Summer 2022

Letter to the Editor

"My friend, your prediction more than 20 years ago of the South becoming the center of auto manufacturing in North America has now taken another giant step forward. The announcement that Hyundai will build its first electric car plant in Georgia confirms it in this new era. I will take lucky and good every time."

J. Mac Holladay

CEO, Market Street Services, Atlanta, Ga.


Lithium-ion batteries for your EV? Try solid-state batteries

In recent years, car giants such as Ford, Mercedes and Nissan have been trying to overcome the shortcomings of batteries that power electric vehicles by racing to produce a next-generation battery. In all cases of lithium-ion batteries, they underperformed even after billions were invested in their development. Not only that, the liquid electrolytes used in the batteries are prone to catching fire.

Enter a new player in the fourth quarter of electric vehicle power development. Many if not all existing and startup EV and battery manufacturers are now rallying around solid-state batteries, which do not contain liquid electrolytes and can charge quicker and last longer.


Thoughts on immigration

The immigrant worker shortage comes as the U.S. political system is showing less of an appetite for increasing immigration. “At some point we either decide to become older and smaller or we change our immigration policy,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told ABC News recently. Holtz-Eakin is an economist and former official in President George W. Bush's administration who is president of the center-right American Action Forum. He acknowledged a change in immigration policy is unlikely: “The bases of both parties are so locked in.” That’s certainly the case in Republican-dominated Texas, which includes the longest and busiest stretch of the southern border. The Legislature in 2017 forced cities to comply with federal immigration agents seeking people who are in the U.S. illegally. The turn against immigration distresses some Texas business owners, like Joshua Correa, a home builder in Plano, Texas. “Immigration is very important for our workforce in the United States,” said Correa. “We just need it.”


Comparing Mexico's available labor to ours

By Michael Randle

One way or another, automakers in North America are subsidized by their governments. They may be underwritten in different ways, but the largest industry in North America usually gets what it asks. When it comes to labor costs exclusively (discounting labor quality, innovation, and such) the U.S. can compete with just about every country in the world but one — Mexico.

Mexico, by contrast, has an overwhelming advantage when it comes to labor costs. Using the average cost of supplementing labor in Canada and the U.S. per assembly plant, Mexico’s costs aren't even close. Again, just using subsidized labor costs, it would take six to 10 years for a plant in Mexico to run up a similar labor bill to those in the U.S. and Canada. Add on the fact that Mexico’s fertility rate is more than double that of the U.S., and it’s also clear that Mexico can backfill its labor for decades to come , while the U.S. is simply getting older and smaller. The only way to change that fact is to change immigration policy.


Tennessee's Aerospace Park gets its first tenant

Northeast Tennessee's Tri-Cities Airport recently announced Aerospace Park’s first tenant. It didn't take long for Northeast Tennessee's Tri-Cities Airport in Blountville to capture its first tenant. “Of course, it’s always exciting to have your first build into a new economic development project like this,” said Gene Cossey, executive director for the Tri-Cities Airport Authority. The company is Final Forge, which is moving all of its operations from Massachusetts to East Tennessee.


D-FW office leasing comes roaring back as workers return from home

North Texas office leasing and construction continues to rebound from the COVID-19 downturn. At midyear, net office leasing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area totaled more than 2 million square feet — topping pre-pandemic activity as more workers returned from home, according to preliminary data from commercial property firm Transwestern. More than 1.1 million square feet of net leasing was recorded just in the second quarter, with the strongest demand for office space in the Dallas North Tollway corridor in West Plano and Frisco, in Uptown Dallas and Las Colinas. Office leasing declined from a year ago in downtown Dallas and along LBJ Freeway, Transwestern found. “Although clouds of recession are appearing on the horizon, the office market is favorably positioned,” Transwestern researchers wrote in a just-released report. “Overall, the region’s fundamentals may limit the downside of a recession and lead to a faster recovery, as they have over the last 15 years.”


New research shows American workers not better off with less foreign-born workers

Former President Trump's intentional depletion of legal immigrant visas and the COVID-19 pandemic reduced legal immigration in the U.S. by as much as 80 percent to just 250,000 in 2020. But, according to research, U.S. workers were not better off with the reduction in immigration. In fact, the lack of foreign workers helped create worse economic conditions. The lack of labor has created worker shortages, school closures, empty shelves in stores, shorter hours in retail and hospitality, skyrocketing childcare costs and the inability of many companies to fill open positions. According to Madeline Zavodny, an economics professor at the University of North Florida and a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the reduction in workers as a result of COVID and cuts in immigration showed no evidence that less foreign workers improved economic outcomes of U.S.-born workers.


Economist: "Excessive automation" a major factor in increasing wage gaps

In an article published in the New York Times in January, Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was quoted as saying that "excessive automation" through investments in machines and software is greatly responsible for the increasing gap in wages and income inequality among American workers. Acemoglu's arguments stem from the fact that the automation of tasks formerly done by human workers has widened the income gap, especially among male workers without college degrees.


Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson’s international terminal turns 10 with turbulence

The most dazzling part of the world’s busiest airport has soaring ceilings and an enormous Swarovski crystal chandelier, but is seen by only a small fraction of travelers passing through Hartsfield-Jackson International. That’s partly because the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, turning 10 years old this year, has not met the passenger loads for which it was built.

It roars to life during peak periods, in the mornings and late afternoons, when large long-haul jets roll up to its gates to offload and reload hundreds of passengers. After a decade of hosting travelers from around the world, though, it is still mostly empty during much of the day and night. The international terminal’s sleek lines and empty corridors stand in stark contrast to the crammed, crowded and less-luxurious domestic concourses. Hartsfield-Jackson’s international gateway faces an even steeper uphill climb to fulfill its potential after the pandemic pummeled foreign travel. International passengers made up fewer than 12 percent of total travelers at Atlanta’s airport before the pandemic, and last year stood at less than half of pre-pandemic levels.


Airport terminal for the rich and famous coming to Hartsfield-Jackson

A private luxury airport terminal operator known for catering to Hollywood stars is coming to Hartsfield-Jackson International to target commercial airline passengers willing to pay thousands for exclusive entry and exit from the world’s busiest airport. The company, called PS and formerly known as The Private Suite, has operated a private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport since 2017, and is known for catering to celebrities and other well-heeled customers. Hartsfield-Jackson is a frequent gateway for celebrities, thanks in no small part to Georgia’s white-hot film industry. Georgia is one of the top destinations for TV and movie production in the world outside Hollywood. Many celebs are likely familiar with the PS terminal at LAX.


Volkswagen chief says German car giant will overtake Tesla on EV sales by 2025

The chief executive of Volkswagen believes Europe’s biggest carmaker can overtake Tesla to become the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles by 2025. Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Herbert Diess said alleviating supply chain issues would likely help create some momentum for the German auto giant over the coming months.


Florida had more deaths than births last year

Many more workers in Florida and elsewhere saw more deaths than births last year as a larger percentage of the workforce is aging out and retiring than there are people born. According to Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, there are only three solutions to a situation where less people are paying for Social Security and other safety nets: (1) Accept slower growth; (2) subsidize fertility and (3) embrace immigration. The year 2021 is the first time since 1937 that the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people. "It is just math," according to Kashkari.


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.


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. versus 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.


Over 17,000 jobs could be created at Gulf of Mexico wind farms

According to the American Clean Power Association, wind farms off the coast of Texas and Louisiana could create 17,500 new jobs. The jobs include temporary and permanent jobs on a pair of offshore wind projects.




GAO report finds no issues with Redstone Arsenal as Space Command HQ

The Government Accountability Office, in reviewing the selection process of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville as the “preferred” site for U.S. Space Command headquarters, found issues in that process and recommended the Air Force develop better guidance for future basing decisions. However, the GAO made no comment -- in highlighting the main points of its 89-page review -- on the suitability of Redstone Arsenal as the home for Space Command, but was critical of the selection process.


Study: Boeing’s Alabama economic impact reaches $2.7 billion

Boeing contributes more than $2.7 billion annually to Alabama’s economy, along with 9,402 jobs in its sprawling operations and support network, according to a new study. The global space and defense manufacturer, which is marking its 60th year in the Yellowhammer state, conducts a wide range of business activities in the Huntsville region, from protecting the U.S. and its allies with innovative weapons systems to charting new chapters of human space exploration.

Boeing’s journey in Alabama began with the development of the Saturn V rocket, the launch vehicle that put the legendary Apollo missions on the moon. Today, the company plays a key role in developing NASA’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, which will return astronauts to the moon and lay the groundwork for future trips beyond Earth’s orbit. With more than 3,000 employees in Alabama, Boeing’s operations span a variety of research, design and manufacturing activities.


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 the last 18 months. According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, in 2020 and the first six months of 2021, 40 projects landed in "targeted" counties that created over 3,000 new jobs. The investments as a whole will generate at least $1.5 billion in new capital investment.


Korean parts supplier expanding its Alabama operations

Auto parts supplier Shinhwa Auto USA Corp. announced a $78 million expansion of its Auburn operations at Auburn Technology Park West. The company supplies parts for Montgomery’s Hyundai plant and Kia in West Point, Ga. The project will create 42 jobs.


Southern Research breaks ground on new, $84 million biotech center in Birmingham

In May, Southern Research broke ground on an $84 million biotech center in Birmingham on the former site of the now-demolished Quinlan Castle, an abandoned apartment building. The project is expected to create 150 new jobs.




Systems Group creating 60 jobs with Arkansas expansion

The Systems Group will purchase 47 acres of land next to its current facility in El Dorado, Ark., to expand its main fabrication and machine shop. The expansion will allow the company to make more of its patented Spray-Cooled™ equipment, which is used to prevent Electric Arc Furnaces from melting while producing liquid steel. Systems also plans to hire 60 new employees there.


Atlas Tube opens $150 million facility in Blytheville, Ark., 75 jobs created

Atlas Tube, a division of Zekelman Industries, has opened its newest steel mill in Blytheville, Ark. It’s the second facility they have opened in Mississippi County, Ark. The new facility will be dedicated to producing Jumbo Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) as large as 28″ OD with walls up to one inch thick. According to the company, the $150 million project is the largest private investment in the U.S. steel industry in the last decade.


Pet care firm adding jobs in Arkansas

Mars Pet care is investing nearly $120 million into its Fort Smith operation as pet food demand rises, capitalizing on earlier expansion plans and producing even more jobs. The company will add two new production lines and 140 new workers.




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.


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.


Largest satellite facility in the world to be constructed at Florida's Space Coast

Terran Orbital announced in the fall that it will invest $300 million Merritt Island on Florida's Space Coast. Florida's governor Ron DeSantis said the company’s move to Florida will create the largest satellite manufacturing facility in the entire world. The 660,000 square-foot facility will be able to produce more than 1,000 satellites a year and 1 million satellite components. The deal will create 2,000 jobs.




Procter & Gamble to build new facility in Butts County, Ga., create 350 jobs

Procter & Gamble Distributing plans to invest $205 million in a new distribution facility in Jackson, Ga. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Procter & Gamble Company specializes in a wide range of personal healthcare and hygiene products.


Shoe manufacturer expanding Georgia

Okabashi Brands, a third-generation family-owned and women-led shoe company based in Buford, Ga., is expanding its presence in Gwinnett County.  The company is one of the 1 percent of footwear manufacturers operating in the U.S. today and is committed to sustainable American manufacturing. The $20 million deal is expected to create 340 jobs.




Manufacturer to locate in western Kentucky, create 150 jobs

A manufacturer of electrical power distribution connectors plans to locate in Western Kentucky and create 150 jobs, officials said. Hollobus Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of engineering design technology company Superior Tray Systems, is investing $2.25 million to move its headquarters and some operations to a former Briggs & Stratton plant in Murray, a statement from Gov. Andy Beshear said. The Kentucky location will produce a new product line that is an alternative to electrical cabling for large industrial projects. The company has partnered with Murray State University to establish a pipeline for workers and said it intends to focus on hiring veterans.


Summit Polymers will invest $37.5 million in Kentucky

Summit Polymers Inc. (SPI) will build a $37.5 million manufacturing facility in Anderson County, Ky., creating 218 full-time jobs. Michigan-based SPI designs and manufactures decorated and assembled automotive interior components, and employs more than 3,000 workers at 15 locations worldwide. The new 140,000-square-foot facility on approximately 40 acres along the U.S. Route 127 Bypass in Lawrenceburg will conduct plastic injection molding, paint applications and assembly operations. It will support SPI’s business with automotive manufacturers in Kentucky and neighboring states, with potential for future expansion.


Bourbon maker bringing jobs to Somerset, Ky.

Horse Soldier Bourbon is investing $200 million to bring bourbon and tourism dollars to Pulaski County, Ky. The deal will create 50 jobs.



General Dynamics IT opens new center in New Orleans

General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics, officially opened its new operations center in New Orleans. The project is expected to create 50 jobs.


Manufacturer adding 100 jobs in rural Louisiana

Greenberry Industrial, a producer of industrial components for petrochemical, maritime, energy and other industries, announced in May it will convert a former shipyard fabrication facility in Jennings, La., and add 100 jobs.


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

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.




This small Southern town isn't the new Hollywood, director says. It's better

There's a strange symbiosis growing between Hollywood and a small town in the Mississippi Delta, and director Tate Taylor is one of the engineers behind it. Known for films like "The Help" and "Breaking News in Yuba County," Taylor has centered his efforts in and around Natchez, a city of less than 15,000 residents that bills itself as the "birthplace of Mississippi." Incoming A-listers trade tinsel and luxury high rises for Spanish moss and antebellum homes. But it's precisely the area's un-Hollywood-ness that makes filming there so magical, Taylor said. Living in close proximity to one another sustains a sort of energy among cast and crew that's hard to replicate in a bigger city, he explained, pointing as an example to his experience directing the late Chadwick Boseman and other stars in the 2014 James Brown biopic "Get on Up." "We all lived in houses in Natchez, and everybody walked to work and (walked) home, and it was just fun," Taylor said in a phone interview. "We called it movie camp."


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.




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.


Manufacturers expand operations in Palmyra, Mo.

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing and Riverview Manufacturing, worldwide leaders in manufacturing dry fertilizer handling equipment, will expand operations in Palmyra. The $1 million project is expected to create 30 jobs.




European plastics manufacturer to invest $47 million to build U.S. facility in Gaston County

Premix Group, a plastics manufacturer, will create more than 30 new jobs in Gaston County, Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders announced. The company will invest $47 million to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Premix serves the automotive and electronics industries.


Champion Home Builders will create 182 jobs in Scotland County, N.C.

Champion Home Builders, a provider of manufactured and modular homes, will expand its North Carolina operations to create 182 jobs in Scotland County. The company will invest $18.7 million into the acquisition and development of a manufacturing campus in Laurinburg.


Piping manufacturer creating 168 new jobs in Nash County, N.C.

COSMOIND, a polyethylene piping manufacturer, will create 168 new jobs in Nash County. The company will invest more than $12.8 million to build its first North American manufacturing campus for industrial, natural gas and drinking water pipes in Middlesex.




Food distributor expands in South Carolina

Carolina Food Service, a full-service food distribution company, will expand operations in Loris, S.C. The $3.7 million project is expected to create 71 jobs in Horry County.


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.


Oak barrel manufacturer chooses rural South Carolina for new plant

South Carolina Oak to Barrel LLC announced in the fall it will invest $6.8 million in a new plant in Bamberg County, S.C. The barrels will be used for whiskey and wine operations. The project will generate 122 new jobs.


Peanut plant slated for South Carolina

Premium Peanut is investing $64.3 million to establish operations in Orangeburg County in a move expected to create 130 jobs.




“Ambitious but attainable”: How Memphis chamber plans to attract 50,000 new jobs to area

The Greater Memphis Chamber has a plan to draw tens of thousands of new jobs to the metro area by the end of the decade, and the plan focuses on inclusion, advanced industries and increasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates.  Ted Townsend, chief economic development officer for the Greater Memphis Chamber, said there could be “no more resignation than anything less than the spectacular for our region. Why? Because the competition is fierce.” The chamber unveiled its strategic growth plan Monday at the mid-year chairman’s forum at The Guest House at Graceland. The plan outlines how the region could gain 50,000 new, high-quality jobs by 2030, with half of those jobs going to minorities, a goal the chamber called “ambitious but attainable.” Helping with that effort will be the newly formed division for diversity and community development at the chamber. The vast majority of current economic growth is in advanced industries like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, aerospace engineering and other similar industries, Townsend said.


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 mega-deal 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.


Auto supplier announces $8 million Tennessee plant

A Michigan manufacturer of automotive powertrain and drivetrain systems plans to establish a new facility in East Tennessee, state and company officials announced. ATC Drivetrain will invest more than $8 million in the new plant in Knoxville. Over the next five years, the company expects the project to create 218 new jobs.


Clarksville, Tenn., ranked

Clarksville, Tenn., located northwest of Nashville, was ranked in the winter by San Francisco-based real estate company 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.


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.




Dallas vs. Chicago? On jobs, population and housing, the growth story isn’t even close

Companies cite many reasons for moving to Dallas-Fort Worth, including access to air travel, the cost of living and the quality of the workforce. Chicago is competitive on all those fronts, yet Caterpillar Inc. announced that it’s relocating its headquarters from suburban Chicago to Irving, one of D-FW’s leading cities. Caterpillar follows Topgolf Entertainment Group, OpTic Gaming, Boeing Global Services, Addus HomeCare and thousands of residents from Chicagoland to North Texas. So what’s the biggest economic difference between the third- and fourth-most populous metros in the country? The growth story isn’t even close — not on population, jobs, workforce and more. And more growth means more opportunity for companies and workers alike. While Chicago had 1.75 million more people last year, D-FW has added over six times more residents since 2000. Last year, D-FW added 97,000 while Chicago lost almost 92,000.


High-speed rail is all but dead in Texas

Plenty of shortsighted people have been rooting for Texas’ high-speed rail project to fail from the moment it was announced. Sadly, it looks ever more likely they will get their wish. The deck has been stacked from the beginning against Texas Central Railway, which had proposed a privately funded line linking Houston and Dallas that would have put the state on the world map as an international leader in transportation.

But it looks like the naysayers got their way. Texans are still waiting on a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court on whether the project can go forward, and Texas Central’s chief executive, Carlos Aguilar, has resigned. His sendoff an indicator that this project is over.


A look at Austin's swift growth, and its growing pains

Austin keeps growing. And growing. And growing. That population surge is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it has helped keep the region's economy among the strongest in the nation, and the region's thriving technology sector is making Central Texas an international hub. But the influx of new people also comes with its share of growing pains, including worsening affordability concerns and an unresolved homelessness crisis.


Sherman, Texas wins GlobiTech expansion, bringing 1,500 new jobs and $5 billion investment

Sherman has scored its second major semiconductor-related expansion with GlobiTech selecting the North Texas city for a new $5 billion plant to produce silicon wafers. The subsidiary of Taiwan-based GlobalWafers Co. will create 1,500 new jobs. Texas will provide a $15 million cash grant from its enterprise fund to go along with at least $34 million in local tax incentives. “It’s a big day for North Texas,” Sherman Mayor David Plyler said. “We’re very excited in the city of Sherman to have this kind of facility located here. Of course, the first manufacturing plant of its kind in America in the last 20 years is a big story.” The new plant will raise Texas’ “global position in the semiconductor industry amid a worldwide chip shortage,” Gov. Greg Abbott said during the announcement. GlobiTech joins Dallas-based Texas Instruments and Korea’s Samsung in committing to multibillion-dollar investments in the Lone Star State. GlobiTech also was considering sites in Ohio and South Korea for expansion. GlobalWafers CEO Doris Hsu said the company received “tremendously competitive proposals.”


Solar giant Qcells to build new $171 million plant in Georgia

The parent company of solar manufacturer Qcells confirmed that more solar panel production is headed to the “carpet capital of the world,” in the form of a new $171 million plant to be built near its existing Dalton facility. The announcement follows a pledge by South Korea-based Hanwha Solutions, which owns Qcells, to dramatically expand its U.S.-based solar production. The new facility will produce 1.4 gigawatts of Qcells’ next generation, high efficiency solar panels each year and bring an estimated 470 new jobs to Whitfield County in Northwest Georgia, the company said in a release. Qcells’ existing Dalton facility employs more than 750.


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.


Neiman Marcus could get $5 million-plus in incentives for Dallas headquarters

Dallas plans to offer Neiman Marcus up to $5.25 million in incentives if it keeps its corporate headquarters in Dallas. The luxury retailer is eyeing a move of hundreds of workers to the Cityplace Tower on North Central Expressway just north of downtown. Many of those workers are currently housed at Neiman’s landmark store on Main Street.

To obtain millions of dollars in economic grants, Neiman’s would need to have a minimum of 1,100 Dallas jobs and “ensure that a minimum of 35 percent of retained headquarters employees are Dallas residents,” according to a resolution presented to Dallas’ city council. “The proposed project will not occur within the city without an offer of economic development incentives.” Neiman Marcus would also have to create a minimum of 300 new jobs in Dallas by the end of 2026 to gain the full incentives offered. And the city will require Neiman Marcus to keep its flagship store in downtown Dallas.


New rare-earth magnet facility to attract hundreds of jobs to Fort Worth

A rare earth magnet factory is coming to Fort Worth, and it will attract hundreds of new jobs. Las Vegas-based MP Materials is building its new rare earth magnet factory off of Alliance Gateway Freeway in Fort Worth's Alliance corridor. James Litinsky, the founder, chairman and CEO of MP Materials, says magnets are synonymous with modern life. "Rare earth magnets are really what will power motion, electric vehicles, wind turbines, drones, robots, robot dogs, air taxis, whatever — we could go on and on," Litinsky said during the April groundbreaking ceremony. The new facility will reshore 150 skilled jobs and about 1,300 indirect jobs.


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. Samsung will capture nearly $1 billion in incentives.


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.




Dominion seeks approval for a $10 billion wind farm off Virginia Beach

State regulators considering whether to approve Dominion Energy Virginia’s plans for a nearly $10 billion offshore wind farm should implement protections to shield customers from possible cost overruns and other project risks, ratepayer advocates testified in May.

No one is asking that the State Corporation Commission reject outright the planned 176-turbine project off the coast of Virginia Beach, which the company says will be the country’s largest. But attorneys representing the utility’s customers and environmental groups have sought to make the case that because of the project’s enormous costs, customer protections need to be put in place.


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

Jason El Koubi, 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.”


Biotech firm hiring in Northern Virginia

Manassas-based Virongy Biosciences is expanding its lab in Prince William County, Va. at the Northern Virginia Bioscience Center. The company plans to develop diagnostic technologies to monitor and quantify COVID-19 variants and other viral pathogens in the deal that will create 70 jobs.


Martinsville-Henry County, Va., is at it again

Germany-based Schock is setting up shop in Henry County, Va., one of the most successful rural locations in the South for economic development. The company manufactures all kinds of kitchen sinks. The $85 million deal will create 355 jobs.


Massimo Zanetti Beverage expanding in Virginia

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA (MZB-USA), one of the largest vertically integrated coffee companies in North America, will invest $29.1 million to consolidate and expand operations at its roasting facility in the City of Suffolk. Virginia successfully competed with New Jersey for the project, which will create 79 new jobs.




Veloxint bringing hundreds of jobs to West Virginia

Veloxint, a manufacturer of nanocrystalline metal alloys, recently announced its move to Touchstone Research Laboratory, located in Triadelphia, W.Va. Veloxint is working on commercializing high-tech metal alloys for use in the chemical, solar and aerospace industries. Over the next four years, 200 to 300 jobs are estimated to be created as a result of the move.

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