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Haslam announces Bob Rolfe as ECD commissioner
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced Nashville business executive Bob Rolfe as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). An innovative business leader, Rolfe, 56, has more than three decades of experience in business and investment banking in Tennessee. The Advocate and Democrat
Submitted 22 hours ago

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Dempsey Wood Products to invest $7 million, create 28 jobs
A family-owned lumber company is investing $7 million and creating 28 jobs at its Rowesville Road plant over the next five years. Dempsey Wood Products is investing in new dry kilns, a planer mill and upgrades to its sawmill. "It will give us some new markets, will diversify our markets and make us more efficient in converting the raw material to the finished product," owner Ronnie Dempsey said. Orangeburg County Council gave third and final reading Tuesday to tax incentives for the expansion. The county will provide the company with fee-in-lieu of taxes and joint county industrial park incentives. Thetandd.com
Submitted 22 hours ago

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Creating Jobs in Mississippi’s Golden Triangle
Anthony B. Kim researches international economic issues at The Heritage Foundation, with a strong focus on economic freedom. Kim is the research manager of the Index of Economic Freedom, the flagship product of the Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. Read his research. Entrepreneurial dynamism has lagged in America for the past eight years, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom. Yet someone in Mississippi’s Golden Triangle has been creating jobs for the American people. That person is Joe Max Higgins, an economic development official who has been going the extra mile for his fellow Mississippians. Since the Great Recession, the rural area known as the Golden Triangle, which includes the towns of Columbus, Starkville, and West Point, has faced tremendous job loss. Unemployment in this eastern central part of the state reached nearly 20 percent. The Daily Signal
Submitted 22 hours ago

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Alorica Adding 600 More Jobs to High Point
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday morning that Alorica is adding 600 more jobs in addition to the 800 announced in November. The jobs will be based in High Point and will be mostly full time, high-paying positions, according to an Alorica representative. Loren Hill, the president of High Point Economic Development Corporation, says Greensboro and High Point are both good areas for companies to locate and expand. The year 2015 and 2016 saw some big projects in both areas. Haeco Americas expanded at PTI and added 500 jobs and investing $60 million as well as creating 147 jobs and investing more than $11 million in the High Point facility. Twcnews.com
Submitted 22 hours ago

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430 corporate employees laid off at Lowe’s HQ in Mooresville
MOORESVILLE, NC -- Mooresville-based Lowe's announced Tuesday that the company laid off than 10-percent of its corporate workforce at headquarters, or 430 employees. Other layoffs include 70 support positions in Wilkesboro and another 25 corporate positions at other facilities. The nationwide home improvement giant said the decisions were part of an effort to become more efficient. A statement from the company said, “These difficult decisions are necessary to successfully transform Lowe’s as we adapt to the dramatic changes that are reshaping the retail landscape.” Wbtv.com
Submitted 22 hours ago

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Corning to invest $67 million in Newton facility, create 210 jobs
NEWTON, NC – The City of Newton and Catawba County held a special-called joint meeting Monday morning to unveil a new economic development opportunity. The project known as “Project Longleaf” announced a $67 million investment and creation of 210 new jobs by Corning Incorporated. The new manufacturing facility will create optical cable and will be located in the former General Dynamics building in Newton. Hickory Record
Submitted 22 hours ago

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Thousands of new auto jobs expected in west Alabama
TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL-- Thousands of automotive jobs are coming to west Alabama but to get those jobs, you will require technical skill and training. They're jobs with current and future automotive parts suppliers for companies like Mercedes Benz US International. Donny Jones, COO for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, says training for those jobs is already underway. "What we're seeing with the power grant and the $1.5 million we'll have an adult education component in K through 12 and preparing people for the jobs coming available here in West Alabama," Jones said. The positions are coming available as Mercedes ramps up for a new SUV that will be built in its Vance plant. Wrbc.com
Submitted 22 hours ago

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With Trump's New NAFTA Looming, Businesses Look to Retool
The Trump administration's pledge to retool the North American Free Trade Agreement has some small businesses drawing up a Plan B. To prepare for possible changes well ahead of any official action, options under consideration include cost-cutting moves, new tax strategies, and e-commerce investments. "We're tossing around ideas," says Syama Meagher, founder and chief executive of Scaling Retail, a consulting firm in Los Angeles whose clients include small apparel and accessories companies manufacturing outside the U.S. Many business owners with much at stake in a new NAFTA are in watch-and-wait mode. While the U.S. could move to scrap the deal altogether--provided it gives six months notice--both Mexico and Canada are expected to come to the table, given that they rely heavily on the U.S. market and don't want to see the deal disappear. Inc Magazine
Submitted 22 hours ago

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NAFTA created thousands of good American jobs—just not for Trump’s Rust Belt supporters
Most of the debate about the North American Free Trade Agreement has focused on job losses. It is certainly true that over the last 25 years many manufacturing jobs in the United States have disappeared. A conservative estimate suggests that half of those jobs have been automated in one way or another, or companies have found ways to be more productive with fewer workers, but some studies find that 85% of the job losses can be attributed to technological change. The other half may have been lost due to offshoring and other types of investments made by US and US-based companies; some fraction has also been lost to foreign competition due to cheaper imports. But has NAFTA contributed significantly to that process? Yes, in fact it is reasonable to conclude that around 800,000 jobs may have moved south of the border to Mexico, a country with lower base wages and less stringent business regulations. Qz.com
Submitted 22 hours ago

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Gov. Rick Scott says cutting Enterprise Florida will hurt rural areas
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran are at war over the future of state agencies that promote tourism and provide corporate incentives to recruit jobs. In an unusual venting session with reporters in Tallahassee on Feb. 7, Scott attacked House Republicans for proposing a bill that would kill Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. (Since that time, Corcoran has proposed slashing Visit Florida’s budget but not kill it.) "When the House wants to stop Enterprise Florida, they are hurting our poorest communities. They're hurting our rural communities," said Scott, a Republican. We went in search of evidence to determine if Enterprise Florida helped rural communities. (Scott also mentioned poor communities, but that is more difficult to assess without a definition, so we set that aside for now.) Politifact.com
Submitted 23 hours ago

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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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