Above: Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and HII Executive Vice President and President, HII Technical Solutions Andy Green break ground on HII’s Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence. Credit: HII photo
Recent data finds the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to make progress in its slow climb back from pandemic lows. Manufacturing activity, including new orders and production, is firmly in expansion territory, though hiring has been lagging behind other key metrics in recent months.
We’ve been reporting on new plant announcements and expansions through most of 2020 and September was a strong month, with some major announcements made in transportation, PPE, food products and the burgeoning cannabis industry.
Encompassing twelve states and representing a diverse set of industries, these are the major new or expanded U.S. manufacturing operations announced in September.
We’re kicking off this article with Ford’s big announcement that it has broken ground on a major new F-150 pickup truck plant in Michigan. Located outside of Dearborn in Ford’s 103-year-old Rouge Complex, the new facility will begin production on this new line of electric trucks in mid-2022. This represents a major investment of $700 million, with plans to hire 300 workers.
In other EV news, South Korea-based SK Innovation Company, which is building two major EV battery plants in Jackson County, GA, announced it has made its first 60 hires at the massive plants, the first wave in its plans to ultimately hire 1,000 as the facility takes shape.
SK announced plans more than a year ago to invest $1.7 billion to build a new battery plant for hybrid electric vehicles. Since then, SK announced plans to establish a second $940 million plant in the vicinity. The two plants are on schedule to supply batteries to Ford and Volkswagen starting in 2021.
Meanwhile, shipbuilding giant Huntington Ingalls announced on September 22nd that it has broken ground on its Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in Hampton, VA.
The new 150,000 square foot facility will be dedicated to unmanned systems prototyping, production and testing. A spokesperson for the project cited increased demand for UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles) and USV (unmanned surface vehicles).
Said Virginia governor Ralph Northam, “Huntington Ingalls Industries is a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and this investment is a powerful testament to Virginia’s workers and business environment. The company’s new unmanned systems facility in Hampton will support America’s national security and play a key role in strengthening our economic recovery as we continue working to rebound from this health crisis.”
Virginia is home to a number of other manufacturers across a diverse set of industries, from transportation equipment to food processing to printing and publishing. Access all 6,984 manufacturers and 16,572 executives with our Virginia data.
And in aerospace news, the Aerospace Corporation broke ground on a new R & D facility in Colorado Springs, CO on September 23rd.
The new plant, encompassing 90,000 square feet and representing an investment of $100 million, will focus on digital engineering and physics-based modeling and simulations for space warfare. Once fully operational, it aims to hire 200.
Taking a look at COVID-19 response related projects, Germany-based chemical and consumer goods company Henkel announced this month that it has invested $23 million in its North American facilities for soap and sanitizer production.
This includes a $17.3 million investment at its Geneva, NY plant for production of Dial hand sanitizers and soaps and a $3 million investment at its West Hazelton, PA facility, resulting in the addition of 180 jobs. Another $3 million will be invested in new equipment for both plans.
Meanwhile in Kansas, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced the opening of a new $40 million facility in Lenexa that will be devoted to producing COVID-19 testing supplies as well as viral transport media.
Over the past several months, the company has ramped up production at its existing Lenexa facility, adding 300 new jobs and 120,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Doing business in Kansas? Access data on all of Kansas’ 4,582 industrial companies and 10,685 executives here.
While not directly COVID-related, the announcement that Evergreen Theragnostics broke ground on a new radiopharmaceutical facility in New Jersey came as welcome news for the pharmaceutical industry.
Located in Springfield, NJ, the new plant will open in 2021 and will produce biologics and peptides used in radiopharmaceutical preparations. Evergreen Theragnostics operates as a radiopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO)
Access real-time profiles of 10,125 New Jersey industrial companies and 24,053 executives with our New Jersey manufacturing industry database.
As the cannabis industry continues to expand, with five new states voting on legalization in November, more cannabis-related companies are making headlines. This month, a cannabis company opened in a former LEGO factory in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
The idled LEGO factory on Crawford Street is now home to Atlantic Medicinal Partners which will start seed to sale operations at the factory. This adds to the 222 cannabis-related businesses operating in Massachusetts, according to the North American Cannabis Industry Business Database.
Massachusetts’ industrial sector has reinvented itself over the past several decades, fostering strongholds in biotech and pharmaceuticals. Learn more about our Massachusetts data here or read our report 7 Things to Know About Massachusetts Manufacturers.
Meanwhile, in another cannabis-related transformation, a former correctional facility site in Warwick, NY has been turned into a new 9,000 square-foot medical marijuana and hemp testing facility.
Part of the Orange County Industrial Development Agency’s Accelerator, Kaycha Labs NY has established its testing facility in the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, which, ironically, once imprisoned drug offenders.
Currently there are 320 cannabis-related business operating in the state of New York, according to the NACIBD.
In other cannabis news, the state of Maine licensed its first recreational marijuana manufacturing facility this month. More on that here.
This month, ResinTech, Inc. announced that it has officially moved into its new global headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. This new development project represents a $130.8 million investment and is the largest of its kind on the East Coast, ecompassing 353,000 square feet. The new high-tech facility is the first new U.S. plant built to produce ion exchange resins in over 30 years. This massive facility currently employs 250, with plans to employ up to 400 once fully operational. Resintech is a manufacturer of ion exhange resins & related medias and filters for commercial and industrial applications.
On the food and beverage products front, grain mixing, blending and storage company Scoular announced it has established a new barley protein facility in Jerome, Idaho – the company’s second barley protein concentrate plant in the state. The new facility will open in June 2021 and will bring 13 new jobs to the town of Jerome.
Meanwhile, sports and energy drink manufacturer Bang Energy announced its has established a manufacturing plant in Lithia Springs, Georgia – its first facility in the Southeast and one that promises 600 new jobs for the state.
In Texas, water technology and pump manufacturer Grundfos announced plans to establish a new plant in Brookshire. Encompassing 45,000 square feet, the new facility is expected to add 90 new jobs. Currently Grundfos operates in 83 locations around the world and produces 17 million pumps per year.
Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. for manufacturing, home to 23,197 industrial companies and 69,467 executives. Access our live Texas database here.
The state of Delaware received some welcome news this month with the establishment of a new vinyl fence manufacturing plant north of Dover. The new facility, called 1886 Dover, LLC is a joint venture of Maryland’s Shoreline Vinyl and Utah’s Duratec, and will employ 88 at the 163,000 square-foot site.
Finally, this month, wood products company EGGER announced it has started up production at its new facility in Lexington, North Carolina. The new plant is focused on particleboard and thermally fused laminate production and the plants first particleboard panel made its way through the finishing line this month.
"With this major milestone, the exciting and challenging journey of this greenfield project will soon come to an end," said Bernhard Vorreiter, technical and production project manager for EGGER. "It is an emotional moment, and our project team is proud to have had the privilege and opportunity to build EGGER's first U.S. plant."
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