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 Relocations & Expansions

Summer 2012

For real-time news on business, politics and economic development in the South, go to For even more economic development news in the South, including all project announcements, go to For more information on the automotive industry in the South, go to And for more information on rural development in the South, visit EDITOR'S NOTE: On August 31, 2012, The Randle Report launched


Huntsman plant in McIntosh, Ala., expected to create 225 new jobs

Huntsman Corp. said the expansion of its resin facility in McIntosh will create 225 full-time and contractor jobs. According to the Press-Register, the approximately 200 workers now employed at Huntsman Advanced Materials in McIntosh produce epoxy resins for aerospace components, oil and gas exploration and composite parts. The company said that the expansion will more than double the site's production capacity and is expected to be completed in late 2014.

Firestone confirms plans for $40 million expansion in Shoals, Ala.

Firestone Building Products announced plans to add about 40 jobs to its Tuscumbia, Ala., plant as part of a $40 million expansion that will more than double the size of the existing plant. Construction will begin in September and completion is slated for the second quarter of 2013, company officials said.

Steele gets stronger in Alabama

According to a release from the St. Clair County Economic Development, both the Rain Bird facility and Yachiyo Manufacturing of Alabama facility located in Steele, Ala., announced expansions recently. The release states that the expansions will create over 70 new jobs.

Alabama and Austal partner to create 1,000 shipbuilding jobs in Mobile

Australia-based Austal has already invested more than $100 million in Alabama since 2008. The company builds warships for the U.S. Navy at its location in Mobile.Since forming an official public/private partnership with the State of Alabama, Mobile County and the City of Mobile, Austal USA's employment numbers have increased from just over 100 workers to nearly 3,000. The Australian shipbuilder has moved into The Phase V Agreement of the partnership, which will help add another 1,000 workers to the force. Austal designs and builds defense and commercial vessels and currently is assembling Joint High Speed vessels and littoral combat ships for the U.S. Navy.

Walgreens adding 350 workers to Northwest Alabama call center

The Walgreens Customer Care Center in Muscle Shoals, Ala., is expanding. The retailer is adding 350 jobs to the call center that currently houses 250 workers.

75 jobs coming to South Alabama

The South Alabama Regional Airport will be home to DRS Technologies, whose American operations are headquartered in New Jersey. DRS currently operates facilities in 23 states, including one in Huntsville, Ala. The company's focus is defense technology, and it develops, manufactures and supports a broad range of systems for the military and Homeland Security. In Alabama, DRS will work on C130s, adding 75 jobs in the local economy in its first two years.


ConAgra Foods investing $100M in Russellville, Ark.

ConAgra Foods, which recently purchased the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meal business from Unilever, is investing $100 million in its plant in Russellville, Ark. The deal, which will create 80 jobs, is the largest single investment for Russellville in over 40 years.

American Greetings reshoring jobs to Arkansas

Ohio-based American Greetings, a maker of greeting cards, is adding 125 workers to its Osceola, Ark., plant. The jobs are part of the company's new line of cards that allows customers to design them online, print them at the Osceola plant, and then have them shipped to the customer within 24 hours. Some of the 125 jobs are being reshored from China.

Custom Aircraft Cabinets expands in Arkansas

Custom Aircraft Cabinets, a specialized woodworking and upholstery manufacturer for aircraft interiors, announced that it will add 150 jobs and invest about $6 million to move its manufacturing plant to Sherwood, a suburb of Little Rock.

Enviro Tech announces $4 million expansion in Arkansas

Enviro Tech Chemical Services announced that it will expand its Helena-West Helena plant and add 40 jobs, increasing its workforce to more than 70. Enviro Tech, based in Modesto, Calif., is a privately held chemical company focused on food safety and water treatment. The company said it plans to invest $4 million in the expansion.

Ball adding jobs in Arkansas

Springdale, Ark.'s Ball Corp. is expanding. The $8.5 million investment will be made in the plant that makes metal food cans. The deal will add 30 jobs.

American Air Filter to add 58 Jobs at Fayetteville, Ark. plant      

American Air Filter announced the expansion of its Fayetteville facility. The air filtration product manufacturer said it plans to add 58 jobs and invest $516,000 in the plant, which produces panel and pleated air filters. The expansion will increase its Fayetteville workforce to 170.


Accuform to create 271 jobs in Brooksville

Safety sign manufacturer Accuform announced in early October it will invest $15 million in a new 304,000-square-foot facility in Brooksville, Fla. The deal will create 271 jobs.

Prime Therapeutics moving to Florida

Minnesota-based pharmacy benefits management firm Prime Therapeutics announced it will enter the Orlando market. The company is investing $18.1 million in a facility that will house 213 workers.

Downtown Orlando sees biggest new tenant in years

XOS Digital is moving its operations from suburban Lake Mary, Fla., to downtown Orlando. The project, encompassing 21,000 square feet and about 140 jobs, is one of the largest deals downtown Orlando has seen in years. XOS is a sports technology firm.

Xcelience set to double staff in Tampa

Xcelience LLC hired its 100th worker as it cut the ribbon on its new 24,000-square-foot plant in Tampa in mid-September. The company contracts with pharmaceutical firms to formulate and analyze drugs in development.

SoftRock to add 500 new jobs in Orlando by end of year            

SoftRock, Inc. plans to hire 500 new jobs by the end of 2012, the company announced recently. The software company, with 400 employees, has launched a new jobs site, The new website has a customer support component, which is driving the need for local hiring.

XCOR to build rocket engines at Florida's Kennedy Space Center

Mojave, Calif.-based private aerospace company XCOR Aerospace, which announced in July the company's Commercial Space Research and Development Center headquarters in Midland, Texas, has made another major announcement in the South. In August, XCOR said it will build rocket engines and potentially suborbital spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Fla. The project, known as "Project Planet," has been in the works for years, according to an article in Florida Today. XCOR, which was founded in 1999, builds, tests, sells and operates reusable space vehicles. The Brevard County project will create 152 jobs.

Rocket Crafters moves to Florida

Rocket Crafters Inc., a Utah-based company that specializes in hybrid-rocket design and aerospace-composite technologies, announced in July that it is moving to Titusville, Fla., where it hopes to create as many as 1,300 full-time jobs. The company plans to develop and commercialize a new hybrid rocket-propulsion technology and an ultra-light, advanced composite material for the manufacture of dual-propulsion space planes for suborbital flight.

Air Products adding 250 jobs in Manatee County, Fla.

Air Products is expanding its LNG heat exchanger manufacturing facility in Manatee County. The Pennsylvania company will hire 250 new workers with the project.

Cheney Brothers invests $100 million in Punta Gorda, Fla.

Cheney Brothers Inc., a major Southeastern U.S. food distributor, is investing $100 million on construction of a 250,000-square-foot distribution center in Punta Gorda, Fla., where it plans to create an estimated 300 jobs. 

Orlando speaks Priceline's language

Priceline, the online-based travel company, has opened a customer-service center south of Orlando, lured there by one of the metro area's little-known resources: people who speak Portuguese. The giant travel agency chose Orlando oer Miami and even Brazil for the call center, which will support its European-based brand.

Maitland tech company chooses Florida for 1,000-job expansion

Digital Risk LLC, a fast-growing developer of mortgage risk-analysis software, has chosen Florida for its previously-announced companywide expansion that will create 1,000 new jobs over the next two years, the Maitland-based company announced in July.


Krystal moving HQ to Atlanta

Founded in Chattanooga by the Davenport family in 1932, Krystal Co. is pulling up stakes from the Tennessee city. The company announced it is moving its headquarters to Atlanta. Krystal's headquarters houses about 60 workers.

Manufacturer setting up shop in Rome, Ga.

New Hampshire-based Foss Manufacturing, a leader in the use of non-woven fabrics and fibers, announced it is setting up shop in Rome. The $15 million deal will create 150 job.

General Biofuels going to rural Georgia

In September, California-based General Biofuels announced it is investing $60 million to build a wood pellet manufacturing facility in Sandersville, Ga. The project will create 35 jobs.

Fram Renewable Fuels creates 80 new jobs

Gov. Nathan Deal announced in September that Fram Renewable Fuels is expanding in the city of Hazlehurst in Jeff Davis County, creating 80 new jobs. The alternative energy manufacturer will invest $91 million in opening its second Georgia wood pellet manufacturing plant.

Ethicon adding facility and jobs in Athens, Ga.

Medical company Ethicon Inc. will spend $185 million to add a 100,000-square-foot facility in Athens, creating 75 jobs through 2016. The new facility compliments its Cornelia, Ga., facility, which produces the majority of the world's supply of surgical sutures.

Poultry companies rule the roost in Gainesville

Victory Processing – a poultry sizing and de-boning facility in Gainesville – and sister company Prime Pak employ 900 in Hall County, Ga.Gainesville-Hall County-based poultry processing companies, Prime Pak Foods, Inc. and Victory Processing, LLC, recently announced expansions. Prime Pak is opening a new $7 million, 30,000-square-foot fully cooked food line and its sister company Victory Processing is hiring an additional 300 employees. 

Gelato company opening in Marietta

Talenti Gelato, a gelato and ice cream company, plans to expand its operations by opening an ice cream production facility in Marietta, Ga., which will add up to 100 jobs.

Manufacturer to create 240 jobs in Henry County, Ga.

With the opening of DeWafelbakkers, a frozen pancake and waffle manufacturer, Henry County will see 240 jobs created and $27.5 million invested.

Swiss manufacturer bringing 60 new jobs to Paulding County, Ga.

Interroll is building a $10 million plant and showroom in Paulding County that will create 60 new jobs. The company announced it is building a 93,000-square foot facility in Hiram to make conveyor systems that are found in airports, grocery stores and other facilities.

Academy Sports scores in Georgia

Texas-based Academy Sports + Outdoors will expand its existing operation in Twiggs County, Ga., creating 250 new jobs. The distribution center plans to add 500,000 square feet to its existing 1.1 million-square-foot facility, where it employs about 625 people.

Baxter breaks ground in Georgia on 1,500-employee plant

Three years ago, International Paper Co. closed an enormous mill in Franklin, Va., that for generations had churned out white office paper. The mill is scheduled to reopen and will produce fluff pulp for the Asian market.In August, Baxter International broke ground on its $1 billion, 1,500-employee bio-pharmaceutical plant near Covington, Ga. Baxter evaluated over 100 locations throughout the world before deciding on the Covington, Ga., site.

Delta relocating vacation package sub to Atlanta

Atlanta-based Delta Airlines is relocating its subsidiary MLT Vacations from Minneapolis to Atlanta. The deal will create 160 jobs.


California-based iHerb to create 600 jobs in Hebron, Ky.

iHerb, a Web-based provider of natural products, announced in late summer it is establishing a regional e-commerce headquarters in Hebron. The deal will create 600 jobs.

Bingham McCutchen to open Global Services Center in Lexington

Governor Steve Beshear announced that global law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP plans to open a global services center in Lexington at the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus. The center will create 250 jobs and entail an investment of more than $22.5 million.

First Chinese manufacturer for Kentucky

In September, Gov. Steve Beshear announced that Birtley, a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturer Shandong Borun Industrial, will build a new plant at Blue Grass Business Park in Lexington. "This is a historic time in Kentucky with the first manufacturing firm from China locating in the Commonwealth," Gov. Beshear said. The company makes machinery used in mineral processing among other products. The $10 million deal will create 50 jobs.

300 new jobs anything but nasty

International online fashion distributor Nasty Gal will locate a 527,000-square-foot national distribution center in Shepherdsville, Ky. The move will create 300 new, full-time jobs and an $18 million investment in the Commonwealth. Nasty Gal is a global online fashion destination for women.

Amazon hiring hundreds in Northern Kentucky is expanding its facilities in Hebron, Ky. The Seattle-based online retailer, which operates a fulfillment center near the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, plans to add 900 workers at its facility there.

Food company starts up in Kentucky

Mid South Sales is launching a new operation in Uniontown, Ky., creating 30 new jobs. The start-up company will produce a new line of salad and party trays to be sold in stores nationwide.


Forum investing $19 million in Louisiana manufacturing plant

Houston-based Forum Energy Technologies CEO Cris Gaut announced the company's plans to build a new 150,000-square-foot facility in St. Martin Parish, La. The facility will produce onshore and offshore drilling equipment for global customers, creating 125 new direct jobs with average annual salaries of more than $45,000, plus benefits. 

Methanex announces $550M Louisiana methanol plant

Methanex is relocating a methanol production facility from Chile to a 225-acre site in Geismar, La. The Canadian company is investing $550 million in the deal, which will make this its first U.S.-based methanol facility in more than a decade. The plant will house 130 workers.

Louisiana's CenturyLink announces expansion plans at its HQ, including 800 more jobs

CenturyLink is about to grow even bigger at the company's Monroe, La., headquarters. The company announced in July that it will break ground on a 225,000-square-foot headquarters expansion in early 2013. 

Ameritas Technologies hiring 300 in Baton Rouge

I.T. provider Ameritas Technologies is opening a center in downtown Baton Rouge. The deal will create 300 new jobs.

Cheniere Energy starts $5.6 billion project in Southwest Louisiana

Cheniere Energy is investing billions more to add the export component to its LNG facility in Southwest Louisiana. Funded with $2 billion in cash and $3.6 billion in debt, one of the largest industrial projects ever launched in the South is underway as Cheniere Energy goes ahead with construction of its Southwest Louisiana plant that will export liquefied natural gas from its site on Sabine Pass. The Houston-based company owns 100 percent of its facility on Sabine Pass, which was originally built to import natural gas. The multibillion-dollar deal will retrofit the facility to export as a result of the massive amounts of natural gas being produced throughout the South. Cheniere's CEO Charif Souki said in a news release, "The Sabine Pass LNG terminal will become the first facility in the contiguous U.S. capable of exporting natural gas as LNG."


Ergon Refining expanding in Vicksburg, Miss.

Ergon Refining is investing $147 million in its specialty oils refinery at the Port of Vicksburg. The expansion will allow the company to process more diverse types of crude oil. The deal will result in 50 new jobs at the refinery, which houses about 800 workers.

Ayrshire Electronics expands in Corinth, Miss.

Ayrshire Electronics has expanded its operations in Corinth, Miss. The Louisville, Ky.-based company will hire 15.

Metso to expand in Mississippi

Metso Corp., which has its North American headquarters in Charlotte, is planning a $4 million expansion of its operation in Clarksdale, Miss. The project could add as many as 50 jobs at the facility, according to the Memphis Business Journal. Metso supplies technology and services to a range of customers in the mining, construction, pulp and paper, power, and oil and gas industries. The Clarksdale plant currently has 61 employees. 

Belmont, Miss., will sleep better with new jobs

Sleep products maker Comfort Revolution will open a plant in Belmont, Miss., its first in the U.S., and hire 200 new workers over the next three years, according to a report in Furniture Today. Comfort Revolution, which manufactures mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows, is opening the plant and fulfillment center in a 432,650-square-foot Tishomingo County building. The building is a former furniture plant that will undergo renovations and upgrades before opening. 

AirGuide adding jobs in rural Mississippi

Florida-based AirGuide Manufacturing, a maker of aluminum grilles and other parts of the HVAC industry, is expanding in Clarksdale, Miss. The deal will create 40 full-time jobs.


Bass Pro Shops Tracker Marine expanding in Lebanon

Bass Pro Shops Tracker Marine is expanding both of its facilities in Lebanon, Mo., thanks in part to the success of its ASCEND line of kayaks.Bass Pro Shops Tracker Marine operates two plants in Lebanon, which together employ more than 600. With sales booming, the company is making a capital investment of $15 million to expand both facilities, creating 76 jobs over the next five years. The main plant produces boats and pontoons for Bass Pro Shops. The second facility produces Bass Pro Shops' top-selling ASCEND line of kayaks, as well as marine parts and fuel tanks for a variety of boats sold by Bass Pro Shops.

Animal health means big investment in Missouri

Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., a global leader in the animal health industry, is making a $79 million investment as it builds a new warehouse and administration building at its St. Joseph, Mo., campus. Altogether, this investment and new facilities are expected to create 115 new jobs over the next three years.

Schaeffler Group USA making $41.1 million investment in Joplin

A manufacturer of industrial ball bearings is making a $41.1 million capital investment in its Joplin factory, Gov. Jay Nixon announced. And to assist Schaeffler Group USA with upgrading the skills and training of its workers to correspond with its upgraded facilities, Gov. Nixon's administration is making job training funds available to the company for 250 of its employees at the Joplin location. 

Zoltek investing in St. Louis area

Carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek Corp. is investing $15 million in St. Peters, Mo., with the location of its new research and development facility. The project will create 155 jobs.


Deere-Hatachi to expand in N.C., not in Asia

In early October, Deere-Hitachi announced it would expand its Forsyth County, N.C., plant instead of adding new production lines in China or Japan. The plant is a venture between Japan-based Hitachi and Illinois-based Deere & Co. The $97 million investment will create 340 new jobs and enable the company to make more excavators for the mining and construction industries.

SunTrust adding 100 in Charlotte

Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks is creating 100 new jobs in Charlotte. The new hires will work for a new loan sales center.

China-based Lenovo reshoring jobs to N.C.

Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo announced in early October it will join the growing ranks of companies who are choosing to "make it where they sell it." Lenovo announced it will add 115 jobs at its Guilford County facility to produce Think-brand PCs for the U.S. market.

Let the sun shine in North Carolina!

Semprius, opening its first factory in Henderson, N.C., is a semiconductor developer that makes solar modules for concentrating solar photovoltaic systems, which use mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient solar cells.Solar startup Semprius opened its first manufacturing facility in late September in Henderson, N.C. With backing and support in part from the Obama Administration, the DOE, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Semprius will manufacture solar modules for solar concentrating systems, which use mirrors to focus light onto solar cells. Other startups that make this type of technology have struggled in recent months. The Semprius factory will eventually create 250 jobs.

Casino development is a winner in North Carolina

With a $650 million expansion project nearing completion, Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel is expected to bring in 500 more jobs and other economic benefits to western North Carolina, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. The 15-year-old development, which is owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation Indian tribe, is the largest employer in western North Carolina. It contributes more than $380 million to its local economy, according to a 2011 casino-impact study commissioned by the tribe and conducted by UNC Chapel Hill.

Leviton expansion to bring 152 jobs to Morgantown, N.C.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced that Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc., a manufacturer of electrical wiring, lighting control, power cables and other electrical products, will expand its manufacturing operations in Morganton, N.C., creating 152 jobs over three years, and make a capital investment of $7.3 million. 

Sheetz chooses Burlington

Sheetz, Inc. has chosen Burlington as the site of a new $32.8 million distribution and production center that will employ 254 people by the end of 2018.

New VA Center will employ up to 500 in North Carolina

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has selected a 39-acre site next to Kernersville Medical Center for a health-care center expected to employ as many as 500 people once it opens in 2015. Speculation swirled around the VA's selection, but a recent posting on a federal website confirmed the location. 

High Point call center to hire 700

The nearly 700 jobs lost in March when NCO Customer Management Inc. announced the pending closure of its call center in Guilford County, N.C., are now due to be replaced in that same location following a corporate reorganization and the securing of new contracts, according to company officials. Two new major clients have been secured for the call center, said Stephen Kidder, the general manager of the facility.

MOM's cereals expand in Asheboro, N.C.

MOM Brands (Malt-O-Meal), the nation's largest family owned cereal company, will complete its $140 million expansion in Asheboro, N.C., adding 50 new jobs to the region.

NetApp to add 460 jobs in Wake County, N.C.

Data storage firm NetApp plans to invest $75 million in its Research Triangle Park campus and add 460 jobs over the next four years. NetApp chose RTP over Wichita, Kan., where it also has facilities. The expansion will increase NetApp's research and development operations facility, where it already employs 1,450 people.

Fine Foods get better in Forest City, N.C.

California-based Valley Fine Foods, a consumer manufacturer of international foods, will open its new East Coast manufacturing operations in Forest City, creating 305 new jobs over the next three years. With headquarters in Napa Valley, Calif., Valley Fine Foods produces gourmet pasta dishes.

Pepsi to invest $82 million in Winston-Salem facility

Pepsi Bottling Ventures is planning to invest nearly $82 million to up fit a 526,000-square-foot building to expand and modernize its local bottling operations. The facility will eventually house 500 workers, which will be relocating from other facilities.

Clean tech company hiring 305 in Shelby, N.C.

Schletter, Inc., a German manufacturer of solar power mounting systems, announced in August it will invest $27 million to establish its new U.S. headquarters, production and distribution operations. The facility is the second U.S. facility for the German clean tech company. The deal will create 305 jobs.


Oklahoma selected for new Asco Inc. manufacturing site

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced that Belgium-based Asco Incorporated will be opening a new U.S. production facility in Stillwater. Asco is a technology specialist and provider of supply chain integration in design, development, precision machining, processing, and assembly of metallic aircraft components. The $60 million deal will create 250 jobs. Phase Two is expected to bring an additional $30 million to $40 million in capital investment and an additional 350 jobs in 2015.

Total Energy announces 200 jobs in Stillwater, Okla.

Total Energy has purchased the former Quad/Graphics plant in Stillwater, Okla., and is installing a fabrication shop that will produce storage tanks, towers and other oil-related equipment. The plant will serve as Total Energy's primary fabrication facility and will also be home of the company's new engineering and construction division. The project is expected to create 300 new jobs.


Atlanta's Enova Energy to build wood-pellet plant in Edgefield County

Atlanta-based Enova Energy Group is planning a $110 million wood-pellet processing plant near Trenton, S.C. The deal, which will export the pellet fuel overseas, will create 70 jobs.

Shutterfly relocating manufacturing from N.C. to S.C.

In September, the Internet photo company Shutterfly announced it will move its manufacturing facility across the line from Charlotte to Fort Mill, S.C. The $60 million project will create 600 jobs.

Georgia-Pacific ramping up mill in rural S.C.

Georgia-Pacific announced in the late summer it plans to begin a ramp up of production at its oriented strand board facility in Clarendon County, S.C. The mill was part of a $400 million acquisition by GP of Grant Forest Products. The deal is expected to create 100 new jobs.

S.C. tech firm adding 1,000 jobs in Charlotte region

Red Ventures, an Internet marketing firm based in Fort Mill, S.C. – across the line from Charlotte – announced in the summer it will add 1,000 jobs. The company purchased 16 acres next to its campus in Fort Mill. Red Ventures has all of its offices in the South; Miami, San Antonio, Wilmington, N.C., and Fort Mill.

Mercom expands in Georgetown County, S.C.

Network technology service provider Mercom Corp., announced in August it is investing $1 million in its operations center in Pawley's Island, S.C. Mercom designs, installs and integrates information technology systems. The deal will create 30 new jobs.

Greer, S.C., port gets $33 million

The directors of the State Ports Authority have agreed to spend up to $26 million creating an inland port in the Greer area in cooperation with Norfolk Southern. Norfolk Southern would spend about $7.5 million creating the rail infrastructure for the facility, which will serve the nearby BMW auto plant, port officials said. The SPA would spend up to $25 million in addition to just over $1 million approved earlier for some engineering work. 


HCA deal adds most jobs in Nashville since late '90s

Nashville-based HCA will locate two corporate headquarters in Nashville's Midtown area, the health care provider announced in early October. The $200 million project will bring 2,000 jobs to Nashville. Pictured is a rendering of the project. Nashville-based HCA will locate two corporate headquarters in Nashville's Midtown area, the health care provider announced in early October. The $200 million project will bring 2,000 jobs to Nashville, the most since Dell arrived in the city in the late 1990s. Two new towers encompassing 900,000 square feet of space will be built to accommodate the expansion.

Tile manufacturer expanding in Clarksville, Tenn.

Italian-owned Florim USA announced in the late summer it is investing $60 million in an expansion of its Clarksville tile flooring materials plant. The deal is expected to create 33 jobs.

U.S. Solutions call center crosses the state line

Headquartered in Bristol, Va., U.S. Solutions Group is opening a new call center in Sullivan County, Tenn., just across the state line. The Teleperformance Company is investing $4.1 million for the new center, and it will be creating 548 new jobs. 

116 jobs in Chattanooga

A Wolfsburg, Germany information technology company – Honigsberg & Duvel – plans to add 116 jobs in Chattanooga over three years. Business development manager Brandon Miller said the company works with automakers in the South and is aiming to bolster business with health care and financial clients along with those in government and education. Investment will be about $600,000.

Mars Chocolate expands in Cleveland, Tenn.

Long-time Tennessee employer Mars Chocolate North America is expanding its plant in Cleveland. The $67 million investment will add equipment to make pretzel M&Ms. The deal will create 38 new jobs.

Ceramaspeed heats up Tennessee

Heater manufacturer Ceramaspeed Inc. said it will invest $3.5 million and add 40 new jobs in Blount County, Tenn. According to a news release from the Blount Partnership, Ceramaspeed has purchased the German company Isphording and will relocate it into the former Klote International Facility, a 55,000-square-foot industrial building in Maryville.


SecureNet announces Austin tech center

Maryland-based SecureNet Payment Systems is establishing a tech and innovation center in Austin and will relocate some workers from its Rockville, Md., headquarters. Most of the 200 new hires will be local.

Pactiv expanding in Corsicana

The world's largest producer of food packaging is expanding its plant in Corsicana, Texas. The deal from the Illinois-based company will create about 200 jobs.

Southwest Airlines flying high in Texas

Southwest Airlines Co. recently broke ground on its $100 million headquarters expansion in Dallas, and says it could hire 1,000 employees in the next few years as the airline continues to grow. 

New plant to ease strain on Texas grid in 2013

Wood Group GTS will build a new 75 megawatt natural gas power facility in Texas for NRG Energy, the company announced in September. Wood Group GTS, which has headquarters in Scotland and Houston, will design and build the gas turbine "peaking plant" under a $24 million contract for NRG subsidiary Petra Nova. NRG owns Reliant Energy, which sells electricity to most customers in the Houston area. The announcement comes as state regulators are weighing several proposals to help encourage companies to build new power plants for the state's increasingly burdened electric grid.

Tableau Software moves from Seattle to Texas

Seattle-based Tableau Software is opening an Austin office to tap into the area's sales and development talent pool, the company said. The data analysis software company plans to hire up to 150 people in Austin over the next year, said Brett Thompson, vice president of human resources. It currently has offices in the Arboretum area and is looking for permanent space downtown, Thompson said.

Aegis hiring 1,000 in Irving, Texas

Irving-based outsourcing services provider Aegis (a unit of India's Essar Group) said it wants to hire 1,000 sales people and customer service representatives at its centers in the Dallas County city. The hiring spree in DFW is part of a nationwide effort to add 4,000 U.S. workers in the next two years, Sandip Sen, global chief executive of customer lifecycle management at Aegis, said in a news release. Its Irving workforce varies in size depending on seasonal factors, and currently totals close to 850 people.

Cinch Connectors brings jobs to McAllen

Cinch Connectors, Inc., a division of Bel Fuse Inc., has formally announced its plans to relocate its Vinita, Okla., operation to McAllen, Texas. Cinch, a manufacturer of electrical interconnect products mainly for the aerospace industry, will create approximately 70 technical jobs and invest approximately $2.5 million.

CH2M to create 285 jobs in Houston

Colorado-based CH2M, an engineering and design consultant, announced in the summer it will create 285 jobs in Houston. The $5.2 million deal will establish a global energy practice in Houston.

Yes, adding 90 jobs in Austin, one of Austin's fastest-growing Internet concerns, it moving its headquarters into 66,000 square feet of space. The company has 175 employees and is adding 90 in the move.

Samsung investing more billions in Austin chip plant

South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics confirmed in August it will invest $3 to $4 billion in the next year converting about half of its Austin semiconductor facility. The company put another $3 billion in the plant just two years ago. Samsung is the world's second-largest chip manufacturer. The move replaces older memory chip equipment and refocuses almost the entire facility to advanced chips used in smartphones and other mobile electronic devices.


McKesson creating 205 jobs in Frederick

McKesson, a health care and IT company, announced in the late summer it is investing about $37 million in a distribution center in Frederick County. The center will house 205 workers.

Chinese furniture manufacturer bringing jobs to Danville

GOK International, a Chinese furniture assembler, is locating its sales, assembly, showcase and headquarters to the Danville, Va., area. The $12.5 million project will result in 300 new jobs.

Social media makes headlines in Town of Blacksburg, Va.

Heyo, formerly known as Lujure Media Inc., a fast-growing social media company, will invest $100,000 to expand its operation in Blacksburg, Va. The company helps businesses drag and drop together Facebook fan pages, mobile apps and websites. The expansion is anticipated to create 50 new jobs over the next two years. 

A healthy addition in Ashland, Va.

The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc., a specialty retailer and direct marketer of nutritional products, will establish a distribution operation in the Town of Ashland in Hanover County, Va. The company will create 174 new jobs. The total project, including jobs, capital and indirect investments will be a commitment of $39.4 million.

New life for Virginia paper mill

International Paper Co., the world's largest producer of paper products, has reopened part of the mill it closed three years ago in Franklin, Va. With about a fifth of its old workforce, the mill is gearing up to begin producing fluff pulp – the soft, white absorbent used for personal-care products – for the Asian market. "There is a huge, huge opportunity" as families in the burgeoning middle classes of China, India and other Asian countries are seeking more personal hygiene and baby care products, said Rildo Martini, IP's vice president and general manager for pulp.

Governor McDonnell announces 60 new jobs in Henry County, Va.

Commonwealth Laminating & Coating, Inc. (CLC), a manufacturing company with a strong emphasis on solar-control window films and precision, high-performance coatings, will invest $5.45 million to expand its operation in Henry County, Va. The company will create 60 new jobs.

Xerox adds 300 jobs at Virginia call center

Xerox announced in the summer it is doubling the workforce of its Chesapeake, Va., call center. The deal calls for the addition of 300 more positions.

IT outsourcer creating 250 jobs in NOVA

IGate Corp. announced plans to open a facility in Loudoun County, Va., that is expected to house 250 workers. The company outsources information technology functions.


Gov. Tomblin announces $1.34 billion investment in Marshall County, W.Va.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined Williams Partners L.P. in announcing the natural gas company will invest $1.34 billion between now and 2014 including the addition of 100 new long-term generational jobs in the Northern Panhandle region. The investment "is an example of the growing opportunities Marcellus Shale development is bringing to West Virginia," the governor said.

Call centers in West Virginia to add, fill 325 jobs

TRG Customer Solutions will add 130 jobs and fill 195 vacant positions in West Virginia. The openings will include 100 at the company's Beckley call center, 125 in Charleston and 100 in Elkins, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

WVU adding 46 research jobs

The Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University in Morgantown is hiring 24 physician-scientists and 22 support staff members. The project is part of a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

American Woodmark jobs returning to Hardy County, W.Va.

Cabinetmaker American Woodmark plans to invest more than $15 million in its manufacturing operation in West Virginia. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said that the company is expected to hire nearly 190 employees for the Moorefield facility over the next three years.


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Opportunities in the South's Rural and Urban Small Towns

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