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Zilkha Biomass to make Selma, Ala. plant a world’s first
Conservatives and some economists believe government mandates on industry, tied to protecting the environment, are job killers. While that debate still rages in the United States, government regulations in the European Union are tied to a major industrial announcement made Monday in Selma. During a press conference and unveiling at the St. James Hotel, Zilkha Biomass Energy announced plans to begin manufacturing wood pellets at the plant once owned by Dixie Pellets. Selma Times-Journal
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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New Report Explores Role of Arts, Culture and Design in Economic Development
The arts, culture and design offer powerful economic development tools to public leaders, according to research recently released by the National Governors Association. New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design illustrates how the arts offer a competitive edge to states and localities seeking to cultivate high-growth industries, accelerate innovation, catalyze entrepreneurial activity, reduce unemployment, build human capital and revive distressed areas. NGA.org
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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Behind the Strong U.S. Export Numbers
The latest U.S. trade figures (PDF) showed a surprising surge in non-oil imports in March, a sign that American consumers are spending more. Just as surprising—and more encouraging from the U.S. point of view—was the 2.9 percent growth in exports, to $186.7 billion for the month. That’s the highest value of U.S. exports ever. “The export numbers are encouraging,” says Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist for TD Securities in New York. “They show that global activity is stronger than we thought and demand is better than expected.” Here are five areas that are playing a role in the export expansion: Bloomberg
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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Analysis: After decades of outsourcing, manufacturing jobs coming home to US
NEW YORK, New York — Beginning in the 1970s America’s high-paying manufacturing jobs in the steel, textile, electronics and automotive industries relocated first south to Latin America and then east to Asia. In what some dubbed “a global race to the bottom,” labor rights have dwindled all along the way and the American middle class, long sustained by those manufacturing jobs, finds itself gutted. Now the fate of what is left of the American middle class is at the center of a presidential election and forcing a reexamination of the impact of the global decline of labor rights. But after years of pain for America’s manufacturing sector and its workers, some economists and analysts are wondering if the tide may be turning. Call it “re-shoring” or “rebalancing” or just “revenge,” but the dynamics of global labor, transportation and productivity costs that eviscerated American manufacturing over the past decade have begun to shift again. Global Post
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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New Five-Year Plan Aims to Make Tennessee a National Innovation Leader
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development joined the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) to announce the creation of a new, five-year strategic initiative: LaunchTN. The initiative names TTDC as the lead advocate for the state’s innovation agenda. As a public-private partnership, TTDC will work with the department to see Tennessee’s potential on the innovation front realized. TTDC’s Board of Directors outlined four key areas of focus for LaunchTN: 1) Entrepreneurship; 2) Commercialization; 3) Capital; and 4) Outreach. Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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Stop the Alabama immigration law rewrite before we get an even worse disaster
Wednesday is the last day of the legislative session, and lawmakers are still dealing with a revision of HB56, the mean-spirited, draconian, anti-immigration law the Legislature foolishly passed last year. Legislature watchers tell me that the bill to "fix" the unintended consequences in the law is now in the hands of state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, the co-sponsor of HB56 with state Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur. Lawmakers haven't had a chance to review Beason's revisions, yet, they're going to vote on it. Whatever happens will have to go to a conference committee. This is exactly how HB56 was handled last year, and we know what we got there. (Side gossip: I understand that Hammon and Beason do not get along, and that last week, Hammon was seen yelling about Beason in the House hallway in the State House.) The Birmingham News
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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Alabama Governor compliments Legislature and Redstone Arsenal, takes swipe at local senator
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- A "very optimistic" Gov. Robert Bentley touted a drop in the state's unemployment rate and generally praised the Legislature - particularly the House - as he presented his annual "Alabama Update" Monday to the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce. But, with one day left in the legislative session, Bentley made it clear his "greatest disappointment" was four senators in his own party who scuttled House Bill 160, which the governor said would create jobs. He didn't mention their names, but Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, is one of the four and the only one from North Alabama. "So you ask your senator around here whether he voted for it or he did not vote for it, OK?" Bentley said. "Because that was an important bill to help us create jobs in this state. Huntsville Times
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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Report: Tuscaloosa County homeowners sue insurance companies over tornado coverage
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Dozens of homeowners in Tuscaloosa County have sued their insurance company over how much they offered to pay after the April 2011 tornadoes greatly damaged the area, according to a report by the Tuscaloosa News. In one case, two dozen people are in a class action lawsuit filed last month against Cotton States Insurance. There have been 13 suits filed in the county since the April 2011 tornadoes, representing 39 plaintiffs. The Birmingham News
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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China Foreign Investment Falls 0.7% in Sixth Monthly Drop
Foreign direct investment in China fell for a sixth month in April, the longest stretch of declines since the global financial crisis, amid renewed turmoil in financial markets. Inbound investment dropped 0.7 percent from a year earlier to $8.4 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said today in Beijing. That compares with a 6.1 percent drop in March. Today’s data underscore the risk of a deeper slowdown in China after April export and import gains missed estimates and industrial output growth was the slowest since 2009. China cut banks’ reserve requirements on May 12 to spur lending and arrest the deterioration, with UBS AG and Bank of America Corp. lowering their second-quarter and full-year growth estimates. Bloomberg.com
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

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Chiquita likes its Charlotte home, seeks fresh brands
As his company moves to Charlotte, CEO Fernando Aguirre is trying to reshape Chiquita Brands into something more than a purveyor of bananas, an iconic but low-margin fruit. On Monday, during an interview with the Observer, Aguirre said Chiquita is expanding its brand into new products. The company last week reported an $11 million quarterly loss, as the price of bananas – which make up a large share of Chiquita’s revenue – slumped. Chiquita is moving forward with its relocation to Charlotte and has hired more than 100 people locally. The company is planning to transfer about 160 employees, mostly from Cincinnati, and hire about 150 more in Charlotte to bring the total workforce to more than 400. Charlotte Observer
Submitted 1 years 338 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Reshoring manufacturing capacity from primarily Asia to the South and Mexico is now a common thing to do and it's all about money. When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the average manufacturing wage in China's Pearl River Delta (PRD) was about 58 cents an hour.

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Dr. Glen Fenter
Desperation sometimes masks itself in acceptance. Such was the case for Takelia Carter of Marion, Ark. For Carter, the mother of six school-age children in a low paying job, desperation was normative existence. This was her life in Crittenden County, Ark., deep in the Delta where unfortunately one in four families lives well below the poverty level.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
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.


 


 

 

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