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 Feature Industry Articles 
Wednesday, January 10 2018
The Benefits of a

By Lisa A. Bastian, President, Bastian PR

In this brave new world of two-day delivery being the norm for online purchases, it seems people expect speedy delivery of just about everything that affects their personal and professional lives. 

In the economic development world, that idea is somewhat embodied in the increasingly popular concept of "shovel-ready" sites available to relocating and expanding businesses. After all, time is money. And if a site is ready to roll now for development to meet production timelines, without the need to wait months for loads of research, what's not to love about that?

But the devil is in the details. The definition of what makes one site "ready to go" in one state can differ in another state. Typically a shovel-ready site is one whose ownership is clearly established and is ready for development, and is currently – or could be quickly – serviced by local utilities and infrastructure. 

Posted by: AT 09:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 10 2018
Plastics, A Continuing Success Story

By James R. Kinnett II, CEcD, The Kinnett Consulting Group

In the words of Mr. McGuire from the movie the Graduate (some of you may remember it, 1967) “There’s a great future in Plastics. Think about it.”  Plastics continue to thrive and grow in spite of the press it periodically receives. With the coming changes that the Plastics industry is beginning to experience, growth and expansion are the future of the business. Due to the emergence of new stock sources, the industry is finding new opportunities in creating new and broadening products that it will produce.

Emerging trends are crossing a number of activities and are quickly changing the playing field when it comes to an ever-expanding industry. Some of the more salient trends that are and will be affecting not only the Plastics industry but industry as a whole are:

  • New Materials
  • Lightweighting and Small Parts
  • Recycling, Reclaiming and Renewable
  • Near Shoring
  • Automation and Customization
  • Connected Factories

But first let’s take a look at the industry as a whole. According to a recent survey of corporate plastics executives by the Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors (MAPP), 90 percent of executives anticipate a steady or increased business activity in 2017-18; 34 percent of these executives reported an increase in fourth- quarter profits up nearly 10 percent from the previous year.

Posted by: AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 10 2018
Medical Device Manufacturing: Challenges, Potential and Prospects

By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer

It’s virtually impossible to take an analytical look at the medical device manufacturing sector without first looking at the 500-pound gorilla in the room the federal government’s medical device tax.

Originally included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the tax imposed a 2.3 percent sales tax on medical devices and supplies including pacemakers, optical diagnostic equipment, syringes, artificial joints, surgical gloves, ultrasound devices, and dental instruments that has proven to be “a severe drag on companies' ability to invest in and grow their businesses, whether in new facilities, infrastructure improvements, R&D or new hires,” says Mark Brager, vice president of communications at the Advanced Medical Technology Association in Washington, D.C.

According to industry analysts, the industry's federal income tax liability would be approximately $8.7 billion for 2013, the first year the tax was in effect a 30 percent increase in the industry's total tax burden, solely due to the device tax. 

Posted by: AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 09 2018
Recent and Emerging Trends in Transportation and Logistics

By Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President Camoin Associates

Transportation and Logistics is a central component of the economy. It not only supports numerous jobs and output within its own sector, but also enables other sectors, namely manufacturing and retail, to generate and distribute supplies and products nationally and globally creating new wealth through exports. This article will focus on the Transportation and Logistics Sector and related subsectors providing an understanding of economic performance, recent and emerging trends, and how to consider within economic and business development. While transportation of people via rail, air, bus, water, etc.… is a form of transportation, this article will focus on the warehousing and movement of supplies and products along supply chains – from inputs, to production, to end markets and directly related support activities such as freight arrangement, equipment repair. A full list of the subsectors, and their North American Industry Classification System Codes is listed in Appendix 1.

Economic Trends – Employment, Output, Earnings, and Occupations
The Transportation and Logistics Sector is an important and growing part of the U.S. economy. In 2017, there were 3.7 million jobs in the U.S. within the Transportation and Logistics Sector, representing 2.3 percent of total U.S. employment. This Sector has experienced significant growth in the past ten years as the country has emerged from the recension. Between 2008 and 2017 the Transportation and Logistics Sector experienced 12.7 percent growth adding 416,316 jobs.

Posted by: AT 08:40 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 09 2018
Alignment of Corporate and Community Sustainability Strategies

By Amanda Taylor, Senior Consultant and Director of Research, McCallum Sweeney Consulting

Corporate sustainability strategies have become common at companies large and small, establishing initiatives and targets for economic, environmental, and social performance of the company. Sustainability is about taking a long-term view when making corporate investments, which can be difficult in a competitive economic environment that rewards short-term gains. To meet sustainability targets, sustainability-driven companies take a systems approach, meaning all material inputs and outputs are elements in an ecosystem that are continually put back into service. Companies with sustainability strategies are driven not only by economic gains, but environmental and social principles. Sustainability-driven manufacturers will place importance on the selection of production locations that will align with and support their corporate performance targets. Companies will invest in locations where the community is a willing partner towards achieving sustainability targets. Communities that are prepared to be a partner are best poised to benefit from the sustainability movement. 

Sustainability, as with all social movements, has gone through natural stages of maturation, from initial conception derived from grassroots activism, to the identification of a shared vision, and then formalization through public awareness and acceptance. The sustainability movement’s roots began with the environmental movement of the 1960s and 70s, when passage of substantial regulations such as the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Clean Water Act, and creation of the Environmental Protection Agency solidified public sentiment toward protecting human health and the environment. Sustainable development was formalized in 1987 when the Brundtland Commission Report defined it as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Posted by: AT 08:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 09 2018
Data Center Site Selection: Mitigating Risk and Maximizing Connectivity

By Tim Kittila, Director, Data Center Strategy, Parallel Technologies,

As the consumption and the creation of data multiplies at exponential rates, so does the demand for data centers and colocation facilities. These data centers provide critical network connectivity points, provide hosting services for private and public cloud options, or host variations of enterprise data. 

Some would argue that as a result of this current “outsource” swing in the market place, additional data centers are being added to accommodate the growth in colocation and cloud options. Others see shift in the market place as network demands are forcing our data to be close to the end-user, calling for the growth of new “edge” data centers. The various demands and growth of IoT (Internet of Things), data availability, data storage, data processing, etc., is pushing the consumption of data center space. As a result, we see new data centers being required as the commodity of “data” becomes more valuable than the commodity of oil. 

Posted by: AT 08:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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