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Randy McClain: Auto industry enriches TN coffers
How important is the auto industry to Tennessee? Consider this fact: Tennessee is one of just seven states that get 18 percent or more of tax revenue from links to the auto industry — virtually $1 of every $5 that hits the state’s cash box comes from cars, the workers who make them and the consumers who drive them. That’s the conclusion reached by the Ann Arbor, Mich.- based Center for Automotive Research in a new study. The auto sector here accounts for a total of $1.87 billion in taxes linked to car sales, license and registration fees, fuel taxes, and other business taxes paid by auto manufacturers, parts suppliers and dealers. That’s an impressive tally. The Tennessean
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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VW's Tennessee plant to expand
With a year of operation on the books, Volkswagen’s facility in Chattanooga is boosting employment and capacity to meet demand, moving up plans to export the vehicle to Asia and becoming a blueprint for the German automaker’s future plants. Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of the Tennessee plant, said in an interview this week that running the sprawling facility on the site of a former ammunition plant has had its share of challenges, but the overall experience has been “fantastic." “If you have a new product in a new factory with new equipment, new suppliers and a completely new team and new processes, every day you have something new crop up,” Fischer said. “But we planned for much of this in advance, and it helped us to be prepared for any surprises.” The Tennessean
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Miss. jobless rate declines
Job growth is still anemic in Mississippi, but people are leaving the labor force in droves, rapidly pushing down the state's unemployment rate. The jobless rate fell to 9 percent in March from 9.6 in February, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the lowest level since April 2009, and well below the 10.5 percent unemployment rate of March 2011. A falling labor force is in some ways bad news for the larger economy, but it does help to drive down the number of jobless people reported by the survey. Mississippi's 0.6 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate tied with Oklahoma for the biggest decrease among states in March. Clarion-Ledger
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Site Selection magazine lists Nashville Chamber in its Top 10
Tennessee economic development pros didn’t take home any top prizes in Site Selection magazine’s annual awards for eye-popping job development efforts in North America, but a couple of kudos still fell Tennessee’s and Nashville’s way. Among the top 10 North American deals, Amazon.com’s developments in Charleston, Chattanooga, Cleveland and Lebanon, Tenn. (a $350 million investment and estimated 3,500 jobs) scored a mention. And the top economic development groups of 2011 included the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce among 10 agencies recognized on the local scene. Also on that list were: Greater Houston Partnership, Texas; World Business Chicago; Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce, Baton Rouge, La.; Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas; New York City EDC, New York; Kansas City Area Development Council, Missouri, Kansas; Select Greater Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pa.; the Greater Statesville Development Corp./Mooresville-South Iredell EDC in North Carolina. The Tennessean
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Harrison County, Miss. supervisors to sue BP
GULFPORT -- The Harrison County Board of Supervisors voted this morning to sue BP for losses from the 2010 oil spill. Board attorney Tim Holleman said the county will join Jackson County and its cities in litigation against the oil company. Biloxi also is expected to join the lawsuit at its meeting Tuesday. Biloxi Sun-Herald
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Politicians, scientists, environmental groups comment on BP oil spill anniversary
variety of individuals and organizations addressed the second anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred on Friday: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: "Earlier this week, Congress took a major step forward in the fight to dedicate 80% of BP fines to the Gulf Coast region with the RESTORE Act amendment passing the U.S. House of Representatives. In Louisiana, we should use those funds to begin to rebuild our precious wetlands which provide our country national, energy, and economic security. It's imperative that the RESTORE Act receives passage by both chambers and is sent to President Obama's desk for signature. Times-Picayune''''
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Birmingham needs help with workforce development, analysis says
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Birmingham Business Alliance officials rolled out an analysis Friday that showed the area's economy is moving along at a good clip but needs work in some key areas to keep pace with 11 peer cities. The analysis -- displayed in the form of dashboard graphics -- was meant to show how Alabama's largest metro area compares to the other cities in key aspects of the BBA's Blueprint Birmingham, the five-year growth plan unveiled in September 2010. The dashboard measurements were discussed Friday at the first-ever Blueprint Birmingham Summit at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. The Birmingham News
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Alabama leads states in steepest construction job losses
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama --Alabama lost a greater share of its construction jobs over the past year than any other state and the District of Columbia, figures released today show. Analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data by the Associated General Contractors of America showed that Alabama had 73,300 construction workers last month, down by 8,500 or 10.4 percentage points from March 2011. Alabama ranked just ahead of Alaska (10.1 percent drop in construction jobs over the past 12 months) and Nevada (9.6 percent decline). North Dakota and the District of Columbia fared best, with an increase of 15.9 percentage points and 15.7 percentage points, respectively, according to the AGC. The Birmingham
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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H. Brandt Ayers: Strangers — Dems and the South
Here’s how President Obama, or any Democrat running for president, can crack the solid GOP South, ending the habit of ceding enough electoral votes that could clinch a Democratic victory. First, you have to show up. If you don’t, we’ll get the idea you don’t like us (the white majority) and if you don’t, we’ll stick with the party that does. Second, you must walk gingerly across a minefield of cultural symbols. If you make it, you could detoxify barriers to understanding between the South and the nation. Obama has made some timid gestures to the South in his choice of Charlotte for the Democratic convention and by sending wreaths for a Confederate memorial. Perhaps unwittingly, he struck a balance between culture and demography. The Anniston Star
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Arkansas unemployment rate drops to 7.4 percent
LITTLE ROCK —The unemployment rate in Arkansas is the lowest it has been in almost three years, according to labor statistics released today. The report for March showed a rate of 7.4 percent, down two-tenths from February. “Arkansas’ unemployment rate continues to show signs of improvement,” said Kimberly Friedman, spokeswoman for the state Department of Workforce Services. “The last time we experienced a rate of 7.4 percent was in June 2009. Additionally, March was the eighth consecutive month of employment growth.” The state’s unemployment rate in March was eight-tenths of a percentage point below the national rate of 8.2 percent, which was down from 8.3 percent in February. Arkansas Business
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

In growth, companies find themselves in the dilemma of identifying capital to increase capacity and managing opportunity cost where capital may be deferred. This dilemma is amplified as capacity constraints drive a company to complete the site selection process for an expanding or new facility. 
 

 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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