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ONLINE INSIDER
From the September Issue

Globetrotting Multinational Remains in Gift Capital

A Throwback Thursday Holiday Edition special report confirms that a whirlwind tour has convinced SCL Unlimited to stay cozy and warm at home with a new HQ.

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FROM SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2022 ISSUE
From the May Issue

RAIL PARKS & INLAND PORTS

Short Line Rail Leaders Catalyze Opportunities Like They Always Have

Three award winners show why the 600 owners and operators in the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association are so important to the U.S. economy.

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 CONWAY DATA SNAPSHOT 
Graph courtesy of the Reshoring Initiative

Cushman & Wakefield in December 2022 released the newest edition of its Global Manufacturing Risk Index, which assesses the most suitable locations for global manufacturing among 45 countries in EMEA, the Americas and Asia-Pacific (APAC) by scoring each country “against 20 tier-2/3 variables that make up the tier-1 variables (conditions, cost and risk),” the firm says. Among key take-aways:

  • Due in part to plentiful and low-cost labor, half of the top 12 locations are in APAC.
  • “Many of the countries that have slipped in the rankings compared with 2021 have done so due to increased costs (particularly for labor and electricity) and increased risk (economic, political and natural disaster); a number of these countries are in Europe where the war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on cost and risk factors.”
  • “U.S. companies are bringing jobs and supply chains home at a historic pace. American companies are on pace to reshore, or return to the U.S., nearly 350,000 jobs this year, according to a report published by the Reshoring Initiative.”

That estimate was reinforced in yesterday’s release of the Reshoring Initiative’s Q3 Data Report, which studied in tandem with the Cushman & Wakefield report makes for a powerful bundle of analysis. Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, identifies such measures as the infrastructure bill, CHIPS and Science Act and Inflation Reduction Act as necessary but “not sufficient since the U.S. uncompetitive cost structure is not being improved. A true industrial policy would level the cost playing field via comprehensive actions such as massive skilled workforce investments, a 25% lower USD and retention of immediate expensing of capital investments.

“The current actions and momentum are a great start,” Moser says. “A true industrial policy would accelerate the trend and increase U.S. manufacturing by 40%, 5 million jobs. Reshoring will reduce the trade and budget deficits and make the U.S. safer, more self-reliant and resilient.“The current actions and momentum are a great start,” Moser says. “A true industrial policy would accelerate the trend and increase U.S. manufacturing by 40%, 5 million jobs. Reshoring will reduce the trade and budget deficits and make the U.S. safer, more self-reliant and resilient.

 

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 SITE SELECTION RECOMMENDS 

BMW is one company continuing to invest in its JV in China. Watch for more on this topic in a forthcoming analysis from Tractus Asia in the January issue of Site Selection.

Photo courtesy of BMW

If you want the real skinny on FDI in China, meanwhile, there’s no better resource than Rhodium Group, whose latest report is called “Cutting Through the Fog: FDI in China Since COVID-19.” One issue? Increased political tension affects procurement of information. “As operating and expanding in China has become politically sensitive, companies are increasingly reluctant to publicly announce further spending or new projects,” the report states.

 

WORKFORCE 2023

TEXAS ED CONNECTION INTELLIGENCE REPORT

The College Connection

Higher education aims to take people and communities across Texas to higher ground.

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From the September Issue

FEDERAL PROGRAMS

U.S. Commerce Funds Give Jolt to Locally Driven Workforce Development Initiatives

After reviewing 509 applicants from across the United States and its territories, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in August 2022 announced grant awards to 32 industry-led workforce training partnerships as part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge.

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 PROJECT WATCH 

South Carolina

Complementing its investments in Nevada, battery materials company Redwood Materials last week announced its next Battery Materials Campus outside of Charleston, to be located “in the heart” of what the company terms the “Battery Belt,” a corridor running from Michigan to Georgia. “At Camp Hall in Berkeley County, Redwood will recycle, refine and manufacture anode and cathode components on more than 600 acres, creating more than 1,500 jobs and investing $3.5 billion in the local community,” the company said. “Eventually, this campus will produce 100 GWh of cathode and anode components per year — enough to power more than 1 million EVs. However, this site also provides us the opportunity to expand our operations to potentially several hundred GWh annually to meet future demand.” The company stated that under Governor Henry McMaster’s leadership, South Carolina’s “commitment to creating a secure energy future and a competitive landscape for electric vehicle manufacturing, supported by a world-class workforce, fast and efficient logistics, zero-carbon electricity and a phenomenal site made it a smart decision for Redwood to invest here. Redwood’s existing partners like Toyota, Volvo, Panasonic and Envision AESC also have a strong foothold in this region, in addition to many other battery manufacturers. South Carolina allows us to meet our partners’ demand while also scaling in the most sustainable and cost-effective way.”

Source: Conway Projects Report

Montana

Last Friday Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced that Amazon’s first major facility in Montana is currently under construction in Missoula. “Today’s a great day for Montana as we welcome Amazon to the Treasure State,” he said. “We’re thrilled Amazon has recognized Montana’s business-friendly environment, unmatched quality of life, and hardworking and talented workforce, and look forward to the 100 good-paying jobs their investment will bring to Missoula.” Categorized as the “last mile” stage of the shipping process, the new delivery station will receive orders from larger Amazon facilities across the United States and dispatch delivery vans to bring those orders to customers’ front doors. “We look forward to bringing faster and more efficient package delivery to Montana residents, as well as to growing our partnerships with businesses and community organizations in the area,” said Amazon spokesperson Leigh Anne Gullett.

Source: Conway Projects Report

 

 

 IMAGE OF THE DAY 
Image courtesy of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati

International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, together with architect Italo Rota and urbanist Richard Burdett, has unveiled a master plan for Rome's bid to host the World Expo in 2030. “The project uses renewable energy as the basis for a 21st-century urban commons, with every country contributing to a solar farm that would power the exhibition site and decarbonize the surrounding neighborhoods.” All pavilions in the Italian capital —including the revamped “Vele” complex by Santiago Calatrava that’s been abandoned for 15 years — “are designed to be fully reusable, turning the area into an innovation district after the event.”

The city of Rome submitted its proposal to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on September 7th, 2022. The host city will be decided based on a vote participated by the 170 BIE member states, which is expected to take place in November 2023.

 
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