Business Facilities Staff

In what is being hailed as a major victory for U.S. manufacturing, two of China’s leading power generation companies have agreed to use U.S.-made components to build a $1.5-billion wind farm in Texas after two U.S. senators and several major unions protested that the original project plan would have sent 2,000 jobs overseas. The United Steelworkers (USW) announced it has cut the landmark deal with A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd, and Shenyang Power Group (SPG), two of China’s leading alternative energy companies. The Chinese companies agreed to source 50,000 tons of steel from U.S. producers as well as “ work together on all aspects of the companies’ U.S. market strategies—including manufacturing, assembly, component sourcing, distribution and wind energy project development,” according to the AFL-CIO blog site. The two Chinese power generation giants are involved in a project to build a 615 MW Texas wind farm. The deal with the USW was reached after public outrage that only 30 U.S. jobs would be generated from the Texas project, while 2000 jobs would go to workers in China. Two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, had threatened to block federal stimulus funds for the project if a significant portion of the work did not go to U.S. parts manufacturers and steel producers. “We will work with A-Power and SPG to create long-term, good-paying, green American jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, after the deal was reached. “The USW is committed to building a strong domestic supply chain that will be key to the future of America’s global renewable energy leadership.” “Through our partnership with the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, we had the unique opportunity to meet President Gerard and understand his vision for win-win relationships between manufacturers and workers,” said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, Shenyang Power Group chairman and CEO.  “We quickly discovered that our company’s high standards at every level of the clean energy technology supply chain were the same as those of the USW.  A-Power, SPG and USW know that the success of our organizations is dependent on developing the world’s most sophisticated and skilled workforce.” “It is an honor to team up with the Steelworkers for this historic partnership that will result in hundreds of American jobs and help create a clean energy future for the U.S.” said Cappy McGarr, US-REG Managing Partner. “We look forward to working closely with the USW on further projects to help expand wind power and renewable energy in the U.S.” “Our cooperation with USW will benefit the […]


In what is being hailed as a major victory for U.S. manufacturing, two of China’s leading power generation companies have agreed to use U.S.-made components to build a $1.5-billion wind farm in Texas after two U.S. senators and several major unions protested that the original project plan would have sent 2,000 jobs overseas. The United Steelworkers (USW) announced it has cut the landmark deal with A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd, and Shenyang Power Group (SPG), two of China’s leading alternative energy companies. The Chinese companies agreed to source 50,000 tons of steel from U.S. producers as well as “ work together on all aspects of the companies’ U.S. market strategies—including manufacturing, assembly, component sourcing, distribution and wind energy project development,” according to the AFL-CIO blog site. The two Chinese power generation giants are involved in a project to build a 615 MW Texas wind farm. The deal with the USW was reached after public outrage that only 30 U.S. jobs would be generated from the Texas project, while 2000 jobs would go to workers in China. Two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, had threatened to block federal stimulus funds for the project if a significant portion of the work did not go to U.S. parts manufacturers and steel producers. “We will work with A-Power and SPG to create long-term, good-paying, green American jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, after the deal was reached. “The USW is committed to building a strong domestic supply chain that will be key to the future of America’s global renewable energy leadership.” “Through our partnership with the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, we had the unique opportunity to meet President Gerard and understand his vision for win-win relationships between manufacturers and workers,” said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, Shenyang Power Group chairman and CEO.  “We quickly discovered that our company’s high standards at every level of the clean energy technology supply chain were the same as those of the USW.  A-Power, SPG and USW know that the success of our organizations is dependent on developing the world’s most sophisticated and skilled workforce.” “It is an honor to team up with the Steelworkers for this historic partnership that will result in hundreds of American jobs and help create a clean energy future for the U.S.” said Cappy McGarr, US-REG Managing Partner. “We look forward to working closely with the USW on further projects to help expand wind power and renewable energy in the U.S.” “Our cooperation with USW will benefit the […]

USW, China Power Players Ink Wind-Energy Parts Deal

BF Staff

USW, China Power Players Ink Wind-Energy Parts Deal

USW, China Power Players Ink Wind-Energy Parts Deal

In what is being hailed as a major victory for U.S. manufacturing, two of China’s leading power generation companies have agreed to use U.S.-made components to build a $1.5-billion wind farm in Texas after two U.S. senators and several major unions protested that the original project plan would have sent 2,000 jobs overseas. The United Steelworkers (USW) announced it has cut the landmark deal with A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd, and Shenyang Power Group (SPG), two of China’s leading alternative energy companies. The Chinese companies agreed to source 50,000 tons of steel from U.S. producers as well as “ work together on all aspects of the companies’ U.S. market strategies—including manufacturing, assembly, component sourcing, distribution and wind energy project development,” according to the AFL-CIO blog site. The two Chinese power generation giants are involved in a project to build a 615 MW Texas wind farm. The deal with the USW was reached after public outrage that only 30 U.S. jobs would be generated from the Texas project, while 2000 jobs would go to workers in China. Two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, had threatened to block federal stimulus funds for the project if a significant portion of the work did not go to U.S. parts manufacturers and steel producers. “We will work with A-Power and SPG to create long-term, good-paying, green American jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, after the deal was reached. “The USW is committed to building a strong domestic supply chain that will be key to the future of America’s global renewable energy leadership.” “Through our partnership with the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, we had the unique opportunity to meet President Gerard and understand his vision for win-win relationships between manufacturers and workers,” said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, Shenyang Power Group chairman and CEO.  “We quickly discovered that our company’s high standards at every level of the clean energy technology supply chain were the same as those of the USW.  A-Power, SPG and USW know that the success of our organizations is dependent on developing the world’s most sophisticated and skilled workforce.” “It is an honor to team up with the Steelworkers for this historic partnership that will result in hundreds of American jobs and help create a clean energy future for the U.S.” said Cappy McGarr, US-REG Managing Partner. “We look forward to working closely with the USW on further projects to help expand wind power and renewable energy in the U.S.” “Our cooperation with USW will benefit the […]


Michelin Expansion Moves Ahead in NC

Michelin Expansion Moves Ahead in NC

Stanly County and two towns will offer Michelin $900,000 in incentives for the promise of adding 70 jobs to the company’s aircraft tire plant just outside of Norwood. Michelin plans to spend $11 million to expand its aircraft tire retreading operation and add the jobs to the plant’s work force of 320. Kevin Gullette, executive director of the Stanly County Economic Development Commission says the tire company attracted 1,100 applications through the North Carolina Employment Security Commission when it announced hiring plans. The expansion is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. The expansion will bring retreading of aviation tires to complement the current new aviation tire business. The new jobs will vary in salary depending on job function. However, the annual wage will be $35,884 plus benefits. The Stanly County average is $28,288. “Michelin’s Norwood facility is where some of the best aviation tires in the world are made: tires for commercial planes, military jets and the space shuttle,” noted Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America. The Norwood plant has produced tires for the space shuttle and is also the major supplier of every branch of the U.S. According to aviation officials, on commercial airlines, 25 percent of the tires are new while 75 percent are retreads; tires are retreaded 3-5 times each.


Allison Opens Hybrid Plant in Indianapolis

Allison Opens Hybrid Plant in Indianapolis

Allison Transmission has opened a new hybrid manufacturing plant in Indianapolis, which will be capable of churning out more than 20,000 commercial-duty hybrid propulsion systems a year. The new Allison hybrid propulsion system captures kinetic energy and later reuses the energy to propel or reaccelerate the vehicle. The recovered energy can also be used to power vehicle accessories. “Over $130 million is being invested in the renovation of this facility and the development of our new commercial hybrid truck product,” Allison Transmission Chairman and CEO Lawrence E. Dewey told a group of employees, government officials, state and local representatives and project collaborators gathered at the plant’s dedication recently. The dedication of the facility follows an August 2009 visit to Indiana by President Obama. During his visit, Obama announced that Allison was being awarded a $62.8 million matching grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to increase the U.S.’ capacity to manufacture the commercial-duty hybrid truck propulsion systems. With the DOE grant, Allison Transmission will be rolling out the truck hybrid products in 2013.


Adobe Expanding Utah Operations, Adding 1,000 Jobs

Adobe Expanding Utah Operations, Adding 1,000 Jobs

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced that Adobe Systems Inc. plans to build a new technology campus in Utah, a decision that could potentially create up to 1,000 new high-tech jobs in the state over the next 20 years. “This is a major announcement for our State and its citizens, and offers further proof that Utah’s software and technology industry is thriving,” Gov. Herbert said during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol. “I have personally assured company leaders that Utah’s business climate will allow operations to thrive, and that we, as a State, can provide them with a workforce that is well-educated, tech-savvy and ready to go to work for Adobe.” The new Adobe campus to be constructed in Salt Lake County or Utah County will accommodate future growth for the company and its Omniture Business Unit operations, which are currently based in Orem. The multi-phase project includes construction of a new campus to be completed in 2012 and the possibility of additional facilities expansion over 20 years. If growth projections are met, approximately 1,000 new employment opportunities with Adobe could be created in Utah over that same period, generating approximately $1.6 billion in new state wages. “Adobe’s plans for expanding in Utah are a natural extension of the growth and success of our Omniture Business Unit operations,” said Mark Garrett, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Adobe. “Utah’s vibrant communities, skilled talent base and business-friendly environment are appealing. We appreciate the efforts of the Governor’s Office and the State of Utah in working with Adobe, and we look forward to contributing to the vitality of the region.” Adobe acquired Omniture, a homegrown Utah company, in October 2009. It is now known as the Omniture Business Unit within Adobe, employing approximately 620 people in Utah and 1,100 worldwide. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board voted in a special session today to approve a post-performance economic development tax incentive for the project. New state tax revenue is expected to exceed $134 million over a 20-year period as a result of the Adobe projected expansion, job creation and capital investment in Utah. The maximum value of the post-performance refundable tax credit incentive is $40.2 million, or 30 percent of new state revenue for 20 years. “The Omniture success story demonstrates that Utah has the fertile fields to cultivate and grow great ideas into great companies,” said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Today’s announcement confirms the fact that Utah has the business environment […]


Boeing Relocates C-130 Avionics Program

Boeing Relocates C-130 Avionics Program

The Boeing Company today announced it will relocate the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and B-1 Program from Long Beach, CA to Oklahoma City. The move will begin with C-130 AMP starting in the first quarter of 2011 and conclude by the end of 2012 with the move of the B-1 Program. Both programs are part of the Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades (MM&U) division of the Global Services & Support (GS&S) business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The programs now employ approximately 800 people in Southern California. About 550 positions will be relocated to Oklahoma City. The remaining positions will be reduced from the programs over the next two years as contracts are fulfilled. MM&U Vice President and General Manager Mark Bass said relocating the programs will help Boeing provide a more competitive cost structure for customers. “Making a decision like this is never easy, but as we reviewed our anticipated operating costs for the next several years, it became clear that Boeing needs to take major actions on these programs in order to remain affordable for our customers,” Bass said. “We remain committed to maintaining the excellent record of performance that our employees deliver for our U.S. Air Force B-1 and C-130 AMP customers during this transition.” During the move, some employees will be relocated, while other positions will be posted and hired locally in Oklahoma City. Company managers are determining which employees will be offered relocation to Oklahoma City. Boeing will provide assistance for workers who do not make the transition, including help in searching for other potential positions within the company. “We will communicate openly and often with our employees throughout this process,” Bass said. C-130 AMP brings commonality to the C-130 fleet by offering flexibility in assigning aircrew, regardless of the model design type, and reducing aircraft operating costs while addressing obsolescence and providing for future capability growth. The program recently was approved by the Air Force for low-rate initial production. The Boeing B-1 Program is modernizing the B-1 Lancer bomber to further enhance its conventional munitions capability. Multiple upgrades are being tested this year to improve the bomber’s capabilities. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.


2010 RANKINGS: Tucson, AZ is Top Alt Energy Metro

2010 RANKINGS: Tucson, AZ is Top Alt Energy Metro

Business Facilities has announced the following rankings for the Tucson Region in its 2010 Rankings Report: #1 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY INDUSTRY LEADERS: This category ranks the top 10 metros in overall leadership in alternative energy manufacturing, growth strategy and development of renewable energy. The magazine considers the Alternative Energy Industry Leaders ranking one of its most important “flagship” categories. Editors considered overall economic development strategy and growth potential as well as new project activity to determine its flagship ranking of alternative energy leaders. “There were many worthy competitors for the top position in our first annual Alternative Energy Industry Leaders metro ranking, but Tucson was head-and-shoulders above everyone else,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers. Tucson, a global leader in solar energy manufacturing, earned the top spot with a highly coordinated strategy that brings together industry, higher education, effective incentives and sensible regulation, Rogers said. “In addition to Tucson’s well-earned reputation as The Solar City, we were really impressed with this region’s intelligent approach to maximizing its resources,” Rogers said. “An aggressive and innovative economic development strategy combined with unlimited growth potential made this an easy choice.” “This recognition reflects our success in working with local leaders and our utility customers to tap into southern Arizona’s abundant solar energy resources,” said Paul Bonavia, Chairman, President and CEO of Tucson Electric Power and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “This community has always been very receptive to our efforts to promote the use of renewable energy.” “From research to student initiatives to the campus itself, the University of Arizona is a global leader in sustainability and conservation,” said UA President Robert N. Shelton. “Throughout the history of the UA, our entire campus community has fostered a commitment to a culture of conservation and innovation.” TOP 10 METRO – ECONOMIC GROWTH POTENTIAL: Tucson’s alternative energy achievements — and its position as a leading player in the aerospace/defense manufacturing and an emerging hub for biotechnology — also made it a Top 10 Metro for Economic Growth Potential in Business Facilities’ annual rankings report. A benchmark ranking for economic development excellence, the magazine considers Economic Growth Potential to be a most important ranking, because it reflects not only what a location already has accomplished but what can be expected in coming years as a result of its development strategy. “The Tucson region has received more than 25 positive national rankings over the last few years. Being number one as a solar leader in a highly-read economic development publication is an achievement Tucson can […]


What’s in a Name?

For years now, state and local economic development marketers across the country have been pursuing the holy grail of a catchy tag line that engraves their location on the subconscious of the nation. The success stories are, well, memorable. Mention Las Vegas and “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” immediately pops into your cerebellum. New York is synonymous with “The Big Apple.” Of course, along the way, there also have been some slogans that didn’t quite hit the mark. In the 1980s, the Garden State came up with “New Jersey and You, Perfect Together,” which never really clicked. But that may have been the result of Gov. Tom Kean’s patrician accent, which rendered the tag line “Puhhfect Togethah.” Enter the city fathers of Columbus, OH. As detailed in an article in Sunday’s New York Times, the civic leaders of Ohio’s capital have elevated their search for a new slogan to something akin to the Manhattan Project. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce and representatives from local promotional organizations including the Columbus Foundation, Experience Columbus and the job-creating Columbus Partnership have joined forces to leave no stone unturned in search of the verbiage that will put Columbus on the national radar with the intensity of a heat-seeking missile. The city elders have named a special task force to come up with a new slogan for Columbus. The task force reportedly has been sworn to secrecy until it can reach a consensus choice, for as long as it takes. According to the Times, the task force is not expected to unveil a new tag line for Columbus until the middle of next year. Apparently, the city is a bit gun-shy about moving too quickly to embrace a new slogan because six earlier branding efforts fizzled out. Previous entries included “Discover Columbus,” “Surprise, It’s Columbus” and the current standard-bearer, “There’s No Better Place.” “Columbus has not had a bad image,” Paul Astleford, director of Experience Columbus, told the Times. “It has just had no image in the national marketplace.” One model the top-secret task force reportedly is eyeing is that used by nearby Indianapolis, which has fashioned itself the “Amateur Athletic Capital of America.” Since Columbus is one of our favorite towns, we wish the city well in its quest for a new slogan. We look forward to seeing the winning line. We presume the new slogan will not be based on the motion picture title of the vintage romantic comedy starring Ali MacGraw and Richard Benjamin, which was based on the novella of […]


What’s in a Name?

For years now, state and local economic development marketers across the country have been pursuing the holy grail of a catchy tag line that engraves their location on the subconscious of the nation. The success stories are, well, memorable. Mention Las Vegas and “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” immediately pops into your cerebellum. New York is synonymous with “The Big Apple.” Of course, along the way, there also have been some slogans that didn’t quite hit the mark. In the 1980s, the Garden State came up with “New Jersey and You, Perfect Together,” which never really clicked. But that may have been the result of Gov. Tom Kean’s patrician accent, which rendered the tag line “Puhhfect Togethah.” Enter the city fathers of Columbus, OH. As detailed in an article in Sunday’s New York Times, the civic leaders of Ohio’s capital have elevated their search for a new slogan to something akin to the Manhattan Project. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce and representatives from local promotional organizations including the Columbus Foundation, Experience Columbus and the job-creating Columbus Partnership have joined forces to leave no stone unturned in search of the verbiage that will put Columbus on the national radar with the intensity of a heat-seeking missile. The city elders have named a special task force to come up with a new slogan for Columbus. The task force reportedly has been sworn to secrecy until it can reach a consensus choice, for as long as it takes. According to the Times, the task force is not expected to unveil a new tag line for Columbus until the middle of next year. Apparently, the city is a bit gun-shy about moving too quickly to embrace a new slogan because six earlier branding efforts fizzled out. Previous entries included “Discover Columbus,” “Surprise, It’s Columbus” and the current standard-bearer, “There’s No Better Place.” “Columbus has not had a bad image,” Paul Astleford, director of Experience Columbus, told the Times. “It has just had no image in the national marketplace.” One model the top-secret task force reportedly is eyeing is that used by nearby Indianapolis, which has fashioned itself the “Amateur Athletic Capital of America.” Since Columbus is one of our favorite towns, we wish the city well in its quest for a new slogan. We look forward to seeing the winning line. We presume the new slogan will not be based on the motion picture title of the vintage romantic comedy starring Ali MacGraw and Richard Benjamin, which was based on the novella of […]