July 2019

Chinese state media: “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

People’s Daily, the largest newspaper in China and the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, published a story in the spring quarter that warned the U.S. in this protracted trade war between the two countries. “We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s ability to safeguard its development rights and interests. Don’t say we didn’t warn you,” the media property wrote. The phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” has been used before by People’s Daily in 1962 before China’s border war with India and ahead of the 1979 China-Vietnam War. The warning seems to indicate that China will retaliate against the U.S. as a result of the trade war. The vast percentage of the world’s rare earth minerals that are used in a variety of high-tech gear, including cell phones and other electronics, are mined in China. The warning seems to center on China restricting rare earth minerals to the U.S. Few know what the consequences will be if China reduces the sale of rare earth minerals in the current trade war. 


U.S. breaks record for longest economic expansion

In June, the economic expansion that began in the summer of 2009 broke the record for the longest recovery in the nation’s history. The current expansion beats the 120-month-long period of an expanding economy from 1991 to 2001. The average length of the 12 expansions since 1945 has been 58.4 months. This one is 121 months and counting. 


Layoffs surge by 35 percent, highest level in a decade

Job layoffs in the first quarter of this year were at the highest levels in a first quarter in 10 years, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gary & Christmas. The total number of layoffs stood at over 190,000, a 10.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter and a 35.6 percent increase from the same period a year ago. The layoffs are the highest for a first quarter since 2009. 


Housing is still a disaster in Hurricane Michael’s destructive path in Northwest Florida

More than half of all apartments in Bay County, Fla., are still damaged and unlivable as a result of Hurricane Michael’s wrath in October of 2018. Panama City Community Development data shows that of 8,384 apartments in Bay County, only 3,837 were considered livable and of those, only two were available as of May 14. No new units are expected to be available for four to six months, or about a year after the hurricane hit. 


Auto industry cutting jobs at the fastest pace since the financial crisis

According to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., automakers are laying off employees at the fastest pace since the Great Recession. In the first four months of 2019, automakers had dismissed 19,802 workers. That is more than triple the 6,451 layoffs in the first four months of 2018. 


Laredo becomes top U.S. trade hub

An increase in energy exports has propelled the Port of Laredo in Texas to the nation’s top center for trade. In March, $20.1 billion of combined exports and imports moved through Laredo according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The total surpassed the $19.7 billion of imports and exports that went through the Port of Los Angeles. Energy exports helped Laredo beat long-time leader Los Angeles. Also, an increase in exports to Mexico and a decrease in Chinese imports helped propel Laredo to the No. 1 trading spot. 


The U.S. is no longer the world’s most competitive economy

Incorporating 235 economic indicators, the Switzerland-based business school IMD dropped the U.S. from first to third in its ranking of the world’s most competitive economies. The U.S. had the world’s most competitive economies for nine straight years until this year. Singapore and Hong Kong rose to No. 1 and No. 2. China placed 14th. 


JPMorgan Chase is hiring 4,000 more in Texas

JPMorgan Chase moved thousands of employees into its new campus in Plano, Texas, in the spring quarter and now has announced it will build a new tower there. The additional $100 million project is expected to create 4,000 new jobs. 


Facebook invests millions in Texas solar farm

Facebook has invested $416 million in a large solar farm in Andrews County, Texas. The new solar farm will generate 379 megawatts annually. 


Gaming company to create more than 100 jobs in Virginia

Castle Hill Gaming is hiring 106 new employees at its corporate headquarters in Albemarle County, Va. The gaming firm is investing $1.3 million in the expansion and is looking for artists, data scientists and computer programmers to fill  the positions. 


Manufacturer setting up shop in Jefferson Davis Parish, La. 

Lacassine Operating Company will invest $12.5 million to construct a catalyst blending plant in Lacassine, La. The company serves oil refineries throughout the world. The deal will create 40 jobs. 


Pharmaceutical plant to be built in North Carolina

KriGen Pharmaceuticals will invest in its first U.S. plant in Lillington, N.C. The India-based company will manufacture medical IV bags and liquid injectables at its new $7 million plant. The deal will create 100 jobs in Harnett County. 


Skin care products manufacturer expands in Knoxville

Scapa Healthcare opened its new medical device manufacturing facility in Knoxville in June. The company will hire 100. 


Manufacturer expands in North Carolina

Greenheck Group, a manufacturer of ventilation equipment for commercial and industrial uses, announced a major expansion in Shelby, N.C., which is located west of Charlotte. The company plans to invest more than $58 million and add 403 new jobs. The new jobs will represent an added annual payroll of over $16 million. 


Another Amazon facility announced. . .this one in Kernersville, N.C. 

Amazon is on the move again, this time announcing a new 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Kernersville, N.C. The new facility will house 1,000 workers. 


Rooms to Go investing millions in Tennessee facilities

Rooms to Go is investing $69 million in a new warehouse in Wilson County, Tenn. The deal will create 200 new jobs.  


Fifty new jobs coming to rural Mississippi

United Solutions, a plastics manufacturer, is expanding its facility in Sardis, Miss. The project will create 50 new jobs. 


Stave company breaks ground on 220-job cooperage

Independent Stave Company broke ground on its bourbon barrel operation in Morehead County, Ky. The $66 million plant, called the Commonwealth Cooperage, is expected to house 200 workers. 


Honeywell chooses site for new HQ in Charlotte, N.C.

Honeywell will anchor a new office tower in uptown Charlotte as it relocates its headquarters from New Jersey to North Carolina. The company has chosen the Legacy Union development and will occupy about 280,000 square feet in a tower currently under construction. Honeywell expects to make the move in 2021. 


More petrochemical plants slated for New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge industrial corridor

While petrochemical activity has slowed somewhat in the Gulf of Mexico regions of Texas and Louisiana, there is still plenty of work to be done on new facilities. More than $7 billion in announced facilities are slated for the Mississippi River corridor in Louisiana. But, is there enough construction labor available to complete the projects? Projects like Yuhang Chemical, ExxonMobil, Formosa, Shintech, Valero, Diamond Green Diesel and others are still waiting to be completed. 


Motor and fan manufacturer announces plant in Washington County, Tenn.

Electric motor and fan manufacturer will invest $37 million and create 200 new jobs in the Northeast Tennessee region. Connecticut-based Ebm-papst’s new facility in Washington County, Tenn. — its second in the U.S. — will produce fans for refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation systems. The project represents the largest capital investment in Washington County since 2011.


Harley ends production in Missouri

Harley-Davidson ended production of its motorcycle plant in Kansas City, Mo., in June. The iconic Milwaukee-based company began production in Missouri in 1997. The closing of the plant resulted in 800 lost jobs. 


Auto parts manufacturer picks Alabama city for new plant

South Korea-based Daechang Seat Company has chosen Phenix City, Ala., for a new auto parts plant. The plant will be a $9 million capital investment and will house 100 workers. 


New lumber mill breaks ground in rural Alabama

Tuscaloosa-based Westervelt Company broke ground on a new lumber mill in the spring quarter in Thomasville, Ala. The $200 million mill will create 125 jobs. 


Contract manufacturer to open in Georgia

Contract manufacturer Plethora will locate a $17 million facility in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. The company provides on-demand manufacturing from rapid prototyping to automated design software to CNC machining. The deal will create 250 jobs. 


Home values skyrocket near Amazon HQ2 in Northern Virginia

Since Amazon announced in November its choice of Crystal City and Pentagon City, Va., the median home sale price in that area has increased 17.7 percent, leaping to $655,000. Real estate brockerage firm Redfin reported that the typical home was placed under contract in just six days after Amazon announced its project. 


SmartAsset names top 10 creative places in the U.S.

In the spring quarter, SmartAsset.com published what it thinks are the top 10 places in the U.S. for job opportunities in creative fields. The ranking also factored in cost of living. The No. 1 creative place in the U.S. was Savannah, Ga. In the South, Nashville, Atlanta, Durham-Chapel Hill and Kansas City made the top 10. 


New stave mill for Southern Kentucky

Pennington Stave and Cooperage plans to establish a new stave mill in Metcalfe County, Ky. The staves are used for bourbon barrels. The $34 million investment will create 126 jobs. 


Cheniere investing another $3 billion in LNG export terminal in Southwest Louisiana

Houston-based Cheniere is adding a sixth train unit at its liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish, La. The company is investing $3 billion in the new unit. 


British firm picks Durham, N.C., for second U.S. headquarters

England-based Parexel International chose Durham, N.C., for its second U.S. headquarters in the spring quarter. The company is one of the world's leading contract research and services firms in the biopharmaceuticals industry. The $1.7 million investment will call for 264 new jobs. 


Alabama passes new incentives

Gov. Kay Ivey signed new legislation called the Alabama Incentives Modernization Act. The new bill modernizes Alabama's incentives to take advantage of federal Opportunity Zones, recruit industry to rural counties and attract technology companies to the state. Alabama's overall economy is very strong, however, some parts of the state are not participating in the growth. The new incentives help some of the counties that are not participating in the state's growth with additional tax credits. 


Domestic beer industry blames Trump tariffs for job losses

Since 2016, jobs in the U.S. beer industry have dropped by 40,000. A report by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers blamed the job losses on aluminum tariffs imposed by President Trump. The tariffs have increased aluminum can costs. 


Houston is the No. 1 destination in the U.S.

According to the latest U-Haul migration trends report, Houston is the No. 1 U.S. destination city. Houston saw a 3 percent gain in one-way U-Haul truck arrivals. Each year U-Haul counts down its top 10 U.S. Destination Cities as a prelude to Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer moving season. About 45 percent of all moves each year occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. The other four top one-way move destinations in 2018 were Chicago, Las Vegas, San Antonio and Orlando. 


DFW and American Airlines to build a sixth terminal

The main DFW airport and American Airlines have reached an agreement to build a sixth passenger terminal. Terminal F is part of a $3.5 billion expansion of DFW. The new terminal will include 24 new gates and will open in 2025. 


Texas leads nation in fastest growing cities

Everyone is moving to Texas. The Lone Star state leads the nation for the fastest growing cities with half of the top 10. Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Austin and Frisco are in the top 10 of the cities with the largest numeric increase in population. 


USA Today names best small town cultural scenes

In the spring quarter, USA Today named the best small town cultural scenes in the U.S., and several in the South were cited in the top 10. Doylestown, Pa., was named No. 1 and Point Pleasant, W.Va., was No. 2.  Making the top 10 in the South were Tarpon Springs, Fla.; Staunton, Va.; Paducah, Ky.; Guthrie, Okla.; and York, S.C. 


Trade wars still tamping down South's whiskey exports

Famous Tennessee whiskey and Kentucky bourbon have seen their exports, specifically to Europe and Asia, drop in value as a result of the trade wars. According to a report from Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee whiskey exports fell by more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. The value of those exports, which had been rising for years, dropped from $197 million to $135 million. After soaring 28 percent in the first six months of 2018, Kentucky bourbon exports dropped by 11 percent in the second half of last year. Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's bourbon and the industry had been growing by double digits for years. 


Amazon breaks ground on $1.5 billion Kentucky Air Hub 

Amazon broke ground on its air services hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in May. CEO Jeff Bezos made a surprise visit to the groundbreaking and hopped on a John Deere front loader to turn the first pile of dirt. The new air hub is expected to create 2,000 new jobs. 


Texas added more jobs than any other state

From April 2018 to April 2019, Texas added 283,000 jobs, a growth rate of 2.7 percent. The job totals were more than any other state. As of May, Texas' unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent. 


Walmart to build new corporate campus in Arkansas

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private-sector employer in the U.S., announced in late May it will build a new corporate campus in its hometown of Bentonville, Ark. The new campus will feature parks, bike trails, fitness centers, food trucks and child-care centers. The headquarters will house up to 17,000 employees. 


Amazon files development plans with Arlington County, Va.

Amazon filed development plans in the spring quarter for the first phase of its HQ2 in Crystal City, Va. The company is calling its development National Landing. The first phase will include two 22-story buildings at Metropolitan Park, totaling 2.1 million square feet. The HQ2 will eventually house at least 25,000 employees. 


China retaliates, U.S. exports fall

In May, China retaliated on new U.S. tariffs as the trade war escalated. Over a six-month period ending in March, exports from the U.S. to China dropped by $18.6 billion, or a loss of 26 percent. Imports from China declined as well. Exports were, however, higher to Europe and Mexico in that six-month period. 


Texas boosts film incentives by $50 million

This year's Texas Legislature raised movie, television and video games incentives to $50 million from $32 million. The new incentives will take effect September 1. 


Virginia Tobacco Commission will help pay off your student debt if you move to rural Virginia

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, which was created two decades ago to spend Virginia’s portion of the national tobacco settlement, announced in the spring quarter it will help pay off student loan debt for those willing to live and work in the rural regions of Southwest and Southside Virginia. In 20 years, the Commission has invested $1 billion on a wide range of projects that benefit economically depressed areas of the Commonwealth. The Commission has revised its student loan debt repayment program and will now spend $5 million on it every two years. To qualify you must have graduated college — two year or four year —
and move to counties and cities in the Commission’s coverage area. For the healthcare jobs, the commission is partnering with the Virginia Department of Health, which already runs a program awarding people up to $140,000 in student loan debt assistance over four years to work in under-served areas.


Software company adding 200 jobs in Atlanta area

LeaseQuery is expanding its facilities in Dunwoody, Ga. The accounting software company is adding 200 jobs. 


Ace Hardware expanding Dallas distribution center

Ace Hardware, the world's largest hardware cooperative, is adding 450,000 square feet to its distribution center in South Dallas. The project, which serves stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, is expected to create 70 new jobs. 


Lockheed Martin announces big expansion in South Arkansas

Lockheed Martin announced in the spring it will invest $142 million at its facilities in Camden, Ark. The company manufactures defense weapons at its Arkansas facility. The project will create more than 300 jobs and will bring employment there to beyond 900 workers. 


Boeing relocates its space division from Northern Virginia to Florida's Space Coast

Boeing announced in June that it will move its headquarters for its space division from the Washington, D.C. metro to Brevard County, Fla. Brevard County is home to Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral and Patrick Air Force Base, and also home to private space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. NASA has also called Florida's Space Coast home for decades. Boeing is the prime contractor for NASA's Space Launch System. 


Big deal in West Virginia

Domestic Synthetic Fuels will break ground this year on a new $1.2 billion coal-to-liquids fuel facility in Mason County, W.Va. The plant will convert West Virginia coal and natural gas to gasoline and other fuels. The plant will be the first of its kind in the U.S. 


Freight shipments in big slump

Freight shipments across all modes of transportation fell 6 percent in May compared to the same month last year, according to the Cass Freight Index. It was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year declines and the biggest year-over-year decline since November 2009. Loads on the spot market, where retailers and manufacturers buy trucking capacity when they need it rather than on contract, fell by over 60 percent in May year-over-year. 


Pratt & Whitney expands in Oklahoma

Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies, is expanding its Military Aftermarket Services facility at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. The project will create 100 new jobs. 


Pet products company adding jobs in North Carolina

Florida-based Synergy Labs, a pet products maker, is investing over $11 million in an existing facility in Burke County, N.C. The company plans to hire 237 workers in the deal. North Carolina won out over other sites in South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. 


CompMed expands operations In Newport, Ky. 

CompMed, a medical billings services firm,  is setting up shop in Newport, Ky. The $1.1 million project will create 150 full-time jobs. 


Building components manufacturer picks North Carolina

VBC Manufacturing, a maker of pre-fabricated building components for the construction industry, is opening a new plant in Hamlet, N.C. The company is investing $12 million in the deal that will create 130 new jobs. 


Navistar plans $125 million Alabama project

Navistar, a commercial truck and bus manufacturer, is investing $125 million in its plant in Huntsville, Ala. The investment is being made to produce next-generation big-bore powertrains. The project will create 145 jobs. 


Google taking large blocks of space in Austin, investing $600 million

Google is ever-expanding in Austin, the Texas capital city. The technology giant is leasing two new office buildings there, and is taking the entire 25-story, 723,000-square-foot tower known as Block 185, which is being built now. The space is enough to accommodate nearly 6,000 workers. Google is also investing $600 million in a new data center in Midlothian, Texas, which is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Google currently employs more than 1,000 in Austin working on projects with Android, Google Play and G Suite. 


Exxon-Sabic to build $10 billion plant near Corpus Christi

Exxon Mobil and Saudi Basic Industries will break ground on a petrochemical plant across the bay from Corpus Christi, Texas. The ethane steam cracker complex, which will be the world's largest, will create more than 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs. 


Port of Corpus Christi to become No. 1 U.S. crude export hub

The Port of Corpus Christi is set to pass the Port of Houston as the top U.S. crude oil export hub over the next 10 years, according to a report from Wood MacKenzie. New pipelines and port expansions will route more than 2 million barrels of Permian Basin crude oil per day to Corpus Christi. The amount of oil sent to the port is expected to quadruple over the next five years. 


Facebook to build massive solar farm in West Texas

Facebook is building a $416 million solar farm just north of Odessa, Texas. It is one of the nation's largest solar farms and is the company's first direct investment in renewable energy. The solar project will have a capacity of 379 megawatts. 


Kansas City lands 500-plus USDA jobs

Kansas City's largest employer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the beneficiary of 568 jobs as the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture relocate to the city from Washington, D.C. The USDA expects to open its Kansas City operations this fall. 


UAW loses at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant

VW workers at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted against joining the United Auto Workers in June. Employees voted 833 to 776 to reject the union over concerns that the German automaker would not expand the plant. 


In the last 10 years, Kentucky has added almost 50 new distilleries

Since 2009, Kentucky's distilling industry has added more than 10,000 jobs and opened more than 40 new distilleries. In fact, in 2009 there were 10 distilleries and today there are 68 in the Commonwealth. However, since countries put tariffs on American bourbon in retaliation to our own tariffs, whiskey exports fell 11 percent in the second half of 2018. 


BB&T and SunTrust to anchor 47-story Charlotte tower

The merger of Winston-Salem-based BB&T and Atlanta-based SunTrust to form Truist will result in a new headquarters in Charlotte. The new company will lease 561,000 square feet of space in the 47-story Hearst Tower. The Charlotte headquarters could house up to 2,000 people. Once merged, Truist will become the sixth-largest bank in the U.S.


Relativity to build rockets at NASA Stennis Mississippi

California-based rocket manufacturer Relativity is investing $59 million in a rocket plant at NASA Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss. Stennis has long hosted rocket tests. The company, which will use three-dimensional metal printing to build its rockets, will hire 200 in the deal. 


Wake Forest Innovation Quarter named member of Global Districts Group

The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter has been selected as an inaugural member of the Global Institute on Innovation Districts. There were only six research park districts chosen worldwide. The others are in Amsterdam; Melbourne, Australia; New York; Pittsburgh and St. Louis.


DHL adding jobs in Memphis

Logistics firm DHL Supply Chain is adding 50 jobs at its facility in Memphis. The company is expanding its medical device and pharmaceutical logistics business. The project calls for an $8 million investment. 


Call center set for Missouri

Exam One, a Quest Diagnostics Company, is setting up a call center in Sedalia, Mo. The company will hire 100 in the deal. 


India-based pharmaceutical firm to locate in North Carolina

KriGen Pharmaceuticals has selected Harnett County, N.C. for its first U.S. manufacturing facility. The $7 million project will create 100 new jobs. 


Greenville County, S.C., lands 500 jobs

Getronics, an IT firm, is locating its Global Service Center in Greenville County, S.C. The company has been located in the county for some time. The project is expected to create 500 jobs. 


Pet products manufacturer to move HQ in Missouri

Cosmos Corporation, a maker of pet products such as dental and flea and tick products, is moving into a new headquarters in O'Fallon, Mo. The company is currently located in Wentzville. The project will create 60 jobs. 


Carolina Panthers to build $200 million headquarters in South Carolina

The NFL's Carolina Panthers are investing $200 million in a headquarters and training facility in York County, S.C. The South Carolina legislature passed an incentives bill for sports teams to receive job development grants and tax credits to pave the way for the project. 


Company locating call center in Knoxville

Sitel is locating a new call center in Knoxville, Tenn. The company is hiring 200 in the deal. 


Volvo makes record investment in Pulaski County, Va. 

Volvo Trucks is planning to invest $400 million to expand its Virginia factory over the next six years, increasing employment capacity by 777 people. The company is already the largest private-sector employer in the region, and now – after what state leaders are calling the largest capital investment in the history of Southwest Virginia – it will be able to accommodate roughly 4,000 workers at its height. 


Wayfair bringing new look to old plant in Athens, Ga.

An e-commerce company is the first announced occupant of a redevelopment project at the old General Time factory in Athens, which shut down almost 20 years ago. Wayfair promises to bring more than 500 jobs “paying a wage that’s going to allow people to lead a good life”  to its new customer support call center, and plans to spend about $8 million in construction at the site.


San Francisco company opening HQ in Nashville with 450 jobs 

San Francisco-based Pilot.com will create 450 jobs in Nashville as part of the company’s new account-management headquarters. The office will house the company’s finance and customer support operations, as well as some software engineers. Founded in 2017, Pilot.com provides bookkeeping software for startups and small businesses. 


Lowe’s selects Charlotte, N.C., for 2,000-job tech hub

Lowe’s announced it has selected Charlotte for a 2,000-employee global tech hub, which will be housed in a new 23-story tower. The home improvement retailer said it is spending $153 million on the project. Lowe’s plans to create 1,600 jobs and bring about another 400 over from its headquarters office.


Texas foodservice company building distribution center in Southeast Alabama

Ben E. Keith, the eight largest foodservice distributor in the United States, plans to invest $100 million to open an advanced foodservice distribution center and Southeast Regional Headquarters in Coffee County, Ala. The project will create 80 jobs and provide an economic boost to New Brockton, a town of around 1,100 people. Ben E. Keith also plans to expand its manufacturing facilities at Kelley Foods, located in nearby Elba.


Credit Suisse opens new building in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park

Credit Suisse took another step toward fulfilling an expansion announcement made in 2017 with the recent opening of a new building at its growing RTP campus. The financial services firm is also in the process of adding 1,200 jobs in RTP as part of an agreement reached only after the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill repealing House Bill 2 known as the “bathroom bill.”


Everest Rehabilitation Center cuts ribbon in Longview, Texas

The Everest Rehabilitation Center recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the opening of Longview’s newest state-of-the-art rehab hospital. The $23 million facility will bring 145 new jobs to East Texas.


New jobs, investment in Isle of Wight County, Va.

M&M Milling will create 15 new jobs and invest $2.3 million to establish a new milling facility in Isle of Wight County. The company has purchased a dormant industrial facility that ceased operations over a decade ago near the city of Franklin. Once operational, M&M will purchase Virginia-grown shelled corn and grind it into a fine flour to mix with other materials for use in the glue used in the manufacture of plywood.


Northeastern electrical company transferring jobs to Alabama

Hubbell Inc., a Connecticut-based electrical and electronic product manufacturer, will shut down two plants in Connecticut as it shifts work to factories in other parts of the country. Work at the Newtown, Conn., facility will move to Puerto Rico and work in Bethel, Conn., is transferring to Alabama.


Mitsubishi bringing North American HQ to Tennessee

After 20 years in California, Mitsubishi is moving its North American headquarters — all corporate departments — to Franklin, Tenn., in a move that will bring the Japanese automaker closer to its sister company Nissan. The automaker is bringing about 200 jobs as part of its $18.25 million investment.


Texas’ Port of Brownsville gets funds for channel deepening project

The Port of Brownsville recently received a key permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the 17-mile Brownsville Ship Channel. Dredging on the $350 million project could start in 2020. The port has been fighting for channel dredging funds since 2007.


Jax medical center keeps growing

Ground broke recently on a new $62 million patient tower at the Orange Park Medical Center in Clay County, Fla. The expansion is expected to create more than 100 new jobs to help care for the increased number of patients. The hospital also recently expanded its neonatal intensive care unit and began the expansion of a kitchen and dining area. The combined projects total $126 million.


CarMax bringing 300 new jobs to Peachtree Corners, Ga.

CarMax has officially opened its new Customer Experience Center in Peachtree Corners. The company will now hire over 300 new employees to assist customers over the phone and online.


Veolia North America expands Louisiana regeneration plant

Veolia North America will make a $40 million capital investment to expand its regeneration plant in Ascension Parish. Known as the Burnside facility, the plant converts spent sulfuric acid into fresh commercial-quality sulfuric acid, and produces products for the refining industry and others. Veolia’s North American headquarters are located in Boston and its corporate group headquarters are in Paris.


Japanese manufacturer opening plant in Bardstown, Ky.

Takigawa Corp. Japan, a company that manufactures packaging products, plans to open a $46 million, 180-job flexible packaging and high-performance films manufacturing facility in Bardstown. The plant will be Takigawa’s first in the U.S.


GM pumping millions into its Texas plant

GM announced a $20 million upgrade to its Arlington Assembly plant in North Texas in preparation for the launch of GM’s new full-size sports utility vehicles. GM builds the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade at Arlington plant. “We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs.”


Eastman investing $70 million in Louisiana chemical plant

Eastman Chemical Co. plans to invest $70 million in its St. Gabriel plant in Iberville Parish to modernize the facility. About 200 construction jobs are expected to be created during the expansion of the plant. The company also expects to retain 106 jobs and create five new jobs.


New Port Arthur LNG plant to bring jobs

Port Arthur, Texas, wants to become the ‘liquefied natural gas capital’ of the world. The city’s chamber and dozens of other businesses celebrated a new partnership with Golden Pass LNG, Zachry, McDermott and Chiyoda groups. The plant will generate thousands of jobs during construction and 200 permanent jobs once operational.


CMWA increases expansion budget to $112 million in Paris, Ky.

Central Motor Wheel of America in Paris, Ky., will more than double its expansion project to $111.9 million and create 145 full-time jobs. . .60 more than initially anticipated.


South Texas getting $500 million women and children’s hospital  

A 12-story state-of-the-art hospital for women and children will be built on University Hospital’s main campus in San Antonio. "South Texas is one of the fastest-growing places in the nation, and we're certainly seeing that with higher birth rates than in other parts of the country," said a spokesperson for University Health System. And there's more good news. . . lots of jobs to fill during construction and once the facility is up and running.


Joint venture expanding operations in Opelika, Ala.

West Fraser, one of the largest lumber manufacturers in the United States, plans to invest an additional $43 million to construct a new planer mill, which will increase its manufacturing capabilities. Hanwha will invest an additional $32 million and create 128 new jobs. Hanwha manufactures high-quality lightweight composite materials and auto parts.


Mobilefleet locates operations in Marion, S.C.

A manufacturer in the public safety industry, MobileFleet, plans to establish operations at the 113,000-square-foot Spartan Building in Marion. The $6.3 million investment will create 64 jobs. The new location will include a manufacturing division that builds custom storage solutions for public service providers, including fire and police departments.


Xtend Healthcare expansion means 200 new jobs for Hendersonville, Tenn.

Hendersonville-based Xtend Healthcare, a subsidiary of Navient, will invest $1.3 million and create 200 jobs in its hometown. The company provides revenue cycle solutions for hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. 


146-job expansion by Coast Professional in West Monroe, La.

Coast Professional, a student loan collections agency headquartered in West Monroe, has announced a 146-job expansion at its contact center there. The company will make a $750,000 capital investment and also retain 125 existing jobs. Coast Professional will be converting a former Sears Hometown store and renovating the interior space to accommodate the new workforce. The company specializes in outbound calls to resolve debt for federal customers.


Chick-fil-A breaks ground on new Georgia distribution center

Chick-fil-A has begun construction of its first distribution center. The new facility in Bartow County in northwest Georgia is expected to employ 300. National Restaurant News just listed Chick-fil-A as the country’s third-largest restaurant chain, behind only Starbucks and McDonald’s.


GE Appliances investing millions in Georgia

Louisville-based GE Appliances will expand its operations in Georgia through three investment and job growth initiatives in the state. The company will invest $43 million in its Roper facility in Walker County, creating 100 new jobs; invest $32 million to build a new Southern Logistics Center that will create 100 new jobs in Murray County; and invest $55 million in a smart warehouse, creating 100 new jobs in Jackson County.


Genpact expanding digital retail hub in Bentonville, Ark.

Roughly six months after New York-based Genpact set up shop in Bentonville, expansion is already underway. CEO Tiger Tyagarajan was recently in Bentonville to discuss a new digital retail hub for the global professional services firm. He said around 550 Walmart employees transitioned to Genpact in late November, taking over some of the finance and accounting services of the retailer’s corporate operations. Genpact has recruited another 150 employees to the region as part of a long-term commitment to both Walmart and Bentonville. The innovation hub for retail will also experiment with the supply chain for consumer goods in addition to logistics, trade promotions and technology for retail, as well as the accounting services already located in the region. 


Dickies Arena needs 1,300 in Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth’s new sports and event venue is planning to hire 1,300 people before its planned November opening. Hiring fairs are ongoing for full- and part-time positions at Dickies Arena, a 14,000-seat multipurpose facility under construction. 


Cleanaire-Pamlico Air expands North Carolina operations

CleanAire, an air filtration manufacturing company that will be doing business as Pamlico Air, will invest $10 million to create 305 jobs as it expands its operations in Wilson, N.C. Pamlico Air will launch a Wilson manufacturing facility to produce air filters targeted specifically to the commercial, industrial and retail markets.


Viemed Healthcare expands Louisiana HQ

Viemed Healthcare is expanding its headquarters and creating 220 new jobs in Lafayette. A provider of in-home care, Viemed provides equipment and therapy to patients with respiratory diseases.


Amazon hiring 1,500 for new facility in St. Peters, Mo.

Built with enough steel to reconstruct the Eiffel Tower twice, stocked with about 13 miles of conveyor systems and equipped with robots, a new Amazon center is ready to hire in Missouri. Over 1,500 people will join their robotic coworkers there. The flat, black and orange robot typically navigates across the facility’s floor, rolling underneath stacks of shelved goods and moving them where they need to go.


Virgin Trains breaks ground on Orlando track expansion

Virgin Trains, formerly Brightline, broke ground recently to expand passenger rail service to Orlando in a $4 billion project, the nation’s largest privately funded infrastructure project, which will allow travelers (including cruise-goers) to move between Orlando International Airport and South Florida. 


Fertilizer manufacturer brings more jobs to North Mississippi

Humic Growth Solutions, a fertilizer manufacturer, is opening a brand new facility outside Sardis, Miss. When the manufacturer completes the construction, they will be the second tallest building in Panola County at 65 feet tall. The project is an $8 million corporate investment and will create 25 jobs.


Eighty-five new jobs for Rutherford County, N.C.

The state of North Carolina has awarded grants totaling almost $2 million to bring major investments and 85 jobs to Rutherford County. One of the recipients, Cardinal Tissue in Spindale, received a half-million-dollar incentive grant for expansion, promising 40 additional jobs. Cardinal will also invest more than $8.5 million in the project. Sustainable Solutions Dynamic Designs, a plastics recycling company setting up shop in Forest City, is getting a $225,000 infrastructure grant and will hire 18 people.“"All those jobs in the textile industry didn't go away overnight, and they're not going to come back overnight," said county Economic Development chairman Michael Gavin.


Pratt & Whitney expands in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Pratt & Whitney will expand its military aftermarket services in Oklahoma City. According to company officials, Pratt & Whitney plans to make a multimillion-dollar investment to upgrade existing facilities, supporting operations at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex based at Tinker Air Force Base. This expansion will create more than 100 jobs over the next several years.


Ampac reopens facility in Virginia

The long idle Boehringer Ingelheim chemical plant in Petersburg, Va., is back up and running. After being acquired by South Korean SK Holdings, Ampac Fine Chemicals is reopening its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in Virginia. One hundred jobs are expected to generate over the next few years.


Google plans $600 million expansion of Oklahoma data center

Google will undertake a $600 million expansion of its data center at the MidAmerica Industrial Park, pushing to $3 billion its total investment in Pryor, Okla. The project, which increases its staff to more than 500 in Pryor, is part of the internet services company’s $13 billion investment to expand data centers across the United States. 


Wind farms in Missouri approved 

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on three wind farms in southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas. Liberty Utilities-Empire District announced the Missouri Public Service Commission has approved the project, which the utility says is an investment of more than $1 billion. One wind farm will be in southeast Kansas, and the other two in southwest Missouri. The two Missouri sites will have a total of about 140 wind turbines.


New projects approved for $50 million In North Carolina film grants

Three new television and film projects have been approved to receive North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant funds. The productions will create more than 5,800 job opportunities in the state, including 1,120 crew positions for the state’s film workforce.


Tempur Sealy to add 700 new jobs in the U.S. 

Lexington, Ky.-based Tempur Sealy is planning to add about 700 new jobs in the U.S. to meet growing demand for its Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster and Sealy mattresses. The announcement comes a day after the company revealed new retail agreements with Big Lots and Mattress Firm.


Getronics expected to add 500 jobs in Greenville County, S.C.

Getronics officials recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate their new global service center in Greenville. According to a news release, the new service center is expected to add 500 new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) jobs in Greenville County.


Car parts maker to expand in Botetourt County, Va.

Metalsa Structural Products plans to expand its Botetourt County manufacturing facility and create 25 new jobs. The company, which manufactures parts for commercial vehicles, will invest $6.4 million in its Cloverdale facility. The plant already employs more than 230 workers, but needed to expand to meet increased demand. The company also considered Mexico for the project.


Veteran’s nursing home to create 100 jobs in Florence, S.C.

A new Florence VA nursing home will create 100 new permanent jobs and generate nearly $20 million in revenue for the Florence economy during the construction phase of the project.


Taz Trucking cuts ribbon on $10 million facility in Bowling Green, Ky.

Taz Trucking recently celebrated the opening of its new facility in Bowling Green. This $10 million project included the construction of a 50,000-square-foot facility and created 50 new jobs in Warren County. Taz Trucking was co-founded in 2004 by Tahir Zukic and Amira Zukics, both originally from Bosnia. Taz Trucking, now with 140 employees and over 100 trucks, is a $20 million-a-year operation. 


Aerospace supplier to locate in Charleston, S.C.

Aerospace supplier AHG Fasteners plans to locate its U.S. operations in Charleston, the company announced recently at the Paris Air Show. Ateliers de la Haute Garonne, known as AHG, is a private family-owned business founded over a century ago near Toulouse, France. The company designs, manufactures and sells fastening systems for the aerospace industry.


AutoZone to add 130 jobs in Memphis, Tenn.

A unit of AutoZone wants to expand, adding 130 jobs and a capital investment of $145 million in Memphis. More than 100 of the jobs would pay an average of $77,000 a year. AutoZone Parts says it is investing in a digital, retail and commercial expansion that will enhance its presence in the automotive aftermarket industry. The company has purchased a block of historic buildings across the street from its main headquarters, with almost 60,000 square feet. AutoZone was founded in Memphis in 1979 and currently has 6,200 stores, 90,000 employees and ranks in the Fortune 500 with $11.2 billion in sales in 2018.


Startup distillery to locate in Nelson County, Ky.

Log Still Distilling will construct a premium bourbon and rye whiskey operation in Nelson County with a $12 million investment that could create as many as 20 full-time jobs. 


City Facilities Management adding 90 jobs in Jacksonville, Fla.

City Facilities Management, a Scotland-based company that established its U.S. headquarters in Jacksonville in 2016, is adding at least 90 office positions in Southside. The company opened in Jacksonville three years ago to provide refrigeration and other facilities maintenance for Southeastern Grocers’ stores in the Southeast. A year ago, it announced it would be servicing 427 Walmart stores in the South. This fall, it will add 470 Northeastern U.S. Walmart locations, which sparks the need for additional employees.


Boise Cascade expands South Carolina manufacturing center

Boise Cascade Company, a producer of engineered wood products, is expanding its existing operations in Chester, S.C. The company is investing $17.5 million in the facility in a series of upgrade projects. 

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