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25 States Lost Construction Jobs Between May and June
Although construction employment increased in 39 states between June 2015 and June 2016, half the states shed construction jobs between May and June, according to Associated General Contractors of America analysis of Labor Department data. Association officials said the flattening of monthly employment gains and losses indicates the urgency of beefing up programs to attract, train and retain construction workers. Forconstructionpros.com
Submitted yesterday

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Virginia Court Overrules Felons’ Restoration of Voting Rights
A divided Virginia Supreme Court on Friday set aside Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons, siding with the GOP lawmakers who argued the governor’s action was unconstitutional. In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Virginia ordered (pdf) the state to cancel the registrations of the more than 11,000 felons who have signed up to vote since McAuliffe issued his executive order in April. Allgov.com
Submitted yesterday

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Texas Thinks its High-Speed Rail Plans Will Win Where Others Have Hit Roadblocks
A $100 million bet says that thousands of Texans will abandon cars and pick-ups for a needle-nosed bullet train that zips past cattle and ranches to deliver riders from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes — a third of the time required to drive. Skift.com
Submitted yesterday

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Clean Energy Is Booming in Historically Red States—and It's Splitting Conservatives Apart
Americans of all ideological stripes love, love clean energy. Across the country, deep-red states are leading the charge on zero-carbon power. Deep-red Texas now boasts more wind generating capacity than the next three biggest producers combined, according to the Department of Energy. As a portion of total generating capacity, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa lead the nation. Iowa siphons nearly a third of its power from the sky. Soon, Carbon County, Wyoming, home of the state’s first coal mine, will cut the ribbon on the largest wind farm in North America. Alternate.org
Submitted yesterday

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Obama Takes Another Step For Solar For Everyone in the US
The Obama Administration has taken another step to mainstream solar energy by making it much more easily accessible to low- and middle-income households and veterans. Sustainablebusiness.com
Submitted yesterday

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Study says wind turbines, solar farms could spike energy prices, cause job losses
North Carolina’s renewable energy mandate will cause a spike in electric bills and the loss of more than 43,000 jobs by the end of the decade, a new study contends. Dozens of solar energy projects with thousands of panels glistening by the roadsides have been constructed in northeastern North Carolina in counties such as Pasquotank and Currituck. A 22,000-acre wind turbine farm – the largest in the southeastern United States – is under construction west of Elizabeth City. The Virginian-Pilot
Submitted yesterday

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OUT to LUNCH
The Randle Report is breaking for lunch and making way for a new editor shift. Click on the headline above to access Southern Business & Development's Web site for more detailed information on economic development in the South. Posts will resume at 1:30 pm CDT.
Submitted yesterday

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How the Electoral Map Has Shifted Since 1980
The country is more than just red states and blue states. Some former battlegrounds have moved to the sidelines. Other once reliably Republican or Democratic states have come into play as the composition of their electorates change. Wall Street Journal
Submitted yesterday

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New Zaxby’s to open in McMinnville; 50 jobs up for grabs
MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. -– A new Zaxby’s restaurant will open in McMinnville soon, and they’re hoping to hire 50 workers. The 3,800-square-foot building will be on 511 North Chancery Street and will seat 70 customers. Licensee Brittany Stuckey says she’s looking forward to serving the community. Wkrn.com
Submitted yesterday

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Virginia Governor Bypasses Court Ruling To Help 200,000 Ex-Felons Vote
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is taking action to restore the voting rights of thousands of ex-offenders in the state after a court decision Friday put them in jeopardy. He’s getting around the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling against him by signing 200,000 individual clemency grants to the state’s ex-offenders to ensure their right to vote in November. Think Progress
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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