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FedEx Ground Distribution Center in Little Rock to Employ 160
FedEx Corp. of Memphis broke ground Thursday on a 300,000-SF Ground distribution facility in southwest Little Rock. The publicly traded logistics firm plans to employ about 160 people there. The center, scheduled to open in August 2016, will sit on a 44-acre site near the northwest corner of Alexander and Loop roads. A company affiliated with FedEx purchased the pastureland from R&D Holding LLLP, led by Don Thompson, for $3.38 million. Arkansasbusiness.com
Submitted 1 years 334 days ago

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Pike Nurseries looking to hire 300 for spring, summer
Atlanta-based Pike Nurseries wants to hire 300 seasonal workers in the coming weeks, joining a growing number of local companies staffing up for the spring and summer months. Atlanta Journal Constitution
Submitted 1 years 334 days ago

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Bentley: No statewide vote on tax plan
WASHINGTON – Gov. Robert Bentley's upcoming proposals for raising revenue to address a state budget shortfall won't require voter approval, he said Sunday. Bentley is working on a $700 million package to address immediate and long-term funding shortages in the state's General Fund. Montgomery Advertiser
Submitted 1 years 334 days ago

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Gulf Shores purchases 115 acres along Foley Beach Express
The city of Gulf Shores paid $1.725 million for 115 acres on the Foley Beach Express and the corner of Baldwin County 8, adjacent to the land the city already owns and plans to use for an educational complex, according to court records and city officials. Frank Malone and Bob Malone of Bellator Real Estate & Development worked for the sellers. The city now has a total of 200 acres and is enough to put a new high school, community college and a four-year college, as well as dormitory space, according to Steve Griffin, city administrator for Gulf Shores. The first phase will be the construction of a new high school. A March 31 referendum to approve an 8-mill property tax increase would help fund the academic campus. AL.com
Submitted 1 years 334 days ago

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Walmart's Raise Could Be A Turning Point For The Whole Economy
Walmart just gave half a million people a raise. Could you be next? The retail giant announced on Thursday that it would increase the minimum pay for its workers to $10 an hour, affecting roughly a third of its 1.4 million employees. The move is a sign that finally -- finally! -- the falling unemployment rate is putting pressure on companies to raise wages. The unemployment rate recently tumbled to 5.7 percent from a Great Recession high of 10 percent in 2009. Typically a better job market leads to people getting raises, but wages have been stubbornly slow to recover. Huffington Post
Submitted 1 years 334 days ago

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BREAKING NEWS: American Specialty Alloys Announces Plans For $2.4 Billion Aluminum Mill Complex In Central Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, American Specialty Alloys Inc. announced plans to develop a $2.4 billion mill and campus in Central Louisiana to provide strong, lightweight metal for the automotive and aerospace industries. With the project, ASA plans to create 1,450 new permanent jobs, including 850 direct ASA employees and 600 employees of corporate partners that are expected to perform additional manufacturing and logistics functions on the mill campus. Those direct jobs are expected to represent an average annual salary of $70,500, plus benefits. ASA plans to construct its manufacturing facility at a 1,200-acre mill complex owned and formerly operated by International Paper in Pineville, Louisiana. ASA expects to break ground later this year, with a targeted completion date of all facilities in 2020. ASA estimates development of the aluminum mill will generate 2,000 construction jobs. Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “When the IP mill closed several years ago, we pledged that we would work on securing a project that would bring good jobs back to that location. We are excited that ASA has announced plans to invest in Central Louisiana and take advantage of Louisiana’s strong business climate and world-class workforce. We’ll continue working with the company as it prepares to break ground on this facility and help connect our people with great jobs." Louisiana Economic Development
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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That's The Randle Report for February 20, 2015
Join us again on Monday morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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PNC: South leads nation in economic growth
A broad array of potent growth drivers will push the Atlanta economy to be one of the nation's top performers in 2015 as Atlanta's economy continues to fire on all cylinders. Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) reported in its Atlanta Market Outlook technical and professional services will continue to be key employment generators for the city. The rebound in these high wage industries will drive above average income growth. The South is leading the nation in terms of economic growth, which bodes well for the area's transportation and logistics industries. The dramatic plunge in gasoline prices since mid-2014 is a boon for the region, as Georgians spend a greater than average share of their income on gasoline. The region's transportation and logistics firms will also benefit from reduced input costs. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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The state of the rural South's economy
The populations of U.S. regions look quite different than they did 60 years ago. In 1955, the American West was home to just 24 million people. Today, it has grown dramatically to 74.1 million residents. The growth of the Midwest and Northeast since 1955 has been minimal compared to the South and West. The Midwest currently has 62.5 million (43 million in 1955) and the Northeast has 61.3 million (42 million in 1955) residents respectively. In contrast, the population of the American South has ballooned from 48 million to over 121 million people in 60 years, a total that is very close to matching the populations of the Northeast and the Midwest combined. If Census migration patterns continue as they are, sometime in 2016 or 2017, the South will contain more people than the Northeast AND the Midwest combined. Southern Business & Development
Submitted 1 years 337 days ago

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White House Sees Workforce as Best Bet to Tackle Deficits
Rather than seek to balance the budget and sharply reduce the debt, President Barack Obama ’s economic advisers now say the focus should be to stabilize the debt through the aging of the baby boomers, or those born roughly between 1946 and 1964. “We’re dealing with the pig in the python,” said Shaun Donovan , the president’s budget chief. Making changes to entitlement programs like Social Security only get harder “if we don’t have more workers per retiree.” When it comes to the national debt, he added, “what’s acceptable in the next 20 years is different from what might be acceptable in the long term.” The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 337 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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