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 Economic Development News 
Tuesday, January 31 2017

New organization will enhance economic opportunities, business climate and quality of life in the Orlando region.

Orlando, FL — The Orlando region will now benefit from the sharp focus of a newly merged economic development and chamber entity. Its top priorities include creating high-wage jobs, expanding Central Florida’s global reach and competitiveness, supporting and enhancing educational/skills preparedness in the labor pool, strengthening advocacy for improved infrastructure and community resources, and creating an enviable quality of life that is broad-based and sustainable.

The new organization is a result of the merger of the Central Florida Partnership (CFP) and the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC). This historic move comes after three years of extensive research and discussions on the advantages of combining both groups’ resources and expertise. The combined organization will announce a new name in the coming months that will reflect its enhanced approach to economic development and will locate its offices at 301 E. Pine Street in Orlando later this year.

Posted by: AT 09:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 30 2017

Rock Falls, IL -- Plans are shaping up for a Hydrothermal Liquefaction business to locate in Rock Falls, Illinois. Green Vision, LLC, presented a glimpse of their plans at last night’s City of Rock Falls Committee of the Whole meeting. Mayor Bill Wescott introduced representatives from Green Vision International and explained, “We’ve got our friends from Green Vision International here tonight to share with us their plans for a solid waste conversion project that will bring a sustainable, job creating business that will help the region solve the problem of handling our bio-waste, produce energy, and help establish our region as a front runner in sustainable and renewable energy projects, and Rock Falls as the front door.”

Green Vision’s COO Don McFarland then went on to present a short PowerPoint presentation reviewing some of the science behind the Hydrothermal Liquefaction process that will be used to convert bio-mass into bio-crude, and the various by products that will be available for sale.

Posted by: AT 03:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 30 2017

Columbus, OH -- Rocket Code, an E-commerce agency whose design and development efforts electrify how brands and customers experience one another, announced that it is expanding in Columbus, creating 30 new software development jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in Q1 2017. Rocket Code will invest $50,000 in building costs and software development.

Formed in 2014, Rocket Code provides customers with tools and insights to help them increase their revenue. Its strategy, design and development efforts allow e-commerce companies to test different variables on their online platforms to improve customer experience, and thereby improve sales. Its clients include a number of Columbus-based retailers.

“Rocket Code is excited to continue our growth in Columbus,” said Jonathan Poma, CEO, Rocket Code. “We love this city. Its strong retail ecosystem provides us with a deep pool of prospective customers and talent.”

Posted by: AT 02:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 30 2017

Columbus Operations Advance Facility Improvements and Machinery

Columbus, OH – West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp., one of the leading generic prescription medication providers in the U.S. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hikma PLC, announced that it is growing its existing Columbus facility by adding new machinery and equipment and making facility improvements. The company will also add 65 jobs over the course of 2017.

The expansion will allow the company to accommodate new and expanding product lines. West-Ward also has a 276,000-square-foot distribution facility in Obetz that broke ground in 2016 and will employ 30 once complete.

“Growing our manufacturing presence in Columbus will help us continue to improve our ability to deliver consistent, affordable quality products to patients across the U.S.,” said Brian Hoffmann, president, West-Ward. “Columbus’ strategic location plays a key role in our domestic presence, providing us with easy market access to our U.S. customers.”

Posted by: AT 02:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 27 2017

Manufacturer investing $5 million and creating 100 jobs
Columbia, SC — Response Packaging, a premier returnable packaging manufacturer, is expanding its existing facility in Greenville County. The expansion is projected to bring $5 million of new capital investment and lead to the creation of 100 jobs.
With facilities in both the United States and Mexico, Response Packaging serves some of the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in North America, as well as their respective supply bases by providing manufacturing, design and prototype support and project analysis solutions.
Located at 1698 Perimeter Road in Greenville, S.C., the expansion of the company's Greenville County operation is designed to increase its capacity and capability, in order to support the regional growth of the automotive industry. Hiring for the new positions is already underway and will continue in 2017, as production capabilities accelerate. Interested applicants should visit the company's website for more information.

Posted by: AT 12:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 27 2017

Fortune 500 company investing $7.7 million in manufacturing growth
Columbia, SC — Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive seating, is expanding its existing operations in Spartanburg County to accommodate its continued growth. The company will be adding equipment and upgrading existing infrastructure, bringing more than $7.7 million in new capital investment.
With 240 locations in 36 countries around the world, Lear Corporation is a Fortune 500 provider of automotive seating, electrical distribution and electronic products. Headquartered in Southfield, Mich., the company employs approximately 140,000 associates and serves major automakers around the world.
Located at 1200 Woods Chapel Road in Duncan, S.C., Lear Corporation will be investing in real property improvements and purchasing new manufacturing equipment to support the launch of automotive seating programs for Volvo Cars' Berkeley County assembly plant, as well as BMW's Spartanburg County assembly plant.

Posted by: AT 11:47 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 25 2017
GPA achieves record, double-digit growth in December

Photo Caption: December capped a busy year in containerized trade for the Georgia Ports Authority. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton)

Inland terminal breaks ground

Savannah, GA — The Georgia Ports Authority marked 12.3 percent container volume growth in December, moving 292,172 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 32,099 TEUs compared to December 2015, a record for the GPA.
Roll-on/Roll-off cargo mirrored that growth, with a 12.3 percent increase (7,000 units) in passenger vehicles and heavy equipment handled at Colonel's Island terminal in Brunswick and Ocean Terminal in Savannah. Georgia's deepwater ports moved 63,967 Ro/Ro units last month.
Executive Director Griff Lynch reported at the Authority board meeting Monday that several factors led to GPA's December record growth. "Strategic proximity to major population and manufacturing sites, direct interstate access and the most ocean carrier routes in the U.S. Southeast are the competitive advantages drawing customers to our ports," Lynch said. "As the largest single-terminal operation in the nation, Savannah's advantages are unmatched in the industry."

Posted by: AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 25 2017

Vancouver, WA — The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners today voted 2-1 to hire interim CEO Julianna Marler as the port’s permanent CEO/Executive Director.  Marler, who was appointed interim CEO by the board in May 2016, was one of three finalists for the position. The other two were Edward Galligan, current Executive Director of the Port of Olympia, and Arthur Scheunemann, former President and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County. 

“We had three highly qualified candidates, and that made this a hard decision,” said commission President Brian Wolfe. “I believe Julianna is best suited to take us forward and realize the vision this port has for connecting with the community and bringing economic benefit to our region.”

Posted by: AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 25 2017

Mortgage lender investing $18 million in expansion and creating more than 700 new jobs
Columbia, SC — Movement Mortgage, LLC, one of the fastest growing mortgage lenders in the country, is expanding its existing corporate headquarters in Lancaster County. The company is investing $18 million and creating more than 700 new jobs over the next five years.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Indian Land, S.C., Movement Mortgage has grown tremendously in its first eight years. Upon its inception, the company employed four workers. Today, the firm's total employment exceeds 4,100, including more than 650 at its Lancaster County headquarters. As one of the nation's top 10 purchase mortgage lenders, Movement Mortgage has licensed operations in 48 states.
Located in the Bailes Ridge Corporate Park on Highway 160, the company will be constructing an additional 91,000-square-foot building to accommodate their continued growth. Hiring for the new positions is projected to begin in the first quarter of 2017, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online.

Posted by: AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 23 2017
MM Technics & Newberry County Groundbreaking Ceremony
Posted by: AT 02:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 19 2017

The new Coppell site will be the sixth fulfillment center in the DFW metroplex 

Coppell, Texas --, Inc. announced plans to open its ninth Texas fulfillment center in Coppell. Amazon currently employs more than 10,000 full-time associates at its seven currently operating fulfillment centers across the state and plans to create 1,000 more full-time positions at its third Coppell facility. 

Elsewhere in the Lone Star State, Amazon currently operates fulfillment centers in Coppell (two facilities), Haslet, Dallas, Fort Worth, Schertz and San Marcos with a facility currently under construction in Houston. Amazon also has sortation centers in Irving, San Antonio and Houston. 

Posted by: AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 18 2017

Columbia, SC — USFibers, a manufacturer of recycled polyester fiber, today announced plans to expand its current operations in Edgefield County. The company intends to create more than 20 jobs to accommodate its continued growth and expand its product offerings.

With South Carolina locations in Trenton and Laurens, USFibers offers a wide variety of polyester staple fiber products, serving various market segments, including automotive, home furnishings, filtration and geotextiles. The company's products support several end uses, including polyester's continued growth in non-woven applications.

To meet increased customer demand, USFibers is investing in its Edgefield County facility. Located at 30 Pine House Road in Trenton, S.C., the company is expanding its product offerings into specialty markets, providing additional value to its already diverse customer base. In addition to the new jobs, this new capacity will include a significant expansion into research and development capabilities and personnel.  

Posted by: AT 11:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 18 2017

Central Texas Area, Texas – The Grand Central Texas (GCT) economic development partnership releases marketing video to attract and retain companies in the Central Texas area–a region that encompasses a population of 724,673. The marketing video showcases assets and information from the Bell, Coryell, Falls, Lampasas, McLennan and Milam counties.

Posted by: AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 18 2017

Las Vegas, NV — Marnell Properties, one of Las Vegas’ premier development companies, broke ground on two new buildings in the Marnell Airport Center (MAC) at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport and within the Foreign Trade Zone.

The expansion will feature two buildings, offering more than 133,000 square-feet of new light office/industrial space to the master planned airport development. Located off Spencer Street and Russell Road, the project will feature two buildings, each with 9-foot by 10-foot dock doors, 12-foot by 14-foot grade level doors, 28-foot minimum clear height, 277/480v power, ESFR fire sprinkler system and natural gas capabilities. MAC 2 will cover more than 58,000 square feet and MAC 3 will span more than 74,000 square feet.

Posted by: AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 18 2017

Atlanta, GA — The Austin Company (, a leading design, engineering, construction and location consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, recently announced the promotion of Duane Lofdahl to Vice President and General Manager of The Austin Company Atlanta Operations.

Duane’s career with The Austin Company began in Cleveland’s General Department in 1989 as the Director of Design for newspaper facilities, where he assisted all offices in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and South America with the planning and design of newspaper facilities. In 1995, Duane moved to Atlanta as the Manager of Facilities Development for the southeast, but continued to support all offices with newspaper facility design.

Duane became a Vice President of Planning and Design and Senior Project Manager in 2005, with his first major project managing the design and construction of Valpak/Cox Target Media’s $55MM headquarters, production and distribution facility in Clearwater, Florida. In 2008, Duane served as Senior Project Manager for projects with Florida Power & Light in Homestead, Florida, and Hills Pet Nutrition in Emporia, Kansas. In 2012, Duane served as Senior Project Manager for the Newsweb project in Chicago, Illinois.

Posted by: AT 10:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 18 2017

Washington, D.C. — Wind power employs just over 100,000 Americans according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), more than work at nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants.

“Wind means opportunity and job security for over 100,000 Americans,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “The Department of Energy’s new jobs data underscore the incredible impact of wind power in creating American jobs. Wind workers directly contribute to our nation’s energy independence and economic success story. We’re especially proud of helping America’s veterans find well-paying jobs after their service, employing them at a rate that is 50 percent higher than the national average.”

Posted by: AT 10:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 10 2017

Kinedyne improves competitive position by combining engineering, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain management, customer service and government contract functions in one facility with almost a quarter of a million square feet.

Prattville, AL -- Kinedyne LLC, a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of cargo control products for the transportation industry, announced that it is close to completing a major relocation, consolidation and expansion effort designed to make the company more efficient, competitive and responsive to its customers’ needs.

The expanded 200,000-square-foot facility will now house a wide range of employees specializing in engineering, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain management, customer service and government contracts. The move came as a result of a strategic plan initiated by the company’s leadership, aimed at achieving gains in overall speed, efficiency, productivity and improvements resulting from a unified corporate culture.

Posted by: AT 03:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 10 2017

IIA brings 150 jobs to the city with multimillion-dollar capital investment

Orlando, FL -- The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the internal audit profession’s most widely recognized advocate, educator, and provider of standards, guidance, and certifications, expanded its global headquarters in Lake Mary in the Orlando region, bringing an additional 150 jobs to the city and making a multimillion-dollar capital investment. The organization now has more than 200 employees in Lake Mary.

“Consolidating our operations in one location was an important goal for The IIA, and we are thrilled that we were able to make it happen in Lake Mary,” said IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA. “We are eager to begin this new chapter in The IIA’s 75-year history and look forward to many years of growth and success here.”

Posted by: AT 03:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 09 2017

Columbia, SC —  NARENCO (National Renewable Energy Corporation) will be constructing two new utility-scale solar farms in Orangeburg County. The projects are expected to bring $89.1 million in new capital investment.

Established in 2009 and headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., NARENCO has matured into one of the largest solar developers in North America and was ranked No. 6 in Solar Power World’s list of the nation’s Top Solar Developers in 2015. The firm has more than 65 solar facilities in various stages of development across the Southeast, with an additional 125 megawatts under long-term operations and maintenance contracts.

Expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2018, the Orangeburg County facilities, located at 238 Juniper Street in Neeses, S.C., will produce renewable solar energy from photovoltaic panels currently sized at over 80 megawatts AC. One megawatt AC (alternating current) of solar energy is enough to provide clean energy to approximately 200 South Carolina homes.

Posted by: AT 01:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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