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There's A Startling North-South Divide When It Comes To Health Care
The good news is the uninsured rate in the U.S. has fallen to a record low. The bad news is the benefits of health care reform aren't reaching a large swath of the country. Over the last year, the uninsured rate in the U.S. fell 3.5 percentage points, from 17.3 percent in 2013 to 13.8 percent in 2014, according to the latest data from Gallup. That's the lowest yearly rate that's been recorded by Gallup's Well-Being Index. According to Gallup, much of the decline can be linked to President Obama's health care reform law, which implemented a number of new policies to help Americans afford health insurance. But some states' refusal to adapt Obamacare's key provisions are causing a startling gap in uninsured rates across the country. The states with the highest uninsured rates in 2014 are pretty much all found in the South, the Gallup poll found. Huffington Post
Submitted yesterday

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Toyota employees: Enjoy the windfall, within reason
Toyota to Texas: Here’s a little advice on local economics, and not just for newcomers from Toyota: Think small, at least smaller than you can afford. The Texas windfall is real, but go too large and it can evaporate. In the last two decades, Texas has had a net gain of almost half a million people from California, far more than from any other state. Several thousand more are expected to follow as Toyota relocates its North American headquarters from Torrance to Plano. Jobs are usually the No. 1 lure, but Texas has a big edge in living costs, too. Home prices are much lower than in California, and there’s no state income tax. Those two generate significant savings, especially to well-paid workers. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 2 days ago

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Toyota will ask workers about moving to Texas
Toyota to Texas: As site work begins on Toyota’s new campus in Plano, the company will start determining this month how many of its 4,000 employees intend to work there. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, announced last spring that it will relocate its North American headquarters from California to a $300 million facility near Legacy business park, completing the move in early 2017. The company will start surveying U.S. employees as part of a yearlong process to gauge how many plan to move to Texas. The surveys won’t specifically ask employees in California, Kentucky and New York to commit to the move, Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota’s North American operations, said in a written response to questions from The Dallas Morning News. Rather, it will identify how many employees are considering the idea. Formal job offers for Texas will come later. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 2 days ago

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Will surging dollar halt Daimler’s plan for a U.S. Sprinter van plant?
For several months, Daimler AG has been kicking around the idea of setting up a full-blown North American production site for its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cargo van to supply a fast-growing market. While the company hasn’t disclosed any preferred locations, it would make sense for its existing North Charleston factory to be at or near the top of the short list. But now the German automaker is looking at whether to tap the brakes on the idea. The culprit, in this case, is the strengthening U.S. dollar. Right now, Daimler makes the Sprinter back home at plants in Dusseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. To avoid stiff import tariffs, the vans that are shipped to the U.S have to be partially disassembled. Workers in Germany remove the drivetrains, fuel tanks and batteries and pack the loose components in containers. The parts and vehicles are then ready for their ocean voyage to the U.S. — only they must make the journey on separate cargo ships. Post and Courier
Submitted 2 days ago

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San Antonio may be in better field position as Raiders run out of option plays
Oakland A's co-owner Lew Wolff said there isn't enough room for a new baseball stadium and a place for the Oakland Raiders to play in the proposed Coliseum City development envisioned by Bay Area leaders. If he's right, Oakland may not be big enough for the Raiders and A's, which could benefit San Antonio's quest to land an NFL franchise for the Alamodome. Wolff said the A's have "no interest" in the Coliseum City plan because a new ballpark for the Major League Baseball franchise would require plenty of surface parking that would gobble up much of the land available for the mixed-use project, InsideBayArea.com has reported. San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 2 days ago

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Alabama man agrees to keep silent, for now, about Mississippi power plant project
A Homewood man agreed with a judge Friday to remain silent, at least for the next month, about any allegations he has regarding a $6.2 billion power plant he has managed for Southern Co. Services in Mississippi. Southern Co. on Feb. 19 sued Brett J. Wingo alleging that Wingo backed out of an employment termination agreement. Wingo told the Associated Press that his lawyer negotiated certain terms by Dec. 31, but he rejected them in January when he saw them fully laid out in writing for the first time. Then he fired his lawyer. In the suit, the company refers to certain allegations Wingo has made, without detailing them. The dispute was first reported by Eddie Curran of Mobile, Alabama, who operates the mrdunngoestomontgomery.com blog. AL.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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Charleston-based Garden & Gun magazine defies odds, hits its stride
From its beginnings in a kindergarten classroom through a financial crisis that nearly wiped out the business to a resurgence that has it moving to splashy new digs, Garden & Gun magazine has managed to stay true to its “soul of the South” tag line while garnering new readership and critical acclaim. It might seem to be an unlikely success story in the cutthroat publishing world — a national lifestyle magazine based in Charleston that targets the genteel, upper crust of Southern society. Garden & Gun is a place where readers can get advice on the proper libations to serve during a fox hunt while perusing advertisements for Rolex watches and handcrafted oyster knives that cost $500 apiece. Post and Courier
Submitted 2 days ago

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Harris leaving Florida for Virginia? Both have a lot to offer
MELBOURNE, Fla. – No one could have asked for a better grand opening when Harris Corp. unveiled its $130 million Technology Center in Palm Bay Monday. With sunshine reflecting off the smoky glass of the six-story structure and a gentle wind pushing through the facility's breezeway, three former Harris chief executive officers mingled with local, state and federal officials, and community leaders, as the company showcased its latest and greatest technology inside the new futuristic-looking building. Yet, as William Brown, Harris' chairman, president and chief executive officer, and others, were discussing the Technology Center, there was an undercurrent of chatter focusing on where the company's headquarters would be once its $4.56 billion acquisition of the McLean, Virginia-based Exelis Inc. is complete this summer. Florida Today
Submitted 2 days ago

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North Carolina officials hope to keep data centers coming
North Carolina is a big draw for data centers, those cavernous buildings filled with armies of computer servers that hold all the songs you download, movies you stream and all your cats-playing-piano videos. And state officials want to keep them coming. Apple, for example, spent $1 billion on one of the world’s largest data centers in the Catawba County town of Maiden. The iCloud may sound like some lofty world of floating data, but Apple’s 505,000-square-foot data center, which opened in 2009, is really where the cloud lives. Greensboro News & Record
Submitted 2 days ago

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VW's pledge to stay neutral on UAW dealings at Chattanooga plant wins support for incentives
NASHVILLE -- Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said today that Volkswagen officials told him this week the German manufacturer will remain "neutral" in its dealings with the United Auto Workers at its Chattanooga plant. "I think I was assured yesterday that they told me they want to stay neutral. I said, 'OK, that's all I'm going to ask for," Ramsey told reporters. Company officials were at the state Capitol on Wednesday, visiting legislators, including several from Chattanooga who have been highly critical of the UAW's effort to unionize the plant and Volkswagen's reaction. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 2 days ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.

 

 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
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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