February 2022

State revenues booming

The Urban Institute think tank reported in the winter that state revenues between April and November increased 24 percent from 2020 to 2021. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 32 states said collections for fiscal 2022 were ahead of projections. As a result, states are proposing tax rebates and pay increases for public employees.


Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation in investment property deals

Dallas-Fort Worth led all markets in U.S. real estate transactions in calendar year 2021. Transactions totaled $47 billion last year, more than doubling the 2020 totals. Only New York City has ever topped the $47 billion in sales in North Texas.


Kentucky bourbon industry continues to soar

According to officials, the Kentucky bourbon industry poured $9 billion into the Commonwealth's economy in 2021. The industry supports almost 23,000 jobs and $1.23 billion in annual payroll. Currently, the bourbon industry in Kentucky is undergoing a $5.2 billion capital investment binge and contributes $285 million in state and local tax revenue.


Military and defense industry huge in Florida

According to the recently published 2022 Florida Defense Industry Economic Impact Analysis by the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF), defense spending in Florida was nearly $100 billion in the state in 2021. The total is mind boggling as it contributes 8.5 percent of Florida's entire economy.


Tesla to delay Cybertruck production in Austin

Austin-based Tesla will delay assembly of its electric Cybertruck vehicle at its new plant near the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport. A change in the vehicle's features is the reason for the delay in the yet-to-open plant.


Pandemic drives new business growth

New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in the winter quarter showed that new business applications filed in calendar year 2021 set a new record. According to Census, 5.4 million new businesses were launched, surpassing the previous record of 4.4 million started in 2020.


South Carolina Ports, Port of Virginia: Record volumes in 2021

South Carolina Ports had its best calendar year in history in 2021 with an unprecedented amount of cargo. SC Ports handled 2.75 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) at Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in 2021. That was nearly a 20 percent increase from 2020. The Port of Virginia in Norfolk handled more than 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2021, a 25.2 percent increase from 2020.


New Alabama rail corridor to help fix supply chain

The new "Alabama-USA" rail corridor, a $231 million program of rail projects, will help solve some of the nation's supply chain issues. The Port of Mobile is one of the fastest growing container ports, and the new container development in Montgomery will open up many opportunities for companies like Mazda Toyota, Hyundai and the AM/NS steel mill north of Mobile. The first phase of the "Alabama-USA" rail corridor, costing $71.6 million, will focus on the rail connection to the McCalla Intramodal Facility near Birmingham.


D-FW tops all in industrial space construction

A new report from Cushman & Wakefield showed that the Dallas-Fort Worth area has left everyone else in the dust in new industrial building construction. In 2021, more than 50 million square feet of new warehouse, distribution and logistics buildings were under construction in North Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth market is seeing unrivaled low vacancy and incredibly high demand for industrial space, and demand is outpacing supply. 


U.S. creates a record 6.4 million jobs

In calendar year 2021, the U.S. created 6.4 million new jobs -- or 537,000 new jobs per month -- as the nation continued to recover from the job losses in 2020 from the pandemic. The other years making up No. 2 and No. 3 in U.S. job growth were in 2014 (3 million new jobs) and 2015 (2.7 million new jobs).


Clarksville, Tenn., ranked

Clarksville, Tenn., located northwest of Nashville, was ranked in the winter by San Francisco-based real estate company Opendoor.com as the most "desirable zip code in America." Tiny Clarksville beat out Austin, Atlanta, Orlando and Nashville among others. The ranking was based on location, living costs and amenities.


Experts: China's GDP to overtake U.S. by 2030

Officials with the British consultancy Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) published their predictions for the coming decade on U.S. vs. China GDP. For decades, economists have predicted that the Chinese economy would have passed the U.S. economy, but that has not been the case so far. However, new data shows that the Chinese economy, based on gross domestic product, will surpass the U.S. by 2030.


Largest incentive package in Texas history agreed upon

The incentive package agreed upon between the state of Texas, local governments and Samsung for its new semiconductor plant in Taylor is the largest in state history. Taylor is located near Austin where Samsung, the Korean chipmaker, operates a multi-billion-dollar plant. Samsung will invest $17 billion in the next-generation semiconductor factory in Taylor. . .that figure is also the largest direct foreign investment in Texas history. The incentive package Samsung will capture will be nearly $1 billion.


Tampa named hottest housing market by Zillow

According to the new Zillow analysis, the hottest housing market in the U.S. will be Tampa, Fla. Zillow expects the housing market to slow somewhat in 2022 and 2023 because of rising prices and other factors. Zillow's top five real estate markets for this year are all from the South, including Jacksonville, Charlotte, San Antonio and Raleigh.


Dell's deal from 2004 being replayed in North Carolina?

In this publication in the mid-2000s, we claimed the incentive package given to Dell to set up a computer assembly plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. -- well over $200 million -- was a great overpayment considering that amount of money at the time could have garnered an automotive OEM, the "Big Kahuna" of economic development projects in the South. By 2009, the Dell plant had closed and with it 1,500 good jobs. Now, a think tank called the Center for Economic Accountability claims that the Tar Heel State's $846 million incentive package to bring Apple to the Research Triangle Park the "worst economic development deal of 2021." The think tank was quoted, saying about the incentives, “further than any other. . .to exemplify the massive wastefulness and ineffectiveness of state government subsidy programs.” Of course, comparing Dell to Apple is not an easy comparison. Apple announced in the spring of last year it will invest $1 billion and hire 3,000 at the RTP.


New CEO of Virginia Economic Development Partnership wants more investments in large industrial sites

Jason El Koubi, the former executive vice president at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and now the interim president and CEO of VEDP, said in the winter quarter that the Commonwealth needs shovel ready sites to land some of the large projects announced in the South the last six months of 2021. El Koubi was referring to the electric vehicle and battery plants announced in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. In an article in Virginia, El Koubi was quoted as saying, “The cost of not investing in site development has become very clear and very alarming.”


Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 1 for moves

According to a new annual report by real estate firm Zillow and Allied Van Lines, the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA ranked No. 1 as the top 2021 destination for people relocating from other parts of the country. Most of the migrants to D-FW were from Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix. Charlotte and Sarasota, Fla., joined Dallas-Fort Worth as the top three inbound markets.      


What a year for Tennessee

The year 2021 was historic for Tennessee when it came to large scale economic development projects. Leading the way was the Oracle announcement in Nashville that will eventually create 8,500 jobs. The other megadeal came from Ford Motor Company and the creation of the Blue Oval City just east of Memphis. That $5.7 billion project will create 5,800 to 6,000 jobs.


American Electric Power to develop $100 million transmission control center in Shreveport, La.

American Electric Power (AEP), which manages the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, will invest $100 million to develop a new Shreveport Transmission Control Center. The project will create 20 direct new jobs, with average salaries of $115,000, and retain 20 jobs already in place in Shreveport. AEP, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, will develop the 77,000-square-foot facility on 30 acres in Shreveport.


Monogram Assembled Foods plans Tennessee production facility

Monogram Assembled Foods will invest $53.5 million to establish new operations in Dickson, Tenn. The project is expected to create nearly 400 new jobs. The company purchased a building formerly owned by Conagra, which announced in early 2020 its plans to close the facility. As part of Monogram Foods’ acquisition, the facility never closed, and the company offered employment to Conagra’s existing employees so that no jobs were lost during the transition.


Atlantic Digital Incorporated expands Tampa workforce

Atlantic Digital Incorporated, a specialized IT company and solutions provider for government, will expand operations in Tampa. The company plans to create 120 jobs over the next three years.


Amazon creating more than 500 jobs at a new distribution operation in Cumberland County, N.C.

Amazon is building a 1.3 million-square-foot fulfillment facility that will create more than 500 full-time jobs with hundreds of additional part-time opportunities. The new warehousing facility will be located on 94 acres and is the second project the company has announced in Cumberland County.

Pet care company expanding in San Antonio

Rover Group, a Seattle-based online marketplace for pet care, has expansion plans that include a significant Alamo City presence. While the company’s initial entry into San Antonio is expected to include a new operations home with about 100 employees, the organization is already exploring more opportunities there.


PennyMac Financial Services bringing 300-plus jobs to Franklin, Tenn.

PennyMac Financial Services, a residential mortgage company, will invest $3.9 million in a new location in Franklin. The project is expected to create 325 jobs in Williamson County.


Plumbing industry expansion in Davidson County, N.C., will create 100 new jobs

BrassCraft Manufacturing will create nearly 100 new jobs in Davidson County. The company will invest more than $13 million to expand its manufacturing operations in Thomasville.


Cinelease Studios expands operations in Covington, Ga.

Cinelease Studios will expand its Three Ring Studio in Covington. The 90-acre, $144 million project will be one of the largest film studios in the country. Cinelease opened its Atlanta doors in 2007 with 8,000 square feet of warehouse space in East Point and now employs nearly 60 Georgians. 


Luxembourg-based Eurofins Genomics plans Kentucky research lab

Eurofins Genomics, an international provider of DNA sequencing, will invest $35.7 million in a new manufacturing facility in Louisville, Ky.


West Pharmaceuticals’ latest expansion in North Carolina

West Pharmaceutical Services, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of drug-packaging and delivery components (such as stoppers for vials) in the Eastern North Carolina community of Kinston for the last four decades, will invest another $70 million and add 70 more employees to expand its production capacity there. The announcement comes just a year after the company embarked on a $19 million expansion, adding about 90 new jobs to the Lenoir County plant’s current workforce that now exceeds 500.


Veterinary company plans national hub in Louisville, Ky.

Texas-based Ellie Diagnostics, a veterinary lab services company, is going to invest $10 million to open a national hub in Louisville. The investment will create up to 100 full-time jobs with an average hourly wage of $33.


Building components startup investing $17.7 million in a new Kentucky facility

Startup manufacturer SteelBlue Building Components announced it will settle down in Frankfort, Ky., creating 146 jobs. The investment totals approximately $17.7 million. SteelBlue will take over a 55,000-square-foot former shoe manufacturing facility that will become the company’s main manufacturing location of building components for the commercial construction industry. 


Atlanta supply chain company adding 100 new jobs in McDonough, Ga.

Verte, an Atlanta-based, cloud-based supply chain company, is bringing 100 jobs to Henry County with the expansion of fulfillment operations into the former Snapper/Briggs and Stratton plant in McDonough.


Auto supplier opens in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Dura Automotive Systems celebrated the opening of its new Muscle Shoals manufacturing facility. The $75 million plant, which will employ more than 270 full-time workers at peak production, manufactures battery enclosures for electric vehicles to be made by Mercedes-Benz.


FedEx leases new shipping facility in Greater Nashville

FedEx Ground is leasing a forthcoming 251,000-square-foot distribution facility in Clarksville. It’s expected to open in the fall.


Peanut growers investing $64 million in South Carolina

A company owned by peanut growers is planning to invest $64.3 million and bring 130 new jobs to Orangeburg County. Portions of the new peanut shelling facility are expected to be operational by the spring of 2022.


Central North Carolina home for New Eli Lilly manufacturing campus

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. will build a new manufacturing operation in central North Carolina on the site of a former cigarette plant. The company plans a five-building campus at The Grounds economic development site in Concord. The nearly $1 billion investment will lead to nearly 600 jobs that will offer average salaries of $70,000. Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly will manufacture injectable products and devices at the plant.


Confluent Health establishing HQ in Louisville, Ky.

Confluent Health, a group of companies specializing in physical and occupational therapy, will relocate and expand its headquarters in Louisville. The $10 million project is expected to create 350 jobs.


Piston Automotive expanding Kentucky plant

Piston Automotive, a provider of automotive assemblies including electric and hybrid vehicle battery systems, will further expand its operations in Jefferson County, Ky. The $26.3 million project is expected to create 117 jobs.


Injection molding company expanding in Tennessee

A manufacturer of injection-molded plastics will invest millions to expand its thermoplastic molding facility in East Tennessee. Parkway Products said it will spend $5.7 million on its Greeneville operations, which will allow the company to add more lines and invest in new space, tooling and assets. The project is expected to create 160 new jobs over the next five years.


Decking company creating Tennessee facility with 310 jobs

Fiberon, a company that makes composite decking, railing and cladding, plans to set up a new facility in Columbia, Tenn., that is expected to create 310 new jobs.


Quadrant’s new facility bringing 200 jobs to Kentucky

Quadrant will build its first mass production facility in the U.S. in Louisville. The facility will manufacture rare earth magnets for use in electric vehicle motors and other fields. The $95 million plant will create 200 full-time jobs.


Contract firm doubling space, adding 40 jobs in Durham, N.C.

Alcami Corp., which has offices in the Triangle and Wilmington, is investing $10 million to double its existing lab space in Durham. Alacami manufactures oral solid dosage forms, including hard shell capsules, tablets and powders.


One thousand more jobs available at Mazda-Toyota plant

Toyota and Mazda are looking for 1,200 more employees to help build vehicles at their new joint plant in Huntsville, Ala. After the recent rollout of Mazda’s first vehicle from the plant -- the CX-50 crossover SUV -- VP of production Janette Hostettler said, “The team members here have worked so hard and put so much heart and passion into the vehicle, but I still need about 1,200 more of y’all.”


EV company announces $25 million investment in Jax

New Jersey-based Cenntro Automotive will invest $25 million in its proposed 100,000-square-foot facility in Jacksonville, Fla., -- its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. -- to produce the company’s line of delivery and logistics trucks and vans beginning in the first quarter of 2022. The facility is expected to house a workforce of 34 employees.


Samuel Packaging Systems expands South Carolina operations

Samuel Packaging Systems Group plans to invest $11.5 million to expand operations in Fort Mill, S.C. The project is expected to create 90 jobs.


Levi Strauss plans Kentucky e-commerce distribution center

Levi Strauss & Co. will establish a new e-commerce distribution center in Erlanger, Ky. The $48 million project is expected to create 300 jobs.


80 Acres Farms plans Kentucky vertical farming facility

80 Acres Farms plans to locate a new vertical farming facility in Boone County, Ky. It will include a high-tech indoor vertical farm and harvesting, packaging and distribution capabilities for leafy greens, microgreens, berries and tomatoes. The $74 million project is expected to create 125 jobs.


Tractor Supply investing $100 million in Arkansas distribution center

Tractor Supply Company will invest about $100 million to build a new distribution center in Maumelle, Ark. The 900,000-square-foot facility is expected to create more than 450 new full-time jobs by the end of 2023.


North Carolina chosen for supersonic passenger jet plant

“Project Thunderbird” has been identified. . .Colorado-based Boom Supersonic announced that Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro will be the home for its first full-scale manufacturing plant for its proposed Overture supersonic airliner. Boom estimates it will create over 1,750 jobs by 2030, with a goal of reaching more than 2,400 jobs by 2032. State and local governments have offered $230 million in financial incentives to make the project a reality, including money for airport improvements.


New York-based manufacturer moves HQ to Irving, Texas

A New York-based company that designs specialty materials used in products like electric vehicle batteries or COVID-19 masks is relocating its headquarters to Irving. Alkegen, formerly known as Unifrax, will move its headquarters to Las Colinas, after being headquartered in the Buffalo area for nearly 30 years. CEO and president John Dandolph will join 250 employees in making the move to North Texas.


Amazon announces a second facility in Pasco County, Fla.

Online shopping giant Amazon will build a new distribution site in Pasco County that will feature a unique robotics system. Once completed, the $150 million facility will provide 500 new jobs. Construction is expected to take less than a year.


Titan Steel Door expanding Georgia operations

Titan Steel Door will invest more than $11 million in expanding its operations to Gateway Industrial Park in Hart County. This expansion will create 90 new jobs in Northeast Georgia.


VXI Global Solutions Lubbock announces 350 new jobs

VXI Global Solutions Lubbock will add more than 350 new full-time positions as it expands its contact center location in Lubbock, Texas.


Ice Cream Factory bringing new jobs to Missouri

Family-owned Ice Cream Factory has purchased an 86,000-square-foot industrial building that will serve as its new manufacturing plant. The project will create 130 jobs in Lebanon, Mo.


3M to invest $470 million in Tennessee Plant, creating 600 new jobs

3M is investing approximately $470 million and adding around 600 new jobs by 2025 at its plant in Clinton, Tenn. The expansion supports two of its fast-growing product lines -- Filtrete air filters and Command adhesive strips.


Cryptocurrency data center coming to Spartanburg County, S.C.

Greenidge Generation Holdings -- a cryptocurrency mining and power generation company – will invest $264 million and create 40 new tech-sector jobs. Company officials said Greenidge Generation’s Upstate operations will house some of the most advanced and efficient cryptocurrency mining computers available.


Southern Research improving health in Alabama

Birmingham’s Southern Research is building an $84 million facility that will enhance its research capabilities, create nearly 550 jobs and double the organization’s economic impact to $300 million per year. The new building will be at the center of efforts to improve public health across Alabama.


New autism therapy centers planned for Orlando area

Six new autism therapy centers planned for the Orlando area will create 275 new jobs for behavioral analysts, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists.


Defunct shopping center becomes lumberyard in Bay County, Fla.

The city of Parker, Fla., has announced that there are plans in place to clean up and revive the Hickory Plaza shopping center after it has sat vacant for over three years. New owner Fulcrum Building Group says the property will become a lumberyard and has promised to hire upwards of 60 individuals from the Parker area.


Halter Marine doubling workforce in Pascagoula, Miss.

Halter Marine in Pascagoula will double its workforce over the next two years. . .that’s an additional 850 jobs, not only in the traditional shipbuilding trades, but also in the support positions that a company with 1,800 employees needs.


Joint venture will create 210 new jobs in Virginia

In a joint venture, Kamine Development Corporation and Nicollet Industries will invest $267 million to establish a new paperboard recycling and production facility, Celadon Development Corporation, at the Chesapeake Deepwater Terminal site in the City of Chesapeake. The project will create 210 new jobs.


Chief Buildings bringing over 100 jobs to South Carolina

Chief Buildings will invest $22 million to establish manufacturing operations in Lancaster County. The metal building system manufacturer will create 102 new jobs in the Charlotte region over the next five years.


Grant to improve infrastructure for Caldwell Parish Biodiesel Plant

Nearly one year after Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the creation of a renewable diesel plant at the Port of Columbia, the plant has received a $15 million state grant for infrastructure improvement. On top of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, the project is expected to bring about 635 jobs to Caldwell Parish. At peak construction, there will be about 1,500 jobs created.


Ammunition plant coming to the Texarkana area

Expansion Industries is planning to hire hundreds of people at its new facility in Hooks, Texas, which will specialize in making parts for the small arms industry. The company is looking to hire a large workforce ranging from custodial work to skilled labor and technicians.


Walmart fulfillment center to open in Olive Branch, Miss.

Walmart announced recently that it will build a million-square-foot fulfillment center in Olive Branch. The new facility will create approximately 250 full-time, permanent jobs across the region.


New snack company bringing 300 jobs to St. Louis County, Mo.

A Canada-based manufacturing plant has opened in Hazelwood and is bringing more than 300 jobs to north St. Louis County. Instead of a traditional ribbon-cutting, there was a ceremonial “first tasting” of dried fruit and nuts made at the new plant.


SWEPCO to open new facility in Caddo Parish

SWEPCO (Southwestern Electric Power Company) will open a $100 million transmission control center in Shreveport’s Resilient Technology Park. The project will create 20 new jobs in Shreveport with an average salary of $115,000, and will retain 20 already working there.


Fetch Rewards bringing 200 new jobs to Birmingham, Ala.

Fetch Rewards plans to open a new office and support hub in downtown Birmingham creating 200 new full-time jobs. Fetch Rewards is a mobile shopping network that rewards users for purchasing from a variety of brands.


Tenaris to add 250 jobs in Mississippi County, Ark.

A welded pipe mill in Mississippi County will be ramping up production by adding 250 jobs. “Hot rolled coil prices have begun to drop following massive gains last year and customer demand continues to grow for domestically made pipe,” said Luca Zonotti, Tenaris U.S. president. “These conditions make it the right time for a meaningful restart of welded production, part of the ramp-up across the United States that began late 2020.”


Lafayette, La., call center to expand multilingual operations

A Lafayette call center will expand its multilingual operations that will add 50 jobs. Calls Plus, which specializes in safety, healthcare and counseling hotline services, will retain its 37 jobs and eventually employ nearly 100 at its operations in Lafayette.


Manufacturer opening first U.S. facility in Upstate South Carolina

Kostwein announced plans to open its first U.S. facility in Greenville and will create 95 new jobs in the area. Kostwein is a family company based in Austria with a 100-year history in the build-to-print business.


Kevin Charles adding 75 jobs in New Albany, Miss.

For the second time in three years, Kevin Charles Fine Upholstery is expanding. The New Albany-based company is investing $6 million and creating 75 jobs to manufacture furniture.


Rowan County, N.C., chasing rabbits

Commissioners in Rowan County have approved a $27 million incentive plan in the hope that it will secure what has been described as the largest economic development project in Rowan County history. Codenamed “Project Rabbit,” it is said to be a distribution center for an unnamed company. The project could create 2,500 fulltime jobs.


Electric bus manufacturer chooses South Charleston, W.Va.

Canada-based electric bus manufacturer GreenPower Motor Company will lease/purchase a 9.5-acre manufacturing facility in South Charleston, W.Va. The company will manufacture zero-emission, all-electric school buses there. The project is expected to create up to 200 jobs by the end of the year, and employment at the facility may reach up to 900 jobs when full production is reached in 24 months.


FedEx Ground delivering 200 new jobs to Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss.

A new FedEx Ground facility is opening at Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport‘s I-59 Supply Chain Park. The distribution center will employ 200.


FGP Holding investing $20 million in Alabama expansion

Mobile, Ala.-based FGP Holding, which owns Frios Gourmet Pops and FGP Manufacturing, will invest more than $20 million in a rapid expansion and production ramp-up as the frozen novelties company moves into the former Crown Products facility in Mobile. The project is expected to create approximately 200 full-time jobs over the next three years.


Pittsburgh company to reactivate Fairfield, Ala., plant

HarbisonWalker International plans to pump $25 million into a shuttered Fairfield property, transforming it into a manufacturing, service and distribution hub for steel customers by the end of this year. The plant, which will be known as Alabama One (AL1).


Trex breaks ground on new HQ in Winchester, Va.

Winchester, Va.-based decking materials maker Trex has broken ground on a new corporate headquarters and it, along with a new production facility, will create hundreds of new jobs in Frederick County. The company expects to move into the new facility, which will house 200 corporate employees, in mid-2023.


Facebook expands to Texas

Facebook’s parent company Meta recently leased a large office space in Texas, making the tech giant the latest company to move jobs and people from California to the Lone Star State. Meta leased half of a building under construction in downtown Austin that will be the city’s tallest skyscraper when completed, and has pledged hundreds of new jobs in Texas.


Novelis to expand Todd County, Ky., facility

Aluminum producer and recycler Novelis will move forward with the Phase 2 expansion of its recently opened operation in Todd County with a roughly $365 million investment to construct a new recycling center. The expansion is set to create 140 well-paying jobs.


Manufacturing expansion brings 50 new jobs to Darlington County, S.C.

Fiber Industries announced a $30 million investment to expand its operations in Darlington County, S.C., which will create more than 50 new jobs. Fiber Industries produces polyester fiber for high-end performance fabrics, workwear, knit goods, the automotive industry and more.


Home Town stars creating 85 jobs in Laurel, Miss.

HGTV’s Home Town hosts Erin and Ben Napier will create 85 jobs in Laurel with a new manufacturing location for Scotsman Manufacturing Company. The new company, housed in a revitalized and once-shuttered industrial facility, will be committed to American-made goods.


Fujifilm Diosynth expanding Texas factory with $300 million investment

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies — a contract manufacturer that develops and produces medical drugs and gene therapies — announced in December that it plans to invest $300 million to expand its current campus in College Station, Texas. The project is expected to create about 150 new jobs when it is completed in 2024.


Microsoft invests $50 million in Georgia biorefinery

Microsoft is investing $50 million in a LanzaJet facility in Georgia that will produce jet fuel from ethanol. Governments and investors are trying to boost incentives to produce lower-carbon emitting jet fuel.


MycoWorks creating 400 jobs in Union County, S.C.

MycoWorks plans to establish operations in Union County with a $107 million investment that will create 400 new jobs. MycoWorks is a biotech company that specializes in mycelium-grown materials for use as leather alternatives.


Outdoor retailer REI bringing 280 jobs to new facility in Lebanon, Tenn.

Seattle-based Recreational Equipment Inc., known as REI, has announced plans to open a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Lebanon. The center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023 on about 41 acres.


Farming operation bringing 100 jobs to Henry County, Ga.

Bowery Farming, the largest vertical farming company in the U.S., will open a smart indoor vertical farm in Locust Grove, Ga., creating more than 100 jobs. The company’s expansion to Georgia comes in response to a sharp increase in demand across the Southeast for its freshly grown greens and lettuces.


Project “Lightning Strike” bringing hundreds of jobs to Bay County, Fla.

Central Moloney, which manufactures distribution transformers, is expected to open a 140,000-square-foot facility owned by St. Joe Company. The project will bring 200 new jobs to Bay County.


Wax manufacturer creating new jobs in Laurens County, S.C.

Shamrock Technologies has announced plans to invest $19.4 million to manufacture wax, dispersions and emulsions, and related products.


CPR equipment maker to establish facility in Franklin County, N.C.

Medical equipment supplier Innosonian America will create 34 new jobs in Franklin County. The company will invest $345,000 to relocate its warehousing and sales facility to the Town of Youngsville.


Jax City Council okays $7 million incentive for J&J Vision Care expansion

Jacksonville, Fla.’s City Council unanimously approved a $7 million property tax refund for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s proposed $200 million local manufacturing expansion. The expansion will also mean the addition of 100 jobs at the facility.


RTP biotech primed for expansion

A biotech firm that researches and manufactures ribonucleic acid, or RNA, is expanding its footprint in Research Triangle Park ahead of the expected approval of its first product. Massachusetts-based GreenLight Biosciences started research and development in RTP for the plant-health side of its business near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. About two years later, the company is expanding into a facility that includes 40,000 square feet of lab and office space and 15,000 square feet of greenhouse space.


Adidas’ Spartanburg distribution center creates new shift, over 200 jobs

The Adidas Spartanburg distribution center is creating a new shift that will result in the creation of over 200 new jobs. The new positions will work the weekend night shift.


FedEx Ground establishes facility in Panama City, Fla.

FedEx Ground plans to build a 251,000-square-foot facility at the port in Panama City. No word yet, but the facility will definitely mean new jobs for Bay County.


Animal food supplier investing $100 million in Arkansas

A manufacturer of poultry, pet and animal nutrition products is expanding one of its factories in its home state. The project is expected to create 100 new jobs. Siloam Springs-based Simmons Foods announced that it will invest $100 million to expand its prepared foods facility in Van Buren, Ark.


Forty-million-dollar movie studio coming to Texas

A 546-acre film studio and entertainment district is headed for Bastrop, Texas, 35 miles east of Austin. The first phase is expected to open in August 2023.


Montauk Renewables opening plant in Turkey, N.C.

Montauk Renewables, which specializes in the conversion of biogas into Renewable Natural Gas, will open a plant in Sampson County. The project is expected to create 70 jobs over the next five years. The company plans to use its patented technology for the conversion of agricultural residuals – specifically swine waste -- into renewable energy.


Iron Ox expands Lockhart, Texas, operations

California-based Iron Ox, a farming innovation company with expertise in plant science, robotics and artificial intelligence, will invest over $100 million to locate a 1 million-square-foot facility on 85 acres in Lockhart. The company’s mission is to make growing fresh produce carbon negative.


Atlanta company expands operation into Charlotte region

An Atlanta-based bottling company is building a plant in Mooresville, N.C. Battle Copacking will invest $13.6 million in the facility about 45 minutes outside of Charlotte. The plant will create 20 full-time jobs to package beverages.


Stoughton Trailers opening new plant in Texas

Stoughton Trailers is adding a new plant in Waco, Texas, later this year. The plant will manufacture chassis products, and bring 125 to 150 jobs to the area located about 100 miles south of Dallas.


New manufacturing campus bringing 70 jobs to Claremore, Okla.

Lufkin Industries is making Claremore its home for a new manufacturing campus, and creating 70 new jobs. The company manufactures oilfield equipment, and plans to make rod pumping systems at its new Oklahoma headquarters.


Giant U.S. chipmaker eyes Triangle for $40 billion-plus plant

A U.S. semiconductor company is scouting a Chatham County site for what could be one of the largest economic development projects in North Carolina history. The project, if it comes to fruition, could have a capital investment of $40 billion or more with 5,000 to 10,000 jobs at full buildout. Sources say the project is on an accelerated timeline as the world rushes to fill the global chip shortage.


General Mills eyes upgrades at Tennessee plant

General Mills has announced it will invest $65 million to upgrade its Yoplait yogurt and Pillsbury dough products plant in Murfreesboro.


Beef plant expected to create 1,300 jobs in Missouri

Wisconsin-based beef processing company American Foods Group (AFG) has announced plans to build a large new facility in Warren County, Mo. Pending final approval, AFG expects to settle on a precise location by next spring. The project could result in AFG investing $450 million into the St. Louis area and creating more than 1,300 new jobs


Ruiz Foods hiring 100 in Florence County, S.C.

A frozen food distributor is looking to bring dozens of new jobs to the Pee Dee. Ruiz Foods Florence is hiring 100 more jobs for its facility there.


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