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Kayser Automotive Systems USA Expands Manufacturing In Fulton, Kentucky
Kayser Automotive Systems USA plans to hire 100 additional employees as it expands into a facility next door to its current plant in Fulton, Kentucky. The 60,000 square-foot building will allow Kayser to increase manufacturing and warehousing space for a variety of mechanical and passenger-cabin automotive parts. The facility could open this spring. Area Development
Submitted 2 days ago

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Call 2 Answer Plans Contract Center In Maury County, Tennessee
Call 2 Answer will invest $800,000 for a new medical and urgent contact center that will create 250 jobs in Maury County, Tennessee. The company’s Spring Hill center will be located in the Northfield Workforce Development Training Center, the former headquarters for Saturn. Call 2 Answer will provide service for physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare entities as well as support for commercial industries throughout the U.S. Nashville will be an initial strategic market for Call 2 Answer’s support center. However, the company plans to also target markets in major metropolitan areas as it expands service to clients nationwide. Area Development
Submitted 2 days ago

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Ascend Performance Materials expanding Greenwood County operations
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Ascend Performance Materials (Ascend), a global provider of high-quality fibers, chemicals and plastics, is expanding its Greenwood County operations. To accommodate its continued growth, the company is projected to invest $3.8 million and create 20 new jobs. With five manufacturing plants in the southeastern United States and more than 3,200 employees around the world, Ascend manufactures a variety of compounds, including fibers, intermediate chemicals, resins and more. The company supplies a wide range of industries and applications. SC Commerce
Submitted 2 days ago

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S.C. Department of Commerce releases state innovation plan
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Commerce today announced the conclusion and release of the South Carolina Innovation Plan. A comprehensive look at the state of innovation in South Carolina, the plan is intended to provide direction on how best to encourage the growth of innovation and tech-related entrepreneurial activity within the state. “Cultivating and supporting a strong innovation sector is critical for the future of our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “In order to do this, we needed to speak with the many remarkable members of our innovation community. Their feedback has allowed us to develop a roadmap and shed light on what our role needs to be moving forward.” SC Commerce
Submitted 2 days ago

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Plans for joint Georgia-S.C. container port move forward
Federal and state planners are forging ahead on the proposed Jasper Ocean Terminal, a joint venture between South Carolina and Georgia port authorities to build a 1,500-acre container port downriver from Savannah. Advocates say the nominally rival ports of Savannah and Charleston will both run out of capacity in the coming decade, given projected growth in trade to the Southeast states. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley designated $19 million in this year’s state budget toward a $190 million joint infrastructure fund for the port. First planning began in 2007 for the port, which would be operational in 2025. Workboat.com
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104 Cruise Calls for Charleston in 2017
One hundred and four ships are expected to call in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2017, with Carnival Cruise Line’s year-round cruise program taking up the majority of the pie. Carnival sails the Ecstasy year-round from the port, and also mixes in the Sunshine seasonally. According to Peter Lehman, vice president of cruise and real estate for the port, the timeline is moving further out, with the port taking berth reservations into 2020. Cruiseindustrynews.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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Bill aims to keep Delta Queen afloat Previous
Efforts to get the nation's oldest authentic steamboat, the Delta Queen, cruising again for the first time since 2008 were given a boost this month with legislation introduced in the Senate. The Delta Queen, commissioned in 1927 an docked in Houma, has long been impacted by the Safety at Sea Act passed by Congress in 1966. The act required boats that carried more than 50 passengers overnight on U.S. waters to be made completely of noncombustible materials. Houma Today
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Delta Downs unveils its $45 million expansion project
It was about 16 months ago that senior executives had shovels in hand at the groundbreaking ceremony of a $45 million expansion and enhancement at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel. Ksla.com
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Louisiana eyeing clean energy projects with Volkswagen settlement money
State officials are eyeing clean energy projects like fuel-efficient school buses in Louisiana after a U.S. settlement with Volkswagen over the auto maker’s emissions scandal will send $18 million to the state. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Chuck Brown gave government, business and environmental leaders at Louisiana Clean Fuels’ annual meeting today an outline of how the state plans to spend Louisiana’s chunk of the $4.3 billion VW will pay as part of its emissions-rigging settlement with the U.S. government. Brown highlighted the alternative energy projects that will come from the deal. Businessreport.com
Submitted 2 days ago

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$1.2B Louisiana flood aid plan backed by recovery task force
LIVINGSTON, LA.-- Louisiana's flood recovery task force agreed Friday to Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposal to spend $1.2 billion in federal aid allocated by Congress, with most of the money targeted for homeowners. Under the plan approved Friday, $938 million would pay for rebuilding and repairs for thousands of homeowners with damage from the March and August floods — people who have major damage and didn't have flood insurance coverage. Others won't be eligible for the aid. Sanlouisobispo.com
Submitted 2 days 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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