Relocations and Expansions - Winter 2023


Beyond Gravity to double Alabama production capacity
Switzerland-based Beyond Gravity, a manufacturer of structures for launch vehicles, is adding a new production facility in Decatur to provide additional payload fairings for the United Launch Alliance’s next-generation Alabama-built Vulcan rockets. Beyond Gravity said it is working with ULA to build the new production facility, which will add 200 workers at the site in Morgan County. The new hiring will essentially double the company’s headcount in Alabama. Beyond Gravity (formerly known as RUAG Space) said the expansion project follows its selection by ULA to supply 38 payload fairings for Vulcan rockets launching satellites as part of Amazon’s Project Kuiper.

United Launch Alliance expands rocket facility in North Alabama
ULA announced in December it is spending $300 million to expand its rocket manufacturing facility in Decatur, Ala., the world’s largest rocket plant. The expansion will allow ULA to nearly double its launch rate.

New Alabama solar facility to generate 700 jobs
First Solar Inc. plans to invest $1.1 billion to establish a photo-voltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing facility in Lawrence County, Ala., creating over 700 jobs in North Alabama, according to an announcement by Governor Kay Ivey. The new factory is part of the company’s previously announced investment in scaling its American manufacturing footprint to over 10 gigawatts by 2025.

Diageo announces big investment deal in Montgomery
Diageo Americas Supply, a manufacturer and distributor of alcohol spirits, announced in the fall it plans to build a $415 million plant in Montgomery. The project should generate 75 new jobs.

Great Southern Wood to expand in Alabama
Great Southern Wood plans a $14 million expansion project at a treatment facility in Mobile County. The project will improve shipping at the Port of Mobile. Fourteen jobs will be created.


Another major manufacturer chooses rural Arkansas county for large project
Highbar LLC announced in the fall it will build a rebar mill on a 600-acre site that includes space for an expanded Mississippi River port facility, a railroad spur and a planned solar farm. Groundbreaking is scheduled in the first half of 2023 once permits are obtained. The deal will create 200 jobs in Mississippi County, Ark.

Ammunition maker expands in Little Rock
Ammunition maker Fiocchi of America announced in the fall quarter it is expanding its manufacturing operations in Little Rock. The $41 million facility at the Little Rock Port will add 120 jobs.

Rheem adds 100 jobs at large Fort Smith facility
Rheem is investing $20 million at its facility that houses 900 workers in Fort Smith. The project will create 100 jobs.

Specialty packager to open plant in Arkansas Delta
Specialty packaging firm Bartlo Packaging of Passaic, N.J., announced it is relocating its headquarters to Helena, Ark. The project, which will give the company easier access to the agribusiness market, will create 70 jobs.


Dassault Falcon Jet to build major maintenance facility in Melbourne, Fla.
Dassault Falcon Jet announced it will build a new maintenance facility at Melbourne Orlando International Airport as part of the company’s global expansion of its maintenance, repair and overhaul network. Intended to serve customers across North and South America and beyond, the 175,000-square-foot complex will accommodate all current Falcon models (including the new, ultra-long range Falcon 10X, the largest purpose-built business jet), and will be capable of performing major maintenance and modifications on up to 18 Falcon models simultaneously. Additionally, the site will be home to a 54,000-square-foot paint shop. Construction in Melbourne is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2023 and opening is set for late 2024.

Shipbuilder in Panama City hiring 300
Eastern Shipbuilding is gearing up hiring at its location in Panama City. The company will hire 226 craft positions, with the rest corporate positions.


Electric vertical aircraft maker to create 1,000 jobs in Georgia
Archer Aviation, an aerospace company advancing sustainable urban air mobility, will create 1,000 jobs and invest $118 million over 10 years in a new state-of-the-art electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) manufacturing facility located alongside the Covington Municipal Airport in Newton County, Ga.

Window maker with big Georgia deal
Renewal by Andersen, the full-service window replacement division of Andersen Corporation, will create 900 new jobs and invest more than $420 million in a new manufacturing facility in Henry County, Ga.

Absolics breaks ground on planned $600 million manufacturing site in Georgia
Absolics, Inc., a subsidiary of SKC Co. Ltd., broke ground on a planned $600 million investment in Covington, Ga., for a new manufacturing facility that will supply advanced materials to the U.S. semiconductor industry. The investment will create more than 400 high-skilled jobs in Georgia and help strengthen the U.S. semiconductor supply chain by manufacturing a new material that supports next-generation computing systems.

Cold chain logistics provider NewCold to be Henry County, Ga.’s single-largest investment
NewCold, a global leader in automated storage and cold chain logistics, will build and operate an advanced, large-scale distribution facility in Georgia. The project will create 170 new jobs and deliver more than $333 million in investment — the single-largest investment by a business in Henry County to date.

Grupo Bimbo to build new facility in Lowndes County, Ga.
Grupo Bimbo, a leading global baking company, will invest over $200 million to build a second production facility in Valdosta, creating 295 new jobs in Lowndes County. “Time and again, companies are recognizing the strengths of communities across Georgia and investing in all corners of the state,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Last year we celebrated over 60 percent of jobs created outside of metro Atlanta, and we’re staying focused on bringing opportunity to all Georgians, no matter their zip code.”

KISS USA to create 395 jobs in Southeast Georgia
In December, Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced that KISS USA, a global beauty company, will create more than 395 new jobs and invest $121 million in a facility in Bryan County. The company offers a wide variety of beauty supplies to more than 100 countries, including nail, hair and cosmetic products designed for at-home use.

Norma Precision to hire 600 in Georgia
Beretta Holding S.A., through its subsidiary Norma Precision Inc., will expand its footprint in Georgia and build a new manufacturing, assembly and distribution facility in Bryan County. The $60 million project will create 600 new jobs for which the company is currently hiring.

German robotics company to locate headquarters and manufacturing plant in Cherokee County
Becker Robotic Equipment, a global cable and robotic machinery manufacturer specializing in individualized robotic equipment, will build a new manufacturing facility to house its North American headquarters in Canton, Ga. The new facility will deliver more than $30 million in investment and create 137 new jobs in Cherokee County.

King’s Hawaiian to expand Hall County bakery operations, invest $85 million
Hawaii-inspired food company King’s Hawaiian will invest more than $85 million in expanding its Oakwood facility, creating more than 160 new jobs.

Cement company creating jobs in central Georgia
Nichiha USA, a fiber cement company, is investing $150 million into its Macon facility. The deal is expected to create 100 new jobs.


AppHarvest opens world’s largest indoor farm in Kentucky
AppHarvest, a sustainable food company, recently opened the world’s largest high-tech indoor farm in Somerset, Ky. The new facility will grow cucumbers and strawberries.

Nucor opens steel plate factory in Kentucky
The Charlotte-based Nucor rolled out its first steel plate in late December at its new plant in Brandenburg, Ky. The first product from the factory has been shipped to customers. The plant houses 400 workers.

Louisville-based Sazerac to invest $600 million in Kentucky
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced that Sazerac, one of the largest spirits distillers in the world, will invest $600 million to build about 20 new barrel warehouses. The barrel storage facilities will be located in Laurel County.

Aircraft maintenance company breaks ground on hangars in Northern Kentucky
FEAM AERO broke ground on the company’s new three-bay hangar at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). The $40 million investment will create 250 full-time jobs to maintain Boeing 767 aircraft.

UPS to invest $330 million to expand in Kentucky
UPS Supply Chain Solutions is building two new projects in Jefferson and Bullitt counties. The projects will create 435 jobs and represent a $334 million investment. UPS employs more than 25,000 employees working in air, ground and supply chain operations in the Louisville MSA.

Thermo Fisher Scientific investing nearly $60 million in Kentucky
Thermo Fisher Scientific, a clinical research firm, announced it is creating 200 jobs at its facility in Campbell County. New jobs created through the project will include Ph.D.-level scientists, analytical laboratory staff and other scientific professionals.


Louisiana engineering firm to hire 360 Tulane graduates
Metairie, La.-based engineering firm Bernhard announced it will hire 360 Tulane University grads over the next three decades. The program is a partnership between Bernhard and the Tulane Energy Institute — part of Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business

Natural gas mining returns to Northwest Louisiana
As a result of higher natural gas prices and demand, drillers are returning in significant numbers to rural areas of Northwest Louisiana for the first time in a decade. The war in Ukraine has sent Germany and other countries scrambling for gas due to Russian supply cuts, and demand is also rising in Asia, which has pushed natural gas prices to some of the highest levels since 2008.

John Deere expands Louisiana plant
Deere & Company, the global corporation that manufactures the iconic John Deere brand of agricultural, construction and forestry equipment, is investing $29.8 million to expand operations at its Thibodaux facility. The deal will include a $30 million investment and will generate 70 new jobs.

Oil and gas company investing in Louisiana
Schlumberger announced plans in the fall to consolidate divisions at a newly renovated hub in Lafayette, which is expected to bring 44 new direct jobs to the Acadiana region. The oilfield services company will also retain about 1,400 jobs in the region.

Tech firm to add 150 workers in New Orleans
Excella, a software firm founded in New Orleans 20 years ago, has launched a new hub in the Crescent City. The Northern Virginia-based company will create 150 jobs.


Steel Dynamics announces largest economic development deal in Mississippi history
Gov. Tate Reeves signed legislation recently to finalize Steel Dynamics’ $2.5 billion expansion in Mississippi. The project will create 1,000 new jobs.

Packaging manufacturer expanding in Mississippi
Menasha Packaging, a retail-focused packaging design, manufacturing and merchandising solutions provider, is expanding operations in Pelahatchie. The project is a $79 million corporate investment and will create 21 jobs. Menasha’s products include high-graphic displays, boxes and other shipping containers used primarily by consumer product companies.


Microsoft to invest $1 billion in technology facilities in Catawba County, N.C.
Leaders of Catawba County, N.C., the cities of Conover and Hickory, the town of Maiden, and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation announced in the fall quarter that Microsoft plans to invest a minimum of $1 billion in the phased development of four data centers in Catawba County over the next 10 years. The data centers will be located in Conover, Hickory and Maiden and will create at least 50 new jobs. Catawba EDC: “We are proud to work with Catawba County, the EDC, and local cities to bring exciting development projects to the area,” said Paul Englis, Microsoft Director of Community Engagement. “Today’s announcement is just the start of our mutual partnership and Microsoft’s long-term commitment to the local community.”

Food processing company creates 440 jobs in North Carolina
SO-PAK-CO Inc., a food processor and packager, will create 440 new jobs in Scotland County, N.C. The company will invest $85 million to build a state-of-the-art processing and packaging facility in the City of Laurinburg.

Mining giant Albemarle to locate major R&D center in Charlotte
Charlotte-based Albemarle is investing $180 million in a new research and development facility in Charlotte. The company says it will triple the number of its Ph.D. professionals because of the increased investment. The electric vehicle lithium project will create 200 jobs.


New, foreign-based aerospace company to build at Oklahoma Air & Space Port
Mexico-based Premium Aerospace Center plans to hire as many as 600 employees by 2026 at the Oklahoma Air & Space Port complex in Burns Flat, Okla., about 100 miles from Oklahoma City. The company will build new hangers for aircraft painting and interior remodeling.


New $62 million deal in South Carolina
Visual Comfort & Co., a maker of signature designer lighting, architectural lighting and ceiling fans, announced plans to establish distribution operations in Spartanburg County. The project will result in a $62 million investment and create 125 new jobs over the next five years.

Boise Cascade expanding footprint with new Colleton County operations
Boise Cascade, a leading manufacturer and distributor for building materials, announced plans to expand its South Carolina operations with a new facility in Colleton County. The company’s $9 million investment will create 30 new jobs.

Solar energy company to invest nearly $90 million in South Carolina
Ecoplexus, a leading global solar energy company, announced plans to establish a new solar farm operation in Newberry County. The company is investing $89 million into the project. Ecoplexus is an international renewable energy company that develops, owns and operates utility-scale solar projects for commercial, government and utility markets. The company’s services also include the design, engineering, construction and financing of renewable energy systems.


Metals maker expanding in Tennessee
Summertown Metals announced it will invest $11 million to expand its manufacturing and distribution operations in Lewis County. With existing operations in Summertown, the company will expand by constructing a new facility in the Lewis County Industrial Park, which will house its headquarters and additional manufacturing and distribution operations. As a result, the company will create 197 new jobs in Hohenwald.  

Hair treatment manufacturer to create job near Nashville
Brazilian Professionals announced the company will invest $6.1 million to establish new operations in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. Brazilian Professionals, a California-based specialty hair treatment producer and distributor, will create 110 new jobs in Maury County, more than doubling its U.S. employment. 


Chevron Phillips and QatarEntergy announce $8.5 billion investment in Texas
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and QatarEnergy announced they are proceeding with the construction of an $8.5 billion integrated polymers facility in Orange, Texas, expected to create more than 500 full-time jobs and about 4,500 construction jobs. The project will generate an estimated $50 billion for the community in residual economic impacts.

Finisar considers $3 billion semiconductor expansion in Sherman, Texas
Finisar, a company that makes lasers for facial recognition technology in Apple’s iPhone, is considering Sherman for a new $3 billion semiconductor plant. The new plant, an expansion to its current 76-acre site, would produce wafers for semiconductor chips and create 700 jobs.

FUJIFILM Diosynth expands manufacturing operations in College Station
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a world leading contract development and manufacturing organization for biologics, vaccines and advanced therapies, broke ground on a new facility in College Station in the fall quarter. The expansion will add a new CGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) production facility that will add 150 jobs. The expansion will double production of advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing at the plant.

TexAmericas Center awarded
Located on the Texas side of the Texarkana metropolitan area, TexAmericas Center owns and operates one of the largest mixed-use industrial parks in the United States. With roughly 12,000 development-ready acres of land and approximately 3.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial product, the manufacturing center was recently awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association. This is the second consecutive year the organization has been recognized.


STIHL plans to invest $49 million to expand its chain saw guide bar manufacturing facility in Virginia Beach
The City of Virginia Beach announced that STIHL plans to invest $49 million to expand its chain saw guide bar manufacturing facility in Virginia Beach. The expansion will add 26,000 square feet of space to an existing building, totaling 86,000 square feet upon completion. The project is also expected to create 15 new jobs with an average annual wage of $60,000 to $100,000.

Company to generate 745 jobs in Caroline County, Va.
World Class Distribution, a food and beverage distributor, is locating a facility in Caroline County. The deal will create 745 jobs.

Distribution facility slated for Suffolk, Va.
M S International Inc. (MSI), a California-based flooring, countertop, wall tile and hardscaping products supplier, will invest $61.6 million to establish its East Coast distribution facility in Suffolk. The deal will create 80 jobs.

Metal manufacturer expanding in rural Virginia
Virginia MetalFab, a provider of metal manufacturing and fabrication services, will invest $9 million to expand to a larger facility in Appomattox. The $9 million project is expected to create 130 jobs.

BWX Technologies begins fuel production in Virginia
TRISO fuel produced at BWX Technologies Inc.’s Lynchburg facility in Virginia will power the Project Pele micro reactor — the first micro reactor to be built and operated in the USA.

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