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Tuesday, July 26 2016

By Tim Shea, General Manager of Product Development, Angelou Economics

As far as economic buzz words go, few rival the boundlessness of “High Technology.” Since the New York Times first invoked the term in 1958, those two words have captured the elusive mysteries of science and retained that meaning even as progress turned those mysteries into the mundane. To this day, “High Tech” remains a phrase that conjures dreams of hover boards and talking robots, of flying cars and impossible futures. But what does it really mean? More importantly, what does it mean for today’s economy?

The potential answers to that question are as boundless as the phrase itself. The modern realm of High Tech touches on a diversity of fields, from life-saving medical technology to escapist virtual entertainment and everything in between. What those varied fields do have in common is that they’ve all been immensely important to the country’s economic growth over the past several decades, and will continue to play a significant role for the foreseeable future. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 26 2016

By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer

For any company wanting to remain stable and competitive in the ever-morphing world of global business, it’s absolutely critical to grasp how fluctuations in the economy impact the supply chain and what trends are developing that impact the efficiencies and costs of moving products to market. 

In the “macro,” says Rosalyn Wilson, president of Freight Matters, a Maryland-based logistics consultancy, the global and U.S. economies “may well get worse before they get better, which doesn't bode well for trade and logistics activity over the near term,” says Wilson.

“Retail sales have risen, but they’ve risen far less than everybody expected them to,” she says. “Consumer sentiment is really hot and real wages are going up, so it would be natural to expect consumers to begin spending, but what we’re seeing is that consumers are willing to spend on services rather than goods.”

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:36 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 26 2016

By Kate McEnroe, President of Kate McEnroe Consulting

The Outdoor Recreation industry isn’t often cited as a top target industry for economic developers, but it can occupy a very interesting place in the economy of a state, a region, or a locality. The most recent figures from the Outdoor Recreation Industry Association report that businesses in this sector, which encompasses a wide variety of NAICS codes, account for 6.1 million jobs in the United States with consumers spending more every year on apparel, gear, and experiences, than on pharmaceuticals and cars combined. So why don’t we see this industry cited more often as a target of opportunity for states and regions interested in recruiting high growth, green job and investment opportunities?  Perhaps it’s because to appreciate the full impact of this sector at the state and local level requires tracking jobs and investments that fall under the separate missions of departments of tourism, economic development, and natural resources.

Most states have tourism efforts dedicated to bringing in visitors and their dollars, and programs to protect their natural assets within their departments of natural resources, but some have decided to link these missions to the more traditional goal of attracting companies that manufacture products and offer services to the users of those recreational assets.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:10 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 25 2016

By Don A. Holbrook, Site Location Consultant Managing Partner, Vercitas Group

For the first time ever, more solar was added in the United States than natural gas. By the end of 2015, solar supplied nearly thirty percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. Not only was this good news for the solar industry, but it was good news for anyone who made the investment into solar as it validates the legitimacy of Solar as a staying power that is no longer a fringe and/or environmental prerogative statement, but a bona fide smart investment for financial and business reasons.

2015 now represents a pivotal turning point in the energy economy that was outlined and espoused by so many and the target of ridicule by many more, especially the media and lobbying groups behind big oil. Natural gas and coal still maintaining the lion's share of electricity generation today, the fastest-growing energy sector is now solar. Not coal, not natural gas, and not nuclear. Even more important the cost to purchase and operate for homeowners is now down below the average length of ownership average of 7.5 years to break even. The average length of time of a new homeowner investment is the same. This now makes the purchase of a solar energy investment and the investment to purchase a home a singularly good financial move by homeowners.1

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 25 2016

By John Rees and Chris Engle of Avalanche Consulting

The labor market is tighter than it has been in years. Unemployment is less than five percent. The difficulty of securing talent is a growing concern for companies and communities alike. In a recent survey by Avalanche Consulting, nearly 90 percent of economic developers reported that finding a skilled workforce has become ever-more important to expanding firms during the past year. No company can afford to invest millions of dollars in a new or expanded facility only to find its operations hampered by a lack of available labor. 

In an economy that increasingly rewards firms that can most effectively acquire and manage human capital, how can companies looking to expand or relocate their operations identify communities rich in talent? What actions can employers take to ensure they have access to a sustained pipeline of trained workers? What resources are available to make workforce training more cost-effective? How do companies increase awareness of opportunities available within their industry?

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 25 2016

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

The benefits to the use of warehouse robots, loading, unloading and delivery are evident. Robots do not sleep. They do not drink. They do not complain, and they do not need a paycheck.

Robots are rapidly becoming one of the most prevalent enterprises within the logistics industry. As explained by Steve Banker of Forbes magazine, Amazon has unleashed an army of robots in their distribution centers for picking and packaging. Around the globe, different companies and organizations are continually looking for ways to design, build, and sell robots for the logistics industry that do not impinge upon the Kiva hat. However, a particular set of driving forces is growing to propel the use of robotics in the logistics industry, and robots will provide one of the greatest surpluses and expansion of services for the logistics industry in history. Let’s take a closer look at these factors now.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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