Archive for Manufacturing


Rabbit Punch

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Wow! That’s terrific bunny …

Welcome news for North Carolina:

Freightliner announces second shift, 1,100 new jobs

STATESVILLE, N.C. — During a press conference with Gov. Bev Perdue today, Freightliner announced the addition of a second shift at its Cleveland plant, a move that will create 1,100 new jobs.

The plant, which is located in Rowan County just over the Iredell County line, will start interviewing for the new jobs next week. Freightliner is a truck builder.

At its lowest point, the Freightliner plant went from 3,500 workers down to about 650.

NC tax collections $150 million ahead of schedule

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s tax collections are 1.6 percent ahead of projections through the first half of the fiscal year, but executive and legislative branches differ on whether this means an improved second-half revenue outlook.

Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Tuesday the state’s general fund took in $150 million above the roughly $9.4 billion expected through Dec. 31 to balance the budget. Collections increased $60 million during December alone thanks in part to corporate and franchise taxes.

Furniture manufacturer brings jobs back to N.C.

… Bruce Cochrane, who worked as a consultant in China and Vietnam after his family sold their furniture business in 1996, says rising Chinese wages and an increase in shipping costs have created an opportunity for him back home.

Cochrane has invested $5 million and is hiring 130 workers to build middle- to higher-priced solid wood furniture in the same sprawling Lincolnton warehouse that his family once ran. He even moved into his dad’s old office.

Cochrane joined President Obama and other business leaders in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday as part of an “insourcing jobs forum.”

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Caterpillar Locks Out Canadian Union Workers, Aims to Cut Wages In Half. But more on that after the jump…

In the wake of a doubling of unemployment caused by austerity policies put in place in 1979 under Margaret Thatcher to slash government spending and bring down inflation, one of Thatcher’s economic advisors, Sir Alan Budd, has second thoughts.


The clip above is from Adam Scott’s six-part 1992 BBC documentary television series, Pandora’s Box. The series examines overoptimistic efforts to apply the techniques of mechanistic science to predict and manage human behavior. Episode three examines attempts by “the dismal science” to steer the economy. The clip is from the epilogue to Episode 3: The League of Gentlemen.

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Stand Up. Fight Back!

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Somebody gets it:


A shorter version of this video really ought to be running in theaters ahead of the trailers.

Categories : Labor, Manufacturing
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Made in NC

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With a little help from a stimulus loan…

Take those bright spots where you can get them.

By now you have probably heard about the big deal. The county’s decision this week to purchase the former Volvo site has culminated in a deal with Canadian automotive parts manufacturer Linamar. Mountain Xpress reports that the company plans to begin renovating the facility starting in August. This means about 400 jobs paying above average wages in an announcement the Citizen-Times described as “probably the largest announcement of a new manufacturing plant in the county since the 1980s.”

Congratulations go out to Buncombe economic development team involved (county and city) and to Gov. Beverly Perdue. It is a long-needed economic shot in the arm for Buncombe County and Beer City USA. Man does not live on microbrews alone.

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Netroots 11, Day 2

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DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at Netroots 11

The day started out with a public grilling of White House Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer. Salon’s War Room described it this way, quoting Dave Weigel,


Pfeiffer was only booed (lightly) once. That was when he was asked why Obama had filled out a survey in 1996 stating his approval of gay marriage, but had moved right on the issue as president.

“First of all,” said Pfeiffer, “someone else filled out that questionnaire.”

That’s a very good point. Also Obama had his fingers crossed, and no one said “no backsies.”

That was the most egregious example of communications directorese from Pfeiffer, but it did have competition. Angry Mouse (or, OK, Kaili Joy Gray) repeatedly questioned him on what the White House is doing about unemployment, and Pfeiffer was rather unwilling to admit that the answer is “nothing.”

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Netroots 11, Day 1

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Some blogger posing on the street with swag, plus Barry Kendall and Sara Robinson in background. (Photo by Marta Evry.)

UPDATED below.

Reunions Thursday with a lot of familiar faces. More than anything else, this is a community. Besides seeing friends from the northeast and the left coast, Pam Spaulding (Pam’s House Blend) and several others from North Carolina are here.

Netroots is about networking. Meeting Scott Paul from the Alliance for American Manufacturing at last year’s conference help set in motion the jobs town hall AAM put on in Asheville last October.

Raven Brooks reported 2400-2500 in attendance at the Thursday keynote. Female bloggers from Zimbabwe and Pakistan spoke of using their blogs to be heard in cultures where they otherwise would not. Howard Dean urged the crowd to better communicate “a greater vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.” Russ Feingold spoke on pushing back in the face of the Citizens United decision, noting “Speech doesn’t corrupt. Money corrupts. And money isn’t speech.” Like Dean, he urged the crowd to push hard on Democrats, and cautioned that a Democratic Party that cozies up to big-money donors risks becoming “corporate lite.”

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The Damage Done

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“The North Carolina House voted early Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s historic veto of the state government budget for the next two years, completing the key step needed for the Republican majority to cancel her objections and enact the plan.”
“It clears the path for the Republican-penned bill to be enacted later Wednesday, despite Perdue’s repeated and forceful objections.

She says it would deliver “generational damage” to public education and other services that residents rely upon…”
“The override vote came hours before members of the North Carolina Association of Educators, a strong critic of the GOP budget plan were expected in Raleigh to hold a rally and bring pennies. They are symbolic of the temporary penny sales tax increase they say would preserve positions if the GOP extended the tax, which they didn’t.”


Monday Reading and Viewing

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President Obama’s re-election organization to set up in the first four primary states. “We can’t cede the playing field. We can’t just play general election. So we’re going to have to organize on the ground in early states.”

The United States of America ranks 1st in military spending. 1st in GDP. 10th in per capita GDP. 17th in childhood poverty. 42nd for income inequality. 1st in % of GDP spent on health care. 24th in practicing physicians per 1,000 people. 47th in infant mortality. 47th in life expectancy at birth. – dKos

Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin:


No Flat Land Redux

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Former Bristol-Myers Squibb factory - Morrisville, NC

When talking about our area’s problem in recruiting new manufacturing, one of the excuses I hear repeatedly for why WNC’s efforts are not as successful as we would like is “no flat land.” Prospective buyers often find raw land — “greenfield sites” — more desirable and less trouble, and those are hard to come by in the mountains.

That’s not an obstacle. That’s an opportunity.

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Categories : Economy, Local, Manufacturing
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