Business Facilities Staff

Metro Spotlight


Metro Spotlight

City of Hesperia

BF Staff



Georgia Corporate Moves

Orcon Products Expands to Coffee County The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) has announced that Orcon Products, based in Union City, CA, is expanding to Douglas, GA in Coffee County. With this expansion, Orcon plans to create at least 50 direct jobs within the plant’s first 12 months of operation. “Manufacturing companies like Orcon Products represent a vital part of Georgia’s diverse economy,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Georgia’s progressive business climate will benefit Orcon Products and foster continued economic growth for Coffee County.” Formed in 1962, Orcon Products manufactures seaming tape for aerospace and carpet applications. The company’s Douglas plant will primarily be tasked with manufacturing carpet seaming tape. This operation will locate in an existing 45,000-square-foot warehouse in Douglas, and will be ready for production by March 2010. Hiring is scheduled to begin by the end of February 2010. “The positive guidance and assistance that the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Douglas-Coffee County Development Authority provided to Orcon Products during its search for a location for a new manufacturing site were deciding factors in Orcon Products selection of Douglas-Coffee County,” said Hollis Bascom, Orcon Corporation founder, president and CEO. “It’s always a pleasure to work with professionals.” In addition to Coffee County’s pro-business climate, Orcon Products will also leverage the benefit of a well-trained workforce through collaboration with Quick Start, Georgia’s strategic workforce training solution. Quick Start’s five regional offices mean that no matter where in Georgia a company chooses to locate, a Quick Start team of experts is available to provide training services. “It is always a great feeling to bring new jobs to Coffee County and Georgia,” said JoAnne Lewis, Executive Director of the Douglas-Coffee County Development Authority.  “With more than 40 years of success, Orcon is a great example of entrepreneurship. The doors of our community are open to job growth and we are proud to have Orcon as a partner.” U.K.-Based Metal Products Facility Set for Liberty County Gov. Sonny Perdue has announced the expansion of Firth Rixson Limited, a United Kingdom-based provider of highly engineered forged metal products, to Midway in Liberty County. The 200,000-square-foot facility will serve as a closed die forging operation providing components for the aerospace industry. Once fully operational, the company’s Georgia facility will create at least 200 local jobs. “The aerospace sector is a targeted industry for Georgia,” said Gov. Perdue. “With the opening of its new operation in Liberty County, Firth Rixson Limited strengthens our leadership position in […]


Georgia Corporate Moves

Orcon Products Expands to Coffee County The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) has announced that Orcon Products, based in Union City, CA, is expanding to Douglas, GA in Coffee County. With this expansion, Orcon plans to create at least 50 direct jobs within the plant’s first 12 months of operation. “Manufacturing companies like Orcon Products represent a vital part of Georgia’s diverse economy,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Georgia’s progressive business climate will benefit Orcon Products and foster continued economic growth for Coffee County.” Formed in 1962, Orcon Products manufactures seaming tape for aerospace and carpet applications. The company’s Douglas plant will primarily be tasked with manufacturing carpet seaming tape. This operation will locate in an existing 45,000-square-foot warehouse in Douglas, and will be ready for production by March 2010. Hiring is scheduled to begin by the end of February 2010. “The positive guidance and assistance that the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Douglas-Coffee County Development Authority provided to Orcon Products during its search for a location for a new manufacturing site were deciding factors in Orcon Products selection of Douglas-Coffee County,” said Hollis Bascom, Orcon Corporation founder, president and CEO. “It’s always a pleasure to work with professionals.” In addition to Coffee County’s pro-business climate, Orcon Products will also leverage the benefit of a well-trained workforce through collaboration with Quick Start, Georgia’s strategic workforce training solution. Quick Start’s five regional offices mean that no matter where in Georgia a company chooses to locate, a Quick Start team of experts is available to provide training services. “It is always a great feeling to bring new jobs to Coffee County and Georgia,” said JoAnne Lewis, Executive Director of the Douglas-Coffee County Development Authority.  “With more than 40 years of success, Orcon is a great example of entrepreneurship. The doors of our community are open to job growth and we are proud to have Orcon as a partner.” U.K.-Based Metal Products Facility Set for Liberty County Gov. Sonny Perdue has announced the expansion of Firth Rixson Limited, a United Kingdom-based provider of highly engineered forged metal products, to Midway in Liberty County. The 200,000-square-foot facility will serve as a closed die forging operation providing components for the aerospace industry. Once fully operational, the company’s Georgia facility will create at least 200 local jobs. “The aerospace sector is a targeted industry for Georgia,” said Gov. Perdue. “With the opening of its new operation in Liberty County, Firth Rixson Limited strengthens our leadership position in […]



60 Seconds with with Paul G. Risser, Ph.D. Executive Director EDGE Fund Policy Board

60 Seconds with with Paul G. Risser, Ph.D. Executive Director EDGE Fund Policy Board

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry has a proposed a $1-billion endowment for the Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) program. Dr. Paul Risser explains how the fund will create research projects that attract jobs. BF: EDGE has focused investments in aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, energy and weather science. Will the new funding include other initiatives? PR: In 2009 the EDGE program was expanded to include the following areas: aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, energy, information technology, nanotechnology, sensors, and weather science.  Each year the EDGE Fund Policy Board reviews the focal areas for the upcoming funding competition and collectively chooses those areas in which Oklahoma has strong technical expertise and where there are commercial opportunities. BF: The governor has indicated that designated funding to the EDGE endowment will not begin flowing until the state’s budget crisis is over. Will this delay any commitments to specific projects? PR: The first round of funding was committed in 2008 to 5 initial companies, and in 2009 another 5 companies were added to the list of EDGE awardees. The funds available each year are the earnings from the EDGE endowment and thus these will continue to be available each year. BF: Have any of the projects initiated under the EDGE program produced tangible commercial applications? PR: Several of our projects have produced products available commercially.    OrthoCare creates high-technology prosthetics; last year, they successfully launched their Compas technology for sale and distribution, as well as announcing four new technologies available in September 2009.  There also have been successes in the creation of the SEAM Industries, bringing Oklahoma to the forefront of shape engineering in the MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) industry. Our wind energy project has created a software package that brings together key data for the establishment and operation of wind farms. BF: In the last round of EDGE projects, 94 pre-proposals were winnowed down to 18 proposals that were given a technical review, resulting in five projects. Are there any plans to expand or speed up the proposal review process? PR: The EDGE Policy Board distributed $10.5M in 2008 and $7.3M in 2009. The amount of funding available each year depends on the earnings from the EDGE endowment. As the EDGE endowment grows, more money will be available to fund projects. In 2009, five new projects were awarded funding through the EDGE program. Each year the pre-proposals and the proposals are extensively reviewed by a panel of Advisory Committee experts, the EDGE Policy Board, a team of technical reviewers and the EDGE Administrative staff. Because these are public […]



U.S. Economy Surges by 5.7%

U.S. Economy Surges by 5.7%

The U.S. economy grew by its fastest pace in six years in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the latest government statistics. The government estimates that the nation’s gross national product surged by a 5.7 percent annual rate. The economy expanded by an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009, the first positive jump since the recession took hold at the end of 2007. At its nadir, the U.S. economy contracted by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Even with the fourth quarter surge—which is an estimate and may be downgraded slightly when the actual numbers are crunched—the U.S. economy contracted by 2.4 percent overall in 2009, its biggest drop in 63 years and the first annual decline since 1991. Despite the robust fourth quarter numbers, economists are hesitating to declare an official end to the recession, a determination that will wait until an analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which could take several months. Nevertheless, two consecutive quarters of positive growth traditionally signal the end of a downturn. Analysts said the latest growth has been fueled by a turnaround in inventories, which were slashed by businesses in late 2008 and early 2009. Roughly 3.4 percent of the fourth quarter growth was attributed to the change in inventories, while the balance was largely due to a spurt in auto production and a jump in the value of exports. The GDP report did not attribute specific growth to federal stimulus programs, but tax cuts and spending by businesses that received stimulus funds are believed to have impacted positively on the expansion. Economists cautioned that while the new growth numbers indicate that the recovery has taken hold, the pace of the growth may not be sustained because it has been driven largely by temporary factors.


New Group Aims to Make Central Ohio a Tech Center

New Group Aims to Make Central Ohio a Tech Center

The Columbus Partnership, an organization made up of 35 top business executives from the Central Ohio region, is recommending the creation of new group—called Columbus2020—to spearhead efforts to retain businesses and establish the area as a technology center. According to a report in Business First of Columbus, Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer laid out a plan for the newly proposed organization this week at a meeting of the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Columbus2020’s goals will include helping the region become what Fischer called a “Top 10 economic development community,” creating 180,000 jobs and increasing per capita income by 40 percent within the next 10 years. “This is a new economic development paradigm,” Fischer said, adding that the idea for the new organization developed after consultants McKinsey & Co. completed a study last year looking at best practices in economic development. Fischer said McKinsey found the Columbus region didn’t invest as heavily in economic development initiatives as rivals Nashville, TN and Austin, TX. It also found the community needed to focus on retaining and expanding businesses, attracting new ones, creating companies and expanding the civic infrastructure. Fischer projected that a Columbus2020 team will be put in place over the next three months, money will be raised and vice president-level executives will be recruited and hired. Fischer told Columbus Business First that the new organization would act as coordinator and clearinghouse for regional economic development efforts, although he said a structure for the group has yet to be finalized. Many in the region see the Columbus Partnership as a group of business executives with too much power and influence, Fischer said, so Columbus2020 would not operate under its direction. Fischer said the partnership plans to present more details about the plan during the Columbus Chamber’s annual meeting Feb. 24. A Web site for the organization has been established at columbus2020.org.


McDonnell Pledges $50 Million for Jobs

McDonnell Pledges $50 Million for Jobs

Gov. Bob McDonnell want to invest $50 million to attract businesses to Virginia, bulk up tourism advertising and entice movie makers to the state, according to a report in the Daily Press of Newport News. McDonnell, who took office this month, predicts that the investment can create more than 29,000 jobs and bring in $311 million in tax revenue over the next five years. “I’d say that’s a pretty good deal,” McDonnell told a press conference Tuesday. “Job creation isn’t a partisan issue. You either create them or you don’t.” McDonnell unveiled the economic development package in the State Capitol flanked by about 30 Democrats and Republicans from the state Senate and the House of Delegates. The potential return from the development package was calculated by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng called the numbers “very conservative.” It’s really pretty straightforward,” he said. “Every one dollar we invest in these programs, we get six back.” McDonnell campaigned for office as “a jobs governor” who would revive the state’s economy.  The state currently is grappling with $4 billion in spending cuts and layoffs of public employees are expected. According to the Daily Press, McDonnell would pay for the economic development programs by leaving vacant positions open at the Department of Correctional Education, spending $21 million collected from delinquent taxpayers in an amnesty program and saving another $25 million by reducing how much money the state puts into employees’ retirement plans. The state also would delay buying equipment for the Department of Corrections to save $1.2 million. The governor wants a larger pool of money to lure businesses to Virginia, an additional $3.6 million to promote tourism and $2 million to promote Virginia as a film industry location. McDonnell’s proposal also lowers the threshold for businesses to qualify for tax breaks for hiring and includes a $500-per-job tax incentive for companies that create green jobs.