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 Economic Development News 
Thursday, February 27 2020
2020 Whiteside Carrol Enterprise Zone Informational Meetings

Morrison, IL -- The Whiteside Carrol Enterprise Zone (WCEZ) will be hosting two Enterprise Zone information meetings in March to provide local businesses with information about the region’s most effective local business incentive, and how it can assist businesses in their expansion or location in Whiteside and Carroll Counties. The meetings will be held on March 5, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:30 AM in the Whiteside County EOC, ROOM 117, on the first floor of the courthouse, and on March 5, 2020 at the Carroll County Courthouse boardroom from 1:30 - 3:00 PM. The sessions will provide information on what the Enterprise Zone is, what the benefits are, who qualifies, an explanation of the application process, and answers to questions about the Enterprise Zone.   
According to Gary Camarano, WCEZ Administrator, “The Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone has shown itself to be one of the region’s most effective local incentives in attracting investment, and retaining and creating jobs in the region. Since the year 2000, the Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone has assisted 488 projects, attracted $453,322,102.22 in investment, and helped in retaining and creating 8,526 jobs. We want to reach out to the business community and provide information to them on this incentive, and how it could assist in business expansions or locations.”

Posted by: AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 13 2020

Freeport, TX -- The recently announced U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Work Plan includes $19 million in funding for the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project (FHCIP).  Port Freeport is one of two seaports nationwide to receive a “new start” designation for commencement of construction.

The estimated total cost of the project is $295 million, of which the federal government share is $165 million and Port Freeport as the local sponsor will contribute the remaining $130 million to be funded by the 2018 voter-approved bond package.  This vitally important project will deepen the Freeport Harbor Channel to depths ranging from 51 to 56 feet.

Posted by: AT 12:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 12 2020

$2.5 million investment will create 80 new jobs
Columbia, SC -- Prodigy Cabinetry, a manufacturer of European-styled cabinetry, announced new operations in Greenville County. The company's $2.5 million investment will create 80 new jobs.
Prodigy Cabinetry is a new cabinet manufacturer that utilizes online tools and state-of-the-art woodworking equipment to provide seamless solutions to cabinetry retailers that design kitchens and bathrooms.
Located at 2723 White Horse Road, Suite C in Greenville, Prodigy Cabinetry's new office will also serve as the company's headquarters in South Carolina.

Posted by: AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 11 2020

$43 million investment will create 69 new jobs
Columbia, SC --  Scientex Packaging Film, one of the world's largest producers of stretch film, announced plans to establish operations in Lancaster County. The company's $43 million investment is projected to create 69 new jobs.
Headquartered in Malaysia, Scientex Packaging Film is a leading manufacturer of custom films including shrink films, polyethylene (PE) films, tubes and bags, lamination films and more. In business for more than 50 years, Scientex Packaging Film's export market covers more than 60 countries.
Located at 234 Grace Avenue in Lancaster, the new Scientex Packaging Film facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, incorporating the latest technology in cast stretch film as well as best in class utilities to support the production.

Posted by: AT 12:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 11 2020

Groundbreaking Celebration to be Held at FBO

Houston, TX -- Million Air is excited to announce a new fixed-based operator (FBO) will be coming to El Paso International Airport (ELP). Local ownership will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 10:00am at 1800 Hawkins Blvd.  The media is invited to cover this event. The new El Paso location is the 5th Million Air in Texas and 32nd location for the network.  Located just 8.5 miles east of downtown El Paso, Million Air ELP will set the bar for the region. The new FBO is expected to be open for business early 2021, with property under lease to expand.

“Having Million Air locate at El Paso International Airport will be a boost for our economy. We look forward to the efficiencies in corporate and personal travel offered at our FBO,” said Paul Foster, Owner of Franklin Mountain Investments Limited Partnership, which owns Million Air ELP, through its subsidiary, Franklin Mountain Aviation ELP, LLC. “Our operation will provide unmatched services and amenities for air travel that no one in this region has experienced before.”

Posted by: AT 08:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 07 2020

Expansion project to retain 81 jobs and result in 47 new direct, indirect jobs

Hammond, LA -- Governor John Bel Edwards and Scariano Wholesale Foods CEO Jay Scariano III announced a $10 million expansion of the wholesale food distribution facility near Hammond, Louisiana. The project will improve transportation, access and logistics at the site while creating 20 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $42,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the expansion will result in an additional 27 new indirect jobs, for a total of 47 new jobs in Tangipahoa Parish and surrounding areas.

Scariano Wholesale Foods will retain 81 existing jobs with the expansion, which will include installation of a new fueling station for its distribution fleet. The project also will provide a cold-storage addition; expansion of the loading dock and warehouse; improved road access; and new parking for employee vehicles and distribution trucks.

Posted by: AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 05 2020

Event will be Feb. 11 at company’s University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park location

LaFayette, LA -- Global technology firm CGI will conduct a career fair on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Lafayette to fill professional positions for the company’s Louisiana operations. The event will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park, where CGI operates a major IT delivery center. LED FastStart® – the nation’s top-ranked state workforce development program – is supporting the event at 538 Cajundome Blvd. in Lafayette.

CGI seeks both entry level and experienced IT professionals to fill up to 160 positions in Louisiana, including the following roles: business analyst and reporting, database engineer, DevOps engineer, software engineer, operations support roles, and developers and architects for multiple languages and platforms.

Posted by: AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 05 2020

Indianapolis, IN -- During Routes Americas, an aviation event convening decision makers from airlines, airports and destinations around the world, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger joined executives from Contour Airlines, a premium, regional airline, as the company announced plans to establish an aircraft base at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and launch three new domestic routes.

“Contour Airlines landing in Indiana is a huge win for the Hoosier state, and we’re extremely grateful that Contour is providing more career opportunities for Hoosiers,” said Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “As our pro-business reputation continues to spread around the country and around the world, new nonstop flights provide a critical link in connecting Hoosier companies, residents and tourists to destinations around the world.”

To support Contour’s growth in Indiana, the airline also announced plans to create up to 55 new jobs in central Indiana by the end of 2023. The Smyrna, Tennessee-based company is purchasing additional ERJ-135/145 aircraft and investing a significant amount over the next few years to establish its new base of operations, which will initially house two of the regional jets. Contour, one of the most punctual airlines in North America, according to OAG, plans to launch operations at the Indianapolis International Airport on June 10, 2020.

Posted by: AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 04 2020

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) recently broke ground on its new western regional headquarters in north St. Louis, Missouri. Scheduled to open in 2024, NGA West represents a $1.7 billion investment and exemplifies the explosive growth of the geospatial ecosystem in St. Louis, of which the NGA is just one active member.

The Missouri location puts NGA West in the heart of a community of world-class academic institutions and industry leaders. The new campus promises to be a different kind of intelligence facility, with collaborative and innovative spaces that further position the NGA to harness the ideas and technologies being developed by the region’s talented innovators.

“This agency is proud to have been part of St. Louis for seven decades,” said former NGA Director Robert Cardillo in 2017. “That commitment means we won’t be just another walled-off, federal building — we will be out engaging with communities, interacting with tech entrepreneurs, exchanging knowledge and ideas with innovators, and serving as a magnet to attract the region’s best talent.”

Posted by: AT 12:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 04 2020
GPA Unveils Major Expansions

Photo Caption: Recently, the Port of Savannah's 30 cranes were busy working seven vessels simultaneously along Garden City Terminal's 10,000-foot dock. At the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Tuesday, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch laid out a plan for expanding the port's capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030. Find print quality images here. (Georgia Ports Authority/Jeremy Polston)

New terminals, big ship berth space in the works

Sea Island, GA -- At the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference Tuesday, Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, announced the acquisition of 145 contiguous acres to the Port of Savannah, or more than 1 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in annual capacity.

"As the Georgia Ports Authority enters its 75th year, we are proud to follow in the tradition of those who came before us, making exciting advances in capacity and technology to ensure our terminals remain at the forefront of global commerce," Lynch said. "This is the largest addition of container terminal space in Savannah in more than 20 years, and represents a powerful opportunity for Georgia to take on new trade."

During his presentation, Lynch also announced that Garden City Terminal dock construction had been completed, and can now serve three 14,000-TEU vessels, and up to eight vessels simultaneously.

The improved dock and additional container yard space are part of a larger blueprint to increase the GPA's capacity to more than 9 million TEUs by 2030. By 2023, the GPA will add an additional berth, for a total of four big ship vessel slots.

"The expansion at our deepwater ports in both Savannah and Brunswick is helping to fuel growth, and in turn investment, jobs and increased competitiveness on the global stage," said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. "With the kind of investment and infrastructure development announced today, Georgia's ports will undoubtedly stay ahead of the curve and the competition."

In order to improve service, Savannah's Ocean Terminal will be partially converted to handle containers. Renovations at Ocean Terminal, located just downriver from the main container port, will include a new truck gate, upgraded container yards and rubber-tired gantry cranes for container operations.

"This exciting new development will allow the GPA to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers," Lynch said.

Construction is currently under way on the upgrades. Phase I of the Ocean Terminal container yard is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Lynch also outlined plans for the new Savannah Container Terminal, a nearly 200-acre facility to be built on Hutchinson Island. The new facility will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs when fully developed. Phase I is projected to come online in 2025.

To ensure the GPA remains on the cutting edge of port staffing and technology, Lynch announced an expansion of the Authority's Y.E.S (Youth learning Equipment and Safety) program, in which high school graduates are hired and trained for equipment operator careers. GPA hopes to begin hiring 50 recent graduates per year to help meet staffing needs.

Lynch also unveiled Tuesday a new program, dubbed GET SET (Sustainability, Efficiency, Technology).

"The GET SET program is a competitive juried contest for college students in Georgia, in which they will be challenged to put forth innovative solutions to issues faced by the maritime logistics community," Lynch said. "Students or student teams submitting winning entries will receive a cash prize totaling $25,000."

He said the Authority will be working with universities across the state to integrate the GET SET program into their curricula over the next year, with the first prize being awarded in the summer of 2021.

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017.

For more information, visit, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855 or

Posted by: AT 11:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 04 2020

Fairfax County, VA -- Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Expel, Inc., a fast-growing managed-security provider, will invest $1.4 million to expand its operation in the Town of Herndon in Fairfax County. The company will increase its headquarters located at 12950 Worldgate Drive in Herndon and create 164 new jobs across its engineering, customer experience, IT, marketing and sales teams over the next three years.

“The security-focused industry cluster and the talent pool around it make Fairfax County and Northern Virginia a great location for Expel, and I am delighted that my office has had the opportunity to help the company expand its footprint in the Town of Herndon," said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). “We appreciate the company's vote of confidence in Herndon and Fairfax County and look forward to its continued growth here."

Posted by: AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, February 01 2020
Amazon Unveils New 1,000-Job Memphis Plant

Photo Credit: TNECD

By: Scott Harrison

Memphis, TN -- The numbers are staggering. When complete, Amazon’s new $200 million Memphis fulfillment center will span nearly 15 football fields. 82,000 cubic yards of concrete and 17,000 tons of steel will go into its construction. And once fully operational, more than 1,000 Memphians will work on the site in the city’s Frayser community.

On Monday, as the construction crews hauled pieces of the building’s frame into position, Amazon hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the 855,000-square-foot plant in North Memphis.

“There will be 1,000 new jobs right here on this site,” Governor Bill Lee said. “These are not just numbers, these are people’s lives that will be profoundly impacted in a positive way by what Amazon has done and we’re truly grateful for that.”

Posted by: AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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