Recent events and trends from the six states of the Sixth Federal Reserve District
Hondas Talladega County plant made 167,884
minivans in 2003, 55 percent above the previous years production
levels. The plant employs about 3,000 people. Completion of a
second assembly line by April will bring Hondas investment
in Alabama to more than $1 billion and a full-capacity workforce
GKN Aerospace, an airplane parts supplier with
facilities in Montgomery and Tallassee, has received a new contract
for a wing panel for an Airbus aircraft under development. The
Tallassee plant will add about 100 people to its current 425-person
workforce as production ramps up.
Carnival Cruise Lines decision to use Mobile
as a home port should add about $12 million each year to the local
economy. The city is building a terminal and parking decks to
accommodate the ship, which will sail to Mexican ports starting
Expansions in the hospitality industry are back
on track. Disneys new Pop Century Resort recently opened;
the sharp downturn in attendance at Disney World after 9/11 led
the company to delay the scheduled December 2001 opening. The
Ritz-Carlton South Beach in Miami also recently opened after years
A Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesman
says tourism in many areas is approaching or exceeding pre-9/11
levels. Spokespeople for the Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors
Bureau agree that prospects are strong, with winter convention
bookings up from the past few seasons.
Despite analysts caution, strong sales are
encouraging developers to plan or move forward with high-end condo
projects in Miami and downtown Jacksonville and along the St.
Harris Corp. of Melbourne recently added 700 jobs.
The company makes communications equipment for fighter aircraft,
satellites, and national security agencies.
One of Albanys oldest factories, Flint River
Textiles, closed in March, eliminating 230 jobs. In addition,
WestPoint Stevens, the Georgia textile maker that is operating
under bankruptcy court protection, will close plants in Georgia
that employ 550 workers.
Another firm is relocating its home office to Georgia.
Rayovac, the Wisconsin maker of batteries and electric razors,
will move about 25 employees, including top executives of the
firm, to the Atlanta area this spring.
Convention bookings in Atlanta in 2004 are up over
last year. Travel and trade spokesmen are optimistic about the
coming year, but filling the citys growing number of hotel
rooms could be problematic.
Although new office and warehouse construction
in Georgia is expected to remain weak, medical facilities and
retail developments next to new subdivisions are bright spots
in commercial construction.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Michoud facility,
which employs more than 2,000 people, hired 125 new workers in
New Orleans to help modify the space shuttles external fuel
Although travel industry officials have said that
the New Orleans convention business will be down in 2004, developers
anticipate a comeback. New projects in New Orleans will add more
than 1,500 rooms to the 37,000-room hotel market.
A multimillion-dollar Northrop Grumman contract
to build an amphibious transport dock ship for the U.S. Navy will
keep workers employed at the Avondale shipyard. The bow stem of
the shipthe New Yorkwill be made from 24 tons of melted
steel from the World Trade Center.
The closure of a credit card customer service center
in New Orleans in October will eliminate 847 jobs.
Textron Fastening Systems, a $1.65 billion business
unit of Textron, is locating a plant in Greenville. The operation
will manufacture a broad range of engineered fastening and assembly
products for its automotive and industrial customers. The project
represents a capital investment of $35 million and is expected
to employ 500 workers.
The Madison Furniture Co. of Canton is closing,
laying off 241 people. Production at the plant began phasing out
in January. Nearly 27,000 people in Mississippiabout 24
percent of the states durable manufacturing sectorwork
in furniture manufacturing.
Progress on construction of the Hard Rock Casino
in Biloxi as well as expansions and renovations at hotels and
casinos are expected to prop up the states hospitality market.
A spokesman for the Mississippi Gaming Commission expects the
states gaming revenues to remain stable overall in 2004
following a 1 percent increase in gaming revenues in fiscal year
A contract for Camel Manufacturing to make the
next generation of tents for the U.S. Armed Forces is expected
to create jobs and spur economic growth in Campbell County.
Officials of Clarcor Inc., a marketer and manufacturer
of consumer and industrial packaging and filtration products,
announced plans to move its headquarters to the Nashville area.
On its first day, the Tennessee lottery recorded
sales estimated at $10.8 million, about $1.87 per capita. Of that
amount, the state made $3 million in profits, all of which go
Nissan North America continues to ramp up hiring
at its Smyrna plant, adding
700 jobs so far since announcing plans to produce the Pathfinder
SUV there. The plant produced about 454,000 vehicles last year,
up 11 percent from 2002s figures.
Carrier Corp. recently announced that by the end
of 2005 it will close its manufacturing facility in McMinnville,
eliminating about 1,300 jobs.
Compiled by the regional section
of the Atlanta Feds research department