CIRAS Digest: Friday, April 17, 2015

  • ICYMI, Google wants to put another $1 billion into its western Iowa data center. The Des Moines Register says the company received additional state tax breaks for the project today. Google currently has about 300 employees working at the Council Bluffs site.
  • In Florida, according to the Panama City News Herald, they’re pondering a manufacturing sales tax exemption to boost the industry by making it cheaper to buy equipment.
  • JPMorgan Chase, which is boosting its own presence in Detroit, has put out a report suggesting ways to improve the workforce there. The Detroit Free Press quotes the report as predicting that 6,000 jobs in health care and manufacturing will open up annually in metropolitan Detroit between now and 2018.
  • Iowa Sen. Jody Ernst told the Cedar Rapids Gazette (and others on a weekly conference call with reporters Thursday) that there may be a need for immigration reform to help America replace its aging workers. But she wants to “make sure we are advancing with our American workers first and providing them the opportunity to take on these types of employment.”
  • And speaking even more of workforce issues… the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun ran a piece earlier this week touting women as a “potential resource for area manufacturers.” (Same stuff is covered starting on page 7 of this edition of CIRAS News.)
  • Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Charlotte’s Olympic High School is opening an advanced manufacturing facility with $200,000 worth of “industry standard” equipment.
  • The Wall Street Journal has a comment piece from the Brookings Institution that basically encourages companies to look outside their walls for bright ideas. There’s reference to a new study showing that 49 percent of all companies who introduced new products between 2007 and 2009 reported that the idea behind it “had come from outside the company – through customers, suppliers or technology specialists.”
  • Finally, in the “yeah, but the air smells funny” category, comes news from the Denver Business Journal that Colorado leads all states in wind-energy manufacturing jobs.

Thanks for reading.

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