Mississippi Works Website and Mobile Apps Launched

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant unveiled the new Mississippi Works website and mobile apps that aims to the first-of-its kind interactive resource pairing jobs seekers with employers statewide.

Mississippi Works

Mississippi Works

Mississippi Works is a real-time system that both employers and job seekers can use at no cost. It allows jobs seekers to search for openings based on location, academic qualifications and the job type.

Job seekers may create a profile and get mobile text messages or email alerts about new jobs posted that match their qualifications.

The innovative part that sets Mississippi Works apart from other job boards is that it also advises job seekers on how well their qualifications match a particular opening, outlining what additional training, job experience and/or education they need to qualify.

The system also has separate sections for veterans and students. Students can search for available jobs based solely on the academic degree. More than 13,000 students have already signed up for the service.

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but as of now, the website lists 26,326 Mississippi jobs as being available.

Gov. Bryant said in a statement that since becoming Governor, he has made it a priority to build a state where every Missourian who wants a job can find a job. Gov. Bryant said they are accomplishing this goal through economic development efforts, by improving the business climate, through workforce development programs and education reform.

Apart from connecting jobs seekers with employers, the Mississippi Works system will also help the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) identify state residents who have filed for unemployment benefits and then match these individuals with suitable jobs that need to be filled.

The Mississippi Works system was developed by the Governor’s Office and MDES working together with nSPARC, a research center at Mississippi State University.

The website and mobile apps are a part of the overall Mississippi Works initiative that is focused on three main economic development areas:-

– Focus on workforce development to help craft a long-range strategy for expanding economic opportunities in Mississippi;

– Help attract new investments to the state while helping grow existing businesses and expand them into new markets; and

– Provide a forum for business leaders in Mississippi to learn about the progress being made, and provide the tools to help spread the success stories beyond Mississippi.

The Mississippi Works team is comprised of business leaders from across the state, including co-chairs Jim Barksdale who is interim director of the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA); and Bill Lampton who is president of the Asphalt Division at Ergon Inc.

The website can be accessed at www.mississippiworks.org, and you can also download the Android and iPhone apps.

EPA to Honor Winners of National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

At an awards ceremony scheduled to be held at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Feb 5, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will recognize the 2013 winners of the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

The award recognizes and supports communities that are using innovative development strategies and policies that strengthen their economies and provide housing and transportation choices while protecting the environment.

The winning projects for 2013 in five categories were chosen out of 77 applications sent in by 31 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

The winners are as follows:-

Overall Excellence in Smart Growth РAtlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and Historic Fourth Ward Park project in Atlanta, Georgia – This redevelopment of what was once a contaminated rail corridor into a connected park with multi-use trails is fueling economic development, affordable housing and community engagement in 45 neighborhoods in the City of Atlanta.

Corridor/Neighborhood Revitalization РHistoric Millwork District and Washington Neighborhood project in Dubuque, Iowa – The conversion of the historic but vacant mill district into a mixed-use neighborhood connected it to an adjacent residential neighborhood and to the downtown.

Policies, Programs, and Plans РGO TO 2040 project in Metropolitan Chicago, Illinois – The GO TO 2040 project is a seven-county regional economic development plan that brings together a wide number of local partners, linking their individual plans to a broad regional vision for growth through technical assistance and tools.

Built Projects – La Valentina project in Sacramento, California – La Valentina is a mixed-use apartment building on a former brownfield site adjacent to a light-rail station. It is transforming what was once a purely industrial neighborhood and is giving residents transportation options.

Plazas, Parks, and Public Places РCharles City Riverfront Park in Charles City, Iowa – Built on a flood plain, this multi-facility park is connected to the city’s downtown and adjacent low-income housing, and has become the recreational heart of Charles City, in addition to bringing economic benefits.

Two honorable mentions were given to the Lower Eastside Action Plan in Detroit, MI and the Via Verde energy-efficient building project in The Bronx, NY.

The National Award for Smart Growth Achievement was created by the EPA in 2002. Since then, EPA has received 886 applications from all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

The award ceremony featuring Administrator McCarthy and representatives from the communities that are award recipients will also feature a video presentation from each of the winning projects.¬†You can read more about the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement and see the video presentations created by this year’s winning projects¬†at epa.gov.

Walmart Canada Announces $492M Expansion

Walmart Canada has announced plans to complete 35 supercenter projects in the company’s current fiscal year which runs from Feb 1, 2014 to Jan 31, 2015.

Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada (photo – walmartcanada.ca)

The supercenter projects, along with an expansion of the company’s distribution network and e-commerce operations in Canada, will require an overall investment of $500 million CAD ($492 USD) into the Canadian economy.

Walmart will spend $376 million CAD for building new stores and remodeling or relocating existing ones, along with $91 million CAD for distribution network projects, and another $31 million CAD for e-commerce projects.

The expansion is expected to create more than 7,500 new jobs in Canada, including construction jobs. Walmart already has more than 95,000 associates in Canada, and is one of the biggest employers in the country and among the top 10 most influential brands.

In Jan 2013, Walmart had similarly announced an investment of $450 million CAD for 37 supercenter projects and distribution network expansion projects that would create 7,000 new jobs.

Walmart Canada President and CEO Shelley Broader said that customers in every region of Canada are looking to save money on their entire list of shopping needs. Broader said that delivering on their commitment to help lower the cost of living was the company’s¬†top priority, and the growing network of supercenters and expanding walmart.ca offering enable them to do just that.

Walmart’s 247 existing supercenters and other stores in Canada serve more than 1.2 million customers every day, and their flagship online store at Walmart.ca gets 300,000 visitors daily.

The addition of 35 new supercenter projects will bring Walmart Canada’s store count to 395 by Jan 2015, including 282 supercenters and another 113 discount stores.

The exact locations for the new stores and the distribution network projects have not yet been finalized. However, Walmart did say that the supercenter projects would add a million square feet of retail space. Coupled with the 1.4 million square feet of retail space added in 2013, this year’s expansion brings Walmart’s total retail space in Canada to around 15 million square feet.

John Hofmeister & Son Expanding Hof Haus in Chicago

John Hofmeister & Son, Inc., a Chicago-based family-owned business that has sold hams and turkeys to wholesalers for more than 60 years, is expanding and creating new jobs.

Hof Haus Chicago

Hof Haus Chicago (photo – hofhaus.com)

The $9.6 million Hof Haus expansion project will add a new slicing and packaging operation to their food manufacturing facility which produces a full line of ham, pork and smoked turkey products under the Old Warsaw brand and other private labels for clients.

The expansion will help the company expand its grocery company and school lunch program sales, and create 25 new union jobs.

Hof Haus usually has around 80 employees, including 40 union members and other temp jobs added during peak times.

Around 89 percent of their employees are minorities, and the expansion will place greater emphasis on local Latino markets and sales to Puerto Rico.

The expansion is being funded through a $9 million financing package led by Village Bank & Trust of Arlington Heights that will allow John Hofmeister & Son to retire old debt, purchase equipment and hire the new workers.

The state is pitching in with a $2 million loan from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). This $2 million Advantage Illinois loan is a part of the $9 million financing package.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said in a statement that small businesses are the backbone of the Illinois economy, and programs like this help small businesses thrive. Gov. Quinn said that by increasing access to capital, they were making it easier for companies such as Hof Haus to grow and create more jobs in Illinois.

The Advantage Illinois program has received more than $78 million in federal funding through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) authorized under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to accelerate investments and ease the credit crunch for small businesses.

DCEO Director Adam Pollet said that the Advantage Illinois program was a shot in the arm for the state’s small businesses. Pollet said enhancing business access to capital is a top priority for the State, and gets entrepreneurs and small businesses starting up or expanding and creating quality jobs at a faster rate.

Smart Grid Projects Get $4.3M in NY State Funding

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $4.3 million in funding for smart grid projects seeking to develop or research techniques to make New York’s electric grid more efficient and resilient.

Smart Grid

Smart Grid (photo – energy.gov)

Funding for the projects is being provided through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, under NYSERDA’s Smart Grid Program.

Applicants were invited to submit proposals for projects that enhance the efficiency, reliability, quality and overall performance of the electric power delivery system in the state.

They were also required to demonstrate the statewide public benefit of their project while quantifying the energy, economic and environmental impacts.

Gov. Cuomo said in a statement that that the major storms in the past few years have taught us the importance of improving the performance of utilities and strengthening the resiliency of the electric grid of the future.

For example, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will work with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Con Edison and Clarkson University for testing a new class of power-line coating that reduces storm- and ice-related damage.

A total of $1 million has been awarded for such statewide projects by EPRI, Georgia Tech Research Corp. and EnerNex LLC. Georgia Tech is working on projects to develop grid resiliency measurement techniques during severe weather.

Other awards went to region-specific projects such as $500,000 for NYPA’s collaboration with Hydro-Quebec in the Mid-Hudson region to study the use of grid control devices to improve grid management and reliability.

In NYC, Con Edison is getting $663,000 for working with the NYU-Center for Urban Science and Progress, NYU-Poly, and Smarter Grid Solutions Inc. on technologies and techniques to develop microgrid applications in the New York metro area that can operate in parallel with the grid or independently during a power outage.

Similarly, in Western NY, EPRI is getting $335,000 for working with the National Grid, University of Buffalo and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to study the feasibility of a microgrid for the City of Buffalo.

In the Southern Tier, Bigwood Systems Inc. is getting $90,000 to work with New York State Electric and Gas and develop a software tool that will help utilities reduce the cost of interconnection studies for integrating distributed energy sources such as solar power to the electric grid.

NYSERDA Chairman Richard Kauffman said that these technologically advanced projects will further the state’s efforts to modernize the electric grid and reduce the cost of delivering power in New York State. Kauffman said that by fostering innovative projects today, the state is helping New Yorkers meet their energy and resiliency needs of tomorrow.

LSU System Impact on Louisiana – $3.9B and 36,757 Jobs

The Louisiana State University (LSU) Division of Economic Development at the E. J. Ourso College of Business has come up with a study that looks economic impact of the nine LSU campuses on Louisiana at the state and regional level.

LSU economic impact study

LSU economic impact study

Here’s the highlights from the report, by the numbers:-

LSU supported FY 2013 sales added up to $3.9 billion, along with $1.5 billion in new statewide earnings and an estimated 36,757 direct and indirect annualized jobs.

Out of this, non-resident students studying at LSU are responsible for $353 million in sales and $137 million in earnings in Louisiana, along with nearly 3,500 new jobs.

For every dollar provided by the state, LSU generated $5.08 in economic activity.

Stephen Barnes, author of the study and assistant professor of economics and director of the Division of Economic Development at the E. J. Ourso College of Business, said these numbers demonstrate how invaluable LSU is to the state from a variety of angles, whether it is through jobs created, sales generated or drawing non-resident students to Louisiana.

Barnes added that LSU is most definitely a critical economic driver for the State of Lousiana.

The study notes that for the 2012-13 academic year, LSU attracted an average of more than 36,500 students and employed around 13,200 full-time faculty and staff. Not to mention another 12,040 part-time workers, student workers and graduate assistants. This takes the total direct employment at LSU to 25,300.

LSU is also a source for bringing in new investments and revenue streams into the state. At any given time, there are more than 2,000 sponsored research projects underway at LSU, with professors and students working to obtain grants for their research. The LSU faculty managed to secure $74.7 million in new federal grants last year alone.

The skilled workforce and training that an LSU campus provides offers an incentive for businesses looking to relocate or expand in the area.

The report also provides a breakup of the economic impact of LSU by metropolitan areas in Louisiana.

Baton Rouge MSA – $2.1 billion in sales, $764 million in earnings, and more than 21,400 jobs;

New Orleans MSA – $887.8 million in sales, $391.2 million in earnings and approximately 6,900 jobs;

Shreveport-Bossier City MSA – $535.7 million in sales, $214.8 million in earnings and 2,400 jobs;

Alexandria MSA – $52.7 million in sales, $17.6 million in earnings and about 640 jobs; and

Lafayette MSA – $47.2 million in sales, $17.1 million in earnings, and 515 jobs.

Read the full LSU System impact study – Download (pdf)

CareerBuilder-EMSI New Business Establishments Study

CareerBuilder and the Moscow, Idaho-based Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) have released a study that looks at the growth of private sector establishments from 2001 to 2012, and ranks states for growth in new establishments after the recession.

Top and bottom states for net new business establishments from 2009-12

Top and bottom states for net new business establishments from 2009-12

The analysis is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, with a business establishment defined as a single physical location that produces some economic activity.

The study says that in between 2001-07, the U.S. as a whole produced between 115,000 to 210,000 net new private sector establishments each year. The numbers bottomed out during the recession, and haven’t approached 100,000 since then.

CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson says the number of private sector business establishments grew by just two percent from 2009 to 2012, after growing at 12 percent between 2001 and 2007.

Ferguson said growth patterns are poised to be stronger in 2014 and beyond as the economy becomes more energized, which he said will in turn help influence the creation of new jobs.

The top three states showing the most private sector business establishment growth from 2009-12 are:-

Texas – From 2009 to 2012, the number of net new establishments in Texas grew by 29,065 to 579,166, accounting for 22 percent of all net new business establishments in the U.S. The sectors showing the biggest growth in Texas were health care and social assistance (6,385 new establishments), and mining and oil and gas extraction (1,001 new establishments).

New York – From 2009-12, the number of net new establishments in New York grew by 20,974 to 591,448, accounting for 16 percent of all net new business establishments in the U.S.  The sectors showing the biggest growth in New York were private educational services (707 new establishments), and accommodation and food services (3,759 new establishments).

Illinois РFrom 2009-12, the number of net new establishments in Illinois grew by 18,226 to 383,103, accounting for 14 percent of all net new business establishments in the U.S.  The sectors showing the biggest growth in Illinois were transportation and warehousing (1,943 new establishments), and services (4,125 new establishments).

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said in a statement that they know more jobs are needed and they are working to get them, but this report shows that the state’s economy is getting stronger every day. Gov. Quinn said this business growth would not have been seen without the skilled Illinois workforce and the great advantages the state offers in location and the culture of innovation.

Florida and Washington rounded out the top five states for growth in net new private sector business establishments from 2009-2012.

The study also shows that the highest growth in private sector establishments on a per capita basis was clocked by North Dakota (53.4 new establishments per 10,000 residents), Nebraska (38/10,000 residents) and the District of Columbia (30.2/10,000 residents), followed by Washington at 17/10,000 residents and Oregon at 15/10,000 residents.

Washington is thus the only state in the top five for both overall growth and a per capita growth in net new private sector business establishments.

Tejas Tubular Steel Pipe Plant to Create 200 Jobs in Nebraska

Houston, TX-based Tejas Tubular Products Inc., has chosen Madison County, Nebraska as the site for a new tubular steel pipe manufacturing facility.

Tejas Tubular Products

Tejas Tubular Products (photo – tejastubular.com)

The company will begin construction on the 350,000-square-foot oil country tubular goods (OCTG) facility in the City of Norfolk this year, and expects the project to be completed by mid-2015.

Tejas Tubular is applying for state incentives for the project under Nebraska Advantage tier six, which requires a commitment to create a minimum of 50 new jobs and an investment of at least $109 million.

However, Tejas Tubular actually plans to hire more than 200 employees for the facility when it is fully operational.

In order to facilitate the project, Tejas Tubular has been approved for a package of state and local incentives including $1.4 million from the State of Nebraska under the Site and Building Development Fund, which offers financial assistance for infrastructure development and improvements, and for other pre-approved costs.

Tejas Tubular is also getting another $3.6 million from the City of Norfolk, as the City is authorized to use local tax dollars for economic development under the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act.

Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman said the project was made possible because the citizens of Norfolk have spoken through their votes, making economic development and growth a priority.  Mayor Fuchtman said that bringing Tejas Tubular to Norfolk was a monumental accomplishment for their community and for all of northeast Nebraska.

Max Tejeda, owner of Tejas Tubular Products, Inc., said they were impressed with Nebraska’s fiscally-conservative approach to doing business, and added that the City of Norfolk was also instrumental in convincing them to select this location.

The new facility will be producing casing, drill pipe and line pipe used by the oil and gas industry, with the steel required by Tejas Tubular being supplied by the Nucor Steel Bar Mill, also in Madison County.

Dirk Petersen, general manager of Nucor Steel Bar Mill, said their strategic partnership, as well as the location to markets, is a win-win for both companies. Peterson said it shows the Norfolk community’s commitment to business, creating American jobs and supporting American energy independence.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said in a statement that this investment is a good example of how Nebraska is moving forward as a desired, premier destination for companies looking to expand and create jobs.

City Energy Project Brings 10 Cities Together to Cut Building Emissions

Mayors of ten major U.S. cities are participating in an initiative called the City Energy Project (CEP) to boost energy efficiency of their buildings and lower their combined energy bills by nearly $1 billion annually.

Building energy consumption breakup

Building energy consumption breakup (graph from lbl.gov)

CEP is an initiative from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation, and is designed to create healthier and more prosperous American cities.

The 10 cities that are CEP’s first participants are РAtlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.

The initiative is funded through partnerships with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. CEP will help each of the cities create plans for boosting energy efficiency of their building.

Buildings are the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S., accounting for around 40 percent of all emissions. The percentage of emissions attributed to buildings in cities is even higher, and is more than half in most cities and sometimes as high as 75 percent.

The energy efficiency measures undertaken as a result of the CEP initiative will cut five to seven million tons of carbon emissions annually – equivalent to taking 1-1.5 million passenger vehicles off the road every year, or equivalent to the electricity used by around 700,000 to 1,000,000 American homes annually.

Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that in the face of a changing climate and increasingly extreme weather, these city leaders know they cannot wait for the federal or state government to make them more resilient and sustainable – they are taking action now.

Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation, said CEP will give city leaders and the real estate industry the support they need to make building better, improving the lives of millions of city residents.

The City of Atlanta, Georgia estimates that by improving building energy efficiency, they can save as much as $146 million annually and cut 1.1 million tons of carbon emissions (equivalent to the carbon footprint of 55,000 homes every year).

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said that while their focus has been on larger buildings over 50,000 square feet, programs such as CEP and the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator program will give them the tools needed to establish a baseline and create targeted strategies for reducing energy use in all buildings.

America INNOVATES Act Aims to Modernize DOE National Laboratories

A bill has been introduced in the United States Senate that aims to improve management of the National Laboratories system, facilitate public-private partnerships and enhance technology commercialization.

Sen. Chris Coons introducing America INNOVATES Act in U.S. Senate

Sen. Chris Coons introducing America INNOVATES Act in U.S. Senate

The bill (S.1973) was introduced by Senator Chris Coons from Delaware and Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.

It is titled the America INNOVATES (Implementing New National Opportunities to Vigorously Accelerate Technology, Energy and Science) Act.

Senators Coons and Rubio said in a statement that America’s 17 national labs conduct research on a broad range of scientific and technological fields, but are not always equipped to translate their scientific discoveries into commercial breakthroughs.

The legislation has been written based on a June 2013 thinktank report that suggested policy recommendations to reimagine the Department of Energy National Labs in the 21st century economy.

Matthew Stepp, senior policy analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and co-author of the aforementioned report, said this legislation provides much-needed flexibility in how the national labs collaborate with industry, and will enhance technology transfer, innovation and job creation.

S.1973 includes the following proposed reforms of the National Lab system:-

– Integrate management of DOE science and energy programs into a vertically integrated research enterprise;

– Direct DOE to implement best practices for improving management and operations at National Lab complex;

– Allow National Labs to partner more effectively with the private sector to create new technologies and enhance technology commercialization;

– Allow DOE more flexibility to support applied R&D at universities and non-profits; and

– Give startups more access to cutting-edge facilities at national labs.

Sen. Coons said that too many transformative ideas and scientific breakthroughs never leave the national labs, which squanders enormous potential. Sen. Coons said this bill will modernize critical aspects of the National Lab system, and widen and streamline the nation’s innovation pipeline, helping to create badly needed jobs.

Sen. Rubio said the national labs, which have long been a leading source of innovation and research, currently lack the tools they need to translate American ingenuity into jobs. Sen. Rubio said this bill will make it easier for the labs to work together with the private sector to bring groundbreaking research to fruition in the marketplace.

S.1973 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372  Scroll to top