Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.
BMW OPENS UP NEW VEHICLE DISTRIBUTION FACILITY FOR FOUR-STATE SOUTHWEST REGION
The BMW Group recently opened its newest vehicle distribution center at the Port of Galveston in Texas, where the luxury car’s southern region facility will serve 45 BMW and MINI dealers Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Through the new facility, which employs 40 workers, BMW Group will import and process approximately 32,500 vehicles annually, which represents an import value of nearly $1.3 billion.
The fully operational Galveston Vehicle Distribution Center includes more than 44,000 square feet of processing space in two buildings on approximately 20 acres of land. Vehicle inspection, accessory installation, vehicle programming, and vehicle maintenance and storage will be performed at the new facility.
DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY HIRES FOUR NEW REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS
The Delta Regional Authority is expanding its outreach and support services for Delta communities with new staff based throughout the region to work directly with communities to address their local economic, infrastructure, workforce, and business development needs.
The regional economic and community development officers (RDOs) will support communities by helping to identify and fill capacity needs in support of local and regional project development efforts. The RDOs will serve as a key resource for project development, coordination of outreach and information sharing, funding acquisition, and implementation of local and regional projects that emphasize place-based strategies.
The following RDOs will serve four distinct regions:
• Christina Wade: Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri
• Jason Smedley: Arkansas, northeast Mississippi and Tennessee
• Grover Ainsworth: Alabama, southeast Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, central Mississippi
• Buddy Boe: Louisiana and southwest Mississippi
USDA REPORTS RECORD GROWTH IN ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCERS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports a significant increase in the number of certified organic operations, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector. According to new data, there are now 21,781 certified organic operations in the U.S. and 31,160 around the world.
Additional data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), shows the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by almost 12% between 2014 and 2015, representing the highest growth rate since 2008 and an increase of nearly 300% since the count began in 2002. The total retail market for organic products is now valued at more than $39 billion in the United States and over $75 billion worldwide.
The USDA also developed a web portal, www.usda.gov/organic, that serves as a one-stop-shop for operators, and provides market and pricing information for approximately 250 organic products available free of charge.