State Economic Development Bulletin – October 2023
Treasury Announces Competitive TA Grants (US Treasury)
Labor Force Can’t Grow Fast Enough to Fill Job Openings (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Inflation Slowdown Remains Bumpy (The New York Times)
U.S. Scales Back Hopes for Climate Trade Deal with Europe (The New York Times)
Trade Slumps Reshuffles World’s Economic Cards in Favor of U.S. (The Wall Street Journal)
Trade Deficit Shrinks 10% and Hits Nearly 3-Year Low (Market Watch)
PPG Foundation to Invest $2 Million for Workforce Training (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Illinois Announces Paid Tech Trainee Program (City Colleges of Chicago)
New Deal-Style Plan will Boost Green Workforce (StarTribune)
NY Nursing Workforce Programs Receive $11M Investment (Rochester Beacon)
Finance And Incentives
Incentive program Nets More than 200 Jobs for Rural Utah (Business Facilities)
DOD Launches $32.9M Microelectronics Hub (Yahoo News)
San Antonio Welcomes $30B Manufacturing Facility (San Antonio Report)
SEDE Hosts Meeting for Top Executives. (SEDE) The State Economic Development Executives (SEDE) Network is holding its Winter 2024 meeting for state economic development executives or their deputies in Las Vegas on January 29 and 30. Tom Burns (Executive Director of Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development) and his team will be hosting the meeting. The agenda will include discussions of current issues facing states and many opportunities for networking among the state economic development commissioners, secretaries and executive directors or their top deputy. Registration is available here.
Treasury Announces Competitive TA Grants. (US Treasury) The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced that it is seeking applications through December 23, 2023 from eligible applicants for grant funding under the new SSBCI Investing in America Small Business Opportunity Program (SBOP) that propose innovative and high-impact models for delivering technical assistance (TA) in the areas of legal, accounting, and financial advisory services to very small businesses (VSBs) and businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI‑owned businesses). The SSBCI Investing in America SBOP is related to and supports the SSBCI Capital Program and the allocation formula-based SSBCI TA Grant Program. Any state, territory, the District of Columbia, or Tribal government (each a “jurisdiction”) that has been approved as a participating jurisdiction in the SSBCI Capital Program is eligible to apply.
Upcoming Webinar: Statewide Planning Grant Topical Webinar: Planning (SEDE) Join fellow EDA Statewide Planning Grant recipients as they discuss lessons learned in planning. Nevada will share practices on bringing tribes and regional groups together, and Utah will discuss the importance of regions giving feedback and showing up in the planning process. The webinar will be on November 20 at 1pm ET. Sign in to the SEDE website to register for this webinar here.
Upcoming Webinar: SLEDS: A New Tool for Economic Development Strategies (SEDE) Please join Tyler Baines of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) for a November 1 (4 pm ET) webinar to introduce and demonstrate SLEDS – the State and Local Economic Development Strategies tool. SLEDS was created by CREC with funding from EDA to help economic developers develop strategy and improve their alignment with partner organizations. SLEDS provides comprehensive information on 402 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) plans created by economic development districts (EDDs) and 53 state/territory strategic plans. SLEDS breaks down the plans into objective categories, approaches, and actions/activities. Register for this webinar here.
Upcoming Webinar: CHIPS: The Intersection with States (SEDE) On October 26, the SEDE Network hosted a webinar to learn more about the CHIPS and Science Act and how state governments can support the semiconductor industry. SEDE was pleased to host Rachel Lipson, Senior Advisor for Policy for the CHIPS Program Office. Discussion included insights on the important roles states can play in supporting industry clusters, including investments necessary to support economic and workforce development, infrastructure, and innovation ecosystems. The webinar recording and slides can be found here.
Webinar: Marketing Your Alignment Changes (SEDE) On October 6, the SEDE Network hosted a webinar in which two state leaders discussed the techniques they used to market the changes they that are implementing to better align with local partners including economic development districts. The webinar included insights on how to get others to accept and embrace the changes you’re executing – whether or not you are part of CREC’s Policy Academy on strategic alignment. Webinar speakers included Anne Villa, Undersecretary with Louisiana Economic Development, and Beth Haskovec, Director for the Office of Rural Prosperity with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The webinar recording and slides are available here.
CHIPS Notice of Funding Opportunity: Small-Scale Supplier Projects (NIST) On September 29, CHIPS for America released its second funding opportunity to strengthen the resilience of the semiconductor supply chain, advance U.S. technology leadership, and support vibrant domestic semiconductor clusters. This funding opportunity seeks applications for projects for the construction, expansion, or modernization of commercial facilities for the fabrication of leading-edge, current-generation, and mature-node semiconductors with capital investments less than $300 million. This funding opportunity builds upon the Department’s announcement in June 2023 that expanded funding to larger supply chain projects. The application process includes two primary phases. In the first phase, applicants will be asked to submit a concept plan describing how their proposed project addresses core program priorities. Concept plans will be accepted between December 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024. The Department will then invite the most promising applicants to the second phase, where they will have the opportunity to submit a full application.
Selectees Announced for the State Manufacturing Leadership Program (Energy.gov) With $22 million in funding, provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the 12 selected state-run programs in the State Manufacturing Leadership Program will make smart manufacturing technologies and high-performance computing more accessible by domestic manufacturing firms. The State Manufacturing Leadership Program aims to remove existing barriers that prevent innovative, data-driven tools and technologies from being used by small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). Additional information about the selections can be found here, with fact sheets for each selected state here.
Commerce Announces $13.5M to Support U.S. Manufacturers (EDA) U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced $13.5 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to support 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs) that help manufacturers affected by imports adjust to increasing global competition and to create jobs. The TAACs, which each service multiple states/regions, are located in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. EDA’s Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program funds 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers across the nation. The centers support a wide range of technical, planning, and business recovery projects that help companies and the communities that depend on them adapt to international competition and diversify their economies. The grants announced are for the eighth year of a funding cycle running from 2016 to 2024.
23 Colleges and Universities Selected as EDA University Centers (EDA) U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced the grantees of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2023 University Center Economic Development Program Competition in the Denver and Austin regions. EDA is providing a total of $16.5 million in grants to 23 colleges and universities in 14 states to administer programs to leverage their assets, promote innovation, and strengthen regional economies. EDA prioritizes economic development planning or implementation projects that advance equity across America through investments that directly benefit traditionally underserved populations. The 23 University Centers announced include a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). EDA’s University Center grants are 5-year awards, and each University Center will receive funding annually to support programs.
Labor Force Can’t Grow Fast Enough to Fill Job Openings (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) The job market continued to grow in September with 336,000 new jobs created, with the majority in the private sector. Job gains for July and August were revised up a combined 119,000. Workers made more as well with wages rising 0.2%, up 4.2% annually. While the labor force continued growing, it’s not growing fast enough to fill millions of open jobs. Finding more workers is critical for businesses to grow and compete, with solutions including more legal immigration, along with helping Americans get in-demand skills and removing barriers keeping people from entering the workforce.
Inflation Slowdown Remains Bumpy (The New York Times) Consumer prices grew at the same pace in September as they had in August, showing that the path toward fully wrangling inflation remains a long and bumpy one. The Consumer Price Index climbed 3.7% from a year earlier, but there are some optimistic details. After cutting out food and fuel prices, a “core” measure that tries to gauge underlying price trends climbed 4.1%, which matched what economists had expected and was down from 4.3% previously. Inflation is still running at a pace that is much less rapid than in 2022 or even earlier this year. Even so, Fed policymakers have been raising interest rates to slow economic growth and wrestle inflation under control. Given the fresh inflation data, economists predict that policymakers are likely to keep the door open to that additional rate increase until they can be more confident that they are well on their way to winning the battle against rising prices.
U.S. Scales Back Hopes for Climate Trade Deal with Europe (The New York Times) For the past two years, the United States and the European Union have been working toward a deal that would encourage trade in steel and aluminum made in more environmentally friendly ways to combat climate change. But longstanding differences on the way governments should treat trade and regulation have cropped up, preventing the allies from coming to a compromise. With an Oct. 31 deadline to reach a deal, the United States has significantly narrowed its ambition for the pact, at least in its initial iteration. The United States and Europe have fundamental differences in how they are addressing climate change, trade and competition from China, and neither side is yet willing to significantly depart from its own policies. There is some optimism that progress could be made in the final weeks of the negotiations.
Trade Slumps Reshuffles World’s Economic Cards in Favor of U.S. (The Wall Street Journal) The U.S. economy is chugging along while the rest of the world falls behind. The U.S., the world’s largest economy, is expanding at an annualized rate of nearly 6%, according to an early indicator produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. India’s economy grew 7.8% in the three months through June, the fastest pace of growth in a year. By contrast, growth in the more trade-dependent Eurozone was barely positive in the most recent quarter, and the economy is still languishing below its pre-pandemic growth path. The trade slump reflects a slew of temporary factors including rising interest rates and living costs, and a snapback in business inventories as global goods shortages ease. But it also results from longer-term changes such as a slowdown in China’s growth rate, more protectionist industrial policies in the West, and the increasing recourse to economic measures, from technology embargoes to outbound investment screening, as tools of geopolitical competition.
Trade Deficit Shrinks 10% and Hits Nearly 3-Year Low (Market Watch) The U.S. trade deficit shrank by 10% in August to a nearly three-year low of $58.3 billion, reflecting a change in consumer spending habits and possibly some developing weakness in the economy. The last time the deficit was that low was in September 2020, as the U.S. was beginning a long recovery from the economic shutdown early in the pandemic. Whatever the cause, smaller deficits add to gross domestic product, the official scorecard for the U.S. economy. The declining trade gap could give a boost to third-quarter GDP, which is on track to increase by 4% or more. The U.S. imported fewer consumer goods such as cell phones as well as computer chips. Part of the drop stems from a smaller inflow of new iPhones after the initial sales rush. Consumers have also shifted more of their purchases to services and away from goods, a reversal of what happened during the pandemic.
U.S. Finalizes Rules to Prevent China from Benefiting from CHPS Funding (Reuters) The U.S. Commerce Department issued rules to prevent semiconductor manufacturing subsidies from being used by China and other countries deemed to pose American national security concerns. The regulation is the final hurdle before the government can begin awarding $39 billion in subsidies for semiconductor production. The regulation sets “guardrails” by limiting recipients of U.S. funding from investing in expanding semiconductor manufacturing in foreign countries of concern, and limits recipients of incentive funds from engaging in joint research or technology licensing efforts with foreign entities of concern.
Exxon Secures Lead in Top U.S. Oilfield (Reuters) Exxon Mobil agreed to buy U.S. rival Pioneer Natural Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $59.5 billion that would make it the biggest producer in the largest U.S. oil field and secure a decade of low-cost production. The deal, valued at $253 a share, combines the largest U.S. oil company with one of the most successful names to emerge from the shale revolution that turned the U.S. into the world’s largest oil producer in little more than a decade. The merged company could add 700,000 barrels per day of new oil and gas (boepd) within four years of the deal closing, raising output to 2 million barrels. It also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase oil output per well by combining Exxon technology with Pioneer’s lower cost of operations, Exxon said.
ISM September Manufacturing Index Update (ISM) In the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, the nation’s supply chain executives stated that economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in September for the 11th consecutive month following a 28-month period of growth. The U.S. manufacturing sector continued its contraction trend but at a slower rate, recording its best performance since November 2022. Of the six biggest manufacturing industries, two — Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Petroleum & Coal Products — registered growth in September. Summaries of the Manufacturing Indices are provided in the full September update report.
PPG Foundation to Invest $2 Million for Workforce Training (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) PPG and the PPG Foundation will invest $2 million to support programs that provide training and workforce development opportunities in manufacturing and coatings application for students. The goal of the commitment is to introduce future workers to different career paths while providing them with educational opportunities in advanced manufacturing, automotive collision repair, automotive refinishing, and painting. Technical schools, community colleges, and organizations are partnering with PPG to train students. Gov. Josh Shapiro in August signed an executive order creating the Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program to work in partnership with contractors, unions and employers involved in federally funded infrastructure projects. The partners need to agree to train workers for up to six months and the program is said to bring jobs to 10,000 people around the state.
Illinois Announces Paid Tech Trainee Program (City Colleges of Chicago) Governor Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) is launching a paid trainee program to build a pipeline of tech talent to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals and diversify the agency’s workforce. Trainees will receive a minimum yearly salary of $54,000 from DoIT while pursuing tracks in one of five high-need concentration areas: cybersecurity, networking, coding and database, end user computing and enterprise infrastructure. Additional tracks will be added as the program grows. Cohorts will begin with initial classes of 20 participants, with additional cohorts launching as needed. Lincoln Land Community College developed the curriculum for participants and will host a training site in Springfield. DoIT is also pleased to partner with City Colleges of Chicago to provide a Chicago-based training site and expand the program’s reach.
New Deal-Style Plan will Boost Green Workforce (StarTribune) Minnesota and five other states issued a joint statement detailing their intent to create parallel state-level climate corps programs. Participants in state-level programs, which will be funded through both AmeriCorps and philanthropy, will earn $30,000 if they work full-time during their term. American Climate Corps members will be paid to deploy clean energy technology, aid in restoration efforts, and build communities’ resilience to climate change and otherwise advance environmental protection goals. The corps was also designed to create pathways for members to secure good-paying jobs in clean energy and climate following their completion of the program.
NY Nursing Workforce Programs Receive $11M Investment (Rochester Beacon) Workforce programs at Finger Lakes Performing Provider Systems and Monroe Community College got a boost with an $11 million investment. . The FLPPS Long-Term Care Workforce Program will use $5.5 million to establish career pathway systems with skilled nursing facilities that will cover training costs, tuition and other employee-related expenses for certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses, officials say. The program expects to expand service capacity with participating facilities and home health care agencies. FLPPS has also been awarded $5.5 million for a partnership with MCC’s Transforming Lives Through Nursing Pathways program. The funding will help grow and bolster clinical programming at MCC to serve more students.
Finance and Incentives
Commerce Invests $2.8M to Boost Businesses in Missouri (EDA) The U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $2.8 million in the state of Missouri to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to support current and future business needs. The city of Moberly will receive a $1.5 million EDA grant for roadway infrastructure improvements needed to support an industrial park and promote local business growth. The project, to be matched with $1.6 million in local funds, is expected to retain 120 jobs, according to grantee estimates. The city of Washington will also receive a $1.3 million EDA grant for critical infrastructure improvements to support a new industrial park and business growth. The project, to be matched with $1.3 million in local funds, is expected to create 88 jobs and generate $110 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
Commerce Invests $2.6M for Manufacturing Industry in Alabama (EDA) The EDA is awarding a $2.6 million grant to the Utilities Board of the City of Tuskegee, Alabama, for construction of a new electrical distribution substation. This will assist in supporting the growing automotive manufacturing industry in the city. This grant will provide the necessary power to support the Tuskegee Commerce Park, currently in development, and an automotive manufacturing facility. This EDA investment will be matched with $1.1 million in local funds. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South-Central Alabama Development Commission (SCADC). EDA funds SCADC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
Incentive program Nets More than 200 Jobs for Rural Utah (Business Facilities) Two companies will bring a combined 274 jobs to rural Utah because of a state incentive program. C&J Specialties, a Utah-based snack manufacturing company, and Kent Outdoors, a sporting goods manufacturing company, both received a post-performance tax reduction through the Rural Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (REDTIF) program. Over the next two decades, C&J Specialties plans to add 190 jobs and invest $1.7 million in rural Utah. Kent Outdoors expects to add 84 high-paying jobs and invest nearly $540,000 over the next five years. Utah’s blend of agricultural resources, infrastructure, and a skilled workforce make the state ideal for food manufacturing companies.
DOD Launches $32.9M Microelectronics Hub (Yahoo News) The Department of Defense has established a national network of microelectronics prototyping innovation hubs. These eight newly created hubs led by seven different states will provide a direct pathway to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign microelectronics and safeguard the nation from supply chain risks by accelerating domestic prototyping and growing a pipeline of U.S.-based semiconductor talent.. With this announcement, the hubs will be supporting prototyping capabilities for six technical areas, effectively bridging the gap from lab to fabrication. Those areas are secure edge/internet-of-things computing, quantum technology, 5G/6G technology, electromagnetic warfare, artificial intelligence hardware, and commercial leap-ahead technologies.
San Antonio Welcomes $30B Manufacturing Facility (San Antonio Report) The world’s largest privately owned construction and agricultural equipment maker is expanding to San Antonio with plans to build a 72,000-square-foot facility that could employ more than 1,500 people within five years. JCB’s expansion is estimated to have a $30 billion impact over the next decade, officials said. The company is seeking a 400-acre site for its new plant, which will be the second in the U.S.; it began manufacturing in Savannah, Georgia, in 2001. JCB North America already employs 1,000 people. Bexar County would offer the company a 100% tax abatement (not including University Health System and Southwest Independent School District) for 10 years plus a $5 million reimbursable grant for public infrastructure.