Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

Will W.C. Bradley Return Manufacturing to Columbus?

January 22, 2015
Marc Olivie', CEO W.C. Bradley Company, and Matt Swift, COO W.C. Bradley Real Estate Division and Rotarian

Marc Olivie’, CEO W.C. Bradley Company, and Matt Swift, COO W.C. Bradley Real Estate Division and Rotarian

“I don’t foresee it anytime soon,” W.C. Bradley Company CEO Marc Olivie’ told members of the Rotary Club of Columbus.

He went on to explain that Wal-Mart is planning to spend more than 50-billion-dollars on American manufactured goods and that it would continue to buy Char-Broil grills if manufacturing returns from China to America if the price remains the same.  A company sponsored survey of consumers asked if they would be willing to pay five dollars more for a grill if it were made in America. The answer was an unequivical “no.”

The question was raised during a question and answer session held after Olivie’ had spoken on the status of W.C. Bradley Company.   The company, which had a very good year,  is selling millions of grills, Zebco fishing reels, and Tiki outdoor torches. None is made in America.  Zebco operates out of Tulsa and Tiki Torches out of the Milwaukee area.

While those products are sold globally, the company’s real estate business focuses on the Columbus area. It has extensive holdings in downtown Columbus and Olivie’ says he finds the revitalization of downtown very exciting, that it is truly a plus for the area.

Matt Swift, fellow  Rotarian and President and COO of the W.C. Bradley Company Real Estate Division, said, “We would not have been able to attract this Belgian and his wife to Columbus if downtown and Columbus in general was not attractive to them.”  This day and age a city has to have the arts, quality educational facilities and other attractions to entice talent, and that attracting talent is the name of the game in business.

Olivie’ also pointed out how valuable Columbus State University  is to the Columbus area.  Cities with good universities attract management talent. CSU has already played a big role in revitalizing downtown with its transfer of its arts schools and is about to play an even larger one when it also moves its College of Education and Health Professions downtown.

W.C. Bradley Company owns 25 buildings, which occupy about a million square feet, in downtown.  Except for the condos sold at Eagle and Phenix Mill No. 3,  it rents its downtown buildings to occupants,  Swift said.

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NCR Brings More Jobs Home to America as it Moves into a Second Plant in Columbus

March 28, 2012

My iPhone shot of Rick Marquardt, NCR VP of Global Operations, spewkaing to members of the Rotary Club of Columbus

What stood out was seeing a powerful corporate executive become emotional when he told of how plant employees came up smiling to shake his hand, some even crying, as they thanked him for providing them jobs.  “That’s what it’s all about,” said Rick Marquardt, Vice President of Global Operations for NCR, who spoke to Columbus Rotarians today, the day he came back to town to announce the opening of a second plant in Columbus. NCR has leased the new building that Cessna was going to use but decided against it when the economy went sour.

Columbus is NCR’s only manufacturing facility in the United States. Since opening in Columbus, the plant has manufactured 25,000 ATM machines and also makes other business machines here. The corporation’s decision to bring some manufacturing jobs back to America got national attention, but he cautioned that we shouldn’t expect a lot of firms to do that. That’s sad. Still, we can be thankful that some are doing it and one as large and as successful as NCR  picked Columbus to do it. Marquardt said Columbus was chosen because of the enthusiastic and broad support it got by Columbus business leaders when deciding on which city to start making things in the U.S.A. again.

Looking to China for how Unregulated Corporations Provide more Jobs

January 17, 2012

I recently did my bit to help the American consumer-driven economy. I upgraded to an iPhone 4 and I love it, especially the 5 mp camera with a flash. But, after watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night, every time I look it now, I’ll think about the factory worker in China who made it. According to the report, which got its facts and video clips from a MSNBC program, he or she – some as young as 13-years-old – got 32-cents an hour, lives in a company-owned dormitory room with seven other people, works up to 35 straight hours, and sometimes becomes so stressed out and depressed that  he or she jumps off the top of the dormitory building.  So many have jumped that Foxconn, the Taiwan-based largest manufacturer of electronics in the world, has put up nets to break the jumpers’ falls.  Most of the company’s manufacturing plants are in mainland China.

Why does the union allow this to happen to workers?  There is no union.  Trying to organize one can get you twelve years in the clink.

Last night’s report was prompted by Rick Perry’s repeating of the Republican mantra about bringing jobs back to America by fewer regulations and more tax breaks for corporations.   Perry made the statement during the Republican presidential primary debate in South Carolina.

There was a time when many American factories were almost as immoral, paying starvation wages, providing shoddy company-owned houses, and  using child labor. Regulations got us away from that.  Do we really want to go back to that in order to compete with communist China?  Do we really want to ramp up our march back  to the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons? Can’t we find a way to provide jobs without destroying the American middle class?

HOPE for Georgians Seeking Work?

December 7, 2011

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

  There is a labor shortage in Georgia. Really. There is. But, what about the more than 9 percent unemployment rate?  Georgia has that, too.  You see, the problem is a lot of people could have good jobs if they had the skills in demand.  And if Georgia doesn’t get off the pot and start re-training workers for the skills in demand, the state will fall behind those that are doing that.  That was the picture painted by Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark  Butler, who spoke to the Rotary Club of Columbus today. One solution is to change the HOPE scholarship program to make tuition available  to Georgia laborers who need to retrain. He plans to try to get the Georgia Legislature to do just that.

BOUGHT GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM

October 20, 2011

It is just incredible that one simple redirection of federal funds could dramatically increase new jobs in America.  Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League,  said on CNBC today that the federal government, by law, is mandated to channel 23 percent of federal contracts to small businesses. He also said that small businesses create a hundred percent of net new jobs, but that most of the federal money is going to the Fortune 500 companies that have not increased the number of net new jobs in 30 years. 30 YEARS! No doubt they have shifted tons of jobs to China and other low-pay countries, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD  – sorry for the screaming capitalizations, but, if true, this is insane – start channeling that money to small businesses where the jobs are created.

He says the president’s jobs program simply is about cutting taxes, and that study after study by the nation’s Nobel Prize winning economists have shown that cutting taxes does not create new jobs.  If what he says is true,  it is immoral not to give small businesses the 23 percent of federal contracts they are supposed to be getting. In fact, the percentage should be greatly increased.

Why hasn’t this happened? The obvious answer is that the big corporations have the money to buy the government. It costs a fortune to win a congressional or presidential election. It  seems that BOUGHT GOVERNMENT is the reason we are in the economic mess we are in right now. BOUGHT GOVERNMENT is what we have. It has to change or things will simply go from bad to worse for America’s middle class. 

Republican Heavy-Hitters Hit Town

October 25, 2010

Sen. Isakson finishes his talk and welcomes Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal to the podium at Lakebottom Park in Columbus

Just about all of Georgia’s Republican heavy-hitter candidates rolled into Columbus on a campaign bus this afternoon for a rally in the band shell at Lakebottom Park.  From there they went to a fund-raising reception at the Convention and Trade Center.

Nathan DealU.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, 3rd District Congressman Lynn Westmoreland,  gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal, and 2nd Congressional District candidate Mike Keown all took their turn at the microphone, but the message was pretty much the same: the big issue is jobs and they want the chance to help provide more. How? Same way that Republicans have been espousing all along,  low taxes and fewer regulations, though Sen. Isakson did allow that regulations were all right to “level the playing field,” but not to “determine the outcome of the game.”  

3rd U.S. District Rep. Lynn Westmorland

Will lower, or at least no new taxes, and fewer regulations provide more jobs?  They want to continue the Bush tax cuts, not just for the middle class but for the upper class, too.  Well, the Bush tax cuts were still in place when the jobless rate zoomed upward toward the end of the Bush administration. 

Last quarter saw big profits for America’s big corporations.  That did not translate into a lot of new jobs.   Fewer employees lead to higher profits.  So what makes Republicans think more jobs will be provided by lower taxes? Lower taxes on the middle class make some sense since the middle class drives consumerism, which is what our economy depends upon.  You don’t sell millions of hamburgers and cars to the wealthy. There just aren’t that many of them.   

President Obama’s Savannah Visit

March 2, 2010

In case you are interested in the President’s visit to Savannah today and its political implications, AJC.com has a good comprehensive story.  The story gets into all of the political aspects of the visit, including the fact that Republican Governor Perdue was at Hunter Army Airfield at Fort Stewart to welcome the President to Georgia, and Republican Congressman Jack Kingston was at Savannah Technical College, where the President promoted his “Homestar” program that would reward homeowners who make their homes energy efficient.  He wants the program included in the jobs package being drafted by Congress.

Homeowners could be eligible for up to $3,000 in rebates through the “Homestar” program, an initiative he mentioned in his State of the Union address in January. Obama wants the program included in a jobs package being drafted by Congress.  The President said the program would create tens of thousands of jobs, including jobs for some of the Savannah area contractors that were in the audience.

Why Did President Obama Pick Savannah?

February 27, 2010

PRESIDENT  OBAMA VISITS SAVANNAH TUESDAY AS PART OF HIS ‘WHITE HOUSE TO MAIN STREET” LISTENING TOUR

I don’t know why President Obama picked Savannah for his “Main Street” visit to Georgia Tuesday, but he will certainly be in probably Georgia’s most charming city.  I was there recently and really enjoyed the visit.  It’s a beautiful place, and, as you know, the most historic city in Georgia.  It’s where Georgia started in 1733. 

River Street in downtown Savannah, Georgia

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution story by Bill  Torpy and    Jeremy Redmon,  the White House will only say that ” its residents ‘have been hit hard and know well the challenges that Americans are facing right now’ — a criteria that could fit Anytown, USA.”  

The president will be conducting a town hall type meeting at Savannah Technical College.  The Savannah Morning News reports that only invited guest will be in attendance because the school’s auditorium will only seat 200 people.  After he finishes there, he is scheduled to make some more stops during his four hour visit,  but the White House won’t say where they will be. 

Port of Savannah on the Savannah River. It exports more than it imports.

According to the AJC  story, Robert Eisinger, dean of liberal arts at the Savannah College of Arts and Design,  says, ” Savannah provides racial, ideological and geographical diversity,” he said, and “It’s a president’s job to go out and listen. There’s an export story he can tell here, a manufacturing story and an education story.”  He pointed out the photographic settings, which include “historic architecture, an expansive river view,  and a busy port that all can help bring home whatever message Obama wants to make.”

There are some high profile Republicans in the Savannah area, such as Congressman Jack Kingston who is opposed to the $787 billion stimulus program – though Georgia Republican Governor Perdue’s administration had no problem in accepting Georgia’s share of the money- but,  the president will not be in hostile territory.  He pulled 57 percent of the vote in Chatham County.

NCR CEO and Chairman Nuti Has the Right Idea

June 3, 2009

I liked what the chairman and CEO of NCR said about bringing manufacturing back to America.  Chuck Williams reported in the Ledger-Enquirer that NCR is moving its national headquarters from Dayton, Ohio to the Atlanta area and opening an ATM manufacturing plant in Columbus that will eventually bring more than 800 jobs to the Columbus area.   He quoted Bill Nuti  as saying “We are returning manufacturing to America. We are creating jobs, and as a company we have the courage to do it in America.”  May your tribe increase Mr. Nuti.  That’s the kind of spirit we need.