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American's Doug Parker talks bag fees, possible HQ move out of Fort Worth and labor talks
From bag fees to possibly moving the company's headquarters out of Fort Worth, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker hit all the hot topics at Thursday morning's Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast. He was the keynote speaker and talked to media afterwards to answer specific questions at the Fort Worth Convention Center. On record profits in 2014: American will have the "best year in the company's history in terms of profit. It allows us to invest in our product and our people. We're happy to be in that position. It's dramatically different from where the company has been the last few years." When asked whether these record profits mean an end to bag fees, Parker said: Dallas Business Journal
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Gildan plans $23M expansion of Rockingham County, N.C., facility
Canadian sportswear company Gildan Activewear Inc. is planning a $23 million expansion of its distribution hub in Eden. Rockingham County commissioners approved $448,720 of incentives for the project, said Jan Critz, director of economic development for the Rockingham County Partnership for Economic and Tourism Development. The city of Eden is also considering incentives. The project includes an investment of $12.7 million in equipment and $10.4 million in building improvements, Critz said. Charlotte Business Journal
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Kia debuts Georgia-built 2016 Sorento at LA auto show
Kia Motors America debuted its 2016 Sorento CUV this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The company's Sorento and Optima models are built in Georgia. Kia said Sorento buyers can choose from three engines, including a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, the 3.3-liter V6 and an improved 2.4-liter normally aspirated inline-4. U.S. sales start the first quarter of 2015. Prices will be announced closer to Sorento's launch date, the company said. Atlanta Journal Chronicle
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New N.C.-built HondaJet wins Popular Science award
The HondaJet has been selected by Popular Science magazine as a "Best of What's New" award winner for 2014. The lightweight business plane from Greensboro-based Honda Aircraft Co. was recognized in the aerospace category for a combination of performance, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. The magazine noted the jet's over-the-wing engine positioning, which reduces drag. "Our goal with the HondaJet was to create a Honda-original airplane that would bring new value to customers through new and advanced technologies," said Michimasa Fujino, CEO of Honda Aircraft. "Being recognized by Popular Science as one of the greatest innovations is truly exciting." Triad Business Journal
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Savannah's Gulfstream delivers 100th G650
Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. says it has manufactured and delivered its 100th G650. The ultra-long-range business jet was delivered to a customer on Nov. 14, the company says. "The production of the 100th G650 is a testament to the demand for this amazing aircraft," Gulfstream president Larry Flynn said in a press release. "It truly set a new world standard for performance, range, speed, safety and comfort when it entered into service in December 2012. The completion of the 100th aircraft also speaks volumes about the skilled employees who build these planes." Atlanta Journal Chronicle
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Jacksonville leads the nation in bank branch openings. Here's why.
While the number of bank branches nationwide is shrinking, Jacksonville is bucking that trend: Northeast Florida ranks No. 1 in the country for branch openings with a net gain of 11 over the year ending Sept. 30. The data is according to a survey by the SNL Financial analyst group, which found that over the last four quarters banks and thrifts opened a total of 1,137 branches and closed 2,599 for a net loss of 1,462 branches in the U.S. Certainly, Jacksonville's increase can be attributed largely to JPMorgan Chase and Co.'s large push into the Northeast Florida market over the last 12 months. Chase (NYSE:JPM) opened eight branches between the third quarters of 2013 and 2014 . (And it hasn't stopped: The most recent opening was earlier this week in Neptune Beach, at Seminole Road and Atlantic Boulevard.) Jacksonville Business Journal
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Memphis is the top NBA destination
The problem with ignoring all of those rankings that say bad things about Memphis is you have to justify not ignoring the ones that say good things about Memphis. But that's a good problem to have. Even though I'm not a fan of praising anyone's basketball team in November, it's a little hard to not be excited about the Memphis Grizzlies' first 11 games of the 2014-15 season. While ESPN continues to force feed us Los Angeles Lakers games, USA Today has named Memphis the Best NBA Destination. Compiled by USA Today's NBA beat writer, Sam Amick, the ranking is based on reader surveys and pointed out the location of FedExForum adjacent to Beale Street and Graceland as attractions to out-of-town fans. Memphis Business Journal
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Firm plans billion-dollar-plus aluminum mill in Southeast to meet ‘unprecedented demand’
Pittsburgh-based American Specialty Alloys announced plans Monday to build a $1.2 billion aluminum mill somewhere in the southeastern United States. The company said the proposed mill will serve the auto industry’s growing demand for lighter vehicles that can meet stringent federal standards for fuel economy. American Specialty Alloys did not disclose the proposed location for the plant, which would be able to supply more than 600,000 tons of aluminum to the auto industry. “We are building a modern mill and using a process that will change aluminum production forever in this industry,” said Roger Boggs, founder and chief executive officer of American Specialty Alloys. The mill will take advantage of automation and the low-cost power available in the South to make the higher-grade aluminum needed to meet the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy-compliant automobiles of the future, Boggs said. The CAFE standard will rise to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The Advocate
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Insiders claim only 30 percent of Toyota's workforce could relocate to Plano; automaker says it's way too early to count
Claims from an "unnamed insider" raise questions about how many California employees will follow Toyota's move from Torrance to Plano as it relocates its North American headquarters to Texas by 2017. But Toyota says the speculation is "completely inaccurate." In an article posted Monday, Automotive News reported that workers' morale and productivity are down as the company waits to unveil new job descriptions, which are being tweaked with the move. The descriptions could affect employee benefits, bonuses and reporting structure, potentially tipping the scales on who decides to relocate. Automotive News reported that Toyota hopes to keep 50 percent of its workforce with the move, but said management fears the figure could be closer to 30 percent. Dallas Business Journal
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How Cheniere Energy Got First In Line To Export America's Natural Gas
If you want to see what the natural gas revolution in America has wrought, there’s no better place than the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas port in coastal Louisiana. There you can peer into five massive storage tanks, each almost big enough to contain Madison Square Garden. Taken together, they can hold the liquefied equivalent of 17 billion cubic feet of natural gas–a quarter of what the United States uses in a day. They’re empty. Built in 2008 by Houston-based Cheniere Energy when it appeared certain that the U.S. would soon run short on natural gas and need imports to make ends meet, they ran headlong into the Great American Gas Boom. Drillers in recent years have unlocked so much gas from tight rock that America now enjoys record gas supplies and prices that are just one-quarter of what buyers in Europe and Asia pay. Projections are that the annual U.S. gas supply could grow a further 25% by 2035. Forbes
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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     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 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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