Snapshots | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

The Show Me Spirit The Home Depot store is no longer standing in Joplin, MO, but the clerks are busy selling building materials in the parking lot. Less than a month after a massive 200 m.p.h. tornado tore through the middle of town (killing more than 130 people), the residents of Joplin are lifting the spirits of the nation with their determination to rebuild. Within a week after the May 22 storm, St. John’s Regional Medical Center—which took a direct hit from the tornado—resumed operations: a temporary tent hospital has been set up across the street from the wrecked building; trailers house MRI and CAT scan units; two new helipads have been paved. While most of the 900 who were injured in the tornado are being treated in neighboring towns, St. John’s says it’s now able to handle up to 60 patients at a time in its makeshift facilities. “We can do already what we used to do in our big building, just on a smaller scale, and as we go through the next few weeks that scale will grow,” said Dr. Bob Dodson, St. John’s trauma medical director. Over at the Home Depot, employees in orange vests are busy helping customers stock up on building materials piled high on tables in the parking lot of the demolished store. While Joplin residents queue up for plywood and roofing materials, workers are hammering away in another section of the lot, putting up a 30,000-square-foot temporary building that will open later this month. Gen. Hank Taylor is bringing three decades of experience in the U.S. military with him as he takes command of Charleston’s global development effort. BF: You bring a unique combination of corporate and government experience to your new position. Will this give you an advantage in bringing new business to Charleston? HT: The totality of my experiences will be instrumental in recruiting international business to the Charleston, SC. region, which comprises Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. During my military service I visited 27 different countries, acquiring deep insights and an appreciation for many cultural differences. I understand the necessity of constructive relationships, the importance of patience, knowledge of business needs and pacing. BF: What are the strongest reasons for foreign companies to consider locating a facility in the Charleston area? HT: World class companies tell us that our low cost of doing business, our available and skilled workforce, and our strategic transportation infrastructure make our region the right place for companies to do business. With more than 700 internationally-owned […]


The Show Me Spirit The Home Depot store is no longer standing in Joplin, MO, but the clerks are busy selling building materials in the parking lot. Less than a month after a massive 200 m.p.h. tornado tore through the middle of town (killing more than 130 people), the residents of Joplin are lifting the spirits of the nation with their determination to rebuild. Within a week after the May 22 storm, St. John’s Regional Medical Center—which took a direct hit from the tornado—resumed operations: a temporary tent hospital has been set up across the street from the wrecked building; trailers house MRI and CAT scan units; two new helipads have been paved. While most of the 900 who were injured in the tornado are being treated in neighboring towns, St. John’s says it’s now able to handle up to 60 patients at a time in its makeshift facilities. “We can do already what we used to do in our big building, just on a smaller scale, and as we go through the next few weeks that scale will grow,” said Dr. Bob Dodson, St. John’s trauma medical director. Over at the Home Depot, employees in orange vests are busy helping customers stock up on building materials piled high on tables in the parking lot of the demolished store. While Joplin residents queue up for plywood and roofing materials, workers are hammering away in another section of the lot, putting up a 30,000-square-foot temporary building that will open later this month. Gen. Hank Taylor is bringing three decades of experience in the U.S. military with him as he takes command of Charleston’s global development effort. BF: You bring a unique combination of corporate and government experience to your new position. Will this give you an advantage in bringing new business to Charleston? HT: The totality of my experiences will be instrumental in recruiting international business to the Charleston, SC. region, which comprises Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. During my military service I visited 27 different countries, acquiring deep insights and an appreciation for many cultural differences. I understand the necessity of constructive relationships, the importance of patience, knowledge of business needs and pacing. BF: What are the strongest reasons for foreign companies to consider locating a facility in the Charleston area? HT: World class companies tell us that our low cost of doing business, our available and skilled workforce, and our strategic transportation infrastructure make our region the right place for companies to do business. With more than 700 internationally-owned […]

60 Seconds with Gen. Hank Taylor, VP of Global Business Development, Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Snapshots Articles

60 Seconds with Gen. Hank Taylor, VP of Global Business Development, Charleston Regional Development Alliance

60 Seconds with Gen. Hank Taylor, VP of Global Business Development, Charleston Regional Development Alliance

The Show Me Spirit The Home Depot store is no longer standing in Joplin, MO, but the clerks are busy selling building materials in the parking lot. Less than a month after a massive 200 m.p.h. tornado tore through the middle of town (killing more than 130 people), the residents of Joplin are lifting the spirits of the nation with their determination to rebuild. Within a week after the May 22 storm, St. John’s Regional Medical Center—which took a direct hit from the tornado—resumed operations: a temporary tent hospital has been set up across the street from the wrecked building; trailers house MRI and CAT scan units; two new helipads have been paved. While most of the 900 who were injured in the tornado are being treated in neighboring towns, St. John’s says it’s now able to handle up to 60 patients at a time in its makeshift facilities. “We can do already what we used to do in our big building, just on a smaller scale, and as we go through the next few weeks that scale will grow,” said Dr. Bob Dodson, St. John’s trauma medical director. Over at the Home Depot, employees in orange vests are busy helping customers stock up on building materials piled high on tables in the parking lot of the demolished store. While Joplin residents queue up for plywood and roofing materials, workers are hammering away in another section of the lot, putting up a 30,000-square-foot temporary building that will open later this month. Gen. Hank Taylor is bringing three decades of experience in the U.S. military with him as he takes command of Charleston’s global development effort. BF: You bring a unique combination of corporate and government experience to your new position. Will this give you an advantage in bringing new business to Charleston? HT: The totality of my experiences will be instrumental in recruiting international business to the Charleston, SC. region, which comprises Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. During my military service I visited 27 different countries, acquiring deep insights and an appreciation for many cultural differences. I understand the necessity of constructive relationships, the importance of patience, knowledge of business needs and pacing. BF: What are the strongest reasons for foreign companies to consider locating a facility in the Charleston area? HT: World class companies tell us that our low cost of doing business, our available and skilled workforce, and our strategic transportation infrastructure make our region the right place for companies to do business. With more than 700 internationally-owned […]


60 Seconds with Gen. Hank Taylor, VP of Global Business Development, Charleston Regional Development Alliance

60 Seconds with Gen. Hank Taylor, VP of Global Business Development, Charleston Regional Development Alliance

The Show Me Spirit The Home Depot store is no longer standing in Joplin, MO, but the clerks are busy selling building materials in the parking lot. Less than a month after a massive 200 m.p.h. tornado tore through the middle of town (killing more than 130 people), the residents of Joplin are lifting the spirits of the nation with their determination to rebuild. Within a week after the May 22 storm, St. John’s Regional Medical Center—which took a direct hit from the tornado—resumed operations: a temporary tent hospital has been set up across the street from the wrecked building; trailers house MRI and CAT scan units; two new helipads have been paved. While most of the 900 who were injured in the tornado are being treated in neighboring towns, St. John’s says it’s now able to handle up to 60 patients at a time in its makeshift facilities. “We can do already what we used to do in our big building, just on a smaller scale, and as we go through the next few weeks that scale will grow,” said Dr. Bob Dodson, St. John’s trauma medical director. Over at the Home Depot, employees in orange vests are busy helping customers stock up on building materials piled high on tables in the parking lot of the demolished store. While Joplin residents queue up for plywood and roofing materials, workers are hammering away in another section of the lot, putting up a 30,000-square-foot temporary building that will open later this month. Gen. Hank Taylor is bringing three decades of experience in the U.S. military with him as he takes command of Charleston’s global development effort. BF: You bring a unique combination of corporate and government experience to your new position. Will this give you an advantage in bringing new business to Charleston? HT: The totality of my experiences will be instrumental in recruiting international business to the Charleston, SC. region, which comprises Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. During my military service I visited 27 different countries, acquiring deep insights and an appreciation for many cultural differences. I understand the necessity of constructive relationships, the importance of patience, knowledge of business needs and pacing. BF: What are the strongest reasons for foreign companies to consider locating a facility in the Charleston area? HT: World class companies tell us that our low cost of doing business, our available and skilled workforce, and our strategic transportation infrastructure make our region the right place for companies to do business. With more than 700 internationally-owned […]


60 Seconds with Tracye McDaniel, CEO, Choose New Jersey

60 Seconds with Tracye McDaniel, CEO, Choose New Jersey

ZERO NO LONGER      On the first day of this month, a dark cloud that loomed over the 16-acre parcel in New York City known as Ground Zero evaporated with news from overseas that justice finally had been visited upon the perpetrator of the September 11 attacks.      We hope this long-awaited reckoning will enable the 10th anniversary ceremonies in New York this fall to mark the rebirth of the World Trade Center site.      Construction crews in downtown Manhattan are working 24/7 to make sure the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is ready for viewing on the anniversary. The footprints of the Twin Towers are being converted into recessed pools surrounded by trees; a glass-enclosed pavilion will welcome visitors.      Also rising on the World Trade Center site is a 1,776-ft. skyscraper, which upon completion will be the tallest building in New York, and a $2-billion transportation hub featuring a unique wingspan design by architect Santiago Calatrava.      The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which built the original World Trade Center and owns the site, offers a website with a daily view of the construction progress at http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/index.html. Tracye McDaniel, CEO of Choose New Jersey; Don Slaght, Managing Director, Advance Real Estate Solutions; and Andrew Shapiro, Managing Director, Biggins, Lacy, Shapiro & Company, recently participated in a panel discussion on New Jersey’s economic development efforts. Here are excerpts: DS: Mr. Slaght noted that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority currently has more than thirty incentive programs designed to help bring businesses to New Jersey and assist businesses in the state with growth issues. The major negative, despite these initiatives, is the impact of the New Jersey tax profile on profitability and the regulatory requirements that force delays of years to put a shovel in the ground despite the financial incentive programs. Noting that Ms. McDaniel has relocated from Houston, TX, he pointed out that Texas serves as the national model of economic development initiatives. TM: Ms. McDaniel lauded Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno for the bold move in establishing ChooseNJ, an organization that will align business and political leaders to make progress on the issues that stymie business growth in the state. The main function of ChooseNJ will be to generate leads for business attraction and job growth. Ms. McDaniel noted ChooseNJ has commissioned a “Perception Study” of 4,000 CEO’s in and outside of New Jersey as a first step in determining the strategic initiatives to enhance business and job growth. The other major initiative is […]


60 Seconds with Tracye McDaniel, CEO, Choose New Jersey

60 Seconds with Tracye McDaniel, CEO, Choose New Jersey

ZERO NO LONGER      On the first day of this month, a dark cloud that loomed over the 16-acre parcel in New York City known as Ground Zero evaporated with news from overseas that justice finally had been visited upon the perpetrator of the September 11 attacks.      We hope this long-awaited reckoning will enable the 10th anniversary ceremonies in New York this fall to mark the rebirth of the World Trade Center site.      Construction crews in downtown Manhattan are working 24/7 to make sure the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is ready for viewing on the anniversary. The footprints of the Twin Towers are being converted into recessed pools surrounded by trees; a glass-enclosed pavilion will welcome visitors.      Also rising on the World Trade Center site is a 1,776-ft. skyscraper, which upon completion will be the tallest building in New York, and a $2-billion transportation hub featuring a unique wingspan design by architect Santiago Calatrava.      The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which built the original World Trade Center and owns the site, offers a website with a daily view of the construction progress at http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/index.html. Tracye McDaniel, CEO of Choose New Jersey; Don Slaght, Managing Director, Advance Real Estate Solutions; and Andrew Shapiro, Managing Director, Biggins, Lacy, Shapiro & Company, recently participated in a panel discussion on New Jersey’s economic development efforts. Here are excerpts: DS: Mr. Slaght noted that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority currently has more than thirty incentive programs designed to help bring businesses to New Jersey and assist businesses in the state with growth issues. The major negative, despite these initiatives, is the impact of the New Jersey tax profile on profitability and the regulatory requirements that force delays of years to put a shovel in the ground despite the financial incentive programs. Noting that Ms. McDaniel has relocated from Houston, TX, he pointed out that Texas serves as the national model of economic development initiatives. TM: Ms. McDaniel lauded Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno for the bold move in establishing ChooseNJ, an organization that will align business and political leaders to make progress on the issues that stymie business growth in the state. The main function of ChooseNJ will be to generate leads for business attraction and job growth. Ms. McDaniel noted ChooseNJ has commissioned a “Perception Study” of 4,000 CEO’s in and outside of New Jersey as a first step in determining the strategic initiatives to enhance business and job growth. The other major initiative is […]


60 Seconds with Arnold Perl, Chairman of the Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority

60 Seconds with Arnold Perl, Chairman of the Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority

NUCLEAR RESET      The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has prompted several countries to rethink their plans for expanding nuclear power.      Three of the six reactor containment facilities at the Fukushima station were damaged by the earthquake and tsunami that took place in northeastern Japan on March 11. At press time, engineers at the plant were struggling to stabilize tons of spent reactor fuel at the crippled facility. The plant workers can only work in brief shifts due to intense radiation.      A few days after the crisis erupted, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would reconsider extending the lifespan of its nuclear power plants.      “The events in Japan have shown us that even things that seem all but impossible scientifically can in fact happen,” Chancellor Merkel said at a news conference held in Berlin.      Tennessee Valley Authority executives, meanwhile, reassured utility customers that TVA reactors in East Tennessee and North Alabama are in areas “not prone to frequent or extremely large earthquakes” and have numerous safety features.      Radiation that has seeped out of the Fukushima plant has been detected as far as Sweden. This month, Memphis is hosting the global Airport Cities Conference & Exhibition. We asked Mr. Perl about recent developments at the Memphis Aerotropolis. BF: Will the recent consolidation of Memphis economic development efforts under the EDGE program include the Memphis Aerotropolis? AP: The EDGE program is an umbrella organization where someone who is looking for economic development incentives for expansion or a new facility will go before a single board. Our Aerotropolis is not part of EDGE. BF: What are the latest developments at the Memphis Aerotropolis? AP: We recently received a seven-figure grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Part of the funding from that grant will be used to develop a formal master plan for the Aerotropolis that will embrace the transportation assets [of the area] and the connectivity of the multi-modal Aerotropolis hub. BF: Memphis is widely recognized as the leading Aerotropolis in North America. Was that achieved without a master plan? AP: We’ve never had a formal master plan for Aerotropolis. Everything was done rather independently, with expansion of the various entities including the airport, the rail, the river and the roads. There wasn’t a formal game plan linking to these different assets. Ever since the Aerotropolis steering committee was created, a need for a master plan was identified. This HUD grant will enable us to do that. BF: What is the timetable […]


60 Seconds with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.

60 Seconds with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.

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 […]


60 Seconds with Albert Chen, Chairman of the America China Society of Indiana

60 Seconds with Albert Chen, Chairman of the America China Society of Indiana

The America China Society of Indiana (ACSI) was recently formed as the trade organization that will promote cooperative business, trade and investment opportunities between the Hoosier State and the world’s most populous nation. The effort is headed by ACSI chairman Albert Chen, president and founder of Telamon. BF: How long has Telamon been involved in business ventures on mainland China? Do you have facilities in China? AC: Our firm has been in China since 1986. We operate three facilities there that repair and test wireless devices. We also are involved in IT software development in China and South Korea. BF: The announcement for the new trade initiative indicated that Indiana will be promoting agricultural products, advanced bioscience, automotive and IT technology for export to China. Do you expect this to be a two-way street, resulting in new jobs in Indiana? AC: The focus will be on both jobs and the exchange of goods. We are interested in selling Indiana’s products in China, which will create jobs here. We also want to help China understand the investment opportunity for Chinese firms here in Indiana. We aim to promote cooperative business, trade and investment opportunities between Indiana and China. BF: China has a huge, low-cost labor pool and a growing domestic market. Can U.S. producers compete with Chinese manufacturers in their home market? AC: Our exports to China will help meet the tremendous demand of the Chinese market. We also want to convince China that it can make a wise investment in Indiana in producing consumer goods here as well as industrial parts. BF: What will be one of the key attractions for Chinese businesses that may want to set up shop in Indiana? AC: Indiana is the Crossroads of America. We can offer tremendous logistics advantages for anyone locating their business in Indiana. BF: Currently, the U.S. balance of trade with China is widely skewed in China’s favor. Can this trend be reversed? AC: Sometimes these figures can be misleading. For example, custom touchscreen phone components that cost $178 to produce in the U.S. cost $6 to produce in China, but the value of the goods is usually stated based on the U.S. cost. BF: Many businesses like yours have forged their own ties with China. Why is a statewide trade organization needed? AC: A lot of small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have enough experience in dealing with China. We want to share our experience with them. BF: It took about 20 years to establish a significant number of Japanese business […]


60 Seconds with Neal Wade, Sr. Vice President for Economic Development, St. Joe Co.

60 Seconds with Neal Wade, Sr. Vice President for  Economic Development, St. Joe Co.

Neal Wade left St. Joe Co. eight years ago to become director of the Alabama Development Office. He is now returning to St. Joe to spearhead the West Bay development in northwest Florida. BF: What attracted you to this opportunity and what do you bring to the table? NW: I’m bringing a whole new set of values and experiences I didn’t have before. If you’ve only been on the corporate side, state government can be a shock. It’s really been an education to me to learn how to navigate through all levels of government. I’ve also made a tremendous amount of contacts internationally as well as here in the U.S., especially among projects that we’re going to be targeting and among site consultants throughout the country. BF: Are there specific lessons you’ve learned in your state post that you can apply to your new position? NW: Government does not operate at the same pace that the private sector does–you don’t have the same abilities to make decisions inside state government that you do on the private side. It’s much slower [at the state level]. So you really have to pick your battles and figure out how you’re going to work within the system. It’s also really brought into focus that to be successful, you have to have a team: not just St. Joe, but local and state government, the new governor, all of those elements have to be part of the success we’re going to have down there. BF: How challenging is the economic environment in northwest Florida today? NW: We’re seeing a lot more activity than we were seeing two years ago. We’re seeing a lot of projects right now. Companies are preparing for recovery and the opportunity for activity is good. BF: What are the biggest selling points for West Bay? NW: In northwest Florida what we have to offer is an unparalleled quality of life, a workforce that can be trained to fit the companies we’re going to be targeting and we’re going to have a new set of sites that we’re going to make available over the next three years that weren’t available seven years ago. There are 1900 aerospace and defense businesses in northwest Florida, and when you combine that with the type of sites we will have available we’ve got a tremendous selling point. We also are changing the perception that the region is strictly a tourist destination rather than a major business location. BF: How important is the new Northwest Florida Beaches International […]


60 Seconds with E. Mitchell Roob, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Indiana Economic Development Corp.

60 Seconds with E. Mitchell Roob, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Many states are considering replacing state economic development agencies with public-private partnerships. We asked IEDC’s chief executive to tell us how these partnerships work. BF: Is a public-private partnership a more effective vehicle for job creation than a state economic development agency or a Department of Commerce? MR: It certainly has worked for us in Indiana. If you look at the results, IEDC has been three- or four-fold more productive as a public-private partnership. Indiana is now leading the nation in per capita private-sector job growth. We are very responsive—we move at the speed of business. If you ask us for a site search and an offer on your project, we can get that accomplished in a week and often within three days. We are a transactional agency. BF: How does IEDC interact with the governor and other top state officials to execute Indiana’s overall economic development strategy? MR: What separates us from our predecessors is not only the structure of the public-private partnership, but the focus that Gov. Daniels has brought to economic development. The governor chairs the IEDC board of directors and he has made it clear to every member of his cabinet that job growth is the top priority in the state of Indiana. So across state government, everyone is working to expedite economic development needs, including permitting and building roads. We have a great espirit de corps across the state government. When we prepare to bring a project to Indiana, we can bring together any parts of the state government that are needed to close the deal, get them in the same room, and get a positive answer that will create new jobs in Indiana. BF: How does a public-private partnership like IEDC maintain the transparency of its development efforts? MR: We are audited routinely, these audits are made public, and all of our transactions and expenditures are public, even more so than our predecessor agency. BF: State economic development agencies and some public-private partnerships have been challenged recently about their claims of job growth. What is the best way to verify that projects actually are generating the jobs they have promised? MR: We are precluded by statute from indicating an exact number of jobs because these jobs are attached to taxpayer ID numbers, and that information cannot be released. Also, many companies prefer not to release precise job numbers or undertake the cost of capturing and providing that information. We make certain that our tax incentives are post-performance, meaning the jobs have been created first […]


60 Seconds with Stephen Moret, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development

60 Seconds with Stephen Moret, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development

BF: Louisiana has emerged as a national leader in workforce training with the Louisiana FastStart™ program. Is the availability of customized pre-employment training becoming a deciding factor in site selection decisions? SM: In less than two years, Louisiana FastStart™ definitely has become one of our most powerful and effective recruiting tools during site-selection competitions. As one of the nation’s top workforce development programs, FastStart offers companies world-class, customized employee recruitment, screening, training development and training delivery, and also can provide specialized solutions for companies in a wide variety of industry sectors—from automobile manufacturers to digital media firms to aerospace companies. All of these services come at no cost to the company. BF: The Deepwater Horizon disaster has caused disruptions in the oil drilling and fishing industries. Can FastStart play a role in retraining displaced workers from these sectors? SM: In certain situations, FastStart could definitely retrain displaced workers in the oil and natural gas industries as well as the commercial fishing industries. For example, if a company is expanding in Louisiana, FastStart could help the company hire employees seeking new opportunities due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill or the drilling moratorium imposed by President Obama. Moreover, this could be extremely valuable for a company because FastStart would be able to identify employees with transferable skills, then train them using customized programs created through FastStart. BF: How has Louisiana has positioned itself to be a major player in the revived nuclear power industry? SM: Louisiana is well positioned to be a leader in the global nuclear renaissance because we possess a highly skilled and productive manufacturing workforce, a world-class workforce solution in FastStart, deep-water shipping infrastructure and a healthy business climate. Based on these strengths and early success in developing the industry, over the next two decades, the nuclear energy sector could create up to 20,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana alone. The Shaw Group, is developing a $100-million facility in Lake Charles, LA that will employ up to 1,400 people focused on constructing modularized nuclear reactor components. This facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. BF: If you could change one perception about Louisiana, what would that be? SM: One of the greatest challenges facing our economic development efforts is more closely aligning the perception of Louisiana’s business climate with the actual business conditions available here. Fortunately, we have made significant advances in reversing outdated perceptions. Companies now see in Louisiana an attractive business climate, high-quality available labor, low energy and utility costs, excellent […]