In the wake of golf superstar Tiger Woods’ announcement that he is taking an indefinite leave from the sport, many are wondering if the impact will go beyond the leaderboard of golf scores and depress local economies at venues of major golf tournaments.If you think that is an exaggeration, consider this: the overall economic impact of golf is estimated at $75 billion. A major golf tournament can generate more than $100 million in direct and indirect revenue for a location that hosts it and related interests. A good example is the PGA Championship, which is scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits golf course in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, in August. The last time the championship was held at Whistling Straits, in 2004, Woods drew huge crowds and brought in approximately $76 million in revenue to the Wisconsin state economy. “Obviously, we want that to happen again and we need a shot in the arm with the economy here,” County Administrator Adam Payne told a local ABC-TV affiliate, WISN. “I know we have people in this community I’m sure that are very concerned about it and what it means for the success of the championship as well as again, what it means for our economy,” Payne said. The head of Sheboygan County’s Tourism Alliance told 12 News, “We’re watching the situation closely, but it’s too early to judge what the economic impact might be.” When Woods sat out several tournaments last year to recover from knee surgery, TV viewership dropped 50 percent. Fewer viewers worldwide would mean fewer people seeing Sheboygan County and its world class golf course, county officials said. With millions in local tourism dollars on the line, Woods’ private scandal could have a very public impact. The golf great is more than an athlete without peer – he’s an industry. We’re tempted to say that a prolonged absence from golf by Woods might necessitate a stimulus package of some sort for the PGA. But since Tiger’s familiarity with same apparently has shot his stellar career into the rough, we won’t go there.
GE wins a $1.4-billion contract to supply 338 of its 2.5 megawatt turbines for Shepherds Flat in north-central Oregon, to be completed by 2012.
The India-based company is investing $32 million in a copper cable manufacturing facility in Morgantown. Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, Cabinet for Economic Development representatives, and officials in Butler County have announced India-based Chandra Proteco Ltd. will start up a manufacturing operation in Morgantown under the name Kentucky Copper Inc. The new company will create 106 new jobs and invest nearly $32 million in the Commonwealth. “The start-up of Kentucky Copper in Morgantown will create more than 100 direct jobs and a tremendous economic boost for not only Butler County, but for all of south central Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky is proud to partner with Chandra Proteco on this new investment and will continue to work with the company to establish and grow its operations in the Commonwealth.” Chandra Group has been in the field of copper and copper cable business for more than 40 years, and specializes in transposed cable and railway cables for traction. With more than 500 employees in India, the company’s facilities are spread over India, Europe, Africa and China. “We are delighted to bring the extensive experience of our parent company, Chandra Copper, to Kentucky along with a commitment to be an active part of the community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Mukul Gupta, president of Kentucky Copper.
California-based BeamOne is investing $9 million in a new electron beam medical device sterilization service center in Clinton Township. California-based BeamOne is investing $9 million in a new electron beam medical device sterilization service center in Clinton Township, PA. Ground will be broken for the Butler County facility before year’s end, and the center is expected Clinton Township. It will become operational in late 2010. BeamOne’s other locations include California, Colorado, Ohio and Costa Rica. “Breaking ground for a fifth facility in the Pittsburgh region in less than a year since we opened our Costa Rica service center in January underscores that electron beam is the sterilization modality leader of the future,” said Glenn Thibault, president and CEO of BeamOne. “This win is strategic not only for BeamOne, but for the region. It supports an already strong medical device manufacturing sector by bringing required sterilization of their products closer to home. It will eliminate the need to ship products manufactured here out of state for sterilization,” said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates, including the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA). “We’re thrilled to welcome BeamOne to the Pittsburgh region because its presence bodes wells for the region’s competitiveness. This win gives the PRA an edge for marketing the region to medical device manufacturers who will want to locate or grow their operations where there is an established sector and cost-saving efficiencies, such as close-to-home sterilization,” he added. Also involved in the project are the Community Development Corporation of Butler County; the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, including the Governor’s Action Team; MEDRAD; Massaro; CB Richard Ellis; and FirstEnergy, which works with the PRA to market the region’s strengths at key international medical device manufacturing trade shows. BeamOne’s technological ability to efficiently process virtually any shipment size, as well as to accommodate both large and small product configurations, provides processing flexibility and faster time to market, Yablonsky noted. The center to be built in Butler County will provide sterilization services for medical device, pharmaceutical and labware manufacturers as well as tissue processors, further strengthening the region’s position as one of the 25 largest metro areas in the biosciences.
As the world prepares for a global summit meeting this month in Denmark to meet the challenge of climate change, New York City has sounded a retreat on its most ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gases emanating from the Big Apple. After intense opposition from building owners, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has backed away from a proposed mandate that would have forced the retrofitting of all structures 50,000 square feet or larger to make them more energy efficient, according to a report in Sunday’s New York Times. Bloomberg announced the plan with great fanfare on Earth Day in April. In New York City, buildings account for an estimated 80 percent of total carbon emissions. Mayor Bloomberg has pledged to reduce the city’s total emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Bloomberg’s original plan would have put the nation’s largest city in the forefront of efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of U.S. metropolitan areas. The plan, which building owners said was too costly, called for all buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to undergo audits to determine which renovations would make them more energy efficient, and for owners to then pay for many of those changes. The mayor wants to go forward with the proposal to require energy audits, but now is leaving it up to the building owners whether to undertake the changes called for by those audits, the Times reported. Many cities require that newly constructed buildings be energy efficient, but do not impose those standards on existing properties. About 22,000 buildings, together accounting for nearly half the square footage in the city, would have been affected. According to estimates, Bloomberg’s original plan would have created 19,000 construction jobs. Without a mandated retrofit requirement, Louis J. Colletti, president and chief executive of the Building Trades Association told the Times he doubts that many of these jobs will materialize. “I’d be shocked if 5,000 of those jobs were created,” he said.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) has been awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. The state of Missouri, through the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED), has been awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant for $1,227,192 in the area of “green” jobs training. DED’s key partners in receiving the State Labor Market Information Improvement Grant are the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), Regional Workforce Investment Boards, the State Workforce Investment Board, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The grant proposal seeks to inform training providers of the critical skills that job seekers need to be successful in green industry careers. Product will include a green industry demand survey and report, green occupation projections, training provider survey and report, green pathways competency model, rapid response career guidance publications, and enhanced career exploration tools. “This grant program will allow us to analyze labor market data to assess economic activity in green industries and identify occupations and skill requirements within those industries,” said Governor Jay Nixon. “Our state workforce agencies can then use this information as the foundation on which to build and implement effective workforce development strategies, so we meet our goal of having a skilled workforce that is ready to fill the next-generation, green jobs of the 21st Century.” Under the grant, MERIC will use the funding to collect, analyze and disseminate labor market information to assess its impact in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. The research compiled by MERIC will be utilized to guide worker training and retraining efforts in Missouri’s 43 Career Centers, administered by the DED’s Division of Workforce Development. “A skilled, trained workforce is absolutely critical to the wellbeing of our economy, and the states that best address their workforce issues will always be the best position to move forward,” said David Kerr, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “The State Labor Market Information grant will help us take cutting edge research performed by MERIC and apply it to the training programs through our state’s Career Centers, so that our workforce is ahead of the curve in getting trained in the next-generation jobs crucial to our future economy.” The grant is designed to achieve the following outcomes: · The development of effective methods for estimating the impact on industry and occupational employment resulting from implementation of green technologies; · The dissemination of data through outreach strategies that inform job seekers, the public workforce system, education and training providers, and other organizations of the occupational skills and […]
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that sent shock waves through everyone who assumed that the government could not seize private property without a very good reason, usually involving a public use like a new highway or other critical infrastructure project. In a highly controversial 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City of New London, CT, the High Court upheld the condemnation of several private homes to make way for an expansion of Pfizer’s huge research facility on an adjacent property. To our knowledge, this was the first time the Court had affirmed that eminent domain could be invoked to transfer property from one private owner to another to facilitate a commercial real estate project. The razor-thin Supreme Court majority said the ”general benefits” to the community from the economic growth promised by the development outweighed the traditional prohibition against the use of eminent domain to force people out of their homes for anything other than a crucial public project. Well, now comes news from Connecticut that Pfizer not only has abandoned its expansion plans, but the pharmaceuticals giant will shut down its massive New London research and development headquarters and transfer most of the 1,400 people working there to Groton. So much for ”general benefits.” OK, we know what you’re thinking: the homeowners get their houses back, right? Oops. Pfizer—which paid next to nothing for the condemned property—already tore them down, leaving nothing but a wasteland of fields full of weeds. Suzette Kelo, a homeowner who fought the seizure all the way to the Supreme Court, said through her legal counsel, Scott Bullock: “This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain.” Memo to Chief Justice Roberts and the Supremes: Perhaps you should revisit this issue and rethink your decision, if you are not too busy deciding weighty matters like whether the Washington Redskins should keep their name. If Justice Roberts and his colleagues don’t want to give this questionable ruling another look-see, there is another course of action that can rectify the situation. Constitutional amendment, anyone?
The company is investing $22 million in its Tennessee laminates facility. Owens Corning is investing $22 million in an expansion of its North Memphis, TN, facility. The site currently produces residential and commercial roofing strip shingles, and employs 92 people. The investment will create 15 new jobs, and allow Owens Corning to expand the site’s manufacturing capability to include aesthetically pleasing, higher-style laminates. Company officials said the expansion will be completed early next year, at which time its Memphis site will produce Owens Corning’s Classic, Supreme, Oakridge, Duration and Duration Premium shingles. The company announced the expansion in coordination with the Greater Memphis Chamber and the State of Tennessee. Owens Corning is a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems. A Fortune 500 Company for 55 consecutive years, Owens Corning is committed to driving sustainability by delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives. Founded in 1938, Owens Corning is a market-leading innovator of glass-fiber technology with sales of $6 billion in 2008 and about 16,000 employees in 30 countries on five continents.
Governor Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes announced Blackhawk Composites, Inc., a start-up manufacturer of advanced aerospace composite parts, will begin manufacturing operations in Butler County. The project entails the creation of 20 new jobs initially, growing to 30 within the first year, and a more than $1.5 million investment in the Commonwealth. “The start-up of Blackhawk Composites in Butler County will provide dozens of high-quality, well-paying jobs – the kind of jobs Kentucky seeks to create,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re proud to be the home of Blackhawk Composites and will continue to partner with them on future opportunities.” Established in September 2009, the newly formed Blackhawk Composites will lease a 40,000 square-foot facility to manufacture advanced aerospace composite parts for Cessna Caravan aircraft cowls, the part of the aircraft that covers the engine. The Cessna Caravan is a large single engine turboprop used for executive and cargo transport, as well as other commercial uses such as a jump platform for skydiving. These aircraft are found in increasing numbers worldwide. “We are very pleased that we were able to establish this venture in Kentucky,” said Gary Smrtic, president of Blackhawk Composites. “It has been the goal of our core team to bring aerospace work into south central Kentucky for some time, and this is the fruit of that labor.” “While Blackhawk Composites Inc is technically a start-up, our management team is certainly not new to business,” added Smrtic. “Unlike most start-ups, we will begin with a long-term tooling and production contract for one type of aircraft already in place, as well as several other prospects we are discussing with other aircraft companies.” The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Blackhawk Composites for tax benefits up to $750,000 under Kentucky’s new incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment Program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. The maximum annual approved amount to be earned by Blackhawk Composites is $50,000. “We are truly thrilled to have Blackhawk Composites starting their business in Morgantown,” said Morgantown Mayor Eva Hawes. “We’re grateful they have decided to invest in our community.” “We’re very excited Blackhawk Composites selected Morgantown and Butler County for their home,” said Butler County Judge Executive David Fields. “The 30 jobs they plan to create will be a welcome addition to our community.”
We have been reporting for some time in this space that the shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. has been exacerbated in recent years by the government’s decision to cut back on H-1B visas. The quota of H-1B visas, which are reserved for highly trained technology professionals, was reduced to 65,000 due to mounting security concerns after the 9/11 attacks. In 2007 and 2008, applications for H-1B visas exceeded this quota on the first day the visas became available. Not this year. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, thus far—more than six months after the U.S. government began accepting applications for 2010 H-1B visas—only 46,700 visa petitions have been filed. Analysts are attributing this shortfall to a combination of the economic downturn, immigration security concerns, and the rising costs associated with hiring foreign-born workers. An overall U.S. unemployment rate approaching 10 percent and double-digit unemployment in more than a dozen states has dramatically slowed expansion in the technology sector, the Journal reports. According to the Journal, conditions attached to federal bailout funds also have deterred bailout recipients from recruiting foreign workers. Companies that receive federal bailout money must prove that they tried to recruit American workers at prevailing wages and that foreigners aren’t replacing U.S. citizens. This restriction reportedly caused Bank of America and others to rescind numerous job offers to foreigners. Crackdowns on illegal immigration also have had a dampening effect on visa applications. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the H-1B program, has been sending inspectors to visit companies without warning to verify that H-1B employees are performing the jobs on the terms specified. Up to 20,000 companies have been targeted for these inspections. The restrictive climate on immigration apparently is leading some foreign students to reconsider whether they want to pursue careers in the United States.”The best and the brightest who would normally come here are saying, why do we need to go to a country where we are not welcome,” a University of California scholar who has studied H-1B visas told the Journal.