August 2020


Tesla picks Austin for $1 billion factory

In the summer quarter, California-based Tesla announced it has chosen a site near the Austin airport for a new $1 billion assembly plant complex. The electric car manufacturer has a plant in Fremont, Calif., and one in Shanghai. It also plans to build a factory near Berlin. CEO Elon Musk promised the new facility on the Colorado River will be an “ecological paradise.” The plant will create 5,000 jobs at the start.


Living in Austin is expensive ranked Austin, Texas, as the least affordable city in the U.S. for minimum-wage workers. Following Austin as the least-livable cities in the U.S. for low-wage workers were Plano, Texas; Virginia Beach; San Francisco and Jersey City, New Jersey.


$1 billion investment and 3,200 jobs for Charlotte

St. Louis-based Centene, a health insurance firm, is locating a major campus in the University Research Park in Charlotte. The $1 billion campus will house 3,200 workers for its new East Coast headquarters.


Home Depot to create 1,000 jobs in Atlanta area

Home Depot will build three new warehousing facilities in DeKalb, Fulton and Henry Counties in the Atlanta MSA. The three facilities will house up to 1,000 workers.


Dollar General opens facility in Montgomery, Ala.

Tennessee-based Dollar General has opened a 450,000-square-foot DG 
Fresh cold storage facility in Montgomery, Ala. The project will support 1,500 stores through the company’s Fresh initiative. The $26 million deal has created 65 jobs.


Amazon creating 1,750 jobs in Louisville region

Amazon announced in the summer it will create 1,750 temporary and full-time jobs in the Louisville, Ky., MSA. The Seattle-based company said the hiring spree is in response to the surge in demand for products during the COVID-19 crisis.


Amazon continues hiring in Tulsa

Amazon recently opened a new fulfillment center in Tulsa, Okla. The e-commerce giant is still hiring for the 2.5-million-square-foot facility, which is expected to house 1,500 workers.


Gaston County, N.C., lands another deal

GNT USA, a natural food coloring processor, is investing $30 million in a new facility in Gaston County, N.C. The company is the U.S. subsidiary of Netherlands-based family-owned GNT International B.V. The $30 million project will create 40 jobs.


Vehicle age hits record high

We thought the record age of vehicles in the Great Recession was bad. This is worse. The average age of vehicles on the streets in the U.S. is now 11.9 years old. According to IHS Markit, nearly one in four vehicles are at least 16 years old.


Big automotive parts plant being built in North Georgia

GEDIA Automotive Group, a manufacturer of automotive parts, announced it will build an advanced manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, Ga. The $85 million project will create 200 jobs.


Amazon to create 1,000 jobs in Middle Tennessee

In the summer quarter, Amazon announced it is locating a fulfillment center in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. The deal in Wilson County will create 1,000 jobs.


Boat builder to create jobs in Eastern North Carolina

World Cat, a maker of outboard power catamarans, is expanding its plant in Pitt County, N.C. The $8.8 million deal will create 60 jobs.


Furniture manufacturer to open new plant in North Carolina

Furniture maker Prepac Manufacturing is moving ahead with locating a new plant in Guilford County, N.C. The $26 million plant will house about 200 workers. The ready-to-assemble furniture company is headquartered in British Columbia.


Amazon (again) announces new fulfillment center. . .this one in Florida

It seems like Amazon announces four or five 1,000-job deals each quarter in the South. That continues to be the case in the summer 2020 quarter. The e-commerce giant said it will launch a new facility in Temple Terrace, Fla., in the Tampa MSA. The deal will create 750 jobs. Amazon is also planning a new delivery station in Lutz, which is expected to open in 2021.


Tissue maker bringing jobs to North Carolina

Select Products Holdings, a maker of tissue products, is investing $4 million in Vance County, N.C. The deal will create 73 jobs.


Ashley Furniture again expands in Mississippi

In the summer quarter, Ashley Furniture expanded its facilities in Verona and Saltillo, Miss. The company has thrived in rural Mississippi for years, employing more than 3,000 workers in North Mississippi. This $22 million deal will create 130 more.


Medical device manufacturer investing in Memphis suburb

Engineered Medical Systems is investing $13 million to expand its operations in Bartlett, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis. The company will hire 60 in the deal.


Tanker truck transport to create 150 jobs in Louisiana

Highway Transport, a fleet of tanker trucks used by the chemical industry, is expanding and adding 150 jobs in Geismar, La.


Another Amazon expansion in the South

Amazon Logistics is expanding its delivery station in Baton Rouge, La. The project is expected to hire hundreds.


PFSweb will add to distribution jobs in the South

Distribution firm PFSweb is establishing a new facility in Irving, Texas. The pandemic has caused a surge in its e-commerce business. The deal will create 300 jobs.


Another distribution center for Dollar General

Dollar General announced in the summer it will establish a 650,000-square-foot distribution center in Walton, Ky. The $65 million facility will create 250 jobs.


Austin suburb named the fastest growing city in the U.S.

Leander, located just 30 minutes northwest of downtown Austin, has earned the fastest growing city title for 2018 and 2019. In 2010, Leander had just over 27,000 residents. This June, the number of residents totaled 73,000. Sales tax receipts in Leander are up by 23.8 percent in the last year.


130 jobs created in Missouri

Armstrong World Industries (AWI), a maker of wood ceilings and walls, is investing $8 million to expand its facilities in Marshfield, Mo. The project will create 130 jobs.


Auto supplier to add jobs in Tennessee

Automotive supplier Mann+Hummel is filling 100 jobs for its plant in Dunlap, Tenn. The plant currently houses 300 workers and makes manifolds and air boxes for Ford, GM, BMW and Nissan.


Education software company to relocate HQ to Louisiana

Specialty software development firm SchoolMint is relocating its headquarters and operations from Miami and New York to Lafayette, La. The company announced plans to create 178 jobs.


Food wholesaler locates operations to Virginia

International Gourmet Foods, a gourmet specialty food wholesale distributor, is moving its operations to Prince William County, Va. The $16 million deal will create 169 jobs.


Tyson Foods completes Tennessee expansion

Tyson Foods has completed an $87 million expansion of its operations in Union City, Tenn. The project will create 230 jobs.


Only one metro adds jobs in June, and it’s in Kentucky

In June, only one metropolitan area in the country decreased its year-over-year unemployment from June 2019 to June 2020. That metro area is Owensboro, Ky. Its unemployment rate in June 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 4.4 percent. In June 2020, it dipped to 4.2 percent.


Walmart to build large distribution center in South Carolina

Arkansas-based Walmart announced in the summer it will build a $220 million distribution center in Dorchester County, S.C., near Ridgeville where Volvo has an assembly plant. The 3-million-square-foot facility will house 1,000 workers.


Boeing cuts production, may consolidate 787 assembly to South Carolina

In the spring and summer, demand for airliners has collapsed as a result of the coronavirus. Boeing currently fully assembles it 787 jetliner in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C. The company is considering consolidating 787 Dreamliner assembly to a single location. Boeing saw a $2.4 billion loss in the second quarter of this year.


Boeing may close Charleston, S.C., and Washington State 787 factories

The coronavirus pandemic has gutted air travel throughout the world, and the two monopolies in jetliner manufacturing are feeling it. Boeing has cut 787 Dreamliner production at both its plants in Washington and in North Charleston, S.C., and the company is considering eliminating 787 production at ONE of its factories. So, as of now, both plants making the 787 in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston could be closed.


Ammo plant to expand in Arkansas

The Fiocchi Group’s American subsidiary based in Missouri plans to expand its ammunition manufacturing plant in Little Rock. The company will add 57 jobs and spend $15 million.


Amazon adding jobs at its North Mississippi operation

Amazon has started hiring for its new fulfillment center in Olive Branch, Miss. The giant e-commerce company will hire 500 to start.


Five years of GDP wiped out in one quarter

Gross domestic product fell by 9.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020, wiping out five years of growth. The collapse — the equivalent of a 32.9 percent annual rate of decline — is the largest single quarter drop in U.S. history.


Mattress maker picks Georgia

Purple Innovation, a manufacturer of mattresses, has chosen Henry County, Ga., for its U.S. manufacturing facility. The $21 million plant will bring 360 jobs to the county south of Atlanta.


Big deal in Missouri

In the summer quarter, online pet product retailer Chewy announced plans to open a new e-commerce facility in Belton, Mo. The project is expected to create 1,200 new jobs.


ALDI locating new HQ and distribution center in South Alabama

ALDI U.S. will build a new regional headquarters and distribution center in Loxley, Ala. The $100 million project will create 200 jobs.


Boat maker adding jobs in South Georgia

Orion Boatworks will create 120 new jobs in Valdosta, Ga. The company is moving into an existing facility with the $3.5 million deal.


Amazon to open seventh Tennessee center

Amazon announced plans in the summer to open a fulfillment center in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. The deal will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs.


Electric vehicle parts supplier to invest in Georgia plant

GEDIA Automotive Group, a maker of parts for electric vehicles, will invest $85 million to build a manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, Ga. The project will generate 200 jobs.


Pharmaceutical maker expands in Arkansas

Little Rock-based SCA Pharmaceutical, a maker of compound drugs, will move into the former Southwest Airlines reservation center at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field. The deal will create 175 jobs.


FedEx plans new distribution center in Alabama

Memphis-based FedEx plans to build a $40 million distribution center in the Birmingham MSA. The project is expected to create 300 new jobs.


Corrugated packaging manufacturer to expand Louisiana plant

In the summer quarter, Hood Container announced it would invest $50 million in its facility in St. Francisville, La. The deal will improve production and retain 300 jobs.


Big deal near Charlotte

GoldenHome International, a maker of cabinetry, is investing $86 million in a new North American headquarters in Concord, N.C. The deal will create 257 jobs.


Manufacturer expands in Middle Tennessee

Groove Life, a manufacturer of accessories for active lifestyles, is investing nearly $2 million to expand its facilities in Spring Hill, Tenn. The project will create 76 jobs.


Mercedes-Benz to halt C-Class production at Alabama plant

German automaker Mercedes-Benz will end production of the C-Class sedan at its plant in Vance, Ala., and at facilities in Mexico. The Tuscaloosa County  facility will go back to just making four models of SUVs.


West Virginia company to locate plant in Florida

Flying W Plastics will invest $8 million in a plant in Jacksonville. The company makes piping used in a variety of industries. The deal will create 28 new jobs.


Amazon at it again, this time in Texas

A new Amazon facility is slated for Kyle, Texas. The center will house 200 workers.


New plant slated for South Alabama

Incoa Performance Minerals is investing $110 million in a new manufacturing plant in Theodore, Ala. The company makes calcium carbonate. The deal will create 74 jobs.


Amazon to hire 3,000 in North Carolina

Amazon is hiring thousands at it new fulfillment center in Garner, N.C. The new hires will work alongside robotics technology in the state-of-the-art facility.


Paper manufacturer locating in North Mississippi

IG Design Group, a maker of specialty papers such as stationary, gift wrapping and gift bags, is leasing a facility in Holly Springs, Miss. The investment is $49 million and it will create 35 jobs.


Clawbacks for Deutsche Bank in North Carolina

Incentives for Deutsche Bank have been revoked because the German bank cannot meet the job levels it agreed upon. The company has its software center in Cary, N.C. The bank agreed to hire 250 workers in 2015 in exchange for $3.4 million in incentives. Deutsche Bank is reducing its worldwide workforce by 18,000.


Manufacturer is reopening plant in Mississippi

Crown Cork And Seal, a manufacturer of beverage, aerosol and food packing, is reopening a plant in Batesville, Miss. The deal will create 60 jobs.


Bausch + Lomb expanding in Virginia

Bausch + Lomb, the eye healthcare company, is expanding its facilities in Lynchburg, Va. The $35 million deal will create 79 jobs.


Virginia beats South Carolina and North Carolina for expanding manufacturer

Acoustical Sheetmetal Company is investing over $15 million at its plant in Virginia Beach, Va., adding 100,000 square feet. The deal will generate 200 jobs.


Amazon creating 1,000 jobs in Pflugerville, Texas

Project Charm has landed in Pflugerville, Texas. Amazon is locating another fulfillment center there that will house 1,000 workers.


Alabama governor establishes innovation commission

Gov. Kay Ivey has formulated Alabama's first statewide commission on entrepreneurship and innovation. The Alabama Innovation Commission, also known as Innovate Alabama, will help innovators in the state collaborate with other innovators and policymakers.


Amazon: 1,500 workers for Oklahoma

Amazon is hiring 1,500 workers at its 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Owasso, Okla. The project is the largest new employer in the Tulsa MSA in history.


Big pet food distribution center announced in Texas

Freshpet, a maker of pet food, is investing $267 million in a distribution center in Ennis, Texas. The project will house 400 workers.


Call center hiring 600 in Kentucky

Senture, a call center operation, is adding 600 jobs at its facility in Laurel County, Ky.


GE Appliances expanding in Kentucky

GE Appliances is investing $62 million in its complex at Louisville's Appliance Park. The investment will create 260 jobs.


GM hires back laid off workers at Texas plant

In the spring, GM temporarily laid off workers at its large SUV plant in Arlington, Texas. They are now hiring them back in hundreds. The workers were laid off after GM idled many assembly plants between late March and mid-May.


Dallas-Fort Worth's office market struggles during virus

Dallas-Fort Worth's office market saw a negative 1.8 million-square-feet net leasing in the second quarter. It is the largest net leasing total since the Great Recession.


Toyota expands Alabama engine plant for the fifth time since 2003

In the summer quarter, Toyota Alabama announced the fifth expansion of its large engine plant in Huntsville, Ala. The Japanese automaker is adding 450 jobs in the $1.2 billion investment. Toyota's engine plant in Alabama serves one third of all Toyota vehicles assembled in the U.S.


$95 million wood pellet plant under construction in rural Alabama

Alabama Pellets, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, has picked Demopolis for a $95 million wood pellet plant. The Canadian manufacturer will initially hire 45.


Amazon to establish first fulfillment center in Little Rock

Amazon is locating a new fulfillment center at the Port of Little Rock. The center will house 1,000 workers.


California manufacturer to relocate to Oklahoma

PAS MRO, a bearing component repair and overhaul for the aviation industry, is relocating its plant from California to Bristow, Okla. The $3.2 million deal will create 37 jobs.


Pharmaceutical firm investing over $200 million in South Carolina operations

Nephron Pharmaceuticals is investing $215 million in its Lexington County, S.C., operations as it embarks on developing generic inhalation solutions related to the coronavirus. The project is expected to add 380 jobs.


South Korean battery maker adding 600 jobs

SK Innovation, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles, is adding 600 jobs at its plant in Commerce, Ga. In 2018, the Korean company announced a $1.6 billion, 2,000-job commitment. This expansion is worth $940 million.


Frito-Lay expanding in Georgia
Frito-Lay will invest $200 million in its Perry, Ga., snack plant. The deal will create 120 jobs. The plant has operated in Perry for over 30 years.


Gerber investing in Arkansas plant

Gerber Products Company, a subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., is adding a new line at its plant in Fort Smith, Ark. The company is investing $30 million and adding 50 full-time jobs.


Startup coffee roaster is bringing deal to Texas

Coffee Tech Industries, an instant coffee startup, will invest $56 million in its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Seguin, Texas. The deal will create 91 jobs. 


Signify Health to create 300 jobs in Texas

Signify Health, a provider of tech-inspired healthcare solutions, is adding 300 jobs in Dallas. The company is growing in the in-home health services.


Medical waste firm to locate in Mississippi

GreenServ, a medical waste and document destruction firm, is locating its headquarters and operations to Batesville, Miss. The project will create 45 jobs.


Company investing in Louisiana

Cabot Corporation is investing $90 million and creating 380 construction jobs at its facility in Ville Platte, La. The facility makes carbon black, a material used in tires and other rubber products.


Teledyne Brown Engineering to expand in Alabama

Teledyne Brown Engineering is expanding its Huntsville facility. The project will create up to 100 new jobs.


Metal fabricator to grow in Anderson, S.C.
Sargent Metal, a custom metal fabrication company based in Anderson, S.C., is investing $9.5 million into its operations. The deal will create 50 jobs.


Modular homebuilding firm to expand in North Carolina

Fleetwood Homes, a maker of modular homes, is expanding in Rocky Mount, N.C. The $2.1 million expansion will create 60 jobs.


Hershey to invest in Virginia

The Hershey Company is investing $135 million in its manufacturing operation in Augusta County, Va. The candy maker will hire 110 more workers.


Healthcare manufacturer announces large Alabama expansion

SiO2 Materials Science will invest $163 million in its Auburn, Ala., facilities after capturing a large contract to supply the federal government with vials and syringes for its battle against the coronavirus. The $163 million project will create 220 jobs.


Costco to add jobs at new operations center in Oklahoma City

Retailer Costco is adding over 1,500 jobs at a new operations center in Oklahoma City. The average wage will be $38,000 per year.


Florida aluminum manufacturer to build new can factory

Florida Can Manufacturing LLC announced in the summer quarter it will build a new $120 million can factory in Winter Haven, Fla. The plant will house 160 workers.


Hanesbrands rehiring workers in North Carolina

After laying off workers due to the coronavirus, Hanesbrands has rehired many of them in the summer. The company dipped to about 75 workers at its distribution center in High Point, but now about 450 have been rehired.


Big investment on Mississippi Coast

Calgon Carbon, manufacturer of activated carbon products, is seeing a $185 million at its plant in Hancock County, Miss. The deal will create 38 jobs.


Call center to add 900 jobs in Tennessee

Roadside assistance call center Agero is adding 900 jobs at its facility in Clarksville, Tenn. The company is investing $2 million.


Dump truck maker adding jobs in Kentucky

Truck Equipment & Body, a maker of dump truck bodies and truck equipment, is expanding in Powell County, Ky. The $2 million project will create 43 jobs.


Spanish aerospace company establishes HQ in Oklahoma City

Spain-based Skydweller Aero, a maker of renewable powered aircraft, is locating its headquarters and engineering operations in Oklahoma City. The company plans to create 120 jobs.


Hemp processing plant slated for rural Kentucky

Shyne Labs, a hemp processor, will invest $9 million in a new facility in Simpson, Ky. The deal is expected to create 60 jobs.


FedEx to hire almost 500 in North Mississippi

As a result of increased e-commerce demand from the pandemic, FedEx Ground will hire 480 at its facility in Olive Branch, Miss.


FedEx hiring 700 in Northern Kentucky

Memphis-based FedEx is adding 700 workers at its warehouse operations in Northern Kentucky. The reason for the expansion is the growth of e-commerce as a result of the coronavirus.


Coronavirus creates big deal in Alabama

Medical Industries of the Americas is adding 400 new jobs at its Alabama plant in Eufaula. The company makes medical supplies such as PPE and surgical supplies.


Bottler to expand in South Carolina

Beverage bottler Refresco is expanding in Greer, S.C. The company is expected to add 40 jobs.

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