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Corker: Union vote would have killed VW's Chattanooga expansion
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker reiterated his stance Wednesday that Volkswagen would not have expanded its operations in Chattanooga if a UAW election in February had been successful. "What I know for a fact ... the announcement would not have occurred for a lot of reasons," Corker said, according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press. "Plenty of people in Germany understood the impact." Corker in particular cited the state Legislature's opposition to providing incentives for a unionized plant. Leading up to the February vote, which the union lost 712 to 626, Corker said Volkswagen would quickly announce an expansion at the plant if the union was defeated. Nashville Business Journal
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Corker: Chattanooga VW plant couldn’t survive with one vehicle
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said in Chattanooga today there was “no way” the Volkswagen plant could survive producing just one vehicle, citing the importance of last month’s announcement that the factory would assemble a new sport utility vehicle. “The way the plant was built, there was no way the plant would survive with just one model,” he said. “It can’t operate profitably with just one line.” Corker also said that Mexico, where a VW plant also had been vying for the SUV, had re-entered the fight to land the new vehicle before the company made its decision to put it in Chattanooga. The former Chattanooga mayor noted that a Pennsylvania VW plant already had failed in 1988. He said the $600 million VW plans to invest in the Enterprise South industrial park plant, along with 2,000 more jobs, “drives stakes deep” into Chattanooga. “This will be VW in America,” said told Chattanooga Times Free Press reporters and editors. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 4 hours ago

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Mica: 'The sky is not falling' for Orlando's simulation industry
If you’re worried about the modeling, simulation and training industry in Orlando, U.S. Rep. John Mica has a message for you: Don’t be. Mica issued a press release Aug. 20 that said not only are the military commands in Research Park not going anywhere, the much-ballyhooed TEACH contract — Train, Educate and Coach — wasn’t going away either. In an interview this afternoon, Mica clarified that the Warfighter Focus contract — the $11.2 billion parent contract to TEACH — would continue through 2016. “The components of the program would continue under a different name,” Mica said. “It would be the same level of support and the same activity under a different name.” Orlando Business Journal
Submitted 4 hours ago

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Alabama biz taxes account for 47.5% of all state and local taxes
Alabama businesses paid $7.2 billion in state and local taxes in fiscal year 2013, according to an annual study prepared by Ernst & Young LLP in conjunction with the Council On State Taxation. That represented an 1.8 percent increase from the previous fiscal year, giving it the ninth lowest state and local business tax growth in the U.S. The state and local business tax estimates presented in the study reflect tax collections from August 2012 through September 2013. Of the $7.2 billion, $4.2 billion was in state business taxes and the remaining $3 billion was in local business taxes, the report showed. Birmingham Business Journal
Submitted 4 hours ago

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Rural Media Group takes former GAC space on Nashville's Music Row
Rural Media Group is consolidating its operations in Nashville, bringing with it corporate jobs that were formerly based in Nebraska. Rural Media Group is the owner of RFD-TV, Rural TV and Rural Radio on SiriusXM, among other properties. According to a news release, it has reached a deal with Scripps Networks LLC to sublet the space previously occupied by GAC at 49 Music Square West. Rural Media Group's existing Nashville operation were previously based in NorthStar Studios on Dickerson Pike. “This option came along at the perfect time for our company as we have been looking for the right place to consolidate our operations and expand production for original programming,” Patrick Gottsch, founder of Rural Media Group Inc., said in a news release. Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 4 hours ago

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$130M plant coming to Pine Bluff, Ark.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is getting a $130 million plant that will create 35 new jobs. Highland Pellets LLC, which makes wood pellets, is building the facility, which is expected to be operational by March 2016. In addition to the 35 jobs, officials anticipate the plant could create 482 indirect jobs in the Pine Bluff area. Ground will be broken on the facility in October. Highland Pellets’ parent company is based in Boston. “While this plant is the first built under the Highland brand, our colleagues Mike Ferguson and Scott Jacobs bring decades of industry leading experience in the engineering and operating of industrial wood pellet plants,” said Tom Reilley, chairman of Highland Pellets. “Together with Highland’s leadership team, who are veterans of Cargill, Black River, JP Morgan and EnerNOC, we are excited to complete our Pine Bluff facility and expand our footprint.” Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 4 hours ago

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Alabama incentives for Opelika manufacturing plant expansion to top $5.1 million
Georgia Southern University made history Wednesday when the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents granted the university the first undergraduate manufacturing engineering degree program in the state and the Southeast. "Manufacturing is returning to the U.S., and the state of Georgia can now prepare its citizens for careers in this fast-growing field," said Mohammad Davoud, the dean of the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology. StatesboroHerald.com
Submitted 5 hours ago

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BP, ConocoPhillips and others bid big for Gulf of Mexico drilling
Expanded oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico moved forward Aug. 20 with a western Gulf lease sale that netted $110 million in high bids. BP PLC (NYSE: BP), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) and Venari Resources LLC were the most active bidders in the lease sale that drew high bids for 81 tracts covering 433,823 acres on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf offshore of Texas. U.K.-based BP, which came off of its bidding suspension earlier this year, had by far the most high bids with 27, while the highest individual bid came from Houston-based ConocoPhillips in a $16.8 million bid for tract in the Alaminos Canyon in the western Gulf. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 5 hours ago

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Ark Group prepares for start of $165M Music Factory in Irving, Texas
Charlotte, N.C.-based Ark Group plans to begin its much-anticipated $165 million Music Factory Entertainment Center— meant to be Irving's entertainment destination — by the end of the month. The development firm plans to host a groundbreaking ceremony in the 300 block of West Las Colinas Boulevard near the Irving Convention Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30. This is the kick-off of a project that will give Irving residents the world-class entertainment center they have long desired, said Noah Lazes, president of the Ark Group, who spoke to the Dallas Business Journal about the entertainment development in an exclusive interview in April. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 5 hours ago

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Amazon plans to hire 400 at Louisville-area fulfillment centers
Seattle, Wash.-based Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire about 400 full-time workers for its fulfillment centers in Shepherdsville and Jeffersonville in the next 30 days. The company said the workers are being hired to meet growing customer demand. This news follows an announcement in June that the company was adding 500 workers in Shepherdsville. The company also said earlier this month it was hiring about 300 at its Northern Kentucky distribution facility in Hebron. Louisville Business First
Submitted 5 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
By Mike Randle
There are numerous factors driving the new industrial revolution in the South. And it is a revolution, as this manufacturing surge that began in 2007 continues to break records year after year in the total number of large, capital intensive projects. One factor, of course, is that reshoring of facilities back to the U.S. continues to grow each year.
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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