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 Economic Development News 
Monday, October 31 2016
Ficosa opens a new state-of-the-art plant in Tennessee

With an investment of over 50 million dollars, the new plant is equipped with the sector’s latest technology, becoming the group’s most advanced production center worldwide. The new facility, dedicated to producing rear view systems, is bringing advanced manufacturing jobs to the state of Tennessee.

Detroit, MI -- Ficosa, a top-tier global provider devoted to the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of high-technology vision, safety, connectivity and efficiency systems for the automotive and mobility sectors, has boosted its presence in the United States by opening a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Cookeville, Tennessee. With an investment of over 50 million dollars, the new plant is equipped with the sector’s latest technology, becoming the most advanced in Ficosa’s global portfolio.

The Cookeville facility, which has a total surface area of 270,000 square feet, is dedicated to producing rear view systems for automotive manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. As a leader in painting and injection processes, the plant has an average production capacity of 4.5 million rear view mirrors and will add nearly 500 new and advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and Tennessee. 

Posted by: AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 31 2016

Center to House 400 Jobs by 2021

Columbus, OH -- BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting and consulting firms announced that it will open a 33,000 square-foot business service center at a to-be determined location in Columbus to support the firm’s rapid growth. The firm plans to commence initial hiring in the final quarter of 2016 and plans to expand occupancy and space over time to accommodate more than 400 specialists and supervisory personnel by the end of 2021.

BDO USA is the fastest-growing of all national accounting organizations. In its most recent fiscal year, BDO USA reported revenue of $1.29 billion, an industry-leading 23 percent increase from fiscal year 2015. This represents the third consecutive year that the firm’s revenue has exceeded 20 percent growth and during the past four years, BDO’s revenues have more than doubled from $618 million in 2012 to $1.29 billion today.

Posted by: AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 31 2016
Brownwood Life Care Opens $6 Million Facility at Chaffee Crossing

Fort Smith, AR -- Brownwood Life Care Center of Fort Smith opened a new $6 million Intermediate Care Facility at Chaffee Crossing on Friday, October 28, 2016. The 42,000 square-foot building is located at 7500 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith, Ark. It will accommodate 50 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
In addition to providing residential and around-the-clock health services for the past 30 years, Brownwood provides habilitation therapy and educational services through contracted therapy specialists and special education teachers. Unique features of the building were designed to accommodate residents and instructors such as larger classrooms, larger resident rooms, and access to outdoor recreation areas. Compared to the existing 60-year old Brownwood facility on South U Street in Fort Smith, the expanded client rooms and classrooms exceed state standards for special education and represent a big improvement for teachers and students.

Posted by: AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 28 2016
Panattoni breaks ground on 284,580 SF Warehouse in Suffolk, VA

Suffolk, VA -- Panattoni Development Company, Inc. has broken ground on a 284,580 SF Class A warehouse located in the Virginia Regional Commerce Park at 5391 Virginia Regional Drive in Suffolk, Va. The development will feature 32’ clear height ceilings, 55 dock doors, 1 drive-in level overhead door on each end, customized office space, ESFR sprinkler system, and high efficiency, high output, T-5 lighting.

Panattoni is a privately held commercial real estate development company specializing in industrial, office, and build to suit projects and is headquartered in Newport Beach, CA. The first building in the Park was completed in 2010, and is currently 100% leased to an impressive tenant roster including Caspari, ARTFX, Sumitomo, Best Brakes and Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA.

Posted by: AT 09:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 26 2016

Daviess County Fabrication and design firm invests $4.4 million in Owensboro property, creating 30-plus jobs 

Frankfort, KY -- Governor Matt Bevin congratulated Castlen, a fabricator and designer of material-handling equipment and infrastructure, on opening its $4.4 million industrial site in Owensboro, an expansion that created 30 jobs and will likely spur more in the future. 

“Where else but in Kentucky can a husband-and-wife welding operation begin in their garage and quickly grow into an industrial-scale design and fabrication company?” remarked Gov. Bevin. “In eight short years Castlen went from a startup to a 50-employee operation handling multimillion projects for agribusiness and industrial customers. We are thankful for the hard work of forward-looking companies like Castlen that reinforce Kentucky’s reputation as an international hub for manufacturing excellence.”

Posted by: AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 26 2016

Manufacturer investing $4.8 million in new operations

Columbia, SC -- Crystal Distribution, Inc. (CDI), the largest manufacturer of curb adapters in the nation, is establishing new operations in York County. The project is expected to bring $4.8 million in new capital investment and will allow the company to relocate existing positions from its operations in Charlotte; the company will also add new jobs to create a total of 83 positions in South Carolina.

Established in 1994, CDI is the leader in the curb adapter industry with both the fastest lead times and the largest quantity of curb adapters produced. Curb adapters allow broken or inefficient heating and cooling units to be upgraded on commercial building rooftops. Featuring custom manufacturing options, including same and next-day build, the company offers record shipping and delivery times with a 98 percent on-time delivery rate.

Posted by: AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 24 2016

Austin, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott announced that Jacobs Engineering Group will be relocating its global headquarters from Pasadena, California to Dallas, Texas. Jacobs Engineering Group is a Fortune 500 company that provides maintenance, fabrication, construction and maintenance management technology to primary process industries. The headquarters relocation will bring more than 100 new jobs and $4 million in capital investment to the State of Texas. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $1.3 million has been extended to Jacobs Engineering Group.

“Texas is already home to more than 50 Fortune 500 companies, and I am proud to announce today it will be home to one more,” said Governor Abbott. “Because of our robust economic environment, more businesses are choosing to call Texas home. I would like to welcome Jacobs Engineering Group as the latest business to relocate its headquarters from California to the Lone Star State.”

Posted by: AT 02:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 24 2016

Manufacturer to create 200 jobs with first U.S. manufacturing, R&D facility 

Nashville, TN -- Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd and HTS International Corporation officials announced the advanced manufacturer will invest $21.4 million to establish its global headquarters and new U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County. HTS International plans to create 200 jobs during the next four years. 

“A global company can choose to establish its headquarters anywhere in the world. HTS International’s decision to establish its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County underscores our skilled workforce and the hub of advanced manufacturing activity in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “Thanks to HTS International for investing in our state and bringing us another step closer to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

Posted by: AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 24 2016

Greenwood, IN -- Würth Service Supply Inc., a distributor of assembly and fastening materials for manufacturers, announced plans to expand its headquarters in Indiana, creating up to 60 new jobs by 2020. 

“Indiana is an international economy with almost 800 foreign-owned establishments that support more than 152,000 quality Hoosier jobs across the state,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Germany is the third-largest foreign investor in Indiana because job creators like the Würth Group recognize the benefits of doing business in a pro-growth state. As a global business, Würth Service Supply had a world of options to consider for this expansion, but identified Indiana as the best state to support its future. We look forward to watching Würth grow in Indiana, and I am confident our strong Hoosier workforce will help drive the company’s continued success.”

Posted by: AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 24 2016

Orlando, FL -- The Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) saw its strongest year in the organization’s 39-year history during the 2015-16 fiscal year completing new location and expansion projects that are projected to create 5,646 new jobs in the region. The EDC exceeded its goals in job numbers by 57 percent, total payroll by 41 percent, and fully met office square-footage goals.
The EDC worked with 30 companies that will create jobs in the targeted industries of Advanced Manufacturing; Corporate Headquarters and Regional Offices; Aviation, Aerospace and Defense; Innovative Technologies; and Life Sciences and Healthcare.

Posted by: AT 10:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 21 2016

Manassas, VA -- Kansas City-based Kessinger/Hunter & Co. LC has been selected as Iron Mountain Inc.’s development partner for a 150,000-square-foot data center — the first phase of a $441 million data center campus in Manassas, Va.

The announcement came as Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), a global leader in storage and information management services, began work on the 83-acre campus, which will provide 60 megawatts of capacity spread across at least four individual colocation facilities.

The first building, expected to open in the summer, will offer 10.5 megawatts of critical power and a flexible design to meet the exacting requirements of cloud services providers, federal government agencies, systems integrators, financial services firms and health care companies. The purpose-built data center will be built to Uptime Tier III construction standards for critical infrastructure design and availability.

Posted by: AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

New state-of-the-art facility in downtown Bethesda will house about 3,500 corporate jobs, and solidify iconic company’s presence in state for decades

Baltimore, MD -- Marriott International, Inc., the world’s leading hotel company, announced plans to relocate its global corporate office to a state-of-the-art, build-to-suit $600-million facility to be located in downtown Bethesda in Montgomery County. The county has been Marriott’s home for more than 60 years. The new complex will house more than 3,500 employees in approximately 700,000 squa​​re feet of leased office space. The company is continuing its consideration of several sites in downtown Bethesda, and is expected to select a final site in the first half of 2017. Marriott plans to occupy the new space before the expiration of its current lease at 10400 Fernwood Road in late 2022. Marriott also announced that a 200+ room, Marriott-branded hotel will be built on the site. 

As part of the announcement, Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said, “Marriott has been headquartered in Montgomery County, Maryland for more than 60 years and we intend to remain close to our roots. 

Posted by: AT 01:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

Asheville, NC -- AvL Technologies’ has completed construction of a new 60,000 square-foot multi-tenant manufacturing facility adjacent to its existing headquarters that is now open for business. The ribbon cutting featured local dignitaries speaking on AvL’s growth and contribution to local economic development.

“AvL Technologies continues to be a catalyst for economic development and has a passion to cultivate leading edge, high wage technology careers. Today we are celebrating their visionary leadership, talented employees and the fact they call Buncombe County home,” said Ben Teague, Executive Director, Economic Development Coalition Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC).

Posted by: AT 01:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

Bejing, China -- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the signing of an MOU with Suzhou Tianyuan Garments Company, wrapping up another successful trade mission overseas. As part of the deal, Tianyuan will create 400 jobs and invest $20 million in Little Rock.

Tianyuan is a garment manufacturer specializing in the production of casual and sportswear, including garments for Adidas, Reebok, and Armani. The company's annual production is approximately 10 million articles of clothing and currently supplies 90% of garments under the Adidas brand.

Posted by: AT 12:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

Kalamazoo, MI -- Officials from Western Michigan University and Florida Southwestern State College will announce an alliance that will allow WMU to offer several high-profile academic programs at FSW’s Charlotte County, Florida campus. The alliance will provide integrated programs based on the community’s need and impact on Charlotte County’s economic development. 
WMU President John M. Dunn and FSW President Jeff Allbritten will speak about the importance of the alliance for each school. Additional speakers include Denis Wright, FSW regional vice president for Economic Development; and Bill Truex, chairman of the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners.
“Florida is home to the highest number of WMU alumni outside of the Midwest and presents great opportunity for new research, development, and partnerships,” said Dunn. “Our alumni and University supporters are thrilled that WMU is partnering with FSW to become an economic and cultural force in the area.” 

Posted by: AT 11:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

Latest expansion to bring $45 million investment and create 40 new jobs

Columbia, SC --  An independent Pepsi bottler and production cooperative, Carolina Canners, Inc., is expanding its Chesterfield County operations. The $45 million capital investment is expected to generate 40 new jobs.

Operating in Cheraw, S.C. since 1968, Carolina Canners has expanded its South Carolina operations multiple times over the last 40 years. The facility specializes in bottle injection molding and features two bottle-filling production lines, two can-filling production lines and a fountain syrup production line. The company also serves as a joint purchasing agent for many of the region’s other bottlers.

Posted by: AT 10:36 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

Richmond, IN -- State of Indiana Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb presided over the groundbreaking event for Blue Buffalo Company’s (Nasdaq:BUFF) newest Heartland manufacturing and R&D facility to be located in Richmond, IN. 

“Job creators across the country continue to choose Indiana because of our low-costs, minimal regulations and highly-skilled Hoosier workforce,” said Lt. Governor Holcomb. “Our business climate has earned national recognition as companies like Blue Buffalo are choosing to grow in Indiana, contributing to the nearly 150,000 new Hoosier jobs added since 2013. We’re glad to have Blue Buffalo in Indiana and look forward to many years of continued success for our newest Hoosier company.”

Posted by: AT 10:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 17 2016

Tulsa is home to 16,000 call center jobs, and that number keeps growing

Tulsa, OK -- The former Eastland Mall is a hub of activity again. Once a retail outlet, the rebranded Eastgate Metroplex is home to a variety of businesses, including a growing trend in the Tulsa area.

The complex is headquarters for a handful of call centers, which employ about 2,000 people.

They are part of about two dozen call centers in the Tulsa area that employ some 16,000 people, according to data from the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and World reporting. In 2014, Site Selection Group, an economic development consultancy firm, ranked the city, at 3.4 percent, seventh among similar-sized cities for call-center workers as a percentage of the workforce.

Posted by: AT 01:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 17 2016

New baking production facility will improve efficiency and increase production

Cleveland, OH -- Florida Bread (, a 67-year-old bakery in Taipei, Taiwan, is growing rapidly and needs a new production facility that consolidates operations, improves efficiency and increases production.

Florida Bread has engaged the United States’ leading bakery design-builder, The Austin Company (, to provide master planning services for the new facility design and process equipment layout. Austin’s team visited Taipei over the summer to gain an understanding of existing operations and the site for the new facility.

Posted by: AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 14 2016

Austin, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott announced that OKI Data Americas will establish a new office in Irving, Texas to support the company’s North American operations. OKI Data Americas is a subsidiary of the Japan-based OKI Data Corporation and markets a broad portfolio of solutions designed to meet a wide array of printing needs, including office, production and specialty graphics. The new office in Irving, which includes the Technology Solutions Center, will allow OKI Data Americas to expand its presence in order to better service their customers and channel partners throughout the U.S. The opening of the new office will create more than 100 jobs, including executive, marketing, sales and administrative positions, in addition to $3,580,000 in capital investment. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) award of $895,000 has been extended to OKI Data Americas. 

“I am proud to welcome OKI Data Americas to the State of Texas as they expand their operations in North America,” said Governor Abbott. “Our state’s business-friendly economic climate continues to offer new opportunities for the technology sector to grow and create new jobs for hardworking Texans. I look forward to having OKI Data join both the Irving community and the dynamic group of technology industry leaders who have chosen to establish a presence in the Lone Star State.” 

Posted by: AT 12:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 13 2016
Restored Blue Angels F-11 Tiger Jet Fighter, Electronic Message Board to Welcome the Public to the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport

Reserve, LA -- Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin, alongside members of Port of South Louisiana Board of Commissioners, unveiled the refurbished Blue Angels F-11 Tiger jet fighter, which will be perched on the corner of Airport Road and U.S. 61, the entrance to Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport. A special invited guest was U.S. Navy Lieutenant Hal Loney, U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ 1967 team member #6 and, at the time, the 27 year-old pilot of this F-11 Tiger jet fighter. He had been selected for the team in February 1967.

On October 10, 1967, the jet fighter, an original that flew with the U.S. Navy flight demonstration team, suffered a malfunction during a flight demonstration at the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station New Orleans, known today as Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans. The aircraft lost power during takeoff and came to rest beyond the end of the runway. Fortunately, as an experienced pilot with 2,000 flying hours and 300 aircraft carrier landings under his belt, Lieutenant Loney was able to get out safely and the show continued.

Posted by: AT 02:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 12 2016
Georgia's ports now fully operational

Savannah, GA -- The Savannah River channel reopened for commercial traffic Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. with 11 vessels transiting the channel by mid-afternoon, nine of which will be worked at Garden City Terminal and two at Ocean Terminal.
"Georgia's ports are now fully operational which is a testament to the efforts of countless individuals to ensure our port customers experienced minimal impact," said Griff Lynch, Executive Director for the Georgia Ports Authority. "We would like to thank our many service providers, port stakeholders, first responders, GPA employees and Governor Nathan Deal's Office for working around the clock to bring the ports of Brunswick and Savannah back online so quickly."
By the end of the day, the Garden City Terminal was working nine vessels, moving nearly 800 containers per hour, with an anticipated 7,800 container moves for the day.


Posted by: AT 03:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 12 2016

North Vernon, IN -- Metaldyne Performance Group (NYSE: MPG), a leading provider of highly-engineered components for use in powertrain and suspension applications for the global light, commercial and industrial vehicle markets, announced plans to expand its operations here, creating up to 126 new jobs by 2019.

“There’s a clear reason why Indiana is home to the strongest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Over the last decade, Indiana has worked tirelessly to build the best possible business climate, and those efforts have attracted new growth and job creation from manufacturers like MPG. MPG operates six facilities across our state, and its planned growth in North Vernon is a testament to Indiana’s outstanding workforce and business-friendly policies.”

Posted by: AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 10 2016

New highly efficient baking production facility designed and built to address new FSMA requirements.

Plymouth, IN -- Following the devastating loss of a facility to a fire in June, Pretzels Inc. selected The Austin Company ( to provide complete site selection, incentive negotiation, due diligence, design, engineering and construction services for a new baking production facility.

“Austin’s integrated approach across all of our needs really differentiated them and allowed us and them to move faster than anyone else to get a new plant operational,” explains Scott Smith, CEO with Pretzels, Inc.

On September 6, Pretzels Inc. announced the selection of an existing 45,000 square-foot shell building in Plymouth, Indiana, for production of their popular peanut-butter-filled pretzels. The shell building will be modified on a fast-track schedule to create a highly efficient production plant designed to address the new FSMA requirements and provide flexibility to accommodate future expansion.

Posted by: AT 03:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 10 2016

Mount Vernon, IN -- Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. (CGB), a leader in the grain and transportation industries since 1970, announced plans today to expand its operations at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, investing more than $31 million to increase its soybean processing capabilities in southwest Indiana.

“Indiana is a state known around the world for building things and growing things, and because CGB plays a key role in both, this soybean processor is helping advance our economy,” said Governor Mike Pence. “After processing soybeans in southwest Indiana for nearly twenty years, CGB knows firsthand the benefits of operating in a state that works for business. This latest $31 million expansion is a testament to CGB’s confidence in Indiana and the Hoosiers who keep this company growing.”

Posted by: AT 03:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 10 2016

Company Will Relocate its Consumer Goods Headquarters from Arizona to Stamford, Maintain Division in Rocky Hill

Hartford, CT -- Governor Dannel P. Malloy is applauding the decision of Germany-based Henkel Corporation to relocate its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care headquarters across the country from Arizona to Stamford, Connecticut, where the company plans on expanding in a $50 million project that will create up to 266 new jobs in the state.

Henkel offers beauty and personal care, laundry and home care, and a broad portfolio of adhesives, sealants, and surface treatments for consumer and industrial use.  Earlier this year, the company announced the acquisition of the Wilton-based The Sun Products Corporation, a leading manufacturer and marketer of laundry care products.  With the acquisition of Sun Products, Henkel is the number two laundry and home care products company in North America.

Posted by: AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 10 2016
Port of South Louisiana Returns to Cuba to Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Photo Caption: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (with Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin) signing MOUs with Cuba

Last week, Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin and Commission President D. Paul Robichaux traveled to Havana, Cuba on a follow-up trade mission led by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the first one by a Louisiana governor since 2005. Approximately 50 state, regional, local, port, and private business leaders joined the mission including Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson, and Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, who led a previous mission to Cuba in July.

During July’s fact-finding mission to Cuba, delegates met with Cuban government and trade officials and toured the Port of Mariel. This time around, Governor Edwards was in attendance to sign a ports Memorandum of Understanding with Cuban officials to denote a ceremonial partnership between Louisiana and Cuba to expand trade and commerce.

Posted by: AT 10:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 06 2016
GPA adding 100 acres of auto processing space

Photo Caption: The Port of Brunswick is the nation's fastest growing autoport.  With 652 acres of auto processing space available for development, Brunswick is poised for continued expansion. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority/Jim Carswell)

Logistec opens 221K square feet of new wood pellet capacity

Brunswick, GA -- At the annual State of the Port address hosted by the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch announced a 100-acre expansion of the Colonel's Island auto terminal, and welcomed Logistec's announcement of the completion of 221,000 square feet of wood pellet storage at GPA's East River Terminal.
"The additional 100 acres will allow GPA to grow along with our existing customers, and to attract additional carmakers to the nation's second busiest auto port," Lynch said. "This new roll-on/roll-off capacity is part of an initiative to service a growing market, while staying 20 percent ahead of our current demand."

Posted by: AT 03:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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