from a total of 10.4 million light vehicle retail sales in 2009 to 17.4 million in 2016 has added hundreds of thousands of jobs in the South and three new assembly plants -- Volkswagen (now operating since 2012 in Chattanooga); Mercedes-Benz van plant in North Charleston, S.C.; and Volvo's Berkeley County, S.C., plant. The latter are under construction. But sales are slowing as April saw the fourth straight month of a sales retreat for light vehicles, the longest stretch of declines since 2009. Many experts are saying that auto sales have peaked and are set for the first yearly decline in seven years. 


Big deal in Northeast Louisiana

Graphic Packaging and DHL are teaming up to inject millions into facilities in West Monroe and Monroe, La. Graphic Packaging announced it is investing $120 million in its West Monroe mill, and will also pump $70 million into a new 1.27 million-square-foot folding carton plant on the 726-acre Millhaven Road property on Interstate 20 in Monroe. DHL Supply Chain will also invest $84 million in the new facility. 


Construction firm locating HQ in Kansas City

Alpha General Contracting, an engineering construction company, is locating its headquarters in Kansas City. The deal will create 50 jobs. 


TVA's 49 reservoirs created $12 billion economic impact last year

According to a study from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, the total economic effect from recreational and visitor uses of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s 49 reservoirs totaled $11.9 billion in calendar year 2016. TVA is the nation's largest public utility and provides electricity to about 9 million people in seven Southern states. 


IT provider adding jobs in Tampa Bay

Vology, an IT service provider, is investing nearly $4 million to expand its Largo, Fla., facilities. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Cybersecurity firm moving main operations to San Antonio

Freedom Security Alliance is moving the core of its operations from San Diego to San Antonio. The company provides cybersecurity analysis for companies and government agencies. The project is expected to create 120 jobs. 


Kia rolls out one millionth Sorento model at Georgia plant

In the spring quarter, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia celebrated the assembly of its West Point, Ga., plant's one millionth Sorento model. KMMG launched production of the Sorento in November 2009. The $1.1 billion plant supports more than 15,000 jobs in West Georgia. 


Natural food company locating facility in South Carolina

Moore's Food Resources, a manufacturer of natural foods, is opening a $15 million bakery in Piedmont, S.C. The deal will create 180 jobs. 


Only four U.S. markets achieve "inclusive growth" according to Brookings

A study published by the Brookings Institution in the spring quarter showed that many U.S. markets have achieved growth and prosperity from 2010 to 2015, but only four achieved broadly inclusive economic growth (i.e., benefits incurred by every section of society). Only four U.S. metros met the thresholds of inclusive growth — Albany, N.Y.; Austin; Charleston, S.C.; and Denver. 


Huge data center planned for Allen, Texas

Dallas-based CyrusOne is building one of the largest data centers in Texas. The 1.4 million-square-foot complex will be built on 66 acres in Allen. The center will be larger than Facebook's $1 billion data center under construction in nearby Fort Worth. The Dallas-Fort Worth region has more data centers than anywhere in the U.S., except for Northern Virginia. 


Best cities for job seekers? South lands seven out of top 10

According to indeed.com, Miami is the best city in the U.S. for job seekers. The job site's top 10 included Orlando, Raleigh, Austin, Sacramento, San Jose, Jacksonville (Fla.), San Diego, Houston and Memphis. 


Toyota's vehicle data science hub doubling headcount in Texas

Toyota Connected, the automaker's data science division located next to the company's new headquarters in Plano, Texas, is doubling its employee headcount to 200. 


Food processor adding jobs in Georgia

Lake Foods, a provider of food products to food processing companies, is investing $8 million to expand its plant in Hart County, Ga. The project will create 130 new full-time jobs. 


Frozen food plant to be built in Missouri

Ajinomoto Windsor is building a new frozen appetizer plant in Joplin, Mo. The deal will create 200 jobs. 


Kraft Heinz opens expanded plant in Missouri

Kraft Heinz has opened its $250 million expanded plant in Kirksville, Mo. In 2016, the company announced it would add seven new Oscar Mayer meat production lines, nearly tripling the size of the plant to over 450,000 square feet. Two hundred jobs were created in the expansion. 


Healthcare firm opens new headquarters in rural Mississippi

Avectus Healthcare Solutions has completed the expansion of its headquarters in Corinth, Miss. The company has added 130 jobs. 


Canadian-based company locating U.S. HQ in South Carolina

Caristrap International, a manufacturer of industrial strapping systems, is locating its U.S. headquarters in Greenville, S.C. The $5.5 million project will create 100 jobs. 


Auto parts supplier expands in Kentucky

Kobe Aluminum is investing $51 million in its plant in Bowling Green, Ky. The parts supplier will increase its headcount from 500 to 629. 


Churchill Downs relocating division from California to Louisville

Louisville-based Churchill Downs is relocating its advance deposit wagering service from Mountain View, Calif., to its corporate headquarters in Louisville. The deal will create 100 jobs. 


3M adding jobs in Springfield, Mo. 

3M will expand its plant in Springfield. The facility produces industrial adhesives and tapes for the aerospace industry and other sectors. The $40 million project will create 90 new jobs. 


Eastman expanding Virginia plant

Eastman Chemical will invest $11.7 million at its plant in Henry County, Va. The company will expand capacity for performance films used in a variety of industries. The deal will create 15 jobs. 


Delta Regional Authority to spend $460,000 on new arts initiative

The Delta Regional Authority announced in the spring its new Delta Creative Placemaking Initiative. The plan is to contribute about $460,000 to stimulate economic development through the Delta region's arts and culture sectors. 


KPS Global expands in Northeast Tennessee

KPS Global, a walk-in cooler, freezer and environmental chamber manufacturer, is expanding its plant in Sullivan County, Tenn. The company will invest $1.5 million, add space and hire 64 new workers. 


Some facts about today's automotive industry

* The average age of vehicles in the U.S. is a record 11.6 years. 

* The average length of ownership is almost seven years.

* The average price of a new vehicle is $34,342. 

* The average price of a compact SUV is $28,395. 

* The average price of a full-size pickup is $45,252. 

* The average price of a full-size SUV is $60,670. 

* Last year, Americans had accumulated just under $1.2 trillion in outstanding auto debt. 

* Baby boomers account for 36 percent of new car purchases. 

* Millennials account for 29 percent of new car purchases. 

* Generation X members account for 25 percent of new car purchases.  

Sources: Kelly Blue Book, IHS, J.D. Power


Door manufacturer growing in Tupelo

Renin Corp., a manufacturer of interior barn doors, closet doors and hardware, is expanding its plant in Tupelo, Miss. The company is investing $1 million and adding 50 jobs. 


Pet food maker expands in Missouri

Blue Buffalo, a maker of Heartland Pet Food, is expanding its manufacturing campus in Joplin, Mo. The company is adding 112,000 square feet of space to its current 416,000-square-foot facility. Blue Buffalo officials have pledged to create more than 160 full-time jobs. 


Big aluminum mill announced in Kentucky

Tri-Arrows Aluminum will build a new cold rolling mill that produces aluminum sheets that are used for beverage cans and automobiles. The $125 million plant will be located next to the Logan Aluminum plant in Logan County, Ky., and will house 60 workers. 


Charlotte-based Nucor expanding Kentucky mill

Nucor Steel Gallatin Mill will expand its plant in Ghent, Ky. The plant produces rolled steel sheet used in automotive and agricultural equipment. The $176 million expansion will generate 75 jobs. 


Georgia-Pacific upgrades Alabama plant

Georgia-Pacific is investing $50 million to upgrade its paperboard machine at the company's mill in Brewton, Ala. The company recently invested $388 million to make energy improvements to the plant. 


Lockheed Martin to hire 500 in Orlando

Lockheed Martin's Missile & Fire Control facility in West Orlando will house and additional 500 workers. The defense firm already has over 4,000 people working at the campus and over 7,000 in Central Florida. The unit focuses on military and support equipment. 


HVAC component manufacturer to open new plant in Oklahoma

Ductmate Industries has purchased a 198,000-square-foot building in Wagoner, Okla., to open a HVAC system components plant. The project will create 60 new jobs. 


Pharmaceutical facility expands in Northern Virginia

Granules India will invest $35 million into its subsidiary Granules Pharmaceuticals to expand its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Fairfax County, Va. The deal will create 102 jobs. 


Glass fiber plant expands in Aiken County, S.C.

AGY Holding has invested in upgrades of equipment at its glass fiber plant in Aiken County, S.C. The project will create 80 jobs. 


Walmart adding 2,000 jobs in Central Florida

Walmart will build a new distribution center in Cocoa, Fla., that will house about 450 workers. The retailer just completed its 2.2 million-square-foot warehouse in Davenport, Fla., and that facility will eventually generate 1,550 jobs. 


Amazon to bring 4,000 jobs to Jacksonville region

Online retailer Amazon will eventually build four facilities in different parts of Jacksonville that will create 4,000 jobs in Northeast Florida. 


Noranda Alumina expanding Port of South Louisiana facility

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Port of South Louisiana officials announced in the spring that Noranda Bauxite and Alumina will invest $35 million to expand and upgrade its alumina refinery at the port. The company will also establish its headquarters in Gramercy, La. The deal will create 65 jobs. 


James Hardie investing $220 million in new Alabama plant

Dublin, Ireland-based James Hardie Building Products announced in the spring it will invest up to $220 million to open an advanced fiber-cement building products plant in Prattville, Ala. The project will create 205 jobs. The company makes several types of fiber-cement products under the brands of HardiePlank, HardiePanel, HardieTrim and ColorPlus. 


Chinese company locates in Columbia, S.C.

China Hengshi, a manufacturer of fiberglass fabric used in wind turbine blades, space vehicles, aircraft and the construction industry, is locating a new facility in Columbia. The company's plant represents a capital investment of $11.1 million and 48 jobs in Richland County. 


Fort Worth captures distribution center

S&S Activewear has signed a lease for 493,000 square feet at the Mercantile Center in Fort Worth. The wholesaler of apparel will hire 300 in the project.  


Reshored garbage can factory lands in Jacksonville

Hans-Mill Corp. officially unveiled its 121,000-square-foot stainless steel garbage can factory in Jacksonville, Fla., in the spring quarter. The plant reshored from China to serve the U.S. market. The project will generate 50 new jobs. 


Manufacturer expanding in South Carolina

Itron, a company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water, is adding a new production line at its plant in Oconee County, S.C. The company is investing $8 million and adding 100 jobs to add a natural-gas-meters manufacturing line. 


New plant slated for West Virginia

Canada-based Shaw Almex is moving into an existing facility in Wayne County, W.Va., that will be a center for new product development in material handling and conveying solutions. The project will create 25 employees. 


Dollar Tree investing $110 million for Missouri distribution center

Virginia-based Dollar Tree is investing $110 million to build a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution facility in Warrensburg, Mo. The center, that will be served by 200 inbound and outbound trucks a day, will house 375 workers. 

May 2017

Industrial robot purchases in the U.S. will rise by 300 percent in nine years

The number of robots used in the manufacturing process will jump by nearly 300 percent in less than a decade according to ABI Research. In 2016, 40 percent more robots were sold last year compared to 2013 says the Robotic Industries Association. And, according to the National Economic Research Bureau, for every new industrial robot sold and installed into the workforce, six jobs on average were eliminated. Last year, the U.S. automotive industry accounted for 70 percent of all robots sold in North America. According to Forrester Research's Future of Jobs report released in April, automation and robotics will displace 24.7 million jobs by 2027. At the same time, however, the new technology will create 15 million jobs, leading to a net loss of almost 10 million jobs. 


More manufacturing jobs reshored in 2016 than offshored

According to the Reshoring Initiative, for the first time in decades, more manufacturing jobs reshored to the U.S. than offshored in calendar year 2016. Last year, 77,000 manufacturing jobs (tying the 2014 record) reshored and 50,000 offshored, giving the U.S. a net gain of 27,000 jobs. On average from 2000 to 2006, about 220,000 jobs offshored each year. That has now dropped to about 50,000 and that total continues to drop. According to the Initiative, the South remains the top region for reshoring and foreign direct investment with the Midwest coming in second. Since 2010, more than 338,000 manufacturing jobs have reshored back to the U.S. 


German bank claims the U.S. is already at full employment

In April, Germany-based Commerzbank published an economic briefing that indicated the U.S., at 4.5 percent unemployment, is at full employment. Over the last two years, the U.S. saw just 70,000 persons per month on average enter the workforce when for decades that figure was more like 200,000 per month. Therefore, the reserve of idle workers, according to the bank, is shrinking by more than 100,000 per month. Even by using the U6 unemployment rate of 8.9 percent (the underemployed) there are only one million people available for full-time jobs. If the U.S. averages just 100,000 jobs per month this year (less than half of the 211,000 jobs created in April) the labor reserve will be gone in less than a year, "creating upside risks to wage and CPI  inflation" according to Commerzbank's briefing. Late last year, the San Francisco Fed said that the U.S. economy only needs to add about 75,000 jobs per month and possibly as few as 50,000 going into this year to keep the economy stabilized. 


The mass exodus of the upper, middle and lower middle classes from California and New York

Thousands of companies have left California since the end of the recession and they continue to do so, most of them to Texas. One reason why could be the cost of housing in California. What was the primary reason Toyota has moved its North American headquarters from Southern California to the Dallas-Fort Worth metro? It was based on home prices for the company's 5,000 headquarter employees. Median home prices are about half in North Texas compared to Southern California. According to CoreLogic, for every home buyer coming to California, there are three Californians selling their homes and moving out-of-state. New York City is in the same boat as much of California. More people are leaving the New York region than any other metro area of the country. More than one million people moved out of the New York CSA to other parts of the country -- primarily the South -- since 2010. At 4.4 percent, New York City has the highest negative net migration rate among the nation's large MSAs. 


Volvo moving equipment into South Carolina plant

Sweden-based, China-owned Volvo's Berkeley County plant is gearing up to make the S60 sedan in the Palmetto State. The $500 million, 2.3 million-square-foot facility is ahead of schedule, meaning mass hiring for the facility will come sometime in the fall. Volvo will begin testing its machinery at the plant in August and the first vehicle will make a test run through the body shop, paint shop and final assembly lines by the end of this year. The company expects to hire 2,000 workers for its first phase. Volvo sold 82,724 in the U.S. last year, its best year since 2007. 


Sixteen years later, Dallas-Fort Worth lands a Boeing headquarters

One of the highest profile relocations ever occurred in 2001 when Boeing picked Chicago for its new headquarters. The aerospace giant chose Chicago over Denver and Dallas. Apparently Dallas didn't win the project because the wife of then-CEO Phil Condit didn't like downtown Dallas at the time, as it wasn't as diverse and active as Chicago's. Some in Dallas believe the snub helped revitalize downtown Dallas as well as other cities in the metropolitan area. Today, there isn't a hotter mega-market in the country than Dallas-Fort Worth. Maybe that's why in the spring quarter, Boeing decided to locate the headquarters of its new Global Services business unit at the Legacy West development in Plano. Initially, there are only about 50 jobs expected to be created at the new headquarters operation. 


Textiles making comeback in the South

In the 1960s and '70s, just about every town in the South had at least a small textile operation. Yet, from 1994 to 2005, the U.S. lost nearly one million apparel and textile jobs, most of which were offshored to India and China. Of course, the reshoring phenomenon is helping textiles get back on their feet, particularly in the South. Rising production costs in China and a more competitive U.S. are driving reshoring. In the last two years, almost $4 billion in new and expanded textile operations have been announced, almost all of which are in North Carolina and South Carolina, historically the largest textile cluster in the region. Currently, over 230,000 people work in textiles in the U.S. and the nation is ranked third worldwide in textile exports, behind China and India. 


Volkswagen to build a small SUV in Chattanooga

In May, the first SUV made at Volkswagen's Chattanooga assembly plant rolled off the line. Called the Atlas, the mid-sized SUV is a seven-seat model. VW announced in April that it will now add a smaller five-seat SUV at the plant. No date for production has been set. VW also assembles the Passat sedan at the plant. 


Toyota's big Kentucky expansion will be felt in adjoining states

Toyota's April announcement of a massive retooling of its largest assembly plant in Georgetown, Ky., will most certainly positively transform the Kentucky economy. The $1.3 billion expansion will also affect states around the Commonwealth, particularly suppliers in Tennessee, which sits between Toyota plants in Kentucky and Mississippi. The expansion is one of the largest in dollar amounts by any automaker in the Southern Auto Corridor. The Kentucky plant will be refitted to handle the Toyota New Global Architecture. That plan means assembly lines can be quickly shifted to produce stronger selling models. Toyota employs nearly 10,000 employees in Kentucky and over 8,000 at its Georgetown assembly plant. 


Look for more foreign-owned mega-petrochemical plants in Louisiana and Texas

Wanhau Chemical, a Chinese-owned company, announced in April a $1.1 billion petrochemical plant to be built in Louisiana. It is one of many foreign-owned petrochemical plants that are currently being built in Texas and Louisiana. The key to these foreign-owned plants is the proliferation of natural gas in the U.S. No place in the world has as much natural gas as the U.S. While the U.S. is building an impressive number of huge LNG export plants, it looks as if it makes more financial sense for these foreign-owned plants to use the natural gas here to make their products and ship them to China or elsewhere than to import natural gas from the U.S. 


Louisiana has largest trade surplus with China

While in 2016, the U.S. had a $347 billion trade deficit with China, Louisiana banked on exports of agriculture goods and oil and gas to achieve a trade surplus of $7 billion with the second largest economy in the world. That figure is the largest surplus with China of all U.S. states. Eight states had trade surpluses with China last year, including Alabama, Alaska, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington and West Virginia. 


Cheniere exports 100th LNG cargo

There are several multi-billion LNG export facilities being built in Louisiana and Texas, but only one large scale facility is operational and that is Cheniere Energy's terminal in Cameron Parish, La. In the spring quarter, the company exported its 100th cargo of liquefied natural gas. Most of the product is headed to Europe and Asia. Two years ago, the U.S. had no capabilities to export the LNG. Soon, it will be the largest LNG export nation in the world.  


U.S. sets record in emission reduction

Last year was the second consecutive year of carbon emissions from electric power plants dropping by 5 percent, a new record. It's the first time in more than 40 years that emissions have fallen so far over two years. Overall, carbon emissions from energy use fell 1.7 percent last year, following 10 years of a shrinking carbon footprint in the U.S. Several things are supporting the lower emissions, including Americans using more renewable energy each year and power plants using less coal and more natural gas. 


Texas is second to New York in commercial real estate spending in 2016

In 2016, commercial property construction values topped $18.5 billion in Texas. That total, according to NAIOP, was second in the U.S. last year to New York State's $24.8 billion. California was third with $14.3 billion in commercial development. 


Arkansas' unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent, lowest in the South

The unemployment rate in Arkansas got down to 3.6 percent in April, a historic low. In Northwest Arkansas, it's even lower at 3.4 percent. With about 3 million residents, the state is the second smallest in the South. Yet, statewide, 57,000 jobs have been created in Arkansas in the past two years. 


Stephen Moret's plans for leading economic development in Virginia

In January, Stephen Moret, the former Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development, became the new director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). Moret now has been on the job long enough to visit many parts of the state and form recommendations for the transformation of VEDP. Moret plans to: 

* Develop a target industry strategy and action plan for the state. 

* Launch a targeted retention and expansion program. 

* Launch and fund a "world-class, turnkey, customized workforce recruitment and training program modeled after programs in Louisiana and Georgia." 

* Create a comprehensive strategy to assist growth in rural Virginia. 

* Launch and fund a marketing and lead generation program. 


According to this report, these are the top U.S. cities for minority entrepreneurs

ExpertMarket.com recently released its "Best Cities for Minority Entrepreneurs" and several Southern markets made the ranking's top 10. Houston was No. 1, followed by Miami (2); Atlanta (3); Dallas (7); Austin (8) and Orlando came in at No. 9. Riverside, Calif., Baltimore, San Jose and New York also made the list. 


Boston Consulting Group: $1 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure could create 3 million jobs

The Trump administration wants Congress to approve a $1 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure. According to The Boston Consulting Group, if planners prioritize projects based on job creation potential -- like airports and seaports -- 3 million or more jobs could be created over the next five years. The report did not cite where those 3 million people would come from in a time of full employment. 


The cities in every Southern state with the highest job growth

AL: Alabaster 4.6%

AR: Bentonville 7.3%

FL: Parkland 7.6%

GA: Woodstock 10.4%

KY: Independence 7.7%

LA: Lake Charles 6.4%

MS: Olive Branch 2.9%

MO: Wentzville 3.4%

NC: Concord 5.5%

OK: Stillwater 0.5%

SC: Mount Pleasant 6.7%

TN: Mount Juliet 9.6%

TX: Leander 11.1%

VA: Leesburg 4.4%

WV: Huntington 0.8%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. January 2016-January 2017


Next top tech towns in the South 

Sky high real estate prices are forcing companies and tech workers out of Silicon Valley and into other U.S. cities with mature tech clusters. According to Realtor.com, here are the next big tech hubs in the South that remain affordable: Austin; Atlanta; Raleigh-Durham and Richmond, Va. 


Chinese FDI in the U.S. continues strong run

Chinese investment in the U.S. continues to mostly be mergers and acquisitions, but there is a growing list of greenfield projects. Chinese FDI is not slowing down in 2017 as some experts have predicted it would. In 2016, the Chinese invested $46 billion in the U.S., making it one of the largest countries of foreign direct investment in the U.S. The $46 billion blew past the previous record of $15 billion from the Chinese in 2015, according to the Rhodium Group. Among the largest acquisitions last year were HNA Group buying networking and software distributor Ingram Micro for $6 billion and Chinese appliance maker Haier Electronics' purchase of General Electric's appliance unit for $5.4 billion. According to Rhodium, there were 40 Chinese deals valued at $9.3 billion in the first quarter of this year. Nine of those projects were located in the South. 


Renewable energy job creation vs. fossil fuel job creation? It isn't even close. 

The recent Department of Energy's U.S. Energy and Employment report showed that employers in renewable energy are hiring people 12 times faster than any other sector of the economy. Renewable energy employment has grown by 20 percent annually since 2011, while fossil fuel jobs have dropped by 4.25 percent annually since 2012. The same report showed that solar employment in the U.S. today more than doubles that of coal. In all, 748,300 people are currently employed in renewable and low emission power generation while 1,073,800 people are employed in fossil fuel power generation. The Natural Resources Defense Council expects new wind and solar projects in 2017 to create 220,000 jobs.  


Finally, Gulf states receive money from BP's Deepwater Horizon settlement

April was the first month that Gulf states in the South received money from BP's Deepwater Horizon settlement. In total, Gulf states will receive about $16 billion in funds that can be used for coastal restoration. The majority of the money will be sent to states on an annual basis over the next 15 years. The restoration is the largest ever undertaken by the U.S. 


Mississippi's unemployment rate falls to lowest level ever

Mississippi's jobless rate fell to 5 percent in March, tying the lowest rate since the current unemployment survey began in 1976. Mississippi saw its unemployment rate fall to 5 percent for six months in 1999 and three months in 2000. 


It costs less to operate your business in the South

According to a report published in the spring quarter by Chicago-based Anderson Economic Group, eight of the 15-lowest business tax burdens are states in the South. Oklahoma had the lowest tax burden for businesses and North Carolina had the third-lowest. Making the top 15 in lowest business costs in the South were Missouri, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama. 


Atlanta's airport first worldwide to break 100 million passenger mark

In 2016, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport served 104 million passengers, the first airport to break the 100 million mark. It was the 19th straight year Atlanta was the world's busiest airport. 


Aerospace park proposed at Tri-Cities (Tenn.) Regional Airport

The Tennessee general assembly passed an amendment to the state regional airport authority that will enable the Tri-Cities Regional Airport to develop 160 acres into an aerospace industrial park. The park will enable users to take advantage of the airport facilities, workforce development programs at Northeast State Community College and other workforce development assets. Leaders in Northeast Tennessee will target MROs and aerospace manufacturers. 


Boeing's largest S.C.-built Dreamliner flies for the first time

In the spring quarter, the first 787-10, the largest of Boeing's Dreamliner family, took its first test flight from the company's facilities in North Charleston, S.C. The 787-10 is built exclusively at Boeing's South Carolina aerospace campus. 


New Orleans top city for technology jobs

New Orleans is No. 1 in the U.S. in the growth of technology jobs according to a report by SmartAsset.com. According to the site, tech jobs in New Orleans have grown by more than 35 percent since 2012. 


Aluminum company to hire 550 in heart of Appalachia

A metals company will build a $1.3 billion facility near the border of Kentucky and West Virginia, pledging to hire 550 employees earning average salaries of $70,000 in an area devastated by the loss of coal and manufacturing jobs. Braidy Industries says the 2.5 million-square-foot facility in Greenup County, Ky., will produce aluminum for the automotive and aerospace industries, two of Kentucky’s largest manufacturing sectors. The company expects 1,000 workers will be needed to build the plant next year, with construction to be completed in 2020.


Tech firm to create HQ in Louisville

Interapt, a tech development startup, will build a $3.7 million home base and add 250 jobs in Louisville’s Portland neighborhood. The company plans to renovate a 22,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehousing facility near downtown. Interapt develops mobile, web and high-tech wearable applications that business clients use to improve communications. 


ServiceMaster to open HQ in Memphis

ServiceMaster recently announced that it will move its global headquarters to downtown Memphis and occupy Peabody Place, repurposing the former downtown mall into Class A and LEED-certified office space, and bringing approximately 1,200 people to the renovated building by the end of 2017.


Fortune 1000 relocating HQ in Tennessee

Mueller Industries, currently headquartered in Memphis, is planning to move its 120-person headquarters to an office building still under construction 30 miles away in Collierville. The company produces piping, industrial metals and climate control products.


Cargill, Calysta break ground on Memphis’ Presidents Island facility

NouriTech, a joint venture between Cargill and Calysta, broke ground on its new 37-acre Presidents Island gas fermentation facility, which will be the world’s largest upon completion. The $660 million animal food ingredient plant will create up to 160 jobs. At the facility, NouriTech will produce FeedKind, a sustainable source of protein to be used for fish, livestock and pets. 


Louisiana Cat expanding Port of Iberia facility

Louisiana Machinery Company will expand its New Iberia operations and add 60 jobs over the next five years. The company, known as Louisiana Cat, rebuilds and services engines and related equipment for marine, oil and gas, industrial and utility companies at the Port of Iberia. 


Lake Foods to invest $8 million, create 130 jobs in Georgia

Hartwell, Ga.-based Lake Foods is doubling its workforce in Hart County. The food processor will create 130 new full-time jobs and invest $8 million to expand its 62,000-square-foot facility there.


Airplane manufacturer creating 100 new jobs in Georgia

Thrush Aircraft will add 100 new jobs to its headquarters in Albany, Ga., thanks to worldwide growth in the agriculture equipment industry, along with the addition of two new products — the reproduction of a 700-gallon agricultural plane known as the Thrush 710, and a newly developed patrol model designed for military purposes.


Manufacturing company brings 30 new jobs to Richmond

Karn Custom Woodwork, an architectural millwork manufacturing and installation company, will invest $2.55 million to expand its headquarters and manufacturing operation in Richmond, which will create 30 new jobs.


KAAP to expand in Bowling Green, create 129 jobs

Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (KAAP) will expand for a seventh time in Bowling Green, investing more than $51 million and creating 129 full-time jobs. KAAP will add more than 108,000 square feet to accommodate new production lines and equipment.


Hanesbrands shifts workforce for online sales

The consumer-driven shift toward online and digital sales has led Hanesbrands to adjust its Winston-Salem headquarters workforce to reflect evolving employment needs. The company will eliminate 60 jobs, while adding 70 jobs to support operations that are growing, including online and digital units.


Tyson plans wage, training increases

Arkansas meat giant Tyson Foods plans to introduce “significantly” higher wages at select U.S. plants as it seeks to improve employee retention in a tight labor market. The company will also hire more than two dozen additional trainers for its poultry plants.


Trio of Tennessee auto suppliers announce expansions

A trio of automotive suppliers in Smyrna, Tenn., will add 520 jobs in expansion plans totaling $142.4 million. Federal-Mogul will add 285 jobs, Topre America plans for 145 new jobs and Steel Technologies for 90. All three companies will receive tax incentives.


JSI Store Fixtures to create 97 jobs in Greenville County, S.C.

JSI Store Fixtures will add just under 100 new jobs as part of its Greenville County expansion. The Maine-based manufacturing company that produces displays for the supermarket industry is expected to invest $2.1 million and add 97 jobs.


Missouri tech company to add 100 new jobs

Onshore Outsourcing, an IT company headquartered in northern Missouri’s Macon County, will add about 100 new jobs in the next 18 months. Onshore’s mission reads, in part, “Our passion is providing Americans and veterans in rural communities stable and rewarding IT careers.”


For-profit prison to build facility in Conroe, Texas

Florida-based GEO Group, a multibillion-dollar, for-profit prison company, is planning to build an immigrant detention center north of Houston. GEO Group won a contract with ICE to build the 1,000-bed, $110 million facility in Conroe.


Prisonville in Southern Texas could be back in business

Officials in Willacy County, Texas, are counting on the immigration crackdown to revive what was its biggest employer, a prison that was closed after a 2015 riot, putting 400 employees out of work. The county recently deeded the facility back to the company that used to operate it, which agreed to assume $69 million in outstanding debt. Now residents and officials, many with relatives on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, wait for a flood of detainees to fill the jail’s beds—and hope to find work guarding them. 


2nd Life Inc. to invest $1 million to expand in Richmond

2nd Life Inc., a consumer electronics wholesaler serving Virginia and the surrounding region, will invest $975,000 to expand its operation and create 66 new jobs over the next two years.


New call center in Mobile, Ala., to hire 500

Results, a Ft. Lauderdale-based company, is opening a 10,000-square-foot call center in Mobile. They plan to hire over 500 local employees.


Caristrap locating HQ in Greenville County, S.C.

Caristrap International, a manufacturer of industrial strapping systems, is locating its new corporate headquarters in Greenville County. The project is expected to bring $5.5 million of capital investment and create 100 new jobs.


Holiday Retirement moves HQ to Florida

One of the nation’s largest independent living providers is moving its corporate headquarters from Lake Oswego, Ore., to Winter Park, Fla., this summer, eliminating or relocating approximately 200 jobs in the process. The company also plans to start hiring in the Orlando/Winter Park area “very soon.”


Selma Precision Technologies to revamp shuttered Alabama plant

Less than a year after Selma’s Sona Precision Forge plant closed, a new owner will restart the assembly line. Selma Precision Technologies, the first American plant for the Indian manufacturer Warm Group, plans to immediately reopen the plant with 38 workers. Vinay Upadhyay, a director for Selma Precision Technologies, said the Warm Group was initially interested in buying bankrupt Sona’s equipment at auction and shipping it back to India. Instead, it bought the property.


North Carolina solar company seeks veterans for Virginia expansion

North Carolina-based Strata Solar is striving to fill 125 of its 400 job openings with military veterans. One year after the first group of veterans completed the Department of Energy’s Solar Ready Vets program, Strata Solar sees Virginia – with a high population of retired veterans and several major military installations – as a strong environment for recruitment. While Strata is the latest developer to enter the Virginia market, its hiring goal will likely move it to the top of solar companies with full-time employees there.


LuLaRoe distribution center coming to Richland County, S.C.

California-based clothing line LuLaRoe, founded in 2013 and currently sold in 80,000 retail locations, is opening a distribution center in the former Bose plant in Blythewood. The new facility is expected to bring nearly $35 million in investment and create as many as 1,000 jobs. 


Frozen food expansion to bring jobs to Joplin, Mo.

DEF, a subsidiary of Ajinomoto Windsor, will pay for a $39 million expansion at Joplin’s Crossroads Industrial Park. It’s the largest building permit filed in the City of Joplin since construction of the high school. The plant will start with 150 to 200 jobs, but is expected to grow to 400 employees in five years.


U.S. Steel restarts Lone Star Mill; 200 workers recalled

Encouraged by an improvement in the oil industry and national economy, U.S. Steel announced it is restarting the No. 2 Welded Pipe Mill that it idled a year ago at the Lone Star Tubular Operations in Texas. “We expect production to resume in May, and we anticipate recalling 200 employees,” said Meghan Cox, a spokeswoman at corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh.


Alabama company launches unique app, hiring 100 this summer

Appleton, a downtown Huntsville business, is looking to hire 100 people this summer through RoleCall, an on-demand staffing app that connects residents with local jobs in the hospitality and healthcare industries on their own schedule.


B&D Plastics expands Mississippi manufacturing center

One of the largest fabricators and manufacturers of dual-laminate equipment in the United States, B&D Plastics is expanding on the Gulf Coast, in Gautier, Miss. The expansion represents a $750,000 corporate investment and creates 35 jobs.


Hilton to hire 20K more veterans by 2020

Worldwide hotel chain Hilton announced plans to hire 20,000 additional U.S. military veterans and their family members within the next four years. The plan is part of Operation: Opportunity, which also provides employment and training assistance to veterans’ relatives, dependents and caregivers. Hilton said it surpassed its original goal of hiring 10,000 vets two years ahead of schedule.


Senior living center to create 120 jobs in Missouri

Allegro Senior Living has acquired a development site in Parkland, Mo., for $6 million where it plans to have 120 to 130 employees in a new senior living center. Allegro plans to break ground on the 175-unit, 186,000-square-foot facility this fall.


Manufacturer expands to North Carolina with $13 million investment

Weitron, a packager and distributor of refrigerant gases, has selected Martin County for a new production facility in Everetts, N.C. The $13 million investment will create 31 jobs. The company is expanding to meet growing demand for new refrigerant formulas with less environmental impact.


Urban Mining coming to San Marcos with 100 jobs

Austin-based Urban Mining Company plans to relocate its headquarters and open a $25 million, 100,000-square-foot facility in San Marcos, Texas that promises 100 advanced manufacturing and technology jobs. The company recycles and manufactures rare earth magnets.


Spotsy approves $1 million in tax incentives for manufacturer

Virginia’s Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved more than $1 million in tax incentives for idX Corp., a manufacturer that is relocating its Columbia, Md., operations into a long-vacant General Motors plant in Spotsylvania. Missouri-based idX expects to have 150 employees within three years. IdX produces décor, fixtures, graphics and millwork for retailers.


Kimberly-Clark invests in its Alabama mill

Kimberly-Clark Corporation has approved an investment of $75 million for construction of a new combined heat-power plant at its tissue mill in Mobile, Ala. The plant, to be constructed over a two-year period, should improve energy efficiency and costs, as well as boost its overall competitiveness within Kimberly-Clark.


Centene breaks ground on $770 million expansion in Clayton, Mo.

Centene officials recently broke ground on the company’s $770 million campus expansion project in Clayton. The project will include office towers, parking garages, residential units, a hotel and civic auditorium for the healthcare enterprise that serves as an intermediary for both government-sponsored and privately-insured healthcare programs.


Exxon, SABIC choose Texas for $10 billion petrochem project

ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (known as SABIC) announced April 19 they have selected a site in San Patricio County, Texas for a multibillion-dollar petrochemical project. Natural gas from the Eagle Ford Shale was key in landing the $10 billion plastics plant that will be built just north of Corpus Christi, where it is expected to be a game changer for the South Texas economy. The plant, which will make ethylene and other chemicals for polyester, anti-freeze, plastic bottles and food packaging products, will hire 600 permanent employees, in addition to creating 11,000 construction jobs.


Hulu bringing HQ and 500 new jobs to San Antonio

Online streaming giant Hulu is working on plans for a new customer-support HQ in San Antonio. Upon opening, the new headquarters will bring more than 300 jobs to San Antonio in 2017, with more than 500 total jobs projected in 2018. Hulu currently has 150 customer-service reps who work remotely, and the majority of those roles will move to the new Texas location.


Novant Health’s $49 million expansion brings 100 new jobs to Piedmont Triad Medical Center

Novant Health is adding about 100 new jobs at its medical center in Clemmons, N.C., as it expects to complete construction on the facility this summer. The Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center, where the positions will be located, has recently undergone a $49 million expansion. 


Disney’s Avatar expansion to create 3,000 new jobs

The World of Avatar is the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom’s history, and the opening of Pandora will hire 1,500 new cast members, 700 operational and 800 construction roles. “Walt Disney World has 73,000 cast members today, serves as the largest single employer in the United States,” said Senior Vice President of Walt Disney World Parks Jim MacPhee. “All of those cast members live, work, and play here in Central Florida. And so this ability to add incrementally to that is just another boost to the entire economic engine of the Central Florida community.”


NCGS plans new HQ in Charleston, S.C.

NCGS Inc., which specializes in conducting clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry, is expanding its operations in Charleston. The company is constructing a new corporate headquarters, which will bring $10 million of new capital investment and create 80 new jobs.


Provision Healthcare developing $100 million cancer center In New Orleans

Knoxville, Tenn.-based Provision Healthcare and its partners will invest $100 million to build a 30,000-square-foot Louisiana Proton Therapy Center in the New Orleans biomedical corridor. The project will create 60 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $100,000.


Southeastern Metal expands in North Carolina

Southeastern Metal expects to spend $5.1 million to add 42,000 square feet to its metal-stamping plant in north Charlotte. Seventy jobs will be created in the project.


Auto parts supplier creating 100 jobs with major expansion in Alabama

Auto parts supplier Hanwha Advanced Materials America is investing once again in its Opelika, Ala., plant. The Seoul, South Korea-based manufacturer plans to invest nearly $20 million into its factory with 100 new jobs being generated over three years. The parts supplier will employ more than 400 people when the dust settles, with its total investment in the Opelika plant rising to nearly $80 million. It began making parts there in 2005.


Kellex Seating expands in North Carolina

Kellex Seating, a manufacturer of upholstered furniture, will invest $3 million in its plant, creating 32 jobs and retaining 166 – all thanks to a $400,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.


Kentucky health facility buying $2.2 million property

Kentucky Blood Center will renovate about 9,500 square feet of undeveloped space in a strip mall and add a new blood donation center, which will be staffed by 20 to 25 employees.


Walgreens adding 140 jobs at Muscle Shoals call center

Walgreen’s will add up to 140 new employees at a call center in North Alabama, boosting its presence at the Southgate Mall to 640 employees.


Florida train to create hundreds of new jobs

Brightline is planning to hire 200 people as it launches high speed rail service in Florida. Dave Howard, CEO of Brightline, said the 200 positions will be for a variety of roles through the company’s operations and stations in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.


Solar company to hire 200 in Jasper County, S.C.

Dominion, an energy company headquartered in Virginia, recently announced plans to construct, own and operate 81 megawatts of solar generating capacity in Jasper County, S.C. Two projects — a 71.4-megawatt facility that would be South Carolina’s largest and a 10-megawatt array — are expected to enter service in 2017.


Buncombe Commissioners okay incentives for 551 Black Mountain jobs

Buncombe County Commissioners (N.C.) voted to authorize incentives to Avadim Technologies, a life-sciences company that promises to bring 551 new jobs and invest $25.4 million in the area. Avadim Technologies now employees 56 people full-time. The company is planning to move to Black Mountain to create a 100,000 square-foot plant.


Construction begins on $113 million pharma campus in Carrollton, Texas

Construction on a $113 million, 40-acre campus for AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group has begun in Carrollton, which will make enough room for a division of Pennsylvania-based AmerisourceBergen Corp. to add more than 1,000 employees, with plans to employ upwards of 3,000 employees in the next decade.


Brake plant to add 160 jobs in $40 million North Carolina expansion

Continental North America will spend $40 million to expand its Morganton automobile brake plant, adding 160 jobs in the process. The added capacity will allow the company to make its new MK C1 braking system. 


Passport Health moving HQ to West Louisville

Passport Health Plan will invest millions to move its headquarters to a vacant West Louisville site. The nonprofit, which administers Medicaid benefits for Kentuckians, bought the property, and hopes to turn the 20-acre site into a state-of-the-art health and wellness campus housing 500-plus employees.


New data center bringing 40 jobs to Wise County, Va.

A new state-of-the-art data center is expected to bring 40 jobs to Wise County. DP Facilities South will invest $65 million to construct a Tier III top-level-security data center there.


Volvo to export cars from South Carolina to China

Volvo, the Sweden-based, Chinese-owned carmaker, is planning to export cars to China from an American plant. The factory being built in Berkeley County, S.C. will employ 4,000 workers and produce a small sedan that will be sold in Europe and China beginning in 2018. Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars, said producing cars in the U.S. for export, particularly to China, offers a powerful rebuttal to accusations that China is taking U.S. jobs.


Quiet Logistics opens fulfillment center in Hazelwood, Mo.

Quiet Logistics recently opened its Fulfillment Center of the Future, located just outside St. Louis in Hazelwood. The innovative center, built on the company’s proprietary Fulfillment Management System, is strategically located to enable two- and three-day shipping to e-commerce customers across the United States. At capacity, it will employ 250 full-time employees working alongside a state-of-the-art Locus Robotics autonomous picking solution.


Robotics company to expand North Carolina plant, adding 275 jobs

A company that makes robotics parts is expanding its operation in North Carolina, adding 275 jobs over the next four years. ATI Industrial Automation plans to spend $6 million to expand its factory and headquarters in Apex.


New Process Steel expands in Columbus, Miss.

Metals solutions company, New Process Steel, is upgrading its operations in Columbus. The company plans to invest $7.5 million and create 50 jobs by the end of 2018 in Lowndes County. The expansion will need $750,000 in Development Infrastructure Program grants from the Mississippi Development Authority for road improvements, and up to $1 million in a state loan to pay for a rail spur from the railway near the Steel Dynamics, Inc. campus.


Regions to build $23 million operations facility in Hattiesburg

Regions Financial Corp. is investing $23 million into its Mississippi operations with a new facility in Hattiesburg. The Birmingham-headquartered bank currently employs 320 people in the Hattiesburg area, but it plans to add about 90 employees to support operations. The new facility will primarily house workers from Regions Mortgage.


Dollar Tree plans 1.2 million-square-foot distribution hub in Missouri

Dollar Tree will invest approximately $110 million to build a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution facility in Warrensburg, Mo. The company plans to create 375 new jobs, as it expects 150-200 inbound/outbound trucks per day as the facility supports the Midwestern U.S. retail store network.


Chinese companies announce mega chemical projects in Louisiana

A pair of Chinese companies recently announced two separate chemical plant projects slated for Louisiana that will be worth billions. The first announcement came from Wanhua Chemical Group, one of the world’s largest producers of methylene biphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). After years of negotiations with Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the company landed a $4.3 million infrastructure grant to build a $1.12 billion chemical plant. The company has yet to pinpoint an exact location for the complex. LED said that the project could produce as many as 170 direct and 945 indirect jobs. Yuhuang Chemical Inc. also announced last week that it could end up spending billions more than projected to complete its current methanol project in St. James.


Smart grid firm moving HQ from Silicon Valley to Cary, N.C.

A smart grid software, communications and cleantech company plans to move its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Cary, bringing 130 jobs to the Triangle. Trilliant Networks will invest $1.8 million to expand its current offices in Cary to accommodate the corporate operations, and officials said the average salary of the new jobs will be $105,000.


Chinese company to invest $5 million in pet treat plant in Danville, Ark.

China-based Pet Won Pet Products will invest $5 million to develop pet treats at a new 28,887-square-foot facility, located 99 miles northwest of Little Rock, in Danville, Ark. The company will create 70 new jobs at the plant.


Grupo Phoenix creating 145 jobs in Virginia with third expansion

Grupo Phoenix, a manufacturer of rigid packaging containers for the food and beverage industry, will invest $48.7 million and create 145 jobs as it expands its subsidiary manufacturing operation, Phoenix Packaging Operations, in Pulaski County. This project represents the company’s third expansion, bringing its investment in the operation to $106.2 million and a total of 585 new jobs.


Toyota announces major Mississippi investments

Toyota Motor Corp. is making a major financial investment in its Blue Springs, Miss., manufacturing facility with the announcement of a $10 million visitor and interactive training center as well as $350,000 in donations for education and literacy. Officials announced the investments at the recently celebrated 10th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the $1 billion plant in Union County.


Toyota to spend $1.3 billion on Kentucky factory

Toyota will spend more than $1 billion to overhaul its largest production plant in the world. The $1.33 billion investment in the auto giant’s Kentucky factory, which employs 8,200 people, will help the plant make Camrys more efficiently and will speed up production timelines.


Balta consolidating in Floyd County, Ga.

A Belgium-based floor covering company has revealed plans for a 300,000-square-foot distribution facility in Floyd County, Ga. The $10 million investment will bring 75 jobs to the former Florida Tile property in Rome, Ga. 


Lotte Chemical USA moving to Louisiana

Lotte Chemical USA has decided to establish its headquarters in Lake Charles, where the corporate office will join the company’s $1.1 billion monoethylene glycol plant under construction. Together, the plant and corporate headquarters will create 130 new direct jobs, over 1,200 permanent new indirect jobs, and more than 3,000 construction jobs. In addition to Lotte Chemical’s MEG plant, the company is investing in a $1.9 billion joint venture with Westlake Chemical to build an ethane cracker complex, also under construction on the 250-acre site that will be home to the MEG plant and future headquarters.


Ryan-AL reshoring to Lenoir, N.C.

Ryan-AL Inc., a specialty manufacturer of fiberglass doors, will invest $1.7 million to relocate manufacturing from China to Lenoir. The company plans to create 53 jobs in Caldwell County.


German company locates in Spartanburg

Global freight forwarder Senator International, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, plans to invest nearly $7.4 million to establish a new facility in Spartanburg County and create 100 jobs.


Old Lynchburg power plant back in business

Several new jobs are coming to a power plant that has been dormant for five years in Lynchburg, Va. Appalachian Power transferred the Reusens hydroelectric plant, which closed in 2011, to Eagle Creek. Officials with Eagle Creek say several new jobs will be created as the plant is returned to operational status. 


Comcast creates 600 jobs in Broward County, Fla.

The Philadelphia-based telecommunications giant announced 600 new jobs for its base in Miramar. The new jobs are part of 5,500 being added across the country to improve customer service.


Four hundred new jobs from MedXM expansion in Oklahoma

Mobile Medical Examination, which provides in-home health risk assessments, will be expanding into Oklahoma City to house additional support for MedXM outreach initiatives.


Boat company adding 370 jobs in South Carolina

Summerville-based Scout Boats plans to invest nearly $11 million as it expands its Dorchester County operations, creating 370 jobs. The boat manufacturer, which also expanded in 2014, plans to build a facility in Summerville that will be large enough to house the company’s new 53-foot yacht model.


Liberty Mutual hires 1,150 workers, looking for thousands more

By the end of the year, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance plans to open the doors of its $325 million, 1.1 million-square-foot regional hub in Plano’s Legacy West. The insurance company already hired 1,150 employees and is looking to hire a few thousand more. In all, Liberty Mutual’s regional hub could house 5,000 workers. 


Defense contractor to add 800 jobs in Huntsville

Aerojet Rocketdyne plans to expand its presence in Huntsville. . .a move expected to create up to 800 jobs. 


Foam products manufacturer to expand again in North Carolina

Plastic foam manufacturer Palziv is adding 40 jobs to its existing operation in Louisburg. The Israeli-based company plans to invest nearly $5.2 million in Franklin County.


Handgun maker SCCY bringing 350 jobs, $22.5 million to Blount County, Tenn.

Florida handgun manufacturer, SCCY (pronounced “sky”) Industries, will bring 350 jobs to Blount County with an initial $22.5 million investment, constructing a 150,000-square-foot campus to house corporate, research and development and manufacturing facilities.


Schneider Electric expands South Carolina, operations

Schneider Electric, a specialist in energy management and automation, is expanding its manufacturing center in Seneca, S.C., creating 56 new jobs. The company’s Oconee County plant makes products used in applications ranging from technology for production lines and oil rigs to equipment in wastewater treatment plants.


Total Quality Logistics opens hub in New Orleans

Total Quality Logistics will open its newest 8,125-square-foot facility in New Orleans. The third-party freight brokerage firm will create 97 new jobs at the facility over the next 10 years.


Biewer Lumber opens $85 million sawmill in Newton, Miss.

Biewer Lumber has opened its $85 million state-of-the-art sawmill, 64 miles east of Jackson, Miss. The Newton facility, which is officially known as Biewer Sawmill-Newton, expands the company’s mill production into the South. 


Boeing chooses Texas as HQ for Global Services unit

The Boeing Co. has chosen Plano, Texas to locate the world headquarters for its new Global Services business unit, integrating the services capabilities of the defense, space and commercial airplanes sectors into a single, customer-focused business. The company expects to be up and running at the site in July.


Georgia’s Roper plant to hire 100

The Roper appliance plant in Lafayette, Ga., is recruiting 100 new workers to replace existing employees expected to retire or quit this year.


Star Snacks announces $18 million facility in Georgia

New Jersey-based Star Snacks will construct a 200,000-square-foot facility to source, roast and distribute peanuts grown in southwest Georgia. The facility in Macon-Bibb County, Ga., is expected to create more than 115 jobs.


Walmart investing $135 million in Alabama import facility

Retail giant Walmart will invest at least $135 million to open a 2.5 million-square-foot import distribution facility in Mobile County, Ala. The facility will create 550 jobs and provide a major boost to the Port of Mobile. It will service about 800 Walmart stores with products primarily shipped through the Alabama port’s container terminal.


Aurora Organic Dairy plans facility in Columbia, Mo.

Aurora Organic Dairy, a leading producer and processor of store-brand organic milk and butter for U.S. retailers, plans to construct a new $100 million dairy processing facility in Columbia. The project is expected to initially create more than 90 jobs, and up to 150 total new jobs over the next five years.


Paducah automotive supplier plans 50-job expansion 

UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries plans to expand its presence in Paducah, Ky., with a $3.3 million investment expected to bring an additional 50 jobs. The project will include machining centers, robotics and additional fabrication equipment. 


PhishLabs new HQ in Charleston County, S.C.

PhishLabs, a provider of cybersecurity services, is expanding its existing operations in Charleston County. The company expects to create 45 new jobs.


American Metals Group bringing 80 jobs to Childersburg, Ala.

American Metals Group is starting up in Childersburg with a $5.3 million investment, and looking to bring about 80 jobs. The company manufactures cold drawn steel bars for the automotive, construction and energy industries.


Company to create 133 new jobs in Asheboro, N.C.

MAS Holdings, a global apparel technology and manufacturing company, will locate its first U.S. manufacturing and development center in Randolph County, creating 133 new jobs. The company plans to invest nearly $20 million.


Wabco opens $20 million Lowcountry expansion

A Brussels-based automotive supplier is growing its existing Lowcountry footprint. Wabco recently celebrated the opening of its $20 million manufacturing facility in North Charleston, which will supply parts to major truck, bus and trailer manufacturers. The 55 new hires bring the facility’s total to 230 employees. 


Canner expands in Bishopville, S.C.

South Atlantic Canners, a cooperative that includes several Coca-Cola bottlers, is expanding its operations with a $13 million investment in Lee County.


300 tech jobs announced in Tennessee

SAIC, the McLean, Va.-based company Science Applications International Corp., is adding 300 tech jobs in Cookeville, Tenn.


SpaceX announces hundreds of open positions

Elon Musk’s space travel company is hiring nearly 500 new employees across a variety of departments and locations. The boost is thanks, at least in part, to the successful launch of a reusable Falcon 9 rocket.


UPS unveils Saturday delivery and 6,000 new jobs

Atlanta-based UPS will deliver packages on Saturdays. The expanded drop-off schedule means UPS will compete with FedEx and the United States Postal Service. Both of those companies already deliver packages to people’s homes on the weekend. The change is “one of the largest in the company’s 109-year-history,” according to a UPS statement.


Spanish stone company moving HQ to Florida

Cosentino, a Spanish company that manufactures and distributes stone building materials, will relocate its Americas headquarters from Sugar Land, Texas to Coral Gables, Fla., creating 85 new jobs in Miami-Dade County. 


Honda to expand Alabama plant

Honda once again plans to expand its Alabama factory to take advantage of car buyers’ demand for larger vehicles. The Japanese automaker will invest $85 million to expand its Lincoln, Ala., plant by next year. The report also indicated that the Talladega County Commission approved tax incentives for the project last week. Honda invested more than $750 million in the plant since 2011, including a $71.4 million engine assembly facility that opened in 2015. 


Candy maker expanding in Erlanger, Ky.

Perfetti van Melle USA, which produces Airheads, Mentos and other popular candy brands, will expand its manufacturing plant near Erlanger with an $11 million investment, bringing 70 new full-time jobs. 


Kentucky auto supplier spends $20 million

Combined with its operations in Bullitt and Nelson counties, a supplier for the automotive industry will spend almost $50 million and hire 35 to expand its current facilities in Shepherdsville. Tower Automotive Operations USA received preliminary approval for tax incentives through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.


Nursing facility in Kissimmee, Fla., breaks ground

The new Adventist Care Center’s $20 million nursing facility in Kissimmee will create 150 new jobs once it opens in April 2018. 


Mars Chocolate expands in the U.S.

Mars Chocolate North America announced a $70 million reinvestment in its U.S. supply chain, expanding manufacturing and production centers in Arkansas, Mississippi, Washington State, South Dakota, Maryland and Illinois. This latest investment will add approximately 250 new jobs to sites across the country, ensuring that more than 95 percent of Mars’ chocolate products for the U.S. are made here.


Amazon to create 1,000 jobs in Frederick County, Va.

Amazon will establish an e-commerce warehouse and distribution operation in Frederick County. The company plans to construct a new, 1 million-square-foot facility in the White Hall Commerce Center. 


Plant bringing 250 jobs to Morristown, Tenn.

A Wisconsin maker of coffee filters and wet wipes will open a factory in Morristown, Tenn., about 40 miles northeast of Knoxville, bringing 250 new jobs. Rockline Industries will form a new subsidiary to make wet wipes in a 435,000-square-foot facility.


Continental Motors Group plans new campus at Mobile Aeroplex

Continental Motors Group, a global maker of piston aircraft engines owned by China-based AVIC International Holding Corp., plans to build a 225,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, manufacturing facility and headquarters at the Mobile Aeroplex in Alabama. The facility will be outfitted with $40 million in new equipment.



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.