From the May Issue


The Shape of Things to Come

Infrastructure investments drive momentum in the Midwest.

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From the September Issue


IAMC Insider

A letter from IAMC Chair Karen Shchuka explores “living the spirit of IAMC Forums,” and John Salustri talks to corporate end users and regional economic development leaders about the ins and outs of distribution center location.

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Graph and table courtesy of Novogradac

Accounting and consulting firm Novogradac last week released its latest report on qualified opportunity funds (QOFs) connected to the federal Opportunity Zones program. The report finds the nation’s capital is the leading city for planned investment by QOFs, with $1.38 billion in planned investment as of Dec. 31, 2022. A total of 54 cities in 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) have $100 million or more in planned investment. “California and Arizona continue to be the leading states for planned QOF investment, although Novogradac is tracking such investment in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” says the firm. Overall, $34.09 billion in QOF equity was raised by the 1,661 QOFs tracked by Novogradac at the end of 2022. QOFs reported $9.68 billion in equity investment in 2022, the biggest single-year total charted by Novogradac since the opportunity zones (OZ) incentive became part of the tax code at the end of 2017, although investment flows slowed between a record first quarter and the year’s fourth quarter.

Los Angeles and New York City join Washington as cities with at least $1 billion in planned investment by QOFs tracked by Novogradac. Among the cities with the biggest increase in investment in 2022 were Dallas (with a 327.0% increase in 2022), Salt Lake City, Vancouver, Washington, and Aurora, Colorado. As explored in a blog by Michael Novogradac, among the top 50 cities, Arizona has five — “all located in Maricopa County, which is a hotbed for development. California and Texas each placed four cities on the top-50 list, while Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Washington had three each.”

Site Selection has examined OZ development or lack thereof a number of times since the program made its debut in 2017, including Gary Daughters’ compelling coverage in November 2022 that focused on Baltimore; an exclusive book excerpt from Pulitzer Prize winner David Wessel in November 2021 that looked at Erie, Pennsylvania; and a report in November 2020 that included analysis by Novogradac and Smart Growth America. — Adam Bruns




State Workforce Boards

Straight from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, we present this directory — complete with direct links — to the labor and workforce boards in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Site of the Week
From the January Issue

Waseca, Minnesota

This time of year, when you think of Minnesota you might only think of snow and ice fishing. But here in Waseca, our thoughts are turning to the 2nd annual Waseca Sleigh & Cutter Festival coming up on Sunday February 19, 2023. This Festival is happening on Clear Lake, close to the heart of town. Sean Beaver of Great American Kites will be flying his fleet of kites to bring joy to the festival goers. The City of Waseca is located just East of where Interstate 35 crosses State Highway 14 in South Central Minnesota.

For all things fun to do in Waseca, check out https://www.discoverwaseca.com/

For all things business in Waseca, check out https://www.investwasecamn.com/




Feels Like Home

Kansas has the perks that’ll make your visit a permanent stay.

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According to news reports and the city government, Swiss stamping and fineblanking company Etampa has opened a factory in Kurševac, in eastern Serbia, that will have an annual production capacity of 280 million parts for the automotive electronics, construction and medical technology industries. The company aims to increase headcount from 25 to 60 by the end of 2023. Etampa also operates plants in Illinois and in Blansko, Czech Republic. Etampa first indicated its plan to invest in the Kurševac area in 2021. Kurševac, the nation’s former capital, was once a medieval fortress city. The Tourism Organisation of Serbia notes that the city’s residents are known as “čarapani” (literally “people in socks”), “a nickname that has stuck with them since 1806. The explanation? In the final battles for the liberation of Kruševac in the First Serbian Uprising [which lasted from 1804 to 1813], a company from Kruševac managed to sneak into the town silently, ‘in socks,’ and overpower the Turkish soldiers in the fortress.”

Source: Conway Projects Report


Kewaskum, Wisconsin, known as the “Gateway to the Kettle Moraine” announced early this month Drexel Building Supply is expanding its footprint in town after its recent acquisition of McMahon & Co, a custom door manufacturer located six miles from Drexel’s headquarters.“With and initial expected employment of nearly 100 team members,” the village government stated, “Drexel Building Supply is anticipating breaking ground in 2023 on a plot of land within a new industrial park Drexel and the Village of Kewaskum are dubbing the ‘Blue Door District.’ In addition, Drexel has ownership of remaining lands [approximately 30 acres] within the Blue Door District and will be actively recruiting for quality neighbors.” The project is subject to the creation of a tax increment financing district (TID), land annexation and a mutually agreed upon developer’s agreement. Drexel has nine operating locations throughout Wisconsin.

Source: Conway Projects Report




Aerial image courtesy of ATRI
It’s that special time of year again: Time for the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual release of the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America. And once again, for the fifth year in a row, the intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the No. 1 freight bottleneck in the country. The remaining Top 10 bottlenecks include:

  1. 2. Chicago: I-294 at I-290/I-88
  2. 3. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  3. 4. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  4. 5. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  5. 6. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  6. 7. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
  7. 8. Los Angeles: I-710 at I-105
  8. 9. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
  9. 10. San Bernardino, California: I-10 at I-15

ATRI develops the list each year by measuring the level of truck-involved congestion at over 300 locations on the national highway system. “The analysis, based on an extensive database of freight truck GPS data, uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location,” ATRI says. “ATRI’s truck GPS data is also used to support numerous state and federal freight mobility initiatives.”

From all indications, general congestion is picking up, which may signal that people are returning to the office after all. “Average rush hour truck speeds were 36.3 mph, down more than six percent from the previous year,” ATRI reported. “Among the Top 10 locations, average rush hour truck speeds were less than 30 mph.”

“The past year-plus has shone a spotlight on our supply chains, and how congestion and other pressures can hurt the American economy and consumers,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATRI’s bottleneck report highlights the areas of our transportation network in need of investment so we can get goods and people moving. The cost of doing nothing is felt in needless delays, wasted fuel and time.”


Photo courtesy of MTA

If you’ve ever uttered some variant of, “It’s like Grand Central Station around here,” chances are you didn’t have this scene in mind. This photo, made on December 29 by Marc A. Hermann of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, shows the brand new Grand Central Madison terminal underneath and adjacent to the existing Grand Central Terminal, 15 stories below street level. It opened to the public on January 25 and will begin full Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service on February 27. “The approximately $11.1 billion public works project is one of the largest in the United States and will save commuters with East Side Manhattan destinations the extra time needed to travel to and from Penn Station, the LIRR's existing terminus in Manhattan,” says a release from law firm Greenberg Traurig, which advised the MTA during the project’s development.

The MTA is North America's largest transportation network, serving 15.3 million people across a 5,000-square-mile travel area with the nation’s largest bus fleet and more subway and commuter rail cars than all other U.S. transit systems combined. The expanded service will add 271 LIRR trains per day, increasing LIRR systemwide service from 665 to 936 trains per day. “Faster, more convenient travel that brings Long Island closer to the heart of the city will be a major shot in the arm for the local economy and the effort to get people back to offices, theaters and shopping,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber earlier this month. “This is the biggest service increase in LIRR history,” said Catherine Rinaldi, interim president of the LIRR and president of Metro-North Railroad. “Long Islanders will benefit from a combination of Grand Central Madison service, the new LIRR Main Line third track and a second NYC terminal that links to the east side. The LIRR has created a new schedule with robust reverse commute service that links the entire region to Long Island’s homes, jobs, entertainment and education.”

Site Selection first reported on the big things ahead for the LIRR in the September 2020 Long Island Intelligence Report.