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 State, Provincial and International Reviews 
Wednesday, September 23 2015
Strong Business Grows in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s central location, proven industry know-how, transportation infrastructure and positive business climate combine to provide an ideal environment for business growth.

Market Access
Goods produced in Wisconsin reach markets throughout the U.S. in a single day, thanks to the state’s reliable transportation network designed to maximize commerce. Wisconsin’s roads, railways and ports provide seamless, convenient access to the world’s busiest multimodal transportation hub located just 55 miles south of the state’s border. Eight commercial airports serve major industrial and metropolitan areas statewide. Wisconsin is also situated on the nation’s greatest waterways and ships 39 million tons of product annually from 29 commercial ports located along Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River.

Industry Leadership
Technological advancements made by Wisconsin manufacturers have kept the state at the forefront of industry trends, in both productivity and sustainability. From medical discoveries to food and water quality improvements, research performed in Wisconsin is improving lives worldwide. 

Posted by: AT 12:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 23 2015
Virginia's Competitiveness in the Global Arena

Virginia was founded as a business venture in 1607. Since its founding, the Commonwealth of Virginia has stood for economic opportunity. The Commonwealth's leadership position can be attributed to a number of factors, including a strong, pro-business environment that offers lower operating costs, exceptional transportation and utility infrastructures, a strong education system, growing workforce, a research-based higher education network, and strategic location. These elements provide a solid foundation for growth and make the Commonwealth a great place for enterprise.

Virginia offers competitive, stable operating costs, and a low, six percent corporate income tax—one of the lowest in the nation—that hasn’t increased since 1972. 

The testaments of the corporations who call Virginia home demonstrate the Commonwealth’s business leadership position. More than 750 internationally owned businesses from over 40 countries are located in the Commonwealth. As the headquarters for 35 Fortune 1000 firms and 52 firms with annual revenue over $1 billion, the Commonwealth offers a strong, stable, and entrepreneurial economy for all investors.

Posted by: AT 12:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 23 2015
North Dakota's Economic Growth Leads the United States

North Dakota's business climate has gained a reputation for supporting emerging businesses, entrepreneurs and expansions. The state's growing manufacturing, technology-based businesses, agricultural and energy industries, enhanced with numerous incentives, are drawing some of the world's most recognized companies into the state. Combined with a legendary work ethic and a highly-educated workforce, North Dakota has become a dynamic place to live, work, invest and be in business.

“We continue to see a number of industries thrive in North Dakota,” Paul Lucy, Economic Development & Finance Division Director, North Dakota Department of Commerce said. “Tech based business, advanced manufacturing, value-added energy and unmanned aircraft systems have seen continued growth. North Dakota has worked hard to diversify our economy and expand our targeted industries, and those strategies are producing real results with increased economic production, job growth and company expansion.”

North Dakota’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of total economic production, increased 6.3 percent in 2014 to top economic growth among all states. Over the past decade, North Dakota’s economy has averaged an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent compared to the national average of 1.4 percent. Since 2010, the state has averaged an 8.7 percent growth rate in GDP.  North Dakota has led the nation in GDP growth for four of the last five years.

Posted by: AT 12:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 21 2015
Iowa's 10 Industrial

With the addition of six certified industrial sites – bringing the total to 10 – Iowa jumps to the top of the list for companies looking for Midwest expansion, a low cost of doing business and a talented labor pool. 

Created in 2012, the Iowa Certified Sites Program combines national site location standards with Iowa’s natural assets and business/targeted industry needs. The first four sites – all 200-plus acres – completed designation in 2014, with the additional six sites earning designation in summer 2015. 

“Creating jobs and increasing family incomes for Iowans is my administration’s top priority,” said Gov. Branstad in a July 2015 statement. “With the announcement that six additional Iowa sites have gone through a rigorous certification process to be considered ‘development ready,’ we are moving Iowa to the top of the list for projects that are looking for a home.”

Posted by: AT 12:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 21 2015
Another Turbulent Year for the Provinces

By Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial Forecast, The Conference Board of Canada

Canada’s economy underperformed in the first part of 2015. A lot of the weakness in the Canadian economy is due to the correction in the energy sector, but economic growth outside the energy sector has been slow to pick up. With Alberta’s economy not performing well, due to the lower oil prices, all eyes are on Central Canada where a lower Canadian dollar and the anticipated improvements in economic conditions south of the border were expected to revive growth in the Ontario and Quebec economy. But, more than midway through the year, economic forecasts are being revised down for nearly all provinces. Central Canada’s economic rebound will be more moderate than first envisioned as exports have been slow to accelerate. A host of factors, have plagued exporters in Canada’s manufacturing heartland, most notably the absence of spare capacity to meet new export orders. 

Difficulties in the oil sector are hitting the Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador economies hard. Troubles never seem to come alone; very dry weather conditions out west will also hamper prospects for a better harvest, which will also impact economic growth. The metal mining sector is also experiencing some turbulence as the end of the commodity boom rattles growth prospects going forward. Meanwhile, business investment in general remains depressed so far this year.

Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 21 2015
Arkansas - Where Business Comes Naturally

For more than half a century, Arkansas has been a leader in manufacturing, and that expertise continues today as the industry becomes increasingly focused on 21st century advanced manufacturing jobs including aerospace and aviation, the state’s leading export. 

More than 13 percent of Arkansas’s workforce is employed in manufacturing, the second-highest percentage in the American South. The state’s labor force is predicted to grow seven percent between 2013 and 2023. Arkansas’s two-year colleges respond to the needs of companies and have helped the state create industry-specific training processes vital to the establishment and growth of Arkansas’s industries.

Aerospace/Aviation is Arkansas’s leading export, in part because the state offers a very competitive environment for aerospace and aviation companies to operate. Exports in this sector accounted for 23.76 percent of Arkansas’s total export value in 2014 ($1.6 billion). The top three destinations for aircraft/spacecraft from Arkansas were France ($403 million), China ($182 million) and the British Virgin Islands ($175 million).

Posted by: AT 11:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 21 2015
How Alabama's Aerospace Industry is Lifting Off

Alabama’s aerospace industry flew to the moon with the Saturn V rocket, the brainchild of a team at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Today, Alabama’s aerospace/aviation sector is gearing up for a new set of missions that will power it to new heights.

The new $600 million Airbus manufacturing center at Mobile Aeroplex, where the aviation giant is beginning to assemble its first U.S.-made passenger jets, represents a milestone. Mobile is becoming one of just three North American locations where large passenger jets are assembled, joining Boeing hubs in South Carolina and Washington.

Airbus has hired around 280 workers for its facility, with the number rising to 1,000 at full production. To help meet the demand for skilled workers, Alabama’s job-training agency, AIDT, opened a $7 million training center near the Airbus.

Posted by: AT 11:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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