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Governors Are Touting Wins of Large-Scale Manufacturing Facilities in Their States

With the U.S. economic recovery in full swing, governors are going head to head to land the next big manufacturing operation and bring thousands of new jobs to their state. A half dozen or so, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Washington, and of course, Nevada and Texas—already have major wins to report—but with the ink dry, governors have been quick to look toward their next big win, from companies such as Volvo, which is currently in the market for a state in which to hang its manufacturing hat.

There are several ways your business can benefit from these deals, including:

  1. Preparing yourself for a winning negotiation by understanding who has given out the best tax breaks, who has invested in infrastructure improvements, how close locations are to airports and highways, etc.
  2. If families are relocating around one specific business facility, perhaps you can ride that wave and garner some of the best talent for yourself.
  3. Hear the lessons learned from another CEO’s experience in negotiating an economic development deal and the reasons why they chose one state over another.

If you are considering moving or expanding your business in another location, consider piggybacking onto these recent announcements:

“CEOs of mid-sized manufacturers have plenty of bargaining power among small, flat or growing communities if they know where to use it.”

Georgia just wooed the Mercedes-Benz U.S. headquarters and its 800 jobs from Montvale, New Jersey, where the German company had been ensconced for 40 years. The state offered about $23 million in tax credits and other incentives to get MB to move its corporate workforce to suburban Atlanta.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley landed Remington Outdoor’s commitment to open a plant with more than 2,000 workers in Huntsville, outdoing more than two dozen other states and adding what Bentley called “a new dimension” to Alabama’s robust manufacturing sector.

Energizer recently announced hundreds of new jobs at its Playtex manufacturing plant in Dover, Delaware while in Shannon, Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant cited a groundbreaking by Germany-based auto supplier Grammer, for a U.S. headquarters and 650 jobs.

In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee was able to save Boeing from moving by signing a package of tax breaks and incentives valued at $8.7 billion over 27 years, amounting to the single largest tax break any state has ever given to a one company. Inslee was able to keep most of Boeing’s manufacturing and tens of thousands of jobs in the state for building the next-generation 777X jet.

Meanwhile, some state rivals believe that South Carolina may have an inside track on a Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing plant should the company decide, as rumored, to locate its first facility in the United States.

Some governors, such as Sam Brownback of Kansas, are trying to take advantage of the growing emphasis on reshoring. “Our state is strong in the manufacturing sector and aviation, and I want to position the state to take advantage of that trend in 2015 and beyond,” he told CEO Briefing.

It would do all CEOs well to keep an eye on where opportunities are being created, either by companies coming or companies going. CEOs of mid-sized manufacturers have plenty of bargaining power among small, flat or growing communities if they know where to use it.


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