September 2017

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

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


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

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


Southwest Louisiana: The nation's largest LNG export cluster

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


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

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


Texas adds more jobs than any other state

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


Louisiana claws out of recession

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


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

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


Denyo Manufacturing plans Kentucky expansion

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


Alabama aerospace company plans major expansion

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


Robots to make Chinese T-shirts in Arkansas

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


Franke Foodservice Systems expands in Smyrna, Tenn.

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


Mission Solutions Group expands in South Carolina

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


American Marksman Arkansas expands in Searcy, Ark.

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


South Carolina automotive plant moving to Mexico

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


Weapons maker moving to Richmond Hill, Ga.

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Lockheed Martin’s massive hiring spree in Fort Worth

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


Southwest Virginia pole factory expands

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


Logistics provider to create 170 jobs in Tennessee

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


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

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


Advocates say 500-600 jobs created in Arkansas cannabis industry

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


Digital Realty plans billion-dollar Texas data center

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


Cherokee Nation hiring for tribal health center in Oklahoma

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


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

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


Home decorating platform Houzz to add 200 more jobs in Nashville

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


Freightliner to open $27 million logistics center in North Carolina

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


Toyota Motor North America expands Plano, Texas operations hub

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


Orangetheory’s new global HQ forms in Boca Raton

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


Sykes plans 300 new jobs in Wise, Va.

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


Tech firm adding 300 jobs in West Virginia

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


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

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


Sentury to build North American HQ and tire plant in Georgia

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


Parts supplier to establish new operation in South Carolina

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


Boeing’s $349 million contract will boost Alabama

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


Another brewery expanding in Virginia

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


Battery manufacturer declaring bankruptcy, cutting 290 jobs in North Carolina

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


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

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


LG Electronics breaks ground on Tennessee plant

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


Tech firm to create 800 jobs in Nashville MSA

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


British aerospace manufacturer adding jobs in Georgia

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


Revlon expanding in North Carolina

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


HVAC manufacturing adding 700 jobs in South Carolina

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


Oklahoma's aviation and aerospace sector is massive

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


Auto parts supplier expands in Tennessee

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


Furniture maker expands in Georgia

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


Organ transplant company adding 300 jobs in Virginia

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


Danish manufacturer to locate new facility in rural North Carolina

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


Amazon bringing 600 new jobs to Charlotte region

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


Appliance manufacturer adding jobs in Tennessee

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


Charlotte-based company adding jobs in North Carolina

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


Video game designer adding jobs at new HQ in Austin

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


Pfizer investing $100 million in North Carolina

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


Canadian company investing $400 million in new Georgia plant

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


Louisiana tops all states in energy consumption

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


Textile operation slated for South Carolina

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


Plastics plant closes in rural North Carolina; 215 jobs lost

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


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

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


IT services company to open Alabama center

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


IT firm hiring 400 in Northern Virginia

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


Allstate adding over 2,000 jobs in Charlotte

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


Lifetime Products opens plant near Knoxville

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


British online fashion company to hire 1,600 in Georgia

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


Kayak manufacturer locating plant in South Carolina

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


Auto parts maker to expand in Mississippi

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


Union Tank Car adding jobs in Arkansas

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


Manufacturer restarts operations in Oklahoma

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


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

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


Japanese manufacturer to establish operations in Georgia

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


Online pet product retailer hiring 1,100 in South Florida

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


Port of Charleston sets container volume record

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


Georgia Ports Authority has record year

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


Software firm relocates HQ to Midtown Atlanta

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


Creamery expands in rural Tennessee

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


Manufacturer restarts Alabama operations after decade-long hiatus

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


Food distributor adding jobs in Virginia

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


United Launch Alliance makes capital investment at North Alabama plant

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


Georgia named top aerospace state in new ranking

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


Animal feed company invests in Arkansas

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


Textile manufacturer to create 1,000 new jobs in Tennessee

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


Plastipak investing in Central Louisiana plant

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


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

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


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

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


New port slated for Southwest Louisiana

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


Texas oil industry stabilizes

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


Poultry processor adding jobs in Louisiana

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


Another megasite in the South tries to land Toyota-Mazda

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


Smithfield adding jobs at North Carolina pork plant 

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


Bank adding 200 mortgage jobs in Missouri

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


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

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


New York furniture manufacturer to build distribution center near Savannah

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


USAA plans major expansion in Tampa

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


USAA doubling workforce in Plano, Texas

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


Lockheed Martin hiring hundreds in Central Florida

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


Northrop Grumman adding jobs in Central Florida

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


Automakers in Alabama shipped vehicles to 86 countries last year

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


ConAgra investing $50 million in Arkansas plant

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


Florida-Alabama megasite makes pitch to Toyota-Mazda

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


Boat manufacturer expands in South Carolina

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


Aerospace manufacturer expands in Alabama

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

latest magazine issue
randle report
auto corridor

Southern Business & Development
8086 Westchester Place
Montgomery AL 36117