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As oil prices plunge, Texas eyes are on Hegar
In January of 1983, just one month after Billy Hamilton stepped into his position as Texas’ chief revenue estimator, the state was wading in a flood of red ink that no one had seen coming. Plummeting oil prices had pushed state tax collections $100 million below the previous January, sending bureaucrats literally scurrying across the revenue-processing floor in search of forgotten mailbags of cash. “It was like you were going to lose your job every day,” recalled Hamilton, now the chief financial officer for the Texas A&M University system. Comptroller Bob Bullock, Hamilton’s boss at the time, thought someone must know what was going on – if not the newly hired economics wonk. So the two flew to Exxon’s headquarters to ask the company’s chief economist where oil prices were headed in the next three years. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Submitted 19 minutes ago

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New Astrodome plan promotes connected green spaces, 'teamwork of financing'
An Urban Land Institute panel presented its initial recommendations for the future of the Astrodome on Dec. 19. The panel recommends turning the Dome into an indoor park and civic space, similar to an idea Judge Ed Emmett proposed earlier this year, according to media reports. The repurposed Astrodome would also be surrounded by additional green space designed to connect it to other areas of NRG Park. Although the presentation did not provide specific cost estimates, according to reports, it did emphasize the "teamwork of financing." Houston Business Journal
Submitted 29 minutes ago

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Cuba's oil a new frontier, surrounded by hopes and doubts
MIAMI -- One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action. It's a prospect welcomed by Cubans desperate for economic growth yet deeply concerning for environmentalists and the tourism industry in the region. But a Cuban oil boom is unlikely anytime soon even if restrictions on U.S. businesses are relaxed because of low oil prices and far better drilling opportunities elsewhere. NOLA.com
Submitted 39 minutes ago

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Blanco: 'La. businesses are not strangers to Cuba'
President Obama's stated intentions to normalize relations with Cuba generated excitement among many Louisianans who said our state is well positioned to do profitable business there. Oil and gas reporter Ken Stickney asked former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, D-Lafayette, about her trip to Cuba in 2005, when Louisiana and Cuba initiated trade. The Advertiser
Submitted 44 minutes ago

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Rise of the machines: U.S. workers struggle to keep pace with robots
A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that the Los Angeles Times published. Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there are signs that this time may really be different. The technological breakthroughs of recent years – allowing machines to mimic the human mind – are enabling machines to do knowledge jobs and service jobs, in addition to factory and clerical work. Raleigh News & Observer
Submitted 59 minutes ago

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With foreign demand rising, hog producers look to expand
RALEIGH — Last year, a few months after a Chinese company bought Smithfield Foods – the world’s largest producer of pork, and a major player in North Carolina’s second-in-the-nation hog farming industry – Mike Williams’ phone rang at N.C. State University. The fast-rising Chinese demand for imported pork was calling, and it had some questions. Smithfield’s new owner, Shuanghui International Holdings, wanted Williams and three other senior NCSU scientists to come to China to talk pork. It was happy to foot the bill. In January, when the scientists arrived in China, it was obvious to Williams that he was expected to explain the substantial waste-related hurdles to expanding pork production in North Carolina. Raleigh News & Observer
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Rockefeller made his mark on West Virginia's economy
West Virginia’s business landscape changed in the 1990s with the addition of a Toyota manufacturing plant in Buffalo. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was instrumental in bringing the Japanese company to the Mountain State, having forged a relationship with officials in the Asian country. Once Toyota broke ground on a facility in Putnam County, other Japanese companies followed suit. Since then, at least six Japanese companies, and a host of other international corporations, have set up shop in West Virginia. And their presence just keeps growing. Charleston Daily Mail
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Atlanta airport seeks developers for Airport City (SLIDESHOW)
The world's busiest airport plans to add an upscale hotel next to its domestic terminal, a sorely needed amenity for the more than 250,000 travelers that pass through daily. The hotel is the centerpiece of an effort to spur commercial real estate development around the more than 4,700-acre campus of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It could also include office buildings and retail space. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Manufacturing
The consulting firm of A. T. Kearney, Inc., has released a new analysis of the re-shoring trend in which U.S. manufacturers are returning work from overseas contending among other things that re-shoring "is not what it is cracked up to be." The report says from 2009 through 2013, U.S. manufacturing output grew at an annual rate of nearly 6 percent but that U.S. imports of manufactured goods from China and other Asian nations grew even faster at an 8 percent pace. It said also that exports of goods made in America and shipped to China still only amount to about 20 percent of what Chinese manufacturers ship to the U.S. Huffington Post
Submitted 1 hour ago

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Manufacturers need to 'go green' if they want to appeal to the Millennial generation
Millennials might not call themselves environmentalists, but they are certainly more concerned with the environment than previous generations. According to a recent report by Walden University, 81 percent of adults worldwide say that when purchasing goods or services, they prioritize firms who demonstrate environmental responsibility. At this point, manufacturers need to start taking the hint. Manufacturingglobal.com
Submitted 2 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     
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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