July 2016

2015: Record year for foreign direct investment

After a poor 2014 with only $171.6 billion invested directly by foreign companies in the U.S., 2015 was a record year. In 2015, the U.S. saw more than $368 billion in FDI, by far the largest ever. Most of the investment came from Europe, however there is a growing trend with China. Just 10 years ago Chinese investment in the U.S. was a mere $200 million. Last year it was $15 billion and some are predicting it will top $30 billion this year. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, nearly 70 percent of foreign investment in the U.S. in 2015 flowed to the manufacturing sector.


Arkansas, Virginia at full employment; South finally bests U.S. unemployment rate

With an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in May, Arkansas is at full employment. And with a rate of 3.8 percent, so is Virginia in the South. Next best is Tennessee with a 4.1 unemployment rate, followed by Missouri (4.3) and Texas (4.4). Currently, the South's unemployment rate is 5.0 percent while the U.S. rate is 5.5 percent. Over the last 25 years, the South has typically seen a lower unemployment rate than the nation as a whole. However, May was the first month since the end of the recession that the South's unemployment rate was lower than the national rate.


Study grades manufacturing industry health in U.S. states

The South saw more A and B scores than any other region in the U.S. from a study done by Ball State University on manufacturing industry health. Called the 2016 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card of the United States, the study used data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Outside the South, only Indiana, Iowa and Michigan received an A score in manufacturing health. In the South, the following states were graded in the study:


State                  Grade

Alabama             B+

Arkansas            C

Florida                D

Georgia              D+

Kentucky            A

Louisiana            C

Mississippi          B

Missouri              C

North Carolina   C+

Oklahoma           C-

South Carolina   A

Tennessee          B

Texas                   C

Virginia                D

West Virginia      C-


Source: Ball State's 2016 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card of the United States


Huge contribution by auto industry to Alabama's economy

According to M. Keivan Deravi, an economist at Auburn University at Montgomery, the auto industry in Alabama contributes about 10 percent of the state's gross state product. The figure tabbed by Deravi is more than $18 billion pumped into Alabama from the state's automotive industry, which includes three major assembly plants and many large suppliers and engine manufacturers.


Citi moving jobs to Tampa

In the summer quarter, Citi decided to move some jobs from Hartford, Conn., to Tampa. The relocation will mean 100 new jobs for the Tampa Bay area.


SKF opens new facility in St. Louis

SKF has opened its North American headquarters for its lubrication unit. The $34 million deal will create 73 new jobs.


California-based rocket engine manufacturer to place division in Huntsville

Aerojet Rocketdyne has consolidated multiple business units into two units, Space and Defense. The company will place its Defense Business Unit headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., a move that will create 40 jobs.


Massachusetts-based CRO picks Research Triangle

Veristat, a clinical research firm, is opening a new office in North Carolina’s Triangle. The company plans to hire 150 workers.


Trailer manufacturing expanding in Georgia

Great Dane Trailers is adding 100 jobs at its plant in Statesboro, Ga. The added hires will bring employment at the facility to 650.


Virginia shipbuilder adding jobs

Newport News Shipbuilding is expanding its facilities in Newport News, Va. The company is adding 52,000 square feet of production area, new heavy cranes and plate-forming equipment. The project will create 125 jobs.


Call center hiring 200 in Florida

Call Direct Partners, an inbound call center provider, is adding 30,000 square feet of space at its facility in Merritt Island, Fla. The deal will create 200 jobs.


Insurer to open center in Virginia

Pacific Life Insurance Company will invest $4 million in a new business center in Lynchburg, Va. The project calls for 300 new jobs.


Sawmill to be reopened in Arkansas

Caddo River Forest Products will invest $50 million to reopen its large sawmill in Glenwood, Ark. The project will create 136 new jobs.


Austrian building material maker investing over $360 million at Alabama plant

Austria-based Kronospan, a manufacturer of wood-based panel products, is investing $362 million into its plant in Calhoun County, Ala. The big deal will create 200 new jobs.


GM expanding Kentucky Corvette assembly plant

Bowling Green, Ky., is the only place in the world where GM produces Corvettes. The plant, which has recently expanded twice, is going to expand again. GM will invest $290 million in the facility for upgrades and will also add 270 jobs.


Aerospace manufacturer adding jobs in Missouri

LMI Aerospace is expanding in Washington, Mo. The aircraft parts supplier is adding space and 60 new jobs.


Massachusetts-based telecommunications firm expanding in Atlanta area

Granite Telecommunications, a provider of telecommunications to business and government, is expanding in Cobb County, Ga. The company will hire 50 new workers.


Amazon to open center in Georgia

Amazon will open another distribution center in the South, this one in Jackson County, Ga. The online retailer will move into an existing 600,000-square-foot facility that will house 500 employees.


MRO adding jobs in North Carolina

HAECO, an aircraft maintenance and repair company, is spending $32 million on a new hanger in Greensboro, N.C. The project calls for 400 new jobs.


Software maker establishing new center in midtown Atlanta

California-based Keysight Technologies is investing $14 million in a new software development center in Atlanta. The deal will create 250 jobs. Atlanta beat out Silicon Valley and Seattle for the project. 


Foreign auto parts supplier to open plant in Alabama

Austrian-based automotive supplier Voestalpine Automotive will open an $11 million plant in Birmingham. The project is expected to create 42 jobs.


App developer hiring 100 in Louisiana

Waitr, a mobile software solutions company based in Lake Charles, La., is opening a 100-job technology operations center in Lafayette, La. The company, which provides local restaurant delivery service through a free app, will hire software engineers at the center.


Indian solar panel manufacturer plans new facility in North Carolina

India-based SWELECT Energy Systems will put a new plant in Halifax County, N.C. The company will produce "high quality" solar modules at the plant that will house 155 workers.


Alcoa expanding forging plant in Virginia

Alcoa is investing $8 million to expand its aerospace forging capacity at its titanium facility in Henry County, Va. The $8 million deal will create 15 jobs.


Subcontractor hiring 600 in rural East Kentucky

Dallas-based SourceHOV is hiring 600 clerks and quality assurance specialists in Mount Vernon, Ky. The workers will help digitize Department of Veterans Affairs records to help reduce backlogs.


German auto parts supplier expands in Alabama

Germany-based Eissmann Automotive is investing $14.5 million to expand its plant in St. Clair County, Ala. The expansion includes 130,000 square feet of new space and 200 new employees. The company supplies parts to Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and other automakers.


Grant Thornton adding jobs in NOVA

Grant Thornton, a professional services firm, is investing almost $16 million in its offices in Arlington, Va. The company is retaining 994 jobs and adding 348 in Northern Virginia.


BMW supplier opens plant in Mississippi

Germany-based hago Automotive opened its auto parts plant in Tishomingo County, Miss., in the summer quarter. The BMW supplier is investing $10 million in the Iuka facility where 80 employees are building more than 50 parts for the BMW X3 models made in Greer, S.C.  


Payment processor relocating HQ to Buckhead

Fortune 1000 payment processor Global Payments is investing $220 million in a new headquarters in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The company is also expanding its current headquarters in Sandy Springs, Ga., and adding a new data center in the Atlanta area. The move to Buckhead gets the company closer to the large fintech cluster in midtown Atlanta. The projects will create 275 jobs.


North Carolina megasite certified

The 1,800-acre Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site has received certification from the North Carolina Department of Commerce's certified sites program. That means most of the engineering and infrastructure work has been completed, and it is deemed shovel-ready for large projects. The site is the largest certified site in North Carolina.


Oil and gas industry in the South perking up

A Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey in the summer quarter indicated that in the second quarter, oil and gas activity picked up sharply. More than half of those energy executives surveyed indicated that oil and gas mining has expanded in Louisiana and Texas. It is the first increase in activity in the long-declining industry since the glut began two years ago.


Kentucky-made Toyota Camry named "most American-made car"

The Toyota Camry, which is built in Georgetown, Ky., was named the most "American-made car" by Cars.com's 2016 American-made index. The index ranks cars based on the highest percentage of domestic parts used in the assembly process.


Call center in rural Virginia to hire 500

Frontier Secure will locate a call center in Wise County, Va. The technical support facility is expected to house 500 workers.


Cast-iron skillet maker breaks ground on largest-ever expansion in Tennessee

Lodge Manufacturing has been making cast-iron cookware for 120 years in South Pittsburg, Tenn. In June, the company embarked on its largest expansion ever, announcing that Lodge will spend $90 million on a new foundry and distribution center that will increase capacity by 75 percent. The project will create 92 new jobs, bringing the headcount to 400 at the plants.


New background check firm to hire 150 in Georgia

Wholesale Screening Solutions, a new background check company, is opening its first facility in Flowery Branch, Ga. The company expects to hire 50 initially, and 100 more next year. 


Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems opens expanded plant in Kentucky

Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems opened its new expanded plant in Russell Springs, Ky., over the summer. The expansion doubled the company's workforce to 300. The company makes vent systems for a variety of automakers. The company has spent $43 million on the facility since it was announced in August 2013.


Converted TVA plant in Kentucky 75 percent complete

Work on the conversion of the Tennessee Valley Authority's largest power plant is 75 percent complete, and the facility in Muhlenberg County, Ky., is expected to be online in the spring of 2017. TVA is spending $1 billion converting the facility from coal to natural gas.


Florida's gross state product to top $1 trillion by 2018

University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith's latest Florida & Metro Forecast showed that Florida's economy is projected to grow by 2.9 percent through 2019, outpacing the estimated 2.3 percent GDP growth by the U.S. during that time frame. Furthermore, the forecast noted that Florida's gross state product will top $1 trillion for the first time by 2018.


GE relocates North American IT HQ from Connecticut to Atlanta

As GE shutters its current headquarters in Connecticut and moves to Boston, Atlanta snagged an important unit of the company. General Electric is moving its North American IT headquarters to Atlanta. The project will generate 400 jobs.


This one company has given out $1 billion in work to small businesses in Huntsville, Ala.

Virginia-based defense giant Northrop Grumman has recently sub-contracted about $1 billion worth of work on the nation's ballistic missile system to small businesses in the Huntsville area. Northrop Grumman is the fifth largest defense company in the world.


Tennessee hopes Chattanooga plant to receive some of $2 billion for VW zero emissions technology

Gov. Bill Haslam said he has "strong hopes" that Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant will get some or all of the $2 billion in spending on zero-emissions technology that was part of the German automaker's settlement with car owners, states and the federal government in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. As part of the settlement, VW agreed to a $2.7 billion environmental remediation fund and will invest $2 billion in initiatives to promote the use of zero emissions vehicles in the U.S. Volkswagen will pay approximately $15 billion in the settlement.


Nissan's economic impact on Mississippi growing

According to Mississippi State's National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., contributed $2.9 billion in direct and indirect measures in the state. That's up from $2.5 billion in 2013. Additionally, local and state tax revenue is up from $180 million in 2013 to $300 million last year.


Manpower projects top five and bottom five U.S. markets hiring

The Q3 U.S. Manpower Employment Outlook Survey showed that Albany, N.Y., with 34 percent of executives surveyed, is the top market in the U.S. for positive net employment in the third quarter of this year. Richmond, Va., was second, followed by Charleston, S.C., Salt Lake City and Grand Rapids, Mich. The oil industry's struggles put three Southern markets in the bottom five in employment outlook in Q3. . .they were Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.


Louisiana governor signs executive order on property tax breaks for industry

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order in late June that will place more scrutiny over how industrial property tax breaks are given out to manufacturers. Local governments -- both parish and city -- will now be involved in approving tax exemptions for new and expanding industry. Companies applying for 10-year property tax breaks will also have to verify the number of jobs and investment in each project. According to the nonprofit Together Louisiana, approved property tax breaks for industry total $16.7 billion in lost property taxes to local governments.


Memphis job growth, industrial real estate surging

In May, Metro Memphis saw its strongest job growth in 20 years. Nearly 19,000 jobs were created in the Memphis area in May, helping bring the unemployment rate down from 6.6 percent in May 2015 to 4.5 percent in May 2016. Memphis is also working on a record year in the absorption of industrial real estate. In 2015, the Memphis MSA's industrial real estate sector saw a record-breaking year with an absorption rate of 8.4 million square feet. The market continued to soar in the first six months of this year, with about 7 million square feet of newly leased space.


The largest company headquartered in every state in the South


Alabama - Regions Financial

Arkansas - Walmart

Florida - Publix Super Markets

Georgia - Home Depot

Kentucky - Humana

Louisiana - CenturyLink

Mississippi - Sanderson Farms

Missouri - Express Scripts Holding

North Carolina - Bank of America

Oklahoma - Love's Travel Shops

South Carolina - Domtar

Tennessee - FedEx

Texas - Exxon Mobil

Virginia - The Long & Foster Companies

West Virginia - Camcare


*Based on annual revenues. Source: 24/7 Wall St.


Southern cities where manufacturing is thriving

In the summer quarter, Newgeography.com put out a ranking titled "The U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Is Thriving." Their methodology was based on a variety of measures, notably manufacturing employment growth in 2014 and 2015. The ranking included three peer groups: Small Cities, Medium Sized Cities and Large Cities. Below are all cities in the South that made the top 20 in each peer group followed by their ranking nationally according to Newgeography:


Small Cities (in the top 20)

Lake Charles, La. (3)

Elizabethtown, Ky. (9)

Naples, Fla. (12)

Bowling Green, Ky. (13)

Tuscaloosa, Ala. (14)

Punta Gorda, Fla. (15)

The Shoals, Ala. (16)

Cleveland, Tenn. (19)

In the top 25: Morgantown, W.Va. (25)


Medium Sized Cities (in the top 20)

Savannah, Ga. (1)

Charleston-N. Charleston, S.C. (3)

Mobile, Ala. (4)

Columbia, S.C. (5)

Daytona, Fla. (7)

Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (8)

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (10)

Baton Rouge, La. (12)

Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. (14)

Jackson, Miss. (18)

Asheville, N.C. (19)

Greenville-Anderson, S.C. (20)

In the top 25: Montgomery, Ala. (24)


Large Cities (in the top 20)

Louisville, Ky. (3)

Kansas City, Mo. (4)

Orlando, Fla. (5)

Nashville, Tenn. (13)

Raleigh, N.C. (14)

Atlanta, Ga. (15)

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (16)

West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. (17)

In the top 25: Jacksonville, Fla. (21); Charlotte, N.C. (22)


Source: Newgeography.com


Website names its top 15 U.S. destinations

Worth.com editors ranked the 15 most dynamics cities in the U.S. and called it "Worth Destinations 2016." The ranking was based on measures of sustainability, cultural offerings, entrepreneurial environment, business climate, quality of life and civic leadership. Making the top 15 in the South were Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans and Orlando.


Toyota celebrates 15 years of making engines in Huntsville

There is only one plant in the world that makes all of Toyota's engines under one roof, and that facility is in Huntsville, Ala. Toyota produces 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines at its Huntsville plant, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this summer. The 1-million-square-foot plant houses about 1,350 employees, and the Japanese automaker has invested $864 million in the facility over the 15 years.


TVA certifies Huntsville megasite

The Tennessee Valley Authority has certified a 1,252-acre megasite in the city of Huntsville in Limestone County, Ala. The certification means that the site has met TVA's criteria, including interstate access and rail service. TVA has certified seven megasites over the past 12 years and five sites have large tenants such as Volkswagen in Chattanooga.


Hyundai starts assembling Santa Fe SUV in Montgomery

Korean automaker Hyundai began mass production of the Santa Fe sports SUV in the summer at its plant in Montgomery, Ala. The model was previously made at the Kia plant in West Point, Ga. The Santa Fe joins the Sonata and Elantra sedan models at the Alabama plant. 


New GE Aviation facilities in Alabama will be unlike anything else in the world

General Electric Aviation broke ground in the summer on two Huntsville facilities that will work together in a way unlike anywhere else in the world. The company is investing $200 million in one facility that will mass-produce silicon carbide materials used to produce ceramic composite components for jet engines. The other facility will turn the material into tape for ceramic components. This will be the first time the two processes will occur in the same location.


Manufacturing jobs rose 2.5 percent in Florida

According to the Florida Manufacturers Register, manufacturing jobs in the state rose 2.5 percent from March 2015 to March 2016. The total number of manufacturing jobs increased by 11,645 in Florida during the year.


Huge deal for downtown Memphis

Memphis-based ServiceMaster, the city's fourth-largest public company, announced in the summer it would relocate its headquarters and 1,200 employees from East Memphis to the long vacant Peabody Place mall in downtown Memphis. The project is one of the largest in three decades for downtown Memphis.


Toyota celebrates 30th anniversary of Kentucky plant

In the summer quarter, Toyota celebrated 30 years of car assembly in Georgetown, Ky. The plant has produced over 10 million cars in those 30 years. The plant has 8,000 workers under roof, and the Japanese automaker has a $1.9 billion payroll in Kentucky.


North Carolina's life science jobs at all-time high

North Carolina's life science jobs are growing at three times the national average. Job growth in biotechnology grew by 2.2 percent in the U.S. from 2012 to 2014, according to the TEConomy. But in North Carolina, jobs in the sector grew by 6.6 percent in those years. Currently, the total number of people working in the life sciences in North Carolina is just above 70,000 -- a new record.


Record investments in TVA territory

The Tennessee Valley Authority is on a record-breaking investment pace in its seven-state region. Since 2006, TVA has helped attract more than 500,000 jobs and $60 million in investment. But it looks like this fiscal year may top the list. Already this year, companies have invested nearly $7 billion in TVA’s territory.


South places third in top five of entrepreneurship index

The 2016 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship Growth named Washington, D.C. as the No. 1 market in the U.S. for startup and entrepreneurship growth. Following D.C. were Austin, San Jose, Columbus, Ohio and Nashville. Also making the top 10 were San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth.


$1.5 billion Louisiana port one step closer to reality

In the summer quarter, a proposed $1.5 billion deepwater port in Cameron Parish, La., received approval to issue bonds to finance the project. Port Cameron, if built, is situated on 500 acres on the Calcasieu Ship Channel that serves the Port of Lake Charles.


BASF adding new line in South Carolina

Auto parts manufacturer BASF is investing up to $60 million at its plant in Seneca, S.C. The company is upgrading equipment to produce a new product used in heavy diesel engines.


Lotte Chemical, Axiall break ground on $3 billion Louisiana facility

In the summer quarter, Lotte Chemical and Axiall broke ground in Lake Charles, La., on a $3 billion ethane cracker complex. The joint venture will generate 215 jobs.


Cable manufacturer creating jobs in Tennessee

General Cable Industries is expanding its plant in Jackson, Tenn. The manufacturer of wire and cable used for data communication is investing $3.7 million in the facility and adding 51 jobs.


Door manufacturer expanding in rural South Carolina

Masonite International, a maker of doors and door systems, is expanding its plant in Bamberg County, S.C. The company is adding 50 jobs.


Boeing hiring in Alabama

Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems is expanding its PAC-3 missile plant in Huntsville. The expansion will call for 70 new jobs.


Manufacturer adding 100 jobs in rural Mississippi

BMSI, a manufacturer of specialty products for the Department of Defense as well as commercial restaurant equipment, is investing $6 million in its plant in Burnsville, Miss. The project will create 100 jobs.


GE Digital launches center in Atlanta

GE Digital will launch its first global Digital Operations Center in Atlanta. The center will provide customers with industrial solutions and software. The $3 million deal will create 250 jobs. 


Company bringing 100 jobs to Katy, Texas

Pepperl+Fuchs, a company that provides automation for industries, including the oil and gas sector, is creating 100 jobs and investing $25 million in Katy, Texas. The company is consolidating its facilities currently located in Twinsburg, Ohio.



Xerox hiring 425 in Oklahoma

Xerox is adding 425 jobs at its customer care facility in Yukon, Okla. The call center will be located at the Xerox plant that makes toner.


Auto parts supplier expands in Alabama

Germany-based Eissmann Automotive is investing $14.5 million in its facility in Pell City, Ala. The parts supplier to Mercedes, Audi, VW, Porsche and Tesla is building a new 130,000-square-foot addition for a new production line. The new facility will house 200 workers.


German downstream solar company relocates HQ to Miami

Conergy, one of the world's largest solar companies, has relocated its U.S. headquarters from Denver to Miami. The company, founded in 1998, designs and builds solar power systems. The relocation has created 60 jobs in Miami.


Renewable energy supplier expanding plant in Pensacola

Denmark-based Jupiter Group, a supplier to General Electric's wind energy plant in Pensacola, is adding more than 200 jobs at its Pensacola facility. The plant makes coverings for GE nacelles as well as components in wind turbines.


Chinese auto supplier locating plant in South Carolina

JGBR, a Chinese manufacturer of steel balls and ball bearings used in the automotive industry, is locating a new plant in Colleton County, S.C. The company is investing $7 million in the facility in Walterboro and hiring 65.


In-flight entertainment systems developer hiring in Orlando

Paris-based Thales Group, a developer of in-flight entertainment systems, is adding space and jobs at its Orlando facility. The company is hiring 173.


Call center growing in South Texas

Advanced Call Center Technologies, which already employs 756 workers at its office in Harlingen, is adding 330 more employees. The company is one of the largest employers in the city.


Online job recruiter hiring 200 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Job recruiter randrr will locate a new operation in Jacksonville. The company, which picked Jacksonville over the Silicon Valley and New York, is making a $9 million investment and hiring 200.


Southwest Airlines expands OKC call center

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which has had a call center in Oklahoma City since 1995, is expanding the facility. The airline will add 250 jobs. The new hires will help resolve customer issues and assist with reservations.


Progrexion to open Oklahoma City office

Utah-based Progrexion, a credit repair firm, is opening an office in Oklahoma City that will house 500 workers. The location is the eighth for the company in the last seven years.


Milwaukee Tool working hard in Mississippi

Milwaukee Tool is investing $1.5 million to expand its facility in Greenwood, Miss., after completing a $16.8 million expansion last summer. The expansion will create 75 jobs, bringing employment at the facility to 583.


New $265 million casino coming to Mississippi coast

A Connecticut Indian tribe and others say they'll partner to build a $265 million casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Mashantucket Pequot tribe, which operates the massive Foxwoods Resort Casino in eastern Connecticut, says it will lend that name to Foxwoods Resort Casino at Biloxi Pointe.


Italian company investing millions in new Alabama facility

Morganton Pressure Vessels, the North American arm of Italy-based Baglioni Group, a producer of compressed-air systems, is investing $1.5 million in a manufacturing plant in Bay Minette, creating 70 jobs. The company is taking the former Citation Aluminum site.


CarMax driving 350 jobs in Kenner, La.

The multi-billion company that bills itself as the nation's largest used car dealership, has won approval from the Kenner City Council to build its second store in Louisiana. The $30 million project is expected to bring 350 jobs.


Hytrol cuts the ribbon in Jonesboro, Ark.

Hytrol, a maker of conveyors, recently celebrated the completion of its $12 million expansion in Jonesboro, Ark.


Jacobs Engineering to move jobs from Pasadena to Texas

Jacobs Engineering Group, one of the world’s largest engineering companies, is preparing to move employees from its Pasadena headquarters to Dallas, becoming the latest major corporation to relocate significant operations from California to Texas. Jacobs employs 64,000 worldwide.


ServiceMaster to relocate HQ, 1,200 employees to downtown Memphis

ServiceMaster, the home and commercial services provider, will move its headquarters and 1,200 employees from East Memphis to the long-vacant Peabody Place mall in downtown. The four-level building will be renamed One ServiceMaster Center.


Ford supplier opening in Ky., still hiring

Automotive supplier Faurecia has opened its new seating plant in Simpsonville, Ky. The company is looking to add 100 more to the future payroll.


Charlotte area Freightliner plants cut 800 jobs

Daimler Trucks North America will cut another 800 workers from two of its Charlotte-area Freightliner plants as new orders for certain models of its trucks continue to decline. The cuts — 600 at the Mount Holly plant and 200 at the Gastonia facility — will be effective July 1.


Pilgrim’s Pride boasts expansion in Graves County, Ky.

Pilgrim’s Pride, a leading poultry producer, has announced a $24 million expansion creating about 140 new jobs at its Graves County plant.


Investment set to create 56 new jobs in Altavista, Va.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has announced that Abbott will invest $34 million to expand its nutrition manufacturing facility in Campbell County, creating 56 new jobs.


Total Quality Logistics opens in Sarasota, adds 100 jobs

Ohio-based freight brokerage firm Total Quality Logistics is expanding to open a Sarasota office, the company’s seventh location in Florida. The company plans on making a $600,000 capital investment.


Feds okay Savannah LNG export project

Federal regulators have authorized the expansion of the Elba Island LNG facility on the Georgia coast and upgrades to the pipeline that connects to it. The $2.3 billion projects will allow Houston-based Kinder Morgan to convert the facility from an import to an export terminal.


Metal parts company to add 44 jobs in Cleveland County, N.C.

Bessemer City-based Porter’s Group is adding a Cleveland County shop to its list of locations in the Carolinas and Virginia. The company will spend $3.75 million to open the plant and hire 44.


El Toro Marketing unveils expansion in Louisville

Executives from El Toro Internet Marketing officially opened the company’s new, larger headquarters in Louisville, a $2.1 million project creating space for 60 new jobs,


Ficosa North America hiring hundreds for new Tennessee Plant

Ficosa North America is hiring hundreds of employees for its new 270,000-square-foot automotive manufacturing facility in Cookeville, Tenn., which is about 80 miles east of Nashville.


Zanini Tennessee plans $3.4 million expansion at Winchester manufacturing plant

Automotive plastic components manufacturer, Zanini Tennessee, will invest $3.4 million to expand its production plant in Winchester, Tenn. The company plans to create 74 jobs in Franklin County.


Denmark-based Brodrene Hartmann plans $30 million food packaging hub In Missouri

Brodrene Hartmann has begun construction on its $30 million food packaging facility in Rolla, Mo. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs.


Atlanta company opens Richmond office

Atlanta-based consulting firm Thought Logic has chosen Richmond, Va., for its first outpost outside its hometown. The company, whose clients include Coke and GE, has 40 employees in Atlanta, and expects the Richmond office to hire 10 people this year.


Automation provider to expand in Greenville County

An automation controls engineering company plans to expand its Greenville, S.C., operations. PA Solutions, a supplier of “automation solutions for the chemical, pharmaceutical and automotive industries,” plans to construct a facility that amounts to an additional $65,000 in capital investment and adds 40 jobs.


St. Jude's next endeavor: $28 million data center

A multimillion-dollar building permit was recently filed for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, marking the second seven-figure permit in a two-week period. The permit is for the construction of a new data center valued at $28 million.


Southland Concrete expands its Virginia facility

Southland Concrete Corp. will invest $6 million and add 30 new jobs to Prince William County, Va.


Rite Aid opens South Carolina distribution center, 600 jobs

Rite Aid Corporation recently announced the grand opening of its first new distribution center in 16 years. The facility, located in Spartanburg, will mean 600 new jobs.


Newport News Shipbuilding is recalling 210 laid-off employees

Newport News Shipbuilding is calling back 210 of the workers it laid off earlier this year. The recall follows another in early April, when 75 employees who had been let go were called back. The 285 recalled employees had been among 738 laid off in February.


Comcast Southeast HQ officially opens in Georgia

Comcast officially opened its southeast headquarters on May 26, in Peachtree Corners. The nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its new regional headquarters, adding 150 new jobs and relocating the company’s existing 532 full-time local employees.


Lifetime gearing up to build $115.6 million facility in Tennessee

Lifetime Products recently broke ground on its $115.6 million manufacturing and distribution facility in northeast Knox County. The plant, which will eventually employ 500 people, will make water sports products including kayaks and paddleboards.


USAA adding more tech jobs in Austin

USAA — the San Antonio-based insurance and banking company for military members and their families — is boosting its technology brainpower in San Antonio and in downtown Austin. The company anticipates hiring about 200 more tech workers between the two markets in the coming year. 

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