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ONLINE INSIDER
From the September Issue

ONLINE INSIDER

Big Tech Schools Us

Students, professionals and educational leaders see skills training from tech giants like Amazon as much more than window dressing. It’s a door to everyone’s future.

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FROM SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE
From the September Issue

BUSINESS RETENTION

Where Talent is Concerned, Diversity Equals Opportunity

BLS & Co.’s Andy Shapiro highlights what every site selector should know about the emerging Census 2020 data.

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From the September Issue

INVESTMENT PROFILE: DELAWARE

The First State is First in Access to What Matters

Just ask the state’s CEO of the year, whose company has been a fixture in Delaware since 1899.

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 EVENTS 

 

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 PROJECT WATCH 

China

ExxonMobil this month made a final investment decision to proceed with a multibillion-dollar chemical complex in the Dayawan Petrochemical Industrial Park in Huizhou, Guangdong Province in China. “Demand for performance polymers will continue to increase in China, and we’re well positioned to meet the needs of that growing market,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “We look forward to progressing this exciting project as we work to build a competitive growth platform in Dayawan.” Construction is underway on the greenfield project, which includes a flexible feed steam cracker, three performance polyethylene lines, and two differentiated performance polypropylene lines. ExxonMobil’s history in China dates back to 1892 when its predecessor Standard Oil began marketing kerosene to light the Mei Foo lamps in Chinese homes.

“ExxonMobil is prioritizing near-term capital investments on advantaged assets with the highest potential value and ability to generate attractive shareholder returns,” the company said on November 8. “These include chemicals projects to grow high-value performance products by 60% by 2027. Besides the chemical complex in China, ExxonMobil and SABIC’s joint venture in San Patricio County, Texas, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, is in the process of starting up.” Site Selection documented that project’s location decision in May 2017.

Source: Conway Analytics

Kentucky

Batavia, New York–based Chapin International, known for its array of compressed air sprayers, spreaders and irrigation products, is expanding in two Kentucky locations at once, most recently via this investment in Boyle County near the South Danville Bypass that was aided by incentives from the state and from the city, located south of Lexington. The company also will increase investment in its Mount Vernon operation in Rockcastle County (located along I-75 halfway between Lexington and the Tennessee state line) to $13.9 million and double job creation at that facility — just announced last year — to 200 full-time positions. Chapin now has more than 1.75 million sq. ft. of production facility space in New York, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky combined, will grow to have over 500 U.S.-based employees and “will be twice the size of any U.S.-based sprayer producer and is positioned to compete with off-shore sprayer manufactures well into the 2030s,” the company said.

“As Covid continues to be an issue in the United States and the world, the increased demand for sprayers continues and the need to fight the spread is even more imperative,” said Chapin International President Jim Campbell in August. “At the same time, people have had more opportunity to be at home and are enjoying gardening and improvement projects more than ever before. At the start of the pandemic, Chapin was at planned capacity. That was quickly overwhelmed by demand. With our recent expansion into Kentucky, we will now be able to produce over 12 million yearly sprayers in the United States as long as raw materials and labor [are] available.”

Source: Conway Analytics

 

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 SITE SELECTION RECOMMENDS 
Click Here to Enlarge
Chart courtesy of Economist Impact

More than one economist has cited the looming influence of climate change on location decision-making by companies and the individuals who work for them. Economist Impact just released one tool to help assess risk and opportunity where one particular resource is concerned. The inaugural City Water Optimization Index, sponsored by DuPont Water Solutions, measures how well 51 cities around the world are safeguarding their water resources. The chart above shows Top 10s in several categories, with the “Sustainability” ranking indicating how well cities are prepared for the future.

 

 CHOOSE WASHINGTON 2021-2022

RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Playbook for Recovery

Washington focuses on small businesses as they navigate the entrepreneurial playing field.

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From the September Issue

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

Washington’s Innovation Economy Edge Widens

The state leads the nation in percentage growth of new tech positions, with employment in the sector having grown by nearly 34% in the past decade.

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 PHOTO OF THE DAY 
SpinLaunch’s Suborbital Accelerator is designed to operate from 800 to 5,000 mph and acts primarily as a test-bed for the Orbital Launch System that will one day launch satellites into space using the power of centrifugal force.
Photo courtesy of SpinLaunch

SpinLaunch, the Long Beach, California–based company whose operations at New Mexico’s Spaceport America were chronicled by Gary Daughters in our March issue, last month successfully conducted the first test flight from its suborbital accelerator launch system. SpinLaunch started construction at Spaceport America in 2019 and is developing a launch system that uses kinetic energy with a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin a projectile at several times the speed of sound before releasing.

Backed by $110 million in capital from investors including Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures, SpinLaunch expected to spend over $38 million in construction at Spaceport America by the end of 2021, and is expected to conduct about 30 suborbital test flights over the next six to eight months from the New Mexico site. “SpinLaunch signed a lease agreement in 2019, promising an initial $7 million investment and the creation of 20 new jobs,” Daughters reported last March. “The company now expects to invest $46 million of private money in construction and expansion over 10 years. In December [2020], it announced the hiring of 59 additional ‘highly-paid’ workers, aided by $4 million worth of job-creation incentives.”

 
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