February, 2011 Archives
The Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission have approved a new structure for economic development for Memphis and Shelby County, Business Journal reports. The Economic Development and Growth Engine, or EDGE, is a newly chartered industrial development board that will eventually consolidate a number of economic development agencies and functions of both governments. Those include the Office of Economic Development, the existing Industrial Development Board, the Port Commission, the Depot Redevelopment Authority, Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park, the City of Memphis Foreign Trade Zone 77 program and the City of Memphis Renewal Community program. Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell issued a joint statement today commending approval of the EDGE. “Momentum for economic development and job growth in our community has been building steadily over the last year, and this will only accelerate that forward progress,” Wharton said. “The function of the EDGE will be to strategically target great companies who are a good fit for Memphis and Shelby County’s unique assets and do what it takes to bring them here. We will also be able to provide new levels of support and assistance to start-up companies and small and medium-sized businesses. The competition for great jobs and great businesses in a global economy becomes more and more intense all the time. We need an edge to maintain our advantage.”
The U.S. alternative energy industry has seen enormous growth over the past few years. Although the U.S. has a lot of catching up to do to match to global leaders, states across the country are in the process of aggressively investing in the development of renewable energy resources, spurring economic growth and creating jobs.
Four Southern Indiana Businesses Plan Expansions More than $6 million in investment and the creation of up to 92 jobs by 2013 was promised by four Southern Indiana area businesses that recently announced expansion plans. Jeffersonville-based G.F. Munich Welding, Shoe Sensation, and Nexgen Mold & Tool in New Albany and Talon Logistics Services of Clarksville declared more than $3 million in new annual payroll will be added through job creation, according to a press release from One Southern Indiana, also known as 1si. “We hope this pattern of growth is indicative of a new year full of more success stories like these,” said Michael Dalby, president and CEO of 1si, which aided the businesses in securing various state and local tax abatements and credits. G.F. Munich Welding is a steel fabricator of wastewater machinery, and the company aims to invest more than $2.2 million in equipment and additional real estate and create up to 30 jobs at its Jeffersonville location, according to the release. Joseph Papalia, president of G.F. Munich Welding, said Indiana has been a business-friendly environment and the benefits received by the company from the state encouraged the local expansion. Shoe Sensation is looking to add up to 20 jobs and invest close to $700,000 to lease and improve additional space at the regional retailer’s Jeffersonville headquarters and distribution. Company CEO Michael Zawoysky credited the state and Jeffersonville for being “invaluable partners” in Shoe Sensation’s plans to grow in Clark County. Shoe Sensation and G.F. Munich Welding are also applying for benefits through the Jeffersonville Urban Enterprise Zone. “The [UEZ] was created by the city of Jeffersonville to encourage reinvestment and job growth within its boundaries and these projects are a testament to the continued fulfillment of the zone’s mission,” Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan said. Talon Logistics Services intends to consolidate its Louisville operations into its Clarksville distribution center, which would create up to 30 jobs. The company provides distribution, warehousing and brokered freight services. “This further cements Southern Indiana as a logistics hub and speaks volumes about our ability to move product,” Clarksville Town Council President Greg Isgrigg said. The council approved local incentives for Talon Logistics. The region’s proximity to Kentucky makes it incumbent on the state to retain businesses and entice new industries, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob said. “We are in constant competition with our neighbors for new investment and nowhere is that more evident than Southeast Indiana,” he said in a press release. “The announcement of four companies investing and creating new […]
SeaTac Sustains Robust Growth The City of SeaTac, WA, enjoyed outstanding success with commercial real estate and economic development in 2010. Even in the face of a continuing recession the city proved to be an attractive location for a wide variety of new businesses. Tens of thousands of square feet of vacant space was leased and many new jobs were created in the city. A new hotel is under construction and several new restaurants opened, reflecting the expanding appeal of the community. “Each new business increases the retail, service and dining opportunities for residents, employees and travelers in the City of SeaTac,” said Jeff Robinson of the City of SeaTac. “We are pleased that so many companies added to the diversity of our community and increased the opportunities for jobs and revenue within the city.” These new businesses represent almost every sector of the economy ranging from retail and service to warehousing, distribution, light industry and hospitality. One of the properties currently under construction is the Hampton Inn and Suites, the first new hotel built in the city in the past decade. “This will be our fourth hotel in the City of SeaTac,” said Faruq Ramzanalli of Hotel Concepts. “We are very impressed with how every department within the city works with developers. They are extremely friendly and knowledgeable and we are on a first-name basis with everyone there.” WallyPark has operated parking garages to serve Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac since 2003. A new premier parking garage opened in November 2010 that is a mixed-use property with retail and commercial space on the ground floor. “We are pleased to bring a new standard of airport parking to the Puget Sound area,” said Charles Bassett, WallyPark’s chief operating officer. “Our third location represents our long-term commitment to providing travelers with a convenient, world-class parking experience.” New retail stores include the Cinco de Mayo Market, International Market and Saran African Market. A new O’Reilly Auto Parts is under construction, and a new AutoZone is in the permitting process. Among the new restaurants to open their doors are India Pabla Bistro, Tacqueria El Rinconsito and Las Palmas, a Salvadoran restaurant. “I want to bring something new to the community,” said Jose Paulino, owner of Las Palmas. “We have a large population in SeaTac and our surrounding neighborhoods that will appreciate our menu.” The Department of Homeland Security consolidated and expanded some of its operations to the City of SeaTac. New tenants in our warehouse, distribution and light industrial sectors include NW Crane […]
The biotechnology industry is poised to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and it continues to outperform annual growth in private-sector employment.
Royal Tech, Cash Acme Open Cullman Facilities Two major industrial projects are bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Cullman, AL area. Cash Acme broke ground late last year on a new distribution plant in Cullman, a move that should create up to 100 jobs in 2011. Michigan-based Royal Technologies, a plastic molding injection company, also expanded into Cullman in 2010. The new 200,000-square-foot Royal Technologies plant is located at the corner of Alabama Highways 157 and 278, and will function as a manufacturing facility for injection molding, urethane foam and light assembly parts for office furniture and interior trim for automobiles. The project was first announced in February 2009, and construction was completed a few months ago. Royal Technologies president Jim Vander Kolk told the Cullman Times he was impressed by the efficiency of the planning and construction for the company’s new manufacturing facility in Alabama. “Honestly, we had a lot of options when we were in the process of looking for somewhere in the south to expand to,” Vander Kolk said. “We made the decision to come here in the fall of 2008, and I’m happy to say every day that has gone by has confirmed we made the right call. Our experience with local government on every level has been excellent and exactly what we were promised coming in.” Royal Technologies manufactures injection molding, urethane foam and light assembly parts for office furniture and interior trim for automobiles. The new facility opened with 85 employees. Within a year, Vander Kolk said that number could rise to around 200. The company could employ more than 300 people within two years, according to projections released when the plant was announced last year. “This building is built for the needs of today, but we do plan to grow,” Vander Kolk said Wednesday, while touring the site. “If we work hard, are honest, and do a good job, we plan to add a lot of new jobs. We’re working hard to embrace this community and be a lasting part of Cullman and Cullman County.” Throughout the construction process for the new plant, Royal Technologies facilities director Doug Oosterbaan said the company made a concerted effort to use local contractors from the Cullman area. “We’ve used Apel Steel, Manning Construction, Goss Electric, Hardy Mechanical and other local companies,” he said. “They have been really great to work with.” “We are especially grateful to have been selected by a quality company like Royal Technologies for their southeast operation.” Cullman Economic Development Agency Director […]
Availability of skilled workers has become a crucial component of site selection decisions. Here are some methods you can use to assess the labor pool at competing locations.
CHARGING INTO AN ELECTRIC FUTURE A new era has dawned on U.S. streets. With the arrival of two all-electric vehicles, Chevy’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf, the long-awaited conversion from fossil-fueled cars has begun in earnest. Industry analysts predict as many as two million electric cars on the road in the U.S. by 2013. But the Volt comes with a hefty $40,000 sticker and only a handful of locations in the country have installed charging stations. News from the oil capital of the universe should be enough to quiet skeptics: Starting this month, 150 charging stations for electric cars are now available to motorists in Houston, TX. The units were installed by NRG Energy. The public stations have been located at stores including Walgreens, Best Buy and HEB. NRG is offering three monthly plans, topping off at $89 to cover the electricity costs for charging both at home and at the public stations. Other companies are offering home charging units for a flat price of $2,000; it will cost about $1.50 to fully charge a vehicle, or roughly half the cost of a gallon of gas. OPEC was not available for comment. Memphis, TN and Shelby County are merging several agencies into an Economic Development and Growth Engine (EDGE). We asked Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. to explain the consolidation. BF: How will EDGE help the region attract new businesses and industrial projects? ACW: Our present system of economic development is chopped up among half a dozen or more agencies. In other words, it’s no system at all. Each of these entities is pursuing job growth and capital investment, but they’re not executing any kind of cohesive plan. Prospective employers or job-creators who want to come into our region have to navigate a complex web of bureaucracies. Bringing all these disconnected pieces together and making sure everybody is pursuing the same plan of attack just makes everything simpler—and therefore, more attractive to businesses. BF: Does the regional approach offered by EDGE maximize the opportunity to leverage the assets of the city and the county? ACW: Absolutely. The first item of business for the EDGE is to create a strategic plan that will summarize all of Memphis’ and Shelby County’s assets, and then start setting targets for companies that we want to bring to town. We’ve got an incredibly deep, talented workforce. We’ve got great infrastructure in rail and roadways. Our airport has some of the strongest cargo capacity on the planet. There is no reason that we shouldn’t be regarded […]
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief