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Tennessee's car assembly plant growth touted at Southern Automotive Conference in Chattanooga
Less than two years after Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant started making cars, officials expect 2012 production to hit the 150,000 level for which the factory originally was built. Next year, the plant could churn out up to 180,000 cars as VW tweaks the facility to add capacity, said Frank Fischer, chief executive of the automaker's operations in the city. "It depends on sales figures," Fischer said at the Southern Automotive Conference in Chattanooga on Friday. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 2 years 184 days ago

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Lonely, hard work on oil rigs, but salaries soaring
What jobs offer the highest pay? Investment banking is up there. So is specialist surgery. But consider this. Slightly over twenty years ago, Johnathan Roberts started work on an oil rig at $5 an hour. Today, the newly appointed operations manager of Norway’s Standard Drilling makes about half a million dollars a year. Even accounting for inflation, it’s a huge jump for the 45-year-old American. Salaries on oil rigs have soared because of a global boom in offshore drilling.
Submitted 2 years 184 days ago

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Skydiver safely jumps from stratosphere
(Reuters) – An Austrian daredevil leapt into the stratosphere from a balloon near the edge of space 24 miles above Earth on Sunday and safely landed, setting a record for the highest skydive and breaking the sound barrier in the process. Cheers broke out as Felix Baumgartner, 43, jumped from a skateboard-sized shelf outside the 11-by-8-foot (3.3-by-2.4 meter) fiberglass and acrylic capsule that was carried higher than 128,000 feet by an enormous balloon.
Submitted 2 years 184 days ago

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Southern auto industry wary of Mexican competition
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — (AP) Southern states accustomed to luring investments away from the Midwest are casting a wary eye to competition from Mexico. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was asked at the Southern Automotive Conference on Thursday about what steps are being taken to keep investments from moving abroad, especially in light of a recent decision by German automaker Audi to build its first North American plant in Mexico. Haslam said Southern governors need to work toward a more regional approach to attracting investment, rather than playing off of each other. "People realize that the strength of the region is really as important as what happens in each one of those states," he said. A recent speech by Jonathan Browning, the president and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, apparently weighed heavily on attendees at the conference. Audi is a Volkswagen subsidiary. AJC.com
Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

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American Airlines stumbles on path to
DALLAS - Just weeks ago, American Airlines was working its way through bankruptcy court, on schedule for one of the fastest turnarounds in aviation history. Planes were full. Revenue was pouring in. Then seemingly overnight, American became the butt of jokes from Facebook to late-night TV. A slowdown that American blamed on pilots caused massive delays and cancellations. Then rows of seats came loose on a few planes. Passengers wondered if they'd get where they were going on time - and in one piece. "American Airlines has a new slogan," Jay Leno joked on NBC's "The Tonight Show." ''Your seat is free to move about the cabin." Tulsa World
Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

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New York Times Reporters Detained Covering Keystone XL Protests in East Texas


Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

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Solar shines in Catawba County, N.C.
Riding the coattails of Apple's $1 billion data center, Catawba County is on track to become the star of North Carolina's solar energy universe. Apple is finishing a 20-megawatt solar farm at its Maiden data center that will be the state's largest. It has announced a second of the same size to be built a few miles away. A California company, meanwhile, has applied for a state permit to build a 17.5-megawatt solar farm in Claremont, and Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar is working on two 6.4-megawatt systems in the county. Duke Energy already runs a 10-megawatt solar test lab near Lake Norman. Energycentral.com
Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

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‘All systems are go’ for College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta
The National Football Foundation, which three years ago decided to move its College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta, received reassurance this week that the long-delayed attraction will be built here. “I think it’s fair to say that all systems are go,” Steve Hatchell, National Football Foundation president and CEO, said. Hatchell offered that assessment in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the NFF board, at a meeting Wednesday in Dallas, heard an update from the Atlanta group spearheading the Hall of Fame project. “We were happy with what we heard,” Hatchell said. “… We’ve been after this since 2009 and our guys were very anxious to be able to say, ‘Things are really going to happen.’ And that was the report we got.” AJC.com
Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

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W.Va.’s workers' comp rates among best in US
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia has the 12th-least expensive workers' compensation rates in the nation, according to a just-released study. Alaska has the most expensive rates, based on rates that were in effect on Jan. 1. North Dakota has the least expensive rates. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services conducts the biennial study, which ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C. West Virginia was the 17th-least expensive state in the 2010 study. Charleston Daily Mail
Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

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Across South, people are quitting jobs -- and that may be a good sign
Roughly 1.1 million people living in the Southern U.S. quit their jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated. In some respects, that's a good sign for the regional economy. Quitting one's job is rarely a completely positive experience, but broadly, quits can be a positive sign because they indicate a degree of financial flexibility for the person making the change. For example, Reuters interpreted August's national quits rate -- an estimated 1.6 percent of the total workforce -- as a sign that "workers were still very cautious about the strength of the economic recovery," relative to before the recession, when quit rates were closer to 2 percent. al.com
Submitted 2 years 187 days ago

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Urban areas have all kinds of assets that are easy to spot. They have the population, so the labor shed is not usually an issue. Urban areas are also connected by better roads, rail and air service and many have river and deep water ports. Usually Internet access and other forms of communication are more efficient in urban areas. And you have a larger array of quality of life options to choose from, such as the cultural assets found in metropolitan areas.
 

 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     
After I finished the cover story for this issue, I read an interesting article by economist Paul Krugman, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times, titled, "Partying like it’s 1995." Generally I side with Krugman, even though I am a journalist, not an economist. Occasionally, though, I read some of his stuff and ask myself, "What planet did Krugman come from?" Like when he predicted a shift of automotive assembly to Canada after Toyota announced a new plant in Woodstock, Ontario in 2005 because of "free healthcare," among other benefits. That Toyota deal was the last major automotive assembly plant announced in Canada and I predict it will be the very last one for the Canadians.
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.
 


 

 

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