From the July Issue


E-commerce Companies Find ‘Prime’ Locations in the Show-Me State

Several investments by Amazon in recent months highlight Missouri’s central strong points.

Read More >>>


Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Motherwell, Scotland, customer service outsourcing firm Ascensos last week announced the first of what it says will be six contact centers it will locate in the UK over the next year. The company already operates centers in Motherwell and Isle of Wight in the UK, as well as one in Bucharest, Romania, and another opened last year in Istanbul, Turkey. According to a BBC report, “Ascensos said the move was part of a drive to ‘bring high-quality digital jobs to rural communities,’ with staff working mainly from home.” Located in southwest Scotland, Stranraer has historically been a ferry port linking to Northern Ireland and is known for its music and coastal recreation.

Source: Conway Analytics


This project is part of an overall expansion by West that will retain 1,100 jobs statewide and create more than 200 jobs across three Pennsylvania locations in Williamsport, Jersey Shore, and the company’s headquarters in Exton. The company received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $687,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $258,000 workforce development grant to help the company train workers. The company also was encouraged to apply for the department’s Manufacturing Tax Credit (MTC) program and for a Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan. West Pharmaceutical designs and produces delivery systems for injectable medicines, delivering more than 40 billion components and devices annually. Williamsport is best known for hosting the annual Little League World Series, this year taking place August 19-29 and featuring U.S. teams only due to COVID-19.

Source: Conway Analytics





From the Mississippi Development Guide 2021


Beyond the Black Belt

Investments Build Out Mississippi’s Agricultural Infrastructure

Read More >>>



Graph courtesy of Statista

Felix Richter, data journalist with Statista, wrote last week of new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), “the number of unfilled positions reached 10.07 million on the last business day of June, up from 9.48 million at the end of May and 2.5 million higher than the pre-pandemic series high of 7.57 million reached in the fall of 2018. While the high level of job openings is a good sign that the labor market is recovering from its historic slump, employers are having trouble finding workers to hire as people are also leaving their existing jobs in high numbers. According to Tuesday’s JOLTS report, 3.87 million Americans quit their jobs in June, indicating a high level of optimism that they can find another, possibly higher-paid position elsewhere. Meanwhile the number of layoffs and discharges also reached a new series low, completing the trifecta of labor market optimism.”


The MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team runs with their valiant car Nimbus across the American Solar Challenge finish line in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Photo courtesy of MIT and the American Solar Challenge

EVs are everywhere now. But solar EVs? That’s still cutting edge. Last week a team from MIT took home the top prize in the Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) category in the biannual American Solar Challenge (ASC). “During the five-day race, their solar car, Nimbus — designed and built entirely by students — beat eight other SOVs from schools across the country,” MIT announced in a release, “traversing 1,109 miles and maintaining an average speed of 38.4 miles per hour.” As we documented in our 2018 story about the event, MIT has had a group working on a solar car for more than 30 years. After undergoing a series of challenges two weeks before the ASC at the Formula Sun Grand Prix at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas, the teams began the main race, which was based on total distance traveled. “Each team followed the same prescribed route, from Independence, Missouri, to Las Vegas, New Mexico,” MIT recounted, following a route commemorating the bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail. “But teams could drive additional miles within each of the three stages — if their battery had enough juice to continue. Nimbus surpassed the closest runner-up, the University of Kentucky, by over 100 miles.”