August 2019

Mississippi sees jobs rise to historic highs

Mississippi’s unemployment rate in June 2019 was 5 percent, unchanged over the month from May 2019. In the summer, job totals rose to 1.168 million, the most jobs ever recorded in the state.


Alabama sets five economic records in the summer

Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced in July that the state achieved five economic records; setting a new record low unemployment rate, high jobs count, high employment count, high labor force count and low unemployment count. June's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent and 2.160 million people were working in the state.


Charleston Ports Authority sees record activity in FY19

The Port Authority of South Carolina saw record cargoes in the 2019 fiscal year, including record rail moves and inland port activity. The port handled nearly 2.4 million TEUs, a common industry measurement representing 20-foot equivalent boxes, in fiscal 2019. That was an 8.8 percent increase from the 2018 fiscal year.


Port of Savannah good for another record in containers

According to the Georgia Ports Authority, the Port of Savannah handled a record 4.5 million 20-foot equivalent containers of cargo during the fiscal year that ended June 30, a 7.3 percent increase over fiscal 2018.


Virginia named top state for doing business by CNBC

CNBC graded all 50 states based on more than 60 measures of competitiveness in 10 broad categories. After weighing all the measures, Virginia was named the top state for doing business. Virginia was followed by Texas and North Carolina. Georgia (sixth) was the other Southern state to make the top 10. States outside the South that made the top 10 were Utah, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado and Ohio.


Kentucky sees record revenue, budget surplus for fiscal 2019

Kentucky earned record revenue and a budget surplus for fiscal 2019. The state’s general fund receipts totaled $11.4 billion for the year ending June 30, according the state budget director. That was up $550 million, or 5.1 percent, from fiscal 2018. The state’s general fund revenue exceeded estimates by $194.5 million, or 1.7 percent.


Toyota shifts production plans for Alabama plant being built

The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. joint venture assembly plant in North Alabama, which is under construction, will now assemble a new SUV model instead of the Toyota Corolla. The new SUV doesn't have a name yet. Construction of the $1.6 billion, 4,000-employee plant is still on schedule with plans to ramp up production in 2021, however that production will be delayed by the new model. Mazda is also going to build a new SUV at the plant and both automakers will now share components.


Tariffs are not bringing many jobs back to the U.S.

The tariffs that President Trump has imposed on Chinese imports haven't done what they were intended to do, which is bring large numbers of jobs back to the U.S. According to the American Chamber of Commerce in China, as a result of the tariffs, about 41 percent of companies are considering moving factories out of China or have already done so. However, only 6 percent have moved those facilities to the U.S. Most are being relocated to Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Mexico.


BMW's latest expansion marks $10 billion invested in Upstate South Carolina plant

The ongoing $600 million expansion at BMW's plant in Greer, S.C., means that the German automaker has invested $10 billion in the plant since 1994. The plant houses about 9,000 workers and makes BMW's X models. A University of South Carolina study found that the sprawling Spartanburg County plant has had $16.6 billion in economic impact.


Mitsubishi is relocating its HQ from California to Tennessee

Mitsubishi Motors North America is relocating its headquarters to the Nashville area from California in a move that will strengthen the Japanese automaker’s financial ties to Nissan and bolster Tennessee’s stature as a major U.S. auto hub. The move this year will  bring 200 jobs to Franklin, Tenn., where Nissan operates its North American headquarters. The Japanese automaker will invest over $18 million in the relocation.


A decade of Dreamliners assembled in South Carolina

On October 2009, Boeing announced that a second 787 Dreamliner final assembly and delivery site would be built in North Charleston, S.C. The decision would place a Boeing Commercial Airplanes final assembly line somewhere other than the West Coast of the United States for the first time in the company’s history. Boeing flies the Dreamlifter modified 747 to deliver parts to the South Carolina facility from other facilities from around the world. About 7,000 workers are housed at the plant.


Honda expanding its aircraft plant in North Carolina

Honda Aircraft is expanding its plant at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. The Japanese company is investing $15.5 million and adding a 83,000-square-foot expansion bringing the company’s total investment there to $245 million. The plant houses about 1,500 workers.


Big auto supplier announcement in Texas

AW Texas, a U.S. subsidiary of Japanese manufacturer Aisin AW, plans to establish a new plant on a 159-acre site in suburban San Antonio. The company is a manufacturer of drivetrains and transmissions and is a major supplier to Toyota, which assembles pickups in San Antonio. The $400 million project will create 900 jobs.


Lockheed Martin breaks ground on missile program relocation in Space Coast Florida

Lockheed Martin’s Fleet Ballistics Missile program has had its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., until the company announced in 2017 that it would relocate to the Space Coast. This summer, the company broke ground on its new facilities in Titusville. Lockheed is expected to create 350 jobs in the deal.


Birmingham surpasses job count prior to Great Recession

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Birmingham has surpassed its workforce peak prior to the Great Recession. Birmingham's job totals were 543,000 in December 2007. The workforce grew to almost 546,000 this spring.


New steel mill set for Blytheville, Ark.

Atlas Tube is building a new $150 million hollow structural steel mill in Blytheville, Ark., one of the largest steel producing regions of the U.S. The project will create 75 new jobs.


BMW supplier to expand in Virginia

BimmerWorld, a leading BMW parts supplier, will invest $1 million to expand its operation in Pulaski County, Va. The company is increasing warehouse space to accommodate a growing demand for parts.


Digital marketing firm hiring 400 in Louisville

El Toro, a digital marketing firm that was founded less than a decade ago, is growing in Louisville. The company offers perks such as free haircuts and a fully stocked bourbon bar open to employees at any time of the day. The company will add space and 400 employees in the NULU section of Louisville.


Austin is No. 1 for growth in million-dollar businesses

Lending Tree, in an analysis done in the summer quarter, showed that Austin had the largest gain in businesses with at least $1 million in revenue from 2014 to 2016. The number of million-dollar businesses increased 15.1 percent, or 1,857 in Austin. Jacksonville, Fla., was tied for the second-highest gain, at 14.8 percent.


Another new distillery for Kentucky

Beam Suntory executives broke ground in the summer on a production facility at their flagship bourbon distilling operation in Clermont. The company is looking to build on the momentum for its super-premium craft brands, which have experienced double-digit yearly growth. The new distillery is a $60 million investment, which will include upgrading its visitor center.


Expansion of distribution center in rural Tennessee

Arizona-based CBC Group will invest $3 million to expand its distribution operations in Lewisburg. The project will create 60 jobs for the distributor of church supplies and inspirational products.


Auto supplier expands in Alabama

Italy-based 2A S.p.A, is expanding its facility in Auburn, Ala. The $15 million project will create 50 jobs. The die-casting company has many customers, including Porsche, Volvo Trucks and Alfa Romeo.


Mississippi furniture manufacturer to add jobs in North Carolina

United Furniture Industries is adding jobs at plants in North Carolina, Mississippi and California. The upholstery and case goods furniture company is expanding by 500 jobs at the three locations.


Manufacturer adding jobs in rural Kentucky

Wolf Steel, a manufacturer of fireplaces, grills, HVAC and other products sold under the Napoleon brand name, is investing almost $6 million at its plant in Crittenden, Ky. The deal will create 30 jobs.


Healthcare manufacturer to open new facility in Kentucky

PatienTech LLC, a manufacturer of tech-enabled healthcare products, will open a production facility in Mason County. The $1.8 million project will create 100 full-time jobs.


Wind power tops coal for electricity generation in Texas

For the first time, renewable wind power has generated more power than coal in the South's largest state. The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas reported in the summer that wind power generated 22 percent of the state's electricity compared to 21 percent in July.


Services keeping economy afloat; manufacturing slides

In the summer quarter, manufacturing expanded at the slowest pace in almost 10 years according to IHS Markit. However, the much larger service sector -- think healthcare, retail, tourism, etc. -- rose to a three-month high. According to IHS, the tariffs have slowed manufacturing in recent months.   


Indiana company to build new steel mill near Corpus Christi

Indiana-based Steel Dynamics announced in the summer it will build a $1.9 billion flat roll steel mill in south Texas and create about 600 jobs. Steel Dynamics says the electric arc-furnace unit will be in Sinton, about 25 miles northwest of Corpus Christi. A spokesperson for Steel Dynamics said the site is strategically located for the southwestern U.S. and Mexico markets.


Chicken processor investing over $40 million in Louisiana

Chicken processing company House of Raeford Farms is investing $40.9 million in a feed mill in Lincoln Parish, La. The feed mill will have a capacity of 12,500 tons of chicken feed each week. The project is expected to create 13 jobs.


Aerospace company adding 50 jobs in Virginia

Aireon, a provider of air traffic surveillance systems, is making a significant investment in its headquarters in Fairfax County, Va. The company is adding space and 56 jobs.


Company expands in rural Tennessee

Bravo, a manufacturer of secondary containment systems for the petroleum equipment industry, will locate its East Coast manufacturing operations in Lexington, Tenn. Bravo will invest $2.8 million and create 83 new jobs


Call center coming back to Central Florida

DialAmerica had been in the city of Ocala for over 20 years before closing in 2015, but the company is now returning to the area. The company is hiring 100 as it restarts its operations.


Chinese foreign direct investment into the U.S. has nosedived since President Trump took office

In 2015 and 2016, Chinese investment in the U.S. was the fastest growing of any country. Foreign direct investment from China peaked in 2016 at $46.5 billion, and while most of it was from acquisitions, there were several greenfield announcements, many of which will never materialize as a result of the trade war between the two countries. However, according to the Rhodium Group, Chinese investments in the U.S. have essentially vanished with just $5.4 billion invested in calendar year 2018.


Swiss manufacturer to open first U.S. plant in Georgia

Preci-Dip, a Swiss manufacturer of electronic connector pins, will open its first U.S. production facility in Bryan County, Ga. The company will invest a total of $13.6 million in the project, creating 100 new jobs.


Grill manufacturer to relocate HQ to Mississippi

The Middleby Corporation is relocating its Lynx Grills operations to the Viking Range facilities in Greenwood, Miss., from California. The $5 million relocation will create 200 jobs.


Southland Steel looking for welders for its new Louisiana facility

Southland Steel Fabricators Inc. is looking to hire 70 welding positions for its new manufacturing facility in Amite, La. The average salary is $46,000 plus benefits.


Accounts payable service to locate second HQ in Charlotte

Charlotte-based AvidXchange will break ground in the fourth quarter on its second headquarters building, a $41 million investment. The software developer will add 201,000 square feet at its AvidXchange Music Factory and hire 1,220 jobs.


Methanex to build third plant in Louisiana

Methanex says it is investing up to $1.4 billion to construct a third methanol facility in Geismar, La. The project will create 62 new direct jobs with average salaries of $80,000 plus benefits, according to a news release from Louisiana Economic Development.


And yet another distillery for Kentucky

Diageo broke ground in July on its new $130 million distillery in Lebanon, Ky. The “Diageo Lebanon Distillery” is expected to be fully operational in 2021. The new distillery will have the capability to distill a variety of Diageo bourbon and American whiskey brands


Mississippi sees first LNG plant win federal approval

Two liquefied natural gas plants south of Pascagoula were approved in the summer quarter by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


Amazon to open new fulfillment center in Richmond, Va.

Amazon, by far the most active company making investments in the South, will invest $10 million and bring 150 jobs to Richmond, adding to the more-than-10,000 positions statewide.


ABB adds jobs in North Carolina

In the summer quarter, engineering and technology giant ABB announced plans to expand a North Carolina facility and add more than 400 jobs in its U.S. electrification operations. The company said the nearly $40 million project would upgrade machinery and add 200,000 square feet of space at its facility in Mebane. Its U.S. headquarters is located in Cary, N.C.


Bottler to locate new facility in Kansas City, Mo.

Niagara Bottling will invest $68 million to open a new production facility in Kansas City, Mo. The company plans to create 50 jobs. The new plant will be over 400,000 square feet.


Big deal in Missouri

Bayer’s North American Crop Science Division will invest $164 million to expand and relocate 500 new, high-paying jobs to Creve Coeur, Mo. The German agriculture giant closed its Research Triangle crop science headquarters as part of the move to the St. Louis area.


Texas Instruments to delay Texas chip plant

Texas Instruments made news when it announced a new computer chip plant in Richardson, Texas. Those are rare announcements. However, the company is delaying the $3 billion facility for at least two years. The project is expected to create almost 500 jobs if built.


Virginia Beach, Austin top website's best places to live ranking

Virginia Beach, Va., topped second place Austin in WalletHub's best places to live in the U.S. ranking. The personal finance website evaluated cities with populations above 300,000 on five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life and safety.


University of Texas-Austin offering free tuition for families making less than $65k a year

UT-Austin Board of Regents unanimously voted recently to create a $160 million endowment to provide financial assistance to students. All in-state students whose families earn less than $65,000 annually will be given full  scholarships beginning in the fall of 2020. About 20 percent of current undergraduates come from families making less than $65,000 and would qualify for the full scholarships.


West Virginia led U.S. in personal income growth

In the first quarter of this year, West Virginia led all states in personal income growth. West Virginia residents saw a 5.6 percent rate of income growth according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The national average was 3.4 percent.


Boeing to invest $70 million in Missouri plant

Boeing announced in the summer it will invest $70 million in its missile and munitions plant in St. Charles, Mo. The expansion will not add any employees to the plant.


Cape Coral ranks No. 1 in job market in the last five years

A new study by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company shows that Cape Coral, Fla., is the fastest growing job market in the U.S. over the last five years. The study shows the number of jobs in Cape Coral doubled in ten years, mainly in healthcare and construction.


CoStar to add 100 jobs in Richmond

Real estate research firm CoStar Group is cutting jobs in Atlanta and moving them to Richmond, Va. The Washington, D.C.-based company said it is adding 100 jobs in Virginia's capital city.


Stitch Fix to create 900 jobs in Georgia

Stitch Fix, the online personal styling service, will open a new distribution center in Lithia Springs, Ga. The project will create over 900 new jobs in the next few years.


Denver company to expand, create 350 jobs in Oklahoma

Denver-based insurance and technology company TTEC Holdings will open a facility in Oklahoma City. The deal will create 350 jobs.


Manufacturer locating plant in the Mississippi Delta

Image Industries, a manufacturer of custom parts such as weld studs, shear connectors and concrete anchors, is relocating its cold forming operations from Illinois to Clarksdale, Miss. The project is expected to create 50 jobs.


Edifecs expands Atlanta area operations

Global health information technology solutions company, Edifecs Inc., plans to hire up to 200 associates in the next three to five years in a new operations center in Fulton County, Ga. The company is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., and it provides health data for a variety of health plans.


Retailers to locate high-tech fulfillment center in Georgia

Grocery retailer Kroger Co. and online grocery retailer Ocado have announced plans for a new high-tech customer fulfillment center in Forest Park, Ga. The $55 million investment will create more than 400 new jobs.


Blue Cross hiring 170 in Winston-Salem

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina said in the summer quarter it will expand its Winston-Salem operations by up to 170 jobs as part of the new Healthy Blue Medicaid program. The insurer already has about 600 employees in Winston-Salem.


Anatolia Tile + Stone announces $98 million expansion to Savannah

Canada-based Anatolia Tile + Stone will expand its operations to Savannah, creating 124 new jobs. The project will include two facilities and a $98 million investment.


Australian biotech firm to open in Florida

An Australian vaccine company plans to open a facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The project is expected to create 100 jobs.


Nashville-based Nissan to cut over 12,000 jobs

Nissan, which operates its North American headquarters in the Nashville MSA, is cutting nine percent of its global workforce. The Japanese automaker has reduced shifts at its plant near Jackson, Miss., and cut about 400 workers. At this time, no cuts are expected at its headquarters, engine plant and assembly plant in Middle Tennessee. However, 12,500 jobs will be eliminated worldwide and production capacity will be reduced by 10 percent. Nissan has seen a seven percent decline in sales from the same period of last year.


West Virginia, Texas lead all states in GDP

In the first quarter of 2019, West Virginia saw the largest increase in GDP at 5.2 percent. Texas was close behind at 5.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.


Florida's population is growing by 300,000 per year
According to the Demographic Estimating Conference, Florida's population will continue to grow by over 300,000 new residents per year. The state's population will top 22 million residents in 2022, and the increases are analogous to adding a city about the size of Orlando every year.


Merck to build new plant in Durham, N.C.

After announcing a $1 billion expansion to its manufacturing facility in Elkton, Va., to support production of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil, Merck has now announced a new facility in Durham, N.C., to produce the same vaccine. The company will build a new 225,000-square-foot plant in Durham that will house 425 workers, and will also expand its existing facility in Wilson, N.C.


Immigrants are a big part of North Texas' economy

Immigrants -- both citizens and the undocumented -- are huge players in one of the South's largest economies; North Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth. There were 1.4 million immigrants living in North Texas in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, representing nearly 25 percent of the entire area's working age population. Of the immigrant population, more than 85 percent of them are of working age (16-64), while only 61 percent of natural born citizens are of working age. Foreign-born workers made up nearly 50 percent of the construction industry in North Texas, and 96.7 percent were employed compared to about 65 percent of U.S.-born citizens that were employed. There were about 575,000 undocumented immigrants in North Texas in 2017.


Firm hiring 300 in Houston

A Kansas City-based engineering, architecture and construction firm is adding 300 jobs at its facilities in Houston. Burns & McDonnell will increase its space in Uptown Houston from 158,000 to 218,000 square feet.


Atlas Air hiring 600 in Northern Kentucky

The New York-based airline Atlas Air is building an operations center near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The company is investing $34 million in the project that will create 593 jobs.


Call center to house 450 in Kentucky

Faneuil will invest over $12 million in a new national  customer service facility in Lexington, Ky. The company is expected to create 450 full-time jobs by 2021.


Meal preparation company to create jobs in rural Kentucky

Meal preparation company MegaFit Meals is investing $2.9 million to build a new facility in Benton, Ky. The project will create 50 jobs in Marshall County.


Company locating headquarters in rural Tennessee

Bravo Containment Systems is investing almost $3 million to locate its East Coast manufacturing and headquarters operations in Lexington, Tenn. The deal will create 83 jobs. Bravo is a Los Angeles-based company that manufactures secondary containment systems like fiberglass tanks, sumps and fittings.


Cree to invest $1 billion at its headquarters in North Carolina

Cree, a leading LED lighting manufacturer and provider of semiconductor products for power and radio-frequency applications, is investing $1 billion at its headquarters in Durham, N.C. The company will expand its silicon carbide materials capabilities and wafer fabrication capacity.


Automotive supplier announces new facility in Alabama

Tier 1 automotive supplier Motus Integrated Technologies is bringing 90 new jobs to Alabama with a $15 million-plus investment in a new manufacturing facility. The company is opening the plant in Gadsden, Ala.


Amazon will bring 1,000 jobs to Atlanta

Amazon says it will open a new warehouse facility in the Atlanta area that will create 1,000 jobs. Documents filed with the state suggest it could spend as much as $200 million on the facility. Amazon already has a 4,000-employee workforce in Georgia that includes at least 250 tech jobs.


Air Liquide announces $140 million expansion in Bay City, Texas

Air Liquide has agreed to invest nearly $140 million in its Bay City facility to build a new world-scale Air Separations Unit to support a long-term agreement with Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), which is a 50/50 agreement between ExxonMobil and SABIC. Air Liquide will supply oxygen and nitrogen to GCGV’s planned ethane cracker facility located near Corpus Christi.


One hundred manufacturing jobs coming to Riviera Beach, Fla.

Fluorotek USA announced they are calling Riviera Beach home. The company is looking to fill 100 jobs to manufacture custom weights for colleges and professional sports teams. Fluorotek USA is a spinoff of the Canadian custom sports equipment company Fluorotek Canada.


Fashion company moves to Arlington, Texas

Rent The Runway recently celebrated the grand opening of its largest fulfillment center at a ribbon cutting in Arlington. The online company, which rents special-occasion clothing, expects to create 500 jobs by the end of the year.


Global tech Affirma to create 100 jobs in Fayetteville, Ark.

Affirma Consulting, a technology services firm headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., has opened a new office in Northwest Arkansas. The office in downtown Fayetteville will be the company’s primary U.S. Engineering Center of Excellence and is expected to hire more than 100 new employees in the next five years.


Gerhardi opens first U.S. plant in Alabama

German auto supplier Gerhardi has opened its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Montgomery. The $41.6 million plant will employ up to 235 people to produce interior and exterior plastic automotive parts at the state-of-the-art injection molding, electroplating and assembly plant.


Toyota plans mega investment in Texas

Toyota is reportedly planning to spend as much as $398 million to optimize its San Antonio truck plant.

The plant, which builds the Tundra and Tacoma, will be reconfigured to boost production of the trucks. While the upgrades won’t result in any new jobs, the investment would boost the plant’s capabilities through the installation of additional robotics and other technologies. The automaker will likely add at least one vehicle model to the Tundra and Tacoma pickups already rolling off the assembly line.


Lightning Source investing $22 million in Tennessee manufacturing facility

Lightning Source will establish its fifth U.S. facility in Jackson, Tenn. The La Vergne-based company will invest $22 million and create nearly 150 jobs in Madison County over the next three years. Lightning Source provides on-demand print and distribution services for books to the publishing industry, and offers publishers the ability to print books in any quantity.


Hobbs Bonded Fibers moving from Tennessee to Texas

Hobbs Bonded Fibers, which makes quilt batting and insulation products for various industries, has closed its manufacturing plant in Trenton, Tenn., and will relocate what’s left of that operation to Waco, Texas. “We’re talking about a multimillion-dollar upgrade that should bring another 20 to 25 jobs to Waco,” said company president Larry Hobbs.


Love’s Travel Stop will establish facility in Milan, Tenn.

Love’s Travel Stop will create a tire retread and distribution facility in Milan. . . the largest of its kind for Love’s, totaling 200,000 square feet. The company will invest $8.8 million and create up to 80 jobs.


Florida Blue to hire 255 in Jax

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is hiring 255 people in Jacksonville, Fla. The new customer service reps will have “teacher schedules” working nine months with three months off paid, including health insurance benefits.


Hundreds more jobs for Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.

The giant guitar in Hollywood is looking for 600 more workers. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is hosting its second job fair. The first one, which was hosted in June, attracted 2,500 applicants and resulted in more than 500 job offers.


Egroup expands South Carolina headquarters

A provider of business information technology services, eGroup plans to invest $6.3 million to expand its corporate headquarters in Charleston County, S.C. The company will build a new 18,000-square-foot facility along with its existing headquarters in Mount Pleasant, S.C.


Alo Investing $6 million In South Carolina

Alo will invest $6 million to establish operations in Greenville County, S.C. The agricultural machinery supplier’s distribution project is expected to create 44 new jobs over the next five years.


Virginia’s Ikea to shut down

Furniture maker Ikea will shut down its operations in Danville, Va., forcing nearly 300 employees to find work elsewhere. The company cited high costs for raw material in the United States. Production will move to existing Ikea Industry manufacturing sites in Europe to meet demand for affordable furniture in North America.


Amazon commits $700 million to retrain workers being replaced by robots said it will spend $700 million to retrain about one-third of its U.S. workforce in skills needed to thrive in the new economy. The e-commerce giant, which is increasingly using robots to help sort and deliver packages, will retrain 100,000 workers by 2025 to allow them to move into more highly skilled jobs within the company or find new careers outside of Amazon. The program would enable employees who work in fulfillment centers to move into technical roles.


SOPAKCO expansion means new jobs in Marion County, S.C.

A leader in processing and packaging of processed foods is expanding its Marion County operations. SOPAKCO is investing more than $12.5 million on an expansion that is expected to create 25 new jobs.


Goodyear upgrades North Carolina plant

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plans to upgrade and add equipment at its 50-year-old tire production plant in Fayetteville, N.C. In order to receive a grant from the state, Goodyear must make at least $180 million in capital improvements at the site and retain the 2,000 jobs currently in place.


Blue Bird opens paint facility in Fort Valley, Ga.

School bus manufacturer Blue Bird has made a significant investment to build a 60,000-square-foot bus painting facility which uses the latest in robotic technology at its assembly plant in Fort Valley. In keeping with the company’s mission of going green, the facility features a zero-to-landfill design. All paint overspray will be captured, dried and sent to a power generation plant to be used as fuel.


Energy company adding 50 jobs in Franklin, Tenn., expansion

Enexor BioEnergy, a renewable energy company, will invest $5 million to expand its manufacturing complex in Franklin. The project is expected to create approximately 50 jobs in Williamson County over the next two years. Enexor has developed a small-scale energy system that can turn organic waste into electricity. The system will be sold and exported to clients so they can undertake their own waste-to-energy conversion.


Flight training center plans major investment in Florida

An undisclosed flight training center already operating in Miami-Dade County plans to lease 83,000 square feet and add ten flight simulators at a total cost of more than $104 million in an operation that would add 73 jobs in the county.


Neogenomics to build $50 million HQ In Fort Myers, Fla.

Neogenomics, which focuses exclusively on cancer diagnostics, will build a 150,000-square-foot, $50 million international headquarters in south Lee County, a short drive from its existing footprint. The facility will hire at least 100 new jobs.


Metals processor planning new facility in Monroe, N.C.

Pittsburgh-based TDY Industries has bought 124 acres next to its plant in Monroe with plans for a 210,000-square-foot facility that would supply metals for the aerospace industry. TDY Industries, a unit of Allegheny Technologies Inc., is going through the state permitting processes to build near Allegheny’s current ATI Specialty Materials plant.


High Wire Distilling expands in Charleston, S.C.

High Wire Distilling has announced plans to expand operations in Charleston County. The $3 million investment will create 45 new jobs. High Wire produces handcrafted small batch spirits with an agricultural focus.


New $300 million poultry plant nears completion in Northwest Arkansas

A new $300 million chicken processing plant in northwest Arkansas is nearing completion and is on track for an opening later this year. The new Simmons Foods facility in Siloam Springs will replace a processing plant now in Decatur. The company says the Siloam Springs plant will create 1,500 jobs, and it’s expected to reach a capacity of 2,300 jobs in the next three years.


HVAC manufacturer planning $28 million Investment in Texas

AAON will create 125 new jobs as part of a $28 million investment in Longview, Texas. The HVAC equipment manufacturer will relocate the development of one of its products from Tulsa, Okla., to its Longview facility with plans to add an additional 422,000 square feet.


Chattanooga Red Wolves soccer stadium breaks ground

A new soccer stadium is on the way for the Chattanooga Red Wolves in East Ridge, Tenn. The complex, which also includes a hotel, apartments and shopping, will be the first professional soccer-specific stadium in the region. The facility will create 1,200 new jobs.


Ineos to expand Alvin, Texas petrochemical plant

The petrochemical giant owned by Britain's richest man Jim Ratcliffe is expanding its Chocolate Bayou chemical plant in Texas. Ineos Oxide, a subsidiary of London-based Ineos, will build a new 1.2 billion pound ethylene oxide unit at its Chocolate Bayou plant in Alvin, which is south of Houston.


CBD business eyeing Danville, Ky., for a $6 million operation

Danville could land up to 34 new jobs if a CBD oil extraction business decides to open there. International Farmaceutical Extracts has preliminary approval for up to $800,000 in tax incentives if it invests just over $6 million and creates 34 jobs over 10 years.


West Virginia coal producer declares bankruptcy

One of the nation’s largest coal producers has filed for bankruptcy protection, making it the second large coal company to do so in the past few weeks. Revelation Energy and its affiliate Blackjewel, West Virginia-based companies that employ about 1,100 people in their Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia mines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The companies also employ an additional 600 workers in Wyoming mines, making them one of the nation’s largest coal producers.


Amazon opens Miami-area fulfillment center

Amazon opened the doors of its gigantic Opa-locka fulfillment center recently, the culmination of almost a decade’s worth of deal-making. One of the largest single job-creation projects in the history of Miami-Dade, the facility will hire at least 1,500.


Mitsubishi Chemical Composites plans expansion of Virginia facility

Mitsubishi Chemical Composites America, a metal composite material manufacturer, announced plans to enlarge its production facility in Chesapeake, Va. The $5 million investment will increase the company’s storage, shipping and receiving capabilities.


Atlantic Packaging expanding operations in Dorchester County, S.C.

North Carolina-based Atlantic Packaging, a distributor of industrial packaging materials and paperboard converter, is expanding its existing Dorchester County operations. The company’s investment of $4.5 million is expected to create 10 new jobs.


Gold rush in South Carolina?

Potentially rich deposits of gold in South Carolina are fueling the expansion of a huge mine and the prospect of 250 new jobs in a tiny community with a history of unemployment. Australia-based OceanaGold’s expansion plan would increase its existing 4,552-acre Haile Gold Mine site by more than 900 acres near Kershaw, a town in Lancaster County. The project is pending approval by federal and state environmental regulators.


Technology Associates expanding at University of New Orleans Research Park

Technology Associates, a company that designs high-tech vessels for ship builders, is expanding with the creation of 70 new jobs. The company currently has 16 employees. Technology Associates recently secured a contract with the Coast Guard for up to $90 million to develop heavy icebreakers.


Lifeline Foods expands mill In Missouri

LifeLine Foods, a dry corn mill and food ingredient manufacturer, will add a second mill this year to expand its masa flour production in St. Joseph. The project involves a $12 million investment and the addition of 13 new jobs.


Bernhard moving HQ to Jefferson Parish, La.

One of the largest privately-owned engineering, mechanical and electrical contractors in the country announced it will move its national headquarters to Jefferson Parish. The company is consolidating its New Orleans-area offices into a national corporate headquarters in Metairie in early 2020. Bernhard is expected to employ at least 250 people there.


Satair Investing $10 million in Virginia expansion

Satair, a subsidiary of Airbus, will invest more than $10 million to expand the Loudoun County Satair Customer Service Logistics Center that supports and services the Airbus global aircraft fleet. The company will move into a new, 250,000-square-foot facility in Loudoun County.

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