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Louisiana falling behind rest of nation on energy efficiency efforts, report says
Louisiana continues to lag behind much of the nation when it comes to saving energy, with few policies on the books to promote smarter energy use among residents and businesses, according to the latest annual ranking by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The report points to new state and local energy efficiency programs as potential bright spots. The report released Wednesday (Oct. 22) ranks Louisiana 44th in country based on its energy efficiency measures, tied with Missouri and just behind South Carolina and Nebraska. Nola.com
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Birmingham firm builds North Carolina aviation manufacturing facility
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- BL Harbert International has completed the GE Aviation Ceramic Matrix Composites Facility in Asheville, N.C. The Birmingham-based firm said the 170,000-square-foot facility is the first in the world to manufacture ceramic jet engine components. It will employ more than 200 workers. More than 400 people attended last week's ribbon cutting ceremony there, including North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. AL.com
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Construction labor shortage more severe in Southeast
Construction is rebounding in many states across the country, but labor is not following the resurgence. According to data released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America, 83 percent of firms that responded to a recent survey said they are having trouble finding qualified craft workers to fill open spots, and 61 percent are having trouble filling professional slots like project supervisors and engineers. According to the survey, the Southeast has been hit the hardest by this shortage, where 86 percent of the contractors polled said they had a hard time filling positions with qualified workers. Birmingham Business Journal
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Mississippi scores another furniture manufacturer
Another furniture manufacturer is heading to Mississippi. Cerritos, Calif.-based Villa International, which makes luxury furniture for motor homes, is moving its manufacturing operations to Belmont, Mississippi, occupying space previously held by Falcon Products. The company is investing $250,000 in the project and will create 75 jobs in the next five years. Villa International provides original furniture to more than 30 motor home manufacturers including Airstream, Fleetwood, Foretravel, Forest River, Gulf Stream, Jayco, Newell, Newmar, Tiffin and Winnebago. Memphis Business Journal
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Charlotte ranks No. 7 among Urban Land Institute's real estate markets to watch
The Charlotte market has been ranked No. 7 on a list of markets to watch in 2015, up from 16th place last year, according to the 2015 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, released by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The rankings of markets to watch is based on how respondents view real estate prospects in each city for investment, development and homebuilding. Charlotte ranked seventh in all three categories and was the highest non-Texas market from the South in this year's survey. Charlotte Business Journal
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Dallas-based Southwest Airlines soars to record $382M profit in Q3
Southwest Airlines reported record profit for the third quarter on Thursday, saying it had net income of $382 million compared to $241 million in the third quarter of last year. Earnings per share were 55 cents, compared with 34 cents per share in 2013. The earning report by Dallas-based Southwest (NYSE: LUV) comes as Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) reported earlier in the day that it earned a record $942 million in the third quarter. That compared to $289 million in the same quarter of 2013. BizJournals.com
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From 80 to 800 -- New Orleans Biotech Company Rides Market Demand
When Renaissance RX was created just two years ago with 5 employees in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, it might not have guessed that it would grow to employ 800 across the region. Earlier this month the company, whose laboratory offers pharmacogenetic testing and advanced toxicology, announced it will make an $8 million capital investment in a new headquarters location in the Central Business District of New Orleans. Currently the company employs 80 in the New Orleans area. The new expansion will add 425 new direct jobs and an additional 407 new indirect jobs – for a total of more than 800 new jobs in the greater New Orleans region. Industry Week
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The South's economy rules! Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee -- Best Business States
Whatever Texas is doing, it should keep doing it. Since 1991 the state has held the No. 1 ranking as the top state to do business, according to an industry survey by Development Counselors International (DCI). The Lone Star state was chosen by 49.7% of those surveyed as having one of the most favorable business climates in the nation. The survey, "Winning Strategies”, talks to corporate executives and site selection consultants to get their perceptions of locations across the United States. Florida ranked second with 18.1%; and Georgia and North Carolina tied for third with 17.6% of the votes. South Carolina and Tennessee came in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Industry Week
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Onshoring assisting U.S. furniture industry turnaround
The U.S. furniture industry is starting to rebound from the recession in terms of sales and orders, according to a new report. Still, manufacturers and retailers continue to face challenges, including the sluggish economy, worker shortages, rising labor costs, and shifting consumer buying preferences, according to the report from Anderson Bauman Tourtellot Vos, a turnaround management firm based in Greensboro. The report also noted the trend of on-shoring among manufacturers, noting several reasons for bringing operations back to the U.S., including proximity to customers, access to skilled labor, transportation costs and supply-chain lead time. Triad Business Journal
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American Executives Move Manufacturing Out of China
In a reversal of decades of American companies moving manufacturing from the United States to China — presumably to save money — executives of large firms have changed their minds about the process. More goods, it appears, will be “made in America.” 247wallst.com
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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

 FEATURE  
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

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 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.


 


 

 

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