Job Creation

West Virginia Welcomes Macy’s and 1700 Jobs

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin welcomed Macy’s Inc., to Berkeley County during a formal ribbon cutting ceremony at the company’s new distribution and fulfillment center in Martinsburg to fulfill orders received from Macy’s online sales.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at Macy's ribbon-cutting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at Macy’s ribbon-cutting (Photo – W.Va. Governor’s Office)

Macy’s has pumped in $150 million to establish the 1.3 million-square-foot facility, which will require 700 permanent full-time employees, 300 permanent part-time employees, and another 700 seasonal employees within the next five years.

Back in Dec 2010, Macy’s announced that it had chosen Martinsburg, W.Va. over 157 other potential locations.

The site selection battle to bring Macy’s to W.Va. involved both former Gov. Joe Manchin and current Gov. Ray Tomblin, who took office on Nov 15, 2010, just before the Macy’s announcement.

At that time, Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. said that, “We would like to thank state and local officials in West Virginia, led by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, for their support and assistance through our site selection process.”

“The thousands of jobs this Distribution and Fulfillment Center will create will make a tremendous impact in our region, and we could not be more excited,” said Joe Manchin, who is now the U.S. Senator for W.Va. “I am so proud when I was Governor, we were able to bring a team together to make this opportunity possible, and that Governor Tomblin was able to fulfill it.”

“It’s terrific to see Macy’s new distribution and fulfillment center officially opening its doors. The center will provide hundreds of good-paying jobs for West Virginians in the Eastern Panhandle.” said Gov. Tomblin. “Macy’s $150 million dollar investment speaks volumes to the positive business climate we’ve created in our state.”

The new Martinsburg fulfillment center in West Virginia will be used in particular to prepare and ship orders to customers in Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. Online orders from were previously being handled primarily by Macy’s fulfillment centers in Portland, TN, and Goodyear, AZ. orders are handled primarily from a fulfillment center in Cheshire, CT.

Macy’s, Inc. has a total workforce of around 171,000 employees, including about 22,000 executive positions to staff and manage 840 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. The company had fiscal sales last year of $26.4 billion.

Align NY IDA Report – IDAs Failed to Create Jobs

The “Getting Our Money’s Worth” coalition organized by the Alliance for a Greater New York (AlignNY) has published its annual “Key Facts About IDAs” report, and it doesn’t speak well about the Empire State’s 114 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs).

Align NY jobs report - Key facts about IDAs

Photo –

Highlights from the report:-

-         $182 million in IDA tax breaks went to companies that cut jobs, failed to create any new jobs, or didn’t promise to create any jobs.

-         Over one-half of all projects that ended in 2010 failed to create a single job.

-         IDAs continue to maintain high spending while state and local budgets are slashed.

-         Local governments are increasingly picking up the tab for corporate tax exemptions.

The statement put out by the group says that it amounts to “a widespread failure of New York‚Äôs main economic development tool to meet job creation goals.”

The amount of money spent that has produced neither jobs nor a promise of jobs has gone up from 25 percent in 2009 to 38 percent in 2010. Nearly half of the projects (48 percent) lost jobs or failed to create them in 2010, as compared to 38 percent in 2009. This wasted money would have been enough to retrofit 33,000 homes in New York, leading to savings worth $33 million in energy costs and creation of 3,000 jobs in the construction sector.

Most shocking is the statistic that of the 31,325 jobs that were supposed to be retained by projects ending in 2010, only 118 net jobs were retained.

The IDAs were granted net tax exemptions worth $483 million in 2010. More importantly, the local government share of exemptions for projects has been rising steadily since 2003 and is now at 88 percent for 2010. Most of this comes right out of the mouths of the local school boards. For every dollar in net tax exemptions given to an IDA, schools lose 41 cents.

The state obviously does not agree with these claims and the thrust of the report. Brian McMahon, executive director of the Greater New York State Economic Development Council, tells Albany Watch that the report “is neither factual nor does it reflect even the remotest understanding of the role played by IDAs in economic development in their communities.” 

Read the full Key Facts About IDAs report – Download (pdf)

Utah Rocket Company Lands in Space Coast, FL with 1300 Jobs

The City of Titusville, Enterprise Florida, Space Florida, Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast announced that Rocket Crafters, Inc. will be relocating from Utah to Titusville, FL.

Rocket Crafters in Titusville, Space Coast, Fl

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Rocket Crafters holds licenses for advanced hybrid rocket and aerospace composite technologies as well as proprietary hybrid rocket design and analysis software.

They plan to offer spaceflight training and enabling technologies required for commercial and military suborbital space flights.

Rocket Crafters will invest $72 million to support operations at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, where the new 400,000 sq ft facility will create up to 1,300 full-time jobs with an estimated total economic impact of over $48 million.

“We are very pleased with the support, advice, and assistance provided by the state of Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and the City of Titusville in meeting our requirements that will enable Rocket Crafters to locate our headquarters, research and development laboratories, and our manufacturing and assembly operations at Titusville’s Space Coast Regional Airport,” said Paul Larsen, CEO, Rocket Crafters, Inc.

Rocket Crafters selected the Space Coast over sites in Utah, New Mexico,Texas and Colorado primarily due to its skilled labor pool and attractive tax climate. Not to mention the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund and workforce incentives it is getting to offset the costs of location, production equipment, and infrastructure.

“Rocket Crafters brings a unique opportunity to expand and diversify the Space Coast’s aerospace manufacturing base,” said Lynda Weatherman, president & CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “The EDC successfully led the effort to attract this innovative company to Florida, competing with four other states. We look forward to Rocket Crafters’ growth and success on the Space Coast.”

Construction of the permanent 400,000 sq ft facility at the Space Coast Regional Airport will only begin in the third quarter of 2014, around the same time that the company expects to launch their first space flight.¬†What happens if the first flight is delayed or doesn’t pan out as expected is left unsaid, but we can imagine.¬†Meanwhile, Rocket Crafters will be commencing Space Coast operations in Florida later this year in a temporary facility.

Job Creation Numbers For The Month of June Are Stagnant

Its official, the month of June is declared as the third consecutive month of disappointing job creation numbers.

The unemployment rate also stayed around approximately 8.2 percent which means the amount of jobs barely had an effect on the employment percentage. An economist for the Wells Fargo Fund whose name is Brian Jacobsen elaborates on how the job creation numbers is indicative of a stagnant summer.

It is estimated that at least 200,000 jobs are needed to assist the millions of individuals who are unemployed and out of work. For the month of June, only 84,000 jobs were created which was below the expected 90,000.

When looking at the numbers, the cumulative amount of jobs created in the past 3 months does not even add up to the total amount of jobs that were created in the month of January. The average amount of jobs created in the past 3 months is 91,000 which are far below the average of 226,000 for the first 3 months of the year. The stagnant creation of job numbers can be contributed to the erosion of jobs in the government and the disappointing changes in the amount of private jobs created. The stagnant amount of jobs created also indicates that the economy is extremely fragile.

An IMF (International Monetary Fund) manager declared that the outlook for the economy across the world is becoming much more worrisome.

Many of the economic indicators have decreased dramatically such as:

  1. Employment
  2. Investment
  3. Manufacturing

Many of the World’s central banks made a quick move just before the job numbers as they acted to ease the economies by allowing credit to be easily accessible. The U.S economy is also expecting a boost as an economic relief will be released by the Federal Reserve.

Overall, the job numbers are going to need to get better in order for the economy to recover at a faster rate.

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Edmonton EDC Targets US Vets for Alberta Jobs

The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) is busy in Seattlewith a recruitment drive to fill vacancies in Northern Alberta for heavy-equipment technicians, welders, steamfitters/pipefitters, power engineers and construction staff professionals.

Alberta tar sands

Alberta tar sands (Photo – Jungbim/Wikimedia)

EEDC says Alberta badly needs more skilled workers – 114,000 of them over the next decade. There are around $193 billion of major investment projects underway or in the works in Alberta, equivalent to building building 175 Hoover Dams.

This is the first time the EEDC has specifically targeted U.S. veterans, and the job fair in Seattle is their first one in the U.S.

They were on a hiring spree in the United Kingdom earlier, and will be going to pick up Chicago’s skilled workers in the fall.

They are not looking for unskilled labor, and are specifically posting looking to hire U.S. vets with ads posted on

In a not so subtle dig at the US economy, one ad for a pressure pipe welder says, “Unlike most of North America, we have more jobs than we have workers to fill them‚ĶAlberta welcomes newcomers with one of the English-speaking world’s best education systems, leading-edge healthcare, and a quality of life coveted by many.”

“Our economy is expanding and we need more workers,” says Mike Wo, EEDC executive director of economic development and growth. “We are looking for hard-working individuals who are considering working in Alberta for a few years while economic conditions rebound in the U.S.”

The EEDC has even set up a website for this recruitment drive at The site says companies currently involved in the recruitment drive include Finning Canada, PCL Constructors and Suncor Energy. Those who apply online and get shortlisted will be called for in-person interviews at the Seattle job fair from Aug 15-17, 2012 at the Hilton Seattle Aiport.

Sacramento Bags 2000 New Call Center Jobs

Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC (ACT) is going to open a big call center in Sacramento, California next month. The new unit is expected to start with 500 jobs by the end of the year and eventually create 2,000 direct new jobs in the Sacramento area.

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, CA (Photo – Maveric149/Wikipedia)

ACT provides back office support services for companies in the financial services, communications, and technology industries.

They signed a lease for 87,000 square feet of office space in a warehouse north of Interstate 80, and are set to begin operations in the third quarter of 2012.

The announcement was made by the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO), which was credited by ACT CFO Jimmy Griffiths for putting together an attractive incentive package to keep the company in Sacramento despite plenty of offers from other states.

The final site selection battle for the new call center came down to Sacramento, CA; Kansas City, KS; Tallahassee, FL; Fond du Lac, WI; and Weldon Springs, MO.

This is ACT’s second major setup in Sacramento. They opened a call center 2 years ago and hired 200 workers. In a statement, SACTO said the company selected Sacramento because of its experience at its existing facility in the area, the availability of a qualified workforce, and the benefits of locating in an Enterprise Zone. ACT gets tax credits as it hires more people.

“This is great news for the region and represents much needed job creation at a critical time,” said Ann Madden Rice, CEO of UC Davis Medical Center and SACTO Board Chair.

SACTO says it had plenty of support from the City and Countyof Sacramento, the City of Rancho Cordova, and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBiz).

“This project demonstrates companies’ desire to locate in our area, bringing with them new jobs and ultimately improving our economic health,” stated Phil Serna, Sacramento County Supervisor.

State of Oregon Needs More Economic Growth As More Jobs Are Created

The Oregon Editorial Board has recently released a study in which a strategy was devised so that economic growth can be transformed into more jobs in the state.

The state of Oregon was reported to have one of the best growth rates for the past year but still 160,000 individuals were unemployed and out of work. The majority of the economic output in the state of Oregon can be contributed to the establishment of Intel. The technology giant employed nearly 1,601 workers the past year. Intel is also known for creating jobs in an indirect manner and serving as a positive catalyst for other companies as they moved to the state of Oregon.

One of the main complications with the Intel jobs is that they are research driven. The majority of the research jobs required individuals to have a college degree. The growth report also displayed the need for more companies like Intel as they create more jobs and bring in new technology companies. The need for jobs that pay workers for a 2 degree is also much needed. The footprint of Intel can be contributed to an economic development initiative that was passed in the early 90’s. The timber industry was struggling in the early 90’s and legislation called the “Strategic Investment Program” passed and brought growth to the technology industry.

Many people argue that the state of Oregon needs another stimulus that is similar to the “Strategic Investment Program”. The Governor of the state returned to office and immediately started focusing on job growth which is good news for economic growth. One of the most important factors is connecting economic growth with other particular mandates such as health care and the education system. A Spokesman states that improving education and cutting the cost of health care is “peripheral” to economic growth.

Overall, it is important to have an increase in jobs for economic growth to occur.

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Weak Job Growth Numbers Released For The Month of May

The U.S economy is treading dangerous grounds again as the new job growth numbers were extremely bleak for the month of May.

Employers reported that only 69,000 jobs for the month of May were created which is the fewest amount in almost an entire year. Many economists were expected a much higher rate of jobs being created for the month but the actual numbers proved otherwise.

The unemployment rate also rose as it jumped to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. The job growth rate has also been very weak for 3 consecutive months. Any bit of hope that was expected was quickly reversed as the bleak job numbers were released again.

A Chief Economist named Ian Shepherdson elaborates on how the newly released job numbers is horrible news for the current state of the economy. The Labor Department released the job numbers and as President Obama begins the general election, the weak numbers are going to negatively affect his election as the main focus is the economy for many voters. Many investors are also now pessimistic about the current economic situation as the debt crisis arises in Europe and the economy in China begins to slowdown.

The stock market also reacted to the weak job numbers as the Dow Jones fell nearly 275 points which is the worst day of the year so far. The Republican candidate Mitt Romney also states that the reported job numbers is “devastating”. Mitt Romney wanted to boost the amount of investing in the development of energy while also reducing spending and the amount of taxes to ultimately fix the economy. President Obama on the other hand proposed a plan to increase the amount of job opportunities for Veterans as they return back from war. Obama states that the job growth numbers are bleak but they would improve over time.

Overall, many people are finding it difficult to find jobs in a weak economy.

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US Announces $26M Multi-Agency Jobs Accelerator Challenge

The White House announced that the third round of multi-agency advanced manufacturing jobs accelerator challenge will carry a pot of $26 million, funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Jobs & Innovation Accelerator Challenge

Jobs & Innovation Accelerator Challenge (Photo -

The challenge is supposed to fund projects that will require co-ordination between and help from multiple federal agencies and have the potential to trigger cluster-based development.

“We are so pleased to join with our federal agency partners to further strengthen the American manufacturing sector, which creates high quality, good paying jobs,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson. “Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has a strong record of investing in regional innovation clusters that foster the job creation and business development crucial to an economy that is built to last.”

Around 12 projects will be chosen through a competitive inter-agency grant process. Proposals submitted will need to be for projects will help grow a region’s industry clusters, accelerate technological innovation, increase exports and encourage the development of small businesses.

For example, one of the 20 project winners chosen in 2011 was Space Florida – they were given $2.14 million for a Space Coast clean energy jobs accelerator project that would trigger an energy cluster.

They proposed to work with the Kennedy Space Center/NASA to develop a center that will sponsor, support, and accelerate the commercialization of emerging clean energy products and technologies. The project would accelerate the formation of clean energy startup companies, and stabilize and strengthen existing (two+ years) small, clean energy businesses.

Other than the EDA, federal agencies involved in the project include the U.S. Employment & Training Administration (ETA) and the Small Business Administration’s Technological Research Development Authority (TRDA).

All put together, the 20 winning projects in 2011 were supposed to create more than 4,800 jobs and 300 new businesses, and retain another 2,400 jobs and train approximately 4,000 workers for careers in high-growth industries.

Federal agencies involved in the 2012 “Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge” include the EDA, ETA, SBA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. In addition to these six funding partner agencies, the projects may leverage technical assistance from eight other federal agencies.

The deadline for applications is July 9, 2012. The requisite information and forms can be found on the website. 

Columbia, SC Gets 750 Jobs With WNS BPO Center

WNS Global Services, a Mumbai, India-based company providing business process outsourcing (BPO) services, is going to setup a delivery center in Columbia, South Carolina that will create up to 750 new jobs in the state.

WNS Global Services

Photo - WNS Global Services

WNS is investing $4.25 million for setting up a 300-seat employee center as a start to cater to its North American clients, which could eventually be expanded to include upto 750 employees.

The delivery center may be used as a call center and for doing work like insurance claims processing and back-office accounting.

“We are thrilled that WNS has selected our state for their first U.S.-based delivery facility, and celebrate the investments and the new jobs WNS will create through this center,” said SC Gov. Nikki Haley. “By providing a business-friendly environment and keeping the costs of doing business low, our state has great opportunities to attract major job-creating investments like this one.”

The new center is located at 1401 Shop Road in Columbia and has 23,000 square feet of office space. They expect to begin operations in July.

WNS Group CEO Keshav Murugesh added that the company’s decision to open their first North American center was the “culmination of months of analysis and discussion.”

The site selection process started with a long list of possible locations, with criteria such as average wages, access to airports and proximity to a college in the metro area of the chosen city. The list was narrowed down to Greenville, Spartanburg and Columbia.

Columbia finally clinched the deal because of its insurance company cluster, which might help WNS as a lot of their BPO work is related to insurance.

WNS senior vice president Jon Hurley told the Post & Courier that he was pitching the center to one of the biggest insurance companies in the US. WNS has more than 23,000 employees in 26 centers worldwide providing services to over 200 global clients.

“Because of our high quality workforce, strong business climate and lifestyle, the Columbia market has emerged as a magnet for international business. We welcome WNS to the capital city,” said City of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

The South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development gave WNS incentives in the form of a $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Closing Fund to help with building upfit at the proposed site. Richland County provided property tax credits, and recruitment assistance and training will be provided by readySC.

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