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Toyota plans to break ground on V6 engine expansion at Huntsville plant
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Toyota plans to break ground Tuesday on a 300,000-square-foot V6 engine expansion project at its Huntsville plant. Jim Bolte, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama; U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville; Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie are scheduled to speak at the 9 a.m. event. At an announcement in May, Gov. Robert Bentley said the expansion would mean about 125 new jobs at the plant, bringing the number of employees to 1,150. Huntsville Times
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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JOEY KENNEDY: If it's all about not raising taxes, Alabama's in trouble
Alabama people held their noses Tuesday and voted for Gov. Robert Bentley's and the Republican leadership's cynical bailout of the state's General Fund. Most voters sure didn't want to see what would happen had the Republicans' careless gamble failed. The voters agreed, 65 percent to 35 percent, to move $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to the state General Fund over the next three years. Millions of dollars are already owed to the fund after previous raids; this just adds to that debt. But had voters said no, state agencies supported by the General Fund would have been devastated, the results of which we just don't fully know. Shame on Bentley and lawmakers for not having the courage to pass a balanced budget. Shame on them for allowing themselves to be handcuffed by Grover Norquist's no-taxes promise. Shame on them for putting Alabama voters in this position. This is the leadership we've elected. The Birmingham News
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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Untangling the Skills Mismatch Debate: Implications for Local Economic Development
The paradox of persistent unemployment and unfilled jobs has many analysts pointing to a skills mismatch in the economy. This widely accepted hypothesis has come under fire recently, with implications for local and regional economic development. Looking deeper inside the black box of matching workers with jobs reveals more nuance than unavailable skills. A wage gap, lack of recruiting intensity, strict hiring requirements, and lack of hiring are also at work. The Chicago Fed’s research finds that although a skills mismatch does not exist across the board, there seems to be one for middle skill jobs, or requiring education and training beyond high school but less than a bachelor’s degree. Martin Scaglione, president of the ACT Workforce Development Division, in an interview with blogger George Lorenzo, affirms this finding from the supply side perspective. “There is not enough talent coming through the system to meet the demand for jobs at the middle-skill level, and there is an overabundance of low-skilled workers.” Lorenzo observes that “many college graduates are being forced to take on middle-skill jobs, thus sending those who should be filling those jobs into the low skill arena,” further complicating the job market. CitiesSpeak.org
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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The Joys of Urban Tech in the American South and elsewhere
For as long as many of us can remember, high-tech industries have flourished in the suburban office parks that are so ubiquitous in Silicon Valley, North Carolina's Research Triangle and other "nerdistans." But in recent years, high-tech has been taking a decidedly urban turn. Silicon Valley remains the world's pre-eminent center of high-tech industry, of course. But even in the Valley, denser, more mixed-use and walkable places, like downtown Palo Alto, are becoming the preferred locations for start-ups and smaller firms. And many other start-ups—Pinterest, Zynga, Yelp, Square and Salesforce.com, to name just a notable few—are taking up residence in downtown San Francisco. Wall Street Journal
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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The globalisation of work - and people
In the near future, at least five billion people around the world will use some form of mobile device to download information, access knowledge and coach and teach each other. Some will have the intellectual capacity and motivation to really make something of this opportunity, wherever they happen to be born. These people will want to join the global talent pool and, if possible, migrate to creative and vibrant cities. By doing so, this vast crowd of talented people will increasingly compete with each other, continuously upping the stakes for what it takes to succeed. BBC
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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Cities of the Future: Made in China
For much of the 20th century, the world looked to American cities for a glimpse of the future. Places like New York and Chicago had the tallest skyscrapers, the newest airports, the fastest highways, and the best electricity grids. But now, just 12 years into the Asian Century, the city of the future has picked up and moved to China. No less than U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recognized this when he said not long ago, "If I blindfolded Americans and took them into some of the airports or ports in China and then took them to one in any one of your cities, in the middle of the night … and then said, 'Which one is an American? Which one is in your city in America? And which one's in China?' most Americans would say, 'Well, that great one is in America.' It's not." The speech raised eyebrows among conservative commentators, but it points out the obvious to anyone who has spent time in Beijing, Hong Kong, or Shanghai (or even lesser-known cities like Shenzhen and Dalian, for that matter). Foreignpolicy.com
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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As China Sneezes, Will the World Catch Cold?
Over the past three years, there’s been a remarkable transformation in global perceptions about the sustainability of Chinese growth. As Europe faltered and the US fought a massively oversupplied housing market, China managed to sail through difficult global economic conditions and seemingly avoided the difficulties that ensnared much of the West. In 2010, the world was convinced that Chinese economic growth would save the world. China had grown to become the world's second largest economy and many extrapolated this trend to the day that China would be larger than the United States. Few questioned this belief, and investors titled their portfolios towards assets that would fare well in a world of strong continued Chinese growth. Yale Global
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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Should the Government Support Applied Research?
Republican criticism of federal government efforts to fund new energy technologies has spilled over to ARPA-E, the U.S. Department of Energy's popular program for backing high-risk innovations in energy. Republican vice president nominee Paul Ryan last year voted to slash ARPA-E's budget, and presidential candidate Mitt Romney's energy plan says the program should focus on basic research. Such views could rule out giving money to companies like tiny, 35-person startup Envia Systems, located in Newark, California. Following a $4 million grant from ARPA-E, it says it's within sight of commercializing a high-capacity battery that would cut electric car battery prices in half. Technology Review
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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Clemson University study cites economic impact on state
CLEMSON — More than $1.83 billion in economic output, nearly 25,000 jobs and a net return to state taxpayers of $77.4 million annually. That’s the sum of Clemson University’s economic impact on the state of South Carolina, according to a new study released Tuesday. The university also contributes $114.9 million in net local government revenue and $980.3 million in additional household disposable income. The figures are from 2010, the most recent year of the 10-year period analyzed. Clemson.edu
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

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Winston-Salem-based Hanesbrands moving to retire $2.6 billion in debt
Hanesbrands Inc. is taking another significant step toward retiring the $2.6 billion debt it took on in spinning out of Sara Lee Corp. in 2006. The company said Tuesday it plans to retire the final $147.1 million in senior debt by Oct. 12 as part of an effort to pay off $300 million in bond debt this year. Hanesbrands' strategy is similar to that of a homeowner making a major principal payment on a mortgage in an effort to reduce interest costs. In July, the company redeemed an additional $150 million in senior debt after paying off $200 million in senior debt in 2011. The payoff is part of its plan to use cash reserves to reduce long-term debt and loan leverage during 2012-13. Winston-Salem Journal
Submitted 2 years 12 days ago

 

 

 

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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