November 2023

FDI in China turned negative for the first time on record

Foreign Direct Investment turned negative on a net basis in the third quarter of 2023. That has never happened since record keeping first began. China’s economy is suffering as it (the world’s second largest economy) continues to struggle with COVID recovery, a dearth of labor, a lack of consumer and corporate confidence and reshoring of companies that have been manufacturing in China for decades. Data from the third quarter showed an outflow of $11.8 billion, the first net negative since records began in 1998. In addition to negative FDI, China’s exports fell for the sixth straight month in October. Chinese exports fell 6.4 percent in October compared with a year earlier, to $275 billion.

In related news regarding China, the Communist country passed a significant milestone last year when, for the first time, it traded more with developing countries than the U.S., Europe and Japan combined, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. continues to keep the heat on China with export bans, tariffs and investment limits. This has created a lessening of a reliance on supply chains out of China and more jobs for Americans and Europeans that otherwise might go to China. The limitations have also created a more secure technology transfer among Chinese and U.S. companies. 


So where did your favorite manager at your favorite restaurant go after COVID?

If you are like me, relationships you had at your bank, your favorite bar, restaurants, well, some of those folks seemed to disappear during and after the COVID years of 2020 and 2021. I have asked people who replaced those I adored and trusted for so long, “Where did everybody go?” It could be that they retired, according to officials with the Federal Reserve.

More than three and a half years after COVID decimated the U.S. economy, there are now 2 million more retirees than predicted by the Federal Reserve. Called the “Great Retirement,” apparently a couple million workers in this country simply up and retired rather than deal with the pandemic in their previous working environment. 

In an age when birthrates in the U.S. are at their lowest levels since the “Great Depression,” deaths almost equal births and rates of those turning 65 are ten times higher than those turning working age (16). The labor participation rate for those over 65 and older is still well below pre-pandemic levels. The fact that there are 2 million more retirees than expected by the experts is just another blow to a workforce that cannot even come close to satisfying the 10 million jobs that are available in the South and elsewhere in the country.   


RurAL on a winning streak, as is the rural South in general

Economic developers from rural communities in Alabama attended the RurAL Summit in November that was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Commerce. It was held at the Central Alabama Community College. Since 2020, the state’s rural counties have attracted over $4 billion in new capital investment through a series of economic development projects expected to create more than 5,400 jobs, according to Commerce estimates. Last year alone, new projects landing in Alabama’s “targeted” or rural counties will bring $1.8 billion in new investment and 1,900 jobs to communities such as Courtland, Selma, Greenville, Fayette and Cusseta. Governor Kay Ivey, a native of Wilcox County, told the economic developers gathered at the Summit that she is committed to helping spur growth across all of Alabama, particularly in the state’s rural areas.


Who said “80 percent of all new jobs are created by existing industry?” Then again, 100 percent of all lost jobs are created by existing industry

We have heard for decades the fable that 80 percent of all new jobs are created by existing industry. It is just untrue. It is a different percentage in the South in any given year. Yet, we are quite sure that 100 percent of lost jobs are created by existing industry.

That sadly happened in Ardmore, Okla., in November, and residents of the city were stunned. “No one saw it coming,” said Bill Murphy, CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority, when Michelin announced it is winding down tire production at the plant that houses 1,400 workers. Michelin is Ardmore’s largest employer and a manufacturing anchor for Southern Oklahoma’s economy.

The plant, which opened in 1970, will close by the end of 2025, or sooner. Michelin officials cited changes in the passenger vehicle market, including larger tires for SUVs and new designs for electric vehicles. The company made the decision to pass on modernizing the plant for next-generation tires. The rubber-making line at the plant will continue to operate to deliver product to other Michelin tire plants in the U.S.


Louisville continues its quest as an all-for-everyone major market in the South

According to a report from the payroll and HR online platform Gusto, the Louisville metro area was the fastest growing market in the U.S. for job growth in September. Jobs grew at a 2.5 percent pace in Louisville that month. Second place for job growth in September was Virginia Beach at 1.5 percent. Completing the top five were Indianapolis, Richmond and Cincinnati, all at 1 percent.


Kentucky tourism development projects break all-time records with over $300 million invested

Kentucky had a banner year in tourism investment in 2002, including constant additions to its famed Bourbon Trail.  Then came 2023. Over $300 million in capital expenditures broke the 2022 record for investments in tourism projects in the Commonwealth. Nine new tourism development projects were announced in 2023. Over 90,000 jobs are supported by tourism in Kentucky and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail surpassed 2 million visitors for the first time in 2023.


Georgia hits the jackpot with clean energy jobs

Georgia, with a large electric vehicle industry that is just emerging, is second only to Michigan with the number of new and expanded clean energy projects announced since August, when President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provide incentives for clean air application in manufacturing and other industries.

Nearly 20,000 jobs are being created in Georgia in new clean energy projects, a full 10 percent of the 200,000 expected to be created since the signing of the IRA. The Democrats’ comprehensive healthcare and clean energy law included billions of dollars in tax credits for the private sector to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Billions have already been gifted to those such as Hyundai, Toyota and other automakers, as well as in new hydrogen fuel projects and in carbon capture. Investments in deals in those fields announced since the IRA was implemented are in the hundreds of billions. One of the largest clean energy projects ongoing is Hyundai and SK’s investments throughout the South, and more than $14 billion in Georgia alone.


Interior Department approves massive Virginia wind farm

In November, the Biden Administration approved a plan called the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project that is designed to erect up to 176 giant wind turbines off the coast of Virginia. If completed, it would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm yet. The 2.6-gigawatt wind farm would produce enough electricity to power more than 900,000 homes without creating any carbon dioxide. The project, to be built by Dominion Energy, would provide about 900 jobs each year during construction and support about 1,200 jobs once the wind farm begins operations. 


The green fuel that even red America loves

Many Republicans have railed against the government’s subsidies for wind and solar, excoriated its support for electric vehicles and decried moves to curb oil and gas. But one clean-energy candidate has broad support from some of the reddest parts of the U.S.: hydrogen. Take the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, a largely Republican-controlled region that is home to many of the oil and gas refineries in the U.S.

Backers of hydrogen in that area include Rep. Randy Weber (R., Texas) and Rep. Clay Higgins (R., La.), a Freedom Caucus member who describes fossil fuels as “the lifeblood of our modern society.” Both support a Houston-based hydrogen program vying for a piece of $7 billion in federal grants, though they voted against the legislation that made the grants possible.” The Wall Street Journal


“All of the above” clean energy hub may settle in the coal country of Southwest Virginia

Southwest Virginia, specifically Wise County, is coal country if there ever was one in the South. . .that region and East Kentucky.

Wise County and neighboring localities in Southwest Virginia may become home to a massive clean energy development that could attract up to $8.25 billion in capital investments, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced in November. A joint agreement has been charged between Energy DELTA Lab, Dallas-based Fortune 100 energy company Energy Transfer and Wise County that will involve the development of 65,000 acres of former coal mining land for “all-of-the-above” energy technology (Virginia Business) — including natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy and other emerging energy sources.

When completed, the massive $8.25 billion private investment project could generate 1 gigawatt of power. A total of more than a dozen individual developments are being considered that could generate nearly 2,000 jobs over up to 65,000 acres, mostly of old coal mines. “All of the above” projects include wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen and pumped storage hydro, as well as energy storage technologies.


Is Epic Games more than wishy washy on Cary, N.C., headquarters?

On January 3, 2021, Epic Games announced a new headquarters at the former Cary Towne Center Mall in Cary, N.C., near Raleigh. Since then, the company and the local government have demolished most of the 980,000-square-foot former mall on an 87-acre site. Epic operates Fortnite, one of the world’s largest games with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections.  Yet, public records from the Town of Cary show no activity regarding Epic’s headquarters plan going forward. Even worse, Epic recently announced layoffs totaling 170 people in the Triangle region. Public records obtained from the Town of Cary show zero updates from Epic Games on its plans for the former shopping mall – but they do show a flurry of concern. From the Triangle Business Journal: “Sad news,” said Mark Lawson, president of the Cary Chamber of Commerce, referencing the firm’s mounting legal bills and adding that he is “not surprised.”


New LNG plant picks contractors to build facility in Louisiana

A new liquefied natural gas project in Louisiana led by a veteran Houston LNG developer officially has contractors for its facility. Gulfstream LNG, which plans to export 4 million tonnes per annum of LNG, has brought Honeywell UOP and Kiewit Energy Group Inc. as technical partners for the Plaquemines Parish project. All three contractors have headquarters or major offices in Houston. Baker Hughes will provide liquefaction equipment, Honeywell will provide its gas treatment technology, and Kiewit will provide engineering, procurement and construction support. Houston Business Journal


Alabama wage growth outpaces national wage growth

“Wage growth has been slowing in Alabama, but it was higher than national wage growth in October. For workers who have stayed in the same job for the last 12 months in Alabama, median annual salary was $60,500 in October, 6 percent higher than one year prior. That’s according to data from ADP Pay Insights, which tracks wages and salaries of over 10 million employees over a 12-month period. Nationally, those figures were $57,800 and 5.7 percent in October. Birmingham Business Journal


Northern Atlanta suburb the first BioReady Community in Georgia

A northern Atlanta suburb has been dubbed gold BioReady Community, a designation some local life sciences leaders hope will encourage investment in the industry. Johns Creek is the state’s first gold-designated BioReady Community, Maria Thacker-Goethe, president and CEO of trade association Georgia Bio, announced receently. The program aims to encourage communities to streamline the process for luring biological and life sciences companies to Georgia.

The BioReady designation indicates the community’s zoning allows for biotech laboratory and manufacturing and that it provides other services, such as a life sciences liaison in city hall. The designation is meant to be a signal that the area is friendly to life sciences business. Atlanta Business Chronicle


Samsung’s economic effect on Central Texas’ economy doubled in one year

Samsung has been operating in Austin for decades making computer chips and other technological wonders. Construction is ongoing at its new campus in Taylor, Texas, just outside the Austin city limits. It is also expanding its longtime home in North Austin. The chipmaker – part of the South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. – apparently pumped $13.6 billion into the local economy at its two sites in 2022, up from $6.3 billion the year prior, while also supporting 21,000 direct and indirect jobs.


Wolfspeed looking for fast ramp-up to North Carolina chip plant

Wolfspeed is cranking up its $5 billion semiconductor materials plant that is under construction in Chatham County, N.C., near Siler City. The company has just begun hiring and plans to house 1,800 workers at the plant by 2030. Wolfspeed’s CEO, Gregg Lowe, expects the North Carolina plant will be built and operational quicker than the company’s plant in Mohawk Valley, N.Y., where power devices have recently started production.


Urban Land Institute names Nashville the No. 1 “city to watch” in overall real estate prospects

For the third year in a row, Nashville has been ranked as the top market for overall real estate prospects according to a new study by the Urban Land Institute. In the fall quarter, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, which focuses on real estate and land use, released its 2023 Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report.


Ford is postponing production at second EV battery plant in Kentucky

Originally, Ford announced two electric vehicle battery plants at the former Glendale megasite in Hardin County, Ky. The first facility is well under construction; however, the domestic automaker is postponing the second plant as it weighs the market. Officials at Ford are “slowing down” investments in electric vehicle production given the “dynamic” market of EVs at this early date of the new industry. Ford has also slowed production and future capacity at plants in Michigan to better match EV demand.  


New Orleans officials look to fix saltwater intrusion in the water supply

Thanks to a changing climate and a deeper navigation channel in the Mississippi River, the saltwater intrusion that has threatened New Orleans area drinking water supplies this year is expected to become more frequent. The scale of the crisis has sparked calls for a permanent solution. While there is no shortage of ideas, they all come with a huge price and no certainty about who will pay for them. One favored plan would involve redesigning and rebuilding plants serving New Orleans and Jefferson Parish to allow them to remove salt from river water, projects that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, parish officials say.


Port of Brunswick (Ga.) aims to become largest vehicle export/import port

In October, Georgia Ports Authority CEO Griff Lynch outlined the growth schedule for the Port of Brunswick as it expands to surpass the Port of Baltimore as the nation’s largest port for roll-on, roll-off cargo. The Georgia port is adding a fourth ship berth at Brunswick’s main terminal and is deepening and widening the harbor.  “We will be the No. 1 port when we stand before you at this event in 2026,” Lynch told members of the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.


Developers granted approval for additional phases of Huntsville industrial parks

“The Huntsville Planning Commission granted approval for additional phases to two industrial parks in the Limestone County part of the city. Both parks are near major employers Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, Amazon, Buffalo Rock and Polaris and will total more than 200 million square feet when completed. The commission granted preliminary approval of the Huntsville West Industrial Park and layout and approval of phase three of Airport Properties being developed by the Huntsville Logistics Center. Triad Properties and Fairway Investments have already started work on the first building in the Huntsville West industrial Park, a 385,000-square-foot facility that will feature 32-foot minimum clear heights, 60-foot speed bays, 84 truck docks, a 185-foot truck court with 60-foot apron, space for 198 car parking spaces and 96 trailer parking spaces.


Nashville has the worst commutes for workers in the nation

According to a new study by Forbes Home, Nashville is home to the worst commute in the U.S. Workers in Nashville wasted an average of 41 hours to traffic last year and residents spend on average 28.6 minutes commuting to work each day. Forbes Home writes in its report. “Nashville is a city that has experienced massive growth in recent years. The city has 452,194 workers with 2.6 percent of households that do not have access to a car.”


EV materials project lands outside the heart of the industry in the Southern Automotive Corridor

A North Carolina county on the coast has landed a major economic development project. Epsilon Advanced Materials, an India-based manufacturer of battery materials, is planning to invest roughly $650 million to build its first North American factory in Brunswick County, N.C., far outside the spine of the Southern Auto Corridor, which now is I-65 and I-75 (considering Hyundai’s metaplant near Savannah and other projects). The company could create 500 jobs over three years to produce natural and synthetic graphite anode material.


Duke Energy building first-of-its kind green hydrogen system in Florida

Duke Energy Corp. plans to build a first-of-its-kind green hydrogen system at its existing facility in DeBary. The combustion turbine will be the first such system deployed anywhere. The hydrogen system is part of Vision Florida, a program that also includes the company’s first floating solar array, a pilot underway at the Hines generating station in Polk County. Vision Florida tests innovative projects such as microgrids and battery energy storage, among others, to prepare the power grid for a clean energy future, according to the company’s website. The technology for the new hydrogen system was developed through collaboration between Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy, Chicago engineering firm Sargent & Lundy, and General Electric subsidiary GE Vernova, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Orlando Business Journal


Hyundai’s Savannah area metaplant: The Southern Automotive Corridor’s signature win to date?

For decades, the rumors that Volvo and Audi would build full assembly plants in the Southern Automotive Corridor would surface, then go away, then surface again. One rumor ended when Volvo announced it would build its first vehicle plant in the Western Hemisphere in 2015 near Charleston, S.C., in Berkeley County. Who placed second in Volvo’s site search? Why, none other than a site near Savannah in Bryan County, Ga. Needless to say, the folks in Savannah felt that they had won the Volvo deal and were seriously bummed when they learned their place earned the bridesmaid status. Seven years later, Hyundai showed up and announced the largest automotive project in the South’s history, a nearly $8 billion battery and assembly facility that will eventually house over 8,000 workers. Not a bad consolation prize, huh?

Hyundai broke ground on the massive plant near Savannah in October of 2022. The goal of the Korean automaker and its battery partner LG Energy is to begin production in early 2025 in order to begin capitalizing on new federal tax credits for EVs manufactured in the U.S. However, Hyundai officials have stated that production could begin as early as October of 2024. The complex is enormous, encompassing 3,000 acres. Hyundai and LG Energy’s manufacturing process will be a blend of artificial intelligence, robotics and human labor for a “smart factory,” putting the meta into a “Metaplant.” Suppliers to Hyundai so far have made commitments for over 6,000 jobs and an additional $2.7 billion in new investments.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “The facility will feature a glass-encased conveyor belt ‘bridge’ to transport vehicles from the factory’s paint shop over to final assembly. Jumbo Park, the plant’s head of engineering, said the elevated and lit passage will be visible from Interstate 16.

One of the campus’ parking lots will feature a solar-panel canopy, which Park said will provide 5 percent of the factory’s electricity. The rest will be obtained through power purchase agreements, with the goal of sourcing 100 percent of the facility’s electricity from renewable sources.

Visitors to the plant will be able to explore a greenspace at the front of the facility abutting the interstate, which officials said will be larger than Savannah’s iconic Forsyth Park, which spans more than 30 acres. The goal, Park said, is to “connect the community with the people who work in the plant.”

For employees, on-site amenities will include restaurants, stores, a fitness center and health clinics, Hyundai officials said.

Hyundai has not announced which models it will assemble at the Georgia plant. However, officials have said they will make electric models from the company’s three brands. Those would be Kia, Hyundai and the luxury line, Genesis. First year output is expected to be 300,000 EVs.


Where are people from who are moving to North Carolina?

North Carolina had the fourth highest number of residents move from other states in 2022, new U.S. Census data shows. In calendar year 2022, almost 350,000 people moved to North Carolina from other U.S. states. That figure was the fourth highest among all U.S. states. Florida was the No. 1 state as a source of new migration to North Carolina, followed by Virginia, South Carolina and New York. Only Florida, Texas and California attracted more new residents from the U.S. than did North Carolina in 2022.


Virginia housing market slowest in more than 10 years

Virginia’s housing market last month was the slowest September the state has had in more than a decade, according to a Virginia Realtors report. Virginia home sales in September dropped 21.1 percent from the same month last year. Home sales totaled 8,023 last month, down 2,149 home sales compared with September 2022. The last time the September market was this slow happened in 2012, which had 7,005 sales that month.


Massive new office skyscrapers going up in Austin, but no one is moving in

Historically, Austin, Texas, is one of the most active office markets in the South, as its tech scene has accelerated dramatically since the 1990s. However, since the pandemic, new office space has been a crap shoot as gobs of Class A space sits empty in so many major markets throughout the country.

For example, metro Atlanta set a record for its vast amount of empty and unwanted office space. It only took three months to break it in the summer quarter. Nearly 31 percent of all office square footage in metro Atlanta was available for rent at the end of September, according to data from real estate services firm CBRE.

Austin is not immune from the vacancies. One 66-story behemoth known as “Sixth and Guadalupe” is nearing completion and timing could not be worse. Tech giant Meta signed a lease for all 19 floors of office space as construction was underway in early 2022. When the building opens near the first of the year, all of the space Meta signed up for will be empty. Meta has shelved its move-in plans and is now attempting to sublease nearly 600,000 square feet of space, 1,626 parking spots, 17 private balconies and a nice green space. As of November, there have been no takers.

In addition, the job search engine, Indeed, has moved into its namesake tower in Austin. However, it has placed 100,000 square feet of downtown office space on the sublease market.

Currently, Austin has more space on the sublease market than ever before.


Big River Steel opens new electrical steel line at its plant in the Arkansas Delta

U.S. Steel’s Big River plant in Osceola, Ark., has opened a new electrical steel line that will position the company as a key supplier in the electric vehicle market. The new steel product is ultra-thin with all the magnetic properties needed for EVs. No electric vehicle, motor, or generator today is operational without the steel grades needed to transform electrical power into usable energy.


First private rail line in U.S. in a century

The new Brightline rail had its inaugural run Friday, with round-trip tickets to and from Miami to Orlando priced at $158, or $298 for first-class. Groups can buy four round-trip tickets for $398, according to the Associated Press. The Orlando-to-Miami run is the first private intercity passenger service in the U.S. in a century. It’s estimated that roughly 40 million people travel between the two Florida cities each year, with more than 90 percent making the trip by car. Brightline has invested $5 billion with the expectation that the high-speed train will attract about 20 percent of those travelers. 


Mercedes-Benz to expand again in Alabama, van plant in South Carolina

Mercedes-Benz has applied for tax breaks for potential projects at two U.S. plants, including its Tuscaloosa County facility and its electric delivery vans and medium-sized electric luxury transporter plant in South Carolina. Both expansions include new all-electric models. In Alabama that would be the GLC SUV, which is currently only available with a combustion engine.

In 2022, Mercedes began electric vehicle production in Vance, Ala., capping five years of activity and more than $1 billion in investments, which also added an electric battery factory in Bibb County and 1,000 more employees. The German automaker is applying for incentives available under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which has sparked billions in clean energy projects throughout the South.


Florida retirees leaving Florida at rates never before seen

For more than 80 years Florida was one of the nation’s most active retiree markets, as millions migrated to the Sunshine State for the weather and a low cost of living. That is changing.

The cost of housing has risen 60 percent since 2018, according to Redfin, where the median price of a single-family home in Florida was $250,000. Today, five years later, it is roughly $400,000 for an average home in Florida. In addition, insurance costs for housing have risen as well because of a double whammy of rising rates and rising risks from hurricanes and other climate-driven disasters. If insurance becomes too expensive for people to buy homes, or banks to give mortgages in vulnerable locations, it could set off a drop in demand and property values.

Many Florida retirees are finding lower cost locations in the South, including places in Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.


GE completes $450 million dishwasher manufacturing lines

GE Appliances, a Haier company, cut the ribbon on its investment in the company’s Louisville, Kentucky HQ.


Three-million-square-foot industrial park planned for Simpsonville, Ky.

A pair of developers are planning a large industrial park on 300 acres at 64 Logistics Park.


GTL Americas LP to build $3.5 billion fuel factory in Jefferson County, Ark.

The liquid natural gas conversion facility will hire 2,500 construction workers to build, with an estimated 225-250 full-time employees once compete.


Tennessee gives Kroger $1 million incentive for 50,000-square-foot pharmacy central fill facility

The facility will be the fifth facility for Kroger in the United States and is expected to employ 140 people.


Ineos Group to acquire acetic acid plant in Texas

The U.K.-based chemicals company will buy a 600-kilatonne plant in Texas City for $490 million from Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical.


Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) to invest $190 million to upgrade production line in Montgomery, Ala.

The automaker plans to retool and upgrade its manufacturing facility for the fifth generation Santa Fe.


Latitude Corp. hosts shovel ceremony at the Manning Industrial park in Clarendon County, S.C.

Initially lured to the state by readySC, a technical college system program to train and recruit workers, the Wisconsin-based company will spend $29 million and hire 200 employees in the rural county.


Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation completes latest expansion in Savannah, Ga.

The $150 million expansion will increase the facility’s capacity by 142,000 square feet and will add 1,600 new jobs to the region.


Vietnamese glove maker is coming to Arkansas

Phu Duc Huy US Inc. plans on hiring about 300 people once its facility becomes fully operational in Lake Village, Ark.


SIG Sauer announces plans to expand in Jacksonville, Ark.

The New Hampshire-based firearms and ammunition manufacturer will spend $150 million to expand operations at 1809 Swift Street. The investment will create 625 new jobs over five years.


San Antonio Airport nears ground-breaking on the next phase of $2.5 billion expansion

Construction is set to begin on a $61.7 million facility to expand the airport’s capacity to move more passengers.


Raleigh-Durham International Airport to begin construction of $500 million runway

Following the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the airport’s new international runway, officials gathered on RDU’s airstrip to celebrate with ceremonial shovels. The project will take seven years and $534 million to complete.


Toyota Boshoku America and Gov. Beshear celebrate announcement of $225 million investment in Hopkinsville, Ky.

The automotive company will bring 157 high-paying jobs to Western Kentucky.


Envelope maker expands in Virginia

Parkland Direct, a lithographic print and custom envelope manufacturer, announced a $10 million expansion in Bedford County. The investment will create 41 jobs.


Goldman Sachs Group breaks ground on $500 million campus in Dallas

The financial giant’s 800,000-square-foot building will be constructed on three acres on the southeast corner of the North End Development. The campus will serve as the regional base for Goldman Sachs, eventually employing 5,000 people when it opens in 2027.


National outdoor retailer REI Co-op opens state-of-the-art distribution center in Tennessee

The 400,000-square-foot Wilson County facility, which will run exclusively on renewable power, will employ more than 230 workers.


Radial Inc., a leader in eCommerce solutions, to hire 2,000 in Louisville, Ky.

The company plans to fill the entry-level fulfillment positions to support eCommerce demand this holiday season.


Stellar Snacks plans $137 million facility in West Louisville, Ky.

The Nevada-based snack food company will employ 350 people at the 434,000-square-foot facility, located at 1391 Dixie Highway.


Walmart plans to build a $350 million dairy facility in South Georgia

The dairy plant will create 400 jobs in Valdosta. It will produce dairy products that will be distributed to 750 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the region.


Nucor opens $1.7 billion steel mill in Brandenburg, Ky.

Gov. Beshear joined local officials and Nucor Corporation leadership for the grand opening of the company’s steel plate manufacturing facility in Meade County. The project has created hundreds of high-paying jobs.


Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group opens office in Tampa

The Japanese bank will employ up to 500 people and sublease 80,000 square feet in MetWest International.


U.S. Steel launches new steel line in Arkansas

The manufacturer cut the ribbon on its new non-grain oriented electrical steel line at its Big River Steel facility in Osceola, Ark. Construction on the $450 million project began in October 2022.


Archer Aviation finalizes plans to develop electric aircraft plant in Georgia

The Santa Clara, California-based company is constructing a 350,000-square-foot plant to build electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft next to Covington Municipal Airport. Expected to be completed next year, the plant will create more than 1,000 jobs.


Airbus celebrates ongoing expansion in Mobile, Ala.

The giant facility for Airbus’ manufacturing of jetliners will employ 1,000 workers.


Ascension Seton plans $230 million expansion in Round Rock, Texas

The St. Louis-based company will expand its 201 Seton Parkway facility with the addition of 160 new patient rooms, operating rooms and expanded space for emergency and other departments. The expansion will create about 400 new jobs.


West Virginia-based Ziegenfelder breaks ground on factory near Austin, Texas

The $46 million, 61,000-square-foot factory will be operational by the end of next year. The company is known for making dessert pops and aims to produce 1 million frozen treats daily.


Qcells completes $2.5 billion factory expansion in Dalton, Ga.

The factory will produce 30,000 solar panels a day, creating 510 new jobs. By next year, the factory will employ a total of 1,800 people.


ZT Systems intends to expand in Georgetown, Texas

The New Jersey-based company manufactures equipment used for cloud computing and artificial intelligence systems. With the purchase of a 435,000-square-foot facility, the expansion will employ at least 1,500 people.


Alcon plans $100 million expansion in Fort Worth, Texas

The eyecare company’s proposed expansion entails the construction of a 250,000-square-foot facility on the Swiss-American pharmaceutical and medical device company’s campus.


Tennessee’s largest CPA firm expands into Kentucky

Nashville’s top-ranked business consulting firm LBMC expands with the acquisition of Louisville-based Strothman & Co. The move will increase the number of LBMC employees to more than 850.


Thermoplastic piping manufacturer expands in North Carolina

Canadian-based IPEX will create 150 new jobs in Mecklenburg County with its $200 million, 200,000-square-foot facility in Pineville.


Construction continues at Hyundai’s $7.6 billion Metaplant in Savannah, Ga.

The 2,000-worker, 2,906-acre construction site is showing signs of progress with steel frames going up for most of the buildings, and roof and wall work beginning. Hyundai defined the Metaplant on the facility’s first groundbreaking anniversary -- “transformative, transcending."


Rivian confirms 2024 Georgia factory groundbreaking

Speaking at the company’s new showroom at Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Rivian announced plans to break ground on its $5 billion factory near Rutledge, Ga., early next year. The factory will produce the R2 crossover and is expected to employ 7,500 workers.


Daechang Seat Corp. announces $72.5 million manufacturing facility near Hyundai’s Metaplant near Savannah, Ga.

The company makes seat frames, and the new facility will employ 500-plus people at the Savannah Chatham Manufacturing Center, an industrial park along I-16.


North Carolina lands EV battery components plant

Epsilon Advanced Materials, an Indian manufacturer of battery materials, will invest $640 million to build a factory in Brunswick County. The company will create 500 new, well-paying jobs.


Charlotte Pipe invests $460 million in Stanly County, N.C.

The move, a gamechanger for rural Stanly County, will enable the company to become more efficient. Charlotte Pipe will employ 500 workers at the new plant.


Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Fla., receives two contracts for F-35s

The defense contractor will supply Romania and the Czech Republic with F-35s. Romania will spend $6.5 billion and Czech roughly $5 billion. Both contracts will include training services and flight simulators, which are developed by the company in Orlando.


Brunswick expansion will make Georgia home to the U.S.’s largest automotive port

The Port of Brunswick and other port facilities support 561,000 jobs and contribute $59 billion annually to Georgia’s gross domestic product, according to the University of Georgia.


PACCAR is expanding operations in Columbus, Miss.

The global automotive technology company is investing $209.4 million in two projects that will create 100 jobs. An industry leader in the design and manufacture of premium trucks, the company is expanding its existing facility by 50,000 square feet to add remanufacturing operations to the site.


Skydweller Aero brings operations to Hancock County, Miss.

The $65 million total in corporate investment and solar powered aircraft inventory will bring its flight test and aircraft modification operations to Hancock County, creating 36 new jobs.


Alden Group opening new facility in Mississippi

The renewable energy company works with area poultry processors to transform waste products into dry matter to supply refineries to make biodiesel. Its Smith County facility will employ 30 workers.


GE Vernova lands in Atlanta’s The Battery

The General Electric spinoff, which encompasses GE’s portfolio of energy businesses, has leased 77,000 square feet. Around 400 employees will work out of the new hub.


Wolfspeed begins hiring 1,800 for semiconductor factory in North Carolina

Announced last year, the $5 billion facility near Siler City will cover more than 1 million square feet.


Railcar company has chosen The Line in South End for its new Charlotte Headquarters

TTX Company, which provides railcars and freight car management services, will invest $14.5 million into its 150-job headquarters.


Hwashin to build Georgia plant to supply Hyundai

Korean auto parts and frame supplier is investing $176 million into a new plant in Dublin, which will create 460 new jobs. Hwashin has facilities globally, including its first in the U.S. in Alabama.


Lionsgate to invest $200 million in Douglas County, Ga., film studio

The California-based entertainment giant says the film studio could launch in February 2024, becoming the company’s Georgia home base.


Centibillionaire Jeff Bezos moves to Florida

The Amazon founder, with a net worth of $160 billion, says he wants to be closer to his parents in Miami.


PGT Innovations, a Florida-based maker of windows and doors, will invest $54.3 million in Georges, Va.

The 659-job, glass manufacturing operation will take place in the former Rolls-Royce facility in Prince George County.


Global pharmaceutical company Indivior selects Raleigh, N.C. site for its first facility in the U.S.

The company will invest $60 million and hire an additional 35 employees at its new site, which will produce treatments for opioid addiction and schizophrenia.


DataBank announced it plans to build $2 billion data center near Atlanta

The project will become metro Atlanta’s largest data center and the company’s fifth in the region.


Hyundai Industrial to invest $24 million in Coweta County, Ga.

The automotive parts supplier will create 100 new jobs at a new manufacturing facility near Newnan, becoming yet another part of the large network of suppliers for Hyundai and Kia since Hyundai’s Metaplant announcement.


Bad Boy Mowers to expand in Arkansas

The company will expand its campus in Batesville and create 300 new jobs over five years.

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