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Toyota in Georgetown, Ky. may get production of new model, up to 750 jobs
Toyota is considering a significant expansion at its Georgetown, Ky., plant that would add a new vehicle model and up to 750 new jobs at the 25-year-old factory. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Wednesday offered Toyota $146.5 million in state and local tax dollars to entice the automaker to move forward with the expansion, which would mean a $531 million investment on Toyota’s part in the Central Kentucky plant. The plant now builds gas and hybrid-electric models of the Camry and Avalon, as well as the Venza. The incentives are based on Toyota retaining 6,169 fulltime Kentuckians at the plant, in addition to the new jobs, according to the state. Last month, Toyota said the plant employs about 6,600. Louisville Courier-Journal
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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Nissan's Tennessee plant steps up to 'Challenge'


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VW dropping third shift at Chattanooga plant
Volkswagen is dropping the third assembly shift at its Chattanooga plant. As first reported by WRCB-TV, the move will eliminate 500 temporary jobs. Volkswagen spokesman Guenther Scherelis said strong domestic demand for the Passat drove adding the third shift. The company said the plant opened by creating a new product with new suppliers and a new workforce and extra workers were brought on through a staffing supplier temporarily. Volkswagen said increased efficiency is allowing the plant to return to two daily shifts in what the company calls a workforce adjustment. The Tennessean
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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VW cutting about 500 jobs at its Chattanooga plant
Volkswagen officials in Chattanooga say they’re cutting about 500 jobs from the plant in the wake of slower growth in the Passat that is made in the factory. Frank Fischer, who heads VW’s Chattanooga operations, said the jobs will be cut from the Aerotek contract workforce the automaker has used. After the cuts, the plant will have about 2,700 workers. Fischer said the company still expects to sell more Passats in 2013 than last year, but the rate of growth has slowed. He said the entire midsize sedan segment of the market has braked so far this year, while sales of trucks and sport utility sedans have risen. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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Texas official: “You can’t imagine the devastation"
An explosion at a fertilizer plant Wednesday night in the town of West killed an estimated five to 15 people, injured more than 150 and damaged dozens of homes and buildings, officials said. Overnight, hundreds of emergency responders descended on West — a town of about 2,800 located 20 miles north of Waco — where scores of people were sent to area hospitals and dozens of homes, apartments and a nursing home were toppled or damaged, officials said. “There is massive devastation” throughout the community, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said earlier in a news conference. Gov. Rick Perry declared a state of emergency in McLennan County, sending state emergency responders to help, and asked for a federal emergency declaration to help bring assistance to the victims. Austin American-Statesman
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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Asian nations eagerly eye cheap US natural gas
Price dominated morning discussion Wednesday at the LNG 17 conference in Houston, as interest in U.S. natural gas continues to soar worldwide. The buzz around price started when Daniel Yergin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and renowned expert on the energy industry, projected U.S. gas could reach Asian markets at a price of $12 per million British thermal units. Natural gas produced in the United States currently is selling at about $4 per million British thermal units. But moving, liquefying and shipping the resource to customers abroad, along with expected short-term price growth, will likely create a $12 price in Asia, Yergin said. That price would still leave U.S. liquefied natural gas much cheaper than LNG currently being bought by Japan at around $16 per million British thermal units. “That will be a price threshold that will be very significant for the industry,” Yergin said. Houston Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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Provo could beat Austin to Google Fiber starting gate
It turns out that another city might be jumping in front of Austin to become the second U.S. metro area to get the super-fast Google Fiber service up and running. Google Inc. said Wednesday it has agreed to buy an existing fiber-optic communications network from the city of Provo, Utah, and that it hopes to offer its broadband Internet access there before the end of this year. The pending deal in Provo follows Google’s announcement in Austin last week that it soon will begin construction of a high-speed network here that will start offering 1 gigabit Internet access service as well as cable TV programming by about the middle of 2014. Austin was the second city to officially land the Google Fiber service, after only Kansas City — but it appears Provo’s Google Fiber network will be ready to go before Austin’s, in part because of network infrastructure already in place in that city. Austin American-Statesman
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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Arkansas Senate Approves $120M in Tax Cuts
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas lawmakers are moving closer toward finalizing a package of tax cuts that will eventually cost the state about $120 million a year. The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee voted Thursday to advance a package of a dozen tax cut proposals. The full Senate was expected to vote on the bills Thursday afternoon. The package includes proposals to cut Arkansas' taxes on income, capital gains and manufacturers' utility bills. The proposals are expected to cost the state about $10 million in the coming fiscal year. Finance officials say the proposals will eventually cost the state $120 million annually. The panel also advanced Gov. Mike Beebe's proposal to cut the grocery tax if the state's bond obligations for school desegregation payments decrease by $35 million over a six-month period. Arkansas Business
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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Enviro Tech Expansion to Add 120 Helena, Ark., Jobs
Enviro Tech Chemical Services of Modesto, Calif., is expected to create as many as 120 new jobs after its 110,000-SF facility in Helena is completed. In July, Gov. Mike Beebe announcedthat the chemical plant expansion would add about 40 jobs, increasing the company's local workforce to more than 70. But at the building's groundbreaking in early April, Enviro Tech CEO Mike Harvey said the company wants closer to 150 workers. Phil Harvey, Enviro Tech's vice president of U.S. operations, said 150 was the company's goal but was not entirely set in stone. "We haven't signed any commitments as far as signing contracts," he said. The facility will replace the one that was already present in Helena, he added. It's expected to open in November 2014. Arkansas Business
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

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New Orleans is among the top cities where jobs are shifting closer to downtown, Brookings study finds
Examining how the Great Recession influenced the way jobs spread across cities and surrounding areas, the Brookings Institution on Thursday ranked New Orleans second out of 100 metropolitan areas for an increase in its share of jobs located within three miles of downtown. The Washington-based research and policy group found a 1.8 percent uptick in the concentration of jobs close to the Central Business District in New Orleans from 2007 to 2010, tying Louisville, Ky., but falling short of the 2.5 percent increase in Chattanooga, Tenn. The New Orleans job centralization rose from 29.8 percent to 31.6 percent of all the jobs in a 35-mile radius. While the percentages do not necessarily mean downtowns gained jobs -- they just didn't lose as many as outlying locations -- New Orleans was one of only four metropolitan areas the study cited for achieving an absolute rise in the number of jobs at the urban core, from 129,393 in 2007 to 134,154 in 2010. Times-Picayune
Submitted 1 years 287 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.

 

 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
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.
 


 

 

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