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ONLINE INSIDER
From the September Issue

Electric Owl Comes in for a Landing

The film and TV production complex in metro Atlanta is the newest arrival in a fast-maturing ecosystem that welcomed $4 billion in spending to Georgia last year.

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FROM SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022 ISSUE
From the September Issue

NEWS DIGEST

World Reports

Brief reports update you on Google’s London office; Europe’s logistics market; Bentley’s “Dream Factory”; a Japan JV from TSMC and Sony; and the giant United Imaging campus coming to Shanghai.

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From the September Issue

INVESTMENT PROFILE: CONROE, TEXAS

A Shining Light in the Lone Star State

Booming Conroe is ready for its day in the sun.

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 CONWAY ANALYTICS SNAPSHOT 
Infographic courtesy of Quest Diagnostics

Click Here to view Enlarge Infographic

Quest Diagnostics this week released its latest analysis of positive drug test results from the U.S. workforce. The study, based on more than 11 million deidentified urine, hair and oral fluid drug tests performed by Quest, offers insights about drug use including cocaine, marijuana, oxycodones, opiates and more. Among the findings:

The rate of positive drug test results among America’s workforce reached its highest rate last year since 2001 and was up more than 30% in the combined U.S. workforce from an all-time low in 2010-2012. “The overall positivity rate in the combined U.S. workforce, based on nearly nine million urine drug tests collected between January and December 2021, was up in 2021 to 4.6% compared to 4.4% in 2020 and up 31.4% from the all-time low of 3.5% just 10 years ago (2010-2012).”

Quest said the combined U.S. workforce includes the general U.S. workforce of mostly company-policy testing by private employers as well as the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, which includes federal employees and the transportation and nuclear power industries, and can include workers such as pilots, truck drivers, train conductors and others required to drug test under federal legislation.

“Employers are wrestling with significant recruitment and retention challenges as well as with maintaining safe and engaging work environments that foster positive mental and physical wellbeing,” said Keith Ward, General Manager and Vice President, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions. “Our Drug Testing Index data raises important questions about what it means to be an employer committed to employee health and safety. Eager to attract talent, employers may be tempted to lower their standards. In the process, they raise the specter of more drug-related impairment and worksite accidents that put other employees and the general public in harms’ way.”

For an interactive map of the Drug Testing Index with positivity rates and trend lines by drug categories and three-digit ZIP code in the United States, visit DTIDrugMap.com. The map shows worrisome results in large portions of the south-central U.S., and in largely (though not exclusively) rural areas of some states. — Adam Bruns

 

 EVENTS 

 

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KANSAS: TO THE STARS

STATISTICAL PROFILE

Kansas by the Numbers

Quick insights into the state’s top projects, demographics, biggest metros and logistics infrastructure.

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From the September Issue

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

No Place Like Home

Community development programs and initiatives improve the quality of life across the state’s communities.

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From the September Issue

PHOTO GALLERY

Kansas Captured

Snapshots from locations that include Wilson State Park, Old Cow Town in Wichita, the Wizard of Oz Museum and Rolling Hills Zoo.

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 PROJECT WATCH 

Québec

Hyperscale data center provider Vantage Data Centers on March 17 announced it will invest an additional CAD$900 million to rapidly scale its Canadian operations, including the development of a third campus in Montréal and the expansion of two existing campuses in Montréal and Québec City, says a release from Montréal International. Vantage has been aggressively expanding across Quebec since it acquired Canada-based 4Degrees Colocation, as profiled in Site Selection. With these new expansions, Vantage will have four campuses totaling 143MW of IT capacity in the province with a combined investment approaching CAD$1.7 billion. “The Quebec Province is an ideal location for data centers due to our green and affordable power options, rich connectivity, cool climate and business-friendly culture,” said Maxime Guévin, vice president and general manager of Vantage’s Canadian business. After entering six markets in Europe in 2020, the company also recently entered five markets in Asia Pacific and broke ground on its first African campus in Johannesburg.

Source: Conway Analytics

Georgia

Augusta hosts a lot more than the Masters golf tournament coming to town next week. Last week, PureCycle Technologies, which holds a global license to commercialize the only patented solvent-based purification recycling technology, developed by Procter & Gamble, for restoring waste polypropylene (PP) into ultra-pure resin, broke ground in Augusta Corporate Park on its second U.S. plastic waste purification facility. The facility is “designed to transform No. 5 plastic waste into a sustainable material that can be used to make products consumers use on a regular basis such as yogurt cups, cosmetics, plastic containers, and even car parts,” says the company. PureCycle’s Augusta location can support up to eight purification lines, which collectively are designed to produce approximately 1 billion pounds of like-new recycled plastic annually.

Source: Conway Analytics

 

 

2022 KENTUCKY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GUIDE

The Digital Edition of “Kentucky: The Center of Success” is now live. Produced by Conway Custom Content for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the publication features our interview with Governor Andy Beshear; a look inside how Kentucky landed the largest project in state history with Ford Motor Co.’s BlueOval SK; and viewpoints on recent investments from executives at such companies as Novelis, Firestone and Pratt Industries. Gain insights into the state’s entrepreneurs and startups, as well as training resources that get the job done. Catch up with strong Kentucky sectors such as business services, agritech, metals, logistics and advanced manufacturing. Learn how Build-Ready Sites are just one part of the state’s speed-to-market value proposition. And you can’t visit Kentucky without checking in on the commonwealth’s array of quality-of-life amenities, including an exploding bourbon tourism scene.

 

 SITE SELECTION RECOMMENDS 
MIT’s Infinite Corridor — which is one-sixth of a mile long — mixes thousands of people together daily.
Photo courtesy of MIT

A new study by MIT scholars examines whether the thoughtfulness behind its campus design and architecture truly enables collaboration as intended. “Overall the study, which looks at email traffic between faculty, researchers, and staff on campus, confirms that physical proximity does matter for workplace collaboration, but it adds new wrinkles about how this happens,” says a release from the university.

The study of workspace interaction at MIT has a heritage: “A large body of scholarship has examined workplace interactions — often influenced by the late Thomas Allen, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management whose interest in the subject was spurred in part by a stint working at Boeing,” says the university. “Allen’s research in the 1970s and 1980s found that greater proximity has a strong relationship with greater collaboration among engineers, a phenomenon represented by the ‘Allen Curve.’ ”

“These ideas could be explored analogously in other work environments beyond MIT, such as companies, organizations, or even public sector institutions,” says Bahij Chaucey, a researcher at the MIT City Form Lab and a co-author of the paper.

 

 PHOTO OF THE DAY 
Photo courtesy of News Travels Fast and UT

The Boca Raton Museum of Art on April 20th will welcome an unusual exhibition that will show so-called “virtual reality” movie studios how long such illusions have truly been around. “The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop” is the first dedicated museum exhibition “honoring the unsung heroes of Hollywood’s artistic DNA,” say promoters. “These monumental paintings were essential to moviemaking for almost a century, and were never meant to be seen by the public with the naked eye,” says film critic and historian Leonard Maltin. “Having this rare opportunity to experience these American masterpieces up close is long overdue.”

The exhibition of 22 scenic backdrops, made for the movies between 1938 and 1968, salutes the dozens of uncredited artists who made scenes of Mount Rushmore, Ben-Hur's Rome, the Von Trapp family's Austrian Alps, and Gene Kelly's Paris street dance possible. Shown here is one of the most iconic backdrops of all time, an image of Mount Rushmore used in scenes from the 1959 MGM film “North by Northwest,” produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint (pictured). The backdrop is part of Texas Performing Arts' permanent backdrop collection, the most extensive educational collection of Hollywood motion picture backdrops in the world.

 
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