Fall 2004

Editor's Note: All new, relocated and expanded automotive-related and bio industry announcements have been moved to the Southern Auto Corridor News (you can also go to www.SouthernAutoCorridor.com) and Bio Industry South sections, which are now regular features in Southern Business & Development.


Measured in square miles, what is the smallest county in the South? (a) Calvert County, Md. (b) Gallatin County, Ky. (c) Arlington County, Va. (d) Hancock County, W.V.

(Scroll down for answer)


ST Mobile Aerospace May Add 1,100 More Jobs in Mobile

The largest private employer in Mobile, Ala., looks as if it is about to double its employment. ST Mobile Aerospace, which currently employs about 1,200 workers at its facilities at Mobile's Brookley Field, is in line to garner a contract for work on the new Airbus A380. The work on what will be the largest passenger jet when the first unit is delivered to airlines in late 2005 is expected to create over 1,100 jobs for Mobile Aerospace.

IPSCO Picks Mobile

IPSCO, a Canadian steelmaker, has selected Mobile, Ala., for a new $45 million continuous plate heat treating operation. The 140,000-square-foot facility will produce 170,000 tons of heat treated steel plate annually.

MeadWestvaco Expands in Chambers County

MeadWestvaco Packaging Systems is adding a new press line at its facility in Chambers County, Ala. The company will invest $10 million in the deal and add 55 new workers.

Paper Company Announces Distribution Center in South Alabama

Dade Paper has announced the location of a new distribution center in Loxley, Ala., located in Baldwin County. The center will house 125 workers.

Leggett & Platt Building Plant

Leggett & Platt, a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest non-automotive aluminum die casters in the U.S., is building a 140,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Ala. The new facility will supply aluminum die castings for Briggs & Stratton's gas engine plant in Auburn. The deal will result in 160 new jobs.

Big Deal in Rural Alabama

AlaTrade, a "further processing" poultry company, announced in the fall quarter it is building its third facility in rural Marshall County, Ala. The new plant will house 650 new workers when it is fully operational. AlaTrade customizes poultry products from larger processors, such as Tyson, for sale at supermarkets. The new jobs will bring the company's total employment to over 1,600 in Marshall County.


Infinity Group Breaks Ground in West Memphis

The Infinity Group, an Illinois-based intermodal and transportation company, is building two distribution centers on 85 acres in West Memphis, Ark. The company will invest $33 million in the two 600,000-square-foot buildings, which are expected to house about 500 workers. The new distribution complex is located adjacent to the Union Pacific Intermodal Railport. The company offers container shipping, storage and repair services at 22 locations in the U.S.

IntelliTrans Establishing Operation in Conway, Ark.

IntelliTrans, LLC will hire up to 20 employees at a new location in Conway. The company began in 1992 with an idea that has revolutionized supply chain management in the bulk commodity market, providing customers a single system to integrate their transportation and inventory needs. IntelliTrans also provides several services through its custom software for shippers, including multi-modal fleet management, yard management and vendor managed inventory programs.

Utility Trailer Expands

Utility Trailer Manufacturing is hiring 100 workers as it expands its dry van trailer facility in Paragould, Ark. The company is investing $4 million in the transaction and adding a new 80,000-square-foot assembly line.


DHL Creating 600 New Jobs in South Florida

DHL, the package shipper, is adding 600 jobs at its U.S. headquarters in Plantation, Fla. The company, which is undergoing a significant expansion in the U.S. marked by its recent purchase of Airborne Express, already employs 650 workers at its complex in Plantation.

BASS Relocates to Central Florida

The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) is relocating its headquarters from Montgomery, Ala., to Celebration, Fla., near Orlando. The move is expected to create up to 125 jobs BASS was purchased by Disney and ESPN in 2001.

Insurer to Bring 500 Jobs to Clearwater

An automobile insurance company announced in the fall quarter it will create 500 new jobs in the Tampa Bay region. Mercury Insurance Group purchased a 165,000-square-foot facility in Clearwater in late October. The company has over 200,000 auto insurance customers in the Sunshine State.

High Tech Jobs Lured to Apopka

The city of Apopka, Orange County and the state of Florida have worked together to lure Digital Imaging Infrared LLC to relocate the company's headquarters to the South Apopka Enterprise Zone. The company makes day and night security monitors that are now being purchased by the federal government for military applications. The move will result in 25 high tech jobs paying about $70,000 annually.

Lowe's Opens $75M Distribution Center in Central Florida

North Carolina-based Lowe's Cos. recently cut the ribbon on its new $75 million distribution center in Osceola County, near Orlando. The 1.3 million-square-foot facility houses 600 workers and will serve 120 Lowe's stores in Florida and south Georgia.


New Facility Being Built in Rural Georgia

CARBO Ceramics is building a new manufacturing center in rural McIntyre, Ga. It's the second plant for CARBO in McIntyre. The $62 million facility will house 50 workers. The company makes ceramic products for the oil and gas industry.

FedEx Ground Selects Kennesaw for Facility

FedEx Ground announced in November it has selected a 75-acre site in Kennesaw, Ga., north of Atlanta, for a new 247,000-square-foot automated distribution hub that will open in the summer of 2006. The new facility is part of FedEx Ground's $1.8 billion network expansion plan. About 500 workers and independent contractors are expected to work at the hub.


Huhtamaki Expands De Soto Plant

De Soto, Kan.-based Huhtamaki Americas is investing $2 million at its plant. The company will add 15 new employees at the facility, where packaging products are produced.


Company Building Distribution Center

Xpedx's Saalfeld Redistribution Division is building a 483,000-square-foot distribution center in Hebron, Ky. The company distributes printing paper and other printing supplies.

N.A. Stainless Expanding in Ghent

North American Stainless, a subsidiary of Spain-based Acerinox S.A., is adding 175 workers at its plant in Ghent, Ky. The plant, built on 1,100 acres in 1990s, produces stainless steel.

Power Plant Slated for Trimble County

LG&E, the Louisville-based utility, announced in late November it is investing $1.2 billion to add a second power plant in Trimble County. The company built a coal-fired power plant there in 1990. The new advanced coal-fired plant will be completed in 2010.

New Facility Announced in Jenkins

BJ Services Company USA (BJS), a provider of pressure pumping and other oilfield services for the petroleum industry, is locating a new facility in Jenkins, Ky. The company is building a 12,300-square-foot building that will house 20 new workers. BJS is headquartered in Houston.

UPS Supply Chain Expanding in Louisville

UPS Supply Chain Solutions, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based UPS, is investing about $30 million to renovate an existing 500,000-square-foot facility that is located next to its main campus at the UPS Worldport international air hub in Louisville. The facility will be used to receive and store products in the healthcare field such as medical devices. The deal is expected to create 90 jobs.


DHL Opens Center in Baton Rouge

DHL has opened a new 26,000-square-foot sorting center in Baton Rouge. The $3 million project results in the hiring of 35 new workers.

Wood Products Company Expands in Louisiana

Alexandria, La.-based Roy O. Martin Lumber announced two new manufacturing plants in Louisiana in the fall quarter. The company is building a $185 million oriented strand board facility (OSB) near Oakdale, La., about 30 miles southwest of Alexandria, where 170 new jobs will be created. In addition, the company will spend about $40 million on a new dry veneer plant in Chopin, La., located about 30 miles northwest of Alexandria. Roy O. Martin Lumber employs over 1,200 workers in Louisiana and manages 580,000 acres of land in the state.


Ice Cream Maker Expands

Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Holdings announced in November it is tripling production capacity at its ice cream plant in Laurel, Md. The company is investing $180 million in the deal and will create about 300 new jobs at the site by 2007.

Company Hiring 800

Systems Application & Technologies (SA-Tech), based in Landover, Md., is hiring 450 workers with a total of 800 within a year to conduct background checks on individuals who apply for work with federal agencies. Most of the jobs are for field workers who work throughout the U.S. interviewing people associated with those who seek federal jobs that require security clearances.

Food Distributor Expanding in Carroll County

Carroll County Foods, a unit of Richmond-based Performance Food Group, is expanding its facilities in New Windsor/Carroll County, Md. The company is adding an 11,000-square-foot cooler and expanding warehouse and office space. About 75 jobs are expected to be created.


Defense Contractor Building Facility in Tupelo

General Atomics, a San Diego-based defense contractor, is building a 32,500-square-foot facility in Tupelo. The company will build and test its new launch system for aircraft carriers. Thirty-five workers are being employed.

Furniture Manufacturer to Open New Plant

Carolina Comfort is locating an upholstered furniture factory in Burnsville, Miss. The 74,000-square-foot facility will house 150 workers over the next year.

Wellman Expanding Again on Mississippi Gulf Coast

Wellman Inc., a maker of polymers for the food packaging industry is investing $50 million at its plant in Port Bienville. It's the third expansion of the facility in the last four years. Wellman plans to add 30 new employees.


Dell Finally makes it Official: It's the Piedmont Triad in North Carolina

For nearly a year now speculation centered on the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina for Dell's newest computer manufacturing and assembly complex. The speculation ended on November 8 as Dell officials confirmed that a site in either Winston-Salem, Greensboro or High Point will be where the Round Rock, Tex.-based computer manufacturer, assembler and retailer will set up its next major plant. The new facility will house at least 1,500 workers within a year of opening in late 2005. According to North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, the deal would spin off an additional 8,500 jobs. Incentives in the $250 million range are what Dell is expected to receive from North Carolina and local Triad governments over the next 20 years. A 190-acre site in southeastern Winston-Salem appears to lead other sites in the Triad for the Dell facility.

Postal Service Creating 450 Jobs in Greensboro

The U.S. Postal Service is creating 450 new jobs in Greensboro as it is consolidating some of its departments across the country. USPS is closing 80 personnel offices nationwide.

Big Deal at RTP

Credit Suisse First Boston is locating a $100 million facility in the Wake County portion of the Research Triangle Park that will house at least 400 new workers. The new facility will be built on 80 acres in the park. The Triangle was chosen over Tampa, Fla. for what the company is saying is a "global support staff" site.

Tech Startup Landing in RTP

Good Technology, a Silicon Valley tech startup based in Santa Clara, Calif., is establishing an East Coast center in Research Triangle Park. The company designs software that allows handheld device users to access e-mail, personal calendars and other services. The company will begin development in RTP with a call center that will employ about 150 salespeople.

300 New Jobs for Rockingham County

High-Point, N.C.-based MGM Transport Corp. is expanding in Eden, N.C., creating 300 jobs and an investment of $6 million to convert a former Pillowtex plant into a state-of-the-art trucking facility. MGM Transport serves two-thirds of the furniture manufacturers nationwide with daily deliveries to more than 20 states.

Crate & Barrel Building Distribution Center

Crate & Barrel, the furniture retailer, is building a 210,000-square-foot distribution center in Lincoln County, N.C. The $9 million facility is expected to house 25 workers.

Philip Morris Upgrading Facility

Richmond-based Philip Morris USA announced this fall quarter that it is investing $200 million at its cigarette plant in Concord, N.C. Concord is located near Charlotte in Cabarrus County, which was hit hard by Pillowtex Corp.'s shutdown in 2003. Pillowtex was the county's largest employer. Philip Morris employs over 2,500 workers in Concord, where the Marlboro brand is manufactured.

Software Company Relocates from California

Another California-based company has chosen to pick up and move its headquarters to the South. Camstar Systems, a software design concern, is moving its headquarters from Campbell, Calif. to Charlotte. Already 35 employees have been hired in Charlotte and many of the company's 100 employees in California are being given the option to relocate to Charlotte.

Plastic Bottle Manufacturer Announces in Kings Mountain

Southeastern Container, the only producer of plastic soft drink containers for a bunch of Coca-Cola bottlers in the South, announced it is leasing a 300,000-square-foot spec building on Interstate 85 in Kings Mountain, N.C. The $26 million deal is expected to create 100 new jobs.

Elkay Southern to Create 156 New Jobs

Elkay Southern Corp. is expanding production at is Lumberton, N.C. facility over the next three years, creating 156 new jobs and investing $25 million in equipment and machinery. The Illinois-based company makes stainless steel sinks for the home and commercial markets.

Cingular Expanding Call Center

Eighty new workers are being put on the payroll at Cingular Wireless' call center in Fayetteville. Increased call volumes at the center were cited as the need for the expansion. The call center will now house nearly 1,000 workers.

Rheem Building New Distribution Center in Randleman, N.C.

Rheem Manufacturing has begun construction on a 180,000-square-foot distribution center in Randleman for its air conditioner unit. The company is investing $6 million in the facility and creating 50 new jobs.

Smithfield Packing Investing $85 Million in Kinston

Pork processing company Smithfield Packing is spending $85 million on a ham plant in Kinston. The company is building a new 180,000-square-foot processing facility on 90 acres. Over 200 workers are expected to be housed at the facility by summer of 2005.

La-Z-Boy Plans Distribution Center

La-Z-Boy is leasing an existing 640,000-square-foot distribution center in Statesville. The furniture manufacturer and retailer recently closed a manufacturing plant in North Carolina, eliminating 645 jobs. The new distribution center is expected to bring as many as 100 jobs to Statesville.

Kitchen Hardware Manufacturer Expanding

Blum, Inc., a maker of hinges and draw slides for the kitchen renovation industry, is adding three new production lines at its plant in Lowesville, N.C., located in Lincoln County. This latest expansion marks the third for the company in rural Lincoln County. The plant has now grown to 410 employees and over 400,000 square feet.


Dell Picks Oklahoma City for Call Center

Round Rock, Tex.-based Dell Inc. is building a 120,000-square-foot call center on a 60-acre site in Oklahoma City. Initially the computer assembler/manufacturer planned on hiring 250 workers. That number has increased now to about 700. The new center is expected to be operational by summer of 2005.

Labinal Expands at MidAmerica

Labinal Inc. was recently awarded the wiring design and harness assembly for the new Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner. The assembly work will be done at the company's manufacturing facility at MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor Creek, Okla. The company is expected to add 50 new jobs.


CitiFinancial Picks Fort Mill for Call Center

New York-based CitiFinancial has chosen Fort Mill, S.C. for its latest U.S. call center operation. The location is only 10 miles south of Charlotte, N.C. The 165,000-square-foot center is expected to house as many as 1,600 workers.

Eastman Chemical Investing $100 Million in New Plant

Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical is building a new polymer plant at its Voridian division site in Calhoun County, S.C. The new $100 million facility will be used to manufacture polyethylene products used to produce food and beverage packaging such as soft drink and water bottles. The deal is expected to result in 50 new jobs.

Textile Manufacturer to Locate in Lee County

KOJO Worldwide, a maker of custom high-end bed coverings and draperies for the hospitality industry, announced in the fall quarter is will invest $2.5 million and create 200 jobs over the next two years in Lee County, S.C. The Bishopville facility will manufacture bed coverings for KOJO and act as a distribution point for hotel properties in eastern Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and the entire U.S.

Pella to Expand in Lexington County

Pella Corp., a manufacturer of windows and doors, has announced plans to convert an existing manufacturing facility in West Columbia to the production of vinyl window and door products. The company eventually plans to employ up to 450 workers at the plant.


Bottler Expands in Greeneville

Premium Waters, a manufacturer of private label bottled water, is undergoing a 65,000-square-foot expansion of its bottling plant in Greeneville, Tenn. The company established the facility in Greeneville, located in Northeast Tennessee, in 2002. The expansion will enable Premium to produce up to 200 million bottles of water annually.

International Paper Relocating Division to Memphis

International Paper's Forest Products headquarters is moving from Savannah to the company's operational headquarters in Memphis. The relocation of the division will see 200 workers from Savannah transfer to Memphis and another 100 new workers hired. IP currently employs more than 3,000 workers in Memphis.

Conwood Announces Expansion in Clarksville

One of Clarksville, Tenn.'s oldest industries, Conwood Company, is spending about $7 million in an expansion of its tobacco products plant. Conwood makes Levi Garrett and Taylor's Pride chewing tobacco and various snuff products. The company has operated in Clarksville since 1907.

Sea Ray Adding 200 Jobs near Knoxville

The Brunswick Boat Group announced in mid-September that its Sea Ray operating unit will expand and modernize its operations in East Tennessee. Sea Ray is adding 200 jobs and investing $22 million at its plants in Vonore, Tenn. and Knox County. The investment includes new equipment that will reduce styrene emissions at the facility. Headquartered in nearby Knoxville, the Brunswick Boat Group makes and sells Sea Ray, Bayliner, Maxum, Hatteras, Boston Whaler and other boat models


DuPont Photomasks Investing $30 Million in Round Rock

DuPont Photomasks announced in November it is installing a new photomask production line to support semiconductor devices with 90nm design rules and prototype devices with 65nm design rules. The new manufacturing line will build photomasks to semiconductor makers' specifications for new computer chips. Commercial production is expected at the new line in the spring of 2005. The company is investing $30 million in the deal.

Another California Company Relocates to Texas

The Vendo Co., a beverage vending machine manufacturer, is relocating its Fresno, Calif. manufacturing plant to northeast Dallas. The company is moving into an existing 172,000-square-foot facility. About 300 jobs are expected to be created.

Qualcomm Hiring in Austin

San Diego-based Qualcomm, a maker of chips for mobile phones, is hiring as many as 250 workers in Austin. The company recently leased about 45,000 square feet of space in the Texas capital city.

Plano Lands 150 New Jobs

Creation Technologies is expanding in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro market of Plano. The company provides electronic manufacturing services for highly complex electronics products companies in the South. The 40,000-square-foot facility is expected to house 150 new workers.

BP Adding 150 Jobs in Houston

BP, the British oil and gas giant that was formed when British Petroleum and Amoco merged in 1998, is bring 150 new jobs to Houston. BP is spinning off its petrochemical and plastics business and the name of the new company has yet to be announced.

$500M LNG Plant Slated for Galveston

British Petroleum announced in the fall quarter it will build a $500 million liquefied natural gas plant at the Port of Galveston. The 180-acre site is located on the Houston Ship Channel, about five miles from downtown Galveston. BP will apply for a permit with the FERC to build the LNG plant in 2005. The facility is expected to be completed in 2009.

Distribution Center Slated for Schertz

Valero Energy Corp., is leasing a 130,000-square-foot warehouse in the northeast San Antonio market of Schertz for use as a distribution center. The center will serve about 650 of Valero's Diamond Shamrock Corner Stores. About 200 new jobs will be created.

Toshiba Relocating Line to Houston

Toshiba International is relocating its uninterruptible power systems product line from Tokyo to a 600,000-square-foot facility in Houston that also serves as its North American headquarters. Toshiba officials said shipping costs were at the source of the relocation decision.

Japanese Company Selects Carrollton

Daikin AC, a subsidiary of Daikin Industries of Osaka, Japan and a maker of ductless air conditioning equipment, has chosen the Dallas-Fort Worth market of Carrollton, Tex., for a new facility. The deal is expected to result in 60 new employees. The company, which currently has its headquarters in New York City, is also expected to move it to Carrollton in the near future.

California Company Moving to Irving

ChartOne, a California medical records provider, is closing its headquarters in San Jose and moving to Irving, Tex. and Massachusetts. The new Irving facility will create about 70 new jobs. ChartOne is the latest company to relocate from California to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Vendo Co., 21st Century Insurance Group and Countrywide Mortgage have all announced plans to relocate from California to the D/FW Metroplex in the last two years. The moves represent a total of about 4,500 new jobs in North Texas.

Window Manufacturer Adding 250

Krestmark Industries is hiring 250 new workers in South Dallas as it expands its window manufacturing operations. Krestmark makes single-hung windows for the residential market.


11,000 New Jobs for Virginia

In the 13 years this publication has been in existence, we've never seen a day when 11,000 jobs were announced in the same day and in the same state. That's exactly what occurred in Virginia on November 17. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner announced that 11,115 jobs will be created by four major companies already doing business in Virginia that provide services to the federal government. The total investment will exceed $351 million, an astonishing amount considering none of the deals are of the manufacturing variety. Science Applications International Corp will create 4,515 jobs, SRA International will hire 1,400, PricewaterhouseCoopers will create 600 jobs and Booz Allen Hamilton will create up to 4,600 jobs in Virginia. All of the jobs are the result of new homeland security, defense and information technology deals struck by the four companies and the federal government. Over the last three years, over 35,000 homeland security jobs have been created in Virginia.

Verizon Announces Center in Hampton

Verizon will open a new customer service center in Hampton that is expected to create up to 500 jobs in three years. The center will support Verizon customers who purchase new broadband products.

IBM Brings 1,250 New Jobs to Fairfax County

IBM Corp. is expanding its presence in Fairfax County by adding 1,250 new jobs. IBM will invest about $10 million in the deal. The new jobs are a result of the company's public sector consulting business and are part of IBM's goal to create over 18,000 jobs this year throughout the world.

Nestle to Invest $8 Million for New Production Line in Danville

Nestle Refrigerated Foods' Danville facility is undergoing an $8 million expansion that will result in 50 new jobs. The food processor is increasing production of its Nestle Toll House cookie dough products.

More New Jobs in Danville

Knight-Celotex is reopening the closed Masonite manufacturing facility in Danville, Va. The company will invest about $1 million in the facility and will make environmentally friendly insulation and fiberboard products. About 145 new jobs will be created.

M.C. Dean Building Electronics Distribution and Fabrication Facility

M.C. Dean, an electronics manufacturer, is building a 100,000-square-foot distribution and fabrication facility in Caroline County, Va. that will house 40 full-time workers. The company will break ground on the plant in the spring of 2005 with completion scheduled for the fall of 2005.

Company Creating Jobs in Roanoke Valley

CTS&I Millworks, a manufacturer of architectural millwork products, is investing $4.1 million in the Roanoke Valley town of Rocky Mount. The deal is expected to create 150 new jobs.

Big Deal in Arlington County

Corporate Executive Board, a provider of best practices research, decision-support tools and executive education to a membership of the world's leading corporations and not-for-profit institutions, has signed a lease on a 611,000-square-foot office facility to be built in Rosslyn, Va., located in the D.C. region. The project will result in a $227 million investment and about 2,500 new job opportunities with an estimated average annual salary of $70,000.

Cabinet Maker Expands in Smyth County

Michigan-based Merillat Corp., a subsidiary of Masco Corp., is expanding one of its plants in the Southwest Virginia town of Atkins. The maker of cabinets operates four plants in Virginia. The company is adding 60 jobs and investing over $7 million in the deal.

Veggie Patch Locates in Greensville County

Connecticut-based Veggie Patch, a maker of vegetarian and soy cuisine, is locating a food processing facility in a speculative building in Greensville County, located in the Southside region of Virginia. The company is investing $4.5 million and will create about 80 new jobs.


Distribution Center Announced

Illinois-based Sunjoy Group, a manufacturer of outdoor furniture, has announced it is purchasing an 187,000-square-foot building in Weirton, W.V. for a distribution center. The company plans to employ 100 workers at the center.

Urethanes Manufacturer Opens in Harrison County

Stockmeier Urethanes USA recently opened its first U.S. production plant in Clarksburg, W.V. The 29,000-square-foot facility houses 20 workers that produce polyurethane products such as coatings, adhesives, sealants and other products for the flooring industry. Among the company's customers are BASF, Bayer, Dow and Huntsman.

Food Maker Expands in West Virginia

Tasty Blend Foods broke ground on a new 58,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Putnam County. The $3 million project will result in the addition of 50 new jobs. Tasty Blend makes dry baking mixes and gravy sauces.


In terms of land, Arlington County, Va., is the smallest county in the South with just 26 square miles. By comparison, the largest county in the South is Brewster County, Tex., with 6,193 square miles. Arlington County is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and is home to the Pentagon, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, John F. Kennedy's grave and Washington/Reagan National Airport.