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As It Pulls Up Stakes in Kentucky Town, Toyota Donates Lab for STEAM School
With the help of $6.8 million in renovation money from the state of Kentucky, a former Toyota laboratory will be converted to a high school focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM). The school will be located in Toyota’s former Quality and Production Engineering Laboratory, on its campus in Erlanger, Kentucky. Toyota is donating the building to the local school district. In January, Toyota began relocating about 650 jobs from Erlanger to its new headquarters in Plano, Texas and several other sites. By the time Toyota finishes consolidating its operations at the end of 2017, it will have relocated 1,600 jobs from Northern Kentucky. About 8,000 jobs remain in Kentucky at Toyota’s Georgetown manufacturing facility 60 miles south. IndustryWeek
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Dave & Buster’s is coming to Alpharetta and 250 jobs are coming with it
Soon folks in Alpharetta won’t have to drive to Marietta, Lawrenceville or Duluth when they want to eat, drink, play and watch sports in the same building. Dave & Buster’s is on the way. The venue combining tasty food with arcade games is hiring now for its Alpharetta location, which is set to open on May 22. The company, founded in Dallas, Texas, plans to hire more than 250 employees for the new restaurant. Atlanta Journal Constitution
Submitted yesterday

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If you work in a hot job field, these cities are the best places to live, see which are Southern
Attractive salaries often go hand-in-hand with a high cost of living, but if you're in a hot job field, some metros are a better deal than others. LinkedIn and Zillow crunched the numbers to see where workers in finance, health care or tech can find a prime combination of ample (and well-paid) job opportunities and housing costs that let them keep a bigger chunk of their paycheck. To come up with the rankings, the sites used a combination of housing and employment data including hiring trends, median wages, income tax rates and median monthly housing costs. CNBC
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McConnell: Federal Job Creation Agency Won't Be Cut
CORBIN, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'll fight a proposal to eliminate a 52-year-old federal agency that seeks to create jobs. US News & World Report
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Do You Really Need a College Degree for That Entry-Level Job?
When the job market was flooded with desperate applicants, many employers required college degrees for entry-level jobs. There was a certain cruel logic to it: Hey, might as well get the best. The job market is much tighter now, but it appears that employers haven't relaxed their hiring criteria. That could explain why 43 percent say finding enough candidates is a top challenge in filling entry-level jobs. It's a classic example of shooting yourself in the foot, but of course it's also bad for the young people without college degrees who can't get onto the bottom rung of the career ladder. Bloomberg
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San Antonio's largest tech employer is hiring
USAA has more than 3,000 tech workers in the Alamo City and it's looking for more. San Antonio Business Journal
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2017’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States
The extent to which the average American’s tax burden varies based on his or her state of residence represents a significant point of differentiation among state economies. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle. What if, for example, a particular state can afford not to tax its residents at high rates because it receives disproportionately more funding from the federal government than states with apparently oppressive tax codes? That would change the narrative significantly, revealing federal dependence where bold, efficient stewardship was once thought to preside. Wallethub.com
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Ackerson-Stevens expanding Greenwood County operations
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Ackerson-Stevens Inc. (ASI), a lumber company and manufacturer of custom moldings and flooring accessories, is expanding its existing Greenwood County operations. To accommodate the firm’s continued growth, ASI intends to create 15 new positions and make a capital investment of $490,000. Established in 1989, ASI is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of custom moldings, decking and flooring accessories. With more than one million feet of inventory and nearly 50 species of lumber, ASI offers a wide range of hardwood, landing treads, paneling, siding, flooring and rough lumber. SC Commerce
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Ware Shoals lumber manufacturer adding 15 jobs through expansion
A Greenwood County-based lumber company plans to create 15 jobs as part of a $500,000 expansion of its manufacturing facility, state and local economic development leaders announced today. Indexjournal.com
Submitted yesterday

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Sanderson Farms project will include three locations, 1,700 jobs and $200 million in direct investment
Sanderson Farms is looking at three locations in Smith and Wood counties - one for a poultry processing plant, one for a hatchery and a feed mill and rail yard - for a $200 million project that could bring as many as 1,700 jobs to East Texas. Tylerpaper.com
Submitted yesterday

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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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