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Ford will add 1,200 jobs in Kansas City
Ford Motor Co. announced Wednesday that it will add 1,200 new jobs at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo to create a second shift for the Transit van. The new jobs are in addition to the 2,800 already added at the plant in 2012 and 2013 to support the launch of the 2015 Transit and increased production of the Ford F-150. So Kansas City ended up with a large chunk of the 12,000 new jobs Ford promised to create by 2015 as part of the 2011 contract with the United Auto Workers. "I am very pleased we are able to add 1,200 new jobs to Kansas City Assembly Plant, which will strengthen this community and continue our efforts to grow good-paying, middle-class manufacturing jobs," UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles said in a release. "This is possible because of the collective bargaining process and the partnership between UAW and Ford." Kansas City Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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100-job aerospace expansion takes flight in Springfield, Tenn.
Airtech International, whose products are integral to the aerospace industry, will open a plant in Springfield and hire 100 people over the next three years. The California-based company announced the $10.1 million expansion Thursday. Airtech also has manufacturing operations in China and Luxembourg. Airtech International, which is 41 years old, makes products that its clients use when making parts out of composites, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber. Airtech's main source of business is aerospace, with sales also made in the automotive and windmill industries, among others. Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Hemlock Semiconductor gives up hundreds of acres in Clarksville, Tenn.
Hemlock Semiconductor — whose $1 billion polysilicon plant sits mothballed in Clarksville — is giving hundreds of acres to local economic development officials. The Leaf-Chronicle reports that the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board voted Wednesday to accept 833 acres that had been part of Hemlock's property. The donation will allow the community to extend its industrial park northward and attempt to recruit another large employer. “This is a huge development for us,” IDB Executive Director Mike Evans said, according to The Leaf-Chronicle. “This puts us back in the major leagues for recruitment. More recently, we had been in the minor leagues for a little while.” Nashville Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Texas lawmakers may take incentives programs away from governor
Texas lawmakers are weighing how to improve oversight of the state's economic development incentive programs, including the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund. Monday, revisions to those programs – among others – were considered at the Texas statehouse, according to the San Antonion Express-News, which reported on debates surrounding the governor's role in overseeing the incentives programs. Some lawmakers, such as Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), have criticized the fact that the only oversight for these programs comes from the governor's office, according to the report. Watson has proposed moving oversight function of the programs into the state auditor's office. Austin Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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North Texas impact: Audit finds serious problems in Perry’s deal-closing fund
The governor’s job creation fund tapped to lure Toyota and other major companies to North Texas awarded $222 million to businesses and universities that never formally applied for money or made specific promises to create jobs, according to a state audit released today. Forty-four percent of the $500 million granted through the Texas Enterprise Fund went to 11 projects in 2004-2005 that that never submitted applications or specific promises to create jobs. The University of Texas at Dallas received a $50 million grant and Sematech received $40 million without filling out an application or promising new jobs, according to the audit. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Cover Story: Who can save the Texas Emerging Technology Fund?
The Texas Emerging Technology Fund may be ready for its last gasp. The innovative startup investment vehicle established in 2005 by Gov. Rick Perry has a dwindling amount of capital, and slowing deal flow. And with Perry — the program’s biggest cheerleader — soon to step aside, political and tech industry observers are asking a big question: Who will step up to save the fund when Texas gets a new governor next year? So far: No one — especially the gubernatorial candidates. All indications are that when Perry leaves office, he’ll take with him any aspirations to keep the fund going. Bizjournals.com
Submitted 3 days ago

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Does Houston need the Emerging Technology Fund? Depends who you ask
An incentive fund that has helped grow 44 companies in Houston since 2005 could be on its last legs. The Emerging Technology Fund is set to expire in 2015, and with its champion, Gov. Rick Perry on his way out, the state is considering whether or not to keep it around. The Committee on Economic Development Incentives held a four-and-a-half-hour special session Sept. 24 to hear feedback on programs like the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, tax codes that give abatements for new business development and the ETF and Texas Enterprise Fund, which are intended to create new jobs for the state. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Audit: Texas Enterprise Fund gave out $222M with no strings attached
An independent audit of the Texas Enterprise Fund has found that roughly $222 million doled out from the fund went to companies that submitted no applications or made no promises to create jobs. The fund has been highly touted over the years by Gov. Rick Perry, who has said it was an invaluable tool to bring jobs to Texas and to stem the flow of jobs that might otherwise have left the state. The audit, conducted by the Texas State Auditor's Office, was the first time the Texas Enterprise Fund's activities were reviewed by an outside agency. Among its findings, the report says that during 2004-2005, the fund did not require recipients to submit applications or create direct jobs for 11 projects that received awards totaling $222 million, roughly 44 percent of the $505 million awarded in total by the fund. Austin Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Houston developers set another record in building permits
Houston developers have broken another record in construction permits, according to city records analyzed by the Greater Houston Partnership. The economic development organization has been tracking the value of construction projects submitted to the city of Houston since 2005. The partnership issued a new report, which looked at building permit activity last month. The partnership found that local developers submitted $696 million worth of construction permits in August. That’s a 64.6 percent increase from the $422.8 million in permits issued in August last year. Residential construction permits nearly doubled, from $172.7 million in August 2013 to $325.4 million in August 2014, according to the partnership. Houston Business Journal
Submitted 3 days ago

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Behind the Deal: Frisco, Texas' new $700M project from Dubai
It's been more than two years since Frisco's economic development leader, Jim Gandy, began working with Dubai-based development company, Invest Group Overseas. That work paid off. Earlier this week, the development group announced a $700 million, 41-acre luxury mixed-use development in Frisco that will bring a number of "firsts" to the northern suburb. The development, called The Gate, is expected to sit on the northwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and the future John Hickman Parkway, which is the interchange across the toll road directly north of Warren Parkway. The road has yet to be built. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 3 days 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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