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 State, Provincial and International Reviews 
Thursday, May 21 2015
Pennsylvania's Resurgence Strengthened Under New Governor

Pennsylvania’s strategic location, world-class workforce and unique partnerships with higher education are working together like never before to meet the needs of employers and support the state’s diverse advanced industries.

The state’s prime location reaches more than 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations in a long day’s drive and provides convenient access to six of the 10 largest markets in the nation.

Pennsylvania’s labor force of 6.3 million benefited from more than $450 million in job training in 2014, and is further advanced by the state’s 270 colleges and universities, which include four of the top 50 universities and some of the nation’s most distinctive partnerships and collaborations in economic development.

And, now Governor Tom Wolf has committed to creating a pro-growth business climate in the commonwealth and is proposing aggressive initiatives to do just that.

Posted by: AT 10:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 21 2015
Brain Gain: How Ontario, Canada Meets Business Labor Needs

By Roshan Mohan, Senior Economic Officer, Ontario, Canada

Globalization, rapid technological advancement and increased competition are hallmarks of today’s business landscape. The pressure to find talent with the skills critical to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace is growing. Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends survey of more than 2,500 business leaders in 94 countries found that talent acquisition, talent retention and workforce capability are among the most urgent issues facing businesses today.

Jurisdictions around the world are working to improve their education systems and help workers develop the skills needed in today’s economy. Canada is emerging as a leader on this front. Slightly more than half of all Canadians have a post-secondary degree – the highest rate among OECD countries.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is leading the charge by investing significantly in education and working closely with industry to create a skilled workforce ready to help drive productivity and innovation. And its efforts are paying off: Ontario is Canada’s top economic performer; it generates 37 percent of the country’s wealth, and it is recognized internationally as Canada’s most competitive province.

The province has a strong reputation as a global business hub and for attracting multinational companies. Its economy is diverse and is the number one destination in Canada for foreign direct investment projects and third in North America after New York and California. Forbes Magazine named it a top spot to do business because of its favorable tax system and focus on job creation.

Ontario is home to almost half of the nation’s employees in high tech, financial services and other knowledge industries, and its universities are expanding graduate programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“Our institutions are connected to North America’s largest bio-medical hub, and Ontario is home to the world’s largest center for education in math and computer science, meaning our university graduates are in demand,” says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities.

In 2014 the province announced a renewed vision for education called Achieving Excellence that places greater emphasis on critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Ontario will invest $150 million over three years in technology to better prepare students for the knowledge economy. This includes expanding hands-on training programs by allowing students to focus their learning on specific sectors.

Between 2012 and 2013, the Ontario government invested $4.91 billion in colleges and universities to ensure more students can acquire the knowledge, skills and training needed for a high-performance workforce. Figures from its latest provincial budget show that Ontario invests 18.45 percent of its total government spending on education. According to UNESCO data, this compares favorably to 13.07 percent for the U.S.

Perhaps the most immediate example of the province’s commitment to a skilled workforce that is ready to help drive business results is the province’s partnership with industry and academia to create Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR), an aerospace cluster in Toronto.

Ontario already accounts for an estimated 25 percent of aerospace jobs in Canada. The development of an aerospace cluster at Downsview will enhance the province’s ability to compete globally, further developing its skilled workforce, providing a strong foundation for shared research and development and offering businesses the opportunity to benefit from logistical efficiencies.

Access to a skilled workforce was one of the main reasons Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) established a subsidiary in Ontario in 2007. The efficiencies of being close to its client Bombardier, the ability to do business with a deep supply chain and the resulting cost savings have pushed MHI Canada into serious growth mode, doubling its workforce to 700 since 2013. “MHI Japan continues to transfer more and more work here because Ontario is seen as a strategic advantage,” says Michael McCarthy, president, MHI Canada Aerospace Inc. “We are the parent company’s only large aerospace manufacturing site outside of Japan. Our plan is to become self-sufficient and supply a growing list of clients.” He is looking forward to the further integration of academia and industry at DAIR, which will expand the workforce and address industry needs.

Helping Ontario's aerospace industry grow is part of the government's economic plan to invest in people and infrastructure and to support business. It is also a key aspect of the province’s innovation agenda, a wide ranging $3 billion initiative to strengthen its position as a 21st century economy.

“Ontario’s skilled workforce already gives us a distinct advantage. There are great schools in the Greater Toronto Area and we rely on them to provide us with graduates who understand the industry. DAIR will build on that,” says Tim Whittier, director, government relations, UTC Aerospace Systems, Landing Gear, one of the industry partners in the initiative. In fact, unlike the company’s operation in Fort Worth, Texas, which has to extend its recruitment efforts across the continent, he says that the Ontario operation is able to meet its need for highly-skilled technicians and engineers locally. “This speaks to the collective skill set of the workforce available to us here in Ontario. That’s a real strength.”

That workforce is providing the skills and brain power to fuel breakthrough innovation. Almost half of Canada's full-time R&D personnel are in Ontario, where more than $14.6 billion in R&D spending is undertaken each year by businesses, universities and colleges, private non-profit organizations, governments and foreign firms.

“Ontario is a world leader when it comes to research and DAIR will build on this strength,” says the organization’s Executive Director, Andrew Petrou. “Global organizations such as Bombardier are here because of the research we’re doing. DAIR’s innovation zone is a living lab that will bring industry and students together to solve real-world problems. The number of calls we have received from all over the world already is amazing and tells us that this is exactly what industry and students need.”

A Word on the Power of Clusters and Collaboration
IBM, GE Healthcare, Linamar, Bioniche Life Sciences, Bridgewater Systems, Honeywell, DragonWave and Xerox are among the 18,000 IT companies that have chosen to set up shop in Ontario. In fact, the province has the second-largest IT cluster in North America, generating annual revenues of more than $85 billion. It also has the second-largest life sciences sector in North America, supported by 25 research and teaching hospitals and 44 universities and colleges. The Greater Toronto Area alone is home to more than 50 global pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

The ability to thrive in a global economy is predicated on businesses’ ability to recruit and retain the very best talent. Colleges, universities and the government in Ontario, Canada recognize this and are committed to programs and facilities that allow students to be fully prepared for the world of global business.

Ontario’s Current and Future Workforce
• In 2012, 108,000 students graduated from Ontario’s colleges and universities with 35,000 graduating from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs.
• There are apprenticeship programs for more than 150 skilled trades. As of summer 2012, more than 120,000 apprentices are learning a trade in Ontario.
• About 120,000 more students are attending college or university today than in 2002-03, a 31 percent increase.
• Currently, 39 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds are participating in postsecondary education - up from 35 percent in 2002-03.

Bio: Roshan Mohan is the Senior Economic Officer in Ontario, Canada’s International Marketing Centre, New York City. He has served in numerous economic development leadership roles. The government of Ontario works with partners in the private sector and across society to grow Ontario’s economy, create jobs and increase prosperity.

Posted by: AT 09:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 21 2015
Life Sciences - Where Georgia Leads

By Amanda Shailendra, director, life sciences and corporate solutions, the Georgia Department of Economic Development

The life science industry is evolving at a rapid pace. From new technologies and health regulations to market opportunities in rural areas and emerging trends in urban locations, this industry requires a solid business climate that will support these dynamic changes and move life science companies forward.

Georgia is committed to growing the healthcare and life science industry and is continually investing in its people, resources and solutions to meet companies’ unique business needs. The life sciences community in Georgia is a rich mix of medical device, pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical supply companies, with more than 400 life sciences companies in the state, including 150 medical device companies, 225 health IT companies, more than 40 non-profit health organizations and eight research universities.

Georgia houses the second-largest blood processing facility in the world by volume, as well as the nation’s largest independent testing lab for blood and plasma products.  A few years ago, Baxter International located its new bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Atlanta, as well as plasma centers throughout Georgia that will employ approximately 1,500 people across the state, investing $1 billion.

Posted by: AT 09:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 21 2015
Georgia is Driving the Auto Industry

By Tom Croteau, deputy commissioner, global commerce, the Georgia Department of Economic Development

Over the past few months, the state of Georgia has  celebrated Anton Haring KG first U.S. auto facility in Hartwell;  Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters to Atlanta; and Porsche's grand opening of its headquarters near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

These announcements are a testimony to Georgia’s thriving automotive hub – and they tell one that the state is hitting the mark for global automotive leaders.

Georgia’s solid transportation and logistics system, qualified labor pool and solid business ties with key international markets are supporting the resurgence of the automotive industry to the Southeast.

Posted by: AT 09:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 20 2015
New Mexico - A New Leader in Commerce and International Trade

More and more manufacturers from around the country and the world are starting to notice New Mexico as a leading center for commerce, industry, and trade. Thanks to a new business-friendly attitude, New Mexico continues to grow as an ideal location for manufacturers to produce their goods with access to more markets around the country and the world.

A more business-friendly environment, an improved tax climate, a capable workforce, and leadership that seeks to harness the power of a diverse economy - all contribute to this growing success. Governor Susana Martinez and economic development secretary Jon Barela are pursuing smart policies and developing strategic relationships to bring business leaders and innovators to the state, creating strong partnerships as they continue to diversify New Mexico’s economy and reduce reliance on spending from the federal government.

What’s even more remarkable is that these bold reforms were just the beginning. When Governor Martinez took office in 2011, New Mexico had virtually no closing fund, which is used to grow existing businesses and attract new ones from other states and countries. Under Governor Martinez’s leadership, New Mexico has now increased this critical resource to $37.5 million (known as Local Economic Development Act, or LEDA). This is a bold approach to helping businesses thrive with the infrastructure they need to succeed.

Posted by: AT 12:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 20 2015
A Thriving Business Enviroment

By the Idaho Department of Commerce

Idaho’s economy is accelerating. Over the past year, the state’s economy has exploded with the announcement of several companies, both new and existing, choosing to expand in the state. Additionally, Idaho has made it a priority to deliver more opportunities than ever for existing Idaho companies, and those new to our state, to thrive. The state’s incentive programs – especially the new Tax Reimbursement Incentive – have allowed the state to generate significant momentum by investing in Idaho’s existing and emerging industries, public-private partnerships, and community development.

In the past year, Idaho received national and international attention while continuing to land in the top 10 of several key rankings for business friendliness, economic strength, and job growth:

  • 6th in the nation for 2015 Best Economic Outlook (American Legislative Exchange Council)
  • 5th highest GDP growth rate in the nation (US Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • 1st in the nation for highest personal income growth in 2013 (US Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • 2nd “Overall Most Friendly State for Business” (Governing magazine)
  • 6th “State with the Fastest Job Growth” (Kiplinger)
Posted by: AT 12:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 20 2015
Advancing California's Economy through Advanced Manufacturing

By Tim Johnson

California has slowly pulled itself back from the economic brink of collapse caused by the Great Recession.  Latest economic rankings show that its economy has increased to the 7th largest in the world.

One of the efforts to accomplish this economic vitality came from public policy makers, economic development professionals and academicians that have worked to formulate a new direction for manufacturing in the state.

Over the last decade, the debate in California was mostly over how to rescue and retain manufacturing. California saw its manufacturing sector dwindle due both to the Great Recession and global competition.  

Posted by: AT 12:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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