From the September Issue

Fields of Plenty: The Promise of Solar Energy

Origis Energy’s William Hearn describes the “ah-ha” moment that led him to see the solar power industry as “one of the largest economic impact successes in rural America,” and he explores where it might take us next.

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From the September Issue


France leads the Way for Foreign Investment

A comparison of reports from UNCTAD and EY yields compelling insights.

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From the September Issue


Dover Site Checks All the Right Location Boxes

A company president tells us why Delaware won out over three other states for a $91 million “super plant.”

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NAIOP this week released its Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2022 U.S. Edition, which stated that the combined economic contributions of new commercial building development and the operations of existing commercial buildings in 2021:

  • Resulted in direct expenditures of $434 billion;
  • Contributed $1.2 trillion to U.S. GDP;
  • Generated $418.7 billion in personal earnings;
  • Supported a total of 8.5 million jobs.

According to the report, “in March and April 2020, the construction industry lost 1.1 million jobs, or 14.6% of employment; by November 2021, it added back 1 million jobs, leaving a deficit of 115,000 (1.5%) from the pre-recession peak.” A look at NAIOP’s 2021 edition of the report shows personal earnings shot up 24% from $338.1 billion in 2020.

Among other survey highlights in a NAIOP release:

  • Office construction expenditures averaged $46 billion over the past five years (2016-2020). Office activity totaled $40.9 billion in 2021, down 5.9% from 2020 and down 24.9% from 2019.
  • Industrial (manufacturing) construction expenditures averaged $25.6 billion over the past five years (2016-2020). Industrial activity totaled $28.2 billion in 2021, up 81.3% from 2020 ($15.5 billion) but down 16.3% from 2019.
  • Warehouse construction outlays averaged $26 billion over the past five years (2016-2020). Warehouse activity surged 25.9% in 2021 to total $43.2 billion. Activity was up 43% from 2019.

According to NAIOP, here are the top 10 states by development impacts (ranked by total output). Site Selection readers will recognize some familiar names from our annual Governor’s Cups, Prosperity Cup and Business Climate rankings in 2021. — Adam Bruns

Top 10 States by Development Impacts in 2021

State Total Output
(in Billions of Dollars)
Jobs Supported Personal Earnings
(in Billions of Dollars)
Texas 75.89 526,181 28.63
Arizona 45.24 358,148 18.16
California 44.74 294,590 17.82
New York 39 238,521 14.68
Florida 30.63 259,009 12.34
North Carolina 18.22 142,083 6.98
Georgia 17.15 133,886 6.57
Pennsylvania 16 102,165 5.88
Ohio 14.8 103,811 5.5
Massachusetts 13.99 87,174 6.21

Source: NAIOP




The Joy of Work

Coaching can be a conduit for companies seeking neurodiverse talent.

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From the September Issue


Resources for AI, Cybersecurity Careers

Among other activity in these two hot sectors is the establishment of 11 new National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes by the National Science Foundation.

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Shooting for the Stars

Georgia sets record for film and TV production in 2021.

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From the September Issue


Manufacturing Momentum

Georgia’s pro-business climate builds investment momentum across the state.

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North Carolina

This $1 billion project on the outskirts of Charlotte was announced by Indiana-based Eli Lilly & Co. at the same time as a €400 million (US$446 million), 300-job project in Limerick, Ireland. “Lilly selected Concord because of the manufacturing technology experience of the local labor force; its proximity to universities with strong science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs; and its access to major transportation infrastructure,” the company stated last week. “In 2020, Lilly announced a $470 million investment in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. In conjunction with this site, the new facility in Concord will allow the company to strengthen relationships with local governments and universities and diversify its growing presence in the state.” Watch for more about this and other biopharma projects and trends in the Biopharmaceuticals Industry Report in the March 2022 issue of Site Selection.

Source: Conway Analytics


In connection to a vaccine packaging deal, Swedish global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Recipharm will add capacity and 30 jobs at its facility in Kaysersberg, where a phased expansion is taking place. Kaysersberg is one of the company’s sterile manufacturing facilities across a global portfolio of sites in France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the U.S. While the site has historically focused on producing sterile liquids for therapeutic areas including eye care and ear drops, it will now expand its offerings. “This deal is indicative of Recipharm’s successful and ongoing product portfolio diversification,” said Yves Buelens, general manager at Recipharm’s facility in Kaysersberg, commented: “We’ve invested heavily into new capabilities that have built on our BFS [blow-fill-seal] expertise and as a result, strengthened our biotech offering. We are now in a position to welcome new biopharma projects to the Kaysersberg site.”

Source: Conway Analytics




Based on a survey of more than 3,000 senior executives around the globe in 10 industries and nine countries, the 2022 AlixPartners Disruption Index “reveals how business leaders are responding to the new realities of demographics, deglobalization, climate change, and technological acceleration,” says the consultancy. “The survey responses demonstrate how disruption, which displaces existing businesses, markets, and value networks in favor of newer ecosystems and relationships, has emerged as the central challenge for business leaders today.” Among other findings, 94% of executives say their business model will need to change in the next three years, and 72% are worried about losing their jobs. As for the next 12 months, the highest-priority disruptive force is automation/AI/robotics.


Auburn defeated Memphis 31-10 in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field.
Photo courtesy of Legion Field

Football fans anticipating the Super Bowl are also anticipating the withdrawal symptoms they’ll feel afterward. Have no fear, says the re-formed United States Football League, which last week announced it will play its 13-week 2022 season in Birmingham. The independent league is controlled by FOX Sports through NSFL HoldCo, LLC, a new business entity. “It is not associated or affiliated with the USFL of the 1980s or its owners,” the league states on its website, though its eight teams are all resuscitations of team names from among the 18 teams of that era: The North Division will include the New Jersey Generals, Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers and Philadelphia Stars. The South will include the Birmingham Stallions, New Orleans Breakers, Tampa Bay Bandits and Houston Gamblers.

The Birmingham CVB contributed $2 million (including $500,000 each from the city and from Jefferson County) toward hosting the USFL season. All USFL games will be played in the $200 million Protective Stadium and Legion Field (pictured), a stadium known by many as “The Old Gray Lady” that dates to 1927, once played host to the annual Iron Bowl between the University of Alabama and Auburn University, and every year hosts the Magic City Classic, the largest HBCU classic in the country.