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 Economic Development News 
Tuesday, February 28 2017

Company constructing $11 million utility-scale solar farm
Columbia, SC — ESA Renewables, an alternative energy provider, will be constructing a new, utility-scale solar farm in Aiken County. The development is expected to bring at least $11 million in capital investment.
ESA is a leading solar integration company with more than 500 solar photovoltaic, power-generating facilities located in the United States, Puerto Rico, Spain, Chile and Italy. Ranging from large-scale solar farms to commercial rooftop setups, ESA offers project development, design, construction, operation and maintenance through the life cycle of each installation.

Posted by: AT 01:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 27 2017
Flatev, Swiss-based Pioneer in Baking Technology, Launches its Global Business in New Jersey

Princeton, NJ — Flatev, a startup company that plans to revolutionize the way consumers prepare a wide variety of flatbreads will be establishing its first worldwide manufacturing operation at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center business incubator facility in Bridgeton, NJ.  The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, met with officials from Choose New Jersey, Inc., the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, and other business leaders, and demonstrated their Flatev Artisan Baking System. The system gives consumers the ability to produce freshly baked, tasty, and nutritious artisanal flatbreads with the push of a button.  
The Flatev Artisan Baking System is a table-top household appliance that makes fresh tortillas, pita, roti, and other flatbreads, as well as cookies, with a single-serve dough portion, that is as consistent and easy-to-use as a single-serve coffee maker.  The Flatev dough single-serves will be produced at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center during the fall of 2017. The appliance and single-serves will be sold to a limited number of service hotels, offices, and to consumers shortly thereafter. 

Posted by: AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 27 2017

Savannah, GA and Norfolk, VA — The Georgia Ports Authority and the Virginia Port Authority filed on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to create the “East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement.”

The agreement encourages voluntary cooperation in the areas of operational and supply chain efficiencies, safety, communications and customer service.

“The U.S. East Coast continues to see larger vessels and cargo exchanges since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal last year,” VPA CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart and GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said in a joint statement. “Increasingly, our customers are seeking gateway ports on the East Coast that can leverage sufficient landside infrastructure to ensure the free flow of cargo. The states of Georgia and Virginia have made the necessary investments to prepare for this new era in global trade. The East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement is an innovative collaboration that will allow us to find new ways to become more efficient and effective.”

The agreement will enable the member ports to work together to find ways to become more efficient and effective, which will benefit the citizens of their respective states, as well as shippers and the carriers.

Additional areas of cooperation between the GPA and VPA include acquisition and utilization of joint marketing materials and sharing best practices in areas such as terminal operating systems, training, cargo handling, access, turn-times and infrastructure, as well as supporting the promotion of all-water routes from the U.S. East Coast to the international marketplace via the Panama Canal.

Georgia and Virginia are not the first terminal operators to file with the FMC to share information. In December 2016, APM Terminals, DP World, Hutchinson Port Holdings, PSA International, Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., and the Port of Rotterdam Authority filed the “Global Ports Group Agreement” with the Federal Maritime Commission to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the container port industry. 

Find print-quality portraits of Griff Lynch and John Reinhart here.

About Georgia Ports Authority
Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015.

About The Port of Virginia
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. In fiscal year 2013, The Port of Virginia provided more than 374,000 jobs and generated $60.3 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth.

Posted by: AT 09:49 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 27 2017
Georgia Ports Mark Busiest Month Ever

Set tonnage, container records in January

Savannah, GA —- The Georgia Ports Authority achieved outstanding January results, with double-digit growth across all business sectors and a 26 percent increase in total tonnage.
"The Port of Savannah is unrivaled in its connectivity into the heartland of the U.S. and the service excellence that port customers enjoy," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "With on-terminal efficiencies bolstered by interstates within minutes of the port and the fastest westward rail transit in the South Atlantic region, Garden City Terminal provides more reliable, more cost effective freight movement."
Lynch credited those supply chain efficiencies for the record 3 million tons of cargo GPA moved in January, up 623,504 tons compared to the same month a year ago.

Posted by: AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 17 2017
Governor Asa Hutchinson signs economic development acts into law

Targets startup and innovation sector throughout the state
Little Rock, AR — Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law three acts on Wednesday, February 16, targeting growth in the state’s innovation and technology sector.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Division of Science and Technology will administer all three programs.

The Arkansas Business and Technology Accelerator Act will create a $2 million accelerator grant program for startup companies. Similar accelerator programs throughout the country have been found to significantly impact success rates of startup businesses.

Posted by: AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 16 2017

Atlanta, GA — The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) announced that ELK Group International (ELK), a premier designer and importer of indoor and outdoor, residential and commercial lighting fixtures and home decor, will create more than 100 jobs and invest $2 million in a distribution center in Screven County.

“Georgia is a hub for thriving companies such as ELK Group International, and their decision to open a new facility in Sylvania is a great win for the region,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “With access to a skilled workforce and an efficient transportation infrastructure, ELK will find it easy to meet the growing demands of their customers, and expand their business in Sylvania.”

Posted by: AT 01:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 16 2017

Company investing $3.5 million and creating 260 new jobs in Upstate growth
Columbia, SC — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest provider of telecommunications products and services, is expanding its existing operations in Greenville County. To accommodate its continued growth, the company is investing $3.5 million and creating 260 new jobs.
Employing a diverse workforce of more than 160,000 and headquartered in New York, Verizon Wireless and its industry-leading network provide a variety of products and services to consumers and businesses nationwide. In addition to its wireless services, Verizon Wireless offers a premiere, all-fiber network, which helps the company deliver integrated solutions to millions of consumers and businesses around the world.

Posted by: AT 01:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 16 2017
Julianna Marler becomes first female CEO in Port of Vancouver USA history

Vancouver, WA — The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners today voted 2-1 to approve terms of employment for Julianna Marler, officially installing her as CEO/Executive Director.
Marler is the first female CEO in the port’s 105-year history and one of just a handful of female port CEOs in the U.S. Her employment agreement includes a $202,801 annual salary, $500 monthly car allowance and deferred compensation totaling 15 percent of her salary for a term of four years.
“I’m excited about where the port is going and honored to lead this great team,” Marler said. “I look forward to working with our commissioners to ensure the port continues to be an economic engine and a good partner in building a strong and vibrant community.”

Posted by: AT 09:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 08 2017

Company investing more than $8 million in regional product line consolidation  
Columbia, SC — Emerson, which manufactures and markets ASCO fluid automation products for a wide range of process and manufacturing industry applications, is expanding its ASCO operations in Aiken County. The expansion is expected to bring more than $8 million of capital investment and create 86 new jobs.
Located at 1561 Columbia Highway in Aiken, S.C., Emerson's ASCO business unit will be consolidating its regional cylinder, motion control and accessory product lines to its Aiken facility. Hiring for the new positions is already underway, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online for more information.

Posted by: AT 09:55 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 07 2017
New Developments Position Savannah as U.S. Gateway Port

Photo Caption: Developers have purchased five parcels, totaling 500 acres, within the Savannah River International Trade Park for warehousing and distribution operations. Find print quality images here.

Announcement comes on the heels of three consecutive months of record growth

Savannah, GA -- The Georgia Ports Authority announced the sale of 500 acres of property for commercial development to accommodate growing customer demand for warehousing, distribution and transload facilities near the Port of Savannah.
The new development, located on five parcels of land at GPA's Savannah River International Trade Park, is less than five miles from the Garden City Container Terminal and can accommodate up to 5 million square feet of logistics space.

Posted by: AT 09:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 03 2017

Valeo North America Inc. plans to create 290 jobs as it builds a low-speed test track and new building in Auburn Hills, and also improve its Troy headquarters, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said Wednesday.

The nearly $5 million project has been awarded a $1 million state performance-based grant. Troy and Auburn Hills also are supporting the project in various ways including with staff time, marketing help and tax abatements, according to the MEDC.

Valeo North America is a subsidiary of Paris-based Valeo SA, an automotive technology supplier that produces clutch and transmission components, electrical components and engine-cooling, wiper, lighting and climate control systems.

The company started in Michigan in the 1980s and also has a facility in Highland Park. It participates in a joint venture with The Piston Group's Detroit Thermal Systems, with a location in Romulus.

The MEDC says Valeo chose Michigan for the development and jobs over competing sites in Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi and Mexico. It currently has more than 1,000 employees in Michigan.

The Valeo project is among four that the Michigan Strategic Fund approved grants for. The MEDC says those companies are investing $76.8 million and creating 555 jobs in southeast Michigan. Other projects include:

  • Kingfa Science & Technology (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of a Chinese company, researches, develops and makes modified plastic products. It plans to expand manufacturing in Canton Township, investing $60 million and creating 150 jobs. It will receive a $1 million state performance-based grant.
  • Macomb Smoked Meats in Macomb Township, which makes jerky and smoked meat snacks for Colorado-based Thanasi Foods LLC and other customers, is growing. It plans to invest $2.8 million and add an adjacent production facility, creating 75 jobs. It received a $250,000 performance-based grant from the state.
  • ABB Inc., a subsidiary of Zurich-based ABB Group that provides power and automation technologies, will invest $9.1 million in equipment and robotic production at a facility in Auburn Hills, creating 40 jobs. It will receive a $250,000 state performance-based grant.
Posted by: AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 03 2017
Chinese New Year may bring trade opportunities to the Region

Morrison, IL -- Last Friday, January 27th, marked the Chinese New Year, China’s most important holiday. Gary Camarano, Whiteside County’s Economic Development Director, participated in a celebratory luncheon in Chicago’s Chinatown where the People’s Republic of China’s Consul General Hong Lei was the guest of honor. The luncheon celebrated “the Year of the Rooster.” While at the event Mr. Camarano had a chance to talk with Consul General Hong about the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region, and exploring more mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities between the Whiteside region and the world’s second largest economy, China. 

Mr. Camarano explained, “As part of our outreach and marketing efforts we want to increase market awareness about our region and its businesses, and meet with representatives of countries that offer trade opportunities, and have an interest in locating businesses in the region. The People’s Republic of China is one of countries we have on our list. They are a huge market for quality, advanced manufactured products, and are increasing their investment in U.S. locations.”

Posted by: AT 09:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 02 2017

New York, NY — Development Counsellors International (DCI) announced the winners of the economic development industry’s 40 Under 40 awards at the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Jacksonville, Florida, last night. The award was designed to discover the profession’s rising stars.  

“The individuals chosen by the selection committee represent an incredibly bright future for the economic development profession,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI.  “It’s an honor to celebrate their achievements.”  

The youngest winner is 26 with the pool consisting of 14 women and 26 men. 

The South and the Midwest dominated with 10 award recipients each, with the most recipients located in Florida. Large communities of 200,000 or more came away with the majority of award recipients, with 26 winners. The smallest community has a population of 2,800.

Posted by: AT 11:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 02 2017
2017 IPPE: More than 31,000 Attendees and 533,000 Square Feet of Exhibit Space

Atlanta, GA — The 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) has more than 31,000 poultry, meat and feed industry leader attendees from all over the world. In addition, the show has more than 533,000 of net square feet of exhibit space and 1,275 exhibitors. Final numbers will be released next week. Sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and North American Meat Institute, IPPE is the world's largest annual feed, meat and poultry industry event of its kind.

“This year’s tremendous exhibit floor and attendee and exhibitor numbers are a compliment to IPPE’s unmatched education programs, ample networking opportunities and diverse exhibits. The excitement and energy displayed by this year’s attendees and exhibitors will continue to safeguard the success and growth of future IPPEs,” the three organizations said.      

Posted by: AT 11:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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