October, 2008 Archives
Electric Vehicle Plant Bringing 4,000 Jobs to Simpson County Integrity Automotive LLC has chosen Simpson County, KY, as the location for its new $84-million facility that will manufacture low-speed electric vehicles. “This represents an investment not only in Kentucky’s economy, but also in the future of this country, Gov. Steve Beshear said in announcing the site selection. “The long-term security and economic health of this nation depends in part on its ability to become energy independent. This plant, and the vehicles it’s designed to produce, could be an important part of this strategy. A tax incentive package worth up to $48 million for the Integrity plant was approved in August by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. The new one-million-square-foot manufacturing facility will be built in Franklin, KY, on 225 acres at Franklin Industrial Park. The incentives are based on Integrity’s commitment to create 4,000 new full-time jobs for Kentucky residents within the first four years of the project’s completion. The projected average hourly wage for each new job is approximately $20 per hour, exclusive of benefits. “These are good, high-paying jobs, the kind that have been so important to this state over many years and are even more important in this tough economic period, Gov. Beshear noted. Integrity’s new North American manufacturing facility represents a partnership between Integrity Automotive and California-based Zero Air Pollution (ZAP), an electric carmaker currently producing electric vehicles in China. In August, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order permitting the use of low-speed electric vehicles on Kentucky’s highways with a posted speed limit of 45 mph or less. Integrity and ZAP officials said this order was critical to their decision to choose the Franklin location over a competing site in Indiana. ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering more than 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. It has positioned its business at the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with technologies including energy-efficient gas systems, as well as electric and hybrid power systems. Rancho Poultry Invests $43 Million in Lebanon, KY Food processor Rancho Poultry LLC, a major supplier of processed chicken to restaurants and food stores, is planning to construct a 100,000-square-foot facility on a 25-acre site in Marion County, KY, that will create 250 new jobs. Two processing lines will be installed at the new facility in Lebanon, KY, capable of producing 60 million pounds of partially cooked, battered and breaded chicken products. Rancho Poultry is investing more than $43 million in the Lebanon project, and […]
A Small Town on the Move Seventy-five minutes from St. Louis’ downtown, Cuba, MO is a growing and prosperous community nestled comfortably in the peaceful Ozarks. Businesses locating in the city will find a growing industrial community coupled with the warmth and serenity of a rural lifestyle. Cuba’s location on Interstate 44, a major U.S. and Missouri artery, links businesses to St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and the nation. Cuba also offers easy access to transportation by major interstate trucking, rail, bus and air, as well as a state-of-the-art communication infrastructure with digital switching and fiber optic networking. Considering the size of Cuba (a population of around 3,500), the town’s existing industrial park has grown rapidly during the last 20 years. Companies that have moved and expanded in Cuba include Georgia Pacific, Olin, Dana Brake Parts, Inc., and Johnson and Controls, among others. To keep up with this growth, city leaders have opened a new 35-acre industrial park. Located a half mile away from Interstate 44, the Cuba Industrial Park II is adjacent to a 20-bay truck port, with a six-lane bridge to access the Interstate. All utilities are in place. Companies locating in Cuba will find one of Missouri’s most successful Enterprise Zones, offering a low cost of living, affordable new housing, and the lowest corporate and income taxes in the state. Missouri’s average property tax rate is $6.30/$100 on one-third of the value and the county tax is just $4.21/$100 on one-third of the value. Best of all, Cuba has no personal or real estate property taxes. Any qualified business that locates within the Enterprise Zone also can receive a comprehensive series of tax credits, tax abatements, and job training credits. The workforce of Cuba is ready, willing, and affordable. The unemployment rate in the area has averaged 6-7%, providing an ample supply of available and trainable workers. The city’s strong work ethic translates to lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and profits. With a 27% population growth rate over the last census, Cuba’s labor situation will remain attractive for many years to come. Learning in Cuba Cuba’s public school system is fully accredited. Higher education facilities include the University of Missouri-Rolla, East Central College, Linn Technical College and Rolla Technical Institute, plus six state satellite schools within easy driving distance.
Fayette Companies on a Winning Streak In July, Alcan Packaging of Peachtree City, GA was honored as a nominee for the state’s Manufacturer of the Year award. “We’re proud of Alcan because they are very deserving of this nomination,” says Randy Hayes, chairman of the Fayette County Development Authority. “We congratulate them on this achievement and know they will continue to thrive in Fayette.” Alcan, a global packaging company serving numerous industries, was the sole nominee from Fayette County. Other Georgia companies presented with a plaque were Bridgestone Bandag of Griffin; the Griffin plant of Georgia Industries for the Blind; Perkins Shibaura Engines of Griffin; PermaTherm of Monticello; Continental Tire/Adora Plant of Barnesville; Toppan Interamerica of McDonough; and Caterpillar Diversified Power Products of Griffin. During the awards ceremony at Griffin Technical College, Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, said Georgia leads the nation in workforce development “primarily because of [our] technical colleges.” In April, Peachtree-based Panasonic Automotive was named by General Motors (GM) as a Supplier of the Year for its overall business performance in providing GM with world-class parts and services. It marks the ninth time in the past 11 years that GM has recognized Panasonic with this honor. “Panasonic is among the best of the best,” says Bo Andersson, GM group vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “They understand that our mutual success can only be achieved by sharing common goals and priorities.” “We are honored to have once again been chosen as a Supplier of the Year by General Motors,” says Vince Sarrecchia, president of Panasonic Automotive. “It is a clear indicator that GM recognizes Panasonic’s quality and the value of our brand in the market place, and the connection we have with our customers.” Fayette Fact File • Fayette County is considered a part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area. • Fayette County was named for the Marquis de Lafayette. • Fayette County’s largest city is Peachtree City, but the county seat is Fayetteville. Country Cities Population Average Household Income Fayette County 109,624 $101,472 City of Fayetteville 13,676 $74,884 Peachtree City 38,736 $94,458 Town of Tyrone 4,637 $86,473
City of the Future Strategically positioned in the Southwest, the Greater Phoenix area is one of 10 U.S. markets projected to experience 85% of the nation’s growth over the next 35 years. Greater Phoenix, which consists of the City of Phoenix, much of the rest of Maricopa County, a large section of Pinal County, and small parts of southern Yavapai County, currently is the 13th largest area in the United States, with an estimated population of four million. The City of Phoenix is the largest state capital in the U.S. in terms of population and is the only state capital with a population of more than one million. With a labor force of over two million people, Greater Phoenix is known as a business and innovation hub with international access for aerospace, high-tech, bioscience, advanced business and sustainable technologies companies. Currently, over 20 major Fortune 500/1000 companies are located in Phoenix, such as Allied Waste, AT&T Inc., Bank of America, Boeing, Google, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Honeywell’s Aerospace division is headquartered in Phoenix, and the valley hosts many of its avionics and mechanical facilities. Intel has one of its largest sites in the city, employing about 10,000 employees. Businesses are easily connected to the region, nation and the world with two major airports—Sky Harbor International Airport and Williams Gateway Airport—and a new light-rail system being launched in December 2008. Hot Spot for Solar With an average of 321 days of sun, a high semiconductor workforce concentration, and a lower cost of doing business compared to California, Greater Phoenix is emerging as a leader in the solar industry. Greater Phoenix is now the world’s fourth largest solar market and is home to companies such as American Solar Electric, Green Ideas, Inc., ETA Engineering Inc., Kyocera Solar, Inc., and First Solar. In June 2008, California-based SolarCity, one of the fastest growing solar power companies in the country, announced it is expanding its operations in Phoenix. The company is transferring regional operations to a new 8,200-square-foot facility, which it plans to use as a base to install solar electricity systems for area businesses and residents. “SolarCity is an innovative company, and its unique SolarLease program will promote and accelerate the adoption of solar across the region,” says Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) President and CEO Barry Broome. GPEC, comprised of 18 communities, Maricopa County, and more than 140 private-sector companies, serves as a catalyst to strengthen the region’s economic base and promote Arizona’s sustainable industry. Its efforts are helping create high-wage jobs, […]
Kathleen Ellis, senior Vice President of Chubb & Son, also is the firm’s Multinational Risk Group manager of Global Accounts. BF: Why is it riskier for small businesses, compared to large companies, to invest or relocate overseas? KE: You need resources to manage risk. Larger companies often have the people and capital they need to navigate the global patchwork of different laws and languages, currencies and styles of conducting business and create corporate risk management standards throughout the world. Small and midsize companies that do business overseas don’t have those luxuries. But if they’re lucky, they’ll have good business partners to help them create standards that will help reduce foreign property and liability losses and injuries to employees. Additionally, smaller companies have less capital, and what they do have often is tied up in the expansion plans. There is seldom a surplus of extra capital to pay for a mistake or unforeseen costs associated with inefficient practices or poor decisions. A small or midsize company will have fewer staff members and less time to anticipate all of the cultural nuances and business practices that go unspoken in foreign locales. Having a good partner—either a joint venture, attorney, accountant, or consultant—can make the difference between winning and losing. Losing money is just part of the risk; losses can damage long-term relationships in a country. Finally, expanding into foreign markets, while strategic, will lengthen the supply chain of the company. Buying raw materials or components from multiple sources in multiple countries and then coordinating them to create a final product is a challenge. Focusing on logistics and a good management process is required. BF: How has the troubled US economy shifted concerns of corporate executives? KE: According to Chubb’s 2008 Multinational Risk Survey, senior-level executives and risk managers agreed that the top three threats to their business operations or business conducted outside the United States and Canada are: currency risk (23%); supply-chain failure (16%); and credit risk (13%). In our 2007 Multinational Risk Survey, the top three threats were terrorism, natural catastrophes and political instability. Some of these are business risks, and others are insurable through property/casualty insurance. Compliance with local laws and practices is a keen concern for companies doing business abroad. They want to be viewed as good corporate citizens in order to maintain strong relationships with a country’s regulators. For expanding firms, there is a heightened awareness of risks due to liabilities pertaining to employment practices, pensions, and directors/officers. According to Chubb, in 2009… • 75% of companies will […]
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