Tag Archives: industry

What does conversion of the Land Bank Authority mean? @ ESPLOST VLCLBA 2015-02-25

What does “conversion of the Land Bank Authority” mean? What are they converting this Authority to? Or do they mean the Authority is voting on converting some real estate from non-taxable to taxable?

Valdosta News, City of Valdosta, 23 February 2015, In The City This Week, Feb. 23-28,

Feb. 25: Land Bank Authority Meets. Members of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Land Bank Authority will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m., in the Neighborhood Development Conference Room (Room 202, Valdosta City Hall Annex). This meeting is being held to vote on the conversion of the Land Bank Authority. The Land Bank Authority exists to foster the public purpose of returning property which is in a non-revenue generating, non-tax producing status to effective utilization status in order to provide housing, new industry and jobs for citizens. For information, call (229) 671-3617.

Even the state doesn’t have up to date information about this board. According to the Continue reading

Rooftop solar: the most direct route to clean energy industries

Austin vs. San Antonio in solar power Around here I hear local leaders say “we’ll never be Austin.” Well, Austin may be letting San Antonio pass Austin as far as rooftop solar and the jobs that generates. It’s not a matter of size or pre-existing advantages. It’s a matter of political will. Do we have that will here?

TexasVox wrote a white paper in February 2012, Solar Austin: Rooftop Solar & Job Creation,

…the most direct route to attracting and encouraging the development of clean energy industries is through the

the scale of future development will be orders of magnitude greater than what has occurred to date.
mass deployment of local rooftop solar, which is probably why solar has by far the most significant presence of any clean energy generation technology in Austin.

But the paper’s point is that Austin is falling short. Look at the graph: Austin seems to have settled for linear growth in solar power, while San Antonio gets it about compound growth. As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said in 2011, solar power is in

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VLCIA Focus Group meeting 20 June 2012

Today I received an invitation from the Industrial Authority to attend a focus group interview for input to their Competitive Assessment and their Economic Development Strategy. So, dear readers, what do you think I should say to them? Don’t worry; I have some ideas already, but I’m all ears for more.

You may recall VLCIA has been put out an RFP early this year for an organization to do a Strategic Plan process. They selected Market Street Services of Atlanta, and they said in April they were preparing to do focus groups. Now apparently they’ve sent out invitation letters for a focus group on 20 June 2012. I have no idea who else they have invited; I was rather surprised to find they invited me.

What would you say to them?

Invitation from Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA)
to a focus group interview 20 June 2012
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 1 June 2012.
Scanned by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


Prisoners as cheap labor

Quite likely you thought massive prison populations used as cheap labor were some sort of medieval tradition. Nope. Here’s an article that debunks that misconception and informs you about many other things I (and perhaps you) didn’t know about prisoners as cheap labor.

Locking Down an American Workforce Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman wrote for TomDispatch 19 April 2012, Prison Labor as the Past — and Future — of American “Free-Market” Capitalism,

Penal servitude now strikes us as a barbaric throwback to some long-lost moment that preceded the industrial revolution, but in that we’re wrong. From its first appearance in this country, it has been associated with modern capitalist industry and large-scale agriculture.

So where and when did it come from?

As it happens, penal servitude — the leasing out of prisoners to private enterprise, either within prison walls or in outside workshops, factories, and fields — was originally known as a “Yankee invention.”

First used at Auburn prison in New York State in the 1820s, the system spread widely and quickly throughout the North, the Midwest, and later the West. It developed alongside state-run prison workshops that produced goods for the public sector and sometimes the open market.

A few Southern states also used it. Prisoners there, as elsewhere, however, were mainly white men, since slave masters, with a free hand to deal with the “infractions” of their chattel, had little need for prison. The Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery would, in fact, make an exception for penal servitude precisely because it had become the dominant form of punishment throughout the free states.

In case you’ve never read it or have forgotten, here is the Thirteenth Amendment (emphasis added):

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Got a population you don’t like? Continue reading

LOST again in Hahira 9AM 2 May 2012

The local cities want more LOST money from the county. Imagine if they and the county spent this much effort bringing in new industry such as solar to increase the pie!

David Rodock wrote for the VDT 17 April 2012, County’s LOST proposal declined: Cities want more money; negotiations to begin in May. Well, that about sums it up. Looks like this is going to end up in another round of litigation after a lot of talking past each other.

So there will be LOST again, this time in Hahira, 9AM 2 May 2012 at the Hahira Community Center, 215 Randall Street.

They could spend their time talking together more productively.


Solar projects get community support

What if the Industrial Authority supported industry that had a business model, brought jobs, and had the support of the community? It can happen, and already has!

Citizen Carol wrote for Texas Vox 6 January 2012, Austin Energy drought proofs its energy with new Webberville Solar Project,

Public Citizen says kudos to the City of Austin and Austin Energy for their vision and efforts in completing this project. Given that the State Climatologist is warning us that Texas can expect up to 5 more years of the current drought cycle, this project came just in time to help provide our community with drought–proof electricity during the peak use times — that will come in handy next summer.

Remember we already discovered this right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County? The Wiregrass Solar commissioning was a popular event, with many critics of the Industrial Authority lavishly praising it for the solar plant. Nobody complained about living near a solar installation. How about some more clean industry?



Car part manufacturer locates in Dublin, Georgia

First MAGE SOLAR, now this. Somebody in Dublin and Laurens County, Georgia, is successfully attracting new, clean industry.

A press release Tuesday on the Governor’s website, German automotive supplier to create 178 jobs in Dublin

Erdrich Umformtechnik to invest $39 million in Laurens County, Deal reports

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Erdrich Umformtechnik GmbH & Co.KG (Erdrich), a German-based automotive supplier, will construct a state-of-the-art metal stamping facility in Dublin in Laurens County. The company will create 178 jobs and invest $39 million in the construction of this plant.

“Automotive industry suppliers find in Georgia the logistics infrastructure, skilled workforce and overall business environment necessary for them to compete globally while meeting the needs of their customers,” Deal said. “I am also encouraged to see yet another German company call Georgia home, indicating even further that our efforts to build and foster international relationships are yielding positive results. Georgia proudly welcomes Erdrich to our state.”

Erdrich is a midsized family-owned company that produces complex metal parts and subassemblies for the automotive industry, and has been in the metal stamping business for more than 50 years. The company has two plants in Germany, one in the Czech Republic and another in China that supplies parts to other automotive supplier companies as well to BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

“Following an extensive multistate search for the right U.S. business location for our company, we were delighted to find the right fit in Dublin, Georgia,” said CEO Georg Erdrich. “This very pro-business community met our requirements with respect to logistics to our customers, access for our suppliers, operating costs, workforce and quality of life. The economic development leadership at the state and local level worked closely with us to make our decision based on confidence in the data, the business analysis and the leadership.”

So apparently at least one locality in Georgia is capable of attracting this kind of industry.


My job: create environment for jobs —Andrea Schruijer of VLCIA @ LCDP 5 Dec 2011

In a refreshing changes from “jobs, jobs, jobs” as everything, Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), told the Lowndes County Democratic Party meeting, 5 December 2011, that it wasn’t her job to create jobs, jobs, jobs; it was her job to create an environment that let jobs be created. Towards that end, she announced several new jobs at VLCIA, including a PR and marketing position. VLCIA Chairman Roy Copeland also spoke and helped answer questions from the audience, including about wages, workers, and green industries.

Perhaps not shown is her answer to my question about what does VLCIA do to promote new local industry. I believe she said VLCIA looks to the Chamber of Commerce for incubation, and helps once local businesses are established.

Here’s a playlist:

My job: create environment for jobs —Andrea Schruijer of VLCIA @ LCDP 5 Dec 2011
Andrea Schruijer Executive Director of VLCIA,
Monthly Meeting, Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 5 December 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman.


Projects, PR, and Planning at Industrial Authority this evening

Today is the third Tuesday of the month, so the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority Board of Directors meets tonight. A list of specific projects, a PR position, and a strategic planning presentation are on their agenda.

I see they held a special called meeting 16 December 2011, but at least they listed it on their web page. Maybe they’ve got control of their technical glitches.

Appended is the schedule for 2012, and the agenda for tonight’s meeting.


Meeting Schedule

All Meetings will be held at 5:30pm in the Industrial Authority Conference Room, 2110 N. Patterson Street, unless otherwise notified.

Special Called Meeting

**December 16, 2011**

Meeting Schedule for 2012

January 17, 2012
February 21, 2012
March 20, 2012
April 17, 2012
May 15, 2012
June 19, 2012
July 17, 2012
August 21, 2012
September 18, 2012
October 16, 2012
November 20, 2012
December 18, 2012
**Please note date change**
Here’s tonight’s agenda.
Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:30 p.m.
Industrial Authority Conference Room
2110 N. Patterson Street
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A renewable energy transparency law that enabled an industry

North Carolina passed a law in 2007 called the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), which requires power utilities to get certain percentages of their energy from “renewable energy resources or energy efficiency measures.” To that NC added frequent, detailed, public reporting, and thus enabled a renewable energy industry.

Power utilities don’t like to reveal data about their energy sources or sales any more than Internet organizations like to reveal security problems. The key to REPS is the reporting it requires:

“Beginning in 2009, each power supplier is required to file a compliance report, detailing the actions it has taken to fulfill the requirements of the REPS.”
This is called the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Tracking System. It provides the data to see which utilities are providing how much of which kind of energy.

According to Ivan Urlaub of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), REC reporting enabled the solar industry in North Carolina:

“The passage of the REPS law in 2007 and resulting success of the North Carolina’s clean energy market has created the rapid start-ups and expansions of clean energy businesses from installers to developers to manufacturers and the associated service sectors over the last few years.”
Not only is North Carolina now one of the national leaders in solar energy, but 91% of NC voters want more solar power, with wind second, and everything else far behind.

REC enabled not only a renewable energy industry, but also selection within that industry for what works.

How did this happen? Continue reading