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. 

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