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Haslam Announces 135 Job Expansion at Federal-Mogul in Rutherford Co

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 27, 2014:

NASHVILLE—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Federal-Mogul officials announced today the company will invest $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility in Smyrna, Tennessee and create 135 new jobs in Rutherford County.

“We are thankful for Federal-Mogul and their continued investment in our state and the new jobs they are creating in Middle Tennessee,” Haslam said. “When companies like Federal-Mogul choose to reinvest here, it speaks volumes about our workforce and the quality of Tennessee-made products, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Tennessee continues to set itself apart as a global leader in the automotive industry,” Hagerty said. “Major automotive manufacturers like Nissan, Volkswagen and General Motors support a robust pipeline of more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers located throughout our state. I am pleased Federal-Mogul will continue to be a part of why Tennessee has been named the No. 1 state in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength an unprecedented four years in a row, and I appreciate the new jobs they are creating in our communities.”

“Federal-Mogul is pleased to continue investing in Smyrna,” Paula Silver, Federal-Mogul’s vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, said. “We have a dedicated and hard-working team here that takes pride in distributing high quality products for our customers. We are excited to grow our Smyrna operations and create more job opportunities.”

Federal-Mogul is expanding its existing Worldwide Aftermarket Distribution Center in Smyrna, due to the recent purchase of part of Affinia’s product line. Affinia is a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of automotive replacement products.

As part of this expansion, Federal-Mogul will increase its Smyrna footprint from 600,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. This larger warehouse and distribution capacity will allow the facility to become more productive.

“Today’s announcement of 135 new jobs by Federal-Mogul is great news for the Town of Smyrna and Rutherford County,” Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed said. “The Town of Smyrna continues to experience positive job growth and we thank Federal-Mogul for their confidence in our community for this additional investment.”

Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world’s manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company’s products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety.

“TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric congratulate Federal-Mogul on its announcement to expand in Smyrna, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and city and county officials to assist Federal-Mogul’s additional investment to create new jobs.”

In addition to its Smyrna location, Federal-Mogul has operations in Smithville and Sparta, Tennessee. In total, approximately 1,000 people are employed at Federal-Mogul’s three Tennessee locations.

People interested in applying for these new jobs in Smyrna should contact Missy Rogers, human resources manager, at Missy.Rogers@federalmogul.com.

Haslam Announces $185M Expansion of Spring Hill GM Complex

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 27, 2014:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with General Motors officials announced today the company will invest $185 million to make small gas engines at its Spring Hill manufacturing complex. GM also identified the next-generation Cadillac SRX as a future mid-size vehicle to be produced at Spring Hill.

“We want to congratulate GM on this important investment in its future in Spring Hill and Middle Tennessee,” Haslam said. “Today’s announcement speaks volumes around the country and world about our state’s business-friendly climate and strengths in automotive manufacturing, bringing us another step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Today’s announcement demonstrates how globally competitive Tennessee is in automotive production and underscores the tremendous momentum our state possesses in the automotive sector,” Hagerty said. “The quality craftsmanship and artisan strength of our workforce has proven time and again that Tennessee is the best place to invest and grow.”

The investment supports GM’s new small displacement engine, which is part of an all-new Ecotec engine family that will be used by five GM brands in 27 models by the 2017 model year, powering many of the company’s high-volume small car and compact-crossover vehicles.

Spring Hill is among six manufacturing locations around the globe that will produce the new engine, and an additional $48.4 million investment is planned for the Bedford, Indiana powertrain castings plant.

“The new Ecotec engine family represents the most advanced and efficient small displacement gasoline engines in GM’s history,” Arvin Jones, GM North America manufacturing manager, said. “It was a good business decision to produce this powertrain in Spring Hill and Bedford. Both teams have strong performance records, especially in quality.”

The new Ecotec portfolio includes 11 engines with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 75 horsepower (56 kW) to 165 horsepower (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm).

GM Spring Hill currently manufactures the award-winning Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged direct injection 4-cylinder engine, the Ecotec 2.4L direct injection 4-cylinder engine and Ecotec 2.5L direct injection engine, which powers the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Impala.

The naming of the Cadillac SRX program follows GM’s previously announced $350 million investment in Spring Hill for two future mid-size vehicles expected to create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs.

Upcoming UAW Vote at VW Concerns TN Senate Labor, Commerce Cmte Heads

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; February 10, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn, (February 10, 2014) — The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Tennessee’s Senate Commerce and Labor Committee today expressed concern regarding the United Auto Workers (UAW) upcoming vote in Chattanooga, saying a vote for organized labor would harm Tennessee’s reputation as a business-friendly state and reverse the state’s recent progress in automobile-related job growth.

Chairman Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and Vice-Chairman Mark Green (R-Clarksville) said the General Assembly has worked in concert with Governors Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam for the past several years to move forward policies to support Tennessee’s competitive standing in growing and expanding new and better paying jobs in the state. The lawmakers said that pending decisions of VW employees are of statewide interest at a pivotal time when Tennessee stands currently as a national leader in job creation.

“We greatly value our auto workers, both in Middle Tennessee and in Southeast Tennessee,” said Senator Johnson, a businessman whose legislative district is home to the General Motors Spring Hill plant and Nissan’s North America headquarters.

“Our communities are very similar with great neighborhoods, schools that focus on achievement and a local economy that is envied by many. The automotive industry is a very important part of the quality of life we enjoy.” “As Chattanooga workers vote on the United Auto Workers presence, it is a decision that transcends just one community,” he added. “There is tremendous competition for job growth among states. A vote for organized labor would impede our daily efforts to benefit Tennessee families as we compete nationally in job growth. I ask that Chattanooga lead to honor Tennessee’s competitive spirit so we can continue moving our state’s job growth forward. Chattanooga workers, we don’t need the UAW in our state.”

“In business, reputation means a lot,” added Senator Green, who is a practicing physician and businessman who represents the more rural Clarksville region that competes with industry across the state-line of Kentucky. “Tennessee has developed a reputation of a top location for families and businesses because of the lower cost of living, commitment to an educated workforce and folks keeping more of our wages by holding taxes low.”

“Volkswagen chose our state and your community for important reasons: Chattanooga workers have a great reputation of a great work ethic and make an excellent product. That reputation has been yours without the United Auto Workers,” he continued. “The free market that VW chose in our state produces competition, empowers employees far more than a labor union, and keeps bringing jobs to Tennessee.” The United Auto Workers vote is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12 through Friday, February 14 at the Volkswagen site in Chattanooga.

Finney Calls for Review of Job Tax Credits Program

Press release from the Office of State Sen. Lowe Finney, D-Jackson; November 18, 2013:

NASHVILLE – Troubled by a recent audit that found state government can’t say whether companies are creating jobs in exchange for tax credits they’ve received, state Sen. Lowe Finney requested a review of state contracts to be presented during the 2014 legislative session.

“I brought ‘claw back’ legislation to protect taxpayers if promises of new jobs for tax credits are broken,” state Sen. Lowe Finney said. “According to this audit, the administration wouldn’t know when to ‘claw back’ taxpayers’ money.”

Sen. Finney sponsored SB 0605 during the last legislative session, which directs the Department of Economic and Community Development to include “claw back” provisions in all contracts to ensure the state has the authority to take back any incentives awarded to companies that don’t create jobs.

A recent audit by the comptroller’s office found that the Department of Revenue “could not provide evidence that companies audited complied with state law” for tax credits awarded to the 27 companies audited between Jan. 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012.

In a letter to Department of Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts, Sen. Finney requested a thorough review of those contracts and the jobs created to be presented to the Senate Finance Committee during the 2014 legislative session.

Tire Plant will Create 1,800 Jobs In Clarksville

A South Korean company will bring 1,800 new jobs to Montgomery County, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday.

“I want to thank Hankook Tire for its substantial investment in Tennessee and for the 1,800 jobs they’ll create in Montgomery County,” Haslam said. “The auto sector is a key industry cluster where Tennessee has a distinct advantage with more than 900 auto suppliers and manufacturers, and today’s announcement reinforces our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. officials were on hand at the Clarksville Corporate Business Park to announce the tire manufacturer will invest $800 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and create 1,800 new jobs in Clarksville.

“These jobs will bring millions in economic development and prosperity to Clarksville and Montgomery County, and Clarksville’s talented and dedicated labor force is beyond compare,” Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said. “This is a perfect example of the extraordinary opportunities that are created when all levels of government, state, city and county, work together in collaboration with the private sector and economic development agencies.”

Founded in 1941 in Korea, Hankook Tire is one of the fastest growing tire companies in the world.

With approximately 20,000 employees and five research and development centers, Hankook Tire produces high performance radial tires at its seven manufacturing facilities in four different countries. Its products are available in more than 180 countries.

The U.S. plant in Clarksville will be the company’s eighth production facility and will be built on 469 acres, making it the largest tenant at the Clarksville Corporate Business Park.

The result will be a 1.5 million-square foot advanced manufacturing facility that will produce high-end performance tires. The company is expected to break ground on the new plant by the end of 2014 and begin tire production by 2016.

“This is an exciting day for Hankook and all of our employees, customers, and partners as well as the state of Tennessee and the city of Clarksville,” said Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Hankook Tire. “As our brand continues to gain recognition in the United States and demand for our industry-leading tire products continues to grow here, establishing a manufacturing facility in the U.S. further demonstrates our commitment to delivering high quality products and service to the market, and is the next natural phase for our continued growth.”

Tennessee’s automotive sector, the largest in the South in terms of employment, has led the state’s post-recession economic recovery having generated more than 12 percent of the state’s job creation since the recession and more than one-third of the manufacturing sector’s output growth since 2010. The automotive industry includes 910 companies employing 113,148 Tennesseans and investing $31.5 billion.

TN Enrolls 6,000 Unemployed, Underemployed Workers in Training Programs

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Labor; July 17, 2013:

NASHVILLE – During the 12-month period ending in March 2013, more than 6,000 unemployed or underemployed Tennessee workers were enrolled in training for a variety of occupations.

The Adult and Dislocated Worker Program gives eligible workers services and training to increase employability and earnings in jobs in their local communities. The program also provides local employers the skilled workers they need to keep a successful and viable workforce in place.

“When jobseekers come into our Career Centers, we do an objective assessment to determine their skills in a particular area and match those with job opportunities based on their skills. We try to move people directly into a job with a company that is hiring,” said Sterling van der Spuy, Workforce Services Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Sometimes the Career Center staff cannot create an immediate transition to an employment opportunity for the person who has lost his job. “The next step is to use Jobs4TN.gov to examine job opportunities and in-demand occupations in the area to determine a successful career path of interest to the job seeker. We assess the person’s skills and abilities and decide if this is a candidate for whom we could make some training investment to be successful – maybe to meet the demands of a new industry that has just moved into the community,” van der Spuy said.

The training is made available with federal funds through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Past WIA funding has made possible special arrangements with community colleges for employers coming to Tennessee and needing potential employees to take a certain curriculum.

WIA money does not pay the entire cost of training. WIA staff connects participants with other sources that can supplement costs, such as grants and scholarships.

In addition to classroom training, 1,204 workers were enrolled in on-the-job training statewide through March 2013. With on-the-job training, the department uses WIA money to offset some of the wages for the training when the skill cannot be learned in a classroom. The department shares the wages so a manager who’s producing revenue for the company can spend time with a newly hired employee teaching him how to do the job.

The State Workforce Board, made up of business, community, and government leaders, allocates funding received under the Workforce Investment Act to 13 Local Workforce Investment Areas to provide workforce development and career services based on local needs. Eligible training providers, approved by Local Workforce Investment Area Boards, are available at https://apps.tn.gov/wiaetpl-app/search.html.

Employers and workers wanting more information about WIA training can go to http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/empwfd.shtml.

Nationwide Study Finds TN Among Economic Development Subsidy Top-Spenders

Press release from Tennesseans for Fair Taxation; June 19, 2013:

Washington, DC, June 19, 2013 — In recent years, state and local governments have been awarding giant economic development subsidy packages to corporations more frequently than ever before. The packages frequently reach nine and even ten figures, and the cost per job averages $456,000 and often exceeds $1 million. Tennessee is tied for fifth-most megadeals—with 11—and ranks eighth in total megadeal spending at $2.5 billion.

These are the findings of Megadeals, a report released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit resource center based in Washington, DC. The report can be found online at www.goodjobsfirst.org/megadeals.

“These subsidy awards are getting out of control,” said Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report. “Huge packages that used to be reserved for ‘trophy’ projects creating large numbers of jobs are now being given away more routinely.”

Naomi Goodin of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation (TFT) noted, “Tennessee is fifth in the number of megadeals, yet tied for last in measures of personal income growth. This sounds like a ‘reverse Robin Hood’ mentality. We already penalize our middle and lower-income citizens with proportionally higher taxes. Let’s at least make sure their tax dollars will benefit the people.”

“Further,” Goodin adds, “Recent media attention to the privatization of state government functions and preferential bias in the contracting process illustrates why transparency and accountability to taxpayers must be a mandate; not an option.”

In a painstaking review using hundreds of sources, Good Jobs First identifies 240 “megadeals,” or subsidy awards with a total state and local cost of $75 million or more each. The cumulative cost of these deals is more than $64 billion.

The number of such deals and their costs are rising: since 2008, the average frequency of megadeals per year has doubled (compared to the previous decade) and their aggregate annual cost has roughly doubled as well, averaging around $5 billion. For those deals where job projections were available, the average cost per job is $456,000.

Michigan has the most megadeals, with 29, followed by New York with 23; Ohio and Texas with a dozen each; Louisiana and Tennessee with 11 each; and Alabama, Kentucky and New Jersey with 10 each. Forty states plus the District of Columbia have done at least one megadeal.

In dollar terms, New York is spending the most, with megadeals totaling $11.4 billion. Next is Michigan with $7.1 billion, followed by five states in the $3 billion range: Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, Louisiana, and Texas.

“Despite their high costs, some of the deals involve little if any new-job creation,” said Good Jobs First executive director Greg LeRoy. “Some are instances of job blackmail, in which a company threatens to move and gets paid to stay put. Others involve interstate job piracy, in which a company gets subsidies to move existing jobs across a state border, sometimes within the same metropolitan area.”

Megadeals have been awarded to many of the largest and best known companies based in the United States as well as foreign ones doing business here, including: every large domestic automaker and all of the foreign auto producers with appreciable U.S. sales; oil giants such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell; aerospace leaders Boeing and Airbus; banks such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs; media companies such as Walt Disney and its subsidiary ESPN; retailers such as Sears and Cabela’s; old-line industrials such as General Electric and Dow Chemical; and tech leaders such as Amazon.com, Apple, Intel and Samsung.

The most expensive single listing is a 30-year discounted-electricity deal worth an estimated $5.6 billion given to aluminum producer Alcoa by the New York Power Authority. Taking all of a company’s megadeals into account, Alcoa is at the top with its single $5.6 billion deal, followed by Boeing (four deals worth a total of $4.4 billion), Intel (six deals worth $3.6 billion), General Motors (11 deals worth $2.7 billion), Ford Motor (9 deals worth $2.1 billion), Nike (1 deal worth $2 billion) and Nissan (four deals worth $1.8 billion).

Fifty-six megadeals went to corporations with parents based outside the United States and seven more went to joint ventures of domestic and foreign companies.

The megadeals list is a new enhancement of Good Jobs First’s Subsidy Tracker database, the first online compilation of company-specific data on economic development deals from around the country.

Until now, the content of Subsidy Tracker has consisted exclusively of official disclosure data provided by state and local governments. However, many large deals pre-dated disclosure and many recent ones are missing from the official lists because of gaps in state and local transparency practices. To overcome those constraints, Good Jobs First went back and assembled information on large deals using a wider variety of sources. The resulting list of megadeals has been incorporated into Subsidy Tracker (www.subsidytracker.org).

In a policy sidebar, the study points out that the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has been long-negligent in failing to promulgate regulations for how state and local governments should account for tax-based economic development expenditures. If GASB were to finally promulgate such regulations—covering both programs and deals—taxpayers would have standardized, comparable statistics about megadeals and could better weigh their costs and benefits.

TN Urban Chambers Support Economic-Impact Studies of Proposed State Legislation

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; January 31, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 31, 2013) – Today, the regional chambers of commerce in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville announced their support for a measure that would require the Tennessee General Assembly to consider, as part of the analysis of proposed legislation, the financial impact of each bill on businesses and jobs within Tennessee.

“Tennessee already has a mechanism in place to measure the fiscal impact of proposed legislation on government,” said Ron Harr, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, referring to the production of fiscal notes produced by the legislature’s Fiscal Review Committee. “This bill takes the Fiscal Review Committee’s analysis one step further.”

SB 116/HB 220, sponsored by Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro and Rep. Mark White of Memphis, directs the Fiscal Review Committee to include an “impact-to-commerce statement” in its fiscal note for bills and resolutions referred to certain committees.

“This bill is about making better-informed decisions by ensuring that our elected officials understand the effect new laws will have on our state’s employment and economic well-being,” said Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber.

If this legislation becomes law, certain fiscal notes would include a statement about the net immediate and long-term effect each bill would have on commerce and jobs in the state. The impact to commerce statement would include, if possible, an estimate in dollars of the anticipated change in costs or savings to commerce.

“Our elected officials want to play a key role in creating jobs and economic prosperity,” said John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. “An analysis of a bill’s impact on business will give our legislators another tool to help accomplish that goal.”

The new analysis would only apply to bills that have a direct impact on commerce and would be limited to the following committees: House business and utilities committee; House finance, ways and means committee; House state government committee; House local government committee; House insurance and banking committee; House consumer and human resources committee; Senate commerce, labor and agriculture committee; Senate finance, ways and means committee; and Senate state and local government committee. If a piece of legislation impacted multiple industries in different ways, the analysis would focus on the overall net impact to commerce in the state.

“A recent survey of our members found that 88 percent of respondents believe that new legislation should be evaluated for its financial impact on business,” said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Every year the Tennessee General Assembly considers proposals that have a bottom-line impact on our businesses. We believe every Tennessee business will benefit from a more-informed legislative process.”

In the area of K-12 public education, the four urban chambers’ 2013 joint legislative agenda also includes proposals to ensure student test results are in the hands of principals, teachers and administrators more quickly, and that each high school’s ACT scores are more easily accessible to the public. The four urban chambers’ full 2013 legislative agenda is attached.

About the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce:
Founded in 1887, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce is the region’s leading business association with more than 1,600 member companies employing more than 10,000 people. The Chattanooga Chamber is the spearhead of the business community, acting as the catalyst, convener, representative and resource for ensuring that the Chattanooga area achieves its outstanding business potential. We provide the focal point for the business community to fulfill its leadership role in making the Chattanooga area vibrant, prosperous and forward-looking. The Chattanooga Chamber has earned 4-Star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a distinction that places us among the top 10 percent of Chambers nationwide. For more information, visit www.chattanoogachamber.com.

About the Knoxville Chamber:
The Knoxville Chamber is the region’s leading business organization with more than 2,000 members that employ more than 276,000 individuals. More than 80 percent of Chamber members are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. It fulfills its mission of Driving Regional Economic Prosperity by recruiting new businesses and supporting existing companies, and serves as the lead economic development agency in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley. The organization has an active government advocacy program and supports pro-business policies. Members receive marketing, networking, professional development benefits, and many other cost-effective services. For more information, visit www.knoxvillechamber.com.

About the Greater Memphis Chamber:
The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. For more information, visit www.memphischamber.com.

About the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce:
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing more than 2,000 member companies. Belong, engage, lead, prosper embodies the Chamber’s focus on facilitating community leadership to create economic prosperity for Middle Tennessee. The work of the Nashville Area Chamber is supported by membership and sponsors; the Chamber’s Pivotal Partners (a partnership at the highest level for all Chamber programs and events) are BlueCross/BlueShield of Middle Tennessee, Community Health Systems and Delek US Holdings. Together with its affiliates, the Nashville Chamber works to strengthen the region’s business climate and to enhance Nashville’s position as a desirable place to live, work and visit. For more information, visit www.nashvillechamber.com.

TN Among States Criticized by Nat’l Group for ‘Interstate Job Piracy’

Press release from Good Jobs First; January 24, 2013:

Washington, DC, January 24, 2013–Tennessee is among the states that waste billions of dollars each year on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on the creation of truly new positions, according to a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC. The report, entitled The Job-Creation Shell Game, is available at www.goodjobsfirst.org/shellgame.

“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country, and Tennessee is one of the leading participants,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report. “The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs rather than new business activity. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.”

“Tennessee is singled out in the report for its use of the Headquarters Jobs Tax Credit and other programs in luring companies such as the North American headquarters of Nissan. The report points out that while the state is busy recruiting companies from out of state, its largest city, Memphis, is frequently the target of poaching by nearby Mississippi counties.”

“Public services are being undermined by tax dollars given to large corporations, but the impact is not being tracked or studied,” says AFSCME Local 1733 Executive Director Chad Johnson. “As a tri-state border city, Memphis needs regional development cooperation. The whole region will lose ground if Memphis falters.”

“Interstate job piracy is not a fruitful strategy for economic growth, LeRoy noted: “The costs are high and the benefits are low, since a tiny number of companies get huge subsidies for moving what amounts to an insignificant number of jobs.” LeRoy added: “The flip side is job blackmail: the availability of relocation subsidies makes it possible for companies that have no intention of moving to extract payoffs from their home states to stay put.”

Summarizing studies demonstrating that interstate job relocations have microscopic effects on state economies, the report revews the history of economic competition among the states and presents eight case studies of those areas of the country where job piracy is currently most pronounced. Highlights include:

*In the Kansas City metro area, companies have been getting eight-figure subsidy packages to move from the Missouri side to Kansas, or vice versa.

*In Texas, the “deal-closing” Texas Enterprise Fund as well as a privately financed marketing group called TexasOne are used to brazenly lure companies from many states, including California.

*New Jersey has doubled down on both job piracy and job blackmail payoffs, continuing to lure firms from New York City-many of them Wall Street firms that were likely to come anyway.

*Georgia, which we rename the Poach State, stunned officials in Ohio when it successfully lured the headquarters of NCR from Dayton, where the company had been based for 125 years.

*The booming Charlotte region has job growth most states would die for. Yet instead of managing their growth, the 16 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina routinely poach jobs from each other, using both state and local subsidies.

*Rhode Island has long pirated jobs from Massachusetts, but when it gave a very large package to lure video game maker 38 Studios, founded by retired Boston Red Sox star Curt Schilling, the deal soon blew up and criminal prosecutions are now under way.

*Huge job blackmail subsidies have left many taxpayers bitter in states such as Illinois and Ohio, and Sears Holding Corp. has continued to shed jobs despite getting a second nine-figure retention deal from Illinois.

The study reveals that the vast majority of states already know how to do this: four-fifths of the states already refuse to pay for intrastate job relocations. For at least one and sometimes most of their major incentive programs, 40 states disallow subsidies for existing jobs that are merely being moved within their own borders.

The report also recommends that states end their business recruitment activities that are explicitly designed to pirate existing jobs from other states. It also suggests a modest role for the federal government: reserving a small portion of its economic development aid for those states that amend their incentive codes to make existing jobs ineligible for subsidies and certify that they no longer engage in raiding.

Haslam: Nissan Adding Night Shift, 810 Jobs to Smyrna Plant

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; October 19, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Nissan will add 810 new jobs at its Smyrna vehicle assembly plant for a third shift at the site.

The third shift for the Nissan plant is the company’s first ever at the plant in its nearly 30-year history in Smyrna, and with this announcement, the company has added more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs in Tennessee since mid-2011.

Nissan, founded in Japan, began its Smyrna plant in 1983. The plant has an annual production capacity of 550,000 vehicles on a capital investment of $2.5 billion.

“Nissan and Tennessee have enjoyed a long and successful partnership, and this announcement shows the strength of the company and the market demand for its products,” Haslam said. “Nissan and our existing industries are very important to the state’s economy and the citizens they employ, and I want to congratulate and thank Nissan on today’s announcement and the new jobs it means for Tennessee.”

Nissan North America is headquartered in Franklin, Tenn. The Smyrna plant is one of three Nissan production sites in the United States, the others in Decherd, Tenn., and Canton, Miss.

“Our investment in creating hundreds of new jobs demonstrates Nissan’s long-time commitment to our employees, Smyrna, and the state of Tennessee,” Nissan Americas Vice Chairman Bill Krueger said. “The dedicated workforce in Tennessee continues to build high-quality vehicles that compete and win globally, and we’re committed to ensuring this doesn’t change.”

The announcement was made at the 59th Annual Governor’s Conference on Economic and Community Development at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Global Reach, Local Impact.” Haslam said the Nissan move reflects the spirit of the conference.

“Nissan has been instrumental in putting Tennessee on the map in auto manufacturing,” Haslam said. “This announcement bolsters what has been a highly successful business story in our state.”