Kentucky manufacturers are exporting goods at a lightning pace through the first six months of 2013. The governor’s office says exports grew by over 12 ½ percent during that time. That’s the second-fastest pace in the nation, right behind New Hampshire.
Exports to Great Britain saw one of the strongest increases through the first half of the year.
Cars and chemicals are traditionally among the biggest exports for Kentucky as are aircraft engines and parts like those made by General Electric in Madisonville.
The state says Kentucky's coal jobs have dropped to the lowest level in the more than 85 years that the state has kept records of the number.
The Energy and Environment Cabinet says eastern Kentucky mines cut 916 jobs from April through June, while western Kentucky mines added 65 jobs, an increase of 1.5 percent. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the jobs lost in eastern Kentucky followed steep declines in 2012.
The cabinet said the number of people working at coal mines and facilities statewide dropped to 12,342 as of July, the lowest number since 1927.
The report also said eastern Kentucky coal production has dropped more than 41 percent in two years.
General Motors says it is investing $350 million and will create and retain at least 1,800 jobs at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
While the automaker isn’t saying what new vehicles will be made at the plant, GM announced Tuesday that it will add two midsize vehicle programs to the facility, making good on a promise to the United Auto Workers union during negotiations in 2011.
The Tennessean reports that some analysts have suggested the vehicles might be the Cadillac SRX, which is currently made in Mexico, and the Buick Anthem, which GM has in development. The Spring Hill plant served as the headquarters and main assembly facility for GM’s now-defunct Saturn brand before production was halted in 2009.
The UAW says the jobs generated by the new auto production will be filled mainly by local hires, as opposed to the union’s normal practice of transferring displaced workers from other areas.
The news comes on the heels of a recent report showing Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.
Just in time for the start of a new school year, Tennessee is giving shoppers a tax break this weekend. During the three-day tax holiday, shoppers can save almost 10 percent on tax free clothing, school and art supplies and computer purchases.
Shoppers will not pay state or local sales tax on select clothing and school supplies with a price of $100 or less per item and computers with a price of $1,500 or less.
The three-day holiday runs until 11:59pm on Sunday.
The tax-free weekend was started in 2006. According to the state department of revenue, the annual event each August saves Tennesseans between $8 and $10 million in taxes.
A new distribution and manufacturing facility in Franklin plans to add 40 new jobs over the next few years. MultiTech Industries creates springs, wire forms, machined components, and other parts for automotive manufacturers.
MultiTech will occupy a 32,000-square-foot spec building in the Sanders Interstate Industrial Park in Simpson County.
The company will initially employ ten workers, and says it wants to add up to 40 positions over time.
Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.
Economic development publication Business Facilities has released its annual ranking, showing Tennessee the top state.
Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty called the ranking "an impressive distinction" and said expansions and relocations by automotive manufacturers like General Motors, Nissan, and Volkswagen, and Magneti Marelli further solidify the state's position globally.
With the auto plants and those of their suppliers, there are more than 900 automotive plants in the state. In fiscal 2012-2013, 44 automotive projects created 6,662 new jobs in Tennessee and investments totaled close to $1.1 billion.
The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to Tennessee next week to promote his proposals for boosting U.S. manufacturing and high-wage jobs.
Obama will fly on Tuesday to Chattanooga, where he'll visit an Amazon fulfillment center, which packs and ships products to online purchasers. The White House says Obama will discuss ideas he's presented previously to promote American competitiveness and job growth — and also some new ideas.
It's the first in a series of speeches Obama will be giving on specific policy areas. The speeches build on Obama's visits this week to Illinois, Missouri and Florida, where he's speaking broadly about the state of the economy and the need to build a stronger middle class ahead of fiscal fights in Congress this fall.
Huge job losses in manufacturing and several other key sectors pushed Kentucky's unemployment rate to 8.4 percent in June.
The Office of Employment and Training released the latest numbers on Thursday, showing the manufacturing sector lost 3,200 jobs in June.
The education and health services sector, another of several big losers, was down 1,500 jobs. The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 1,200 jobs. The professional and business services sector shrunk by 900 jobs. And the construction sector was down 700 jobs.
Seasonal hiring bolstered the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 7,700 jobs. The arts, entertainment and recreation sector added another 1,800 jobs. And the government sector grew by 700 jobs.
The Owensboro City Commission has voted to create a downtown entertainment district.
The Messenger-Inquirer reports the ordinance that passed Tuesday protects millions of dollars worth of investments in the downtown area, including the convention center, from being affected by a wet-dry election. The ordinance is allowed under a new state law that protects certain projects in precincts that have been voted dry.
Opponents argue the measure will encourage the sale of more alcohol.
The man who introduced the world's first single barrel bourbon has died at the age of 93. Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee passed away Tuesday morning following a brief illness.
Lee's connection to Kentucky's signature spirit began in 1949, when he started working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort. In 1966, Lee was promoted to plant superintendent, and three years after that he became plant manager.
Lee's most lasting contribution to the world of bourbon came in 1984 when he introduced the first-ever single barrel bourbon, called Blanton's. Taking a cue from the scotch industry that gained popularity in the U.S. through single-malt varieties, Lee honed the technique of identifying and cultivating the best bourbon that could be produced in his distillery's warehouses. He took into account where the barrels were located in the warehouse, how often they were rotated, and how long the whiskey aged in the barrels.
In 1986, Buffalo Trace honored Lee by naming a line of single barrel bourbons Elmer T. Lee.