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FEBRUARY, 2022… TRISTATE TALKING NEWS – REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SNAPSHOTS

YOUR FEBRUARY 2022 NEWS BULLETIN BRIEF FROM THE…
KENTUCKY
BOURBON INDUSTRY IS POURING $9 BILLION IN KENTUCKY EVERY YEAR: Kentucky Bourbon is expanding its status as a premier signature industry, now pouring $9 billion into the state economy every year and generating more than 22,500 jobs with $1.23 billion in payroll, Gov. Andy Beshear and legislative leaders said today. Distilling contributes more than $285 million in local and state tax revenue and is in the middle of a massive $5.2 billion capital investment spree that is creating more good-paying jobs and opportunities for supply chain partners, farmers, communities, and tourism than ever before.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
LEVI STRAUSS TO OPEN NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN NORTHERN KENTUCKY, CREATING 300 JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Today, Gov. Andy Beshear noted the continued growth of Kentucky’s distribution and logistics sector, as he announced Levi Strauss & Co. will establish a new e-commerce distribution center in Erlanger, creating approximately 300 jobs with a $48 million-plus investment. “Kentucky’s ideal geographic location continues to be a major advantage as our state’s logistics sector shows consistent growth,” Gov. Beshear said. “This commitment by Levi Strauss & Co. is the latest evidence that Kentucky is the perfect location for companies looking to get their products to customers as quickly as possible. I want to thank the company’s leadership for its continued support of our workforce and look forward to seeing this new facility operational next year.”
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

TENNESSEE
3M COMPANY INVESTING $470M IN EAST TENNESSEE EXPANSION: The 3M Company will invest approximately $470 million and add around 600 new jobs by 2025 as it expands manufacturing operations in East Tennessee. As part of 3M’s expansion at the Eagle Bend Industrial Park, the company plans to invest in two of its fast-growing product lines: Filtrete™ air filters and Command™ adhesive strips. The additional investments and jobs will help 3M increase capacity and reduce manufacturing cycle time to be more responsive to growing consumer demand. In addition, the investment will improve sustainability by replacing plastic packaging with more renewable packaging such as paperboard.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
FORD NAMES DETROIT CONTRACTOR WALBRIDGE TO BUILD MASSIVE BLUE OVAL PROJECT IN TENNESSEE: Construction giant Walbridge Group has been hired to build Ford Motor Co.’s Blue Oval City development in Tennessee. The project in Stanton, northeast of Memphis, is expected to cost $ 5.6 billion and produce F-Series electric trucks and batteries. It is expected to be one of the biggest projects in Ford’s history, spread over about 3,600 acres in a city that has less than 500 people. Ford said the effort would “require about 11,000 direct construction jobs and thousands of more related personnel” to build the plant, which is ultimately expected to employ about 5,700.
“Ford and Walbridge are both committed to hiring a diverse workforce to build Blue Oval City,” Ford said in a statement Thursday.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

WEST VIRGINIA
WEST VIRGINIA SLATED TO RECEIVE MORE THAN $500M FOR BRIDGES: West Virginia is slated to receive more than $500 million to repair and upgrade bridges across the state, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal officials announced last week that West Virginia would receive the funding over the next five years, starting with $101.3 million for fiscal year 2022, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. The state has one of the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country, according to an analysis of federal data by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. The number of West Virginia bridges that need repair increased from 1,222 in 2016 to 1,545 in 2020, the organization found.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
NUCOR SELECTS WEST VIRGINIA AS LOCATION FOR NEW, STATE-OF-THE-ART SHEET MILL: Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today that it will build its new state-of-the-art sheet mill in Mason County, West Virginia. The West Virginia location on the Ohio River provides Nucor with important transportation and logistics advantages, and a strengthened ability to serve customers in the Midwest and Northeast, the two largest sheet consuming regions in the U.S. When fully operational, the new mill will employ approximately 800 full-time teammates. “Following a thorough process to determine the right location for our state-of-the-art, greenfield sheet mill, we are thrilled to make this significant investment in West Virginia and enhance our presence in this important region,” said Leon Topalian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nucor Corporation.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NATIONALLY!
INDIAN COUNTRY TO BENEFIT FROM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SERVICES: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) was recently named one of seven organizations to receive $1.1 million in grants and contracts from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). The awards will be used to promote the development, success, and long-term sustainability of Native American-owned businesses, aligning closely with The National Center’s core mission to expand economic opportunity in Indian Country. Awards will be used to continue to provide and expand business development services, management, and technical assistance to Native American entrepreneurs and business owners.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
OP-ED: SHAREHOLDERS SHOULD ACT MORE AGGRESSIVELY ON BOARDROOM DIVERSITY IN 2022. HERE’S WHY: Embracing diversity is good for business. More diverse companies, both at board level and throughout the workforce, can outperform on financial metrics such as return on equity and higher earnings per share. They can also generate higher returns compared to their indices, according to GS Sustain 2020. Moreover, embracing diversity is key to ensuring that boards and management teams have a broad range of skill sets, opinions and ideas. While companies have made progress in bringing diverse voices to the boardroom, there is still a long way to go. Society is diverse, and companies need to reflect this.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

SPECIAL FEATURE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
RETHINKING GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION:
  • We need to rethink global supply chains in order to support the energy transition.
  • There are lessons from the development of the global oil markets that can be applied to markets for critical energy transition materials such as lithium, cobalt and copper.
  • Setting global standards and supporting innovation to boost supply diversity will help to eradicate potential choke points as global demand for these commodities continues to
increase. Alarm bells are ringing about the future of the energy transition. These bells are getting loudest just as the world contemplates shifting away from oil—the commodity for which dependence on foreign resources and vulnerable supply routes defined energy insecurity for more than a century.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
HOW TO FIX BIG TECH’S DIVERSITY PROBLEM:
Tech companies around the world could easily recruit more women and minorities if only they knew where to look. After years of big promises and little change, Silicon Valley experienced a tiny breakthrough in raising diversity among its workforce, where women, Black, and Hispanic workers have long been underrepresented. On Jan. 12, Twitter said that it had boosted the proportion of Black employees at its U.S. locations to 9.4 percent from 6.9 percent in only one year and the share of Hispanic workers to 8.0 percent from 5.5 percent. Even if the company hasn’t revealed the seniority levels and functional areas where the hiring took place, the numbers attest to substantial changes, especially considering the lack of progress on diversity at other tech companies.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
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