December 2021

No end in sight for lack of labor

There is no data available about the fact that our labor keeps decreasing, and there may not be for a decade or more. In the last three years, About 10,000 people a day on average retired in the U.S. Compare that to a little over 2,000 joining the workforce by turning working age (16), and you can easily see where the labor issues are. People are aging out of the workforce faster than the rate of people entering it.


But the U.S. should not feel like the Lone Ranger. People are aging out of the workplace virtually around the world. In fact, for most countries -- especially the U.S. -- "job creation" is no longer the most important factor for an economy. Particularly in the South, the region that has seen the toughest time since the Great Depression, job creation has been paramount. But that is no longer the case. Some years, the South creates as many new jobs as the other three regions combined.


We are now entering an era when our politicians stumping for office should literally slow the promotion of job creation and instead figure out how they are going to fill those jobs. There are well over 10 million jobs available in this country as of October and only 8.4 million people looking for work.


Also affecting the labor market in the U.S. -- 15 percent of the population was retired in 2010. In 2020, that figure rose to 20 percent.


So, what to do? Millions of economists say, "not much." The U.S. can increase legal immigration, which could result in reversing the trend, but for how long? Also, increasing legal immigration under President Trump literally gave it a bad name. His last year office, legal immigration -- we are talking about working visas -- dropped by 85 percent from over 1 million to 200,000.


Then again, a more productive workforce with the aid of automation and AI could help, too.


Did one Northwest Florida man cost the region Disney World?

In a fall article published by the Northwest Florida Daily News, that question was asked in the headline. The man's name is Ed Ball, who was the CEO of St. Joe Paper Company, which to this day owns a lot of land in North Florida (nothing like the amount it owned in the 1960s.) Walt Disney, the story goes, wanted to develop nearly 30,000 acres of land near Panama City. Walt Disney paid Ball a visit and some said the St. Joe executive kept Mr. Disney waiting outside his office for hours. According to former St. Joe CEO Peter Rummel, at the end of the day, Ball’s secretary simply handed Disney a note that read, “We don’t deal with carnival people.”


Retirees are ‘unretiring’ — and that’s good for the labor market

The “unretirement” rate, which measures those who switch from retirement to employment, has been accelerating, according to an analysis by Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed. At a time when jobs cannot be filled by employers, people reentering the job market is positive news. Early retirements increased during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. It may be just a matter of time before data shows that these workers are rejoining the workforce. Early retirements among older Americans were among the many labor distortions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to economists, as health risks and other factors led many to leave their jobs. But there’s an open question: Are these retirements permanent, or will these workers rejoin the labor force? U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data has shown that the October 2021 unretirement rate was 2.6 percent.


VEDP CEO Stephen Moret named president and CEO of Strada Education Network

Effective January 2022, Stephen Moret has been named president and CEO of Strada Education Network, a nonprofit social impact organization dedicated to improving lives by forging pathways between education and employment. For five years, Moret has led economic development at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Prior to that Moret was Secretary of Commerce at Louisiana Economic Development.


JPMorgan: Full global economic recovery in 2022

JPMorgan Chase is predicting 2022 will be the first year in nearly three years that will see a return to normalcy regarding the worldwide economy. The return to normalcy, according to the company, "is warranted by achieving broad population immunity and with the help of human ingenuity, such as new therapeutics expected to be broadly available in 2022.” The U.S.'s largest bank also predicted that there will be a strong recovery in 2022 based on robust spending by consumers and businesses.


Dallas-Fort Worth leads all markets in pay gains

In some cases, we have seen wages increase more than they have in decades, and Dallas-Fort Worth leads all markets in that department by a wide margin. The North Texas market also leads in job growth and in-migration among the nation's largest metros. Average weekly earning in North Texas rose 8.3 percent from October 2020 to October 2021, and 17 percent since October 2019, far higher than the state as a whole and the nation, and more than double the two-year gains in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.


More money sent to states from BP oil spill fund

In the fall, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced that Alabama, Florida and Mississippi are receiving more than $103 million in BP oil spill settlement money for new and continued coastal projects. The money will be used to protect and restore species and habitats. The foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund brings its total allocations across the five Gulf states to $1.6 billion.


South Carolina Ports again sets container record

For the ninth consecutive month, South Carolina Ports set its monthly record for containers handled in November. The increase is attributable to a rise in retail imports and cargo volumes at the Port of Charleston.


Demand for workers hits historic high in fall 2021

Businesses posted 11 million job openings in October, the Labor Department reported in the fall quarter. That is the highest number of job openings ever.


Specific type of coal seeing more mining permits

Southwest Virginia is one place in the U.S. where miners can dig for metallurgical or coking coal. The coal is not used by power plants, but is the type of coal essential for melting iron ore to make steel. There have been 17 applications for new mining permits or licenses to sell coal in Southwest Virginia. More than half of the metallurgical coal produced there is being exported overseas. The metallurgical coal is used in steel making, and as the global economy recovers from the pandemic, more steel is being produced.


A city is created in West Tennessee

Ford announced its plans in September to create Blue Oval City at the West Memphis I-40 megasite in Stanton, Tenn. The new "city" includes an investment of nearly $6 billion to make electric vehicles, including a next-generation electric Ford F-Series model. The city will also include, counting suppliers, up to 6,000 new jobs. Over $800 million has been earmarked in incentives for Ford in the deal. Earlier in 2021, Ford announced it had increased its planned EV investment to $30 billion by 2025.


Big battery plant in middle Tennessee on schedule

The construction of the Ultium Cells LLC battery plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., is on schedule as of the fall quarter, company officials announced. The 2.8 million-square-foot facility is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution. GM operates a large assembly plant in Spring Hill. One of the models that will use the batteries is a new one called the Cadillac Lyriq luxury crossover, Cadillac’s very first all-electric vehicle. The project will create 1,300 new jobs.


Renewable energy just about quadrupled over the last 10 years

The Environment America Research and Policy Center announced in the fall that energy sources from solar and wind nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2020 in the U.S. The report found that at the current growth rate, wind, solar and geothermal will meet current electricity demand levels by 2035.


U.S. automakers beg Biden administration to waive tariffs on components from China

All domestic and foreign automotive OEMs and suppliers have pleaded with the Biden administration to lift tariffs on a wide range of components from China, especially those for electric-car batteries. Many of the components are not made anywhere but in China. One of those products is artificial or natural graphite. Big suppliers with plants in the South, such as Magna and SK Innovation, are asking for respite from tariffs on all the myriad switches, sensors, motors and other parts that go into a vehicle.


Furniture makers in the South are thriving

We first wrote about this in 2010 when the word "reshoring" was invented. It wasn't too long ago -- about 40 years -- that the South saw its base industries (furniture, textiles and apparel) collapsing. But since the word "reshoring" was invented (a result of rising wages and operating costs in Asia), those industry sectors have grown steadily in the American South. But a receding workforce and difficulties importing parts from overseas are a problem. For now, though, companies in Mississippi and North Carolina — two of America's largest furniture manufacturing states — are seeing huge upswings thanks to strong demand and limited supply.


Entergy replacing aging natural gas plants in Mississippi

Louisiana-based Entergy is replacing some aging natural gas plants in the state of Mississippi with 1GW of renewable energy over the next five years. The renewable power would, as a percentage of Entergy, represent 17 percent of the total power generation. Currently it sits at 1 percent.


With feds help, Virginia says achievement of universal broadband will be completed by 2024

Before the pandemic, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said universal broadband would be achieved in his state by 2028. But with federal COVID-19 relief funds, he moved the goal to 2024.


Norfolk Southern opens new Atlanta HQ

Gov. Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Bottoms officially cut the ribbon on Norfolk Southern's new headquarters in Midtown Atlanta. The railroad expects to house 800 workers at the new facility.


Renewable energy quadrupled in the U.S. in 10 years

According to the non-profit Environment America Research and Policy Center, the proportion of electricity the United States gets from solar and wind quadrupled between 2010 and 2020. At that rate, the analysis found that wind, solar and geothermal would meet current electricity demand levels by 2035.


Automotive manufacturing jobs lead job surge

Manufacturing job growth leaped in October as motor vehicles and parts manufacturers hired almost as many people as all other manufacturing sectors combined. In October, manufacturing added 60,000 jobs of the 531,000 jobs overall as the unemployment rate edged down to 4.6 percent. Automotive added 27,700 jobs as the electric vehicle market is just now really getting its legs under it.


In the hairball of supply chain networks, Port of Virginia stands out

The Virginia Port Authority's investments at Norfolk International Terminal and Virginia International Gateway paid off this year. The port in Hampton Roads avoided congestion issues that have plagued other ports. The port experienced best-in-class turn times in this fiscal year.


Virginia wind farm to cost $2 billion more

Dominion Energy's offshore wind farm on the coast of Virginia will cost about $2 billion more than expected, the Richmond-based utility reported in the fall quarter. Instead of the $7.8 billion initial cost, the 2.6-gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project will cost approximately $9.8 billion.


Hyundai expects electric vehicle production to start next year

Korean automaker Hyundai will begin EV production on the Genesis GV70 EV at its plant in Montgomery, Ala., beginning in 2022. The assembly of electric vehicles in Alabama will be the first for Korean automakers. The company is also counting on proposed subsidies for electric vehicles produced on U.S. soil.


New Orleans to Baton Rouge industrial corridor has several locations that are hotspots for cancer risks

According to ProPublica, the 85-mile chemical corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, an 85-mile-long region that environmental advocates have long called Cancer Alley, contains several hotspots where cancer risks are far above levels deemed acceptable by the U.S. The corridor is the largest hotspot for cancer-causing air in the country, followed by two areas in Texas.


Whoa! Exxon Mobil to help turn 50-mile-long Houston Ship Channel into carbon capture and storage facility

Oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil suggested this fall it could turn one of the largest climate-harming emissions areas in the world into a “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) area. The Houston Ship Channel is home to petrochemical plants, refineries, power companies and other heavy industries. Exxon is calling on industry and government to capture carbon dioxide at industrial plants in the channel, carry it away in pipelines and inject it deep under the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.


Kentucky tops record year in economic growth

For the first time ever, Kentucky has topped the $10 billion mark in economic development growth in a calendar year. As of mid-November, private-sector and expanded projects exceeded $10 billion for the first time. Through the first 10 months of 2021, economic momentum in Kentucky exceeded any other full-year totals for investment growth. Year-to-date, more than 110 private-sector, new-location and expansion announcements include nearly $10.3 billion in total planned investment that will create more than 15,235 full-time jobs over the coming years.


Near-shoring, on-shoring, move-it-where-you-sell-it is all the rage

As a result of the current difficulties in distribution, more and more CEOs are rewriting the supply chain network by relocating plants closer to suppliers and buyers. Input shortages and supply line bottlenecks are disrupting the availability and quality of just about everything.


For decades, Southern politicians were the most anti-union bunch. Is that changing?

This fall, U.S. workers have been striking by the tens of thousands. In fact, it has been decades since U.S. workers walked off their jobs in these numbers. Will this mean that slow-growing wages seen in the South, along with the strikes, are changing the Southern politico's view of unions?


Ford, a union company, settles in West Tennessee

In the fall quarter, Ford announced it will assemble electric vehicles and batteries at a massive site just east of Memphis. The nearly 6,000-job, nearly $6 billion deal with SK Innovation, along with a companion facility in Hardin County in Central Kentucky, will blaze a new trail when it comes to the automotive industry morphing into electric innovation. It remains to be seen if the facilities will become unionized.


Developed nations to use tariffs to tackle climate change?

Governments in developed nations, including the U.S. and those in Europe, are discussing ways to use tariffs on trade to cut carbon emissions. Policy makers are looking at tariffs on steel, cement and chemicals. In November, the Biden administration announced tariffs with the European Union to jointly curb imports of steel and other products that generate high levels of carbon emissions. An estimated one-quarter of global greenhouse gases are produced by goods that cross borders, according to a 2018 report by economic and environmental consulting firms KGM & Associates Pty. Ltd. and Global Efficiency Intelligence LLC.


Energy shortage has China binging off of LNG from the South

At the height of the trade war in 2019, China essentially ended the import of U.S. liquefied natural gas. While it had every right to resist the then-U.S. tariffs, China cannot live on its own energy production. But without the United States' help -- especially with much needed energy sources such as U.S.-mined and modified liquefied natural gas – the environment of China (the world's largest user of dirty fuels, such as coal) will be a disaster. China's energy shortage will not be solved any time soon; therefore the U.S. will remain its largest energy trading partner for now mostly through LNG exports from Louisiana and Texas.


Speaking of LNG. . .

Southwest Louisiana, in and around the Lake Charles region, has changed and changed forever. Over the last decade, Southwest Louisiana has led the nation almost every year in net job growth. Billions have been spent on facilities that export LNG throughout the world. The pipelines in and around the Houston and New Orleans area have been there for decades because that is where most refineries were built to support World War II. Everything has changed in Southwest Louisiana as LNG exports from that region continue to be the main and most important bridge fuel that burns far cleaner than coal for developed countries in the world.


Amid the computer chip shortage crisis, two big deals are announced in Texas.

The computer chip shortage continues as outdated chips -- some as old as 10 years -- are having to help supply the market. Two big deals announced in Texas this fall will eventually come to the economy's rescue. Texas Instruments announced it plans to invest up to $30 billion to build as many as four new semiconductor fabrication plants in Sherman, Texas. TI said it will begin construction in 2022 on the first two plants producing its 300-millimeter wafers used in everything from cars and trucks to industrial machinery. The plants could house up to 3,000 workers when complete. The other big semiconductor facility is by South Korea chip manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. It will build a second chip facility in the Austin area in Taylor, Texas.


Is an Amazon-backed electric truck set for the Atlanta area?

While Fort Worth is a finalist for a $5 billion electric truck and SUV factory, it’s looking as if a site east of Atlanta may have the inside track on the big deal. The factory would include a new battery and vehicle assembly plant.


Is Toyota eyeing megasite in North Carolina for electric battery plant?

Rumors have it that Japanese automaker Toyota is eyeing the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite for a large electric battery plant to ramp up electric vehicle manufacturing in the U.S. The site is a 1,825-acre site rezoned for heavy industry located near the center of the state. No formal agreement has been reached.


Mazda to assemble midsize crossover SUV at new Alabama plant

In the fall quarter, Mazda unveiled the first vehicle it will assemble at the new plant it shares with Toyota. The new model will be called the CX-50 and will join Toyota's Corolla Cross, a smaller SUV that will also be built at the new plant. The $2.3 billion, 4,000-employee plant will be in full production sometime in 2022.


Honda marks 20 years of production at its Alabama plant

In November, Honda marked 20 years of production at its assembly plant in Lincoln, Ala. The plant has expanded numerous times with several different models, mostly light trucks. The Japanese automaker also makes V-6 engines at the $2 billion facility that houses about 4,500 workers.


Rural Alabama has seen growth of 3,000 jobs in 2020 and 2021

Rural Alabama's counties of less than 50,000 residents have seen a spike in job creation over the last 18 months. According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, in 2020 and the first six months of 2021, 40 projects that created over 3,000 new jobs landed in "targeted" counties. The combined investments will generate at least $1.5 billion in new capital investment.


Bekaert Corporation expanding Arkansas facility

Bekaert, a company that specializes in steel wire headquartered in Belgium, recently broke ground on the new 50,000-square-foot addition to its facility in Van Buren, Ark. The $8.4 million project will create 35 new jobs and help increase internet access to rural areas.


MasterBrand adding 464 new jobs in Kinston, N.C.

MasterBrand Cabinets will add hundreds of new jobs to its existing plant. The cabinet maker currently employs 800 people and will add 464 more workers by adding an additional shift.


Samsung chooses Taylor, Texas, for $17 billion chip-making factory

Samsung Electronics plans to build a $17 billion chip-making plant in Taylor, Texas, roughly 30 miles from its existing giant manufacturing hub in Austin. It’s a mega investment by the South Korean tech giant, as the Biden administration pushes for an expansion of U.S. semiconductor production.


Toyota West Virginia expands assembly plant in Buffalo, W.Va.

Toyota West Virginia plans to invest $240 million to expand its assembly plant and add a dedicated production line of hybrid transaxles in Buffalo. The new investment will allow workers there to diversify their skillset and play a larger role in Toyota’s future producing electric vehicles in North America.


Mondelez to spend $123 million on Virginia expansion

Earlier this year, Mondelez announced plans to close bakery plants in Atlanta and Fair Lawn, N.J., citing aging infrastructure and location challenges. Recently, the company announced it will expand its Richmond Biscuit Bakery in Henrico County, where it manufactures Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy! cookies, Nilla wafers, Wheat Thins and Premium crackers. The company plans to create a high-speed, modern Oreo production line.


Nashville to get a $20 million delivery center

Global IT consulting company Capgemini will invest $20.1 million in Tennessee to build a new delivery center in Nashville. The investment is expected to create 500 jobs, with the possibility of growth leading to another 500 jobs.


Shaw Industries to expand in Aiken County, S.C.

Shaw, a global flooring provider, has announced plans to expand its operations in Aiken County. The $400 million investment will create more than 300 new jobs at the manufacturing facility, which creates fiber used to manufacture residential carpet. This location currently employs more than 600 associates.


Siemens Gamesa brings 310 jobs to Virginia

A global wind energy company will build turbine blades for the U.S.’s largest renewable energy project at a new factory in Virginia. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will lease more than 80 acres at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal near Norfolk to house its $200 million facility. The project is expected to create 310 new jobs. Siemens Gamesa is partnering with Virginia-based utility Dominion Energy on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project — a wind farm that will be located 27 miles off the state’s coast — but the new facility will also supply turbine blades to other offshore projects throughout North America.


Tyson investing $355 million in Kentucky bacon plant

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the U.S., plans to spend $355 million to construct a new bacon processing facility in Bowling Green, Ky., that is expected to create 450 jobs.


Auto products maker establishing East Coast hub near Charlotte, N.C.

Kentucky-based Holley Performance Products, a manufacturer of high-performance automotive products for cars and trucks, will invest $12.3 million to establish its East Coast hub in Mooresville.


Gregory Industries building manufacturing campus in Athens, Ala.

Gregory Industries is adding 100 jobs with a new manufacturing plant in Athens. The Ohio-based company, which makes highway safety and other roll form steel products, will build the 325,000-square-foot facility for $30 million on more than 80 acres in the Elm Industrial Park.


NOVONIX investing $160 million Chattanooga, Tenn.

Most of the materials used to make batteries for electric vehicles come from Asia, but NOVONIX is about to change that. The company will invest $160 million and hire 300 workers for its new manufacturing facility called “Riverside Recharged” in Chattanooga.


Wood finishes maker bringing $19 million investment to Greensboro, N.C.

RPM Wood Finishes, which makes furniture coatings, has received approval for economic incentives to bring a $19.7 million “center of excellence” to Greensboro and create 53 full-time jobs.


Walgreens announces $30 million fulfillment center in Liberty, Mo.

Walgreens has announced a $30 million, 65,000-square-foot facility that will serve as a micro-fulfillment center dedicated to retail prescription orders. The new facility will bring an estimated 200 jobs to the area.


Enclosure manufacturer expanding in Scott County, Va.

A $7.2 million investment by an enclosure producer will create 30 new jobs in Scott County. VFP’s expansion there will allow the manufacturer to “produce larger concrete shelters and meet future demand in the market.”


Agape Care Group selects Spartanburg County, S.C., for new HQ

Agape Care Group, a hospice, palliative and pediatric care provider, has announced plans to expand its presence and locate the company’s corporate headquarters in Spartanburg County. The $3 million investment will create 76 new jobs.


Honeywell plans $154 million expansion of Baton Rouge plant

Honeywell said it will expand its plant in Baton Rouge, La., to increase production of a chemical used in foam insulation, refrigerators and air conditioners that has low global-warming potential. The expansion will create 23 new jobs.


BMW Manufacturing expands South Carolina presence with logistics center

BMW Manufacturing is expanding its operations in Spartanburg County with the construction of a new $100 million logistics center. The facility, which will be located on 120 acres, will enhance BMW’s logistics operations supplying parts to the company’s 7-million-square-foot factory in Greer, SC.


The largest label company in the world investing in North Carolina

CCL Label will construct a new manufacturing facility in Fuquay-Varina, N.C. In a move that will bring $29 million in capital investment and 150 new full-time jobs to the community, the company will purchase a town-owned business park site consisting of 32.28 acres and construct a 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for production and office operations.


Meel Corp plans North Carolina packaging-cold storage hub

Frozen food company Meel Corp will invest $5.7 million to relocate a production facility to Oxford, N.C. The project is expected to create 24 jobs in Granville County. The expansion will include a state-of-the-art packing and cold storage facility.


Barzan Aeronautical plans South Carolina manufacturing plant

Qatari-owned Barzan Aeronautical, an aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems company, will invest $14.7 million to establish operations in Johns Island, S.C. The project is expected to create 34 jobs in Charleston County.


S.W.O.R.D. International plans manufacturing plant in Greenville, S.C.

S.W.O.R.D. International, a manufacturer of small arms and defense equipment, is relocating and establishing its manufacturing operations in Greenville. The $9.5 million project is expected to create 55 new jobs.


Online retailer becomes Texas city’s largest employer

Shop LC, a television shopping network and online retailer, will construct a 200,000-square-foot national headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas. The $50 million capital investment will create 1,000 jobs, making it Cedar Park’s largest employer.


Appliance manufacturer to build assembly plant in Georgia

Rinnai America Corp., a manufacturer of tankless water heaters, boilers and wall furnaces, is building a new assembly plant in Griffin, Ga. The project is expected to be completed in early 2022 and could employ as much as 150 people.


Nuclear manufacturer expands in Campbell County, Va.

BWX Technologies, a supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government, will make a multimillion-dollar investment to create a manufacturing and research-and-development center in Campbell County. The facility is expected to create 97 jobs.


Conveyor belt maker doubling staff in Tangipahoa Parish, La.

Intralox, the Jefferson Parish-headquartered maker of conveyor belts used by companies like FedEx and Amazon, will add 425 jobs to staff a new assembly facility at its Hammond manufacturing plant, investing $60 million.


VP Racing Fuels expanding in Carroll County, Tenn.

VP Racing Fuels will expand its existing operations and establish a new location in Carroll County. The company will invest $14.2 million to expand its Huntingdon operations and acquire a new facility in McKenzie near the Carroll County Airport. The project will create 150 new jobs.


Meal delivery company will create 200 jobs in West Palm Beach

Ideal Nutrition will hire 200 more employees once it expands into a 43,000-square-foot facility in West Palm Beach.


Walmart will build two new facilities in Lancaster, Texas

Walmart has announced plans to build two new facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to support the retailer’s growing supply chain network. The 1,500,000-square-foot fulfillment center and 730,000-square-foot automated grocery distribution center, which will be among Walmart’s largest, will create approximately 1,000 full-time jobs.


Germany-based Aurubis plans Georgia recycling-smelting plant

Aurubis, a Germany-based recycler of copper and precious metals, will invest $340 million in a state-of-the-art recycling and smelting facility in Augusta. The project is expected to create 125 jobs.


Norfolk Southern opens new Atlanta HQ

Rail giant Norfolk Southern has opened its new 750,000-square-foot building that rests on a 3.4-acre campus in Midtown Atlanta’s Tech Square. The project will consolidate more than 3,000 jobs.


New Smucker’s facility will bring 750 jobs to Alabama

The J.M. Smucker Co. will invest $1.1 billion to build a new manufacturing facility and distribution center in the McCalla area of Jefferson County, Ala. Dedicated to the production of the company’s fast-growing Uncrustables sandwiches, the facility will create 750 jobs in the Birmingham region.


Texas Instruments chooses Sherman, Texas, for new $29 billion facility

Texas Instruments has announced plans to continue operations in Sherman through a new $29 billion production plant. The new 4.7 million-square-foot facility is expected to create an additional 3,200 jobs.


Avantive Solutions expands Tulsa presence with 375 new jobs

Avantive Solutions, a global technology and business process outsourcer (BPO), has announced the addition of 375 new jobs at its headquarters in Tulsa, Okla.


New beef processing facility headed to Warren County, Mo.

Warren County has been selected by American Foods Group as the planned location for a new state-of-the-art beef processing facility, pending final approval. Once established, the facility would create more than 1,300 new jobs and generate $1 billion in economic impact in the state of Missouri.


Biogen breaks ground on RTP gene therapy facility

Biogen has begun construction of its gene therapy manufacturing plant at its growing RTP campus in Durham, N.C. The company plans to invest $200 million in the plant and 90 new jobs will be created to operate it. 


86 Pearson Lane establishing new operations in Lexington, Tenn.

Startup company 86 Pearson Lane will establish new manufacturing operations in Lexington. The commercial heat exchanger manufacturer will invest $16 million and create 155 new jobs at its first location.


Frozen produce company creating 67 new jobs in Warren County, Va.

Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods, a supplier of frozen fruits and vegetables for Canada and the United States, will invest $40.3 million to expand in Warren County. The company will establish a 126,000-square-foot facility and will hire 67 new jobs.


Luxor Scientific expands in South Carolina

Luxor Scientific, a full-service clinical laboratory, plans to expand operations in Greenville. The $3.2 million investment will create 54 new jobs.


Amazon establishes fulfillment center in Stafford County, Va.

Amazon will launch a new 630,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Stafford County. The facility on the Northern Virginia Gateway site, designed to serve as one of the company’s East Coast hubs, is expected to create 500 new jobs.


$100 million Cerrowire Plant coming to Hartselle, Ala.

The multimillion-dollar Morgan Center Business Park in Hartselle (vacant since its first phase was completed a decade ago) will receive its first tenant when Cerrowire builds a plant there that is projected to create 131 new jobs. Cerrowire, which already has a plant in Hartselle, has announced plans to build a $100 million, 270,000-square-foot facility at the Morgan Center.


New FedEx facility coming to Dothan, Ala.

A new $57 million FedEx logistics facility that will create at least 200 new jobs is coming to Dothan. The 317,000-square-foot FedEx Ground facility will stand on a 70-acre site in the Sam Houston Industrial Park.


Camfil Air Pollution Control constructs plant in Jonesboro, Ark.

Camfil Air Pollution Control, a manufacturer of industrial dust- and fume-collection systems, has begun construction on its new $37 million manufacturing facility in Jonesboro. The project is expected to add 67 new jobs to an existing workforce of 237 people.


Thermo Fisher to build new facility in North Carolina

Thermo Fisher Scientific is adding to its North Carolina operations with a capital investment of at least $192.5 million in Orange County. The company will build a manufacturing facility in Mebane as part of its federal contract to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “to ensure domestic supply of critically needed laboratory pipette tips.” The Mebane site is expected to create 150 to 200 jobs in manufacturing, engineering and business operations.


Celadon to invest $155 Million in Georgia

Celadon Development Corporation will invest more than $155 million in opening a North American headquarters and a state-of-the-art recycling and advanced manufacturing facility in Chatham County, creating 117 jobs in the Savannah area. This represents Phase 1 of Celadon’s major investment project in Georgia.


Performance Food Group will invest $80 million in Hanover County, Va.

Performance Food Group will invest $80.2 million to establish a sales and distribution center operation in Hanover County. The company, a leader in foodservice distribution, will construct a new 325,000-square-foot facility in Ashland, creating 125 jobs.


Microvast Holdings establishes Florida innovation HQ

Microvast Holdings, which manufactures lithium-ion battery solutions, has purchased an $11 million existing facility to locate its research, development and innovation center in Lake Mary, Fla. The project is expected to create 100 jobs over the next 5 years in the Orlando region.


Dr. Schneider Automotive plans Mississippi operation

Germany-based Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems, a supplier of manufacturing air ventilation systems and window frame trim, plans to establish operations in Baldwyn, Miss. The $22.5 million project is expected to create up to 400 jobs over six years.


Big Easy Bucha expands New Orleans operations

Probiotic drinks manufacturer and bottler Big Easy Bucha is expanding its production facility in New Orleans, La. The project is expected to create 50 new jobs.


American Peanut Growers Group to open facility in Seminole County, Fla.

Georgia-based American Peanut Growers Group (APGG) will invest $85 million in expanding operations in Florida, creating 90 jobs. In addition to expanding its current Donalsonville, Ga., shelling plant, APGG will open a new food processing facility on its 45-acre campus in Seminole County.


Billion-dollar project will create 400 new jobs in San Marcos area

Southern California-based Chem-Energy Corp., whose specialties include petroleum products, unveiled plans in November to invest more than $1 billion to build a solar power storage plant and a battery power storage plant in Caldwell County, Texas. The facilities will employ 400.


Software company heading to Louisiana capital city

A new software development center is locating in downtown Baton Rouge and creating 150 new direct jobs for Louisiana’s capital city. Most of the hires for Atlanta-based Rural Sourcing will work in website development.


Amazon adding three new Alabama sites

About 900 new jobs will be created as Amazon opens three new facilities near the Alabama cities of Montgomery, Huntsville and Birmingham. A 650,000-square-foot warehouse opening in Montgomery next year will provide more than 500 jobs as it receives products from vendors and sends them to fulfillment centers for shipment to customers.


S&W Foods plans new distribution center in Hammond, La.

S&W Wholesale Foods will spend $12 million to build a distribution center near Hammond that will create 30 jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the distribution center will also create 150 construction jobs.


Helpware adding jobs across two Kentucky locations

Digital customer service company Helpware will add 300 jobs across an existing location in Montgomery County and a new office in Mercer County, with $500,000 in total investment.


Defense electronics company expanding to Charleston County, S.C.

Elbit Systems has announced plans to establish operations in Charleston County, creating approximately 300 new jobs. Elbit Systems is a provider of products focusing on the defense, homeland security, commercial aviation and medical instrumentation sectors.


Tiger Companies establishes South Carolina campus

Tiger Companies, a distributor serving the construction, surveying, home, office and medical products markets, has invested $10.8 million to establish a 255,000-square-foot operations center in Union, S.C. The project is expected to create 61 jobs.


Voyant Beauty expands Mississippi production center

Voyant Beauty, a manufacturer of beauty and personal care products, will invest $13.17 million to expand operations in Olive Branch. The project is expected to create 80 jobs.


Pitman Creek Wholesale opens Kentucky HQ center

Fishing lure manufacturer Pitman Creek Wholesale opened its fishing tackle production and headquarters facility in Lincoln County, Ky. The $15 million project is expected to create 60 full-time jobs.


Phillips 66 to shutter Louisiana refinery

The Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse will shut down and be converted into a storage terminal, and many of the 900 people who work at the plant may lose their jobs. Phillips 66 has been trying to sell the plant since August, but heavy damage from Hurricane Ida was too expensive to repair.


Gun maker moves to Georgia in $100 million, 856-job deal

Gun maker Remington Firearms will move its headquarters from Ilion, N.Y., to Georgia, with plans to open a factory and research operation there. The company will invest $100 million in the operation in LaGrange, southwest of Atlanta, hiring 856 people over five years.


Smith & Wesson breaks ground on new HQ in Tennessee

Gun maker Smith & Wesson has officially broken ground on its new headquarters in Maryville, Tenn. The company will invest $125 million to make the move and create 750 new jobs.


Pall Corporation to hire 300 for South Carolina manufacturing facility

Pall Corporation announced it will hire 300 people to staff its new 220,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Duncan, S.C. The facility makes products that will be used in the creation and packaging of antibiotics and vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.


Nemak expanding in Glasgow, Ky.

Manufacturer Nemak announced it will create 170 well-paying jobs with a $27 million expansion of its Nemak Kentucky operation in Glasgow to support future electric vehicle-related business. Nemak’s investment will support upgrades and new equipment at its facility there.


APEX Mattress Manufacturing establishing operations in Colleton County, S.C.

APEX Mattress Manufacturing recently announced plans to establish operations in Colleton County. The $1.9 million investment will create 50 new jobs.


Tampa Airport seeks 600 new workers

With passenger traffic inching up toward pre-pandemic levels, Tampa International Airport needs to fill more than 600 positions. Airlines, shops, restaurants, rental car companies and ground handling services, among others, are hiring.


Amazon to hire 500 in El Paso, Texas

Amazon is hiring more than 500 full-time positions ahead of the launch of its new El Paso fulfillment center. According to its website, a fulfillment center warehouse associate works a 10-hour shift, four days a week, with wages starting at $15 an hour.


SKC to invest $473 million in semiconductor plant in Georgia

South Korea’s SKC, a maker of plastic films, is set to invest $473 million to locate a semiconductor parts venture at its existing plant in Georgia. SK also is home to SK Innovation, which has invested $2.6 billion to put an electric-vehicle battery plant in Jackson County and plans to ramp up a second plant on the complex as demand grows.


Distributor plans Louisville, Ky., hub

Republic National Distributing, a distributor of wine and spirits, will invest $50 million to relocate its distribution center and sales office in Louisville. The company will construct a 289,000-square-foot warehouse and 38,000 square feet of office space there.


Justice mining resumes production in Kentucky

Several West Virginia coal companies with ties to Gov. Jim Justice plan to resume coal production at four surface mines in Eastern Kentucky, bringing 150 new jobs to the region.


Minnesota-based company investing millions in Bledsoe County, Tenn.

Virnig Manufacturing, headquartered in Minnesota, is investing nearly $12 million in its expansion into Pikeville, Tenn. The expansion will create 74 new jobs in Bledsoe County to fabricate skid steer and tractor attachments.


New manufacturer bringing 200 jobs to Morristown, Tenn.

An outdoor equipment company is moving some of its manufacturing from China to Morristown, creating at least 200 jobs and investing at least $20 million in the process. Greenworks Commercial makes battery-operated outdoor power equipment with lithium-ion batteries.


Tea company creating jobs in Mississippi

A tea company setting up shop in Clarksdale Miss., will create 60 new jobs. Ilex Organics is going to refurbish a shuttered 30,000-square-foot factory building there and open a processing facility.


Supplier of building products hiring 120 in South Carolina

Builders FirstSource, a supplier of structural building products, announced plans to establish operations in Yemassee. The $16 million investment will create 126 new jobs over the next five years. Builders FirstSource specializes in value-added components and services for the construction industry.


Central Motor Wheel of America opens 145-job expansion in Paris, Ky.

Central Motor Wheel of America recently held the grand opening of the expansion of its existing operations in Bourbon County. The automotive wheel manufacturer will add 145 new jobs.


LA firm to open Tulsa center

Los Angeles-based diagnostic imaging company RadNet announced plans to hire as many as 500 customer service coordinators at a new center in Tulsa, Okla.


Lodge Manufacturing expands Tennessee plant

American-made cast iron cookware manufacturer Lodge Manufacturing will invest $56 million to expand its facility in South Pittsburg, Tenn. The project is expected to create 239 jobs.


WestRock expands North Carolina facility

WestRock Company, a manufacturer of paper and packaging solutions, will invest more than $47 million to expand its manufacturing facility in Claremont, N.C. The project is expected to create 50 jobs in Catawba County.

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