January 2019

Southern Auto Corridor only U.S. region to gain auto jobs

Since the first quarter of 2001 to the first quarter of 2018, the 15-state American South was the only region to gain jobs tied to the automotive industry. Michigan has lost the most jobs of any state since 2001, with a net loss of 125,000 jobs, according to an Axios analysis of federal jobs data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a net gain of over 25,000, Alabama has gained the most jobs of any other state, followed by South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas. Overall, the South has gained 17 percent of its automotive jobs since 2001.


Regional job growth in auto industries 2001-2018

South         +17%

West            -21%

Midwest      -29%

Northeast   -47%

Source: Axios and the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Manufacturing posts best job-gain year since 1997

The nation's manufacturing sector posted a net job gain of 284,000 in calendar year 2018, the best year since 1997. Manufacturing added 207,000 jobs in 2017. The gains are being made because the U.S. is much more competitive for manufacturers than at any time in decades, much of that stemming from energy savings from the natural gas fracking frenzy. Most of the jobs created in manufacturing in 2018 came from the metals and electronics products industry sectors.


USA Today cites great quality of life in small towns

In the winter quarter, USA Today cited the best small towns in which to live in the U.S. Many of these towns you probably have never heard of, which makes the list quite interesting. The media property's methodology included 26 measures that fall into one of four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life and community. These are the markets in the South that were cited in the report: Valley, Ala.; Batesville, Ark.; Pinecrest, Fla.; Milton, Ga.; Edgewood, Ky.; Youngsville, La.; Madison, Miss.; Ladue, Mo.; Morrisville, N.C.; Newcastle, Okla.; Tega Cay, S.C.; Atoka, Tenn.; West University Place, Texas; Waynesboro, Va.; and Bridgeport, W.Va.


Hurricane Michael devastates Northwest Florida timber industry

In October, Hurricane Michael plowed through the northwest part of Florida where the timber industry is the strongest in the state. More than 2.8 million acres of timber were damaged by Michael's 155 mph winds. In some counties, 95 percent of the timber was damaged, affecting 24,000 timber jobs. Pine reforestation in Florida could cost $240 million and job losses will continue for at least 15 more years.


Spirit AeroSystems to expand in Tulsa, Okla.

Spirit AeroSystems is investing $80 million in its facility in Tulsa. The project, which will expand fuselage manufacturing and assembly work, will create 250 jobs.


Transportation company to create over 300 jobs in Georgia

Hapag-Lloyd America, a Germany-based TEU container transport firm that provides connections to more than 600 ports worldwide, is expanding its service center in Gwinnett County, Ga. The $5.5 million deal will create 363 jobs.


Medical device firm to move, expand in Winston-Salem

Cook Medical, a medical device firm, is relocating to Whitaker Park in Winston-Salem. The company will relocate 650 employees and add 50 jobs in the move.


Auto supplier sets up shop in Berkeley County, S.C.

VTL Precision, a manufacturer of engine and transmission parts for the automotive industry, is investing $8 million in a new plant in Berkeley County, S.C., and is projected to create 10 new jobs.


When will Amazon's Kentucky hub open?

Amazon.com will begin construction in the winter 2019 quarter on its $1.5 billion air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The facility, which will initially house 2,500, is being built on the southern portion of the airport.


Texas can quit coal because of wind and sun energy

A study done by Rice University that came out in the fall quarter showed that Texas is one of the only places in the world that can quit coal-generated energy because of the abundance or wind and sun-generated energy. The renewable energy from solar and wind can meet a significant portion of the state’s electricity demand without battery storage because both sources generate power at different times of the day.


LNG to see major activity in 2019 in Louisiana and Texas

Growth in the Gulf Coast's liquified natural gas industry will make major strides this year as three projects will launch in Louisiana and Texas. Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture among Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, will make final decisions on building an LNG export facility on the Texas side of Sabine Pass. Calcasieu Pass LNG, a project by Venture Global, should also make final investment decisions on an LNG export facility near Lake Charles, La. Also, Cheniere Energy will start building Train 6 at its export facility on the Louisiana side of the Sabine Pass this year.


Texas and Florida lead all state in population

Between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, Texas' population increased by 379,128 according to Census data. The year-over-year population growth was rivaled only by Florida, which saw a growth of 322,513 people.


More manufacturing for Kentucky

Pella, Precision Pulley and Idler (PPI) plans to locate a $10.8 million manufacturing and distributing operation in an existing 105,000-square-foot building in Maysville, Ky., and will hire 134 full-time employees over the next 10 years. The company supplies idlers, pulleys, bearings and other products.


Amazon brings first fulfillment center to Mississippi

Amazon is bringing its first fulfillment center to Marshall County, Miss., in an industrial park near the Tennessee border and about 27 miles from the Memphis International Airport. The consumer goods fulfillment center will create 850 full-time jobs, with a $15 minimum hourly wage, according to Amazon.


Warehouse work awaits in Knoxville, Tenn.

Knoxville-based distributor House-Hasson Hardware has been trying to hire for months, and is still short of applicants for about 20 open positions. Last February, the company announced it would carry out a $1 million expansion at its warehouse on Knoxville’s east side, aiming to hire about 50.


Wisconsin-based manufacturer plans 600 jobs at Tulsa campus

A Wisconsin-based manufacturer of air movement systems is launching operations at its new Tulsa campus that is expected to employ 600 workers by early 2020. Greenheck Group recently celebrated the completion of 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 20,000 square feet of office space. The company also announced plans for a second phase of construction to build an additional 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space.


New industry headed to Marlboro County, S.C.

Marlboro County officials recently announced the decision by Arris Manufacturing to locate operations to the county, bringing 130 new jobs and an $11.9 million investment. Arris produces modular homes and modular panels for the residential building industry. Arris has purchased the former Baldor site in Clio and will begin improvements on the building in January.


Manufacturer with Turkish ties plans Louisiana factory

Advanced Sinter Metal Technologies (known as ASMT) will bring 15 jobs at first, but could eventually bring 43, to St. Tammany Parish. The company manufactures components for electronic equipment for the automotive and other industries using a process called sintering, in which small metal particles are formed into shapes using intense heat.


Logistics company supporting LG bringing 34 jobs to Henry County, Ga.

A supply chain company is coming to Henry County and bringing 34 jobs with it. GFA, a provider of logistics solutions from Valley, Ala., will operate a 300,000-square-foot facility in McDonough, Ga., that will distribute products for South Korean electronics giant LG.


Marangoni Tread North America announces Tennessee expansion

Marangoni Tread North America, a retread products supplier, announced it had begun expanding its tread manufacturing plant in Madison, Tenn. The company did not provide specific details about the expansion, but did say they would be expanding their workforce at the plant by 10 percent.


Enviva Partners expands in Southampton, Va.

Enviva Partners, a global energy company specializing in sustainable wood biomass, will invest at least $75.7 million to expand its operation in Southampton. In addition to increasing wood pellet production, the expansion will allow for the processing of sustainably sourced pine, significantly increasing the company’s use of raw material from Virginia forests. Virginia successfully competed with multiple Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast states for the project.


Debt collection agency to bring 500 jobs to Danville, Va.

The PRA Group, a Norfolk-based debt collection agency, will locate in the former Telvista building in Danville. The company plans to make a capital investment of $15.1 million and hire 500 to establish a new call center. Pay for the positions will average about $38,000 per year. Hiring will begin in the spring.


General Mills locates $8.5 million distribution hub in McDonough, Ga.

General Mills will invest $8.5 million in its new state-of-the-art distribution facility located in McDonough. The project is expected to create more than 50 new jobs. The company acquired Blue Buffalo Pet Products (a manufacturer of natural pet food) in 2018, and the 408,000-square-foot McDonough facility will distribute the General Mills Blue Buffalo family of products throughout the Southeast.


Diversified Foods and Seasonings expands plant near Madisonville, La.

Diversified Foods and Seasonings will invest $12 million to expand and upgrade its manufacturing facility near Madisonville. The St. Tammany Parish plant provides Diversified Foods’ corporate clients with a variety of prepared food products, including the red beans sold at Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen restaurants. The company announced it is moving a major production line from its Nebraska facility to the Madisonville plant, resulting in 44 new jobs and retaining 120 in St. Tammany Parish.


LGM Enterprises bringing 145 more jobs to North Carolina Global Transpark

A Lenoir County company that operates a luxury jet charter service is launching a second business to paint and refurbish its aircraft. LGM Enterprises is launching Jetsteam Aviation at the North Carolina Global TransPark. The new company is expected to create 145 jobs and invest $10.5 million. LGM Enterprises is also planning to increase its 32-aircraft fleet to more than 50 jets in the next two years, which means more full-time pilots and dispatchers.


IT consulting firm adding 300 jobs in Mecklenburg County, N.C.

IT consulting firm Cognizant is expanding in Mecklenburg County, adding 300 jobs over the next five years. Cognizant, which opened an IT center in Charlotte in 2014, is also investing $5 million in the expansion.


One-hundred new jobs for Catawba County, N.C.

Adhesive tape manufacturer Shurtape Technologies plans to create 100 jobs over four years at a facility in Catawba County, in exchange for grants worth $714,900. With average salaries of $40,098, it's a $31.4 million capital investment.


AvidXchange expands HQ in Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte-based AvidXchange will expand its corporate headquarters, adding over 1,200 new jobs and investing $41 million. Average salary for the new jobs will be $68,569. The company, which already employs more than 900 workers in Charlotte, sells software that helps midsize companies receive, approve and pay their bills more efficiently.


German pharma chooses Catawba County, N.C. for first U.S. plant

Isotopen Technologien München AG (ITM), a group of specialized radiopharmaceutical companies, has selected Catawba County for its first North American manufacturing facility of its subsidiary Isotopes Technologies Garching (ITG), creating 137 new jobs. ITM will invest $12 million in Hickory with the project.


Call center creating 240 new jobs in Louisiana

Mississippi-based YoungWillliams PC announced the company will create 240 jobs and make a $4.1 million capital investment through new call centers in Bossier City and Baton Rouge. YoungWilliams will provide support for social services after reaching an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services to operate call centers for a five-year period. Call center functions for DCFS previously were outsourced to a company operating in Florida and California.


Dairy expansion in Tyler, Texas

New incentives are on the way for Hiland Dairy for an expansion underway at its plant just outside of downtown Tyler. The company is retaining 74 jobs and creating up to 80 new jobs.


Gov. Scott awards $10 million for Pensacola Airport expansion

Scott recently announced four awards statewide from the Florida Job Growth Fund totaling $29 million. The city of Pensacola will receive $10 million for the expansion of Pensacola International Airport — half of what the city was hoping. The funds will be used for the expansion of the airport, including building additional taxiways and ramps and completing work on hangars.


Blauer Manufacturing relocating to Batesville, Miss.

Blauer Manufacturing, which makes clothing and protective gear for police and firefighters, will be leaving Lafayette County, Miss., this summer. Blauer is headed to Batesville, Miss., to pursue expansion. The current workforce of 150 employees will be offered a lateral move to Panola County. The project represents a $2.4 million corporate investment.


Motiva eyeing $6 billion expansion in Texas

Motiva, the Houston subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, has filed paperwork with the Texas comptroller for more than $6 billion in improvements to its facility to expand into the petrochemical business.


Multi-million-dollar expansion for Alabama sawmill

Central Alabama Wood Products recently announced an $18 million expansion of its Nixburg, Ala., plant. The expansion will more than double the plant's capacity. Larry Jones, one of the co-owners of the company, says the railroad industry was one the driving forces behind their decision to expand.


Healthcare firm bringing 500 jobs to Roswell, Ga.

McKesson Corp., a healthcare supply chain, retail pharmacy and information technology concern, will relocate from Alpharetta in the summer. According to officials in Roswell, Ga., the company has signed a 10-year lease for 104,000 square feet in in Roswell, and anticipates bringing 500 jobs with them.


Greenwood, S.C., to see $35 million expansion

A Houston-based company that makes fibers, chemicals and plastics is expanding its operations in South Carolina to bolster production of nylon polymer products. Gov. Henry McMaster’s office said in a news release that Ascend Performance Materials plans to add 30 jobs at its operations in Greenwood. Ascend is spending $35 million in the project, which will be its third expansion in Greenwood County this decade.


Standard Calibrations creating 89 jobs in Chesapeake, Va.

Standard Calibrations Inc., an instrumentation and controls company, is investing $9.6 million to consolidate its headquarters in Chesapeake. It anticipates creating 89 jobs. SCI will build a 40,000-square-foot headquarters in the city, which will include the consolidation of the company’s two existing facilities there, as well as the addition of a lab and warehouse.


DENSO opens new plant in Maryville, Tenn., adding 1,000 jobs

DENSO, a global manufacturer of automotive components, celebrated the grand opening of a new production facility in Tennessee. The plant will produce advanced systems to help automakers transition to electric and autonomous vehicles, and is expected to support 1,000 new manufacturing jobs when fully operational.


Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions expands Bowling Green plant

Less than two years after opening its plant, Japan-based automotive parts manufacturer Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions will expand with a $42 million investment in Bowling Green, Ky. The project will add 90 employees, bringing its total planned employment to 220, and overall investment to $95 million in the state. The plant manufactures aluminum bumper and sub-frame materials.


McAirlaids plans expansion in Franklin County, Va.

McAirlaid’s Inc. will expand its operation in Rocky Mount. The company plans to invest $7.8 million at its facility in the Franklin County Commerce Park, most of it on equipment, and plans to add 25 new jobs to the current workforce of 128 there With the expansion, McAirlaid’s will increase production of its absorbent products for food packaging.


YakAttack expands in Prince Edward County, Va.

YakAttack, a manufacturer of kayak fishing gear and rigging, will relocate and expand its production facility. The company invested $3.4 million to move from its existing facility in Nottoway County to a 66,000-square-foot space in Prince Edward County, with plans to create 34 jobs.


Charles River Labs expands Charleston operations

Charles River Labs, a drug discovery and early-stage development company, plans a $10.9 million expansion of its operations center with construction of new administrative offices in Charleston, S.C. The project is expected to create 180 new jobs.


French security company moving HQ to Reston, Va.

Paris-based global security firm IDEMIA will relocate its North American headquarters from a town north of Boston to Reston, a move that will bring at least 90 new jobs to Fairfax County.


Austin soccer stadium deal finalized

The deal between the city of Austin and Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) for a Major League Soccer stadium is complete. The two sides have finalized and executed a lease and development agreement for McKalla Place, a 24-acre city-owned property in North Austin, just south of The Domain. PSV said the Austin soccer park and stadium will be a $225 million project, up from a previous estimate of $200 million. It will have capacity for 20,000 to 21,000 fans.


Virginia wants to pump $250 million into broadband

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced Virginia’s expanded investment in universal broadband access. “Broadband Internet is inarguably a necessity for participation in a 21st-century economy, and many Virginians have been left without quality access for far too long,” said Gov. Northam on what his office is calling a major investment in the state’s support of broadband infrastructure. . .the “first installment of a historic commitment to expanding access to all unserved Virginians.”


Expansion to bring 135 jobs to Campbellsville, Ky.

A Campbellsville company will be expanding and relocating, adding more than 100 jobs in the process, according to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s office. Frost-Arnett Co., an accounts-receivable management company operating in Campbellsville for nearly two decades, will create 135 full-time jobs and invest $2.84 million as it relocates to a new office within the community.


Tax incentives allow pine specialist to expand in South Carolina

Dempsey Wood Products, a sawmill specializing in hardwood pine lumber, will expand its South Carolina operations and add 25 jobs. Plans call for $7 million to be invested in new dry kilns, a planer mill, and other upgrades to the company’s sawmill.


Smithfield opens new distribution center, adds 250 jobs in North Carolina

With a $100 million investment, Smithfield Foods has begun operations in its new distribution center, located in Tar Heel, N.C., which will create about 250 new jobs. The new 500,000-square foot facility (about the size of eight football fields), and its cold storage capabilities at the processing facility will strengthen the company’s supply, according to a press release.


Exporter GF Health invests $10 million in Georgia HQ expansion

GF Health Products, a medical equipment supplier, opened a new headquarters recently that represents a $10 million investment and 20 new jobs in Gwinnett County. The 119,000-square-foot facility is to house about a third of the company’s overall 325 workers. GF (short for Graham-Field) has in recent years refocused on using globalization to its advantage, bringing manufacturing for many products back to the U.S. from Asia, then selling from here to other countries. 


Wickles Pickles returns production to Alabama

Sims Food, the company that produces the popular Wickles Pickles brand, is relocating production from North Carolina to Magnolia Vegetable Processors in Brundidge, Ala. “Our goal is to use as much produce as possible from Alabama growers and fill in the gaps elsewhere,” said Will Sims, a co-partner in the firm. Brothers Will and Trey Sims entered the pickling business in 1998, after sampling the spicy pickles their cousin made for a Halloween party. They purchased the recipe, which had been passed down by her grandmother, and Wickles Pickles was born. In the early days, the pickling operation was located in Dadeville, Ala., but as demand grew, the partners had to look elsewhere for processors, and that took them to North Carolina. A key part of the move back to Alabama was the startup of Magnolia Vegetable Processors, which will process and pack the pickles.


Mortgage company hiring 1,000 in South Carolina

ServiceMac, a Charlotte-based mortgage servicing company, plans to open an office in Lancaster County, S.C., creating 1,000 new jobs there. The deal represents a $24 million investment.


JPMorgan Chase files plans to extend Plano, Texas campus

About a year after wrapping up the first phase of its 1 million-square-foot regional office project at Legacy West, JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to expand its campus. The company has filed preliminary plans for the hub’s second phase. The latest plans for the site propose a seven-story, 1,900-space parking garage.


Daily duck parades coming to North Texas

The Peabody, a historic lodging in Memphis, Tenn., known for daily duck marches, is slated to bring a hotel to Roanoke, Texas near Texas Motor Speedway. The 750-room project could break ground next year and construction could take up to three years.


McDermott leases entire Houston building for new HQ

Houston-based engineering firm McDermott International has signed a lease for its new headquarters, where it will consolidate employees from five locations across the Houston area. The company leased the entire 18-story Energy Center Five building, which was completed in 2016 and has never been occupied. McDermott will eventually move about 1,700 employees in by the end of 2019.


March of Dimes moving headquarters to Virginia

The March of Dimes is moving its corporate headquarters from New York to northern Virginia. The nonprofit group, which works to improve mothers’ and babies’ health, announced it will relocate to the Crystal City section of Arlington County, just across the river from the nation’s capital. It is the same neighborhood that Amazon chose for a new headquarters campus. Arlington County said it expects the move to bring 80 new jobs and occupy 28,000 square feet of real estate.


India-based Essel Propack expands facility in Danville, Va.

India-based Essel Propack, a global specialty packaging company, will invest $31.2 million to expand its manufacturing facility in Danville. The project is expected to add 45 new jobs to the current workforce of 252 at its first and only U.S. manufacturing operation. The jobs will pay an average of $45,000 to $47,000 annually.


GenCanna Global USA expands in Kentucky

GenCanna Global USA Inc. is a hemp genetics and cannabidiol formulation company based in Winchester, Ky. The company will add a new facility in Graves County with a $40 million investment expected to create 80 full-time jobs.The new location comes in response to the company’s fifth, and most successful, growing season. The operation will allow GenCanna to better serve its food and beverage industry customers with products including fruit chews, ingestible oils, beverages and cosmetics.


Pharmco expands at Kentucky facility

Pharmco, a brand of Greenfield Global that produces a range of products used in herbal extraction, has expanded manufacturing capability at its facility in Shelbyville, Ky. This expansion helps Pharmco stay ahead of aggressive demand from cannabis extraction businesses for such products. "New and pending legislation legalizing hemp and other cannabis-related products, coupled with ongoing research into their uses, are creating significant opportunities for farmers and herbal extraction companies in North America," said Frank Richards, Director of Business Development for Pharmco.


New jobs coming to Allendale, S.C.

A Canada-based company called EOC Naturals is building a manufacturing facility to make pet treats in Allendale. The project will create 76 new factory jobs over the next five years.


TexasFort Knox?

Construction began recently on the first precious metals depository in the country that will be administered by a state. December 12th marked the ground-breaking on the 40,000-square-foot Texas Bullion Depository in Leander. The depository will be operated by Lone Star Tangible Assets. It is described as a class 3 vault, the highest level. The Leander depository will weigh as much as 10 NASA space shuttles and have room for up to $350 billion in gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals — more than what is held in Fort Knox, the famous U.S. Bullion Depository in Kentucky.


Alamance, N.C., commissioners approve incentives for BD

The Alamance County Board of Commissioners voted to offer a medical technology company $2.6 million to expand its Mebane plant. The Becton, Dickinson and Co. — commonly known as BD — will invest $175 million to focus on manufacturing sample collection devices and add as many as 116 jobs to its current workforce of 83 employees.


Bridgestone plans Tennessee plant expansion

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations plans to expand its Warren County, Tenn., production plant as part of a three-year, $40 million project. A business unit of Bridgestone Americas Inc., BATO will add another 32,000 square feet to the commercial truck and bus radial tire manufacturing facility.


Hoover, Ala., City Council approves incentives for medical device company

A Hoover-based medical device company is planning a $2 million expansion that would create 60 additional jobs. BioHorizons, headquartered in Hoover’s Riverchase Corporate Park, employs 185 people there. The 60 additional jobs being created come with a $50,000 average salary.


HIROTEC to invest $40 million in Tennessee

Automotive supplier HIROTEC America announced that it will construct a new manufacturing facility in Fayetteville. The member of Japan-based HIROTEC Group will invest around $40 million and create more than 100 jobs in Lincoln County over the next three years. The plant will be operational in the third quarter of 2020.


New jobs for Paris, Texas

Another new industry is coming to Texoma, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was on hand recently to celebrate jobs for Lamar County. American SpiralWeld Pipe Company broke ground on a $60 million facility at the site of the former Superior Switch Company at Paris Industrial Park that will create more than 60 full-time positions, with the potential for future expansion to 100 employees.


Automotive speaker maker to expand in El Paso

Dozens of new jobs will soon come to El Paso, Texas as a global automotive speaker manufacturer expands its local operations. Foster Electric is investing $4.2 million in the community, retaining 32 employees and creating an additional 40 full-time jobs.


Mercedes-Benz spending $23 billion on battery cells

As the automaker continues to build an electric battery plant in Bibb County near its Vance factory, Daimler announced it is spending $23 billion on battery cells. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said the company’s “electric offensive continues to gain momentum.” The battery cell purchase means the company is “systematically pushing forward with the transformation into the electric future of our company.”


Billion-dollar startup moving headquarters to Memphis

An agriculture technology startup could be approved for millions in grants and tax breaks in return for moving its North American headquarters from Boston. The move would bring about 700 Indigo Ag jobs to Memphis with average pay topping $90,000. “It’s the biggest new headquarters announcement in Memphis in my memory,” said Mayor Jim Strickland.


Louisiana’s first manufactured housing facility

Leesville, La., is welcoming the only manufactured housing facility in the state of Louisiana. The new Skyline Champion plant will create 200-plus jobs to meet growing demand in the affordable housing sector.


VEGA Americas to create 120 manufacturing jobs in Louisiana

Cincinnati-based VEGA Americas, which is part of Germany-based VEGA and makes measurement devices commonly used in industrial plants, will invest $22.4 million to build a 100,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing center in Ascension Parish. The company will create 120 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $52,000, plus benefits. VEGA Americas President Ron Hegyesi said, “The proximity to the chemical corridor was key in our investment decision. This location will be a hub for North America, Central America and South America. Our vision includes future exports to Southeast Asia, China, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East.”


Israeli cyber firm picks Atlanta for U.S. hub

An Israeli cybersecurity firm bringing a $100,000 hacking competition to Atlanta has also made the city its U.S. hub. Tel Aviv-based Cyber 2.0 has created a complex contest with partners like the University of North Georgia and Georgia Tech.


OKC opens $135 million streetcar system

Oklahoma City residents first voted to approve the streetcar project in 2009 as part of a broader economic redevelopment plan backed by a 1-cent sales tax. That program, which included construction of a convention center and a public park, was meant to revitalize the city’s downtown, including overhauling the transportation network to make it more walkable.


Metal processing company coming to Tishomingo County, Miss.

A new manufacturing facility is being built in Tishomingo County that will create 25 jobs. Traxys Cometals Processing is locating operations in Burnsville at the Yellow Creek Port. At the $10 million facility, workers will produce alloying agents for the molten metal treatment of aluminum and steel.


Hytrol announces 100 jobs for Jonesboro, Ark.

Conveyor manufacturer Hytrol is creating more than 100 jobs in early 2019. The company is the largest conveyor manufacturer in North America and provides material handling solutions.


Gaston County, N.C., lands 500-job call center

Charlotte-based Sonic Automotive will open a customer contact center in Gaston County, creating 500 jobs and making it the county’s largest office project. Sonic Automotive, one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States, will make an $11.2 million investment in Lowell to establish the center.


East Kentucky Power investing $262 million to keep Spurlock Station running

East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) is beginning work on a series of projects at Spurlock Station to ensure the power plant remains in compliance with more stringent environmental rules for years to come. Totaling over $262 million, these projects are aimed at ensuring future compliance with federal regulations related to handling and storage of coal ash and related materials, as well as handling and discharge of water at the plant.


Pharma giant creating 134 jobs in Louisville, Ky.

AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. plans to create as many as 134 jobs in Louisville as part of a $13 million expansion of its pharmaceutical distribution center.


Graphic Packaging to invest $350 million in Augusta, Ga., paper plant

Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging Holding Co. is investing $350 million in the Augusta paper mill it acquired earlier this year from International Paper. The capital infusion into the south Augusta plant will extend the life of the 60-year-old facility and enable it to maintain its 750-employee workforce. The six-year, multi-phase modernization will improve the quality of the bleached paperboard the mill manufactures for various food-service and consumer-product companies.


Racing returns to Colonial Downs, 800 new jobs

Live horse racing will be back at Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Va., in 2019. The Virginia Racing Commission granted the license that will allow for the return of live racing to the Commonwealth along with approval to open a 600-unit historic horse racing operation in New Kent County. Colonial Downs also announced it is making a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth, creating 800 new jobs by the end of 2019.


A $24 million plant breaks ground In Alabama

The makers of Sweet Brew Tea and Lemonade are building a facility in Alabama to house tea and sugar production. Southern Visions broke ground on a $24 million manufacturing facility in Bay Minette, Ala. The project is expected to create more than 60 new jobs.


Owens Corning expands hub in Blythewood, S.C.

Owens Corning, a producer of insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites, has acquired an existing manufacturing facility in Blythewood. The company’s $13.6 million capital investment is projected to bring 16 new jobs. The company plans to convert an existing line to produce coated, non-woven products. The acquisition is the first step in the creation of a glass non-wovens excellence center.


Harrison Poultry expands operations in Taliaferro County, Ga.

Harrison Poultry, a family-owned poultry processing company, will create 102 jobs and invest $70 million in a new feed mill and hatchery in Taliaferro County. Harrison Poultry will also increase capacity at its feed mill and hatchery in Barrow County, creating additional jobs there.


Diageo announces $130 million investment at Kentucky facility

Diageo, a producer of beverage alcohol, will locate a $130 million distillery in Lebanon creating 30 full-time jobs. “It was just last year that we unveiled Diageo’s Bulleit distillery in Shelbyville, and this latest investment is another example of continued growth for the company and within our bourbon and spirits industry,” Gov. Matt Bevin said.


Beverage maker to add 250 Jobs with new facility in Cornelius, N.C.

A single-serve cold-beverage maker will add 250 jobs in Mecklenburg County after it gets a new distribution center up and running. Sprizzi Drink-Co., based in Colton, Calif., will upfit the former Michael Waltrip Racing building for a production and distribution center.


Distributor to add 80 jobs in Louisville, Ky.

A Florida distributor of hydraulic seals is eyeing Louisville, Ky., for a new fulfillment center. Clearwater-based HB Sealing Products has proposed the creation of 80 new jobs as part of a $13.2 million fulfillment center that would use advanced automation.


Amazon to open regional air hub in North Texas

Amazon will open a regional air hub at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport, creating hundreds of new jobs with the first airport project of its kind in the Amazon Air network. The new facility will be tailored specifically to Amazon Air’s larger-scale regional needs. Unlike other gateways and facilities within Amazon Air’s network, the regional air hub will include sortation capabilities and infrastructure to handle multiple flights daily. Construction has already begun on the new facility, and it should be operational in 2019.


Indian manufacturer expanding in Dorchester County, S.C.

Indian manufacturer and supplier Sundaram-Clayton Limited has announced it’s investing $40 million into its facility in the Ridgeville area. The expansion is expected to generate 100 new positions at the facility, which provides aluminium and magnesium castings for the automotive industry.


Baker Roofing to open new location in Hendersonville, Tenn.

One of the largest roofing companies in the country is making plans to move to Hendersonville, and with it could come as many as 70 jobs. Baker Roofing has been in Nashville since 2010 and has been instrumental in roofing much of the city’s new construction, including the Music City Center. The city’s growth is what brought the company — based in North Carolina — to Tennessee.


Metal fabricator building plant in Berkeley County, S.C., creating 600 jobs

A Michigan-based manufacturer of metal fabrications plans to create at least 600 jobs by setting up operations in Berkeley County. W International recently made the $35.2 million announcement, previously known as “Project Whiskey.” At its new facility — an existing 451,000-square-foot plant — the company will support U.S. defense shipbuilding, as well as the aerospace, automotive and commercial business industries.


Duke Energy to build 39-story tower in Charlotte, N.C.

Duke Energy will build a 39-story office tower to house about 3,600 employees directly across South Tryon Street from its Duke Energy Center headquarters. A Duke spokesman says the company does not yet have a final cost estimate for construction, as some details of the tower are still being worked out.


Cargo airline expands at Houston airport

Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Group, a major cargo airline operator, is expanding its presence at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to improve its service in North and South America. The company already had a sales office in Houston, but it’s now opening an operations base and creating an additional 30 to 40 jobs,


Hundreds of jobs heading to southern Dallas

There is a lot of positive momentum happening across District 3 in southern Dallas as Home Depot and HD Supply are looking to move into the community and could bring hundreds of jobs to the southwestern edge of the city. “To have, you know, 800 jobs from Home Depot. Permanent full-time jobs, at a minimum living wage, and then 200 jobs from HD Supply, in southern Dallas. It’s the beginning of something big,” said Mayor Pro Tem Casey Thomas.


Pall Aeropower expands in Pasco County, Fla.

One of Pasco County’s largest private employers is expanding. Pall Aeropower Corporation is adding 56 jobs (a 10 percent increase) at its 57-acre location near New Port Richey. The company engineers and manufactures fluid equipment for aircraft and aerospace industries, including defense programs.


DMC Power expands in Olive Branch, Miss.

DMC Power, a manufacturer of connection systems for transmission, distribution, substation and industrial projects, is expanding operations to Olive Branch. The project is an $8 million corporate investment and will create 125 jobs. The company is in the process of converting the Nissan distribution facility in Olive Branch to a large-scale connector manufacturing center.


Hundreds of jobs coming to South Carolina community rocked by job losses

A Chinese memory-foam mattress manufacturer is bringing 250 jobs to the South Carolina county that bore the brunt of the employment losses from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion. Healthcare U.S. Co., announced plans to establish new operations in Fairfield County with a $45 million investment.


Tellurian plan for $15 billion LNG terminal moves forward

The Houston company Tellurian has taken an important step toward building a $15.2 billion liquefied natural gas export terminal. Tellurian said recently that its subsidiary has entered a memorandum of understanding with Vitol, a British energy and commodities company, to supply 1.5 million metric tons per year of liquefied gas from its proposed Driftwood LNG export terminal south of Lake Charles, La.


Check-Mate Industries creating 230 jobs in Georgia

A tool and die, metal stamping and assemblies manufacturer is moving its headquarters from New York state to Thomasville, investing more than $16 million and creating 230 jobs. Check-Mate Industries will operate in the former Caterpillar plant to serve customers in a range of industries from aircraft and automotive to medical, cosmetic and art and communications.


Advanced Plating creating 200 new jobs in Tennessee

Advanced Plating will expand its Middle Tennessee operations by locating a new facility in Portland. The electroplating manufacturer will create 200 jobs and invest approximately $4 million in Sumner County. The company provides electroplating services for the automotive, architectural fixtures and musical instrument industries.


Robot R&D coming to Central Florida

Global aerospace and defense firm Harris Corp. has primarily focused on communication services for the U.S. military, but now plans to diversify its services through a multimillion-dollar investment. The Melbourne-based company announced plans to invest more than $125 million in internal research and development in Florida to focus on electronic warfare, robotics and small satellites. Most of the investment will be in Central Florida, where Harris Corp. is based. The investment will lead to more high-wage jobs in the area, paying an average annual salary of $95,000.


Bicycle Corporation of America speeds up in Clarendon County, S.C.

Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) announced plans to expand its existing production operations in Clarendon County. The company’s $5 million investment is projected to create 65 new jobs. BCA was established in 2014 as a venture of Kent International, a family-owned bicycle importer and manufacturer based in New Jersey. As a participant in Walmart’s Made in U.S.A. initiative, Kent International established BCA to augment its import sales.


Corpus Christi gets $59 million for channel improvement plan

The Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan includes an additional $59 million in funding for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP). This funding brings the total federal appropriations for the CIP to $95 million.


Leidos bringing high-paying jobs to Monongalia County, W.Va.

Fortune 500 high-tech company Leidos announced it will be consolidating offices and adding 110 jobs at its new facility being built in Morgantown, W.Va., which has space for about 250 people. Most of the openings in Morgantown are for entry-level engineers with a median pay of around $76,000 a year. In recent months, Leidos landed a $364 million engineering contract with Morgantown’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, and another $100 million project with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s operation in neighboring Marion County.


Lending Tree expands in Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte-based online loan marketplace LendingTree announced it will expand its headquarters in Mecklenburg County and create 436 jobs over five years. The expansion is expected to bring more than $26 million in investment. The average wage for the new jobs will be more than $101,000.


Furniture maker expands Mississippi plant

Williams-Sonoma is adding 350 jobs in Lee County, where its Sutter Street Manufacturing division will be building high-end furniture for its Pottery Barn and West Elm brands. Sutter Street Manufacturing has been in the process of converting an existing facility there.


DeepBD opens Charleston hub

A developer and operator of artificial intelligence platforms, DeepBD, will open a new operations center in Charleston, S.C. The company’s $1.6 million investment is projected to create 30 new jobs.


Ion Labs opens second facility in Largo, Fla.

Ion Labs will open its second manufacturing complex in Largo, meaning “hundreds of new jobs’” according to company officials. Ion offers product development, manufacturing, packaging and product testing. The new 190,000-square-foot manufacturing location will be located a short distance from Ion’s current facility.


Czech auto supplier locating in Spartanburg, S.C.

A Czech producer of metal parts for the automotive industry is locating its new operations in Spartanburg County. KV Final is investing $2.5 million and will create 50 new jobs.


Timbers Resorts moves HQ to Florida

Timbers Resorts is moving its corporate headquarters from Colorado to Winter Park, Fla. This move by the the luxury developer is expected to bring more than 80 jobs to the area.


Honeywell relocating HQ to Charlotte, N.C.

Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International will move its headquarters from New Jersey and establish 750 jobs in Charlotte. The state of North Carolina will give Honeywell an incentive package worth up to $42.5 million, bringing the total incentives offered the company to more than $80 million.


Boat manufacturer eyes White Bluff, Tenn.

Ebbtide Holdings will establish a boat-manufacturing plant in White Bluff. The company plans to create nearly 100 jobs to make its Boca Bay and Aquasport brand boats.


Pendo plans major expansion at Raleigh hub

Pendo, a growing technology company founded in Raleigh, will more than triple its local operations, adding 590 jobs and investing $34.5 million in Wake County, N.C. The project will provide the company with a corporate headquarters location and facility to accommodate rapid growth.


New soccer stadium for Columbus, S.C.

A public-private partnership announced that it intends to break ground on a new $230 million downtown soccer stadium for Crew SC on a site that once was proposed for a casino. The new Crew owners will invest a total of $645 million to buy the team for an estimated $150 million; build the stadium and surrounding commercial and residential buildings; and remodel the team’s current home at Mapfre Stadium as a practice facility. Surrounding development would have as much as 270,000 square feet of commercial and office space that could bring an additional 1,300 workers to the district, along with 885 residential units.


Leaders laud Shaws $250 million investment in Alabama

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was recently in Andalusia, Ala., as Shaw Industries announced that it is investing $250 million in its Andalusia manufacturing facility, which employs more than 1,000 workers to create fiber used to manufacture residential carpet.


Kitchen cabinet distributor adds 50 jobs in Houston

Raleigh-based Kitchen Cabinet Distributors will open a new 180,000-square-foot distribution center in Houston in January, adding 50 jobs. “Growing demand for affordable, quality cabinetry and a steady housing market continues to drive our growth, and our new Houston facility will allow us to better serve the state of Texas and other nearby markets,” says Megan Mazur, vice president of sales and marketing.


Skyborne Technology expands Gulf County footprint

Skyborne Technology, a designer, developer and manufacturer of manned, unmanned and drone aviation systems, announced it will expand its footprint in Gulf County, Fla. The company has executed a contract to purchase Costin Airport in Port St. Joe and expects to create roughly 100 local jobs.


Jax “Project Glass” revealed

Bonelli, a subsidiary of Pella Corp. based in South San Francisco, will renovate existing space in Jacksonville, Fla., to build-out a window-making plant. The $7 million capital investment will create 135 jobs.


Novo Nordisk announces another investment in Clayton, N.C.

As pharmaceutical production continues to expand in counties east of the Triangle, Novo Nordisk has announced another $22 million expansion of its Clayton facility, including 22 more jobs. The news comes less than a year since the Danish company announced a $65 million expansion.


Bosch expanding Anderson County operations

Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services, is expanding its existing Anderson County operations. with a $45 million investment.


Duke Energy burning bright in Citrus County, Fla.

Duke Energy’s 1.8 million customers in The Sunshine State are now receiving 1,640 megawatts of cleaner-burning, highly efficient energy from the company’s new state-of-the-art combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County. The high-tech facility represents a $1.5 billion investment.


Major League Fishing opens Tulsa HQ, 50 jobs

Major League Fishing has leased office space for its first Tulsa-based headquarters and is expanding its workforce by about 50 new jobs in the area.


MFG Chemical upgrades Pasadena, Texas facility

MFG Chemical, a manufacturer of specialty and custom chemicals, is upgrading its plant in Pasadena, Texas. The company acquired the facility in March 2018, which sits on 24.5 acres. According to company officials, improvements entail a multi-million-dollar investment.


Resers Fine Foods expands North Carolina operations

Reser’s Fine Foods will invest $3.2 million to expand its current operations in Halifax County, N.C. The company plans to create 79 jobs over the next 5 years. “Our tortilla business continued to grow in the Eastern United States over the past nine years, and it became clear we needed to invest to support both current and future demand in this region,” says Reser’s CEO Mark Reser.

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