Archive for the ‘SelectUSA’ Category

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SelectUSA Delivering on the Promise to Create Jobs

April 11, 2017

Fred W. Volcansek is the Executive Director for the Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA Program.

It is my great honor to serve the American people – and the business investors who support job creation across the nation – as the Executive Director of SelectUSA, a program that I see as among the most exciting in the U.S. government.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on his first day in office that the United States is entering a period of economic revival. Our team at SelectUSA will be on the forefront of this revival—working to attract business investment in the United States and create opportunities for American workers.

SelectUSA has an incredible impact on U.S. economic development, having facilitated more than $23 billion in client-confirmed business investment and creating or retaining tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. It is a mission I am proud to lead as part of the Trump administration.

This administration has repeatedly made its focus on jobs clear. Few programs, agencies, or policies in the U.S. government support that focus better than SelectUSA. Attracting business investment will be a crucial element to putting more Americans to work; investment from global businesses already supports 12 million direct and indirect U.S. jobs.

SelectUSA will recruit business investors around the world, connect them to promising growth opportunities in the United States, counsel them through the startup of operations, and provide after care to ensure their success. We will be a crucial partner to economic development teams as they market their regions to international businesses.

I am particularly excited about the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit in June. My career has included leadership of multiple high-profile events, and I look forward to leading the Summit as we host thousands of global business investors and U.S. economic development teams. I hope you will consider joining us there to learn about why the United States will be an even better investment destination.

To our economic development partners around the United States, I look forward to meeting and working with all of you to support job creation and business growth across our great nation.

For the international businesses that are considering investing in the United States, I encourage you to contact our team at SelectUSA. Let us help you strategize, connect to the right data, and find the best opportunities to help your business grow. Now is the time for you to make investing in the United States a part of your global growth strategy.

I’d like to thank President Trump and Secretary Ross for this opportunity to serve the American people and to work with the team at SelectUSA. Together, we will meet the challenge to help create opportunity across America.

 

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Professional Football as the Jacksonville Region’s Gateway to Foreign Direct Investment

April 6, 2017

Jerry Mallot is the President of JAXUSA Partnership, Northeast Florida’s regional economic development organization (EDO) based in Jacksonville. Learn more about the organization at JAXUSA.org.  

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

A unique coordination between a National Football League franchise and a regional economic development group is supporting hundreds of U.S. jobs in Northern Florida.

In 2013, Jacksonville Jaguars football team owner Shahid Khan committed the franchise to playing a home game in London every year. We at JAXUSA pounced (like a jaguar, naturally) on what we saw as a great opportunity to leverage the football team’s international outreach for local economic development purposes. In partnership with the Jaguars, JAXUSA launched annual economic development missions to the United Kingdom to help initiate and build long-term relationships with international companies and organizations.

Those missions are already paying off for Jacksonville; here are just a few examples:

  • Greencore, an Ireland-based food-preparation company, established operations in Jacksonville, creating hundreds of jobs in our region. These operations continue to grow.
  • City Refrigeration, based in Scotland, selected Jacksonville for its North American headquarters, creating 110 new Florida jobs. The company operates around the world with more than 12,000 employees and is the largest privately-held facilities management company in the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Resource Solutions, an international recruiting services firm, opened a global service center in Jacksonville, adding 75 skilled jobs. The London-based company, which provides outsourcing solutions for many of the world’s leading brands, is seeking to grow its operations in the United States. And as the company’s U.S. market share grows, so will its operations in Jacksonville.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from the U.K. and other global locations is a vital part of the Jacksonville region’s overall development and sustainability strategy. Companies from more than 26 countries call the city home, supporting thousands of jobs in the Jacksonville area. Our investment missions, the dedication of JAXUSA investment specialists, and partnerships with organizations like SelectUSA help Jacksonville continue to grow as a global destination for business.

As for the coordination with the Jacksonville Jaguars? Our NFL-inspired U.K. FDI missions help us tell our story to a larger global audience. These missions help us connect with top company leaders and work toward bringing jobs and economic growth to the Jacksonville region. They also add a higher profile to our presence overseas and open doors to new investment opportunities.

Jacksonville is a competitive player in the global marketplace and as we continue to attract more international companies to our region, we strengthen our attractiveness to companies around the world. But the ultimate (field) goal is always creating jobs through investment that makes a real impact on our communities.

 

 

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Colorado: Attracting FDI by the Numbers

January 12, 2017

By Dan Lane, Global Business Manager, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

At the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important part of our overall mission to create a healthy economy for our state. Foreign companies doing business in Colorado create jobs for our residents, build our state’s international connectivity, and help to fill gaps in our economy.

Looking back, 2016 was another strong year for the State of Colorado in welcoming foreign investment and defining a strategy that truly works.

At OEDIT, we have learned to take a targeted approach to attracting FDI. The world is a big and potentially overwhelming place, and without a targeted strategy driven by data and analytics, we would spend far too much time chasing leads and scrambling for any and all types of investment. A data-driven approach, however, helps us create a win-win situation by providing foreign companies with a prime market opportunity in the United States and simultaneously shoring up some of the gaps in Colorado’s economy.

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Colorado State Capitol in Denver

OEDIT’s in-house data and analytics team plays a vital role in crafting Colorado’s FDI attraction strategy, examining a wide range of economic indicators from Colorado and around the world to help refine our approach. This team continuously analyzes Colorado’s economy to see where we have gaps in our local industries and supply chains. Earlier this year, our analysts also pored over world economic indicators to identify countries that met two key criteria – strength in industries where we had identified gaps, and robust growth projections over the next year.  By overlaying these data sets, OEDIT was able to craft a strategy targeting companies from fast-growing economies that could fill unique niches in Colorado.

Of course, our strategy plays to Colorado’s strengths as well. Colorado’s attractiveness as an FDI destination was highlighted by several speakers at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, including Secretary of State John Kerry.  In his remarks, Secretary Kerry highlighted the grand opening of a new $1.3 million global R&D center in Boulder by Envision Energy, a Chinese producer of wind turbines and smart wind farm software.  The Envision Global Blade Innovation Center is expected to create up to 42 jobs for highly-skilled Coloradans – and according to Envision, far and away the most important driver for selecting Colorado was its talented local workforce.

Colorado is becoming the “wind energy capital of America” largely due to its innovative, talented and highly educated population. In fact, Colorado is the second most highly educated state in the nation.  This fact may come as a surprise to people who associate the U.S. coasts with higher education; but for Envision, Colorado’s excellent universities revealed a hidden gem of highly educated local talent. Boulder’s close proximity to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) – the ideal testing ground for Envision’s blade designs – was also a key factor in the company’s choice of this location. In fact, Colorado has the highest density of national labs anywhere in the United States. This is yet another reason why Colorado has a correspondingly high density of engineering talent and attracts companies like Envision.

We at OEDIT are proud of the great strides we have made in attracting foreign direct investment to our state. At the same time, we recognize that there is still work to be done.  While Colorado’s reputation as a business hub is well known domestically, we still need to work hard to boost our recognition on the international level. This is an area where SelectUSA has been particularly helpful to Colorado. First and foremost, the Investment Summit provides an excellent platform for Colorado to compete side by side with coastal states that are better known among foreign business people. SelectUSA also helped Colorado organize and host a group of Chinese CEOs who saw firsthand what a great place Colorado is to do business.  Finally, SelectUSA is renowned for its data-driven approach to FDI, and offers a wide range of resources, including online data tools ranging from an interactive FDI dashboard, to an industry cluster mapping tool, and much, much more!

At OEDIT, we plan to continue taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with SelectUSA and take advantage of the platform that they provide, and we are excited to see what 2017 brings.

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Ringing in 2017 with a Focus on Foreign Direct Investment

January 6, 2017

Vinai Thummalapally is Executive Director of SelectUSA

“There’s no substitute for those three proud words: ‘Made in America.’” Thus began my first ever blog post as Executive Director of SelectUSA in 2013.  These words were spoken by none other than President Barack Obama on October 31, 2013 addressing participants of the inaugural SelectUSA Investment Summit.  Clearly the words made an impression – and it’s been a very good year for foreign direct investment (FDI).

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Thummalapally (front, left) leads a demonstration of SelectUSA’s online data tool with staff and Summit participants at last year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Total FDI in the United States again broke records, reaching $3.1 trillion.  In 2016, for the fourth year in a row, the United States topped A.T. Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index. And additionally we received a new honor – ranking first in the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute’s annual Index.

FDI attraction is a highly collaborative endeavor, requiring business leader input, all-of-government engagement, inter-agency cooperation, and the deep local knowledge, expertise, and passion of economic developers.  This is exemplified by the U.S. Investment Advisory Council (IAC), which was officially convened as a true public-private partnership of international business leaders, economic developers, and government representatives to advise the Secretary of Commerce on the best ways to attract FDI to the United States.  The Council recently made four recommendations for enhancing FDI in the United States – promote infrastructure investment opportunities; continue to work to remove barriers to FDI; harmonize federal, state, and regional FDI attraction objectives and strategies; and redouble our workforce development efforts to prepare for today’s needs.

Another notable milestone in 2016 was how our events settled into a comfortable rhythm, auguring high expectations for 2017.

In April, the SelectUSA brand achieved peak visibility through our participation at Hannover Messe as official Partner Country with Germany.  President Barack Obama led the largest-ever U.S. delegation to the world’s top industrial technology trade show, and became the first sitting U.S. President to attend the event.

In June, the third SelectUSA Investment Summit was held in Washington, D.C. with more than 2,500 attendees. More than 1,000 investors from 70 countries, economic development organizations from every corner of the United States, 20 federal agencies and 8 cabinet members joined the President to welcome the delegation. With our 2017 Summit fast approaching in June, our signature event has become an annual tradition.

Finally, we all celebrated the many investment successes for EDOs across the country, a number of which are being highlighted in our latest blog series, Spotlight on EDOs.  To date, SelectUSA, working with our EDO and investor clients in close coordination with our Commercial Service colleagues, has assisted more than $23 billion in client verified investments in the United States.

We are all optimistic about what 2017 will bring.  The fundamentals that make the United States a great place to invest – our markets, our climate of innovation, our rule of law and our people  – are stronger than ever.  And there are new areas opening up than ever before.  For instance, it is widely believed that investment opportunities in infrastructure could amount to more than $1 trillion.  There has never been a better time to invest in the United States.

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Pennsylvania Offers Experience, Knowledge & Diversity to International Companies

December 29, 2016

Kate Skopp, Director of Global Partnerships & Operations, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of International Business Development. 

Companies of all sizes and industries from around the world have been able to find a place in Pennsylvania’s business community and reap the benefits of investing in our diverse market. In fact, our state is home to 6,100 foreign-owned companies – businesses that employ more than 330,000 Pennsylvanians across the state.

Pennsylvania has focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) for over two decades, providing quality assistance to foreign companies looking to establish business operations in our state. With nine representatives around the world covering more than 30 countries, we are committed to identifying and working with companies to break down investment barriers.

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Certuss participates with Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development in the SelectUSA Pavilion, organized by SelectUSA, at Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany in April 2016. From left: Kate Skopp, PA Office of International Business Development; Holger Deimann, CERTUSS; David Moock, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative office in Germany; Lindsay Helsel, Team Pennsylvania Foundation; Stefan Peikert, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative in Germany.

Over this period of time, we have also learned to listen to what is most important to potential investors.  Pennsylvania’s prime location on the U.S. east coast provides easy access to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations and is supported by six international airports, 65 operating railroads, three major ports and eight foreign trade zones.  This led companies from around the world to locate or expand in Pennsylvania recently.  Here are a few examples:

  • Continuing its long tradition of business in Pennsylvania, Taiwanese company Foxconn has expanded its R&D presence to approx. 50 employees in Harrisburg.
  • Chinese manufacturer, Taizhou Fuling Plastics, established its first U.S. manufacturing site in Upper Macungie Township, creating 75 new jobs. Fuling is recognized as the leading exporter of plastic tableware and kitchenware in the world.
  • Austrian manufacturer Greiner Packaging established its U.S. headquarters in Pittston, creating 128 new jobs. Greiner produces premium packaging and sustainable items for the food industry.
  • Almac Group, Inc., a global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization from Northern Ireland, is currently expanding its operations at its existing U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County, doubling its physical presence at its location in Lansdale. The company’s expansion will create 312 new jobs over the next three years.

Today, Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) houses the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), which is responsible for offering customized services to help international companies looking to locate or expand in our state find the resources they need. OIBD works in collaboration with a team of global investment representatives around the world, regional and local government organizations, industry associations, and many more partners to engage international companies in Pennsylvania’s business community.

One such partner is SelectUSA.  OIBD has partnered with SelectUSA at a number of international events to extend its outreach in targeted markets, capitalizing on these collaborative events to engage international companies in doing business in the Keystone State. This past year, OIBD participated with SelectUSA at three events – Hannover Messe, the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C., and SelectUSA Canada in Montreal, Canada. At each of these events, OIBD was able to meet with over 50 interested companies. OIBD and its network of international representatives will continue to participate in upcoming SelectUSA events in Washington D.C., Italy, and India over the next few months.

And these events often lead to tangible successes.

For example, Certuss, a German steam generator manufacturer, first met with OIBD at Hannover Messe 2014 at the SelectUSA pavilion. After several discussions and meetings, the company ultimately made the decision to locate to Pennsylvania to establish its commercial activities for North America.  Today, Certuss is using the resources available from OIBD and other local partners to capture the potential for growing in the U.S. market.

From business diversity to competitive business advantages, we are proud that Pennsylvania provides abundant opportunities for companies from around the world and in all industries to succeed in the United States.  We look forward to what 2017 has in store.

For more information on FDI in Pennsylvania, contact OIBD’s Executive Director for International Investment, Mr. David Briel at: dbriel@pa.gov or 717-720-7373.

 

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SEDC: Taking a Regional Approach to Promoting FDI

December 27, 2016

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Guest blog post by Gene Stinson, President, Southern Economic Development Council

As the membership association for more than 1,000 economic development professionals across 17 southern states, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) enthusiastically aids its members seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) in their communities. SEDC members include statewide, city, town and county economic development organizations (EDOs) and agencies, representing the vast diversity in geography, transportation infrastructure, workforce assets, municipal incentives and public-private partnerships available in the southern United States.

Building awareness of FDI is central to SEDC’s mission to provide members with the information and resources that help them increase economic development in their communities. However, while many members have succeeded in attracting FDI, others have not had access to the tools and information needed to draw investment. This year, we worked hard on changing that – here’s how.

In April, SEDC launched AmericanSouth.net, an initiative to highlight the many benefits of the region to international investors. The program has a twofold objective: to demonstrate “best FDI attraction practices” to all SEDC members; and to offer direct opportunities for members to develop leads that can bring FDI to their areas.

Today, in concert with our regular newsletter, SEDC News, we provide articles, directions to resources, and other information through AmericanSouth.net. We also plan to take advantage of our location in Atlanta – where several international chambers of commerce and foreign consulates have offices – by hosting an International Site Location Advisors Summit to help members build relationships with these organizations and increase contacts with FDI site location influencers.

Moving forward, we will continue building out the capability of AmericanSouth.net not only to position the region as a top destination for FDI but also to provide an additional way for international companies get in touch with our member EDOs. To help advance the initiative, SEDC is forming an advisory board of international investment specialists from EDOs, SelectUSA, the Organization for International Investment (OFII), site location consulting firms, and more. The board will guide SEDC’s FDI programing and develop educational content for its members.

Throughout our development, SelectUSA has been a valuable partner, particularly in helping us prepare for our first venture to Hannover Messe 2016, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show. Conference calls, connections to international investors, and follow-up personal calls – organized by SelectUSA – maximized our exposure in the Investment Pavilion. AmericanSouth.net made its debut at the pavilion and drew several hundred international business and industry representatives to our booth.   Next year, SEDC will again participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in June and join the U.S. delegation to Hannover Messe in April. We are also exploring new opportunities, including the possibility of organizing an AmericanSouth road show with SelectUSA.

SEDC’s development of AmericanSouth.net and our exciting ambitions for 2017 mark a new high point in our association’s efforts on behalf of its members. FDI is an under-explored frontier for many communities and a resource many others can expand upon. We are excited about continuing to position the American South as the global destination of choice for business.

 To learn more about SEDC, please visit www.sedc.org and follow @SEDCouncil on Twitter.  

 

 

 

 

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The Role Foreign Investment Plays in Shaping U.S. Workforce Development

November 17, 2016

This month, SelectUSA is pleased to feature a new multi-part guest blog focusing on workforce opportunities. These posts are authored by members of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), which is responsible for coordinating activities across federal agencies that promote investment. Read the first entry here.

Guest blog post by John Ladd, Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

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The U.S. workforce is diverse, skilled, innovative, and mobile – and among the most productive in the world.  Throughout my 20 years working at the Department of Labor, I am continually amazed by stories of Americans who have unlocked their full potential and reached success in their careers.

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Photo of Worker Training in Classroom Setting

As the United States works to meet the needs of a 21st century economy, innovative and collaborative approaches to workforce development are increasingly being interwoven into the American experience.  Apprentices and apprenticeship programs – many of which are being introduced by multinational companies – form a large part of those stories.

This is why, as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2016 (November 14-20th), I am proud to highlight the important role registered apprenticeships have played in our country’s efforts to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI).

Apprenticeships provide opportunities that open doors for Americans from a wide array of industry backgrounds. For workers, apprenticeships are a pathway to earn solid wages while learning the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. For employers, they are a way to attract and retain a skilled workforce and build a fresh line of talent from the bottom up.

The apprenticeship model has strong, successful roots in Europe – and is now making its mark on the United States.  Siemens, for example, is a Germany-based industrial company with a strong American arm. They initiated their first apprenticeship program in 2011, and have expanded to North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and other states. Just last month, Swiss company Nestle announced the Nestle Waters North America partnership with the Maine Department of Labor and a commitment to place 10 percent of its mechanic hires into apprenticeship roles by 2022. Another Swiss company, Zurich Insurance, has also recently launched a U.S. program and aims to have 100 apprentices in it by 2020.

The larger, nationwide effort to foster FDI opportunities is supported by organizations like SelectUSA, a federal program housed in the International Trade Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. SelectUSA helps facilitate job-creating business investments into the United States and raises awareness of the critical role that FDI plays in the U.S. economy. Many of these jobs are increasingly being linked to registered apprenticeship programs.

I am proud to work alongside my colleagues to help inspire other companies to invest in registered apprenticeship programs in the United States. The long-term benefits are twofold, helping both job seekers and employers. For more information and to get involved, please visit our website. You can also join the conversation and share your stories using the hashtag #ApprenticeshipWorks.