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 Feature Industry Articles 
Friday, November 29 2019
Economic Trends in the Oil, Gas and Coal Industries

By Jim Damicis and Bethany Meys, Camoin 310


Oil, gas and coal have been drivers of the U.S. economy from the beginning stages of the industrial economy and have continued through the transition to the high-tech, knowledgeable economy. They are also key parts of emerging industry trends impacting the economy of tomorrow. In this article we examine the oil, gas, and coal industries and first provide an overview of key economic performance data and trends. We also examine how these three industries impact other industries through supply and value chains. We conclude with what all this means for economic and business developers including for those within communities that do not have extraction related or even process related concentrations in these industries.

Oil, gas, and coal are significant to the economy on two fronts. On their own they create direct economic output. This includes direct jobs, sales, and exports. They also create impact by providing the resources to generate energy used by other industries, as well as an input to downstream markets including distributors, processors, and manufacturers. In the case of manufacturers, oil, gas, and coal are used for both energy and as an input to manufacturing of plastics, rubber, chemicals, as well as other products. This further contributes to job, sales and exports.

Posted by: AT 12:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 29 2019
 U.S. Healthcare: The Century's Newest Economic Leader 

By Lisa A. Bastian, President, Bastian PR

Among old-guard and emerging U.S. economic development clusters, the mammoth, ever-changing healthcare industry is one of the “healthiest” of them all. 

While it doesn’t generate the same media buzz as the private space exploration, cryptocurrency or AI industries, it does do one thing they won’t ever do: reflect a community’s genuine level of quality of life. Since wellness and health are central to human happiness, the availability of good healthcare promotes populations of people who are more productive, live longer, and contribute to society. 

Moreover, as the healthcare industry’s above-average wages affect how other industries keep and attract high-wage workers, it’s clear why healthcare is a sought-after economic development “anchor” by community and business leaders alike nationwide. 

Posted by: AT 08:08 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 28 2019
The Evolution of Site Readiness Programs

By Phil Schneider, President, Schneider Strategy Consulting LLC

Site readiness programs have steadily progressed over the 20 years since their debut on the economic development and site selection stage, evolving from a unique competitive advantage to nearly an expectation. Programs of one type or another have been established in 36 states as a response to site selector’s ever-increasing need for speed, data accuracy/transparency, and gaining early insight into a potential site’s strengths and challenges. Greenfield sites with little or no previously completed due diligence require an increasingly unacceptable amount of time, effort and expense for companies in the site selection process.  Therefore, the growing expectation is that properties submitted as potential candidates for a site selection project will come complete with a full set of site and supporting infrastructure data.  

But as site readiness programs have become more ubiquitous, so has the discussion and debate amongst site selectors with regard to these programs’ effectiveness and even their meaning.  What does “certified” or “shovel-ready” actually mean for any particular site selection project (spoiler alert: sometimes not much) and why does the meaning of certified or shovel-ready vary so much from program to program?  Site selectors want to know: how will any given site readiness program actually apply to my project, its industry or function, or even within the geography where we are searching? 

Posted by: AT 11:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 28 2019
A Site Selector's Perspective on Offshore Investment in the U.S. for the Food and Beverage Industry

By Frank Spano, Managing Director and, Kyle Johnson, Location Consultant, the Austin Company

In recent years, Austin Consulting (Austin) has seen a change in offshore investment for the food and beverage industry. Although there is still strong investment into the U.S. by European and Asian food and beverage companies, there has been growing investment by firms from Central and South America as well. There are countless reasons why companies in Central and South America would choose the U.S. for a new plant location, but recent client feedback states that growing consumer demand for diverse food products, changes to trade agreements, and a large consumer base rank highly as driving factors for a U.S. location.

Among the offshore food and beverage companies Austin works with, many are entering the U.S. for the first time and require assistance to become more familiar with the level of effort and analysis required for finding a new location in the U.S. Typically, offshore food and beverage companies establish their presence in the U.S. market by first importing their products and when product demand reaches a high enough level, then interest in a permanent U.S. location naturally follows. At this point, the search for a suitable location begins and Austin works with clients, so they become familiar with rules, regulations, costs, processes, and other necessary components to locate a property and successfully operate a facility in the U.S.

Posted by: AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 28 2019
Advanced Manufacturing: The New 'Industrial Revolution'

By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer

There is an old adage that nothing is really new. And, in fact, it really isn’t.

The screw, the wheel, the inclined plane, the stirrup, movable type, the assembly line were all lauded as “uses of innovative technology to improve products or processes.”

What were then seen as innovations, we see today as the cutting-edge integration of new technologies, processes and methods into the production and design of products in an effort to remain competitive and add value. We call it advanced manufacturing.

Generally speaking, organizations across a wide spectrum of industries are implementing advanced manufacturing processes into innovative, affordable, and reliable products with technologically complex levels of design.

Posted by: AT 10:01 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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