Commentary: Issues with 401(k)s

Fretting over your 401(k) lately? For all the current turbulence in these retirement plans – from their rocky recent market performance to asset managers’ politicization of their investments through the “environment, social and governance” agenda – the main problem lies in their flawed design decades ago, a range of retirement experts say.  

Read More

Department of Economic and Community Development Announces Two Major Projects Coming to Knoxville, Clarksville

On Wednesday, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced two new economic investment projects are underway in the Volunteer State that are expected to create 175 new jobs in total.

Read More

Ventcon, Inc. Announces $6.7 Million Investment in Madison County

Ventcon, Inc. officials announced on Tuesday that the company will invest $6.7 million in Madison County to establish its first manufacturing operations outside of the company’s headquarters in Allen Park, Michigan.

Read More

Bob Rolfe Officially Exits Department of Economic and Community Development with Farewell Message

Bob Rolfe officially exited the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) to enter the private sector Friday with a farewell message shared to social media. Rolfe has served as TNECD Commissioner since March 2017, when he was appointed by former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Read More

Telecommunications Giant Announces Expansion in Arizona, Will Add 1,500 Jobs

Viasat, a global telecommunications giant, announced an expansion in Arizona that will add 1,500 jobs in the state.

The new construction will include “a 135,000-square-foot building, an outdoor atrium, open space for events and employee recreation, and a parking structure,” according to a report from Community Impact. 

Read More

Michigan Gov. Whitmer to Sign $4.8 Billion Spending Package

Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign a $4.8 billion spending plan into law to focus on water, broadband internet, and housing.

“The Building Michigan Together Plan makes bold, bipartisan investments in the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michigan families, including clean water, smooth roads, fast internet, and beautiful parks,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am so proud that the Michigan Legislature and I were able to come together to get this done. This bill will make a real difference in our communities, support tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and set up Michigan’s economy for decades of success. It is a testament to what is possible when we put Michiganders first.”

However, she didn’t say when she would sign it. Her office hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment. 

Read More

Nestlé Plans $675 Million Investment in Arizona Manufacturing Plant

Nestle building

Nestlé, one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers, will expand operations in Arizona, announcing a $675 million investment to build a 630,000-square-foot factory.

According to a release from the Arizona Commerce Authority, the factory will produce “high-quality creamers for Nestlé’s category-leading portfolio, including the Coffee mate, Coffee mate natural bliss, and Starbucks brands, with the ability to expand to additional beverages in the future.”

Read More

Baltimore to Spend $90 Million in Federal Funds on Hotels for Homeless and Other Homeless Programs

Baltimore plans to spend $90.4 million of federal funds to buy hotels to replace existing homeless shelters and support other homelessness programs, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

The city has not yet announced which hotels it will buy, but it plans to replace 275 existing beds in several shelters with private rooms in city-owned hotels, the Sun reported.

“Non-congregate shelter is a best practice we’re seeing throughout the nation,” Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Irene Agustin told the Sun. “We know this is an intervention that’s going to work within the city of Baltimore.”

Read More

Commentary: Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds

Now that it’s easier than ever to trade stocks and crypto thanks to apps like Robinhood and Etrade, it’s time to think about other options. People were quick to jump on the crypto bandwagon when Doge went to the moon in early to mid-2021, but the crypto crash later that year reminded everyone what an unsafe investment it really is. For those looking to diversify their investment portfolio, there are options beyond the new-school cryptocurrencies, or the traditional stocks and bonds. Keep reading to learn about exchange-traded funds or ETFs.

To put it as simply as possible, an exchange-traded fund is like taking a specific type of investment, say a commodity like gold, and collecting it together in a single group. Instead of buying gold on your own, you can invest in shares of a gold ETF. But why would you want to do that? Well, gold is expensive. To buy a meaningful amount you’d need to invest thousands of dollars. Not to mention you’d now have giant bars of gold lying around your house. You need far less capital to invest in an ETF. (And you don’t have a hoard of gold in your basement like some kind of dragon.)

Read More

$10 Million Grants Awarded for Semiconductor Manufacturing in Central Florida

semiconductor

With chip and semiconductor shortages expected to last through the year, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida is continuing its investment in local technology initiatives to strengthen the economy and job growth and eventually offset future production delays.

Osceola County and Valencia College received nearly $10 million in funding through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support semiconductor and other advanced technology manufacturing in the county.

The award includes $6 million to assist with developing infrastructure connecting the county’s emerging NeoCity technology district with its workforce, and $3.7 million to Valencia College to develop a new program that will train students in utilizing robotics technology for semiconductor manufacturing. The two awards are designed to help create manufacturing jobs and develop a talent pipeline to support industry growth.

Read More

University of Michigan-Flint Grant to Support 300 Jobs, $10.4M Investment in Flint

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $3.8 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Recovery Assistance grant to the University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, to construct the university’s new College of Innovation and Technology.

The grant, to be matched with $4.9 million in local funds, is expected to create 126 jobs, retain 175 jobs, and generate $10.4 million in private investment.

“We are grateful to Secretary Raimondo and the Biden Administration for investing in University of Michigan-Flint’s College of Innovation and Technology,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This grant will help us usher in a new era of prosperity by supporting over 300 good-paying jobs and generating $10.4 million in private investment.” 

Mayor Sheldon Neeley welcomed the investment.

Read More

Smith & Wesson Headquarters Coming to Tennessee

On Thursday, firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson announced that they were moving their headquarters and significant elements of their operations from Springfield, Massachusetts to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023, creating 750 new jobs in Blount County. The move to Tennessee is an investment worth more than $125 million.

Read More

Arizona State Treasurer Drops Investment Funds in Unilever over Ben & Jerry’s Israel Boycott

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced that she is withdrawing all funds invested in Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, due to the ice cream company’s boycott of Israel’s settlements which violates Arizona law.

Read More

Missouri’s Treasurer Opposes Biden Administration’s Influence on Divesting in Fuel Companies

Gas station at night

Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and 14 other Republican state treasurers are questioning President Joe Biden’s administration pressuring of U.S. banks and financial institutions to not lend to or invest in fossil fuel companies.

The group of chief financial officers sent a letter to presidential climate envoy John Kerry this week expressing concern about a reported strategy to eliminate the coal, oil and natural gas industries by cutting off loans or investments.

“While the pursuit of more renewable sources of energy is a noble cause, the fact is that fossil fuels remain critical to our country and the entire world,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “The Biden Administration’s failure to acknowledge this will result in increased costs for consumers and businesses. An energy independent America is vital for national security and strengthens our economy which impacts all Americans – especially our poorest citizens who feel rising prices at the gas pump and the checkout line most. Attempts to pressure financial institutions to cut off the fossil fuel industry amounts to nothing less than an abuse of power by the federal government and should not be tolerated by states.”

Read More

100 Days into Biden’s Presidency, Hunter Still Owns Stake in Chinese Private Equity Firm, Business Records Show

Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden continues to hold a minority stake in a Chinese private equity firm 100 days into President Joe Biden’s term, business records show.

Hunter Biden holds a 10% equity stake in BHR Partners through his company, Skaneateles LLC, according to Qixinbao and Baidu, two independent services that provide business records on Chinese corporations based on China’s National Credit Information Publicity System.

Joe Biden promised in October 2019 that if elected president, nobody in his family would have any business relationship with any foreign corporation or country.

Read More

Apple Is Dropping $1 Billion to Put 5,000 Jobs in Texas With Expansions Planned in Major Cities

by Tim Pearce   Apple is investing $1 billion to nearly double its workforce in Texas and is hiring thousands more employees in offices across the U.S., the company announced Thursday. Apple is adding 5,000 positions to its Austin, Texas, campus on top of the 6,200-strong workforce already there. The…

Read More

POLL: A Whopping 74% of Financial Wizards Applaud Donald Trump for His Positive Effect on Stock Market

Tennessee Star

They may not agree with him, but they love his effect on the investment climate. A unique new survey of hedge fund managers, brokers and other financial wizards finds that 74 percent give President Trump high marks for his positive effect on the stock market, though only 40 percent approve…

Read More