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That's The Randle Report for August 29, 2014
Join us again on Tuesday morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
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N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory facing pressure to call special session over business incentives
RALEIGH — Pressure is building for Gov. Pat McCrory to call lawmakers back to Raleigh for a special session to pass economic incentives measures aimed at sealing the deal with companies considering North Carolina. Top economic development and business officials on Wednesday joined Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker in calling for a special lawmaking period this year. Decker told the N.C. Economic Development Board at its meeting in Raleigh that job recruiters are “in a difficult spot” after the General Assembly’s failure in its just-ended session to add more money for Job Development Investment Grants and create a special, flexible fund aimed at closing deals in the latter stages of negotiations with companies. McCrory spokesman Ryan Tronovitch said Wednesday that he had no news to report about a possible special session. Raleigh News & Observer
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North Carolina offered Toyota $107M package before losing to Texas
Sometimes the biggest offer doesn't win, something North Carolina found out when it was outbid in April by Texas for Toyota's North American headquarters that is relocating to Plano. The Charlotte Observer reported that North Carolina offered Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) a $107 million incentive package to relocate to that state from California, far above the $40 million package the company took from Texas. What made Toyota chose the Lone Star state? Officials told the Observer that among the factors were that DFW has direct flights to Japan, cost of living, and that Texas has no personal or corporate income taxes. Details of North Carolina's bid became available as Secretary of State Sharon Decker and other economic development officials prod Gov. Pat McCrory to call a special legislative session to extend the state's main incentives program, the Observer said. Dallas Business Journal
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New Star in Alabama Aerospace Cluster
Outside of the aeronautics, do you know what the Wright Brothers, the Spirit of St. Louis and every U.S. Space program project have in common? That would be Carpenter Technology’s premium alloy steel. Each and every one of those historical flights included materials by Carpenter Technology Corp., says Jim Seitz, Carpenter’s program director. “If you’ve ever been on an airplane, our products were on there somewhere,” Seitz says. Carpenter Technology, which opened a new $500 million plant near Athens in Limestone County earlier this year, also is celebrating its 125th year in business. What started with a one-building plant in Reading, Penn., is today an international leader in its industry. Business Alabama
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Rick Perry touts states’ rights during stop in S.C.
COLUMBIA – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is preaching a message of states’ rights, secure southern borders and a competitive economy as he begins a two-day stop in South Carolina to mix politics and college football. Perry spoke to more than 100 GOP supporters at a tailgate party and fundraiser Wednesday evening on the eve of the season opener between the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and Perry’s beloved Texas A&M Aggies. “You know that I’m a guy who’s not afraid to stand up for what I believe in when I come to Columbia when we are playing the Gamecocks,” he told a cheering, outdoor GOP audience in Columbia. Greenville News
Submitted 3 days ago

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Auto parts supplier Federal-Mogul will expand in Smyrna, Tenn., adding 135 jobs
An auto parts manufacturer is expanding its Smyrna operations in a move that will create up to 135 new jobs. Overall, Federal-Mogul is investing $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility. The move comes after the company purchased a product line from Affinia, a manufacturer and distributor of automotive replacement parts. “Federal-Mogul is pleased to continue investing in Smyrna,” said Paula Silver, Federal-Mogul’s vice president of corporate communications and investor relations. “We have a dedicated and hard-working team that takes pride in distributing high-quality products for our customers.” The Tennessean
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Chattanooga-based Tranco Logistics doubles staff to supply Volkswagen
A Chattanooga-based transportation, warehousing and logistics business has won Volkswagen contracts to move and sequence parts for the automaker, nearly doubling the local company's workforce. Tranco Logistics, which has hired 57 more employees for the VW work, also is aiming to land some of the business generated by the new sport utility vehicle the German car maker is ramping up to assemble in Chattanooga. "We think we will," said Bruce Trantham, who owns Tranco with twin brother Bryon. Last month, the company was hired by VW to pick up and transport parts from various suppliers in the South to Chattanooga, securing the business from an out-of-town venture. Chattanooga Times Free Press
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New Tennessee jobs a sign of GM-UAW cooperation
This week, members of the United Automobile Workers are proud to join with General Motors to announce a major victory for Tennessee’s workers and families. GM is announcing that Spring Hill will be the new home of the Cadillac SRX, as well as another midsize vehicle to be announced in the near future. GM is also making a $185 million investment to build its new small gas engine here in Tennessee. This is a product that GM is bringing back to the U.S. from Mexico, and it means we’ll be retaining 390 American jobs in Spring Hill. The expansion is an unqualified win-win-win for GM, the UAW and Tennessee’s families. The Tennessean
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St. Louis has best jobs month in decades
The St. Louis weather wasn't especially hot this July but the local job market was, according to preliminary numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers in the metro area added 11,500 jobs in July, the highest seasonally adjusted total for any month since at least 1990. The gain means St. Louis employment has risen by 25,500 jobs, or nearly 2 percent, in the past year, a year-over-year gain that is the metro area's largest since January 2000. For perspective, it's important to remember that metro St. Louis lost more than 70,000 jobs between 2008 and 2011. The area still needs to create 27,700 jobs to get back to the January 2008 peak. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Lake Charles metro area has largest rate of growth in La.
With more than $78 billion in capital investments in the region, the Lake Charles metropolitan area had the largest one-year rate of growth in Louisiana at 4.1 percent, according to state labor officials. “Last year, Dr. Loren Scott had forecast that the Lake Charles region would lead the state in jobs, so this is confirmation to that prediction,” said George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Scott, an economic consultant, predicted in October that Lake Charles would grow 3.3 percent. The Louisiana Workforce Commission announced this week there was an increase of 3,800 jobs, placing Southwest Louisiana’s total at 95,700. American Press
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