February 2018

Recent data shows influx of new residents in the South

U.S. Census data that came out in the winter quarter showed a huge influx of new residents in the South from states outside the region. Between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, the South added 1.24 million additional residents, well above the second-fastest growth region in the West with a population increase of 765,672 people. The Midwest saw meager gains of only 201,183. The Northeast saw an increase of just 111,221 residents. 


WSJ says Dallas is the best place for Amazon's new headquarters

In January, The Wall Street Journal chose Dallas as the No. 1 place for Seattle-based Amazon's second headquarters. "A large tech labor force, and middle-of-the-road ranks for nearly everything else, places Dallas at the top of our ranking," the publication wrote. Amazon has narrowed its site search to 20 cities for the $5 billion, 50,000-job project. 


Birmingham named No. 1 metro area for healthcare jobs

The Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., metro area was named the No. 1 market in the U.S. for healthcare jobs according to a study done by ABODO. According to the report, Birmingham has the highest concentration of healthcare jobs such as physicians, surgeons, lab technicians, dentists and physical therapists among the top 50 metros in the country. 


Big win in Missouri 20 years ago comes to a close

One of the most sought-after projects in the South in the late 1990s is coming to a close. Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson is closing its motorcycle assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. The plant opened in 1998. Production is being shifted to the company's York, Pa., plant. The closing affects about 800 workers in Kansas City.  


Top five inbound and outbound U.S. states

According to North American Moving Services, the top five outbound household states in 2017 were Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, California and Michigan. The study also ranked the top inbound states based on household moves, which were Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.  


Kentucky's Bourbon Trail still a big hit

For the second consecutive year, more than 1 million people visited 23 distilleries that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. In 2017, the tourism attraction saw 1.194 million visitors, a 12 percent increase over 2016. 


Mississippi unemployment lowest on record

In December, Mississippi's unemployment rate dropped to 4.6, the lowest on record in the state, or since 1976. The U.S. Department of Labor began calculating state level unemployment figures in January 1976. 


Alabama's jobless rate also at record low

Alabama's jobless rate stood at a record low of 3.5 percent at the end of the year. At the end of 2016, Alabama's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. Also in December, there were more people working in Alabama than any time on record. 


Half of all new U.S. jobs last year were created in just five states

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, Texas, Florida, New York and Georgia captured 51 percent of new job growth in the U.S. last year. The five states are home to about 36 percent of the U.S. population. 


U.K. diplomat says what kept Toyota-Mazda from North Carolina would not be a problem for Jaguar Land Rover

In an article published by the Raleigh News & Observer in January, British diplomat Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, the United Kingdom's Atlanta-based consul general, was in Raleigh in January and was quoted as saying that Jaguar Land Rover could be a future target for North Carolina leaders that want to land the state's first automaker. Toyota-Mazda passed on North Carolina and picked a site in Huntsville, Ala., for the latest plant in the Southern Auto Corridor. Reports indicated North Carolina did not have a large enough existing parts supplier base. Pilmore-Bedford said that would not be an issue with Jaguar Land Rover because if the British carmaker built a plant in the U.S., it would "start from scratch" by bringing in its own suppliers. 


Atlanta airport world's busiest for 20th consecutive year

For the 20th year, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the world's busiest in 2017. For the second consecutive year, Atlanta's airport served over 100 million passengers, the only airport in the world to do so. 


Texas pumping record oil with fewer workers

Texas broke a record in oil production in 2017, but did it with 25 percent fewer employees than in the previous peak of 2014, according to the Texas Petro Index. As of the end of the year, oil jobs in Texas totaled about 222,600, accounting for 54 percent of the 413,400 oil jobs in the U.S. 


U.S. could become the world's largest oil producer this year

Rapid increases in U.S. oil production as a result of higher prices have the U.S. poised to surpass output totals of Russia and Saudi Arabia this year. According to the International Energy Agency,, U.S. crude production could exceed 10 million barrels a day at some point in 2018. 


North Carolina adds fifth certified megasite

In addition to sites in Chatham, Randolph and Edgecombe counties, a new megasite has been certified in North Carolina. The new, 1,394-acre site is in Person County, north of Durham. 


Nissan expects to build new U.S. plant within five years

Hiroto Saikawa, CEO of Nissan, told attendees at the Detroit Auto Show that the Japanese automaker will need to build a new U.S. plant in four to five years. The company operates its largest North American plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and another in Canton, Miss., in the Southern Automotive Corridor. 


Like Amazon HQ2, Apple plans a second campus in North America

In the winter quarter, Apple announced it is opening a second campus in the U.S. as part of billions being spent in the U.S. Apple’s headquarters is in Cupertino, Calif., but this new campus will be in a new location. In addition, company officials announced Apple will invest $350 billion in the U.S. over the next five years and hire 20,000 at its existing campus and at the proposed second headquarters. 


VW to invest $3.3 billion in North America

Volkswagen announced it will invest $3.3 billion in North America over the next three years to increase market share. About $1.2 billion will be invested in the U.S. VW's only U.S. plant is in Chattanooga, Tenn., where it employs about 3,500 workers. 


Tennessee official: Memphis megasite needs $80 million in infrastructure improvements

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolf said in January that the Memphis Regional Megasite will need another $80 million to make it "shovel ready" for a larger user. Toyota and Mazda passed on the site since it was not fully served. 


NCR opens new Atlanta HQ

Atlanta-based NCR opened its new headquarters in Midtown in January. The financial services technology giant has completed one tower of the block-long campus near Georgia Tech and Tech Square, with the other tower slated for completion later this year. The 750,000-square-foot campus can house 5,000 employees. 


Citgo to keep headquarters in Houston

Venezuelan refiner Citgo Petroleum will keep its headquarters in Houston rather than relocate its executives to a new headquarters in the Caribbean. Its new president and CEO, Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, confirmed the news in January. 


With vehicle sales declining slightly, why did Toyota and Mazda make quick work of another plant?

The Toyota-Mazda site search that ended up on a TVA certified megasite at a Huntsville-annexed site in Limestone County, Ala., was really, really. . .and I mean, really. . .on the fast track. From conception in the summer of 2017, the site search ended in Alabama in January 2018. 


With vehicle sales down slightly to 17.1 million in 2017 from 17.5 million in 2016, why did Toyota and Mazda work so fast to locate the $1.6 billion plant in the Southern Auto Corridor? For one, Mazda will make an entirely new SUV at the Huntsville facility that will open in 2021, and we all know Americans love their SUVs. Mazda plans to assemble 150,000 of those SUVs at the Alabama plant. 


The other factor is that Toyota is evolving its North American production capacity. The Japanese automaker ended production of the Corolla in Canada in order to make more RAV4 models, and decided not to assemble the sedan at a new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico that is still under construction. There, it will assemble a much needed vehicle, the Tacoma pickup truck. So, Toyota needed more Corolla capacity, which it will get with the North Alabama plant. 


Corollas are also made 150 miles away from Huntsville at Toyota's plant in Blue Springs, Miss. And, the engines for the Corolla are already being made at Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville, just down the road from the new plant. So, everything was in place at the Alabama site for Toyota, and Mazda needed a partner to build the 4,000-employee, $1.6 billion plant to launch their new SUV for U.S. consumption.


South nearly shut out of "Best Places to Find a Job" top 10

The American South's numerous major markets normally dominate “best places to find a job” lists from whatever media property that publishes the rankings. But in this one, the South didn't fare too well. WalletHub recently published its best places to find a job and Chandler, Ariz., topped the list. Three other Arizona markets made the top 10 along with San Francisco and Irvine in California, Portland, Me., Madison, Wisc., and Boston. Only Plano, Texas made the top 10 from the South. But Austin and Orlando made the top 15.  


Dallas-Fort Worth leads U.S. in jobs and job growth

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area had both the highest job growth rate and the most jobs added in calendar year 2017 among large U.S. metros. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, DFW added 100,400 jobs in 2017, and local non-farm employment rose by 2.8 percent. In terms of job growth rate, Phoenix, Boston, Atlanta and Miami followed Dallas-Fort Worth. 


Skilled and unskilled labor hard to find

According to a recent report from the RSM Middle Market Leadership Council's fourth quarter survey, 72 percent of companies are struggling to some or to a great extent to find skilled labor. We all know that. But here is the number to watch: 42 percent of companies are also finding it difficult to find unskilled labor. That number is surely to increase with a cut in immigration and an increase in deportations. 


The healthcare industry just became the nation's largest employer

In 2017, the health care sector became the largest industry employer in the nation, surpassing the previous No. 1, retail. In 2000, there were 7 million more workers in manufacturing than in health care. Today, there are almost 13 million manufacturing workers and health care employs just over 16 million workers. The retail sector currently employs just fewer than 16 million workers. 


The South lands more top performing cities than any other U.S. region

The Milken Institute's annual "Best Performing Cities 2017 came out in the winter quarter and Provo, Utah claimed the No. 1 spot. Making the top 10 in the South were Raleigh (2); Dallas-Plano-Irving (3); Northport-Sarasota-Bradenton (6); Orlando (7); Nashville (8) and Austin-Round Rock (9). San Francisco and Salt Lake City also made the top 10.


Mercedes-Benz assembles 3 millionth vehicles in Alabama

Mercedes-Benz celebrated a milestone in the winter quarter. The German automaker assembled its 3 millionth vehicle in January, a diamond silver GLE 350 SUV. The company began production in 1997 at the Tuscaloosa County plant. 


North Carolina megasite now at 1,900 acres

The Randolph County, N.C., megasite that reportedly came in second in the Toyota-Mazda site search has added about 140 acres. The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation now owns approximately 1,900 acres. 


Amazon adds 200 acres for its Kentucky Air Hub

Amazon has added 210 acres of privately owned land to its planned air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Amazon officials have not yet disclosed what role the land is going to play.


Tampa International Airport hiring 300

The airport is looking to fill nearly 300 hourly and management positions, including jobs in shops, restaurants, bars and spas.


Old Dominion University wins grants from new initiative

Old Dominion University (ODU) will receive grants totaling nearly $1.3 million from a new Virginia economic development initiative for two workforce programs. The grants come from Virginia Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia), which aims to boost private-sector growth and job creation in regions throughout the commonwealth. The GO Virginia board approved grants for five projects, including two at ODU — a digital shipbuilding workforce training program and the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce and Economic Development Alliance (HRCyber). ODU’s projects, which are expected to be up and running by March, aim to create about 2,000 jobs within five years.


Palm Beach Gardens approves incentive for “Project Knight,” 100 jobs coming

“Project Knight,” an undisclosed company seeking a $560,000 incentive package to consolidate jobs in Palm Beach Gardens, recently won the support of the City Council. Palm Beach Gardens’ share of the package is $70,000, Palm Beach County is expected to pick up another $70,000, and the state will cover the rest. In exchange, the company has pledged to invest $25 million in its building in Palm Beach Gardens and create 100 jobs over the next three years.


New med center to bring hundreds of jobs to East Texas

Five-hundred new jobs are coming to East Texas with the opening of Fresenius Medical Care Business Center. The facility offers support to dialysis clinics across the country, including four in Tyler, Texas.


OU Medicine to create hundreds of new jobs

OU Medicine Inc. has ended a contract with HCA Healthcare, assuming management of OU Medical System hospital facilities in the Oklahoma City area and creating hundreds of new jobs as a result.


New jobs and big bucks coming to Calhoun County, S.C.

 Zeus Industrial Products is expanding its polymer extrusion manufacturing company to Calhoun County, approximately two miles from its existing establishment in Gaston. The move will bring 350 new jobs and a 

$76 million investment.


Manufacturer creating 400 jobs in Bristol, Va.

Bristol took a big hit in 2016 when Ball Corp. closed its beverage packaging plant, eliminating 230 jobs. Now that facility has a new owner who plans to create 405 manufacturing jobs. American Merchant, a newly formed company that is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Merchant House International Ltd., makes home textiles, seasonal décor products and leather shoes.


BASF plans expansion in Geismar, La.

BASF is gearing up to expand its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) capacity at its Geismar facility. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) announced the expansion will result in a $150 million investment and 15 new direct jobs.


CenturyLink adding jobs in Monroe, La.

CenturyLink will create 150 new jobs in Monroe. The jobs will be part of the company’s new outbound sales center for its small business services.


Industrial hemp facility planned for Kentucky

A company founded by Canadian investors will launch a hemp-product development and manufacturing center in Kentucky. AgTech Scientific plans to create 271 jobs in Bourbon County with a $5 million investment to build a state-of-the-art, 50,000-square-foot facility, expected to open in 2018.


Kentucky scores another 120 jobs

Illinois-based Tru-Tone Finishing Inc. is building a new plant in Lexington, creating 120 jobs. In addition to the plant in Illinois, the family-owned provider of industrial e-coating also operates a plant in Brownsville, Texas.


Chinese paper company increasing investment in Arkansas plant

Sun Paper plans to boost its investment in a proposed Arkansas mill from around $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion. The new plans announced recently also include projected employment rising from 250 to 350 new jobs. Instead of a bio-products mill, Sun Paper’s planned Clark County facility will produce linerboard, one of the two products used to make cardboard boxes. There is a growing worldwide demand for cardboard boxes, in part due to the increase in next-day delivery and online shopping.


Intralogistics company opening first U.S. location in Georgia

VanRiet Material Handling Systems, a Dutch manufacturer of automated transport and sorting solutions, will create more than 70 jobs in Fulton County, Ga. It will be the company’s fourth location, and first in the United States.


Boeing of Huntsville awarded another $6.56 billion contract

The Boeing Co. in Huntsville, Ala., just had its Ground-based Midcourse Defense development and sustainment contract modified to include another $6.56 billion for the program. The contract extension, which runs January 2018 through December 2023, will support an expansion of capabilities at Fort Greely, Alaska.


Birmingham startup to expand, create 175 jobs 

Startup Pack Health plans to open a new headquarters in Birmingham and anticipates hiring 175 additional employees over the next four years, including programmers, developers, health advisers and other positions. Pack Health has already hired 30 employees as it renovates a building in downtown Birmingham. Capital investment in the project is $2.9 million.


Drone manufacturer locates hub in OKC 

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. reported its Unmanned Systems Division is opening administrative and engineering offices along with production facilities in Oklahoma City, Okla. The company makes drones for the Department of Defense. According to company officials, the expansion is needed to accommodate increased demand for unmanned aerial tactical and target drone systems, and plans to employ more than 350 workers in Oklahoma within the next few years.


Sabert Corp. begins Greenville, Texas plant

A global manufacturer of food packaging products and solutions, Sabert Corporation, has begun construction on its manufacturing facility in Greenville, 50 miles northeast of Dallas. In addition to making plastic packaging, this facility will also produce 100 percent compostable packaging made from plant based materials. The Greenville facility is expected to bring over 125 jobs to the area.


Software company expands Florida operations complex

Superion, a leading software company that provides solutions to public sector organizations, will invest more than $12 million to expand its operations center in Lake Mary, Fla. The company plans to create 355 new jobs over the next three years.


DC BLOX plans $13 million data center in Huntsville, Ala.

DC BLOX plans to develop a $13 million Edge data center in Huntsville. The project is expected to initially create 10 to 12 high-paying tech jobs.


Electrolux to spend $500 million in the South

Charlotte, N.C.-based Electrolux North America will spend $500 million over the next three years to realign its U.S. major appliances production. The Swedish company will move its Frigidaire refrigerator and freezer plant from Saint Cloud, Minn., to its facility in Anderson, S.C. With 2,000 employees, Electrolux is one of Anderson County’s largest employers. Electrolux will also spend $250 million to modernize its Springfield, Tenn., facility 


West Virginia company brings facility to Oklahoma

A West Virginia-based manufacturer announced the beginning of operations at a facility expected to bring 40 to 50 jobs to Claremore, Okla. The BelGAS Flame Management division of Marsh Bellofram Co. will offer a range of flame arrestors, tank venting accessories, burners and specialty fabrication services for the oil and gas industry.


Tarkett investing $60 million in Alabama plants

Flooring and sports surface manufacturer Tarkett is pumping $60 million into its two factories in Florence, Ala., and will build a new distribution center. The project will create 50 jobs.


JinkoSolar confirms $410 million investment in Jax

JinkoSolar confirmed recently that its U.S. subsidiary will close the deal it has been negotiating with Jacksonville, Fla., under the code name “Project Volt.” The Chinese cell and module manufacturer has not officially confirmed what it will be producing at the facility, but the big deal will result in 800 new jobs.


Union Pacific’s Brazos yard to bring hundreds of jobs 

The company that built railroads across the United States is breaking ground and making their largest investment ever — $500 million — in Texas’ Brazos Valley. “The Brazos Yard will be the largest facility Union Pacific has ever built,” said Brenda Mainwaring, the company’s Public Director. Once open, the project will create 500 jobs.


Food safety company expands North Little Rock plant

Safe Foods Corporation plans to make a $15 million investment in a new facility in North Little Rock, Ark., and add 35 jobs by the first quarter of 2019. The company partners with food processors to provide solutions and products that reduce pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses.


Mayor signs contract to bring 75 jobs to Fayetteville, N.C.

Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin signed a grant that will help bring 75 full-time jobs and more than $600,000 in investment to Fayetteville. Advanced Computer Learning Company will now be able to move forward on a major expansion and renovation project first announced in October. 


Exxon Mobil announces $35 billion in U.S. investments 

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company plans to invest an additional $35 billion in the United States over the next five years. Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon, said the investment is partly due to recently passed corporate tax cuts. Exxon will be investing billions to increase oil production in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, which comes on top of a massive build-out of operations along the Gulf Coast. New projects are expected to create thousands of jobs.


Plastic container company to build plant in Arkansas

Missouri-based Silgan Plastic Food Corp. will build a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that will create up to 150 jobs in Fort Smith, Ark. The company manufactures plastic bottles and food containers.


Daikin to hire 2,000 more for Houston-area campus

Daikin Industries, a Japanese heating and cooling giant, plans to hire thousands more workers at its Harris County manufacturing hub by 2020. The company currently employs about 4,900 workers its Daikin Texas Technology Park, but expects to grow to 7,000. Daikin opened its $417 million campus last year.


Kentucky to get $300 million plant

A division of an Indian conglomerate will invest about $300 million in an aluminum sheet factory just north of Clarksville, Tenn., in Guthrie, Ky. Novelis plans a 2020 opening for a new plant to prepare aluminum for use as automobile parts such as hoods, doors and fenders. Novelis plans to hire about 125 people.


Auto supplier investing $7.1 million In Alabama expansion

A German company that provides third-party logistics services to automotive manufacturers is expanding its operations in Tuscaloosa County. BLG Logistics is investing $7.1 million in an expansion of its plant in Vance, Ala., creating 43 new jobs in the process.


Memphis-based FedEx to invest $3.2 billion 

After Fred Smith recently hinted that FedEx would likely be “responsive to the tax bill,” the company has officially released its response. Memphis-based FedEx Corp. said it will spend more than $3.2 billion on wage increases, bonuses, pension funding and capital investment. It will also invest $1.5 billion to significantly expand its hub in Indianapolis and modernize and enlarge its Memphis SuperHub. The Memphis facility has also just announced it will be hiring an additional 800 workers.


Maker’s Mark to spend $31 million on Kentucky expansion

Maker’s Mark is considering an expansion of its warehouse facilities in Marion County, Ky. The distillery received preliminary approval for $500,000 in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority board based on plans to invest $31.2 million on barrel warehouses.


Spring means hiring at Lowe’s 

Lowe’s says it is gearing up for the busy spring season by hiring more than 53,000 workers nationwide, including 550 in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., area; nearly 3,600 in Texas; 4,272 in North Carolina.


Canadian furniture maker invests $8 million in El Paso plant

Canadian furniture manufacturer South Shore Furniture will build a warehouse and transfer center in El Paso, Texas to ease growing demand for its products in Juarez, Mexico. South Shore will invest $8 million in the warehouse, which will employ 18.


Bath balm maker buys former film studio for Mississippi factory

A bath balm manufacturer has bought the former Mississippi Film Studio in Canton, Miss., for $1.8 million. . .part of an expansion that’s projected to create 40 new jobs. Musee Bath is moving from leased space in Gluckstadt. Musee has 50 workers, and aims to add 40 more to make candles and soaps.


Light manufacturer won’t shift to Mexico, saving Mississippi jobs

A company that makes outdoor lights is abandoning a plan it announced in July to move production from Mississippi to Jaurez, Mexico. Eaton Corp. will make new products at its unionized Vicksburg plant, but the shift is projected to cost 50 to 70 of the plant’s 350 jobs. Eaton spokeswoman Ann Marie Halal says the company still plans to make new products in Vicksburg, but it wasn’t immediately clear if that would spark new hiring.


Biotech device maker to locate in Kentucky

A biotech device maker will locate a new manufacturing operation in south-central Kentucky, creating 50 full-time jobs. Hardin Scientific will open a new $11.6 million plant in Green County where it will make incubators for tissue cultures and stem-cell research.


Facebook’s Atlanta data center investment may hit $42 billion

Facebook’s investment in a data center in Stanton Springs in eastern Newton County could be as much as $42 billion, according to bond documents recently released. The data center is planned in four phases, starting with a facility of 900,000 square feet, potentially followed by three additional phases of 400,000 square feet each. Under the bond agreement, the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties will issue taxable revenue bonds, not to exceed $42 billion, in phases starting with a first issue of $750 million.


Jobs secured in Dallas County, Ala.

There is some good economic news coming out of Dallas County involving two of the county’s major employers. International Paper is adding another quarter billion dollars on top of the $300 million dollars the company announced it would invest to upgrade its Riverdale Mill facility near Selma. Meanwhile, American Apparel has been awarded a new $71 million dollar contract to make combat coats for the Army, which means added job security for the 250 people employed at the Selma facility.


Energy company to add 175 jobs with Brentwood, Tenn., HQ expansion

Delek US Holdings, a publicly traded energy company, will expand its Brentwood headquarters and add 175 jobs, according to state officials. Delek, which has assets in petroleum refining, convenience stores, asphalt and renewable diesel fuels, will invest $4 million in the expansion.


Spartan Light Metal Products expands Missouri plant

Spartan Light Metal Products, an advanced manufacturer of custom die cast aluminum and magnesium products for the automotive and consumer products markets, will expand into a new multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located 120 miles west of St. Louis, in Mexico, Mo. The expansion is expected to add more than 100 new jobs. 


MED-ALLY expands campus in Goose Creek, S.C.

Medical device manufacturer MED-ALLY is locating new operations in the Charleston International Manufacturing Center in Goose Creek, S.C. The $2.38 million investment is expected to create 90 new jobs in Berkeley County. MED-ALLY specializes in implantable medical systems for use in patients with spinal cord injuries or chronic pain, to name a few.


Medical center adding 150 jobs in Cullman, Ala.

Cullman Regional Medical Center will be adding 150 new jobs. The medical center began construction on a 30-bed hospital expansion that will be unveiled on February 27th. They also broke ground on a new Urgent Care Center that should be completed in April.


Cheney Brothers to spend $24 million in Statesville, N.C.

Cheney Brothers, a Florida-based food distributor, will invest $24 million in an expansion that will add 105 full-time jobs at its food-distribution facility in Statesville. The city and Iredell County late last year approved a combined $900,000 in tax incentives for the company, which also considered moving the entire Statesville operation to Georgia or Florida.


West Virginia “Roads To Prosperity” to start in February

Tom Smith, secretary of the WVDOT and commissioner of the Division of Highways, said the first wave of highway work from the “West Virginia Roads to Prosperity” plan will start as soon as the weather allows. Perhaps more importantly, hiring for the work will definitely start in February. In addition to the thousands of promised jobs, WVDOT will also be hiring up to 500 people in all categories — engineers, accountants, environmentalists and highway workers.


Campbell Soup moves Toronto jobs to North Carolina, Texas and Ohio

Campbell Soup Company says it's shuttering its 87-year-old Toronto manufacturing facility within the next 18 months. Soup and broth production at the Toronto facility will be transitioned over the next 18 months to three plants in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.


DHL Supply Chain partners with Campbell Soup in North Carolina project

Logistics company DHL Supply Chain, in partnership with Campbell Soup Company, plans to bring 140 jobs to Cumberland County, N.C. The third-party logistics firm and the legendary soup maker will invest more than $40 million to construct a 627,000-square-foot distribution center in Fayetteville, N.C.


Elk Group adding second distribution center in Georgia

Elk Group International, a designer and importer of lighting fixtures and home decor, is opening a 510,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Rabun Gap, Ga. The center will create about 100 new jobs, including positions in office and warehouse operations.


Innovative Vehicle Solutions expands South Carolina complex

Innovative Vehicle Solutions (IVS), a builder of custom commercial vehicles located in Ladson, is expanding its existing operations in Charleston County, S.C. The company’s $2.5 million investment is expected to create 108 new jobs. Launched in 2012, IVS is a commercial truck body builder and upfitter.


Sumitomo Machinery investing $10 million in Virginia expansion

Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America (SMA) will invest $10 million to expand its manufacturing operation in the City of Chesapeake, Va. The company will add 100,000 square feet to its North American headquarters, which is home to 220 employees. The project will retain 20 existing jobs and create 26 new jobs. SMA, a provider of gear motors and gear reducers, is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of machinery in Japan.


Groupe PSA chooses Georgia for new North American HQ

Groupe PSA, a French multinational manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, will locate its new North American headquarters in Fulton County. With its five world-renowned car brands — Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall Motors — Groupe PSA is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, and the second largest in Europe.


McLane Classic Foods plans hub in Burleson, Texas

McLane Classic Foods is investing $30 million to build a headquarters and food processing facility in Burleson, Texas. The company specializes in soups, sauces and side dishes for national restaurant chains, including Denny’s and Panera Bread. The company will be relocating its headquarters and manufacturing facility from Fort Worth, bringing along 40 jobs.


Massive defense contractor moving to Plano, Texas

General Dynamics will create and transfer approximately 280 jobs to Plano, Texas as part of a $5.3 billion investment. A spokesperson for General Dynamics said the company has outgrown its facility in Richardson, Texas, and will occupy approximately 104,000 square feet of space in Plano.


Glassware maker Corning to invest $189 million in North Carolina

Corning plans to invest $189 million to expand its Durham County plant and create 317 new jobs over three years, including 269 manufacturing jobs. It has around 300 employees there now. The Durham expansion accompanies another Corning-led expansion in eastern North Carolina in Edgecombe County, which will bring 111 new jobs to that county over two years, beginning in 2019.


Automotive supplier to create 150 new jobs in Upstate

Grupo Antolin, a designer and manufacturer of components for the automotive industry, said it plans to establish three facilities in Spartanburg County, S.C. The $50 million investment is expected to create more than 150 jobs over the course of five years.


Mickey Truck Bodies plans 50 jobs in North Carolina

Mickey Truck Bodies will expand the workforce at its High Point, N.C., operations for the second time in less than a year by creating up to 50 jobs. The family-owned company makes truck bodies and trailers and is adding the jobs during the first quarter to meet increased demand for delivery bodies and specially engineered vehicles.


CSRA to hire 500 in Louisiana and Kentucky

CSRA Inc. will be hiring up to 500 additional staff to support the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Service Desk through a $238 million task order. The new jobs will be located in Bossier City, La., and Barbourville, Ky.


American Home Shield hiring 100 in Memphis

The home warranties company has 100 open jobs at its Memphis contact center.


More jobs for Fayetteville, N.C.

After 50 years of business, Pinnacle Food is expanding its south Fayetteville plant. The company is building a 164,000-square-foot frozen meal manufacturing hub next to its warehouse. The $30 million project will add about 15 to 20 new jobs.


Groundbreaking for $872 million Entergy Louisiana plant

Officials and execs of the Entergy utility corporation gathered in southwest Louisiana to break ground for an $872 million natural-gas-fired generating station. The Entergy Louisiana project will employ about 700 people in Calcasieu Parish at the peak of construction. It is expected to create 31 permanent jobs.


Gun maker coming to Burke County, N.C.

A gun and ammunition manufacturer plans to open in the former BSN building in Rutherford College, N.C., and create 151 jobs. ZRODELTA will open a company headquarters in the 120,000-square-foot facility and invest $34 million.


Hundreds of jobs coming to Abilene, Texas

Broadwind Energy is looking to hire more than 100 jobs in Abilene. “Production is way back up and we are producing at a higher rate than we were in 2017,” a company spokesperson said.


PGA Tour unveils plans for new HQ

It started in Ponte Vedra Beach in 1979 with three people working out of a house in the Sawgrass community. Today the PGA Tour has about 800 employees working in 17 buildings in and around the TPC Sawgrass golf club. But the golf tour officially announced in January that it will consolidate all of its employees — and eventually add 300 more jobs — into one 187,000-square-foot headquarters building on property it owns along County Road 210 near TPC Sawgrass.


Orlando Airport begins construction of $2.1 billion terminal

As Orlando International Airport tries to keep up with passenger growth, its main focus this year is construction of a new terminal that will rank as one of the most costly public works projects ever in Central Florida. The $2.1 billion job, which has recently begun, will employ a peak force of 2,200 workers for a scheduled completion in three years.


Textile company expands South Carolina complex

Home Fashions International, a supplier of home textile finished products, is expanding its existing operations in Cherokee County. The $5.5 million investment is expected to create 60 new jobs. The new facility, known as Gaffney Manufacturing, will allow the company to quadruple its business and reduce its reliance on imported raw materials for its decorative pillows, comforter sets, drapery and outdoor cushions.


Metallix Refining opens lab in Greenville, N.C.

Metallix Refining has opened its new state-of-the-art, precious metals analysis laboratory in Greenville. Metallix purchases, recycles and refines gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, serving businesses in a variety of industries around the globe. According to company officials, “the 4,000-square foot facility secures the company’s place among the nation’s top precious metal recycling companies.”


Samsung marks opening of South Carolina appliance plant

South Carolina and Samsung officials in January celebrated the first washing machines made at the company’s first U.S. appliance manufacturing plant. The event came less than seven months after officials announced plans to locate in Newberry, invest $380 million in a former Caterpillar factory and create 1,000 jobs by 2020. The plant already employs more than 540 workers.


Maverick Boat Group expands in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Maverick Boat Group will build a new manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce. The company plans to create 100 jobs and invest $7 million.The new facility will house larger models and free up capacity at the company’s existing 9.5-acre facility. The new facility will add an additional 38 acres to their headquarters.


Advanta Seeds opening lab at Texas A&M, bringing new jobs

Advanta Seeds recently unveiled its new research facility at Texas A&M University. They will study the DNA of crop seeds from around the world, which will benefit farmers in the Brazos Valley and beyond. Currently, Advanta has 22 employees in College Station, but the company tells us they plan to expand. 


Over 400 jobs coming to Central Kentucky

The plant that will destroy chemical weapons in Madison County will begin hiring hundreds of workers this year. Beginning in February and continuing into 2018, the plant will hire 450 to 500 people. About 300 of those people will work in the main plant that will destroy nerve agent.


Newcan moving to Pulaski, Va., creating 40 jobs

Newcan Corporation is moving its headquarters and main production facility from Holbrook, Mass., to Pulaski. The move will bring 40 new jobs and an investment of $4 million to Pulaski County. Newcan produces precision stampings and perforated components. . .a major supplier for the automotive industry.


Citgo will keep its HQ in Houston

Citgo Petroleum said it will keep its headquarters in Houston, warding off speculation that it was considering moving its executive hub to the Caribbean. The Venezuelan refiner was considering moving its headquarters from Houston to Aruba, where Citgo also has a refinery. However, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has temporarily cut off ties with Aruba and some other neighboring Caribbean nations because of concerns about smugglers. Citgo employs about 4,000 people in the U.S., including more than 800 in Houston


Cryptocurrency miner Bcause chooses Virginia Beach for HQ

Bcause LLC, a company developing the world’s first full-stack cryptocurrency ecosystem, will expand its operations and move its corporate headquarters to Virginia Beach, Va. The company plans to add 100 associates and will make a $64.8 million capital investment.


Graham Packaging to expand plastics manufacturing in Virginia

Plastic packaging provider Graham Packaging is planning to invest $6.7 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Campbell County, Va. The new investment is expected to create eight new jobs while training 37 existing employees to operate the next technology.


Amthor International Expands in Gretna, Va.

Amthor International, the largest tanker truck manufacturer in North America, will invest $7.1 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Gretna. The company will build a plant to accommodate increased demand for fabricated tanker trucks, and will designate the new Gretna facility as its corporate headquarters. The company will retain 110 existing jobs and create 90 new jobs in Pittsylvania County.


Virginia gets funding for advanced manufacturing academy

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing has received a total of $12.65 million to fund the construction of an apprentice academy in Prince George County, Va. The Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice Academy will create a pipeline of workers with factory-ready skills and credentials needed for high-paying manufacturing jobs.


Service Center Metals expands in Prince George County, Va.

Service Center Metals, a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions, will invest $45.2 million to expand at its headquarters operation in Prince George County, Va. The project is expected to create 58 new jobs.


Manufacturer adding over 100 jobs at North St. Louis plant

After relocating a manufacturing and warehouse facility from Granite City, Ill., to St. Louis, Mo., last summer, Connecticut-based Fairfield Processing Corp. said recently it plans to add more than 100 full-time jobs over the next five years. The company provides fiber-processed products to the DIY, home decor and industrial trades.


Amazon to hire 2,500 workers at newest Texas location

Amazon announced it needs to hire an additional 2,500 full-time employees at the company’s new fulfillment center in North Texas. The new facility in Coppell (located just north of the DFW International Airport) is the third for the rapidly growing North Texas city and the fourth in the DFW Metroplex. 


Timber Automation plans expansion at Arkansas plant

A company that makes equipment and control systems for use at woodyards and sawmills says it will invest more than $3.5 million at its Hot Springs plant and add 50 jobs. Timber Automation’s capital improvements include a new boring mill that will increase the plant’s capacity and allow it to create more high-skilled manufacturing jobs.


One-hundred new call center jobs for Dothan, Ala., area

A New Jersey accounts receivable management firm, MRS BPO, LLC,  has purchased the Vantage Sourcing call center in Taylor, Ala., and plans to add more than 100 jobs in the near future.


RV facilities expanding in Florida

As the top Northeast Florida RV dealerships prepare for the 2018 Jacksonville RV MegaShow, they’ll be coming off one of the biggest sales years in the last decade. This boom has been driven by a strong economy and more disposable income among consumers, along with the growth in RV popularity among millennials.


Firearms manufacturer creating 366 jobs in Alabama

Kimber Manufacturing has finalized plans to open a production facility in Troy, Ala. The firearms manufacturer will create 366 jobs and invest $38 million.


AGC in Tennessee making $40 million investment, adding 85 new jobs

One of Hawkins County’s largest employers announced an expansion and more new jobs. AGC Glass North America plans to invest $40.6 million into their current Church Hill facility, which will require 85 new positions. The flat glass line manufactured at the Tennessee plant supports a new state-of-the-art MSVD coater that will be installed as part of the new plans.


Mohawk Industries expands Glasgow, Va., plant

Mohawk Industries, a global manufacturer of residential and commercial flooring products, will invest $10 million to expand in Glasgow, Va. The project will bring 15 new jobs to the area.


Interstate Group plans hub in Giles County, Va.

Interstate Group, an industry leader in the manufacturing and sale of enclosed cargo trailers, will invest $4.1 million to establish an East Coast manufacturing and distribution operation in Giles County, Va. The project is expected to create 83 new jobs.


Textile mill adding 100 jobs in North Carolina

Specialty Textiles recently celebrated the grand opening of its expansion in Kings Mountain. The company is adding 100 new textile jobs to the 300 people they currently employ there.


Atlantic Credit and Finance expands Roanoke hub

Atlantic Credit and Finance will invest $4 million to expand its operation complex in Roanoke, Va. The company will move to a new 50,000-square-foot office in downtown Roanoke. Virginia successfully competed against Michigan and Minnesota for the project, which will create 115 new jobs.


Tristone Flowtech USA plans North Carolina manufacturing plant

Tristone Flowtech USA, a subsidiary of a German automotive supplier, will invest $23.6 million to locate its first manufacturing facility in the United States in Mooresville, N.C. The company plans to create 302 jobs in Iredell County to provide engine and battery cooling systems for the automotive industry.


Dippin’ Dots of Paducah, Ky., serves up cryogenics subsidiary

The Paducah-based flash frozen beaded ice cream company is launching Dippin' Dots Cryogenics. According to company officials, “leveraging its 30 years of experience and its intellectual property in cryogenic processes and machinery, Dippin' Dots Cryogenics will make Dippin' Dots' patented technology and equipment available to other cutting-edge industries where cryogenics is applicable including nutraceutical, pharmacy, agriculture, aquaculture and animal feed.”


South Carolina boat manufacturer to add 100 jobs

Tidewater Boats, a manufacturer of saltwater boats, is expanding its Lexington County operations to produce larger models. The company is investing $8.3 million and adding 100 jobs. 


PricewaterhouseCoopers adding 350 jobs in Tampa Bay

PricewaterhouseCoopers will hire 350 assurance and tax professionals at the 250,000-square-foot building to be erected next to the company’s existing offices in Tampa’s West Shore business district. One of the Big Four auditors, PwC already has approximately 3,000 employees locally. 


Georgia’s new cybersecurity campus will grow

The budding cybersecurity center on the outskirts of downtown Augusta is set to dramatically expand before the first phase is even completed. Gov. Nathan Deal recently broke ground on a $35 million addition to the cybersecurity campus, which is to be built a few steps from the $60 million centerpiece that is still under construction. Why build a second phase when the first one still hasn’t been completed? “Demand, demand, demand,” Deal said, adding that the state was flooded by requests from government agencies and private contractors for more space after he announced the first phase last year. The Augusta area is staking a major claim on the growing cybersecurity field. More than 40,000 Georgia residents now work in the field, including about 13,000 in the Augusta area.


Waste Management constructing facility in Hardeeville, S.C.

A new $23 million Waste Management facility using compressed natural gas is being constructed in Hardeeville and will create 53 new jobs.


Penn Compression Molding expands in Smithfield, N.C.

Penn Compression Molding, a manufacturer of custom molding thermoset composites, will expand its operations center in Smithfield. The company’s $3 million expansion will result in the addition of 40 new jobs in Johnston County.


Corrugated sheet manufacturer coming to Harrisburg, Ark.

Officials say 50 new jobs are coming to northeast Arkansas as a company that makes corrugated sheets used in packaging comes to Harrisburg. The new jobs are a result of a partnership between RusCorr and Rusken Packaging. The company buys materials from paper mills to make the corrugated sheets, then sells the material to companies that make boxes.


Sintavia plans manufacturing complex in Hollywood, Fla.

Sintavia, a metal additive manufacturer, broke ground on its new 55,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Hollywood. The $15 million facility, expected to open in late 2018, is the first facility of its kind to employ Lean manufacturing principles for large-scale metal additive manufacturing. The new facility is expected to result in 110 new jobs for skilled technicians and support personnel, and to house over $25 million of advanced manufacturing equipment. 


Cooks BBQ Products plans Arkansas manufacturing plant

Cooks BBQ Products, a provider of eco-friendly natural coconut, hardwood, lump charcoals, flavored smoking chips, wood chunks and pellets, is opening a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pindall, Ark. The company will invest $1.4 million in the facility and create 45 new jobs under the name Ozark Mountain BBQ Products.


Daesol Material Georgia creating 110 jobs in Harris County

Daesol Material Georgia has completed the construction of its new Harris County manufacturing facility, which will create 110 jobs. Daesol Material Georgia, a manufacturer of automotive fiber padding, invested $35 million in the construction and equipping of the facility.


Two-hundred jobs announced for tech hub in Wake County, N.C.

Conduent plans to open an innovation hub in Morrisville that will create 200 jobs and yield a $2.7 million investment from the New Jersey-based company. Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office announced that the jobs will range from research scientists, software developers, finance and legal positions. Salaries are expected to average $100,000.

latest magazine issue
randle report
auto corridor

Southern Business & Development
8086 Westchester Place
Montgomery AL 36117