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9 years after Katrina, New Orleans aims to turn environmental weaknesses into economic strengths
It might have been after Hurricane Sandy delivered havoc to the Northeast in 2012 that the realization came into focus. When other states needed help grappling with disaster aftermath and planning to weather future storms, people in Louisiana got calls. The Greater New Orleans Inc. economic development group has tallied $327 million in Sandy rebuilding work where Louisiana architecture, construction, engineering and planning firms became prime contractors for state governments and the federal government. With the surges of Hurricane Katrina rebuilding, BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill recovery, coastal restoration planning and a geographic vulnerability to rising sea levels, The Data Center research group found that jobs in water management in Southeast Louisiana increased by 7,832 from 2010 to 2013, and the state had a higher concentration of such jobs than the national average.
Submitted 4 hours ago


NASA, New Orleans' Michoud take step toward Mars mission
NASA’s Michoud facility is less than two weeks away from readying the final “tool” needed to build the massive fuel tanks for the rocket that will propel astronauts to Mars. Michoud in New Orleans is building the Space Launch System’s “core stage,” which holds the tanks that provide fuel to the rocket’s engines, spokeswoman Kimberly M. Henry said. The core stage is more than 200 feet tall and contains a liquid oxygen tank, a liquid hydrogen tank, an inter tank and an engine section. “Actual flight hardware is being built now as we speak,” Henry said. Baton Rouge Advocate
Submitted 5 hours ago


Oklahoma job incentives get scrutiny
When Macy’s announced in December that it will build a $170 million distribution center in the Tulsa area, the deal was sweetened with a shopping bag full of incentives. In return for creating at least 1,500 jobs, the retailer was lured with $1.5 million from Gov. Mary Fallin’s Quick-Action Closing Fund, $500,000 for infrastructure from Cherokee Nation Businesses, $500,000 from the state Department of Transportation and $500,000 in hotel tax money from the city of Owasso. Tulsa County also agreed to create a “tax incentive district” for five years that exempts Macy’s from having to pay property taxes on new construction. Altogether, Macy’s will receive about $21 million in tax breaks and incentives. Tulsa World
Submitted 5 hours ago


Barclays Bank will generate about 500 jobs at new technology center in McKinney, Texas
Earlier today, my colleague Hanah Cho blogged that London-based Barclays Bank has decided to open a new technology center in McKinney. Here’s some more information about it. Jim Wehmeier, president of the McKinney Economic Development Corp., said today that he expects Barclays to generate about 500 jobs when it opens a U.S. technology center at Craig Ranch in McKinney. The jobs will be “high-quality” and most will be new hires, not transfers from other Barclays locations, Wehmeier said. Most of the employees will move into the building in a year or so, but other hires will be spread over three years, he said. McKinney Economic Development Corp. chairman Ernest Lynch III said Barclays chose the city because it offered “a high profile location along the Sam Rayburn Tollway, a highly educated and abundant labor pool and sufficient parking for their employees.” Dallas Morning News
Submitted 5 hours ago


Tenn. Gov. Bill Haslam's Medicaid Talk Draws GOP Criticism
NASHVILLE (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's suggestion this week that he may soon submit a proposal for Medicaid expansion in Tennessee received some blowback from a fellow Republican leader in the Legislature on Friday. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, issued a statement to question the Republican governor's suggestion that a proposal could crafted by this fall. "It seems the governor is not very serious about whatever he has in mind regarding Medicaid expansion, because he hasn't conferred with the General Assembly," Norris said. Memphis Daily News
Submitted 5 hours ago


Oil boom: McComb, Miss., plans for worker housing
MCCOMB – The city of McComb is moving to annex 109 acres east of I-55 at the soon-to-be location of an oil worker housing facility and a new industrial park. Dozens of wells are being drilled in the area. Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation is located in southwest Mississippi and central Louisiana. Experts have said the formation could hold 7 billion barrels of oil. The Board of Selectmen voted 5-1 Tuesday to pursue the annexation. A petition will be filed in Chancery Court. Mayor Whitney Rawlings told the Enterprise-Journal that 40 acres of property is being developed in the area for the construction of a 535-unit oil worker community known as Shale Lodge. The city will have 69 acres of property for future development. Clarion Ledger
Submitted 5 hours ago


Boeing land clears rezoning hurdle in North Charleston
Boeing Co. received clearance this week to rezone 466 acres near Charleston International Airport, a move that will enable the 787 manufacturer to expand its already sizable footprint in the area. North Charleston City Council on Thursday unanimously voted to rezone the mostly undeveloped property the airplane-maker acquired in December between International Boulevard and Dorchester Road. The land, which Boeing leases from the state Commerce Department's Palmetto Railways, had five different zoning classifications, from multifamily residential to light industrial. It's now in a planned development district to give the company as much flexibility as it needs. Potenial uses include aircraft manufacturing and small shops and services. Post and Courier
Submitted 5 hours ago


Machinists union faces uphill climb to organize Boeing South Carolina
Unions represent less than 5 percent of the workforce in South Carolina, a state with entrenched anti-union sentiment. Setting up shop at Boeing Co. in North Charleston would be a landmark achievement for collective bargaining interests as the biggest, most high-profile win for union activity in the Palmetto State. Organized labor representatives know it won't be easy. "Clearly, South Carolina has made a name for itself as the anti-union destination," said Frank Larkin, spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Not mincing words, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has made herself a leader of anti-union sentiment in South Carolina, saying they are unwelcome, unneeded "job killers." Post and Courier
Submitted 5 hours ago


At 11th hour, Tesla gigafactory deal is stalling in California
As the California state Legislature finishes up a two-year session, an incentive package meant to lure a giant Tesla Motors factory to California is stalling due to a lack of response by Tesla on what the company wants, one lawmaker says. Sen. Ted Gaines said Friday that while he is still holding out hope that a deal can be reached over the weekend, he is disappointed by Tesla’s inattention. “Tesla has not come to the table to get a deal done,” said Gaines, a Roseville Republican. “There have been offers to Tesla which they have not accepted and so I think there has to be a sense of reality of what California can and cannot do.” Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 5 hours ago


Tesla Motors dealing as states play factory poker
LOS ANGELES From the start, little has been typical about Tesla Motors' plan for a $5 billion factory to make batteries for a new generation of electric cars. It's not just the project's massive scale, the cutting-edge technology, or even the bonanza of 6,500 good-paying jobs. It's how Tesla is deciding where to build. Through a series of unusual plays, Tesla has five states bidding up subsidy packages to land the coveted plant. The winner is expected to offer the luxury car-maker publicly financed incentives exceeding a half-billion dollars. Tesla signaled this would be no ordinary competition last fall, when it gathered economic development officials from seven Western states and unveiled its vision for a "gigafactory." ("Giga" refers to the large amount of power that batteries produced at the plant will store.) Charlotte Observer
Submitted 5 hours ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

By Mike Randle
There are numerous factors driving the new industrial revolution in the South. And it is a revolution, as this manufacturing surge that began in 2007 continues to break records year after year in the total number of large, capital intensive projects. One factor, of course, is that reshoring of facilities back to the U.S. continues to grow each year.
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.

Southern Business & Development Southern Auto Corridor Small Town South Randle Report

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