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From the May Issue


IAMC Insider

IAMC Chair Scott Cameron on reinvigorating professional development; corporate real estate leaders on dealing with the realities of inflation.

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Corporate Readers: Site Selection Seeks Your Input

The editors of Site Selection are preparing the annual Business Climate rankings, and we need your help. A key part of the rankings that appear in our November issue is input from you on which states have the business climates you find most attractive. Please take a minute to respond to the simple survey that follows. The deadline is Friday, September 2nd. Click on the following survey link to take this survey: https://forms.office.com/r/0aATZimz43




Indian beverage startup Groovy Juices’ third plant in India has opened in Hyderabad, joining two other operations in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand (at its parent company’s water bottling plant) and in Jammu and Kashmir. The company’s pouch-packaged juices come in such flavors as guava, Mint-O-Lemon, lychee, anar and mango. Groovy Juices is a brand of Enhaz Beverages, founded by brothers Mitkaran Singh and Rajneesh Sharma in 2019 to sell affordable fruit juices to Tier II and Tier III cities and to rural areas across northern India. This compelling story from online news source YourStory documents how company leaders launched the first Groovy Juices plant just as the pandemic struck, when they called on companies in the region’s industrial cluster as they were unable to fly in Chinese engineers to install equipment that had instructions only in Mandarin.

Source: Conway Projects Report


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced last week that JTM Foods, LLC has broken ground for a new manufacturing facility in the ICT21 Industrial District on formerly blighted land in Wichita, where it will make its signature JJ’s Snack Pies. It’s the first plant outside the company’s home state of Pennsylvania, and will improve logistics for distributing the hand-held snack pies to markets in the South, Southwest and West Coast regions, in part because of its location on I-135. “After exploring several options across multiple states and locales,” said Monty Pooley, JTM Foods president and CEO, “the strong public/private partnerships here, linking government, business, academic, and community interests together, convinced us that Wichita was the best choice for JTM’s future expansion.” “The City of Wichita’s speculative warehouse abatement policy has been especially critical for our ability to recruit new companies,” said Jeff Fluhr, president of Greater Wichita Partnership.

Source: Conway Projects Report





The Illinois Investment Guide Is Live!

Brought to you by Conway Custom Content, the new economic development guide for 2022-23 features a letter to investors from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker; interviews with Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals and Illinois Department of Community and Economic Opportunity Sylvia Garcia; insights into workforce and infrastructure development; industry reports on hot sectors such as data centers, clean energy, life sciences, film production and logistics; conversations with company leaders; and profiles of projects and communities across the Land of Lincoln.



From its Virginia Beach headquarters, DroneUp connects to a national network of thousands of certified drone pilots.

Photo courtesy of DroneUp

Last week executives with DroneUp, LLC, a drone flight services innovator and aviation technology provider, announced the company will invest $27.2 million to expand its headquarters in the City of Virginia Beach and establish a testing, training and R&D center at Richard Bland College in Dinwiddie County. “Virginia successfully competed with Arizona, New York, North Carolina, and Texas for the projects,” said a release from Gov. Glenn Youngkin, “which will create 655 total new jobs.” Site Selection interviewed DroneUp executives two years ago for a piece focused on the opportunities for unmanned vehicle innovation in the Hampton Roads region. DroneUp leaders at the time were looking forward to doubling their headcount to 30 people as the firm we described as “the Uber of drone services” ramped up business. “Virginia,” DroneUP COO (and now Executive VP) Anthony Vittone told us then, “has taken the lead for developing the ecosystem for unmanned systems.”

Since then, the company, whose new slogan is “Let’s Fly,” received a major investment from Walmart, and last month opened its third delivery hub in Rogers in Walmart’s home state of Arkansas, following the opening of two previous hubs in Farmington and Bentonville. European expansion is next. But the company’s roots are in founder Tom Walker’s home state. “Virginia is our home, and we are proud to be able to continue to bring new innovation, talent, and economic opportunities to our great state,” Walker said last week. “This investment and expansion will not only bring new career opportunities to our region, but also allow us to tap into the brightest minds around unmanned aircraft system development and design.”




Wanderers Are Welcome Here

Why tourism rebounded faster in Mississippi than it did in other states.

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Photo courtesy of Fluor

Fluor announced last week that first production of copper concentrate has been achieved at Anglo American’s Quellaveco project (pictured) in Peru. “As execution partners for this mega-project — a state-of-the-art, world-class facility — we are proud to serve as members of the team that helped produce copper in fewer than four years after the project was approved,” said Tony Morgan, president of Fluor’s Mining & Metals business, of the open pit mine being pursued by Anglo American and partner Mitsubishi Corp.

The mine will increase Peru’s copper production by approximately 10% and will provide 2,500 direct jobs, Fluor explained. Quellaveco is one of the five largest copper deposits in the world, located more than 3,000 meters (9,842 ft.) above sea level in the Moquegua region of southern Peru. Moquegua means “quiet place” in the region’s native Quechua language.