Job Creation

Jaguar Land Rover Invested $600M For SUV Production in UK

Whitley, Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover PLC announced that it has invested £370 million ($592 million) to upgrade its United Kingdom manufacturing facilities ahead of the launch of its new Range Rover model in 170 countries.

Jaguar Land Rover- Range Rover production

Range Rover production (Photo – Jaguar Land Rover PLC)

The three-year engineering project supported 1,000 jobs in design, product development and manufacturing at Jaguar Land Rover.

The announcement was made by Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth during the unveiling of the new Range Rover to the media at a preview event in Richmond Park, London.

“This outstanding new Range Rover symbolizes our commitment to investing in Britain and exporting around the world..,‚Äù said Dr. Speth. ‚ÄúAs the UK’s leading automotive investor in R&D we are proud of the work that has gone into developing the new technologies and innovations to make the new Range Rover possible‚Ķ we have been able to build the world’s first SUV with lightweight all-aluminum construction, a car that is 20% lighter, with fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 22%.”

The technical and engineering breakthroughs on the new Range Rover follow a capital expenditure program that has seen Jaguar Land Rover create more than 8,000 new jobs in the past two years.

The company is spending in excess of $2 billion with suppliers around the world, with $1.28 billion of that in the UK alone, supporting an estimated total of 190,000 jobs in the UK supply chain. More than 6,800 workers are employed at the Solihull plant alone, working on Range Rover and other models.

As part of the investment, Jaguar Land Rover has installed a new aluminum body shop at the company’s Solihull plant, near Birmingham, along with upgrades to paint-applications technologies, trim assembly, warehousing and Jaguar Land Rover’s first customer handover center.

Dr. Speth justified the huge investments by citing the huge export demand for their model range.”Jaguar Land Rover is firing on all cylinders, generating export revenues of close to ¬£8 billion [$12.8 billion] a year as we meet demand for a model-range that justifies continued expansion in our UK facilities and elsewhere,” said Dr Speth.

Jaguar Land Rover PLC generated revenues of $21.6 billion for FY 2011-12 which resulted in a net income of $2.37 billion. The company has 24,000 employees globally. Jaguar and Land Rover were acquired separately by Ford and then sold as a single entity to Indian automobile company Tata Motors in 2008.

Austin Gets First GM Innovation Center and 500 Jobs

General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM) is pushing the pedal on in-house innovation in the United States intended to drive breakthrough ideas for GM vehicles and business processes.

General Motors

General Motors (Photo –

To that end,General Motors just announced that Austin, Texas has been chosen as the site for the first of several innovation centers to be set up in the U.S.

The innovation center will create 500 hi-tech, high paying jobs. General Motors will be hiring software developers, project managers, database experts, business analysts and other information technology professionals to staff the center.

“We want IT to keep up with the imagination of our GM business partners, and to do that, we plan to rebalance the employment model over the next three years so that the majority of our IT work is done by GM employees focused on extending new capabilities that further enable our business,” said GM chief information officer Randy Mott.

Austin was chosen for the simple fact that the city of Austin has an IT talent pool of more than 46,000 trained professionals.

Mott also cited the computer science educational institutions in the state. “The next generation of IT workers, the talented visionaries we want contributing at the Innovation Center, are being trained at top computer science schools in Texas and surrounding states,” said Mott. “The IT Innovation Centers are critical to our overall IT business strategy and transformation.”

“We look to the Innovation Centers to design and deliver IT that drives down the cost of ongoing operations while continuously increasing the level and speed at which innovative products and services are available to GM customers,” added Mott.

GM already has a huge presence in Texas with more than 4,500 employees in the state. About 2,500 of these employees work at the GM plant in Arlington, building the Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac SUVs. This plant is adding a third shift next year and a 4200 million stamping plant will be adding another 180 jobs.

Another 1,800 employees work for GM Financial offices, and Texas also has two GM customer care call centers.

On a global level, the Detroit, Michigan-based General Motors has 202,000 employees in 156 facilities all over the world. The company generated revenues of just over $150 billion last year and ended up with a net income of more than $7.5 billion.

New Sheetz Facility in Burlington, NC to Create 254 Jobs

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue announced that Sheetz Inc., a chain of convenience stores and gas stations, will establish a distribution and food manufacturing facility in Burlington, NC.


Sheetz (Photo – Neo198717/wikipedia)

Sheetz plans to invest $32.8 million in this new facility and will be creating 254 jobs over the next six years.

The 245,000 square feet Burlington facility will support and feed the company’s retail network in North Carolina and Virginia.

It will produce a variety of bakery and ready-to-eat items including sandwiches, salads and other convenience restaurant foods that will be delivered fresh every day to Sheetz stores.

“Companies like Sheetz recognize that North Carolina is a great place to thrive because of our top-notch business climate, well-trained workforce, and a strong logistics network that fits the company’s needs,” said Gov. Perdue. “We’re going to keep leveraging North Carolina’s tremendous assets as we continue our focus on job expansion.”

“The Burlington area has an exceptional highway network allowing for fast, fresh distribution of our products as well as having a skilled and highly motivated workforce,” said Stan Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz. “These factors, and the support we received from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Alamance County and the City of Burlington, made this location stand out from the others we considered.”

It was presumably Virginia that lost this one to North Carolina, and the “support” Stan Sheetz refers to which titled the scales in favor of North Carolina and Burlington includes state grants worth $2.7 million from the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) and the One North Carolina Fund.

Under the terms of JDIG, Sheetz gets to keep 60 percent of the state income withholding taxes for the new employees they hire. The average annual payroll for the Burlington facility is expected to be more than $7.4 million plus benefits. If Sheetz meets the targets called for under the agreement and sustains them for 12 years, the JDIG grant would be worth up to $1.9 million.

In addition to this, 15 percent of the JDIG grant or $341,000 would be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. The One North Carolina Fund additionally provided an $800,000 grant to Sheetz.

Sheetz will break ground on the new facility in June 2013, with an opening scheduled for December 2014. The company currently has 429 convenience restaurants with 46 locations in North Carolina and 59 inVirginia.

Botox Maker Injects 387 Jobs Into Bridgewater, NJ

Irvine, CA-based Allergan, Inc. (NYSE: AGN) opened its first large facility in New Jersey in the form of an R&D center in the township of Bridgewater, NJ.


Photo – Allergan

The company, well known for Botox and other eye medication, has created 387 high paying jobs at the center which will be used for clinical development. The average annual wage for these jobs is $125,000.

“We will continue to increase our investment in R&D to fuel innovation and expect to spend over $1 billion in 2013,” said David E.I. Pyott, chairman, president and CEO of Allergan. “Our New Jersey clinical development site will allow us to benefit from the expertise of the many talented R&D professionals that reside in this state and, most importantly, bring novel medical therapies to patients across the world.”

All that, and maybe the $14.9 million grant the state agreed to might also have had something to do with Allergan’s selection of Bridgewater for its R&D center.

The Business Employment Incentive Program grant the company is getting will be paid out over a 10 year period, and is linked to the amount of income taxes withheld on behalf of the new employees hired in the state by Allergan. The $14.9 million grant figure is estimated based on 70 percent of the taxes that Allergan’s new R&D center employees are expected to pay.

“Our aggressive efforts to promote economic growth and foster job creation and investment in our state are delivering results for New Jerseyans,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who leads the Garden State’s efforts to attract life science companies. “Allergan is a world-class, innovative company that is committing to our state and people with several hundred high quality, research and development new jobs.”

Allergan actually has had a presence in New Jersey since 2008, when it opened a small sales office in Bedminster, NJ staffed by about two dozen employees. Now Allergan occupies a huge 93,000 sq ft space in the Somerset Corporate Center in Bridgewater.

The company’s main U.S. manufacturing plant is in Waco, Texas. Globally, Allergan has a presence in more than 100 countries and has 10,500 employees. Last year, the company generated revenues worth $5.4 billion and ended up with a net income of nearly $1 billion.

U.S. Solutions Call Center Jobs Jump Across State Line To Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced that the U.S. Solutions Group is opening a new call center in Sullivan County. The company is investing $4.1 million for the new center, and it will be creating 548 new jobs.

Call Center in Tennessee

Call Center in Tennessee (photo –

Recruitment and hiring for these jobs has already begun. For a call center to start with an investment of more than a million and over 200 jobs is a big deal, and the trickle down effect in Bristol and Sullivan County will be considerable.

Everyone in Tennessee from the Governor down to the Bristol city manager was understandably willing and happy to lay out the welcome mat.

Not so coincidentally, the company’s headquarters is also in Bristol, but this Bristol is in the Blue Ridge Highlands in Virginia, on the other side of TN-VA state line which is shared by the two Bristols.

“I want to welcome U.S. Solutions Group, Inc. to Tennessee and the hundreds of jobs they will create for Tennesseans,” said Gov. Haslam. “U.S. Solutions Group’s decision to locate in Sullivan County is great for the region, and we appreciate their investment in our state and in our state’s business-friendly climate.”

“We are delighted with U.S. Solutions Group‚Äôs decision to locate and consolidate operations in Bristol, Tenn.,” said Jeff Broughton, Bristol City Manager. “The company will be a valued member to our growing business community and will bring more than 500 skilled jobs to Sullivan County.”

“We join with our partners in Sullivan County in welcoming U.S. Solutions to Bristol, Tenn.,” Richard Venable, CEO, NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership, said. “We look forward to U.S. Solutions Group becoming a part of the Sullivan County family.”

“In today’s market, it is no longer a national competition but a global one,” said ECD commissioner Hagerty. “We have worked closely with U.S. Solutions Group’s management and look forward to this project serving as a basis for long-term job growth in the area.”

U.S. Solutions reciprocated in kind to all the warmth and the welcome mats rolled out for them in Tennessee. “We are excited to support local job growth and stability and to provide this quality work facility for both our existing and new people,” said Sharon Bricker, executive vice president, U.S. Solutions Group, Inc.

The company has been in operation since 2001, providing custom outsourcing solutions and services for corporate clients. In April 2010, U.S. Solutions Group, Inc. was acquired by Teleperformance, which is a global giant with 249 facilities in 49 countries.

Labor Day Look at Where the Jobs Are

Enrico Moretti, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley published a new book back in May 2012 called The New Geography of Jobs which sheds light on the “tectonic shifts that are reshaping America’s labor market.”

The New Geography of Jobs, by Enrico Moretti

The New Geography of Jobs, by Enrico Moretti (Photo – HMH Books)

As part of a Labor Day chat with UC Berkeley’s news center, Prof. Moretti shares his thoughts on employment and what he calls the new geography of inequality.

He says your salary now depends more on where you live rather than what you do. A worker with a high school education in Austin, Texas makes 60 percent more than a similarly educated worker in Flint, Michigan. The difference is even bigger for those with a college education.

“Today, human capital is the best predictor of a city’s success. A large number of highly-educated workers in a city is associated with more creativity and a better ability to invent new ways of working,” says Prof. Moretti.

He says the new geography of inequality is having a profound impact outside the economics and impacts everything from life expectancy to divorce rates, political participation, crime rates and even charitable contributions. The ravaged economy of Flint, MI has produced America’s highest divorce rate, with 27 percent of all adults in the city reporting they have filed for divorce once or more.

He says the local governments of struggling communities are not really capable of turning things around and attracting companies and investment with a deliberate government policy. He suggests it just gets triggered sometimes and a cluster builds up around an anchor company, as happened with Seattle when Microsoft set up shop in Redmond.

Prof. Enrico stresses on the importance of attracting high-tech companies because the multiplier effect of innovation economy jobs is huge and works out to three times that of traditional manufacturing jobs. Apple employs 13,000 workers in Cupertino, California, but generates almost 70,000 more service jobs in the region.

For the past three decades, America has been losing on average 370,000 blue-collar jobs per year while jobs in the Internet sector are now growing 200 times faster than the rest of the labor market.

Prof. Enrico’s tip for policy makers – “the best way for a city to generate jobs for less-skilled workers is to attract innovative companies that hire highly-skilled workers.”

Labor by the Numbers

Just in time for the Labor Day Weekend, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released worker displacement statistics for the U.S. for the last three years. The numbers paint a graphic picture of the state of the economy and the magnitude of the recovery that is required.


Jobs (photo –

Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished.

Labor by the numbers:-

  • Workers displaced from Jan 2009 to Dec 2011 ‚Äì 12.9 million
  • Out of the total, 6.1 million were long-tenured workers had held their jobs for at least three years.
  • 40 percent of the long-tenured workers said their displacement was due to insufficient work, while 31 percent said their plant or company closed down or moved.
  • 1.2 million long-tenured manufacturing workers were displaced from their jobs‚Äî19 percent of all long-tenured displaced workers.

The U.S. workforce consists of 155.2 million workers aged 16 or older. From July 2009 through June 2010, the Dept. of Labor helped:-

-           22 million who received career counseling or help with job search, including resume assistance;

-          8.9 million adults who participated in more comprehensive job training programs, including skills training;

-          685,000 workers who were placed into new jobs through the Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker programs.

-          Of the 431,722 youth who were placed into jobs, 33,445 earned a high school diploma, GED, post-secondary degree, or certificates, and 44,000 were Job Corps graduates.

A total of 57 percent of the 12.9 million displaced workers ended up finding other work, while 28 percent remain unemployed. The good news is that 2009-11 was much better than the similar BLS report for 2007-09, which showed that 15.4 million workers had been displaced.

Natural Gas Company Invests $1.4B in W.Va, Saves Call Center Jobs

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Williams Partners L.P. made a joint announced of the natural gas company’s decision to invest $1.34 billion in Marshall County and create 100 new jobs.

Williams Partners

Photo – Williams Partners

“Williams’ commitment to Marshall County and the entire Northern Panhandle is an example of the growing opportunities Marcellus Shale development is bringing to West Virginia,” said Gov. Tomblin. “The investment and jobs will have lasting effects on the region as the workers needed will be operating and maintaining Williams’ facilities and pipelines for many years to come.”

In January 2012, Williams Partners joined with Caiman Energy II as part of a joint venture to develop midstream infrastructure facilities to connect producers’ natural gas and natural gas liquids to the natural gas marketplace in Utica Shale. The processing plants, in conjunction with the construction of the new fractionation facilities, will include an investment of $800 million to develop natural gas, natural gas liquid, and crude oil gathering and processing infrastructure.

After acquiring Caiman Energy assets and staff in April 2012, Williams Partners has already hired an additional 74 new full-time positions in the area.

Apart from the direct investment, spending and the jobs created by Williams Partners, the Marshall County Commission scored a bonus from Williams Partners – the company decided to lease space for its offices and Marshall County operations in the Teletech call center building in Moundsville.

Teletech had been teetering on the edge, unable to meet their rent. They were about ready to give up and move the 250 call center jobs out of Marshall County, West Virginia. But with the cash rich Williams Partners becoming a co-tenant to share the rent and utility bills, Teletech now has the wind at its back. The building is slated for a $1.4 million renovation and Teletech now plans to add another 100 jobs of its own.

“We are extremely appreciative of Teletech’s long-term investment in our community and their commitment to preserving approximately 250 jobs,” said Jake Padlow, president of the Marshall County Commission. “Their willingness to adapt and share space with the new Williams’ office allows for new business development and growth in our area without losing great economic partners that call Marshall County home.”

New York State Gets $1.4M in EDA Grants for High-Skill Jobs

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) just announced three grants for New York State totaling $1.4 million.

Research foundation, SUNY Buffalo

Research foundation, SUNY Buffalo (Photo –

The recipients are the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, the city of Rochester, and New York Medical College of Valhalla.

The breakup and purpose of each of the three grants are as follows:-

-          The Research Foundation of SUNY at Buffalo gets $349,565 to formulate and implement the Innovation Hub (iHub) accelerator program. The iHub will advance development and commercialization of innovations emerging from the western SUNY campuses in a 10 county region.

-          The city of Rochester gets $700,000 for setting up infrastructure that will assist in the development of the Rochester Pho-Tech development site. It is estimated that re-use of the former Brownfield site is expected to spur $15 to $20 million in private investment and create 300 jobs.

-          The New York Medical College of Valhalla gets $328,000 to fund the renovation of a 2,300 sq ft facility that will become the BioHud Valley Training Center intended to provide technical training and management-level courses for employees in biotech, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, and related fields. Unemployed Hudson Valley residents may apply to learn skills for new careers.

“These federal investments will help advance new and innovative technologies that create jobs right here in New York State,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “By capitalizing on our valuable local assets, supporting programs like UB’s iHub and New York Medical College’s BioHud Valley Training Center and creating new shovel-ready sites like Rochester Photech, we can develop new technologies and transform those ideas into job-creation engines that foster growth throughout our state.”

The iHub complements Launch NY, a 501c3 entity formed after the EDA awarded a grant to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency for JumpStart New York. Since September 2010, the project has increased venture and seed funding for entrepreneurship in Western and Central New York.

‚ÄúWith this grant, the iHub will dovetail with the work of Launch NY and inject the area with new energy, expertise and relationships,‚Äù said Marnie LaVigne, SUNY Buffalo associate vice president for economic development. “It will lay the foundation for a more cohesive ecosystem that advances the region’s emerging cluster industries, including advanced manufacturing, life sciences and alternative energy technology.”

The iHub will create forums in three regions: Buffalo-Niagara, Genesee/Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. Committees, to be composed of multi-disciplinary private and public sector members, will synergize activities, maximize assets and identify innovation infrastructure gaps.

The iHub is also charged with assisting entrepreneurs with new business formation and commercialization, and developing leadership of early-stage technology companies. They will provide education in the new product development process, and address technical challenges of small and mid-size businesses.

New UPS Halifax Facility in Canada Adds 250 Jobs

UPS celebrated its 105th birthday by adding yet another Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to its network with the official opening of a 50,000 square foot logistics facility.

UPS expands to Halifax, Canada

UPS expands to Halifax, Canada (Photo – UPS)

The grand opening included welcoming remarks by UPS Canada president Mike Tierney; Ministerial Assistant to the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Jim Morton; and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly.

“Today’s grand opening celebrates our expansion into Atlantic Canada and reinforces our commitment to the businesses and communities in Halifax,” said Mike Tierney, president, UPS Canada.

‚ÄúToday’s grand opening builds upon the commitment UPS has shown to the Canadian market with a strategic focus on Halifax and Atlantic Canada, which is beneficial for all stakeholders involved,‚Äù added Kings North MLA Jim Morton, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. ‚ÄúUPS’s multi-million dollar investment in our region will create more than 250 new UPS jobs.‚Äù

UPS made its first foray into Canada in 1975. It has now grown to include 10,000 employees, a 2,500 vehicle fleet and 85 daily airline flight segments. Another 1,900 employees provide logistics and distribution, freight forwarding and customs brokerage services to Canadian customers.

The Halifax expansion is a key part of UPS’s Atlantic Canada expansion strategy across eight cities this year, since the area is considered to be a key access point to other major supply chain networks both locally and globally.

Apart from Halifax, the eight cities in Canada where UPS has or is adding pick-ups and delivery this year include Sydney and New Glasgow in Nova Scotia; Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton in New Brunswick; Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island; and St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Recent UPS expansions include a new Calgary, Alberta facility and two more in Ontario, along with an expansion of their Toronto hub and a healthcare hub in Burlington.

United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) began in 1907 as two people delivering packages on bikes in Seattle, Washington. It now has more than 400,000 employees and delivers 15 million packages every day to 6.1 million people in 220 countries and territories all around the world. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, UPS showed $3.8 billion in net income and $53.1 billion in revenues last year.

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