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New Star in Alabama Aerospace Cluster
Outside of the aeronautics, do you know what the Wright Brothers, the Spirit of St. Louis and every U.S. Space program project have in common? That would be Carpenter Technology’s premium alloy steel. Each and every one of those historical flights included materials by Carpenter Technology Corp., says Jim Seitz, Carpenter’s program director. “If you’ve ever been on an airplane, our products were on there somewhere,” Seitz says. Carpenter Technology, which opened a new $500 million plant near Athens in Limestone County earlier this year, also is celebrating its 125th year in business. What started with a one-building plant in Reading, Penn., is today an international leader in its industry. Business Alabama
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Rick Perry touts states’ rights during stop in S.C.
COLUMBIA – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is preaching a message of states’ rights, secure southern borders and a competitive economy as he begins a two-day stop in South Carolina to mix politics and college football. Perry spoke to more than 100 GOP supporters at a tailgate party and fundraiser Wednesday evening on the eve of the season opener between the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and Perry’s beloved Texas A&M Aggies. “You know that I’m a guy who’s not afraid to stand up for what I believe in when I come to Columbia when we are playing the Gamecocks,” he told a cheering, outdoor GOP audience in Columbia. Greenville News
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Auto parts supplier Federal-Mogul will expand in Smyrna, Tenn., adding 135 jobs
An auto parts manufacturer is expanding its Smyrna operations in a move that will create up to 135 new jobs. Overall, Federal-Mogul is investing $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility. The move comes after the company purchased a product line from Affinia, a manufacturer and distributor of automotive replacement parts. “Federal-Mogul is pleased to continue investing in Smyrna,” said Paula Silver, Federal-Mogul’s vice president of corporate communications and investor relations. “We have a dedicated and hard-working team that takes pride in distributing high-quality products for our customers.” The Tennessean
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Chattanooga-based Tranco Logistics doubles staff to supply Volkswagen
A Chattanooga-based transportation, warehousing and logistics business has won Volkswagen contracts to move and sequence parts for the automaker, nearly doubling the local company's workforce. Tranco Logistics, which has hired 57 more employees for the VW work, also is aiming to land some of the business generated by the new sport utility vehicle the German car maker is ramping up to assemble in Chattanooga. "We think we will," said Bruce Trantham, who owns Tranco with twin brother Bryon. Last month, the company was hired by VW to pick up and transport parts from various suppliers in the South to Chattanooga, securing the business from an out-of-town venture. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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New Tennessee jobs a sign of GM-UAW cooperation
This week, members of the United Automobile Workers are proud to join with General Motors to announce a major victory for Tennessee’s workers and families. GM is announcing that Spring Hill will be the new home of the Cadillac SRX, as well as another midsize vehicle to be announced in the near future. GM is also making a $185 million investment to build its new small gas engine here in Tennessee. This is a product that GM is bringing back to the U.S. from Mexico, and it means we’ll be retaining 390 American jobs in Spring Hill. The expansion is an unqualified win-win-win for GM, the UAW and Tennessee’s families. The Tennessean
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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St. Louis has best jobs month in decades
The St. Louis weather wasn't especially hot this July but the local job market was, according to preliminary numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers in the metro area added 11,500 jobs in July, the highest seasonally adjusted total for any month since at least 1990. The gain means St. Louis employment has risen by 25,500 jobs, or nearly 2 percent, in the past year, a year-over-year gain that is the metro area's largest since January 2000. For perspective, it's important to remember that metro St. Louis lost more than 70,000 jobs between 2008 and 2011. The area still needs to create 27,700 jobs to get back to the January 2008 peak. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Lake Charles metro area has largest rate of growth in La.
With more than $78 billion in capital investments in the region, the Lake Charles metropolitan area had the largest one-year rate of growth in Louisiana at 4.1 percent, according to state labor officials. “Last year, Dr. Loren Scott had forecast that the Lake Charles region would lead the state in jobs, so this is confirmation to that prediction,” said George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Scott, an economic consultant, predicted in October that Lake Charles would grow 3.3 percent. The Louisiana Workforce Commission announced this week there was an increase of 3,800 jobs, placing Southwest Louisiana’s total at 95,700. American Press
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Lake Charles, Baton Rouge among best for construction job gains
All of Louisiana’s metro areas surveyed in July by the Associated General Contractors of America added construction jobs over the past year, with Lake Charles and Baton Rouge leading the way. Lake Charles had a 27 percent gain in construction employment, the best among the 339 metro areas surveyed by the AGC during a 12-month period that ended in July. Lake Charles went from 10,600 construction workers in July 2013 to 13,500 in July. Baton Rouge added 7,900 construction jobs, an 18 percent gain that was good enough to rank the city as the seventh-fastest growing market in the U.S. for new construction jobs. According to an analysis of federal employment data released Thursday by AGC, there were 51,900 construction workers in the Capital Region in July, compared to 44,000 in July 2013. The Advocate
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Oil spill victims shut out of BP's internal claims program wait for their day in court
David Arnsby remembers his phone ringing constantly in the days and weeks during the BP oil spill in 2010 as dozens of tourists canceled reservations at his hotel in Sarasota, Fla. Arnsby and his wife had five years earlier invested $11 million in their third hotel, a Country Inn & Suites, just a 10-minute drive from the sandy beaches that inspired the couple to move to Florida from Britain nearly three decades ago. His business plunged as tourists backed out of traveling to the Gulf Coast that summer. The hotel eventually went into foreclosure. "I lost my hotel, my investment, my income, my benefits and my future retirement," Arnsby said. "I lost a lifetime's work." Now, the prospect of recovering those losses has grown dimmer. NOLA.com
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

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Bell Helicopter breaks ground on new Lafayette, La., assembly plant
Texas-based Bell Helicopter broke ground Wednesday (Aug. 27) on a helicopter assembly plant in Lafayette that would assemble the company's new line of SLS—or Short Light Single—helicopters. The project will bring the first-ever modern-era aircraft assembly facility to Louisiana. At an official groundbreaking for the 82,300-square-foot, $26.3 million Lafayette Aircraft Assembly Center, Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison announced the initial hiring of management team members for the Lafayette Aircraft Assembly Center include: General Manager Paul Watts and Human Resources Business Partner Krystal Holder, both veteran Bell Helicopter employees. The company also confirmed receipt to date of more than 200 purchase agreements for the Bell 505, the five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter. NOLA.com
Submitted 2 years 99 days ago

 

 

 

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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