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. 

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