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 State, Provincial and International Reviews 
Thursday, January 09 2020
Reach The World From Florida

Sponsored by Enterprise Florida

In Greater Gainesville, we see the power of the logistics industry and all the ways it interconnects the world. Our amenities give us a bird’s eye view of what works for companies depending on efficient logistics operations to serve their customers and keep costs down.

The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce has commissioned a five-year economic and community development strategy—Collaborate 2025—to leverage these assets to spur growth in the distribution and trade cluster as well as the talent that fuels it.

Located midway between Atlanta and Miami and central to Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee, Greater Gainesville is emerging as a frontline for logistics expansion, whether it be an expanded supply chain or a first distribution center.

Posted by: AT 08:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2020
Washington State - Building Business Legends

In 1962, some of the best and brightest minds in the world gathered in Washington State to predict what life would be like in the 21st century. Their wild predictions? wall-sized TV screens, cordless power tools, audiobooks, digital libraries, home computers and even a phone you could put in your pocket.

Fast forward to 2019, and these seemingly crazy predictions are pretty spot on. So what are Washington’s visionaries up to these days? For starters, they’re electrifying transportation networks, seeking cures for cancer, zeroing out the state’s carbon footprint, exploring the promises of quantum computing and artificial intelligence, and setting their sights on the moon and beyond.

Blessed with a unique pioneer spirit, a passion for collaboration, boundless creativity and a penchant for seeing things as they can be rather than as they are, Washington’s entrepreneurs and businesses continue to shape the world as we know it, from how we shop and travel to how we explore the heavens.

Posted by: AT 04:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2020
Utah's Advantages: People, Place and Purpose

By Elizabeth Johnson, EDCUtah

Utah has long been a destination for companies looking for a new home, and that’s with good reason. The state ranks among the best states for business, has an affordable cost of living, excellent higher education, and world-class outdoor recreational opportunities. Utah has demographic advantages, geographic advantages, and intentionality in how its state and local government, business sector, and universities work together to support high-growth industries.

Let’s talk about Utah’s demographics, the “People” part of the equation. Utah’s population is the youngest in the nation, with an average age of 31. The state is also among the fastest growing. In 2018, net in-migration contributed to 43.2 percent growth for the state. What’s that mean for business? A healthy, growing workforce.

Posted by: AT 03:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2020
Make Ohio Home

There’s a place in the eastern region of the U.S., just below the Great Lakes with cities, natural resources and possibility. That place is Ohio. Ohio ranks among the world’s largest economies – rich with resources, technology, education, globally recognized companies and skilled Ohioans with a strong work ethic. From the very beginning, people have been the heartbeat of the state.

Ohio offers a central location and a diverse, world-class infrastructure to create a strategic logistics benefit for companies in Ohio. Ohio is situated close to the majority of the North American market, meaning less time to and from suppliers and customers. Thanks to the Port of Cleveland, Ohio is also the only Midwest state with direct shipping to Europe.

Shipping routes point in all directions and consist of varying means of moving goods, including road, rail, water and air. Companies making or receiving shipments have options and are not limited to one form of transportation. The variety offers companies the flexibility to make decisions that favor cost reduction and increased efficiency.

The state is a well-established base for companies moving goods around the globe, being just a one-day drive from more than 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations. Major cities including Chicago, New York City and Toronto are easily accessible via air, rail and road.

Road: Ohio has the fourth largest interstate highway system in the nation, with nearly 7,000 lane miles on eight major routes. The system has the fifth highest average daily vehicle miles traveled.

Rail: Ohio has 10 major rail yards and 13 intermodal terminals, the second highest number in the U.S. Ohio has the fourth largest network of operating railroads in the nation. The state’s 5,388 miles of active freight rail is No. 3 in the U.S. Ohio has four class one, rail-based suppliers: CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

Ports: Ohio has nine commercial ports on Lake Erie and multiple terminals along the Ohio River. It is the only Midwest state with a direct shipping route from the Port of Cleveland to Europe for both container and heavy goods, making it the only Midwest state that can reduce time to market by five days or more. The Port of Toledo in Northwest Ohio is one of the largest ports in the Great Lakes. Ohio has 736 miles of navigable waterways leading to the Gulf of Mexico and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Air: Ohio has seven commercial air carrier airports and 97 general aviation airports. Rickenbacker International Airport near Columbus is one of the world’s only cargo-focused airports and has regular service to Hong Kong, Dubai, Luxembourg and other cities around the globe.

Foreign-Trade Zones: Ohio has nine Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ), the largest presence of FTZ with the most active firms in the Midwest.

The successful economies of tomorrow require quality infrastructure that support supply chains, facilitate communication and connect businesses to reliable and affordable energy sources. Thanks to investments in transportation, digital technology and trade, Ohio hosts the dependable infrastructure global businesses require.

JobsOhio Plays a Leading Role in Economic Developmemt
JobsOhio is a not-for-profit, privately funded organization at the state level dedicated to furthering job growth, new capital investment and economic development in Ohio. Through a customer-focused approach to business, JobsOhio provides companies with connections and opportunities unique to their needs and goals to continuously keep them ahead of the competition. Advised by an independent board of directors and guided by a team of knowledgeable industry experts, JobsOhio is the go-to resource for companies at every stage of the business process.

JobsOhio's strategies and programs are designed to improve the lives of Ohioans and strengthen the communities where they live. These programs are focused on nine industries and five cross sector strategies that help to diversify Ohio’s economy. In turn, the state's industries leveraged and while offering significant future investment and job growth. JobsOhio sector teams partner closely with industry leaders to attract new investment opportunities to the state.

JobsOhio takes a client-focused approach to projects by listening to companies and addressing their business needs and partnering with company executives to build long-term relationships that are unique to JobsOhio’s economic development model. In addition to company relationships, JobsOhio values its relationship with local economic development partners across the state and has continued to make investments in communities to revitalize sites, authenticate sites for immediate development, and address workforce challenges.

Available Sites
When companies are looking to expand in Ohio, JobsOhio is there to help, assisting with personalized service and program support, including SiteOhio. SiteOhio is JobsOhio’s site authentication program that helps companies find sites that are construction ready or are move-in ready.

SiteOhio goes beyond the typical certification process. It is unlike any other site selection service, as testified by site selectors. Sites go through an exhaustive review and analysis to determine their viability for companies. When they pass, they are authenticated.

SiteOhio’s authenticated sites have unique assets. Among them you can find all utilities, i.e., electric, natural gas, fiber, excess sewer, excess water capacity; proximity to large populations, some over one million; 40 acres to 750 acres of land; Class I railroad connections proximity to large airports; and access to major roadways.

A history of invention and a future of innovation. What happens in Ohio impacts the world, and that’s why companies across the U.S. and around the globe have proudly selected Ohio. Ohio invites you to expand, grow and thrive with it. Make Ohio home.

Posted by: AT 02:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2020
In a Fast-Paced World, the Bluegrass Means Business

By Jack Mazurak, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Better than any other state, Kentuckians may argue, the Commonwealth knows rapid-speed advanced manufacturing, fast food, faster cars, overnight global package delivery and a huge range of instant services from oil changes to stock trades.

So does it seem an irony at the pinnacle moment of human progress that so much of Kentucky’s success stems from its most stationary attribute? Strange, but true.

Much of Kentucky’s automotive and general manufacturing scene, its air cargo dominance and its overall appeal as a place from which to do business comes from exactly that—its place in the U.S.

Sure, the Bluegrass State is the home of the all-new, mid-engine Corvette, one of the fastest American-built cars by top speed and 0-60 mph times. Kentucky hosts fast food headquarters of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, WingStreet, Papa John’s, A&W and Long John Silver’s. Its three air-cargo hubs are a backbone of the online commerce era. A nationally outsized portion of manufacturing per-capita operates in Kentucky and the state boasts widely known brands including Holley Performance Products, Wild Turkey Valvoline, Jim Beam, Humana, Computershare and Kindred Healthcare.

But Kentucky’s location makes it a gateway between the American South and Midwest. It is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population and is situated at the center of a 34-state distribution area.

Kentucky’s geographic position affords natural advantages for the distribution goods and materials to massive industrial and consumer markets. Kentucky’s borders lie within 600 miles of approximately 65 percent of the nation’s personal income and manufacturing facilities.

Those key factors make all the difference when it comes to quickly moving products, meeting with customers or close a sale.

In terms of infrastructure, Kentucky is well-served by 20 interstates and major highways, rail networks, barge traffic on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, five commercial airports and dozens of regional airports. The state’s transportation network can move products easily and efficiently by air, rail, road and water to all points globally.

Kentucky’s three air hubs by UPS, DHL and Amazon have the state poised to take the top spot nationally in air-cargo shipment volume. This strong presence by the world’s most prestigious logistics companies means products manufactured in Kentucky can get anywhere in the world virtually overnight.

In Louisville, UPS operates the Worldport Air Hub and the Centennial Ground Hub, both of which are growing. In October 2019, UPS announced $750 million in projects over the coming years and 1,000 new jobs to support Worldport. That followed a May 2019 celebration marking completion of a $310 million Centennial expansion. The project roughly doubled Centennial’s sorting capacity and added additional sorting automation equipment. The UPS expansions are in response to increased demand from both eCommerce and traditional retail package shipping.

DHL Express ships more than 250,000 packages per day to more than 220 countries and territories around the world from its air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The company recently completed a $108 million expansion of its Kentucky hub, one of only three such DHL operations worldwide. The work allowed DHL to grow its aircraft fleet and international express volumes.

Jeff Bezos flew to Kentucky in May to break ground on Amazon Air, a $1.5 billion shipping hub at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. The 2,700 job, approximately 2.6 million-square-foot sorting facility will help reduce Prime delivery to one day when it opens in 2021. It is Amazon’s only air hub. As this facility comes online, the state will in all likelihood move from the second-leading spot in air cargo shipment to overtake Tennessee as the first.

Kentucky’s total logistics and distribution industry accounts for nearly 75,000 jobs and includes almost 550 facilities. Given Kentucky’s natural advantages – including a stable, predictable climate not subject to debilitating snow or hurricanes, and its proximity to North America’s largest markets – the outsized industry is no surprise. As well, manufacturers of all varieties continue to locate and expand in Kentucky thanks to those – and other – infrastructure and logistics advantages.

Increasingly, small and mid-size companies cite Kentucky’s cost of living as a compelling factor, especially as the Cabinet markets the Commonwealth in high-cost states and metros like California, Chicago, Boston and New York.Numbers back up that trend.

Kentucky ranked 13th nationally in a recent affordability assessment by U.S. News & World Report. That analysis considered each state’s cost of living and housing affordability. The latter was a comparison of median family incomes and mortgage interest rates.

Target states for Kentucky’s marketing efforts include Massachusetts, ranked 46th, New York at 47th and California, which ranked 49th nationally.

Diving deeper into the numbers, Kentucky’s cost of living – at 14th best in the nation – and its housing affordability at 13th best – achieved near parity while ranking well into the top third of states.

Louisville, the state’s largest city, had a median home value of $146,900 in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and a median monthly gross rent of $779. That compares to Nashville with a median home value of $191,400 and median monthly gross rent of $970.

Many Kentucky cities offer a reasonable cost of living combined with a strong quality of life and sense of place. For example, Owensboro, Kentucky has long offered an agricultural and industrial home base for businesses looking to locate along the Ohio River. But Owensboro’s recent $270 million downtown revitalization initiative and Riverfront Master Plan has made the city of nearly 60,000 a cultural hub for Western Kentucky. The project includes the Owensboro Convention Center, two hotels, the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum and Smothers Park – which takes full advantage of the riverside. The city boasts three spray parks as well as Kentucky’s only municipal ice arena for year-round skating.

Owensboro and other Western Kentucky cities are already benefitting from new Interstate designations made in the past few years. I-165 links Bowling Green, Kentucky – home of the Corvette assembly plant – on the south end to Owensboro, 70 miles to the north, along what was previously the William N. Natcher Parkway. The section gained its designation in March 2019 making it the first Interstate in Owensboro.

Further west, the I-169 corridor connects Hopkinsville, Kentucky on its southern end to an interchange 34 miles north with its parent highway, I-69 near Nortonville, Kentucky. That stretch, formerly known as the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway, was designated as I-169 in 2017. When upgrades are complete, the section will link Interstates that provide grade-A transit from Flint, Michigan to Nashville.

Hopkinsville sits at the center of a three-county region served by the South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council. Trigg, Christian and Todd counties together offer two Build-Ready Certified sites, multiple pad-ready sites in business parks, industrial buildings and quick access to a Novelis aluminum plant under construction in Todd County.

The $300 million, 125-job Novelis plant is scheduled to open in 2020 and will heat treat and pre-treat automotive grade aluminum coils produced at the nearby Logan Aluminum rolling mill. With automakers increasingly turning to aluminum to lighten, improve fuel mileage and lower emissions from their vehicles, the region will continue to draw interest from automotive and related industries.

Judging by its logistics and distribution infrastructure growth, its favorable cost of living and the state’s key location, Kentucky will continue to attract development at a fast pace for decades to come.

Posted by: AT 02:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2020
2020: A Turn Around for the Mexican Economy?

Over the last few decades, Mexico has grown to become recognized globally as a powerhouse for diverse industries, including high-labor content sectors, and also high-value industries like aerospace and automotive, including manufacturing, R&D, and business services activities.

Various global competitiveness studies conducted in recent years have shown that Mexico ranked favorably − whether based on CEO surveys or operational cost analyses. Project investment is evidence of these findings − such as GE’s Engineering Center (where airplane turbines are designed), or Germany’s Continental automotive R&D Center in Queretaro, or any of the brand name automotive, aerospace, appliance, and other sector manufacturers who have arrived (along with their many suppliers).

Posted by: AT 02:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2020
Illinois: Building on Strength Across Industries

Located in the center of the United States, Illinois is a premier location for a wide range of businesses across diverse industries. There are a few key reasons why Illinois is an ideal location for growth. The state is home to a highly educated talent pool. It is also a global transportation hub, with the highest concentration of transportation and logistics companies in the nation. With 72,000 of the nation’s top farms covering nearly 76 percent of its total land area, Illinois boasts a thriving agricultural sector. And, the state is home to industry-changing companies across sectors such as technology, manufacturing and life sciences.

In October of 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker released the state’s Plan to Revitalize the Illinois Economy and Build the Workforce of the Future. The plan builds upon the state’s many strengths, in order to develop an economy that crates jobs and expands prosperity to communities across the entire state.

Already, the administration has taken action to advance the economy and benefit residents and employers throughout the state. Some of these actions include:

  • Infrastructure: Passing the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, a historic $45 billion investment in creating jobs, fixing infrastructure and constructing projects that are essential to the state’s economic future.
  • Workforce: Increasing scholarship programs allowing more Illinois students to attend college, implementing a new Illinois Works Jobs program which helps build a diverse pipeline of workers in the construction and building trades, expanding apprenticeship models and implementing a new Apprenticeship Tax Credit.
  • Industries: Creating a new Data Center Tax Credit to help spur innovation in tech and manufacturing; legalizing production of cannabis, creating a new industry and opportunity for Illinois farmers; extending the Research & Development Tax Credit to help the tech and manufacturing industries.

The state is working to build on strong industries including agribusiness and ag tech, energy, information technology, life sciences and healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and logistics and small business in order to create additional growth and accelerate the economy.
In doing so, it will utilize assets including:

  • Workforce: Illinois is home to a highly productive workforce, the largest and most productive in the Midwest. Illinois workers generate $81 in economic output per hour worked, putting them in the top 10 in the country by productivity. One-third of Illinois’ residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Higher Education: Illinois has more than 200 higher education institutions including two of the top 10 universities in the nation, two of the top 20 engineering programs, two of the top 10 business schools and two of the top 25 medical schools. Illinois schools produce 10 percent of the nation’s computer scientists and graduate more engineers than MIT, Stanford and Caltech combined. Its nine statewide public universities and 50 community colleges provide diverse educational and research experience throughout the entire state. The state’s higher education institutions are also the fourth-largest producer of MBAs, and produce cutting-edge breakthroughs in medicine, engineering and technology.
  • Transportation and Infrastructure: With five international airports, seven Class I railroads, the third largest interstate highway system in the country and the third largest intermodal port in the world, Illinois offers unparalleled access to global markets. The state’s central location puts businesses, people and goods within a four-hour flight of the entire North American market. The state provides non-stop service to more than 50 international destinations. Illinois has the highest share of employment in transportation, logistics and warehouse of any state in the nation; its location and accessibility to customers are cited as key reasons companies locate and expand in the state.
  • Agriculture: Illinois is rich in natural resources that support a diverse agricultural industry. The state leads in soybean and corn production. In addition to its agricultural prowess, Illinois boasts unrivaled expertise in food processing, ranking #1 in the U.S. with $180 billion in processed food sales; some of the world’s most well-known food producers are based in Illinois. The state also boasts more patents in food-related industries than any other state in the nation (more than many countries).

These key assets are only some of the reasons that companies continue relocate and expand in Illinois, some examples include:

  • Carl Buddig and Company, the 75-year-old manufacturer and distributor of lunch meat products, expanded its production centers with the acquisition of an additional manufacturing facility. The company’s fourth manufacturing site in Illinois, the 280,000-square-foot facility expansion will bring the company’s workforce to more than 1,800 employees.
  • Entara Corporation plans to expand operations at its existing Chicago facility in order to expand its IT managed service provider offerings. The project will result in an approximate 20 percent increase from current staffing levels.
  • Ruggable manufactures and distributes a patented two-part washable rug. The company plans a new 130,000-square-foot production facility in Bedford Park, resulting in the creation of 175 new jobs.
  • Uber opened its new Freight headquarters in Chicago's Old Main Post Office, which will bring more than 2,000 jobs and $200 million annually in workforce and real estate investments to the Chicago area. The decision builds on the city's growing reputation as an international transportation hub and a hotspot for global innovation.
  • Vactor Manufacturing, Inc. recently broke ground on a new product line at its existing facility in Streator, Illinois. The expansion will allow the manufacturer to develop hydro-excavation machines and will result in the creation of 90 new jobs.

Companies that locate and expand in Illinois are continuing to thrive. To learn more about Illinois’ advantages visit

Posted by: AT 02:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 29 2019
Wyoming Balances Environment and Industry

Always eager for economic diversification, Wyoming has created and implemented innovative programs to smooth the path of growing or relocating a business in the state. As the nation’s workforce tires of hectic big-city life and remote technology continually evolves, Wyoming offers the best of both worlds—job opportunities with low taxes, as well as slower, safer, small-town living. And, while many states grapple with balancing environmental preservation and industrial growth, Wyoming has been balancing the two for decades.

The mineral extraction industry – right alongside the outdoor-inspired tourism industry and agriculture industry – is the heart and heritage of Wyoming. The equation adds up to an industry-friendly culture and regulatory environment that is welcoming to all types of business. 

Innovative Solutions

Wyoming is the nation’s top coal producer and, as the market for coal shifts, state leaders are laying the foundation for the private sector to find innovative uses for both the coal itself and the carbon it produces. 

For example, the state helped fund the Integrated Test Center in Gillette, a $21 million state-of-the-art carbon capture research facility. It currently hosts five teams competing for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a $20-million global competition to develop technology that will convert CO2 emissions into other valuable products. The state has also invested in the world’s first and only carbontech accelerator, Carbon180. 

Posted by: AT 03:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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