SLC Regional Resource

CSG South

On January 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) redefined "broadband internet." Under the new definition, broadband internet connection must meet benchmark speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. Such speeds allow multiple users (or devices) within a household to browse the web and stream video simultaneously, or allow a single user to stream high definition video. The Commission's redefinition of broadband—more than six times its previous download speed benchmark of 4 Mbps—reflects the growing ubiquity of the Internet and aims to ensure the infrastructure has the capacity to meet new, data-intensive usage and its derived benefits.

This SLC Regional Resource examines the role of states in broadband deployment and its relationship to municipal and federal initiatives, with particular attention to the needs of rural areas, and the successes of Southern cities and towns. Notably, this SLC Regional Resource focuses on government-owned broadband infrastructure and direct service provision, though other policies and incentives are discussed broadly. It does not address private alternative internet service providers.

CSG South

Gaining traction in a number of state legislatures of The Council of State Governments (CSG), Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) member states, is the legalization of marijuana for medical use. Despite the prevalence of marijuana-related legislation being filed across the Southern states, only a few bills are expected to make their way through the legislative process to achieve enactment. However, as the topic moves further from theoretical and closer to reality, there are some common trends emerging in legislation across the SLC region. This Regional Resource reviews the similarities among these 12 legislative proposals and two ballot proposals.

This new report from the Southern Legislative Conference examines the increasing number of aeronautics companies that are locating, relocating or expanding their manufacturing operations in the South, a trend particularly discernible in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

CSG South

There has been a great deal of attention in recent years over the ‘drive to move South,’ i.e., an increasing number of foreign automakers setting up manufacturing facilities and thriving across the Southern United States. For more than two decades, going back to the 1980s, foreign automobile manufacturers, from Toyota in Kentucky to Mercedes in Alabama to BMW in South Carolina to Nissan in Mississippi to Kia in Georgia to Volkswagen in Tennessee, have established assembly operations that continue to prosper, generating billions of dollars in economic impact and employing thousands of workers.

While the economic impact of the automobile sector in the South has been reviewed and scrutinized extensively in recent years, there has been less fanfare about a burgeoning sector in the region: the growing importance of tire manufacturing in the SLC states. Only in the last year and a half or so are the media and auto industry analysts realizing that some of the world’s largest tire manufacturers are locating, relocating or expanding their operations in the South. This Regional Resource examines this trend and its economic impact on the region, analyzing the South’s emergence as the Tire Hub of the United States.

CSG South

Since the end of the Great Recession, there have been encouraging signs that America’s manufacturing sector is experiencing a renaissance, albeit a muted one. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, and given that the manufacturing sector in the United States has been in a state of decline for a number of decades, a turnaround of this sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is most encouraging.  While growth in the nation’s manufacturing sector since the Great Recession remains a very positive development, it also thrusts another challenge to the forefront: creating an adequately trained workforce in the states to staff the increasingly complex positions involved in the 21st century manufacturing process.

Given that a highly trained workforce is a central aspect of a thriving manufacturing sector, states across the country, particularly in the South, have placed a great deal of emphasis on ensuring that their economic development strategies incorporate the workforce development needs of these different companies. This Regional Resource examines the measures taken by the SLC states to create a better trained workforce for the various manufacturing operations in their jurisdictions.