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 Economic Development News 
Monday, April 22 2019

Awards will support trade and overseas marketing efforts of 46 small businesses across the Commonwealth

Boston, MA -- The Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) and the Massachusetts Small Business Development/ Massachusetts Export Center announced that 46 small businesses across the Commonwealth will receive $666,667 in State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the STEP grants support export activities such as trade show participation, overseas marketing and localization services, and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to providing opportunities for our small businesses to showcase their products and compete in the global marketplace,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “The STEP Grant program provides critical funding to help small businesses increase their exposure on the global stage and drive continued business growth.”

Posted by: AT 01:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 18 2019
Kimberly Merkel is Chosen as the M.C. for the 2019 Florida Economic Development Council Conference

Expansion Solutions is proud to announce Kimberly Merkel, National Account Director, has been chosen for the second year in a row as the Master of Ceremonies for the Florida Economic Development Council Conference. This year's conference will be held at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida, May 20-22, 2019. 

About the Florida Economic Development Council 

The Florida Economic Development Council is the professional association of economic, workforce and community developers. These professionals work in Florida’s 67 counties, 400+ cities, 24 workforce regions, 28 colleges, 12 universities, as well as utilities, ports, airports, and industrial authorities.

FEDC’s members are among the highest credentialed professionals in the industry – many with advanced degrees in finance, business, IT, engineering, planning and real estate.

FDC educates, advocates for, and connects Florida’s economic development professionals. The staff, board members and committee members of the Florida Economic Development Council dedicate themselves to providing leadership and vision to advance economic development professionals and economic development throughout the state of Florida as a whole. 

Posted by: AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 11 2019

Freeport, TX -- Port Freeport is pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Lowe as Port Freeport Director of Administration and Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for the accounting and financial reporting, treasury, risk management, financial analysis and human resource management. 

Lowe joins Port Freeport from BASF with more than 20 years of managerial experience including leading multi-business unit accounting activities, financial leadership support, acquisition integrations, contract reviews, and organizational designs. Lowe holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Carolina. He is also an active member of the local community as a volunteer board member of Boys and Girls Club of Brazoria County, as well as served on the Finance Committee of Brazosport Regional Health System.

“On behalf of the Port Commission, I would like to extend a welcome to Mr. Lowe as he joins Port Freeport. We look forward to working with him on the Port’s continuing success for the future,” said Port Chairman Paul Kresta. 

Posted by: AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 11 2019

Carmel, IN -- Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) President Elaine Bedel joined local officials and executives from BCforward, a global information technology consulting and staffing firm, as the company announced plans today to expand its operations in Hamilton County. As part of its growth, the company plans to create up to 300 new jobs by 2021 and establish a new digital training center to help ensure employees and customers are on the forefront of the latest skills and trends in information technology and other services.

“Thanks to companies like BCforward, tech jobs in central Indiana are growing at a rate more than double the U.S. average, creating quality opportunities for Hoosiers to advance their careers,” said Bedel. “As the Crossroads of America and a hub for growing technology, Indiana is the ideal location for global firms working with and serving customers across the country and around the world. BCforward’s commitment to advancing innovation and digital skills training is yet another step forward for this burgeoning sector, and we look forward to the many contributions they will make to our tech community here in Indiana.”

Posted by: AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 11 2019

Company to relaunch Madisonville barge facility through $7.5 million capital investment

Madisonville, LA -- Governor John Bel Edwards, Arcosa Marine President Thomas Faherty and St. Tammany Corporation announced Arcosa will make a $7.5 million capital investment and create 149 new direct jobs to reopen the idle barge manufacturing operations in Madisonville. Arcosa Marine Products Inc., a division of Dallas-based Arcosa Inc., will install new equipment and complete facility upgrades to begin producing barges for customer delivery later this year.

The 149 new direct jobs will provide an average annual salary of $51,400, plus benefits. Arcosa will retain 26 existing jobs, for a total of 175 direct jobs at the La. Highway 21 manufacturing site on the Tchefuncte River. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in another 236 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 380 new jobs in St. Tammany Parish and the Southeast Region of Louisiana.

Posted by: AT 09:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 10 2019

Production facility slated to bring 140 jobs to the West Valley

Goodyear, AZ -- fairlife, LLC announced plans to increase overall production capabilities with the construction of a new 300 thousand square foot production and distribution facility in Goodyear. The new $200+ million facility, which is slated to begin operation in the back half of 2020, will house production lines that will play a key role in meeting the growing demand for fairlife.

“fairlife is a pioneer in the dairy industry and having their new plant here will not only encourage innovation in Arizona, it will contribute to our efforts to grow our advanced manufacturing sector in our community,” stated Mayor Georgia Lord of Goodyear.

Working with the United Dairymen of Arizona (UDA) to source milk from numerous dairy farmers in Goodyear, the new fairlife plant will enable increased production of all fairlife products, including the different varieties of fairlife ultra-filtered milk®, Core Power®, fairlife® YUP!™, fairlife® smart snacks™, and fairlife® nutrition plan™.

Posted by: AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 09 2019

Firm processes protein foods from plants

Shelbyville, IN -- Shelbyville has been chosen as the site for what is expected to be the largest facility in North America for producing plant-based protein foods. Greenleaf Foods, SPC announced that it will invest $310 million in the new plant and create as many as 460 jobs by the end of 2022.

The announcement was made during a ground breaking ceremony attended by Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger.

Greenleaf makes the foods under brands including Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Grain Meat Co., the top two brands in the refrigerated alternative protein category. Greenleaf is a wholly owned subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. of Mississaugu, Ontario. Greenleaf was established in 2018 and is headquartered in Chicago. Greenleaf operates facilities in Seattle and Turner Falls, Mass.

Posted by: AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 05 2019

Munice, IN -- Accutech Systems, a software company providing innovative wealth management solutions, announced plans to expand its operations in Indiana, investing in a new headquarters facility in downtown Muncie. With this growth, the company will nearly double its Delaware County workforce, planning to reach at least 100 local employees by 2023. 

“Indiana's tech community is on a roll thanks to the spirit and commitment of Hoosier entrepreneurs and innovators across the state," said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. "Companies like Accutech are not only helping advance our economy by developing new solutions with 21st century technology, they're also propelling our communities forward. With this announcement, it is clear that Accutech will be a true partner in enhancing the quality of place in the Muncie area and in supporting the continued momentum of Indiana’s tech industry and workforce."

Posted by: AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 04 2019

New manufacturing facility in Little Chute will create 275 jobs

Madison, WI -- Faith Technologies Inc., a leading electrical planning, engineering, design and installation expert, is expanding its Excellerate division with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Little Chute—a $20 million project expected to create 275 jobs over the next three years.

"This investment by Faith Technologies solidifies the company’s continued commitment to Wisconsin and is a testament to the strength of our manufacturing industry,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state’s lead economic development organization. “I congratulate Faith Technologies on its expansion and look forward to its continued success in Little Chute as well as its other Wisconsin locations.”

Posted by: AT 11:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 03 2019
Idaho Milk Products Announces Expansion to Jerome Facility

Jerome, ID -- Idaho Milk Products announces plans to grow its specialized milk protein concentrate and dairy ingredients business through a $26 million expansion to its Jerome, Idaho facility. Processing capacity will expand by one third – accommodating an additional 1 million pounds per day of locally sourced milk. The project will also include investments in new Research & Development capabilities, enhanced employee facilities and an expanded warehouse. Commenting on the project, CEO Daragh Maccabee said, “the project is a logical next step for us, one that maximizes the current potential of our exceptional facility while increasing our ability to continue to add long-term value to everything we do, acknowledging in the process that we are nothing without our people.”

“We are committed to both meeting our customers’ needs for the highest quality, most consistent dairy ingredients, and offering them new ingredient solutions.” Tara Russell, VP of Marketing & Sales explained. “The investment in enhanced Research & Development resources allows us to participate in higher levels of collaboration with our customer partners.”

Posted by: AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 03 2019

Global logistics provider expected to create approximately 450 new jobs
Columbus, SC -- DHL Supply Chain, a leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, announced plans to construct a new distribution and warehousing park in Dorchester County that will open in phases, developed by DHL Real Estate Solutions. The company's $100 million investment is projected to create approximately 450 new jobs.
DHL Real Estate Solutions (RES) is a standalone product of DHL and one of the largest developers of property solutions in the logistics industry. RES is a global developer, providing both customers and non-supply chain customers with individually-tailored real estate solutions. The company's integrated approach provides a single point of contact, ensuring that building design, racking and building systems are all coordinated at the onset of the design process, resulting in smoother transitions when operations commence.

Posted by: AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 02 2019
Reframing Retail as a Community Asset, Not a Liability

By Alexandra Tranmer, Project Manager, Camoin Associates

The transformation of the retail industry continues into 2019. Beta-testing drone deliveries, cashier-less grocery stores and sampling new paint colors through augmented reality are just a few of the strategies that retailers are using to expand their market share and reach their coveted consumers. Yet, beyond using tactics like experiential retail and re-evaluating consumers’ purchasing preferences, retailers, and perhaps community builders at large, continue to grapple with how the right retail mix can be leveraged as a complementary asset to residents and other businesses. Although Credit Suisse predicted that 20-25 percdnt of U.S. malls will close between 2017-2022, the demand for retail as an amenity that contributes to the development and competitiveness of other markets is strong. While retail is certainly still a challenging sector for small business operators, chances for success are greatly improved when retail is integrated into the fabric of our commutes, daily lives and work patterns. This article will explore how retail is positioned as a critical component of development in large metro areas and smaller cities, and the role of the economic developer in coordinating the multi-disciplinary teams that are necessary to lay the groundwork for retail success. 

Yes, retail remains in a transformative state. Yes, eCommerce has redefined the public’s expectations of how and where they can purchase everyday goods. Ecommerce sales however only comprise about 10 percent of total retail sales. The 2018 3rd Quarter U.S. Retail Sales report from the U.S. Census reports that total retail sales reached $1,340.2 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent from the 2nd quarter of 2018. Of total retail sales, eCommerce accounted for about $130.9 million, or about 9.8 percent.

Posted by: AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 01 2019

Columbus, Ohio – Vantage Point Logistics (VPL), a leader in supply chain technology solutions, has announced plans to invest more than $2.5 million to expand its operations in Columbus. The company will create 80 new jobs and will immediately begin hiring for operations, software development and technology positions. VPL will expand its headquarters in Columbus to accommodate the company’s ongoing growth and allow for adding new talent to its 40-person workforce.

“We’re excited to announce this important step forward for our growing operations,” said VPL President and CEO Rob Doone. “Since launching, VPL has benefited from the rich pool of talent in the Columbus Region and we’re looking forward to furthering our success with this latest expansion.”

Founded in 2011, VPL delivers leading-edge technology solutions to healthcare and academic institutions resulting in significant expense reductions and unparalleled visibility along the supply chain. The company is dedicated to developing solutions to make supply chains smarter, easier and better.

Posted by: AT 10:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 01 2019
GPA Marks Decade of Partnership with Kia 

Photo Caption: Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia is now exporting Telluride SUVs through the Port of Brunswick. In Fiscal Year 2018 alone, KMMG moved more than 37,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units through the Port of Savannah. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)

Automaker has moved 350,000 TEUs via Savannah 

LaGrange, GA -- During a board meeting held at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Ports Authority recognized a decade of partnership between Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia and GPA.
"Kia is one of our largest customers at the Port of Savannah, and a stellar example of the kind of advanced manufacturing going on across Georgia," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "At Georgia Ports, we are proud to support the positive impact Kia has on the state's economy."
Over the past decade, the automaker has shipped nearly 350,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units through the Port of Savannah in support of its manufacturing plant near West Point, Ga. As one of GPA's largest container customers, Kia's volumes support thousands ofjobs throughout Georgia's transportation and logistics supply chain.

Posted by: AT 09:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 22 2019
New Mexico Takes Bold Step Toward a Cleaner, Stronger 21st Century Economy

The Energy Transition Act will dramatically increase New Mexico’s use of low-cost renewable energy while creating new jobs and diversifying the state’s economy

Santa Fe, NM -- New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law The Energy Transition Act (SB489), advancing the state’s national leadership in renewable energy with a goal to source 50 percent of New Mexico’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. The law sets even higher goals for the future, targeting 80 percent renewable energy by 2040 and 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045. The law also promotes investments in New Mexico’s workforce to ensure residents benefit from new economic opportunities that come with tapping into renewable resources in their state.

“We applaud the leadership of the New Mexico legislature and Governor Lujan Grisham for setting New Mexico on a path to a cleaner and stronger economy just months into her new administration,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “Ambitious renewable energy policies turn heads in the business community, drawing nationally-recognized corporate brands into the state and encouraging developers to invest billions of dollars into wind farms that create jobs and revenues for rural communities.”

Posted by: AT 01:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 22 2019

Company to invest $46 million to expand Lafayette office; project to result in additional 242 new indirect jobs in Acadiana

Lafayette, LA -- Governor John Bel Edwards and LHC Group Chairman and CEO Keith Myers joined state, local and federal officials to break ground on the home health company’s $46 million Lafayette home office expansion. With the groundbreaking, LHC Group will create 500 direct new jobs in Lafayette with an average salary of $40,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 242 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 740 new jobs in Acadiana.

The LHC Group expansion follows the April 2018 completion of its merger with Almost Family of Louisville, Kentucky. The combined companies, operating under LHC Group, now cover 60 percent of the nation’s age 65-and-older population. From over 780 locations, LHC provides home health, personal care and hospice services. Some Louisville-based roles will be relocating to Lafayette as part of the expansion. The company will retain 612 Lafayette-based jobs, bringing the total Lafayette workforce to more than 1,100 employees.

Posted by: AT 11:08 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 22 2019
  • Developments in Mt. Clemens, Pontiac, Evart will generate private investment of $29.6 million
  • Korean auto supplier erae AMS USA establishing new manufacturing operations in Pontiac
  • Expansions underscore strength of state’s automotive manufacturing talent

Lansing, MI -- Three business expansions that will generate a total of $29.6 million in private investment and create 262 jobs in Michigan have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced.

“The decision by these Tier 1 auto suppliers to not just expand but to establish new facilities in Michigan further underscores our leadership position in automotive manufacturing and the strength of our talented workforce,” said Jeff Mason, CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

“Collaboration with our local partners is key to attracting these kinds of investments and further building the economy around the state,” Mason said.

Posted by: AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 21 2019

Ongoing Success and Positive Outlook Underscore Port’s Pivotal Role in North American Trade

Brownsville, TX -- The Port of Brownsville set new records in tonnage and total operating revenue in 2018, moving 11.3 million tons of diverse cargos with operating revenues of more than $24.2 million. The results, announced today at the annual State of the Port Address, reveal a 6.6 percent increase in cargos, a 25 percent increase in rail movements, and a 2.5 percent increase in operating revenues from the previous year.

“Congratulations to our partners, customers, and port users who all contributed to these new high-water marks,” said John Reed, Chairman of the Brownsville Navigation District. “Steel was up, almost all petroleum categories were up, dry bulk cement and sugar were way up.

Posted by: AT 01:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 21 2019

Expansion at manufacturing plants will result in 128 new direct jobs, 296 indirect jobs

Baton Rouge, LA -- Governor John Bel Edwards highlighted the announcement by Stupp Corp. that the company will invest $22 million to upgrade its two steel pipe manufacturing plants in Baton Rouge. Stupp Corp. is a family-owned company that has operated in north Baton Rouge since 1952. The company provides custom pipe for the transport of oil and natural gas, along with other services for the energy industry.

The expansion project will create 128 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $60,567, plus benefits, while retaining 338 existing jobs at the Baton Rouge facility. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 296 indirect jobs, for a total of 424 new jobs for East Baton Rouge Parish and the Capital Region. Stupp estimates the expansion activity will support 93 construction jobs.

Posted by: AT 11:10 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 19 2019

A Career Exploration Program for High School Seniors 

Vero Beach, FL -- In partnership with the Indian River County School District and CareerSource Research Coast (CSRC), the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Office has launched its first Manufacturing Boot Camp program.  The Boot Camp will run May 20-24, from 8am to 4pm each day and is free to all high school seniors in Indian River County.  Each day will begin and end at the Treasure Coast Technical College in Gifford.

The program introduces high school seniors to the manufacturing industry, providing an opportunity for students who are not college-bound to explore potential careers in this exciting and diverse industry sector. Students will tour local facilities each day, talking with owners and plant managers about the skills needed to operate machinery plus what it’s like working as a “team player” in this type of environment.  A total of 11 plant visits are scheduled:  Triton Submarines, Dragonfly Boatworks, Girard Equipment, Float-On Boat Trailers, M.A. Ford, Nylacarb, Aluma Tower, Fibealumn, United Juice, CVS distribution facility, and Piper Aircraft.

Posted by: AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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