September 2020

Without another round of Fed fiscal support, we will be back where we were in March and April

Sure, we created 1.4 million jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent. Yet, the U.S. still has anywhere from 10 million to 12 million unemployed. But unless businesses -- specifically small businesses -- get another round of Federal help soon, tens of thousands of those business won't make it for another 60 days.


The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program is one that gives additional unemployment benefits after 26 weeks of unemployment from the state expires. PEUC is a Cares Act program. The PEUC program has economists worried because claims have grown so fast. There are now 1.4 million people signed up in the PEUC as of August when in March there were 27,000. The number of PEUC recipients -- long-term unemployed -- has been over 1 million for five weeks, and that number is growing each week.


"The real tsunami is coming," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, in an article published by Axios. "My guess is at this point hiring in the industries that have been hit hard is going to abate. That leaves us with very little job creation in the rest of the economy but with still high levels of layoffs. I think the labor market is set to start weakening again here, particularly if Congress and the administration don’t get it together and pass more support,” Zandi said in August.


Manufacturing improving

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported in September that its purchasing manager’s index grew to 56 in August from 54.2 in July. Those are the highest scores since the end of 2018. Any ISM reading above 50 percent represents an expansion of the manufacturing sector in the U.S.


Tens of thousands displaced after Hurricane Laura

As many as 50,000 people from the Lake Charles MSA of 202,000 are displaced after Hurricane Laura. As many as 12,000 are sheltered in Texas. The state of Louisiana is sheltering over 11,000 as of September 1.


The Mississippi Delta is suffering

The economy as a result of the pandemic has been damaged all across America. There is no place in this country that is unaffected by the coronavirus. The Mississippi Delta, one of the most impoverished regions of the country, has been hit especially hard. Four of the highest unemployment counties in the Arkansas Delta are Chicot County(13 percent); Mississippi County(12.6 percent); Phillips County (11.8); and Crittenden County 11.6 percent) as of August. Other findings from a Feeding America survey show that the Delta regions in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi have the four highest rates of food insecurity in the nation. A University of Louisiana at Lafayette report showed that job losses from the pandemic are twice as high as those from Hurricane Katrina.


Job growth to slow dramatically over the next decade

The Labor Department predicted this summer that job growth will drop by more than two thirds from 2020 to 2029. The economy is expected to add a net 6 million new jobs over the next decade for a 0.4 percent compared to 1.3 percent annual rate from 2009 to 2019. That's an average of 50,000 jobs a month. From 2009 to 2019, there were several months when the U.S. saw over 300,000 jobs a month. The biggest reason why jobs will slow (and we have been writing about this for years) centers on an aging Baby Boomer workforce.


Historic plunge in the U.S. economy in the second quarter

According to the Commerce Department, the U.S. economy fell by an annual rate of 31.7 percent during the April to June quarter as companies struggled in the wake of the coronavirus. That is more than triple the cratering of the U.S. economy in history when the economy shrank by 10 percent in 1958. The contraction in the first quarter of this year was 5 percent.


Economist’s survey shows mixed bag

A survey of U.S. economists by the National Association for Business Economics shows that the U.S. is still in recession as of September. Eight in 10 of the economists surveyed said there is a 25 percent chance of a double-dip recession. The survey also showed that 40 percent believe U.S. lawmakers have not done enough in fiscal response, 37 percent said the response was sufficient and 11 percent said the response was excessive. A majority of the economists said another round of stimulus (at a value between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion) must be agreed upon by lawmakers.


American Airlines cuts a slew of jobs

In October, Fort Worth-based American Airlines will cut an additional 19,000 jobs across the board from pilots to mechanics. The airline cut roughly 21,000 jobs shortly after the pandemic slowed air travel to a trickle to make the cuts total an incredible 40,000 jobs.


Montgomery, Ala., launches Techlab

A new startup digital innovation lab has been launched in Montgomery called Techlab, an accelerator focused on mobile app development. Techlab will offer a 12-week program linking startups. The program is a public/private endeavor between the city, county, IT companies, economic development agencies and Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.


Kentucky launches recovery program

The Kentucky Economic Recovery and Resilience Project has been launched. The program is a collaboration between the Kentucky Association of Economic Development (KAED) and the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky at the University of Kentucky. The initiative will provide marketing assistance and data resources to assist in business attraction, retention and expansion for economic developers in the Commonwealth as they recover from the virus.


Kentucky has the lowest unemployment rate of any Southern state

In July, Kentucky's unemployment rose by 1.3 percentage points, which was still the lowest rate in the entire South, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Commonwealth unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent in July. At 11.3 percent, Florida had the highest state unemployment rate in the South.


Port of Savannah No. 1 in exports

The Port of Savannah exported more loaded containers than any port in the country between January and May of this year. The port rang up a 12.2 market share among other ports in the country in container exports, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.


U.S. exports have cratered in 2020

Exports in the first and second quarters are down significantly as a result of the virus. Based on data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, total value of exports fell by 26.3 percent in Q1. In Q1 2019, total value of exports was $395 billion. In Q1 2020, exports dropped to $291 billion. In Q2 2019, exports were valued at $415 billion and that figure dropped to $291 billion in Q2 2020.


Youth employment rises, but it is still behind

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46.7 of those 16- to 24-year-olds were employed in July 2020. That figure is down by 9.5 percentage points compared to 2019. There were 17.5 million employed in that age bracket in July, an increase of 4.4 million since April.


Dallas leads nation in large commercial property deals in first half of 2020

Real Capital Analytics reported in the summer that Dallas beat out New York, Los Angeles and Chicago in large commercial real estate deals in the first half of 2020. It's the first time ever that Dallas led all other markets mid-year. Sales activity in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York was down on average 40 percent. Dallas had more than $9 million in property transactions the first half of this year.


Mortgage delinquencies at a 10-year high

While the number of homeowners that are delinquent on their mortgages dropped by 340,000 in July, the number of those who are 90 days late grew by 376,000 in July. Those that are seriously behind on their mortgages in July tallied 1.8 million higher than pre-pandemic levels.


U.S. oil, gas and coal industries lost 118,000 jobs so far this year

As a result of the coronavirus, the U.S. fossil fuels industry lost 118,000 jobs between March and July. That's a 15.5 percent drop in employment for the sector, according to a report by BW Research Partnership. Several companies have sought bankruptcy this year as the virus has cut demand for oil and gas.


Mazda Toyota investing $830 million more in Huntsville, Ala., plant

After initially investing $1.6 billion in its plant being finished in North Alabama, Mazda Toyota will make an additional investment of $830 million to install new advanced manufacturing technologies at the plant. Some of the new investment will also go into training the plant's 4,000 employees.


Facebook invests in Tennessee

Construction is underway at Facebook's new $800 million data center in Gallatin, Tenn. The 982,000-square-foot facility will house about 100 workers and the project will create 1,100 construction jobs.


Jobs lost in Louisiana the first half of 2020 almost double Katrina

In the first half of 2020, jobs in Louisiana fell by 11 percent as a result of the coronavirus. That is almost twice the number of jobs lost in Katrina, which was a 6 percent drop. Over 218,000 jobs were lost in Louisiana in the first and second quarters of 2020.


Manufacturing is hiring again, but we have a long way to go

In the first six months of 2020, the coronavirus devastated the American economy. On the manufacturing side, the first six months of 2020 saw the U.S. lose about 750,000 manufacturing jobs. In the summer, the U.S. again started to create manufacturing jobs, however, less than 100,000 jobs were generated by the sector in June, July and August. The coronavirus wasn't the only factor that killed so many manufacturing jobs. The roller coaster Trump trade laws, including the tariffs that were implemented, also cost manufacturing jobs in the U.S. In fact, nearly 1,800 manufacturing plants closed in the U.S. from 2016 to 2018. The 750,000 lost manufacturing jobs in the first half of 2020 wiped out all manufacturing job gains in the decade of 2010 to 2020.


Mercedes plant in Alabama among first in the world to use innovative production line system

German automaker Mercedes-Benz is one of the first automakers to use a "digital ecosystem" at its plant in Tuscaloosa County, Ala. This new system incorporates a mix of software and hardware, including sensors on the vehicles, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and hand-held tablets and smartphones.


Lots of solar power being built in Northeast Florida

Solar farms are now being built at several sites in Northeast Florida. The solar projects are being installed in St. Johns, Baker, Clay, Nassau and Union counties. The five projects are expected to create 500 permanent jobs and 1,200 construction jobs.


Aerospace industry is a mess

All airlines have announced tens of thousands of job cuts since March, with Fort Worth-based American Airlines cutting 40,000 jobs by October 1. But the aero suppliers are also cratering as few jetliners are being sold. U.S. aerospace suppliers have shed more than 100,000 jobs since January. Almost every — no, make that every — aerospace supplier has cut jobs. Spirit AeroSystems, which has a large plant in Eastern North Carolina, has cut 40 percent of its commercial aerospace workforce, or 8,000 jobs. General Electric has cut 13,000 jobs from its aviation unit and Rolls-Royce is closing its plant in Virginia. Dallas-based Southwest CEO Gary Kelley said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, “Our headquarters can accommodate about 5,000 people roughly, and there are maybe 100 people here every day."


Childcare an important factor in the recovery

For many with young children, the ability to work full-time depends on the ability to find childcare. There are parents who will be forced to quit their jobs if their children cannot go to school. If parents stop working, it would stall the recovery. About a third of the workforce has children at home.


Charlotte hit hard in second quarter

A report by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance came out this summer and the Charlotte MSA saw 156,000 jobs lost in the second quarter as a result of the pandemic. The hospitality suffered more than any other sector. About 40 percent of the jobs lost were from bars, restaurants and hotels.


Manufacturer relocating HQ to Dayton, Tenn.

Master Manufacturing Group (MMG) officials announced that the company will relocate its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Rancho Cordova, Calif., to Dayton, Tenn. The project represents the creation of 72 new jobs and MMG will invest $3.9 million to renovate and upgrade an existing manufacturing facility to produce aluminum, stainless steel and steel tubing components.


Amazon plans facility in Maumelle, Ark.

Amazon will open a delivery station in Maumelle later this year that will result in the creation of “dozens” of full- and part-time jobs.


Israeli energy company to establish U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va.

Energix Renewable Energies, one of Israel’s largest renewable energy companies, will invest $1.1 million to establish its U.S. subsidiary headquarters in Arlington County. The project will create 33 new jobs.


Koppers to invest $23 million in Arkansas expansion

Koppers, a provider of treated wood products, will invest at least $23 million and increase the number of workers at its North Little Rock facility.


HVAC Distributing to hire 175 for second Kentucky location

HVAC Distributing plans to create 175 full-time jobs in Graves County as it purchases a speculative building for a second location in the Hickory Industrial Park. The project represents a $7 million investment.


RYSE Interactive creates production studio in Atlanta

Digital media company RYSE Interactive will bring nearly $10 million in investment and create approximately 85 jobs in southwest Atlanta. The company will transform the Arkwright Elementary School building into a production studio and film and entertainment incubator called RYSE Creative Village.


Torc Robotics to expand in Montgomery County, Va.

Torc Robotics, a Blacksburg-based leader in self-driving vehicle systems, will invest $8.5 million to expand its software development operations in Montgomery County. The company will establish an additional facility at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center close to its current operation in the Blacksburg Industrial Park. The project will create 350 new jobs.


Shaw expands plant in Ringgold, Ga.

Shaw Industries, one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers, will invest $20 million to expand in Ringgold. The company also plans to expand its SPC (stone plastic composite) manufacturing plant early next year as part of a phased expansion expected to create 55 new jobs at the facility that currently has 240 workers.


BASF plans $70 million expansion of seed plant

German chemicals and materials firm BASF is committing $70 million to expand its seed treatment formulations plant in Sparks, Ga.


Lidl to add 2,000 new jobs in U.S.

German discount supermarket chain Lidl is rolling out plans to open 50 new U.S.-based stores in 2021. The company will invest more than $500 million in new stores and create roughly 2,000 new jobs in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.


New research park will bring 100,000 new jobs to Gwinnett County, Ga.

Gwinnett County officials say a massive new research park will mean 100,000 new jobs for the metro area. The Gwinnett Development Authority and the county commission recently approved up to $72 million in loans to a non-profit organization formed by the county that plans to build a $1.1 billion research center on 2,000 acres near Dacula at the Barrow County line.


Adidas warehouse to hire 500 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Spartanburg’s Adidas warehouse plans to hire more than 500 new warehouse workers, order processors and fulfillment team members at its facility in Spartanburg.


DURA Automotive opening new Alabama facility

Michigan-based DURA Automotive Systems has announced plans to invest $59 million to open a manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals, Ala., that will produce battery trays for electric vehicles. The project will create 279 jobs and expands the potential for Alabama’s auto industry to capitalize on the growing EV wave.


Randstad hiring 400 for Tennessee Whirpool facility

Hiring consultant Randstad is looking to hire more than 400 remote, full-time customer service jobs for the Whirlpool facility in Cleveland, Tenn.


BioSysco chooses Florida for equine medical tech hub

Biosysco, a life science tech company that has developed a deep muscle activation therapy for humans and animals called SigmaQ, will locate its new equine medical technology division in Ocala.


Dansons selects North Carolina for distribution hub

Dansons US, a global manufacturer of consumer goods, will invest $27.7 million to locate a distribution center in Fayetteville, N.C. The company plans to hire 118 associates in Cumberland County. The company’s product line includes wood pellet fuel, security products, grilling accessories, smokers, and pellet grills.


Bonnie Plants relocates HQ to Opelika, Ala.

Bonnie Plants, a leading brand of live vegetable and herb plants for home gardeners, will relocate its corporate headquarters from Union Springs to Opelika. The family-owned company, which started in 1918, plans to hire 60 associates.


JELD-WEN expands Alabama manufacturing plant

JELD-WEN, one of the world’s largest door and window manufacturers, plans to expand production at its plant in Wedowee, Ala. The project is expected to create up to 40 new jobs at the facility in Randolph County. Over the next six to nine months, up to $500,000 in new equipment will be installed to aid in the assembly of patio doors at the Alabama plant.


Cajun Traditions investing in new Louisiana meat processing facility

Meat processing startup Cajun Traditions Food Processors will make a $2.8 million investment to renovate and equip an existing facility in Church Point, La. The new meat processing and packaging facility will create 35 new jobs.


Loctek plans plant in Manning, S.C.

Loctek, a manufacturer of ergonomic office products such as height adjustable desks, will invest $5 million to establish operations in Manning, S.C. The project is expected to create 10 new jobs.


North Carolina dessert maker expanding

Steven Roberts Original Desserts is investing $4.5 million in a project to incorporate a new production line, build a new warehouse and buy new equipment for its facility in Pembroke, N.C.


Distribution company chooses Greenville County, S.C.

JIDA Industrial Solutions, which specializes in intelligent material handling, and its third-party logistics subsidiary, Global Trade Logistics, plan to establish operations in Greenville County. The $4.5 million investment will create 78 new jobs over the next five years.


Wood pellet plant landing in Florence County, S.C.

Newly formed Effingham Pellets, a subsidiary of Charles Ingram Lumber Company, will invest $5.4 million and hire 10 as it establishes operations in Florence County.


$10 million baked goods complex headed for Atlanta

Coffee Café Bakery will invest nearly $10 million in building a state-of-the-art production facility in Atlanta. The company plans to hire 70 additional associates in Fulton County. Coffee Café Bakery’s new 31,150-square-foot facility will include high-tech production lines and equipment used for mixing, frying, glazing, and finishing baked goods.


Construction begins on “super plant” in Tulsa, Okla.

Green Bay Packaging is planning to triple its footprint by building a new 550,000-square-foot corrugator facility in Tulsa County. The facility will replace its existing 180,000-square-foot factory in Creek County.


Auto supplier plans $45 million expansion in Salisbury, N.C.

Continental Structural Plastics, a manufacturer of automotive and heavy truck composite components, will expand operations with an investment of $45 million in its facility in Salisbury. The company plans to create 61 jobs in Rowan County.


T-Mobile to add 500 jobs in Henrico County, Va.

T-Mobile will move its customer service center from Henrico’s West End to the former Sam’s Club building in Eastern Henrico, moving 800 jobs and adding 500 new jobs for a total of 1,300 at the new site. The company will invest $30 million to upgrade the facility.


South Korean manufacturer coming to Georgia

Zinus, an e-commerce mattress company, will invest $108 million to develop its first North American advanced manufacturing facility in McDonough, Ga. The company plans to create 804 jobs in Henry County.


South Korean manufacturer chooses South Carolina

KRA Operations -- a subsidiary of South Korea-based Kirin Precision Co. -- will invest $11.5 million to establish its first U.S. operations in Newberry County, S.C. The facility is expected to hire 57 to perform metal stamping and injection molding processes to serve existing South Carolina customers


MasterCraft Boats expands to Merritt Island, Fla.

MasterCraft Boat Company has purchased a boat manufacturing plant in Merritt Island. The company, which is headquartered in Vonore, Tenn., plans to establish a manufacturing center and support the long-term growth of its recently introduced Aviara brand.


Armored car maker to invest $2.3 million, create 30 jobs in Mississippi

CITE Armored is increasing its presence in Mississippi by establishing van production operations in Batesville. The project is a $2.3 million investment and will create 30 jobs by the end of 2021.


Amazon adding hundreds of tech jobs in North Texas

Amazon is planning to add more than 600 new tech and corporate jobs in Dallas as it expands its Tech Hub in North Texas. The hiring is part of a national expansion of hubs in Detroit, Denver, New York, Phoenix and San Diego that will create more than 3,500 jobs across the country.


Amazon plans fulfillment hub in Forney, Texas

Amazon plans to open a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center 21 miles east of Dallas in Forney. The new fulfillment center is expected to create over 500 new full-time jobs. Amazon is also planning a new 200,000-square-foot delivery station in Forney, which will create over 100 full- and part-time jobs.


Tissue maker to open facility in North Carolina

With paper products booming as the pandemic wears on, Select Products is expanding its operations. The Huntington, N.Y.-based maker of tissue products is investing $4 million in a new facility that will add 73 jobs in North Carolina’s Vance County.


Crown Labs adds 50 jobs in Johnson City, Tenn.

Crown Laboratories, which makes Blue Lizard sunscreen, was the natural choice when a namebrand company that produces hand sanitizer went looking for new manufacturing capability in March. Crown rose to the task and hired more than 50 employees to add the new product to its lineup.


Steel components maker expands in Mississippi

Steel components manufacturer and supplier Samuel Roll Form Group will invest $6.9 million to build an addition onto its current facility in Iuka. The project is expected to create 30 new jobs by spring 2021.


Streamline Boats coming to Pensacola, Fla.

The Pensacola City Council has approved the initial 10-year lease for the center console manufacturer that currently builds 26-, 34- and 45-foot models at its Hialeah, Fla., facility. "There's a market up there for our product," Streamline owner Ozzie Sanchez said in May. "Our 26-foot and our 34-foot (boats) are a very marketable boat in the Panhandle. And we're also looking for a labor force. There's a qualified labor force in that area." The company plans to invest more than $1 million and will create 45 jobs within its first few years of operation.


Manufacturer hiring 100 in Cottondale, Ala.

Preferred Precision Group, located in Cottondale, is looking to hire 100 people for manufacturing jobs. PPG provides outsourcing solutions to manufacturers in the automotive, medical device and aerospace industries.

Top of Form


Nokian Tyres adding 50 jobs to Dayton, Tenn., workforce

The Nokian Tyres factory in Dayton, Tenn., is hiring for a second shift with plans to immediately add about 50 more employees.


Forty-two civilian hires for Camp Lejeune

D2 Government Solutions was awarded a $4.2 million contract that will bring 42 new jobs to North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune to oversee the Marine Corps base’s vehicle and vetting escort services. The contract signifies the first time Camp Lejeune has entrusted a civilian organization to perform in this role traditionally carried out by uniformed Marines.


Aerospace supplier to create 400 jobs in Kerrville, Texas

A company that produces circuit card assemblies and cable and fiber harnesses for the aerospace industry, Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, will establish an $8 million manufacturing facility in Kerrville, Texas. The company plans to create 200 jobs.


Toyota and Mazda investing extra $830 million into Alabama factory

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing will make an additional $830 million investment to incorporate more cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to its production lines and provide enhanced training to its workforce of up to 4,000 employees at its assembly plant in Huntsville, Ala. The original plan forecast investment to be $1.6 billion, and production was scheduled to start in 2021. Now, production is expected to start in 2022 at the $2.3 billion facility.


Lumber company expanding in Wythe County, Va.

Musser Lumber Company will expand current operations in Rural Retreat, creating 12 jobs and investing $2.4 million in Wythe County.


Logistics company wants to hire 255 in Shelby County, Tenn.

A logistics firm is seeking a tax break for adding jobs in southeast Memphis. XPO Logistics Supply Chain wants to create 255 jobs thanks to “increased demand for a confidential apparel customer through XPO’s distribution, returns process, kitting, and reverse-logistics services.”


Biotech company to add 200 jobs in Durham

Durham has landed another gene-therapy jobs expansion, after the state offered incentives to Boston-based Beam Therapeutics. The three-year-old company plans to build an $83 million bio-manufacturing facility in Durham that could employ more than 200 people over five years.


Packaging manufacturer selects Chattanooga, Tenn.

Southern Champion Tray will expand operations by investing $84.9 million in a new facility in Chattanooga that will convert paperboard into packaging products. The company will create more than 120 new jobs in Hamilton County over the next five years.


Japan-based manufacturer building in Griffin, Ga.

Rinnai Corporation, a Japan-based manufacturer of tankless gas water heaters, has begun construction on its new 300,000-square-foot facility in Griffin, Ga.


Greenswell Growers chooses Goochland County, Va.

Greenswell Growers will invest more than $17 million to build a commercial hydroponic greenhouse in Goochland County, Va. The company plans to create 27 jobs. The greenhouse is expected to produce 28 times more product per acre than a traditional growing operation.


Steelmaker spending $500 million in Mobile County, Ala.

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal announced its plans to build an electric arc furnace steel making facility at its AM/NS Calvert mill as part of a $500 million expansion project in Alabama. Construction is expected to take 24 months, and the new facility is anticipated to create 200 jobs. The project is expected to create 500 construction jobs.


Skynamo to locate HQ in Atlanta

Skynamo, a sales software developer, is opening its North American headquarters in Cobb County, Ga. The project is expected to create roughly 30 tech jobs in the Atlanta metro area.


HelloFresh bringing 750 jobs to Coweta County, Ga.

Meal kit company HelloFresh will establish its first Southeastern U.S. distribution facility in Newnan, bringing more than 750 jobs to Coweta County. The company, which is based in Berlin, Germany, has seen demand increase dramatically with the COVID-19 pandemic.


HopeHealth breaks ground in West Florence, S.C.

HopeHealth broke ground in August on a new community health center. The West Florence facility anticipates adding 20 to 25 new jobs there.


FedEx Ground to build $40 million facility in Birmingham, Ala.

Construction should begin in September on a $40.6 million FedEx Ground distribution center that is expected to create 285 full- and part-time jobs within three years of its completion. The 300,000-square-foot building will sit on a 46-acre site that is mostly situated in Birmingham and partially in Bessemer.


UPL adding jobs at new RTP hub

UPL, a multinational agriculture company based in India, has opened a global research-and-development hub in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park to develop products for sustainable agriculture in partnership with collaborating companies. The hub, called the OpenAg Center, will hire about 30 scientists and technicians over the next year.


BAE Systems expands in Austin, Texas

BAE Systems, a leading aerospace and defense technology company, is expanding its operations with a 390,000-square-foot-facility in Austin. The new $150 million campus will be able to house more than 1,400 employees. The project should be completed in 2022.


Fintech expands in Charlotte, N.C.

Retirement Clearinghouse, a national name in retirement plan services, will invest more than $4.1 million to expand its headquarters and corporate office in Charlotte. The company plans to create 300 new jobs in Mecklenburg County.


Zillow chooses Atlanta for Southeastern hub

Zillow Group, the largest portfolio of real estate brands on the web, will establish its Southeastern hub in metro Atlanta, Ga. The company plans to bring nearly 200 jobs to the area.


Jackson County, Miss., fishing for new business

American Baitworks will soon be moving into a new facility in Jackson County. The headcount of 50 existing employees is expected to grow to 100 to manufacture fishing lures, rods and other accessories. Another great catch for the county: Rolls-Royce Naval Marine, which designs and makes marine propellers, is undergoing a $31 million expansion that will bring highly skilled jobs to the county.


Tech company bringing 20 jobs to Gretna, Va.

A supplier of electronic controls like circuit breakers and battery protectors, Sensata Technologies will occupy a portion of the old Techma building in Gretna. Sensata hopes to bring around 20 jobs to the area and expand from there.


Silgan Containers expands in Lancaster, S.C.

Silgan Containers, a manufacturer of metal food packaging, plans to invest $9.7 million to expand its operations complex in Lancaster. The expansion will create 16 new jobs within five years.


John Soules breaks ground on Alabama plant expansion

Construction on the new John Soules Foods facility in Valley, Ala., has begun. The $151 million project will be broken into three phases and will result in the hiring of more than 500 people in Chambers County.


Steel component maker expanding in Iuka, Miss.

Samuel Roll Form Group is expanding operations in Iuka and will create 30 new jobs. The company manufactures steel components. The addition of 30 new jobs will increase the facility’s employment to approximately 160 employees.


Manufacturer to expand in Bamberg, S.C.

Phoenix Specialty, a supplier of custom specialty parts to original equipment manufacturers, announced plans to expand operations in Bamberg County. The company’s $5.5 million investment is projected to create 35 new jobs over the next three years.


Domtar investing $350 million to convert Tennessee plant

A provider of fiber-based products including specialty packaging papers and market pulp, Domtar will invest up to $300 million to convert its manufacturing operations from uncoated freesheet to containerboard production in Kingsport, Tenn. The converted mill will employ approximately 150 people.


Chemical transportation company opens in Geismar, La.

Tennessee-based chemical transportation company Highway Transport has opened its $12.5 million flagship service center in Geismar. The service center is expected to create 36 jobs in the next year, eventually growing to 150 employees. Most of the jobs will be for truck drivers, but there will be positions for mechanics, tank washers and office staff.


Dutch company selects Gastonia, N.C., for food processing operation

Netherlands-based GNT USA is purchasing 49.24 acres and plans to construct a $30 million food processing operation. The company, which specializes in natural food coloring, intends to create approximately 40 jobs at this location.


New transportation company planning 100 jobs for Raleigh HQ

Fortive Corporation, an Everett, Wash.-based company with some $7 billion in revenue, is launching a new company -- Vontier Corporation -- focusing on transportation and mobility that will be based in Raleigh. According to a spokesperson, approximately 100 employees will be located at the new headquarters.


Helicopter company breaks ground in Milton, Fla.

A groundbreaking was held recently for a new hanger facility in Milton that is expected to bring 50 new, high-paying jobs to the area. The new hangar facility at Peter Prince Airport will serve as the temporary home of Leonardo Helicopters, a Philadelphia-based aviation company.


North Carolina boat builder expands

World Cat, a manufacturer of outboard power catamarans, will expand its North Carolina operations with a new production facility in Pitt County. The company plans to add 60 jobs and invest $8.8 million at a site in Greenville.


North Carolina furniture maker creating 200 new jobs

A new East Coast furniture factory for Prepac Manufacturing in Guilford County will create 201 new jobs. The ready-to-assemble furniture company, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, plans to invest $27.1 million in a new 260,000-square-foot factory in Whitsett.


Dollar General plans Kentucky distribution center and cold storage hub

Dollar General plans to expand its operations in the Bluegrass State adding a distribution center in Walton and a DG Fresh cold storage facility in Bowling Green. The $65 million Walton distribution facility is expected to employ 250 and serve 800 stores. The Walton complex is expected to create an additional 50 DG Private Fleet positions.


Air filtration manufacturer expands in Gwinnett County, Ga.

American Air Filter is moving from Norcross to a 185,000-square-foot building in Duluth and hiring 25 new employees. The expansion represents a $1.4 million capital investment to consolidate operations that were previously spread across multiple buildings.


Tyson completes $87 million expansion in Tennessee

Tyson Foods recently wrapped up work on an $87.6 million expansion project at its poultry plant in Union City, Tenn.


Electronics manufacturer announces $1.5 million investment in North Carolina

A manufacturer of circuit boards and other electronic components is moving its headquarters and establishing a new factory in North Carolina. Charles Edward Industries, formerly based in Knoxville, Tenn., relocated just more than 100 miles to the east to Asheville, N.C.


Medical device maker expanding in Memphis suburb

A medical device maker is investing $13 million to expand its facility in West Tennessee. Engineered Medical Systems plans to create 60 new jobs over the next five years to increase capacity at its facility in the Memphis suburb of Bartlett.


New stop on the Bourbon Trail near Bardstown, Ky.

A Georgia-based developer has announced plans to create an historic bourbon tourism experience at the shuttered T.W. Samuels Distillery. The revived destination that sits on approximately 45 acres in Deatsville, Ky., will be called Old Samuels Distillery. Investment is expected to approach $16 million. T.W. Samuels created his namesake distillery in 1844. It was operated by his sons until Prohibition began in 1920


Medical product manufacturer expands in Florida

Soule Medical, a maker of disposable foam and other surgical products, plans to expand its operations in Pasco County with a new $8 million manufacturing plant and warehouse. The new facility will create 25 full-time jobs.


Three hundred new jobs for Jax

Coral Gables-based Synergy Technologies, a global IT and consulting firm, intends to add 300 jobs over four years as it expands its Jacksonville, Fla., presence. The company will invest $1.4 million into its facility.


SIMCOM International plans world HQ in Orlando, Fla.

SIMCOM International, a provider of aircraft pilot and maintenance training, will invest $109 million to expand operations and build its worldwide headquarters in Orlando. The company, which currently operates two learning centers in Orlando, also plans to create more than 50 new high wage jobs.


Armstrong expanding in Missouri

Armstrong World Industries said it will invest nearly $8 million to expand its wood ceiling and wall facility in Marshfield. Plans call for adding 50,000 square feet to the operation’s manufacturing, warehouse and office space. The expansion is expected to create nearly 130 jobs.


Auto supplier expands Murfreesboro, Tenn., operations

A leading international automotive supplier based in Germany, MAHLE, will expand its operations in Murfreesboro. The project is expected to create 300 jobs. The 140,000-square-foot expansion will support new injection molding production on site.


Online thrift store adding 700 jobs in Gwinnett County, Ga.

A company that takes thrift and consignment shopping online plans to add 700 new jobs in Gwinnett County. The positions at online clothing reseller thredUp’s 270,000-square-foot Suwanee-area distribution center are part of a $28.7 million investment by the company. ThredUp originally announced a Gwinnett distribution center in 2016.


Skywriter MD adding 130 jobs in Lubbock, Texas

Medical scribe company, Skywriter MD, plans to hire more than 100 new virtual scribe positions that will allow physicians to spend more time with patients. The company will make a $400,000 capital investment in Lubbock.

latest magazine issue
randle report
auto corridor

Southern Business & Development
8086 Westchester Place
Montgomery AL 36117