Montgomery Launches Smart City Living Lab

Today, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce along with Mayor Todd Strange, County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Alabama Power’s Southern Division Vice President Leslie Sanders announced the creation of a Smart City Living Lab in downtown Montgomery. It will feature fiber optic infrastructure, an expansion of the Open Data Portal, free public Wi-Fi in downtown areas, the conversion of street lights to LED, a public safety initiative and deployment of smart parking solutions. Montgomery leaders announced the smart corridor will be formalized through the creation of the Montgomery Smart Community Alliance, a public-private partnership focused on advancing smart city initiatives in the City of Montgomery. As part of its work, the alliance is coordinating a smart community strategic plan to identify community priorities and solutions that address them, with several initiatives already underway: Montgomery Chamber of Commerce

Arkansas Unemployment Unchanged at 3.6 Percent

Arkansas’ unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in December and unchanged from the previous month, according to a report released Friday by the state Department of Workforce Services. But the U.S. jobless rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent between November and December. “Arkansas’ unemployment rate remained fairly stable throughout 2018, ending the year down one-tenth of a percentage point compared to January. While the U.S. jobless rate also trended down over the year, Arkansas is still three-tenths of a percentage point below the national rate,” BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a news release. Arkansas Business

Big Cities Are No Longer Lands of Opportunity for Middle-Skilled Workers

David Autor, a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has a record of attacking the biggest and most important issues. He has raised alarms about disappearing middle-skilled jobs, pointed to the downsides of trade with China, warned about increasing industrial concentration and attacked the question of whether automation will kill jobs.

In a recent lecture at the American Economic Association meeting in Atlanta, Autor attempted to weave many of those threads together into a single story. Paraphrasing heavily, that story goes something like this: Forty years ago, Americans who didn’t go to college could move to cities and get good jobs in manufacturing or office work. But starting in about 1980, these jobs began to disappear, thanks in part to offshoring and automation. By 2000, manufacturing was in steady retreat:

Fortune

Virginia Senate supports $550M in Amazon incentives

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate has voted to support more than a half-billion dollars in incentives for Amazon.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the bill passed 35-5 on Monday would create $550 million in “post-performance” incentives for Amazon, based on job creation.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Frank Ruff, R-Mecklenburg, would establish a fund for state incentive payments for 25,000 high-paying jobs Amazon has promised to create in Arlington County, as well as an additional $200 million if the company later adds 12,850 jobs, The company wouldn’t receive the state money until four years after the jobs are created.

The Virginian-Pilot

South Korea’s Miwon Specialty Chemical Plans Plant in Columbia, South Carolina

South Korea-based Miwon Specialty Chemical Co. USA, a specialty chemical manufacturer of raw materials and subsidiary of Miwon Specialty Chemical Co. Ltd., plans to invest $19.5 million in a new production operations in Columbia, South Carolina.

The company is a global company with manufacturing plants in South Korea and Spain, as well as research and development centers in Austria, China, South Korea and the United States. Miwon began serving the ultraviolet and electron beam markets in 1983. Miwon Specialty Chemical’s new, 65,000-square-foot production facility in Richland County is expected to come online in the third quarter of 2020.

Area Development

Germany-based Kion Group Reportedly to Expand Production at Summerville, South Carolina, PlantAccording to the Wall Street Journal, Germany-based Kion Group AG, a forklift truck manufacturer, plans to expand its production at its plant in Summerville, South Carolina. The move is designed to avoid the U.S’s 25% tariff levied on forklifts imported from China. According to an interview with Kion’s CFO Anke Groth in CFO Journal, WSJ’s newsletter, “about half of the 3,000 vehicles that the Frankfurt-based company sells in the U.S. each year come from China, where Kion operates two forklift manufacturing facilities.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Germany-based Kion Group AG, a forklift truck manufacturer, plans to expand its production at its plant in Summerville, South Carolina. The move is designed to avoid the U.S’s 25% tariff levied on forklifts imported from China.

According to an interview with Kion’s CFO Anke Groth in CFO Journal, WSJ’s newsletter, “about half of the 3,000 vehicles that the Frankfurt-based company sells in the U.S. each year come from China, where Kion operates two forklift manufacturing facilities.”

Area Development

UPS creates 575 new jobs in Houston at new Willowbrook facility

HOUSTON — A new UPS package delivery facility in the Wilowbrook area will bring 575 new full- and part-time jobs to the Houston, the carrier announced Thursday.

Now operating at full capacity, the new facility will significantly increase UPS’s delivery fleet serving Houston.

“The new Willowbrook package processing facility is yet another key addition to the UPS® network that connects businesses of all sizes and consumers throughout the world,” said Deryl Hill, president of UPS’s Red River District that includes Texas and Oklahoma. “UPS continues to increase its capacity in Texas to meet the expanding shipping needs of our commercial and residential customers across this fast-growing state.”

Khou.com

New jobs coming to Richland County

COLUMBIA,  S.C – 25 new jobs are coming to Richland County.

The Governor’s office says a manufacturing facility is locating to Richland County,  creating the new jobs.

According to a release, Miwon Specialty Chemical Co. USA, a manufacturer of raw materials will locate new production operations in Richland County.

The company’s $19.5 million investment is projected to create 25 new jobs, according to the Governor’s office.

AbcColumbia.com

Governor: Smyth County Machine to add 35 new jobs, invest $2 million

Governor Ralph Northam brought good economic news to Smyth County, Virginia on Tuesday- expansion plans for an existing business.

Smyth County Machine, LLC, is planning a $2.1 million upgrade to their facilities in Atkins, resulting in the creation of 35 new jobs, the governor announced.

A $200,000 grant in assistance funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission helped secure the project for the company which provides products for an array of industries. The manufacturer began as a one-man operation in 1977 and has evolved into a major manufacturer and fabricator for mining, automotive, medical and environmental customers, the report said.

Wcyb.com

Cybersecurity startup bringing 50 new jobs to Peachtree Corners

OneLogin, a cloud-based identity and access management provider, will create approximately 50 new jobs in a new East Coast Growth Center in Peachtree Corners. Newly created jobs include positions in sales, sales development, sales engineering, customer success, business development, field marketing, tech support, and implementation consultants.

“Atlanta is a fantastic market for world-class talent, and we’re thrilled to open our new Growth Center here,” said Brad Brooks, CEO and President, OneLogin. “We’re excited to support customers in the region who are embarking on their digital transformation journeys with our leading Unified Access Management solutions, connecting customers with a simple and secure login.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution