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Georgia ports on track to smash cargo records in 2014
SAVANNAH | Georgia's seaports are on track to finish the 2014 fiscal year with record cargo volumes as third-quarter numbers show big growth capped by the ports' busiest month ever in terms of total tonnage being shipped to and from the docks. The Georgia Ports Authority says it handled 21.8 million tons of imports and exports during the first nine months of the fiscal year that started July 1, a pace that's 8.4 percent ahead of the same period in 2013. That includes 2.61 million tons of cargo that moved through the state's ports at Savannah and Brunswick in March. It's the most weight the ports have ever seen in a single month. Athens Banner-Herald
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Jobless rate trends are mixed in Virginia metro areas
Metropolitan areas in Virginia had mixed results in the latest round of unemployment statistics. February figures released Thursday by the Virginia Employment Commission showed six of 11 metro areas with declining jobless rates, while rates rose in three areas and two were unchanged. The rates are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not take into consideration seasonal fluctuations in the labor market. The seasonally unadjusted jobless rate for Virginia during February was 5.3 percent while the national rate was 7 percent. The Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., continued to have the lowest rate, 4.2 percent, which was unchanged from January. Virginia Business
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Labor Secretary Says U.S. Needs to Stop 'Getting Our Butts Kicked' by Other Countries in Workforce Investment
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez offered a blunt assessment of the challenges facing the United States over the coming decades in order for the country to develop the kind of skilled, flexible workforce that can effectively compete in a global economy. "You compare the public-sector investment in workforce in the U.S. with other countries and once again we kind of get our butts kicked," Perez said Tuesday at a National Journal event underwritten by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the College Board, and the Rockefeller Foundation. "A key fundamental challenge has been to demonstrate more effectively the return on investment in our workforce system." The National Journal
Submitted yesterday

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Manufacturing Innovation Bill Advances in Senate
A Senate bill to expand the creation of manufacturing research hubs cleared its first hurdle today when it was passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee. “Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act,” S. 1468, would authorize the Department of Commerce to create a series of public-private research centers designed to promote innovation in advanced manufacturing. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo. “Our workers can compete against anyone in the world,” Brown said in announcing the committee action. “Establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation would create thousands of jobs and ensure the United States remains the global leader in advanced manufacturing.” Industry Week
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Red Carpet Tour brings industrial site consultants to Augusta
For decades, state officials have been using the Red Carpet Tour -- and its stop at the Masters Tournament on Thursday -- as a strategy to attract new business to the state. This year, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is trying a new approach. The tour buses aren’t filled with prospective business owners, but with site selection experts from some of the largest consulting firms in the world. The Red Carpet Tour has been coming to Augusta for 55 years. Officials cite 15,000 jobs and $3 billion in investment over those years. The tour, involving 32 industrial site selection consultants, started Wednesday with a dinner at the governor’s mansion in Atlanta. It will head to Savannah on Friday after the participants have had a day on the Augusta National for the first day of Masters competition. Augusta Chronicle
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It's down to the Southern Auto Corridor and Mexico for automakers
Au revoir, Canada. The Northeast? Your automotive assembly history is already forgotten. The West? Puleeeeeeeeze. How did you land automotive assembly in the first place? Detroit? Wait a minute, you're destitute. Automakers, you are left with two choices in North America to produce your vehicles: The Southern Auto Corridor or Mexico. Welcome to the newest war in economic development on this continent. It's a war with the ultimate prize; the Big Kahuna. That's what SB&D and SouthernAutoCorridor.com have called automotive assembly plants for over 20 years. Yep, it's the American South in this corner and Mexico in that corner fighting for the future of North America's automotive industry. It looks like this fight is going 15 rounds. SouthernAutoCorridor.com
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Louisiana leads country in domestic maritime industry, report shows
Louisiana leads the United States in domestic maritime employment, according to a recent report published by MarineLink.com. Commissioned by the Transportation Institute and compiled by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the report shows that one in every 83 jobs in the Pelican State are connected to the maritime industry in some way, almost twice as much as that of any other separate state. The most recent federal figures available show that Louisiana's domestic maritime industry contributed more than $11.3 billion in total economic output and posted 54,850 maritime jobs as of 2011. Times-Picayune
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Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South
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. Southern Business & Development
Submitted yesterday

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Caterpillar hosts governor's launch of NCWorks for job seekers and companies that are hiring
The state Department of Commerce has launched a new program called NCWorks that will consolidate many of the department’s workforce development functions into a one-stop-shop for job seekers and job creators across the state. Triangle Business Journal
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AT&T hiring 100 in Tennessee
AT&T plans to hire 100 new employees, including 50 technicians and 50 retail employees, in Tennessee in the next several months, according to a news release. Nashville Business Journal
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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Reshoring manufacturing capacity from primarily Asia to the South and Mexico is now a common thing to do and it's all about money. When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the average manufacturing wage in China's Pearl River Delta (PRD) was about 58 cents an hour.

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Dr. Glen Fenter
Desperation sometimes masks itself in acceptance. Such was the case for Takelia Carter of Marion, Ark. For Carter, the mother of six school-age children in a low paying job, desperation was normative existence. This was her life in Crittenden County, Ark., deep in the Delta where unfortunately one in four families lives well below the poverty level.
 

 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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