October, 2009 Archives
Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Darlington County Economic Development Partnership this week joined New South Lumber Company, a member of the Canfor group of companies, at a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the company’s expansion in Darlington County. The company invested $7 million to make upgrades and additions to its facility. “These additions to our Darlington County plant were an important modernization to make it more competitive. Darlington County has been a perfect fit for our company, providing us with an excellent business environment. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Steve Singleton, vice president of New South Lumber Company. New South Lumber manufactures Southern Pine dimension lumber, a wide variety of specialty lumber products and treated lumber. The company has replaced and updated equipment at the Darlington County facility to increase its efficiency and productivity. “Making sure existing businesses in our state have the fundamental tools to grow and prosper is increasingly important, especially given today’s global competition for new investment. This expansion is a reminder of the importance to improve South Carolina’s business soil conditions in order to encourage economic growth in both larger cities and smaller communities alike across the state. I’d thank the state and local economic development community for their efforts, as well as – and most importantly – New South Lumber for choosing to reinvest in South Carolina,” said Gov. Mark Sanford. Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor added, “New South Lumber Company has a long history in South Carolina and is a leading supplier of specialty lumber products. This investment reinforces the company’s commitment to our state and is a strong reflection that South Carolina’s workforce, market access and business-friendly environment are working to encourage new investment and help our existing businesses grow. We congratulate New South Lumber on their success and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them in the years ahead.” “New South Lumber and their predecessor have been a valued member of our community since 1939,” said Wesley Blackwell, chairman, Darlington County Council. “Their improvements will keep their Darlington mill competitive and employment stable.” “It is important for our existing industry to continual reinvest in new technologies to increase efficiencies,” said Jim Ramsey, chairman, Darlington County Economic Development Partnership. “As the housing sector begins to recover, New South Lumber will be well-positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities.” New South Lumber Company is a subsidiary of Canfor, which acquired the company in 2006. In addition to Southern Pine […]
The shape of the new economy is going to be defined by an emerging $3-trillion global market in carbon emissions credits, attendees at the fifth annual Business Facilities LiveXchange were told Monday. In a keynote address entitled “Contemplating Carbon: How Climate Change Regulation May Effect Business Facility Decisions,” San Francisco-based attorney William Sloan predicted that a cap-and-trade system of carbon credits will assign a value to carbon emissions that will broadly impact energy use, transportation, economic development and site selection. Sloan, of counsel with the law firm Morrison & Foerster and a recognized expert on climate change issues, said the creation of a global carbon credit market has reached a critical mass with the establishment last year of $118 billion in carbon trading in Europe. Sloan predicted that, within the next 10 years, more than $3 trillion in carbon credits may be exchanged worldwide. “We have crossed the rubicon and reached the point of no return. Carbon will be the largest physically traded commodity in the U.S., surpassing oil, “Sloan said in his keynote address. Sloan, who serves on his firm’s Cleantech Steering Committee and has previously held positions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice, began his presentation with a graph dramatically depicting the increase in metric tons of carbon dioxide pouring in to the atmosphere in the past 50 years. In 1952, CO2 emissions totaled approximately 40 million metric tons annually. In 2000, the amount of greenhouse gases spewing into the atmosphere was a staggering 25 billion metric tons. With world leaders preparing to discuss a successor to the Kyoto Treaty and set strict new carbon emission reduction targets at a summit meeting in Copenhagen in December, a global mechanism for monetizing the cost of carbon emissions has moved front-and-center as an international priority. According to Sloan, the choice comes down to a broad-based carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system of carbon credits. “The government will decide who will be regulated, what the cap will be, how allowances will be regulated, and whether to permit offset trading,” he said. Sloan predicted that locations that emit less than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases may be exempted from the system. But he warned that the cost of capping larger emissions likely will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs for fuel and electricity. Two bills currently are moving through Congress that would establish a cap-and-trade carbon credit system in the U.S. The House bill, sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman and Edward Markey […]
Dell announced this week it will close its desktop computer manufacturing plant near Winston-Salem, NC by the end of January. The plant, which employs 905 workers and produced units mainly for business customers opened four years ago. The Dell facility was showered with a state incentives package worth an estimated $318 million, primarily tax breaks and grants, when the computer firm decided to locate the plant in North Carolina. The state created the generous package after projecting that the Dell plant would have an overall economic impact on the region of $24.5 billion over 20 years, and create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs. However, consumer preferences rapidly shifted to laptops and handheld devices during the past four years. The combination of the shrinking market for desktops and the deep recession appear to have doomed the Winston-Salem plant. “Given the dynamics at play across the landscape, we made the difficult decision to shut this down,” Dell spokesman Venancio Figueroa told the Associated Press. Dell, based in Round Rock, TX, said the decision was part of an effort to simplify operations and improve efficiency, while retaining U.S. plants in Miami, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Austin, Texas. The company had announced a drive to save $4 billion a year by 2011. Dell previously sold its Lebanon, Tenn., remanufacturing plant in June and is moving its Ireland manufacturing operations to Poland. Dell is also moving away from hardware and into more profitable technology services. Dell said last month it will spend $3.9 billion for Perot Systems Corp., adding consulting and computing services like systems integration to Dell’s offerings. Assistant state Commerce Secretary Kathy Neal said it was not immediately known how much in state tax breaks or outright grants Dell received and how much they would be asked to repay.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President and CEO Greg Main have announced that the Michigan Supplier Diversification Fund will help two companies -Maverick Industries Inc. and Wolverine Metal Stamping Inc. – expand operations and create jobs. The program addresses the current lack of bank financing available to companies that are attempting to diversify. The fund is a multi-faceted initiative designed to help Michigan manufacturers and auto suppliers diversify into new emerging sectors. “We are using every economic development tool we can to help Michigan companies expand into new sectors and find new growth opportunities,” Granholm said. “These two companies are the latest examples of our ongoing efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy and create new jobs.” With Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval, the two companies will receive assistance through the Collateral Support Program that was recently launched under the Michigan Supplier Diversification Fund. The program addresses the shortage of bank financing available to companies that are attempting to diversify. Under the program, the MEDC was able to partner with the companies, U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan Certified Development Corporation and banks to provide the necessary liquidity to ensure the company could purchase fixed assets and expand its working capital. The projects approved are: Maverick Industries Inc.: The manufacturer will design and manufacture environmentally- friendly packaging. MBC Loans LLC plans to fast-track a loan for approximately $4 million for the former Kaneka facility in Jackson. The MSF approved allocation of $1.9 million to be used as a collateral deposit. Maverick Industries also received a Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) tax credit in February to support the project valued at $1.2 million over seven years. The project is expected to create up to 90 new direct jobs. Wolverine Metal Stamping Inc.: The St. Joseph-based diversified metal stamping company is pursuing opportunities in the solar-power sector, including large orders from Whirlpool and Emerson that are coming back to Michigan from Mexico and China. Omni Credit Union has agreed to fast-track a consideration of the loan request for $2.5 million to assist in a significant expansion. The MSF approved allocation of up to $1 million to be used as a collateral deposit. The project is expected to create up to 30 new direct jobs. To be eligible for the program, a company must fall under the definition of a firm eligible to receive a MEGA tax credit. A business must also be engaged with a private lender for the purpose of acquiring a commercial loan for a diversification project and […]
As sustainable development has quickly moved from an admirable goal to a requirement, everyone needs to get up to speed on the terminology of green building. Just in time comes a high-quality online dictionary of Green Industry Definitions, compiled by the Glenview, IL-based Metal Construction Association. This comprehensive, easy-to-understand list fills a need for companies who want to appropriately market products for the sustainable design movement, those trying to gather a better understanding of the terms, and building owners who want to be sure they use the right language in developing or marketing a high performance building. For example, do you know what a bioswale is? (A landscape element designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. It is also known as rain gardens or constructed wetlands). How about BEES? No, this is not a species of pollinating insects outfitted in Sting’s favorite sweater. BEES stands for Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability. This software tool, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, measures the environmental performance of building products by using the life-cycle assessment approach specified in the ISO 14040 series of standards. Here’s one of our personal favorites: cool roofing. No, this isn’t a set of shingles that likes to chill with some jazz CDs. It’s a roof that reflects and emits a large percentage of the sun’s energy heat back to the sky instead of transferring it to the structure below. MCA’s compilation of Green Industry Definitions is accessible in the Sustainable Design section of the association’s Web site, www.metalconstruction.org. Everyone needs to get up to speed on the terminology of green building. Just in time comes a high-quality online dictionary of Green Industry Definitions, compiled by the Glenview, IL-based Metal Construction Association. This comprehensive, easy-to-understand list fills a need for companies who want to appropriately market products for the sustainable design movement, those trying to gather a better understanding of the terms, and building owners who want to be sure they use the right language in developing or marketing a high performance building. For example, do you know what a bioswale is? (A landscape element designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. It is also known as rain gardens or constructed wetlands). How about BEES? No, this is not a species of pollinating insects outfitted in Sting’s favorite sweater. BEES stands for Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability. This software tool, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, measures the environmental performance of building products by using […]
In a tough year, we were tempted to use “survival of the fittest” as the criteria for our annual location showcase. However, this year’s selections not only are surviving—they’re thriving!
The need for medical plastics continues to grow despite the economic downturn as there is greater demand for life-saving and quality of life products to meet the needs of our aging population.
U.S. ports and foreign trade zones are poised to play a huge role in economic recovery, forming a vital interface between the nation and the world.
Michigan Gets $1.35 Billion from DOE for Advanced Battery Development Vice President Joe Biden recently announced that 12 Michigan projects have been awarded more than $1.35 billion in economic stimulus grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to support advanced battery and electric vehicle manufacturing and development. Funding for the competitive grants comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects are estimated to create 6,800 jobs in the next 18 months and up to 40,000 jobs by 2020. Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm and Lt. Gov. John D. Cherry Jr. hailed the awarding of the alternative energy grants. “Three years ago, we identified the advanced battery market as a key emerging sector that Michigan, already the global center of automotive research and development, was positioned to lead,” Granholm said. “We developed an aggressive strategy to make Michigan the advanced battery capital of the world, and today’s announcement is another huge step toward that goal.” “Michigan is the leader among states in the advanced battery field, and it will help transform our economy,” Cherry said. “We are working to establish an entire advanced battery industry with manufacturers, suppliers, and the entire value chain located right here in Michigan, creating new economic activity and new jobs.” Michigan saw the opportunity for an advanced battery industry early and developed an innovative strategy to bring to Michigan the jobs and economic development created by advanced battery research, development, and manufacturing. That strategy includes Michigan’s first-in-the-nation advanced battery tax credits. Earlier this year, Granholm signed into law legislation providing up to $700 million in refundable tax credits to encourage companies to develop and manufacture advanced batteries and commercialize advanced battery technologies in Michigan. Michigan’s early commitment to this initiative was a key factor in Michigan projects receiving the DOE grants. Beginning in February, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) approved battery incentive agreements with Ford, GM, and Chrysler totaling $280 million for pack engineering, integration and assembly, vehicle engineering, and advanced-battery technologies. In April, MEGA approved $400 million in refundable advanced battery tax credits for A123Systems, Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions, KD Advanced Battery Group, and LG Chem-Compact Power. The state also is expanding its advanced automotive research outside of the metro Detroit area. For example, Mercedes-Benz is expected to hire more than 200 workers for a hybrid technologies research and development center that will be relocated from Troy, MI to Washentow County. The center will be the first major alternative propulsion technology operation in the Ann Arbor, MI region, which is steadily […]
ATK Expanding Iuka Plant To Make Aero Composites Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK) is expanding its Iuka, MS facility to manufacture composite structures for next-generation commercial aircraft. ATK will produce composite structures for these aircraft, as well as composite aircraft engine components, at its Iuka facility. The expansion is expected to retain the 176 jobs currently at the facility; the workforce will grow to a total of 800 employees in the next eight years. “We welcome ATK’s decision to locate its composite airframe operations at the Tishomingo County facility,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “ATK’s selection of its Mississippi site for these high-tech operations indicates the company’s confidence in Mississippi’s workforce and its ongoing commitment to doing business in the state.” The state assisted ATK with funding for building infrastructure improvements. “Expanding ATK’s presence in Mississippi with its talented workforce, strong university system, and pro-business environment is the right strategic move for our company,” said Dan Murphy, Chairman and CEO. “We are delighted ATK has chosen to grow its composite manufacturing operations for commercial aircraft here in Mississippi,” said Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “This further confirms Mississippi is a prime location for companies involved in advanced material-making processes for the aerospace industry. ATK’s decision to locate these operations in Mississippi will provide a future for many of our college graduates in this field.” ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states. It is a leading manufacturer of composite components for military aircraft and satellites. ATK is the world’s largest ammunition manufacturer for military, law enforcement and commercial markets, and it is the largest producer of solid rocket motors for access to space and tactical weapons. United Chair Adds Jobs at Bruce, MS Facility United Chair, owned by Haworth Inc., will add at least 125 new jobs at its Bruce, MS, facility. The company’s Bruce plant currently employs approximately 180 people. The new jobs at the Bruce facility, the result of a consolidation in North American operations for Haworth, will have an average wage rate of $13.44 per hour. Mississippi Development Authority has provided $500,000 to assist with infrastructure improvements at the Bruce plant. Also, the Appalachian Regional Commission has committed approximately $219,000 and the City of Bruce and Calhoun County have pledged approximately $115,000 for public infrastructure improvements. “During these challenging economic times, companies face difficult decisions regarding where to focus production. This announcement clearly demonstrates Haworth’s confidence in Mississippi as the right place to do business,” said Gray […]