November 2020

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S. dropped dramatically in the first six months of 2020

Foreign direct investment in the U.S. fell 61 percent in the first half of 2020. In the first six months of the year, the U.S. attracted $51 billion, a far cry from years 2015 and 2016 when over $200 billion was invested by foreign companies in the first half of both those years. FDI dropped 29 percent in the European Union, according to United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development, and FDI in China fell by just 4 percent in the same time period.


The first female recession ever

The pandemic has been particularly hard on women, especially women of color and women with young children. The gains in jobs and income for women in the longest recovery in the nation's history -- the 10 years from the last recession to this one -- is historic. Yet today, the unemployment rate for women of color is above 10 percent and 7.3 percent for white women, according to the Labor Department. Many women have dropped out of the workforce to care for their children. In fact, mothers are three times more likely than fathers to have lost jobs during the pandemic, and mothers of 12-year-olds and younger lost about 2.2 million jobs from February to August. Because government budgets have been hammered by the pandemic, at least 640,000 teachers lost their jobs between February and August.


Hundreds of thousands of women leave the workforce

In September, over 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce. . .four times the number of men who left the workforce during the same month. With so many children tele-schooling, many of their parents -- especially their mothers -- are forced to stay home as a results of the demands of child care.


Airline industry revenues down 46 percent compared to 2019

Total revenues for the airline industry are expected to fall by 46 percent in 2020 according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Total revenue was $838 billion in 2019. The recovery of the industry has been delayed due to new COVID-19 outbreaks in the fall 2020 quarter. IATA expects 2020 air traffic to be down 66 percent from 2019.


Dallas-Fort Worth leads in workers returning to the office

According to Kastle Systems, Dallas-Fort Worth led the country in workers returning to the office with 43.3 percent in October, which means the majority of workers in DFW are still working from home. In the 10 largest U.S. metros, only 27.4 percent of workers have returned to the office.


Northwest Florida Tyndall goes from destroyed to 'Base of the Future'

In October 2018, Tyndall Air Force Base in Bay County, Fla., was almost totally destroyed by Hurricane Michael. Officials were talking about closing down the base. Now the Air Force has announced that the base will not close and will be rebuilt as the “Base of the Future.”


Fed official: Another year before economy returns to pre-pandemic levels

In the summer and fall, the economy rebounded strongly from the spring’s lockdown. However, in the fall quarter, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida told the American Bankers Association in October that it will be at least a year before the economy will return to pre-COVID levels, and most likely longer than that for the labor market to return.


COVID-19 response drives up record worldwide public debt

The International Monetary Fund said in October that recovery funding in response to the coronavirus by the world's governments has driven public debt to record high levels. Governments around the world committed nearly $12 trillion as of the middle of September. The spending by all governments to fight the recession is nearing 100 percent of global GDP.


Enterprise Florida launches rural expansion toolkit

In the fall quarter, Enterprise Florida, the state level economic development agency, launched a rural development program. The Rural Development Toolkit includes grant programs such as consulting services, worker training and site readiness.


Mine water a draw for data centers in Southwest Virginia

As the coal industry continues to suffer, the coal region of Southwest Virginia may have discovered a way to diversify its economy. Many of the old underground mines and caves in the region are filled with cool water that's around 50 degrees, which could be used to cool banks of servers used by data centers. According to a report by InvestSWVA, using mine water for cooling could reduce electricity costs for data centers by more than 90 percent.


Over 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty

Even with unprecedented financial aid by federal and state governments, including the massive $2.3 trillion CARES Act, millions have fallen into poverty since May 2020. Federal aid now has long expired, and unless another package is approved by Congress, it is clear that there will be additions to the 8 million that have joined the poverty ranks.


West Virginia wins $500 million Virgin Hyperloop facility

Virgin Hyperloop said West Virginia will be the home of a $500 million certification center and testing track for its super high-speed travel system on nearly 800 acres of land across Tucker and Grant counties. Hyperloop’s goal is to move people and goods in pods through a vacuum tube at speeds exceeding 600 mph, enabling travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 41 minutes or New York City to Washington, D.C., in just 30 minutes.


Auto markets begin to stabilize worldwide

In the fall quarter, global automotive markets began to increase sales in China, the U.S. and Europe. China, the first country to have coronavirus cases, saw growth in its automotive market in the summer and fall 2020 quarters. The U.S. quickly followed and the European Automotive Manufacturers’ Association said it saw an increase of 1.1 percent in sales in October.


Brookings finds a $2 trillion stimulus bill to bring economy back to pre-pandemic levels

The Brookings Institution reported in the fall quarter that a $2 trillion federal stimulus would bring the U.S. economy back to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2021. Brookings said the spending would raise gross domestic product by 4 percent in 2021 and 2022.


Fastest layoffs in history in oil and gas

The global pandemic is almost wholly responsible for 107,000 lost jobs in the U.S.'s oil and gas industry. A report by Deloitte revealed that about 7 percent of the 1.5 million employed in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries were laid off between March and August as demand for petroleum products fell as a result of COVID-19.


New report shows Southeast has large share of electric vehicle market

A new report by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and Atlas Public Policy shows that the Southeast is a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing and research and development. The report, "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast,” claimed that 28 percent of the nationwide manufacturing investment has occurred in the Southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Nearly $7 billion in current automakers and battery manufacturer’s investments are in the Southeast.


Dallas-Fort Worth industrial building boom

The Dallas-Fort Worth region set a record for the first nine months of 2020 in industrial building leasing. Cushman & Wakefield reported that the DFW industrial market is currently tracking over 14 million square feet of active leases.


Pandemic puts tons of sublease office space on the market in Dallas-Fort Worth

Tons of office space in Dallas-Fort Worth sits empty as up to 60 percent of workers in the fall quarter continue to work from home. With the pandemic and the recession, up to 8 million square feet of office space is actively being marketed as sublease space. There is also 5 million square feet of space is being built.


Danville named Kentucky's most beautiful small town

In the fall quarter, MSN designated Danville, Ky., as the "most beautiful small city" in the Commonwealth. Danville's historic downtown district is thriving with shops, eateries and the arts. Danville was the birthplace of Kentucky in 1792.


Source: U.S. is the richest country in the world, but has the biggest wealth gap

German insurer Allianz reported in the fall quarter that the United States led the world in growth of financial assets in 2019, but its distribution of wealth is the worst in the world. The report also claimed that for the first time since 2000, there was a decline in those in the middle class.


Charles Schwab names Westlake, Texas, campus its official corporate headquarters

After purchasing TD Ameritrade for $22 billion, Charles Schwab officially named its campus in Westlake as the company's new corporate headquarters. The company is relocating its headquarters from San Francisco to Westlake. Schwab currently has about 2,500 employees in Westlake.


Fed's Powell says without more stimuli, U.S. will have a weak recovery

In the fall quarter, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that without a significant stimulus bill the country would face a weak recovery and risks "unnecessary hardship.” Powell also said that the recovery is "far from complete."

Boeing consolidates 787 assembly to North Charleston, S.C.

Airliner manufacturer Boeing announced in the fall quarter it is consolidating its full assembly of the 787 Dreamliner from Washington State to North Charleston. The giant plane maker has been under financial pressure because of the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of the commercial airline industry.


Kentucky's travel and tourism industry on its knees

A new survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association shows that of Kentucky's 816 hotels, two thirds will face foreclosure or closure without another round of federal government financial assistance. Nationwide, the study claimed that 67 percent of hotels will not make it another six months if Congress does not pass another pandemic stimulus bill.


Amazon Logistics to open facilities in Birmingham

Amazon is opening "last mile" delivery stations in the Birmingham, Ala., MSA. One station will create 80 jobs and the other will use about 200 contract drivers. The two projects represent an investment of $25 million.


Lowe's to bring distribution hub to Birmingham area

Lowe's Home Improvement will build a 1.2 million-square-foot facility in Bessemer, Ala. The $61 million project will create 150 jobs.


Frito-Lay expands in Tennessee

Frito-Lay is investing $100 million to expand its facilities in Pulaski, Tenn. The expansion will include four new manufacturing lines and larger warehouses.


Tesla's gigafactory in Austin, Texas, to create 15,000 new jobs

Tesla is expected to create 15,000 direct and indirect jobs at the factory it is building near the Austin airport. The company will build its Cybertruck at the facility.


Sawmill to create jobs in rural Mississippi

Hankins Lumber, a manufacturer of Southern Yellow Pine lumber products, is moving its sawmill operation to the former Louisiana Pacific site in Grenada County, Miss. The $12 million project will add 43 jobs to the current workforce of 140.


Glove manufacturer to hire 192 in Kentucky

U.S. Medical Glove Co., a manufacturer of medical gloves, will invest over $32 million to retrofit an existing plant in Paris, Ky. The project will create 192 jobs.


Weyerhaeuser to upgrade Louisiana mill

Weyerhaeuser will install new equipment at its mill in Natchitoches, La., to boost capacity of its laminated veneer lumber. The $16 million project will add 20 jobs to the more than 200 that currently work at the plant.


Company hiring 400 at new South Carolina COVID-19 test manufacturing facility

Vigilent Labs is locating a new state-of-the-art COVID-19 test manufacturing facility in Charleston County, S.C. The $104 million project will create 400 new jobs.


Food maker creating jobs in Georgia

Ken’s Foods is expanding its manufacturing and distribution facilities in McDonough, Ga. The company will invest $103 million and the plant will house 70 more workers.


Building products manufacturer locating plant in North Carolina

Cornerstone Building Brands is locating a siding plant in Rocky Mount, N.C. The company, which employs more than 20,000 workers in North America, will invest $25 million and hire 38 in the deal.


Healthcare equipment supplier to expand facility in Kentucky

Healthcare Asset Network, a healthcare technology supplier, is expanding in Jefferson County, Ky. The nearly $8 million deal will create 80 jobs.


Big deal for Pratt & Whitney in North Carolina

Pratt & Whitney will build a new 1 million-square-foot facility in Asheville, N.C., that will produce turbine airfoils for the F-35 fighter jet. The $650 million project will create 800 jobs.


U.S. Steel starts up Alabama plant

In October, U.S. Steel announced the successful startup of its new advanced electric arc furnace in Fairfield, Ala. The new furnace represents a $412 million investment in the long-time steel plant. The plant can produce up to 1.6 million tons of steel a year.


Kitchen cabinet manufacturer to open plant in Northwest Alabama

Kith Kitchens plans to invest $11 million to build a new cabinet plant in Florence, Ala. The project will create 131 full-time jobs.


Metals manufacturer to open new plant in Kentucky

Nova Steel USA will open a new steel tube mill in Bowling Green, Ky. The $70 million investment will generate 110 jobs.


Life science company hiring big at Research Triangle

BioAgilytix Labs is expanding its facilities in Durham, N.C. The company will launch its COVIDence platform that will provide employers a COVID-19 testing program. The $61 million deal will create 878 jobs.


Toyota expanding plant in Georgia

Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America is investing over $5 million in its plant in Jackson County, Ga. The deal will create 27 jobs.


Electronics manufacturer expanding in North Carolina

Nuvotronics, a component manufacturer for 5G technology, has chosen Durham, N.C., to expand. The $50 million expansion will create 150 jobs.


Glock manufacturer relocates to Nashville

GS Performance, a Glock handgun accessory and parts manufacturer, will invest $6.9 million to relocate its headquarters, manufacturing and distribution operations to Nashville, Tenn.


Brewer Renewables locates solar project in Orangeburg, S.C.

Brewer Renewables will invest $85 million to establish a solar project in Orangeburg. The project will include a solar facility with the option for additional energy storage that could provide power to roughly 20,000 South Carolina homes.


Chemical company expands with Sumter factory

Nova Molecular Technologies, a chemical manufacturing company, will invest more than $14.9 million within an Opportunity Zone to expand operations at the Pocotaligo East Industrial Site in Sumter, S.C.


UPS bringing 161 high-paying jobs to Mississippi

United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to build a new $28.6 million package distribution facility in Ridgeland, Miss. The project will create 161 new jobs, with an average annual wage of $57,000.


New plasma donation center in Virginia creating 60 jobs

BioLife Plasma Services is opening a new location in Richmond, and is expected to bring more than 60 new jobs to the community.


UPS facility in Harlan County, Ky., to reopen

The UPS facility in Harlan County, Ky., which closed in 2016, will reopen. About 20 jobs that left the area four years ago are coming back and the company has plans to create an additional 40 jobs over the next few months.


Eastern Fence selects Rowan County, N.C., for new facility

Eastern Wholesale Fence has selected Rowan County as the site for its new manufacturing and distribution facility. The company, headquartered in New York, will create 142 new jobs and will invest $17.5 million in equipment and improvements.


Over 200 new jobs coming to West Virginia airport

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Aviation Group, which is the owner of an aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul facility at the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport, will be hiring 240 employees between now and March 2021. This will bring the total workforce up to about 750 employees.


Neighborly plans to open second HQ in Irving, Texas

Neighborly, a franchisor of home service brands, announced plans to open a second headquarters office in Irving, Texas. The office will initially house 60 employees, with room for 200.  The company operates online platforms that connect consumers to service providers. Neighborly plans to move five out-of-state brands (Molly Maid is one of them) as well as expand its IT and digital marketing teams to the new location.


Steel fabricator expands in Hertford, N.C.

East Coast Steel Fabrication, a company that provides heavy steel fabrication for barges and marine structures, will invest $482,000 to expand production at its facility in Hertford. The project is expected to create 28 jobs in Perquimans County.


Renew Biomedical Services expands Jackson, Tenn., operations

ReNew Biomedical Services, a biomedical equipment service provider, will invest $1 million to expand operations in Jackson. The company plans to create 43 jobs over the next five years. As part of the expansion, ReNew will build a training facility for technicians using defibrillators and ventilators, to name a few.


Continental Tire eyes expansion in Lancaster County, S.C.

Continental Tire the Americas will invest more than $20 million to expand its complex in Lancaster County. The expansion will include a new 88,000-square-foot building that will be constructed next to the existing headquarters, and the addition of 200 new jobs.


Cleveland, Tenn., lands $114 million auto parts plant

Southeast Tennessee’s growing auto sector has landed a supplier that plans to hire nearly 200 workers and invest $114 million as the first company in Cleveland’s newest industrial park. Cannon Automotive Solutions of Bowling Green,Ky., a maker of metal auto parts, will begin production next year.


Pittsylvania County, Va., gaining 200 jobs in the furniture industry

Ison Furniture Manufacturing, a North Carolina-based company, will invest $3.5 million to acquire and renovate the recently closed A.C. Furniture facility in Pittsylvania County, with plans to create 150 new jobs. In addition, the company’s supplier, Dogwood Global, will locate into a vacant 30,000-square-foot building onsite, investing $500,000 in new equipment and adding 45 new jobs to manufacture wood tables and custom furniture frames that will be upholstered by Ison Furniture.


Kimber Arms moving HQ from New York to Alabama

Kimber Manufacturing is moving its corporate headquarters to Troy, Ala. The firearms manufacturer, formerly based in Yonkers, N.Y., pledged two years ago to open a $38 million production facility in Troy, creating 366 jobs over the next five years.


Auto supplier expansion completed at Frankfort, Ky., facility

TOPY America, a steel wheel manufacturer for the North American car and light truck markets, has completed a $38 million renovation at its Frankfort operation. The project was originally announced in late 2017.


Tissue paper manufacturer opens new Oklahoma factory

Global tissue paper manufacturer Sofidel officially opened its seventh U.S. plant in Inola, Okla. The company invested $360 million in the 1.8 million-square-foot facility outside of Tulsa. The facility employs 300 workers, and a second construction phase could double its capacity and workforce.


Global Resources to form new medical plant in Alabama

A Georgia manufacturer plans to establish a new company and production facility in Southeast Alabama. Global Resources International will invest $9.5 million in the project in Dothan, Ala., and create 70 new jobs to produce personal protective equipment and medical products.


Furniture maker bringing jobs to Union County, Miss.

Fusion Furniture will begin manufacturing sofas and chairs in Union County. The New Albany facility is expected to employ 150 to 180 people.


North Carolina-based company to invest millions in Mount Airy

Texwipe, a manufacturer of contamination control supplies, will invest more than $4.5 million to locate a manufacturing facility and create 33 new jobs in Surry County, N.C.


Patriot Medical Devices opens Missouri manufacturing complex

Patriot Medical Devices, a personal protective equipment manufacturer, has opened its production facility in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The company, which was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to hire more than 20 workers.


GM investing $2 billion In Spring Hill, Tenn., plant to build electric vehicles

General Motors plans to spend $2 billion to convert its Spring Hill assembly plant into a third U.S. site to build electric vehicles. The Detroit automaker also says it will spend another $153 million to upgrade five Michigan factories for future vehicles. The company will build the Cadillac Lyriq, a small electric SUV, at the Tennessee factory. Gasoline-powered Cadillac SUVs will also continue to be built at the plant. GM is also expected to announce details of an all-electric GMC Hummer pickup truck. These are among 20 electric models the company plans to sell globally by 2023.


Fish farming company establishing Orangeburg, S.C., operations

Fish farming company Pure Blue Fish is investing $28.1 million in new Orangeburg County operations expected to create 82 jobs. Founded in 2016 in Israel, Pure Blue Fish grows yellowtail using recirculating aquaculture systems.


Nucor breaks ground on $1.7 billion investment in Meade County, Ky.

Nucor broke ground recently on its $1.7 billion manufacturing plant in Brandenburg. According to the steel company’s execs, the mill is expected to create 400 full-time jobs with average annual compensation of $72,000, and will create an average of 960 temporary construction jobs, peaking at 1,500.


IT company adding 200 more jobs in Jasper, Texas

One hundred new jobs were created in less than a year with the expansion of IT solutions company Provalus in downtown Jasper. Now, it looks like about 200 more jobs will be hired for the technology innovation center project.


Central Texas Amazon facility will create 1,000 new jobs

The 700,000-square-foot robotic fulfillment center Amazon is building in Waco will create 1,000 new jobs that will pay a minimum of $15 an hour.


Shipyard expansion near Houma, La., will add 106 jobs

Gulf Island Fabrication’s shipbuilding project will add 106 new jobs to residents of Terrebonne Parish. The company says it will create the jobs to accommodate orders for marine vessel construction.     


Optimas Solutions opens St. Louis distribution center

Optimas Solutions has opened a 30,000-square-foot facility in St. Louis, Mo. The location will handle distribution of personal protective equipment and maintenance, repair and operations.


Outdoor Network expands in Albany, Ga.

Marine and power sports company Outdoor Network will invest nearly $22 million in two projects in Albany, Ga. The company’s new advanced manufacturing facility and expanded distribution headquarters are expected to create 92 jobs.


Auto supplier plans Alabama expansions creating 180 jobs

International Automotive Components Group North America (IAC) plans to invest over $55.9 million in expansion projects that will create 182 jobs at two Alabama facilities. IAC is committing $34.3 million to expand its new manufacturing facility located in Tuscaloosa County, which will hire 119 to produce door panels and overhead systems. In addition, IAC plans to invest $21.6 million at its manufacturing facility in Anniston, creating 63 jobs. The primary product there is automotive interior components and systems.


Emerson selects Ash Flat, Ark., for manufacturing plant

Engineering and technology company Emerson will invest $35 million in a new manufacturing facility in Ash Flat, Ark. The project is expected to create 245 jobs. The Arkansas facility will operate within the company’s “tools and home products” segment and will manufacture products for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing industries.


Sixty manufacturing jobs headed to Round Rock, Texas

A new $5 million manufacturing facility is in the works for Round Rock. East/West Manufacturing will construct a 43,000-square-foot building and hire 60 to make electronics.


F&P Georgia planning another expansion

F&P Georgia is growing again. The auto parts manufacturer will invest $23 million and add at least 15 new jobs over three years. F&P is a major supplier to both Honda and Nissan.


Sandler Nonwoven to hire 70 in Georgia

Sandler Nonwoven Corporation in Perry, Ga., is expanding and looking to fill 70 jobs immediately. “So we doubled our footprint here in Perry, Ga., and now it’s time to find the right talented people for our growth,” said Tobias Baumgaertel, company president.


The Ranch Film Studios expanding in Louisiana

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the expansion of a Louisiana-based production company in St. Bernard Parish. The Ranch Film Studios will further develop its operations under Louisiana’s Entertainment Job Creation Program, and immediately bring 11 new jobs to the area. 


Motion Industries expanding in Irondale, Ala.

Motion Industries, an industrial supplies company, is investing $11.2 million to expand its location in Irondale (a suburb of Birmingham). . .a decision that will create 15 new jobs.


West Virginia Methanol investing $350 million in new plant

West Virginia Methanol has selected a site in Pleasants County, W.Va., to develop a plant for producing methanol, which is expected to create approximately 30 high-paying jobs once operational. The $350 million plant will produce 900 metric tons of high-purity methanol from natural gas each day.


Fifty-million-dollar Mercedes-Benz expansion in Alabama to add 373 jobs

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plans to lease a new $53.6 million, 530,000-square-foot parts facility near its plant in Tuscaloosa County. The company is expected to create 373 jobs. Situated on 53 acres, the plant will primarily serve as a storage and sequence facility for parts used in MBUSI’s electric vehicles. The automaker is in the midst of a $1 billion expansion focused on electric vehicle production in Alabama, including a new plant in Bibb County that will make battery packs.


Nearly 100 new jobs coming to Fluvanna County, Va.

Silk City Printing, a silkscreen apparel company established in 2017, has moved its corporate headquarters to Fluvanna County. The company is investing $5.7 million to establish a new silkscreened apparel production operation. The county projects it will create 93 new jobs.


Autozone expands Lexington, Tenn., distribution hub

AutoZone, a retailer and distributor of aftermarket auto replacement parts, will invest $42 million to expand its current operations in Lexington. The company plans to create 45 jobs over the next five years.


City permits $58 million Amazon project in North Jax

Jacksonville, Fla., recently issued a permit for tenant build-out for Amazon’s new Imeson Park fulfillment center shell building at a cost of almost $58.1 million. So far, the online retailer’s new fulfillment center is at least a $106.1 million project.


New BandD Foods HQ to create 100 jobs in Georgia

BandD Foods, a supplier of steak, beef, pork and chicken products, will invest $15 million to open a food processing and packaging facility in Sumter County, bringing more than 100 jobs to Americus, Ga. This facility will serve as the company’s eastern U.S. headquarters and marks the company’s first location outside of Idaho.


Medicom Group expands mask manufacturing in Augusta, Ga.

The Medicom Group will expand its U.S. mask manufacturing operations by adding a second factory with triple the square footage of its existing facility in Augusta.


French baby food maker selects Tennessee for first U.S. facility

Babynov USA, a French organic baby food manufacturer, will invest $45 million to establish its first U.S. production facility in Red Boiling Springs, Tenn. The project is expected to create 147 jobs in Macon County.


Hytrol planning $20 million expansion in Arkansas

Hytrol Conveyor Company announced plans to construct a $20 million plant outside of Jonesboro, Ark. The company expects to hire 200 full-time workers once the project is completed. The company’s headquarters will remain in Jonesboro.


Aerospace supply chain company announces Henry County, Ga., expansion

Incora, formerly Wesco Aircraft, a global aerospace supply chain company, will be expanding in McDonough, Ga. The expansion will result in 70 new jobs and represents an investment of $13 million dollars.


Amazon and Domino’s hiring distribution workers for new locations in Katy, Texas

Newly opened distribution centers for Amazon and Domino’s Pizza are bringing jobs to the Katy area. Amazon is looking staff its new 800,000-square-foot facility with about 3,000 total employees while Domino’s is looking to hire about 100 full-time staff for its center.


Sprayer manufacturer to establish Kentucky factory, create 100 jobs

A manufacturer of garden, agricultural and industrial sprayers announced plans to establish a new production facility in Kentucky. Chapin International, a New York-based company, will invest $5.5 million in a former plastics plant in Mt. Vernon, Ky. The project is expected to create up to 100 new jobs.


North Carolina trucking company opens new terminal, adds 100 jobs

Bottomley Enterprises recently opened a new trucking terminal in Mount Airy, N.C. The company’s new $13 million, 33,000-square-foot terminal will create approximately 100 new jobs to transport refrigerated freight, including meat, produce and Christmas trees, to several western locations in the U.S., from its Bottomley Evergreens and Farms operation.


Plastic company chooses Newton, N.C., for manufacturing complex

RMC Advanced Technologies, a manufacturer of molded plastic and composite parts, will develop a new manufacturing operation in Newton. RMC AT plans to create 49 new jobs and invest a minimum of $7 million in new facility construction.


Unique Loom expands operations in Indian Land, S.C.

Unique Loom, an online retailer of area rugs and home decor, will invest $18.4 million to double the size of its operations in Indian Land.


Furniture maker plans distribution facility in Liberty County, Ga.

Home Meridian International, a division of Hooker Furniture, will invest $23.5 million to open a new 800,000-square-foot distribution facility in Liberty County, Ga. The project is expected to create 50 jobs.


Mississippi’s historic Broadwater Hotel will become a $1.2 billion casino resort

The Biloxi City Council has approved a tourism tax incentive to redevelop a 266-acre property that was once the site of the Broadwater Beach Hotel. The historic resort was built in 1939 and closed in 2005 shortly before Hurricane Katrina destroyed the property. A partnership between Universal Music Group and the Dakia U-Ventures investment group will invest $1.2 billion in the project that could create 2,500 jobs.


Drywall manufacturer to invest $5 million in North Carolina

Hamilton Drywall Products, a manufacturer of drywall finishing products, will create 34 new jobs in Union County. The company will invest $5 million to locate a regional headquarters and production facility in Monroe.


Goya Foods plans major expansion in Brookshire, Texas

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, will invest $80 million to expand its manufacturing and distribution facility in Brookshire, Texas.


Two hundred new jobs for Kentucky call center

Pearl Interactive in Winchester, Ky., needs 200 more employees. The call center’s main contract is a large federal healthcare company.


Toyota hiring 150 for Huntsville engine plant

Toyota is looking for people to fill positions as part of an expansion that’s adding two new assembly lines to its Huntsville, Ala., engine plant. The 150 new hires are part of the company’s $830 million expansion that is increasing engine production.


Texas loves Bar-B-Q

San Antonio-based barbecue chain Bill Miller Bar-B-Q plans to build a new headquarters campus on the West Side at an estimated cost of $60 million.


Snack maker creating 100 jobs in North Carolina

An international snack food company’s expansion plans will bring 129 jobs to North Carolina. Benestar Brands is investing $24 million to build a production facility in Kings Mountain, west of Charlotte,.


UPS expanding in North Carolina, creating 600 jobs

UPS will add more than 590 jobs in central North Carolina by expanding its Greensboro hub and building a new distribution center in Graham. The package car center in Graham will generate about 450 jobs, while another 140 positions will be created at the hub. The projects represent a $316 million investment.


Britain-based Arrival will build first U.S. factory in Rock Hill, S.C.

London-based Arrival, an electric vehicle company, plans to establish its first U.S. microfactory in Rock Hill. The $46 million investment in York County is expected to create 240 new jobs. Rather than a traditional automotive production line, the microfactory will allow the production of any vehicle from Arrival’s portfolio.


Ranger Scientific eyes West Virginia for munitions factory

Ranger Scientific, a manufacturer of small arms ammunition, will be investing $7.5 million to locate its munitions factory at a former high school building in Montgomery, W.Va. The United States Department of Agriculture is loaning the $7.5 million to help start up the new manufacturing facility, which could hire up to 400 over the next five years.


Convenience store supplier breaks ground on robotic warehouse in Huntsville, Ala.

C-Store Master, a supplier to convenience stores across the Southeast, broke ground recently on a 120,000-square-foot automated warehouse in Huntsville. The $12 million facility will be the only one of its kind in the country, the company said. More than 70 Geek+ robots will operate a multi-level “shuttle system” in the warehouse alongside 40 employees.


Manufacturer invests $41 million in world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer complex

CF Industries announced a $41.4 million investment in its site located on 1,400 acres in Donaldsonville, La. The investment will help the company retain 487 jobs while creating seven new direct jobs with an average salary of $100,000.


Online retailer expands in Durham, N.C.

CandleScience, a Durham-based online retailer of candle and soap-making supplies, recently signed a lease for a 144,000-square-foot manufacturing headquarters in Durham.It’s now planning to add another 40 new positions in the coming months.


Framing company opens Lexington, Ky., production plant

Framebridge, a custom framing company, will open a new manufacturing facility in Lexington. The company plans an initial hire of 120 jobs by the end of the year.


Plastics manufacturer expands Little Rock operations

Revolution, a producer of sustainable commercial polyethylene products, plans a $20 million, 36,000-square-foot expansion at its 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Little Rock, Ark. The expansion is expected to create more than 60 jobs within the next two years.


Sparton Corporation relocates HQ to De Leon Springs, Fla.

Sparton Corp., a manufacturer of anti-submarine detection devices for the U.S. Navy and other military customers, is making Volusia County its new home base. The company has moved its headquarters from its longtime location in Illinois to DeLeon Springs, where its sonobouy manufacturing plant already employs several hundred workers.


Bearings maker to invest $62 million in two North American facilities

Sweden-based SKF, one of the world’s largest producers of bearings, announced it is investing nearly $62 million between two North American facilities. The company is investing $39.2 million to expand and automate manufacturing processes at its factory in Sumter, S.C. Another $22.4 million will go to an unnamed existing production site in Mexico. 


Truck parts maker expands to U.S., investing $13.3 million in Alabama factory

A producer of pickup truck bed parts and accessories plans to enter the U.S. market with a new factory in Alabama. Mountain Top Industries will invest $13.3 million in its new facility in Montgomery. The project is expected to create 90 new jobs.


Fluid control manufacturer announces $5 million Louisiana plant

A California manufacturer of aerospace and defense components will establish a new factory for its fluid control affiliate in Louisiana. Westfield Hydraulics plans to move its existing operations from its headquarters near Los Angeles to the new facility in Lafayette, La. The company will invest more than $5 million and create 67 new jobs.


Vinyl manufacturer to add 55 new jobs in Tennessee

An Alabama manufacturer of vinyl building materials plans to add dozens of jobs at its facility in Tennessee. Homeland Vinyl will invest $2.2 million at its plant in Surgoinsville, near Kingsport, Tenn. The project is expected to create 55 new jobs.


Oldcastle Architectural Products selects South Carolina for manufacturing plant

Oldcastle APG plans to establish operations in Ridgeway, S.C., to produce part of the company’s line of concrete, stone and concrete pavers. The $25 million investment is expected to create 100 new jobs in Fairfield County.


North American Millwright Services expands in West Virginia

North American Millwright Services has expanded its operations with a new facility in Inwood, W.Va. The company is a provider of machinery installation, rigging, welding, process piping, plant relocation, industrial maintenance, and equipment warehousing. The facility will hire 20.


Manufacturer expands operations in Chesapeake, Va.

Plasser American Corporation, a manufacturer of railway construction and maintenance equipment, will invest $52.6 million to expand in Chesapeake, creating 98 new jobs.


PPE maker expands in Virginia Beach, Va.

Premium-PPE, a manufacturer of AmeriShield branded masks and personal protective equipment, will invest $5.3 million to expand its operation in the City of Virginia Beach, creating 180 new jobs.


Material Bank plans Olive Branch, Miss., distribution hub

Material Bank, a material marketplace in the architecture, design and construction industry, will invest $14.5 million to locate a distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss. The company plans to hire 300 associates.


Gatorade plant expanding in Osceola County, Fla.

PepsiCo’s subsidiary, SVC Manufacturing, which produces Gatorade, will invest $30 million to expand and upgrade its production plant in Osceola County. The expansion will also mean adding 40 jobs.


Manufacturer expands Brownsville, Tenn., plant

An international custom compounder of advanced polymer materials, Teknor Apex, will invest $7.4 million to expand its plant operations in Brownsville, Tenn. The project is expected to create 20 jobs in Haywood County. For the U.S. market, Teknor Apex manufactures chemicals such as plasticizers and consumer products including garden hose.


Georgia-Pacific building $285 million plant in Texas

Georgia-Pacific, the Atlanta-based company that owns consumer brands such as Angel Soft, Brawny and Dixie, announced that it will build a new $285 million gypsum wallboard plant adjacent to its existing factory near Sweetwater, Texas. The new plant is expected to employ about 120 full-time employees.


Gunmaker backs out of $22.5 million Tennessee project, will stay in Florida

A manufacturer of handguns and accessories will scrap plans to shift its headquarters to Tennessee and will expand in Florida instead. SCCY Firearms announced in 2017 it would move from its original home in Daytona Beach, Fla., to a new campus in Maryville, Tenn. The project was expected to cost $22.5 million and create 350 new jobs in East Tennessee. But SCCY Firearms owner and CEO Joe Roebuck now says that he has changed his mind and will remain on the Florida Coast.


Germ-X expanding in Smyrna, Tenn., and St. Louis, Mo.

Hand sanitizer manufacturer Vi-Jon will spend $70 million to expand plants in St. Louis and Smyrna, and create about 400 jobs (200 at each location). Vi-Jon makes “Germ-X” brand products.


Reliance Worldwide Corporation expands Cullman, Ala., operations

Reliance Worldwide Corporation, a provider of water control systems and plumbing solutions, will expand its operations and build a 300,000-square-foot distribution hub in Cullman. The project is expected to add 130 jobs, for a total of 500 at the facility.


TJX opens distribution center in El Paso, Texas

TJX, parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, plans to invest $150 million to build a distribution center in El Paso. The project is expected to create approximately 1,000 full-time jobs in the region.


Carvana hiring 500 in West Memphis, Ark.

Carvana in West Memphis is aiming to hire about 500 positions for its inspection center there. All the positions are entry-level inventory associates, automotive technicians, and auto body and paint technicians for its newest vehicle inspection center in West Memphis.


Kawasaki Motors expands in Maryville, Mo.

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing plans to add an additional line to its current assembly department and start up two more lines on a second shift at its facility in Maryville. The project is expected to create 110 jobs.


SynTech Design expands in Lancaster County, S.C.

SynTech Design, a subsidiary of Synergy Steel that specializes in creating 3D models of buildings, plans to establish operations in Indian Land, S.C. The company will invest $450,000 and plans to create 20 jobs. The new SynTech office will be close to Synergy Steel’s manufacturing facility in Lancaster.


Renewable Energy Group plans major Geismar, La., plant expansion

Renewable Energy Group (REG), a biodiesel operator based in Ames, Iowa, will invest nearly $1 billion for a major expansion of its plant at Geismar, nearly doubling the workforce. REG, the largest biodiesel producer in the U.S., has owned the refinery at Geismar, in the heart of Louisiana’s “chemical corridor”, since 2014 and had been talking about a possible smaller-scale expansion for several years.


Mount-It! locates hub in Prince George County, Va.

Mount-It!, a distributor of more than 500 types of mounting solutions (TV mounts, for example), will invest $7.45 million to establish its first East Coast warehouse and distribution facility in Prince George County. The project will create 85 new jobs.


Adventure gear company chooses Old Fort, N.C.

Triple Aught Design, a U.S.-based adventure gear company, will invest $1 million to build a cutting-edge apparel and gear production facility in Old Fort. The company plans to create 70 jobs in McDowell County.


Pamlico Air creating 39 jobs in Beaufort County, N.C.

Pamlico Air, an air filtration manufacturing company with its corporate headquarters in downtown Washington, N.C., will expand its manufacturing operations locally, investing $1.4 million and adding 39 new positions.


Hose manufacturer invests $25 million in North Carolina HQ

A manufacturer of hoses and other thermoplastic fluid transfer systems will establish a new U.S. headquarters and its first U.S. manufacturing facility in North Carolina.

The U.S. subsidiary of Italy’s FITT Group plans to invest $25.6 million to build a 120,000-square-foot facility in Mooresville, N.C., outside Charlotte. The project is expected to create 144 new jobs.


Temperpack expands Henrico, Va., plant

Henrico-based TemperPack, a sustainable packaging company, has announced plans to expand its production plant through a $21 million investment. The company makes packaging for perishable goods and temperature-sensitive medications.

Rockingham County, N.C., getting 300 new jobs

A new Nestlé Purina PetCare facility will bring more than 300 new jobs to Rockingham County at the old MillerCoors brewing facility, which closed in 2016, resulting in around 500 lost jobs. Purina plans to make a $450 million investment to produce dry dog and cat food there.


Merchants Distributors will create 111 jobs in Hickory, N.C.

Merchants Distributors, a wholesale grocery distributor founded in Hickory in 1931, will invest $120 million to expand its operations, creating 111 jobs in Caldwell County.


Agile Cold Storage locating hubs in North Georgia

Agile Cold Storage will invest over $60 million in the construction of two new facilities in North Georgia to support the state’s poultry industry. The company’s new semi-automated freezer buildings will be located in Bartow and Hall counties and create approximately 170 jobs between the Cartersville and Gainesville facilities.


Power generator Vistra to spend $850 million in Texas

Irving-based power generator Vistra plans to break ground on six solar projects and a battery energy storage facility in Texas with an $850 million investment. Vistra also said that it will close seven coal plants in Illinois and Ohio in its push to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. The plants will close by 2027, eventually displacing 700 jobs.


Aphena Pharma spending $21 million in Tennessee

Just over a year after approving a $7 million initiative for expansion of its manufacturing space and custom blending suites, Aphena Pharma announced it has started a $21 million expansion of its Cookeville, Tenn., headquarters.


MDI’s $120 million expansion largest in Hickory, N.C., history

Hickory, N.C.-based Merchants Distributors (MDI) is planning to expand its facilities in Caldwell County — a project that will be the biggest economic development investment in Hickory’s history. The expansion of the wholesale grocery distributor’s operations will mean a $120 million investment and 111 new jobs.


Storage building maker bringing 55 jobs to Blackville, S.C.

Pine View Buildings, an outdoor storage building manufacturer, announced plans to establish operations in Barnwell County. The $1.4 million investment will create 55 new jobs.


Kroger Mid-Atlantic relocates HQ to Richmond, Va.

Kroger Mid-Atlantic will relocate its division office from Roanoke to Richmond, Va. The move will create more than 70 jobs, a combination of relocations and new hires.


Tesla buys more land in Austin,Texas, next to its new assembly plant

Tesla is buying more land in Austin near the site of the $1.1 billion Gigafactory it’s building near the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The 2,000-acre property will be used for the plant's future expansion or possibly for a battery factory.


It will take years before the office market recovers

In the fall quarter, a report by Cushman & Wakefield showed it will take years for the office market to recover in the U.S. The report predicted that office occupancies will fall by 145 million square feet nationwide in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic. The economy so far has lost a net of 1.8 million office jobs. Data from Brivo, a company that provides access-control systems for offices, showed that in September, entries to office were down over 50 percent. That means about half of all offices in the country are empty.


Pandemic hammering oil industry

According to Accenture, U.S. fossil fuel companies eliminated well over 100,000 jobs -- about 22 percent of the sector's workforce -- between March and September of this year. The pandemic has created a slump in fuel demand worldwide. Some of the jobs lost in the U.S. oil patch paid almost $200,000 a year, but most were in the $120,000 range.


Hotel owners: Sixty-seven percent of properties in danger of foreclosure

In the fall, the American Hotel & Lodging Association reported in a poll of 1,000 hotel owners that 67 percent believe that their businesses can only last six more months without financial relief from the federal government. The same number of those polled said that roughly half of their hotel staff has been laid off. And without additional financial federal help, 74 percent reported they will have to lay off more employees or close down.


Manufacturing workers fell during Trump presidency

Jobs and outsourcing fell during the Trump presidency. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the number of manufacturing jobs fell sharply and outsourcing to other countries increased. Trump's tariffs had no effect on outsourcing, but the pandemic may indeed have an effect on that economic factor. More than 250,000 jobs were outsourced overseas from 2016 to 2018. Manufacturers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that in the fall, a net job total of about 59,000 jobs were outsourced to China by U.S. companies since the coronavirus appeared in February of 2020.


Construction to begin on Texas high-speed train

A high-speed train between Dallas and Houston is close to breaking ground on its construction after two decisions for a “go” by federal officials. Webuild Group and its U.S. subsidiary and joint venture partner Lane Construction are one step closer to construction.


GE to end building coal-fired power plants

General Electric, one of the world's largest builders of coal-fired power plants, is getting out of the coal game, which would be a huge blow to miners of the fossil fuel. GE will continue servicing coal-fired power plants, but will shift to renewable and natural gas energy production.


Feds believe economy will improve in 2021

In October policy meetings, Federal Reserve officials stated that the economy will improve in 2021, and by the end of the year the unemployment rate will be around 5.5 percent. That projection means that the Fed is more optimistic about the economy in 2021 than they were this summer. By 2023, the Fed believes the unemployment rate will be at 4 percent, meaning back to pre-coronavirus levels. Officials also said that the economy remains uncertain based on the virus.


Census: Record low poverty rate before virus recession

According to the Census Bureau, there was a record low of Americans living in poverty prior to the pandemic recession. Census reported that families and individuals in poverty dropped to 10.5 percent at the end of 2019. Incomes climbed the entire year of 2019, according to the Census.

The final score for Trump's trade wars

We have written many times that tariffs do one thing: less is sold and what is sold costs more. The Economic Policy Institute reported in the fall quarter that President Trump's tariffs cost America manufacturing jobs and contributed to plant closures. The Institute's research showed that nearly 1,800 U.S. factories closed between 2016 and 2018.


Airbus celebrates five years in Mobile, Ala.

European aircraft maker Airbus celebrated five years of full assembly of jetliners in Mobile, Ala., in October. The first A320 aircraft was delivered to JetBlue Airlines and the plane maker has delivered 186 since. The company recently finished a second line that builds A220 jets and delivery of the first version of that plane was made in October.


The economy in the U.S. will lose $15 trillion due to school closures

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in a report published in the fall quarter, claims that COVID-19 will cost the U.S. $1.53 trillion as a result of closed schools. The report also showed that the global economy will also be affected, cutting growth by 1.5 percent.

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