December 2020

Surveyed CFOs see strong 2021 economy

Deloitte surveyed CFOs in December about the economy in 2021. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed said they predict the COVID-19 vaccine will help in a strong recovery beginning in the middle of 2021. Two-thirds said they expect strong consumer spending in 2021 and 63 percent believed business spending will spike.


Economists believe in big rebound for auto industry

According to economists with the University of Michigan, production and sales of new vehicles in the U.S. will rebound strongly in 2021 and 2022. They expect sales to climb to 16.3 million vehicles in 2021, up from 14.5 million projected in 2020.


Elon Musk moves to Texas

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla has moved to Texas. Both SpaceX and Tesla maintain major operations in California, but Tesla is building a Cybertruck plant near the Austin, Texas airport that represents a $1.2 billion investment and will house 5,000 workers.


Facebook expands Fort Worth data center

Facebook is expanding its data center in Fort Worth at the Alliance Texas campus. The expansion will bring the data center to 2.6 million square feet.


Mazda Toyota hiring again at new plant in Huntsville, Ala.

Mazda Toyota is still finishing its plant in Huntsville and in December it hired hundreds of more workers for the facility. The hiring, according to the company, will continue through 2022. The plant is expected to be operational in mid-2021.


Big deal in Georgia

St. Louis-based Nestlé Purina PetCare, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestlé announced in December it will invest $550 million in its plant in Hartwell, Ga. The pet food manufacturing facility will house 130 more workers.


Awesome project in Greenville, N.C.

Thermo Fisher is investing $500 million in its bioscience facility in Greenville, N.C. The company will add 500 jobs to its current workforce of 1,500. The Massachusetts-based company manufactures sterile injectables, tablets and capsules at the facility. It also stores and does testing of drugs in Greenville.


Expansion in Columbia, S.C.

Sensor Electronic Technology, a supplier of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs), is investing in its plant in Columbia, S.C. The deal will create 40 new jobs.


Software designer to expand in North Carolina

Grover Gaming, a gaming software firm, it expanding in Greenville, N.C. The $12 million deal will create 200 new jobs.


Healthcare solutions firm establishes new facility in North Carolina

Jabil Healthcare, a provider of healthcare solutions, is investing in a new facility in Henderson County, N.C. The $38 million deal will create 150 jobs.


Printer adding jobs in rural Tennessee

AmeriColor, a printer of catalogs and other print materials, is investing over $5 million to expand its operations in Hartsville, Tenn. The project will create 57 new jobs.


Healthcare diagnostics firm expanding in South Carolina

Vikor Scientific, a molecular diagnostics firm, is expanding its operations in Charleston County, S.C. The company provides protections against infectious diseases, including COVID-19. The deal will create 148 jobs.


Italian pet food maker establishes its first U.S. plant in North Carolina

Farmina, an Italian company that makes gourmet pet food, is establishing its first U.S. plant in Reidsville, N.C. The $28 million deal will create 129 jobs.


New business applications set record

A study by LendingTree that came out in the fall quarter showed that the number of new business applications in the U.S. surpassed the total from 2019 by mid-October. New business applications by mid-October were over 3.4 million.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise relocating world headquarters in Texas

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is relocating its global headquarters from San Jose, Calif. to Spring, Texas in the Houston MSA. The company already has over 2,600 employees in the Houston area.


Amazon to open new facility in Oklahoma

Amazon is at it again. It is opening a 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Oklahoma City. The facility will house 500 workers.


Gutter guard manufacturer to locate new plant near Nashville

Gutterglove is investing over $5 million to open a new plant in La Vergne, Tenn. The deal will create 85 jobs.


Linen manufacturer to open PPE plant in Alabama

HomTex, a linens manufacturer based in Cullman, Ala., announced in the fall it will locate a new plant to make personal proective equipment in Selma, Ala. The plant, when open, will have the capacity of produce nearly 300 million masks per year. The deal will create 300 jobs.


Genuine Parts to open distribution center in Tennessee

Genuine Parts Company will open a new auto parts distribution center in Lebanon, Tenn. The project will create 250 jobs.


Amazon hiring in Texas

Amazon started hiring workers at its new fulfillment center in Missouri City, Texas. The 1-million-square-foot center will house 500 workers.


Auto parts manufacturer to expand in Virginia

IAC Group is expanding its automotive parts facility in Strasburg, Va. The $4.6 million deal will create 47 jobs.


Boston Consulting Group: Ford's Kentucky plants contribute billions

According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant and its Kentucky Truck Plant contribute billions to Kentucky's economy. BCG estimates that the two Ford plants contribute $11.8 billion to Kentucky's Gross Domestic Product. The two plants employ about 13,000 and direct and indirect jobs supported by the plants total 120,000.


Walmart distribution center in South Carolina to house 1,000 workers

Walmart is opening a new distribution center in Dorchester County, S.C. The direct import distribution center is located near the Port of Charleston. The deal will create 1,000 jobs.


Life sciences manufacturer to locate plant in Research Triangle Park

KBI Biopharma, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, is locating a new $150 million facility in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. The deal will create 200 jobs.


Big automotive deal in Georgia

Hyundai Transys, a maker of automotive transmissions, is building a new $240 million plant near Kia's massive assembly facility in West Point, Ga. The plant will produce eight-speed transmissions. The project calls for 678 jobs.


Mask supplier spending big in South Carolina

Brazil-based Fitesa, a manufacturer of nonwoven fabric, will invest $100 million in its plant in Simpsonville, S.C. The company will make surgical masks and respirator filters. The project will create 40 full-time jobs.


Fourteen-millionth vehicle assembled at Tennessee Nissan plant

A red Nissan Rogue rolled off the assembly line at the Japanese automaker's plant in Smyrna, Tenn. in December. The vehicle was the 14 millionth vehicle made at the facility. The plant, which began assembling vehicles in 1983, houses about 7,000 workers.


Air Force narrows site list for Space Command to six states

The Air Force announced six states where the new Space Command will be located. In a statement, the Air Force said the command will be at one of these locations: Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Port San Antonio, Texas, and Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama,


Significant expansion in South Carolina

Techtronic Industries, a maker of tools, is investing $100 million and adding 1 million square feet in an expansion in Anderson County, S.C. The deal will create 525 jobs.


Boston Consulting Group adding jobs in Atlanta

The Boston Consulting Group is doubling its staff county at its offices in Atlanta. The consulting firm is investing $18 million and adding 331 jobs.


Kimberly-Clark spends millions on Mississippi plant

Kimberly-Clark is investing $140 million in its plant in Corinth, Miss. The plant produces Huggies, Kleenex, Cottonelle and Depend brands. The investment at the plant, which houses more than 300 workers, will increase capacity.


Wet wipes manufacturer expands in Arkansas

Nice-Pak, a maker of pre-moistened wipes, is expanding its operations in Jonesboro, Ark. The company will add 300 jobs.


Energy technology company to create 1,000 jobs in West Virginia

U.K.-based DST Innovations announced it will locate a plant in Morgantown, W.Va. to produce energy storage cells. The deal will create 1,000 new jobs.


Chick-Fil-A to build distribution center in North Carolina

Chick-Fil-A will build a distribution center in Alamance County, N.C. The $52 million project will create 160 new jobs.


Italian manufacturer to open first U.S. plant

Gruppo Fanti, a metal packaging manufacturer, is bringing a plant to Weirton, W.Va. The $30 million deal will create 40 jobs.


Spain-based Gestamp expands in Tennessee

Auto parts supplier Gestamp is investing over $94 million in its facilities in Chattanooga. The expansion is due to new electric vehicle production. The deal will create 260 new jobs.


Cruise industry to lose $32 billion in 2020

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise industry lost an estimated $32 billion in 2020. The suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. has seen the loss of over 250,000 jobs.


Florida passes $15 minimum wage

Florida voters in the fall quarter approved a ballot measure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Florida is the first state in the South to raise its minimum wage to $15.


Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth No. 1 and 2 in Tech Town Index

Dallas-Fort Worth jumped six other markets in CompTIA’s annual Tech Town Index ranking the strongest job center for technology jobs in the U.S. Austin ranked first. The other in the top 10 were Raleigh (3); San Jose; Charlotte; Seattle; San Francisco; Atlanta; Huntsville and Denver.


Hyundai adds model to Montgomery assembly plant

Korean automaker Hyundai has added a fifth vehicle to its assembly plant in Montgomery, Ala. The company is adding its Tuscon model compact SUV to its Alabama line.


New job generation in Austin at record highs

Even during a pandemic, the capital city of Austin has seen record-breaking job generation. The Austin Chamber of Commerce reported that 35 new locating companies have announced nearly 10,000 new jobs from January through October. That beats calendar year 2018 when 46 companies announced 9,424 jobs.

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