June 2020

Amazon says pandemic hires to become permanent

Amazon hired 175,000 temporary workers to handle increased online shopping due to the pandemic. Now Amazon is offering most of those workers permanent full-time jobs. The company said it’s allowing 125,000 of those workers to stay and shift into “a regular, full-time role beginning in June.”


Amazon plans North Carolina delivery station

Amazon plans to locate a 112,000-square-foot delivery center 20 miles south of Asheville in Mills River, N.C. The company plans to create 200 jobs to work in the $28 million facility that will be constructed on 28 acres. Amazon packages are transported from fulfillment hubs to delivery centers where they are sorted before being placed onto trucks to be delivered to customers.


Amazon hiring 1,500 at new site in Texas

Amazon is opening another fulfillment center in Dallas-Fort Worth. The 855,000-square-foot facility will be the first to open in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the opening of DAL3, Amazon plans to hire more than 1,500 full-time positions.


Forcura plans new HQ in Jax

Forcura, a healthcare technology company, plans to invest $2.15 million to open its new headquarters and create 115 jobs in Jacksonville, Fla.


Polymer developer expands in Newton County, Ga.

Mytex Polymers (owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation) is investing more than $7 million to expand its existing facility in Newton County. Headquartered in Indiana, Mytex manufactures polymers used in products including automotive parts and household appliances.


Belgian manufacturer opens first U.S. site in North Carolina

Ontex Group, a Belgium-based company that manufactures disposable hygiene products, will locate a $96 million plant in Rockingham County, N.C. The project is expected to create more than 400 jobs.


Chinese flooring maker to create 315 jobs in Georgia

Huali Floors will set up its U.S. headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Murray County, and create at least 315 jobs. The Chinese flooring company will invest more than $27 million in an existing facility there.


Kontane Logistics announces expansion in Berkeley County, S.C.

Kontane Logistics is expanding operations in Summerville and creating 30 new jobs. The third-party warehousing and industrial packaging company’s new facility will be used for light tire and wheel assembly for Volvo.


Big expansion for Microsoft in Reston, Va.

Microsoft will invest $64 million to establish a new research and development hub in Reston Town Center. The move will create 1,500 new jobs.


Microsoft confirms 1,500-job expansion in Midtown Atlanta

Microsoft will open a new office in Atlanta, a $75 million investment that will create 1,500 jobs. The software giant is putting the technology unit in Midtown, where it will focus on artificial intelligence and cloud services.


Microsoft expanding Las Colinas operation

Microsoft is expanding its operations in the Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas. As part of the expansion, Microsoft will create 575 new jobs and invest more than $31 million.


JWF Industries reopens factory in Danisville, W.Va.

Pennsylvania-based JWF Industries has reopened a factory, previously operated by Sunshine Metals, in Danisville. The project will expand production and milling of large aluminum plates and other items.


Texas Instruments moves ahead with $850 million project in Richardson, Texas

Texas Instruments is moving forward with plans to build a new semiconductor plant in Richardson. The Dallas-based chipmaker recently completed a parking structure and is proceeding with an estimated $850 million in construction.


O’Neal Steel announces St. Joseph, Mo., facility

Birmingham, Ala.-based O’Neal Steel recently announced the expansion of its footprint with the opening of a new metal distribution center in St. Joseph. The 64,000-square-foot facility will initially employ up to eight employees and will be running two shifts, five days a week


Cannabis company expands operations in OKC

Stability Cannabis has expanded its indoor cannabis cultivation facility in Oklahoma City, Okla. The company’s expansion includes construction of an additional 22,000 square feet of cannabis flowering rooms, employee facilities, packaging facilities and additional state-of-the-art filtration and lighting systems. The project involves a $4 million investment and will create 40 new jobs.


Tranzact expands to second Charlotte office, 250 new jobs

Tranzact Insurance Solutions plans to expand by opening a second Charlotte office and hiring 250 new employees.

Since opening its first Charlotte location in 2012 with 38 employees, Tranzact has grown to about 400 total employees.


Hillsborough County, Fla., adding 40 manufacturing and engineering jobs

A Hillsborough County factory is adding more than 40 positions in manufacturing and engineering. Advanced Airfoil Components, a joint venture between Siemens and Chromalloy, opened its 210,000-square-foot factory in 2018, where it builds blades and other parts for Siemens gas turbines used in electric power generation plants. The facility has about 170 employees now with plans to expand to 300 by 2023.


Two hundred new jobs coming to Pitt County, N.C.

Victra, the largest retail partner for Verizon Wireless, will open a call center in Pitt County. The Raleigh-based business will hire 200 who will work out of the old Wells Fargo facility in Greenville, N.C.


Belgian pharma to expand U.S. campus in Smyrna, Ga.

Belgium-based pharmaceutical firm UCB, which produces medicines to treat neurological diseases, will invest $47.5 million to expand its 47-acre U.S. headquarters campus in Smyrna. The project is expected to create 100 jobs in Cobb County.


Belgium-based company expands in Texas with lime kiln

On the heels of the recent announcement of expansion at its Marble Falls, Texas, dolomitic quicklime facility, Belgium-based Lhoist North America announces it will also construct a new lime kiln at its facility in New Braunfels, Texas. Lhoist North America — a supplier of lime, limestone and other mineral products — expects to increase its workforce as a result of its planned expansion.


Kroger hires 7,800 in Central Savannah River Area (CSRA)

The Kroger division that serves the CSRA has hired more than 7,800 new employees since March 13 as it works to provide fresh food and essential supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a whole, Kroger has hired a total of 100,000 new workers nationwide.


Manufacturer expands in Albemarle, N.C

Nabell USA, a manufacturer and distributor of bellows and protective covers for medical, industrial and scientific applications, will expand its operations in Albemarle, N.C. The company plans to create 15 new jobs within the next two years and invest approximately $2.9 million at its existing facility.


Major manufacturer opening facility in Georgia

A-1 Roof Trusses, a manufacturer of pre-engineered wood trusses, plans on investing $17 million and creating 130 jobs in a new manufacturing facility in Bainbridge. The Decatur County location will mark the company’s first facility outside of its headquarters in Fort Pierce, Fla.


Charlotte Pipe plans move to Stanly County, N.C.

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is officially moving to Stanly County after spending more than 100 years in Charlotte. The company’s board of directors “made a determination that it is in the best interest of the company” to build a new, state-of-the-art foundry on a 428-acre property in Oakboro, N.C, in Stanly County. Charlotte Pipe selected its new location after a two-year process, and will invest at least $325 million in the new foundry.


European fencing maker launching U.S. operations in North Carolina

A Holland-based manufacturer of temporary fencing products, such as barricades and pedestrian barriers, has purchased a warehouse in Statesville, N.C., to launch its U.S. operations there. ZND U.S. Inc., announced it will invest $5.7 million and create 43 full-time jobs at its new Iredell County manufacturing plant.


Furniture maker adding 100 employees at North Carolina Triad facility

Ashley Furniture Industries is seeking more than 100 full-time employees for its manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment facility in Davie County. Established in 1945, Ashley is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world, approaching 35 million pieces sold annually.


Yield Scientific plans $30 million complex in Early Branch, S.C.

Yield Scientific plans to establish operations at Southern Carolina Industrial Campus in Early Branch. The $30 million investment is projected to create 107 new jobs in Hampton County. Yield Scientific is a hemp growing and processing operation that specializes in clinical-grade products for the healthcare industry.


Five hundred new jobs for Johnson City, Tenn., region

According to a release from Ballad Health, a new partnership with Ensemble Health Partners, a healthcare revenue management company, will result in up to 500 new jobs coming to the Tri-Cities region through a new regional operations service center. “We could place our newest regional operations service center anywhere, but we chose the Appalachian Highlands as a place we want to invest, grow and become part of the fabric of the community,” Ensemble CEO Judson Ivy said, adding that the region’s access to education, low cost of living and work ethic among citizens – along with an endorsement from Gov. Bill Lee – factored into the company’s decision to partner with Ballad.


Staunton River Plastics investing $34 million in Virginia

Staunton River Plastics will invest $34 million to build a new plant in Hurt, Va., adding to the company’s existing presence in the nearby town of Altavista. The new facility will hire 200 to manufacture plastics primarily used in the beauty and healthcare industries.


Charter has 350 job openings in Charlotte, N.C.

Charter Communications, Spectrum’s parent company, is hiring 350 people at Charlotte’s sales operation center, according to a company press release. Positions include customer service, sales, field operations and corporate roles. Charter also announced plans to permanently raise its minimum wage to $20 an hour over the next two years for all hourly employees.


OKC closer to 1,000-job deal

A $3 million tax incentive package has been approved in an effort to lure a Costco administrative office to the city. The members-only retailer is considering Oklahoma City as the site for a back office call center operation that would create 1,044 new, non-sales-related jobs with an average wage of $59,740 a year.


Commerce, Ga., lights up with mega deal

SK Innovation, a South Korean business that builds lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, announced in May it is building an additional plant at the site where it is already constructing a manufacturing facility that promised to hire 2,000. This second facility will increase SK’s investment from $1.67 billion to $2.5 billion. SK has contracts to supply batteries to Kia Motors and Volkswagen, and cited a projected higher demand for electric vehicles as the reason for its expansion.


Singapore-based biotech plans $260 million expansion in Athens, Ga.

Singapore-based biotechnology company RWDC Industries will invest $260 million to expand its operations into a 400,000-square-foot facility in Athens, Ga. The project is expected to create 200 jobs in Clarke County. Founded in an innovation lab at the University of Georgia in 2015, RWDC Industries has emerged as a global leader in developing cost-effective alternatives to single-use plastics.


Warrior Met Coal investing $50 million in Alabama expansion

Warrior Met Coal will invest $50 million to construct a barge load-out facility in Walker County, Ala., to support its coal mining operation near Tuscaloosa. The project will add 12 new high-paying jobs. Warrior Met Coal is the state’s largest producer of met coal, used as a key component of steel production. The barge load-out facility, located in the southern portion of Walker County, will become integral to transporting the company’s coal production.


Love’s Travel Stops chooses Locust Grove, Ga., for retread plant

Love’s Travel Stops will invest $16 million to open a 200,000-square-foot retread plant and retail distribution center 35 miles southeast of Atlanta in Locust Grove. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company plans to hire 55 for this new Henry County facility.


El Paso call center adding 500 Jobs due to COVID-related surge

An Iowa company plans to open a second call center in El Paso, bringing about 500 new jobs by early June. Thomas L. Cardella & Associates, known as TLC Associates, has seen an increase in its business from the coronavirus, but will also have to add more space to meet social-distancing requirements.


Marketing agency to create 100 new jobs in Baton Rouge, La.

The Baton Rouge-based digital marketing agency, Click Here Digital, will create 100 new jobs and move its corporate headquarters to a new facility along I-12.


GE Current expands with Fairburn, Ga., distribution complex

GE Current, which produces lighting and intelligent controls, has expanded with a new 150,000-square-foot distribution hub in Fairburn. No word on jobs or investment.


FedEx Ground to fill 400 positions in Olive Branch, Miss.

FedEx Ground announced it will fill 400 package handler positions in Olive Branch. With people around the country confined to their homes, FedEx Ground has seen a boost. In a March 16 earnings call, executives noted there had been a strong demand for the business segment, especially home delivery.


JM Steel partners with Steel Dynamics in Sinton, Texas

South Carolina-based JM Steel will be expanding its footprint as a result of Steel Dynamics, an Indiana-based steel producer, inviting it to be part of their newest $1.9 billion flat roll steel mill located in Sinton, Texas.


Flexsteel re-opens Georgia factory

Full-line manufacturer and importer Flexsteel Industries announced that its Dublin, Ga., plant reopened in May.

In addition, the company is finalizing plans to reopen its Juarez, Mexico, plant in the next few weeks. Both facilities were idled in March in response to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.


Business to add 60 jobs in Taylor, Ala.

New Jersey-based debt collection agency MRS BPO is adding 60 workers at its location in Taylor, Ala., which is part of the Dothan MSA. The hiring is due to business growth. The company is a family-owned business that specializes in collecting and servicing accounts for clients in the financial services, automotive, student lending, telecommunications/cable, municipalities/tolling and utilities industries.


Walmart, CVS and others hiring 800,000 during coronavirus outbreak

Hundreds of thousands of job openings are cropping up across the country as in-demand industries strain to keep up with shifting consumer behavior. CVS Health recently announced plans to hire 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees. Walmart has committed to bringing on more than 150,000 new workers, while Amazon has pledged to bring on 100,000 “to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time.”


Retooling to fight COVID-19

* Winston-Salem, N.C.-based HanesBrands is now producing medical gowns and face coverings.

* Gwinnett County, Ga.-based Marena Group, a manufacturer of medical-grade compression garments, is producing face masks.

* S.S. White Technologies in Seminole, Fla., a manufacturer of components for aircraft systems, has set up a production line to make face masks.

* High Point, N.C.-based Culp, a marketer of bedding and upholstery fabrics, has begun production of face masks, bedding covers and fabrics specifically for healthcare operations. Culp’s R&D team is developing fabrics for current and future personal protection equipment needs, especially masks.

* ExxonMobil has reconfigured manufacturing operations in Baton Rouge, La., to produce medical-grade hand sanitizer. The products will be donated to COVID-19 response efforts in Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania.

* Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), located in West Point, is producing medical-use face shields.

* First Coast Home Pros, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based home services company, is making face shields and masks at its headquarters.

* Madico, a manufacturer of window film, coating, metallizing and laminate solutions in Pinellas Park, Fla., has introduced Safe-Gard Face Shield, a new product designed to protect first responders. The manufacture “reacted quickly to the urgent need for increased production of personal protective equipment, developing and testing more than a dozen prototypes in just a matter of days.”

* Sinclair & Rush, maker of plastic and rubber products, has developed a low-cost, disposable face shield to be produced at its facility in Arnold, Mo. The new VisiGuard Face Shield is made from a recyclable PET plastic.

* Paceline, a Matthews, N.C.-based provider of medical products and solutions, has adapted its manufacturing capabilities to produce ear loop fabric for surgical masks and face protection.

* Hooey Brands is transitioning its factory’s manufacturing from hats to cloth face masks in Crowell, Texas. The company said its t-shirts will be repurposed for fabric. Cap components will be repurposed for straps and seams.

* Axalta, a global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, is now is shifting its production to make thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer at its plants in Front Royal, Va., among others locations around the globe.

* Made In Space (MIS), which has a facility in Jacksonville, Fla., is providing hundreds of 3D printed face shields to local-area hospitals to augment the shortage of critical PPE supplies. Additionally, MIS engineers developed a rapid response ventilator adapter to enable a single ventilator to safely support multiple patients in extreme situations.

* Mayo Furniture, a manufacturer in Texarkana, Texas, is now using its facility to produce both one-time and reusable masks.

* Hollingsworth & Vose, which has operations in Floyd County, Va., is busy making filtration material that is a critical component in respiratory protection equipment being used to fight the virus.

* MONAT Global Corp., a subsidiary of Alcora Corporation, is shifting production at its haircare and skincare manufacturing facility in Miami-Dade County, Fla., to produce hand sanitizer.

* Kansas City, Mo.-based AJ Manufacturing has introduced a portable reverse flow fan-powered HEPA filter diffuser to quickly create isolation rooms in any permanent or temporary hospital environment.

* Nufabrx (a biomaterial company that embeds active ingredients into fabrics) and Manufacturing Solutions Center, both Conover, N.C.-based companies, are working in partnership with Asheboro-based Bossong Medical, shifting production for a new line of reusable copper medical masks called TheraMasks, powered by CuTEC copper, a material that is naturally antibacterial. Nufabrx founder and CEO Jordan Schindler decided to quickly retool a textile product to create a reusable face mask.

* Cullman, Ala., manufacturer HomTex is switching its operations to produce washable, reusable masks for COVID-19.

* Standard Textile Co., a Cincinnati-based based manufacturer of healthcare and hospitality products, has restructured its supply chain to provide support for frontline medical workers at its facilities in Brownsville, Texas; Thomaston, Ga.: and Union, S.C. The company will be producing PPE (personal protective equipment) such as protective gowns, face masks and face shields.

* Bright View Technologies, a manufacturer of optical management products, retooled its factory in Durham, N.C. The company is now producing disposable face shields.

* SA-SO signs and safety, a manufacturer of traffic and safety products, has designed a one-size-fits-all plastic face shield that easily clips to the brim of a baseball cap at its manufacturing complex in Arlington, Texas.

* North Carolina State University said its Nonwovens Institute is manufacturing material that can produce up to 500,000 surgical masks per day. The material, a unique nonwoven material created at N.C. State, can potentially be reused after proper cleaning.

* Spartanburg, S.C.-based textile manufacturer Milliken & Company is leveraging its materials science expertise to manufacture personal protective equipment for the healthcare industry. Milliken said its new advanced medical fabrics and barriers are currently available and complement Milliken’s breakthrough BioSmart antimicrobial technology used in scrubs, lab coats and hospital privacy curtains.

* Michigan-based Duro-Last, the world’s largest manufacturer of thermoplastic roofing systems, will fabricate and manufacture isolation gowns and face masks at its various U.S. manufacturing plants, including its facility in Jackson, Miss., and Carrollton, Texas.

* Forward Science, a Houston-based MedTech company, expanded operations for the creation of hand sanitizer at its production center in Safford, Texas.

* GDC Technics, a global aerospace company headquartered in Fort Worth, will begin voluntary production of N95 compliant face masks. GDC Technics is also evaluating its ability to help manufacture ventilators.

* American Leather Holdings, a Dallas-based furniture manufacturer with plants in Texas and North Carolina, is shifting its manufacturing capabilities to produce protective face masks and gowns.

* CloudHauz, a provider of disaster-resistant dwellings, formally launched the company at its complex in Radford, Va., months earlier than anticipated in order to address the emergency dwelling situation worsened by the COVID-19 outbreak. CloudHauz will be manufacturing structures needed during a crisis including homeless shelters, accessory dwelling units, medical facilities, warehouses and more.

* Same-day delivery company Shipt is stepping up in Austin with a hefty hiring push. The business plans to bring on about 1,000 “shoppers” in Austin. Dallas is pegged to have 2,000 openings, Houston and San Antonio are set to get 1,000 each. Shipt is investing in areas around the country as people increasingly turn to home deliveries while they work from home.

* A Gastonia, N.C.-based textile company is ramping up production of face masks for healthcare workers. Parkdale Mills, one of the country’s largest yarn spinners, is working with companies like Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and six others to build a manufacturing supply chain for the masks.

* Johns Manville, which manufactures insulation, commercial roofing and building materials, has begun production of nonwoven fabric at its facility in Spartanburg, S.C. The material will be used to make disposable medical gowns used in the fight against COVID-19. Johns Manville has also begun production of nonwoven filtration masks at its plant in Richland, Miss.

* Gigantic Bag Co., a manufacturer of plastic goods, will expand in McComb, Miss. The additional facility will house manufacturing operations for polyethylene hospital gowns for the national healthcare industry. This new expansion is expected to create 100 new jobs for the Pike County area.

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