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Tuesday, December 02 2014

By Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President, Camoin Associates; Christa Franzi, Senior Economic Development Specialist, Camoin Associates; Ian Flatt, Economic Development Analyst, Camoin Associates

Despite transformations within the industry, including outsourcing and automation, manufacturing is alive and well in the United States. Over the past several decades, the industry has shed jobs, devastating communities and regions that relied on these employers to provide well paid employment. However, even as the industry was cutting jobs over this period, manufacturing output and productivity were increasing dramatically, representing new investments in technology and skilled workers. Recently, the rate of job loss has begun to decrease and the manufacturing sector is projected to add jobs over the next several years. In regions across the country, gains in the manufacturing sector have been an important part of the economic recovery.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 09:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, December 01 2014

By Kate McEnroe, President of Kate McEnroe Consulting

Call centers have always been the classic example of site selection projects that put labor cost and availability at the top of the list of critical location factors. Today, even as talks of skilled worker shortages and skills gaps dominate economic development conversations, the call center workforce remains one of the most difficult to pinpoint and predict. There is more data available to help companies evaluate labor markets than ever before, but more data doesn’t always mean better data, and in fact can just confuse the issue. Like Advanced Manufacturing, another population “industry” type, Call Centers aren’t really an industry in the classic sense that can captured by a single NAICS code and call center employees aren’t really captured by a short group of occupation codes.

One thing is clear, however – with few exceptions in the United States, the labor-related costs that are necessary to sustain a call center go up as the size of the community increases. Community size is almost always a greater determinant of labor cost than geographic region.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 02:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, December 01 2014

By Jody A. Martin, President/CEO of Palmetto Consulting Solutions, LLC

Great potential for Unmanned Aircraft Systems “UAS” / Drones in the business of agriculture? UAS / Drones are currently being used in many ways around the world in Agriculture and in many other industries. In the United States, however, the FAA is in the process of determining how to best regulate the use of these aircraft. These aircraft are and can be used safely and effectively in agriculture both now and in the future. However, please note that the Federal Aviation Administration “FAA” has discouraged the commercial use of UAS/Drones until they can determine the best way to regulate the use of these aircraft.

UAS Predicted Economic Impact
According to the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United States report shows the economic benefit of UAS integration in the first three years of integration — more than 70,000 jobs will be created with an economic impact of more than $13.6 billion in the United States.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 02:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, December 01 2014

By Adam Robinson

Earlier this year, Alexander Frei of Cushman & Wakefield’s Business Incentives Practice said in an article that the EIA estimates the United States will be nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035. According to Frei, the technological advancements in oil and gas manufacturing that have taken place over the last 20 years, which ultimately resulted in the establishment of fracking as an economically feasible method of accessing fossil fuels, is arguably the biggest single reason for this projection of U.S. energy independence. In fact, not only will the U.S. no longer need to import energy, but also fracking for shale gas could result in the United States becoming a net exporter of natural gas in the next decade, Frei noted.

Oil and gas suppliers are also seeing major growth from this trend, as more and more oil and gas manufacturing companies need those supplies to keep up with this current boom.

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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