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 Economic Development News 
Wednesday, February 28 2018

Completion of outer harbor dredging marks SHEP midpoint

Savannah, GA -- Governor Nathan Deal announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed outer harbor dredging at the Port of Savannah, marking the midpoint of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

“The completion of outer harbor dredging marks the midpoint for SHEP and represents a crucial milestone for the Savannah community, the State of Georgia and the nation as a whole,” said Deal. “The Port of Savannah is already the second busiest port in the nation for exports and the timely completion of this project will be a major step forward for our nation’s infrastructure. To ensure that SHEP remains on schedule, my FY 2018 budget proposal calls for $35 million in additional support for the project.

Posted by: AT 09:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 26 2018

Project will create an initial 150 full-time jobs

Norwalk, IA — Michael Foods, a $2 billion manufacturer and distributor of food service, food ingredient and retail offerings and the nation's largest processor of value-added eggs, has selected Norwalk as its preferred location for a new regional manufacturing and distribution facility. Contingent upon securing state and local assistance, the project will create 100-150 full-time jobs initially.

The company, whose brands include Papetti’s and Simply Potatoes, is proposing to build a 150,000-square-foot facility on Highway 28 and Delaware Street on the remaining 33 acres of Norwalk’s ‘Certified Site’.

Posted by: AT 10:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 23 2018

Small businesses invited to apply for nationally acclaimed program

Baton Rouge, LA — LED encouraged Louisiana companies to apply for the nationally acclaimed Economic Gardening Initiative, which helps second-stage firms gain new markets in other states, thereby generating new sales and importing greater value and income to Louisiana communities.

The Louisiana initiative has been recognized as a best practice by the Edward Lowe Foundation, which administers the program nationwide and hosts the National Center for Economic Gardening. Eligible Louisiana businesses will be growing companies of $600,000 to $50 million in annual revenue, and staffs of five to 100 employees. For more information and an online application, visit Since inception of the program seven years ago, 213 companies from all eight regions of Louisiana have combined to create 1,367 new full-time-equivalent jobs while increasing annual sales by more than $215 million.

Posted by: AT 08:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 22 2018
Ports of Indiana completes unprecedented four-year growth run

Indianapolis, IN — The Ports of Indiana handled 11.8 million tons in 2017, resulting in a 5 percent increase from 2016 and the second-highest annual shipment total in the organization’s 57-year history. This was the fourth-consecutive year that the Ports of Indiana handled over 10 million tons of cargo, the only four years this has been accomplished. The ports’ average annual shipments in 2014-2017 totaled over 45 million tons, exceeding the previous four-year average by nearly 50 percent.

Major cargo increases for the Ports of Indiana in 2017 included coal (+9%), steel (+14%), fertilizer (+14%), ethanol (+14%), limestone (+26%), and minerals (+28%). Shipments of heavy lift and project cargoes, such as wind turbines, laboratory equipment and mega storage tanks, had a 27 percent increase.

Posted by: AT 11:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 22 2018

Orlando, FL — Patriot Defense Group, a defense and intelligence services company, announced this week the acquisition of Winter Park based Innovative Logistics, LLC. in keeping with its 10-year acquisition growth strategy.
“This transaction is our second acquisition over the past six months and continues to fuel our expansion of mission critical services to those who defend America,” said Todd Wilcox, Executive Chairman of Patriot Defense Group. “We plan to continue making significant investments to build out our specialized Warfighter support capabilities and the robust defense industry ecosystem along the I-4 corridor makes Orlando, Florida the perfect location for our company headquarters.”

Posted by: AT 11:08 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 21 2018
Experience 1920s Luxury Aviation When EAA's Ford Tri-Motor Tour Stops at Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport

Reserve, LA — The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport (KAPS) will serve as  host of the Ford Tri-Motor Tour Stop along with our local EAA Chapter #971 on April 26th through the 29th at the airport in Reserve, Louisiana. Lamarque Ford in Kenner, Louisiana will serve as the title sponsor of the event. “We are excited to be bringing this part of history right here to the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport,” said Paul Aucoin, executive director, “and we are grateful that Lamarque Ford has chosen to sponsor this event.”

The Ford Tri-Motor or the “Tin Goose” was first built by the Ford Motor Company in the late 1920s. EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor was constructed in 1929 and has an intriguing history, with roles ranging from service as a Cuban airliner to an extensive background fighting forest fires while transporting smoke jumpers.

Posted by: AT 09:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 21 2018

Fabricated wire and metal display manufacturer to create 20 new jobs

Nashville, TN — Nashville Display announced that it will expand its operations in Dover. The fabricated wire and metal display manufacturer will create 20 jobs and invest $3 million in Stewart County.

“I want to thank Nashville Display on its decision to expand its operations in Dover,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “This is the first announcement we have had in Stewart County since 2011, and I appreciate the company for continuing to invest in our state and for creating 20 new jobs in Stewart County.”

Nashville Display designs, prototypes and manufactures both standard and custom retail displays and fixtures. The company works with major retail stores such as Cracker Barrel, Dollar General and Tractor Supply.

Posted by: AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 21 2018

Company investing $100 million in solar farm development
Columbia, SC — Southern Current, a leading developer in the residential, commercial and utility-scale solar markets, is expanding its solar farm portfolio with new facilities in Lee County. The company is investing in a total of five individual projects within Lee County, bringing a collective capital investment of $100 million. 
Southern Current is an owner and developer of utility-scale solar energy facilities across the southeastern United States. With an in-house team of development professionals, the company manages projects from site selection and origination through construction and operation. 

Posted by: AT 08:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 20 2018

Changes would double state standard deduction, reduce income tax rates for individuals and businesses

Savannah, GA — Governor Nathan Deal, along with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston, outlined updates to HB 918, which addresses state tax code. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Efstration, now combines the 2017 Internal Revenue Code (IRC) bill, HB 821, with 2018 IRC updates. It also addresses the state revenue projections resulting from the Federal Tax Act.

HB 918 would double the standard deduction for Georgia taxpayers for all filing statuses, effective Jan. 1, 2018. It would also reduce the income tax rate for individuals and businesses from 6 percent to 5.75 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019. Finally, the legislation includes a provision further reducing the tax rate to 5.5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2020. This reduction would require approval of the General Assembly and signature of the governor in order to take effect.

Posted by: AT 11:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 19 2018

Freeport, TX — Port Freeport Commissioners passed a resolution calling an election on May 5, 2018, for residents in the Navigation District to vote on a ballot measure authorizing the Port to issue up to $130 million in bonds for the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project. The proposed bond package, coupled with approximately $165 million in federal funds, would pay for the deepening and partial widening of the Freeport Harbor Channel and is intended to be accomplished without an increase in the Port’s total tax rate. 

“The $130 million bond package will allow us to complete the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project and make Port Freeport the deepest port in Texas,” said Phyllis Saathoff, Executive Director and CEO of Port Freeport. “The entire federal cost-shared project, authorized by Congress in 2014, is estimated to cost approximately $295 million to construct, and more than half of this amount would be paid for with federal funds.”

Posted by: AT 08:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 19 2018

New 250,000-square-foot automotive manufacturing plant will bring 300 new jobs to the region

Blue Springs, MO — The Kansas City Area Development Council announced that Faurecia, a leading automotive technology company, will build a new $60 million, 250,000-square-foot interiors production facility in Blue Springs, Missouri, part of the Kansas City area. The company, a global leader in developing automotive seating, interior systems and clean mobility, will create 300 new jobs.

"Kansas City offers a strong competitive advantage to growing manufacturing operations, particularly in the automotive industry," said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. "We are very proud to welcome Faurecia to our robust automotive cluster and look forward to the company's success in our region.

Posted by: AT 08:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 15 2018

Foxconn, HARIBO, Generac among companies that plan to hire new workers to support expansion and new operations

Madison, WI — Nineteen companies in the seven-county metropolitan Milwaukee area are expected to create nearly 15,000 jobs after signing agreements with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in 2017 to expand their operations or build new facilities in the region.

The companies include the Foxconn Technology Group, which plans to hire 13,000 workers in Racine County as part of the state’s largest economic development project ever; Haribo of America, which will bring nearly 400 jobs to Kenosha County; Generac Power Systems Inc. in Waukesha, which plans to add 400 workers as part of an expansion; and Molson Coors Brewing Co., which is adding 150 positions to its facility in Milwaukee’s Miller Valley.

Posted by: AT 10:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 15 2018

Jerome, ID — Magic Valley Quality Milk Producers (MVQMP) announces the expansion of its plant at 1756 S Buchanan St, Jerome, Idaho.

“The Board of Directors have approved a $20 million expansion project designed by Power Engineers and Dairy Industry Consultants with Petersen Bros. Construction as our General Contractor and Advanced Process Technologies, Inc as our main milk process equipment supplier. The project will take 12 months to complete, and we expect to employ at least 15 new employees.” Says Alan Stutzman, General Manager, MVQMP.

Posted by: AT 09:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 15 2018

Savannah, GA — Governor Nathan Deal released the following statement on the $49 million included in President Trump’s budget for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP):

“I am encouraged to see that SHEP was President Trump’s top priority when it comes to port investments,” said Deal. “The expansion of the Port of Savannah is the single most important infrastructure project not only for Georgia, but for the Southeast as a whole, and deepening it is necessary to allow larger ships like the Neo-Panamax to navigate through our ports more quickly and ensure that a greater volume of goods will be able to move through our state.

Posted by: AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 06 2018

New $30 Million Investment in Waco, Texas Facility

Waco, TX — Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., part of the world's largest manufacturer of chocolate, confections, gum and mints, announced that it will invest an additional $30 million in its Waco, Texas site, breaking ground on a 65,000 square foot product distribution expansion.
"For over a century, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them," said Dan Brawell, Waco Site Director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. "We are grateful for the continued support from the Waco community and state of Texas, and we are pleased to further invest in the community with economic development."

Posted by: AT 08:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 06 2018

Polymer extrusion manufacturer creating 20 new jobs
Columbia, SC — Zeus Industrial Products (Zeus), Inc., a leading polymer extrusion manufacturer and material science innovator, is expanding its existing operations in Orangeburg County. The company's $15.9 million investment in Orangeburg complements a $76 million Calhoun County expansion, which was announced last week. With this project, Zeus is expected to create an additional 20 new jobs in Orangeburg.
Founded in 1966, Zeus develops and manufacturers polymer tubing for a variety of industries, including the medical, fluid handling and electrical markets. Zeus works with customers in collaborative relationships to design, engineer and produce fluoropolymer and specialized plastic tubing that delivers the temperature resistance, chemical resistance and high tensile strength demanded by today's applications.
Zeus' global headquarters is located at 620 Magnolia Street in Orangeburg, S.C. The company will be adding 64,000 square feet to its existing facility in order to house engineering, equipment and tooling design, parts fabrication, tooling production and machine assembly operations in one centralized engineering center. Initial hiring for the new positions should begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online for more information.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project.
"We are truly excited about expanding our presence in Orangeburg. We have been pleased with all of the local and state support that we have received since commencing our Orangeburg operations back in 1982. We remain committed to being a good citizen of the county, meeting and exceeding the needs of our customers and, most importantly, providing quality careers for all of our employees in an atmosphere that will allow them to flourish." -Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. President and CEO John Winarchick

"For more than three decades, Zeus has been a tremendous member of the South Carolina business community, and we're proud to see them grow once again. I offer my congratulations and look forward to many more years of success for this innovative company." -Governor Henry McMaster
"Zeus has been a longtime member of Team South Carolina, and I'm excited to see their operations grow once again. Over the last two decades, South Carolina has built an international reputation as a place that not only makes complex products, but makes them well. This announcement is a further testament to that." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
"We are so grateful to have Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. headquartered in Orangeburg County and for their commitment to our residents and community with this most recent expansion. The success and growth of Zeus, both in Orangeburg and statewide, reinforces their sustainability and commitment to their associates. It's indeed a great day in Orangeburg County!" -Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright
"We congratulate Zeus on this latest expansion announcement, as well as thank them for the more than 30 years that they've been an invaluable member of the business community. This is an exciting win for Orangeburg County, and we look forward to Zeus' ongoing success in the region." -Central S.C. Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan
Five Fast Facts

  • Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. is expanding its Orangeburg County operations.
  • $15.9 million investment to create 20 new jobs.
  • This project complements a $76 million Calhoun County expansion, which was announced last week.
  • Located at 620 Magnolia Street in Orangeburg, S.C., the company will be adding 64,000 square feet to house its engineering, equipment design, tooling production and more.
  • Initial hiring for the new positions should begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and interested applicants should visit the company's careers page online for more information.

About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, since 2011, the Palmetto State has ranked among top three in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment on a per capita basis, according to IBM-Plant Location International. Additionally, in five of seven years, the state has won the Gold Shovel Award from Area Development magazine; and, in 2017, the state was recognized as Business Facilities' State of the Year. For more information, visit

Posted by: AT 08:40 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 05 2018

Springfield, MO -- Bluebird Underground, an underground data center management company, announced it is expanding in the Springfield Underground in Springfield, Missouri. The company will expand its footprint in the underground to more than 80,000 sq. ft. allowing them add a third two-megawatt generator, 14,000 more gallons of fuel storage and a second uninterruptible power supply system.

Springfield Underground also recently expanded with the opening of Building 19. The new 205,000-square-foot dry building brings the Underground’s total leasable space up to 2.5M sq. ft. and provides much needed speculative space for our region to market to prospects.

Posted by: AT 10:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 05 2018
Georgia Ports Authority: 10M-TEU capacity in 10 years

Savannah Harbor deepening reaching midway point

Savannah, GA — At the 50th annual Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Monday, GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch reviewed the strategic plan for Georgia's ports that will allow for 10 million twenty-foot equivalent container units, 1 million rail lifts, and more than 1 million auto and machinery units per year.
"Georgia is home to both the single largest container and roll-on/roll-off facilities in North America," Lynch said. "Our goal is to maximize capacity, create jobs and reduce impact on our local communities."
Lynch provided an overview of GPA's 2028 Plan that calls for 42 ship-to-shore cranes, 200 yard cranes, new RTG lanes and significant intermodal expansion in Savannah. The GPA will soon open its second inland terminal in Northwest Georgia and break ground on the Mason Mega Rail project at Garden City Terminal. Combined, both intermodal projects will open new markets while significantly reducing rail crossings and over the road freight through Savannah, Atlanta and beyond.

Posted by: AT 09:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 05 2018

Reserve, LA — The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport welcomes its first tenant to its new 6,363 square foot transient hangar. Air2, established in 1998, is the leading provider and innovator of helicopter-assisted utility construction and maintenance services for extra-high voltage (EHV) transmission lines throughout North America. Air2’s fleet of MD500 helicopters and highly trained, specialized airborne crews enable them to deliver customer-focused services with maximum efficiency and productivity. Air2’s mission is to deliver safe, quality service with integrity and respect to their customers while providing premier construction, maintenance, emergency response and inspection services to North American utility companies. 

Air2 is headquartered in Maryland with operational centers throughout the United States. Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin stated, “We are excited to have Air2 as a current tenant as they work with Entergy on maintenance of their power lines in the south Louisiana area.” The self-funded transient hangar came on-line a couple of months ago and is part of many improvements planned by the Port of South Louisiana. “I’m very happy that we’re beginning this new hangar operation featuring the Air2 staff and fleet,” said Vincent Caire, Airport Director.

The Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport (KAPS) is located right in the heart of the industrial corridor in southeast Louisiana and serves business aircraft as well as general aviation.  KAPS is located outside of congestion of local Class B airspace and closer to your ground destination eliminating your drive time.

About the Port of South Louisiana
The Port of South Louisiana is a 54-mile port district on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, encompassing the parishes of St.   Charles, St. John and St. James. The facilities located within the port’s district consistently handle over a quarter billion short tons of cargo annually, ranking it the largest tonnage port district in the Western Hemisphere (and the 16th largest in the world), the nation’s greatest grain exporter, and one of the major energy transfer ports in the United States. Along the 108 miles of deep-water frontage on both banks of the river there are seven grain transfer facilities, four major oil refineries, 11 petrochemical manufacturing facilities and several other facilities for a total of more than 50 docks owned and operated by an impressive group of resident tenants such as ADM, ArcelorMittal, Dow, Cargill, DuPont, Marathon, Shell, Nucor Steel, Occidental, Valero, and Occidental Chemical. To learn more, visit us at, like us on Facebook, and follow us on LinkedIn.

For information about this particular topic, contact Vincent Caire, Airport Director, at (985) 652-9278 X8512 or

Posted by: AT 08:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 05 2018

Fort Smith, AR — Silgan Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: SLGN), a leading supplier of rigid packaging for consumer goods products, announced to its shareholders Wednesday they have initiated construction of a new manufacturing facility in Fort Smith.

“Silgan is excited about our expansion in Fort Smith. The warm welcome from both state and local authorities make us confident we have chosen the right location to serve our customers. We look forward to extending the Silgan family in the Fort Smith community,” said Robert Lewis, Silgan executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Silgan generates annual net sales, on a pro forma basis to include the Dispensing Systems operations which was acquired on April 6, 2017, of approximately $4.2 billion in 2016. Silgan operates 100 manufacturing facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Posted by: AT 08:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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