Thursday, July 15, 2010

Calif. Business Exodus 'Explodes' in 1st Half –
Total Higher than Entire Previous Year

July 20 News Flash – The total number of California disinvestment events now increases to 85 as Solexant, a San Jose-based company, will build a manufacturing plant in Oregon. So it's another "green" company diverting its capital out of California. The new facility will have an initial work force of 170 employees, but could increase to 1,000. See the Gresham Outlook story "Solar company chooses Gresham." Solexant describes itself as a "well funded start-up" at their website here.

In just two days in July, California lost three company headquarters – Globalstar, Inc. will depart Milpitas for Louisiana, eEye of Irvine will move to Arizona, and TriZetto Group will leave Newport Beach for Colorado – which means this year we are seeing a stunning increase in company disinvestments in California.

In just the first half of this year, there have been 85 such events, much higher than what occurred through all of 2009. An “event” includes instances where companies have closed factories down, moved their headquarters or facilities to another state or country, or targeted locations elsewhere as better places to grow and therefore sent billions of dollars in capital out of state or out of the country.

Using research methods that involve public domain information only, the 85 known events for the year’s first half compare with 51 for all of last year and 43 events combined for the three-year 2006 – 2008 period.

About $4.7 billion in capital was spent or committed during the first half of this year for known activities related to out-of-state moves or shifts in investment. If I had time to search SEC disclosures and other documents, the figure would be higher. Prior to giving company details, I will take some editorial prerogatives.

California’s ‘State of Emergency’

The exodus of known capital and jobs is the “tip of the Iceberg.” The losses are deeper than are recorded here. California is in an "economic state of emergency" that will only get worse because the state government shows no signs of being less hostile to business and because more companies will be leaving. To the degree I know about some of those companies, under Non-Disclosure Agreements there is no way I can discuss them. In any event, the exodus has reached such an alarming point that California ought to declare a “state of economic emergency” just as we have emergencies resulting from floods, fires and earthquakes. Raising taxes or creating new regulations should be out of the question. Unless there is a reduction in the hostility California directs toward businesses, we will see more commercial enterprises calling site selection companies for help in finding friendlier states in which to locate.

Business leaders who want to keep operations in California must speak up more forcefully against hostile voices in Sacramento – and against business-bashers in Los Angeles City Hall – and make a stronger case for the value that commercial enterprises contribute to this state.

Who’s on the List?

Companies of all types are reducing their California footprint. The list includes well-known California-based firms like Google, Hilton, Thomas Brothers Maps, Genentech, Yelp, Apple, Facebook, and DIRECTV. Meanwhile, lesser-known family-owned companies are leaving the state completely, but they prefer to stay out of the limelight and their moves are difficult to track.

Why do Companies Leave?

It's no mystery what California’s problems are – high taxes, undue regulation, excessive fines and fees, high workers' comp costs, a legal environment stacked against businesses, and lengthy permitting requirements. Contributing factors include staff being unsympathetic or even hostile to business concerns in state agencies and the big-city governments in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Such reasons contributed to California losing more than one million jobs in recent years. See my "Top Ten Reasons Why California Companies Are Calling the Moving Companies."

The Quality of the List

I’ve always admitted this tracking effort is imperfect. Critics ought to be careful in saying that I’ve painted a too-bleak picture because the list is incomplete and understates losses. I don’t know the true extent of the exodus, but it’s greater than I can determine from media reports and verifiable tips from the public. Keep in mind that there is no state agency that keeps track of enterprises that move out of or elect to expand out of California. Many politicians find the business exodus too much of an “inconvenient truth” – so they’re rather not have official figures about the extent of the problem.

Some Details about the List

When you see “New!” that means I’ve discovered the event subsequent to any prior lists that I’ve published.

The top ten states to benefit from these 85 events are as follows (the number refers to the number of known events) – the state with the greatest activity is Texas (18), followed by Colorado (17), Arizona (11), Nevada (10), North Carolina (10), Oregon (10), Virginia (6), South Dakota (5), Tennessee (5) and Washington (5).

You will see a code after each entry. For example, RELO-OS means the company relocated out of the state. Ignore such codes for now. They are more fully explained and outlined near the bottom of this posting under the heading "Event Code Explanation and Analysis." For Important Caveats, go the very bottom of the posting.

2010, 2009 and 2006 through 2008

85 Known Events January 1 through July 20

ALAMEDA COUNTY – 5 Known Events

APL, a subsidiary of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. of Singapore (and formerly known as American President Lines Ltd.) relocated its U.S. HQ from Oakland to Phoenix. The company employed between 300 and 400 people in Oakland and it’s unclear how many jobs are involved and how many are to be moved in 2010. The San Francisco Business Times reported that "The relocation to Arizona is one of a series of cost-saving measures." See "American President Lines to land in Phoenix." (RELO-OS) 

CalStar Products Inc., a "green" company HQ’d in Newark, Calif., in January 2010 was awarded $2.44 million in federal clean energy tax credits. The company said in the future it expects to build additional plants in the Mississippi Valley and the East Coast. In late 2009 CalStar opened a plant in Caledonia, Wisconsin. (CD-OSG)

New! FormFactor, Inc. of Livermore opened its new wafer probe card manufacturing facility and global business center in Singapore with a celebration held at the site on March 10, 2010. The EE Times reported that the move was designed to cut costs. The company expects to employ approximately 300 people in its first phase of growth over the next two years. Job growth will include design and manufacturing engineering, supply chain management, global finance positions, as well as other selected corporate and regional support functions. Also, one of the company's product business units will make its home in the new location. See “FormFactor opens Singapore plant.” (CD-OSG)

New! Smart Business Advisory & Consulting closed its Emeryville office when it merged with LECG Corp., a consulting company, and relocated to the Philadelphia area early in the year. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the company transferred 50 jobs from Emeryville to Devon, Pa. See: "LECG buys Bourne Business Consulting." (RELO-OS)

Toyota Motor Corp. stopped making cars at the NUMMI plant in Fremont in early 2010, idled 4,700 workers, and moved work to Canada and San Antonio, Texas. See Edmunds Inside Line: "It's the End of the Line for the NUMMI Plant." (In May 2010 it was announced that Tesla Motors will purchase the factory to build its Model S and other cars after Toyota acquired a $50 million stake in Tesla.) (This fits two categories – CLO and RELO-OS – but is counted as one event.)

KERN COUNTY – 1 Known Event

New! William Bolthouse Farms Inc. announced in late June that it will close its Buttonwillow plant, costing 214 jobs, although some workers could be transferred to its Bakersfield facility. The company said it’s consolidating California manufacturing operations to "improve company-wide efficiency and productivity.” Bolthouse grows fruits and vegetables and produces bottled juices and salad dressings. It has processing and distribution facilities in California, Georgia, Washington and soon, eastern Canada. See the story in FreshPlaza: "US: Bolthouse plans to close Buttonwillow facility" and at Bakersfield KERO-TV: "Bolthouse Farms Closes Buttonwillow Facility" (CLO)

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – 20 Known Events

Abraxis Health, a unit of L.A.-based Abraxis BioScience Inc., opened a new plant that will create 200 jobs in 2010 -- in Phoenix. This follows the company's 2007 and 2008 Phoenix expansions. (CD-OSG)

APL moved its Long Beach Logistics Dept. to Colorado. This is mentioned in the story, "American President Lines to land in Phoenix." (RELO-OS)

New! Banker's Toolbox, which produces financial industry software and wire processing, moved its headquarters from North Hollywood to Austin, Texas. According to the Austin Business Journal, “Officials did not say how many employees would be hired in Austin, but it employs 60 nationally, according to its website.” The paper referred to company CEO Daniel Cho’s statement: “Austin has been dubbed the ‘Silicon Hills’ due to the concentration of high-tech companies headquartered in the area, so there is an incredible amount of local talent that we can tap into, In addition, the lower cost of living in this location is much closer to the national median, which allows us the opportunity to invite even more top-tier individuals to join our team. This move will better equip us to serve our customers as we begin another decade of helping financial institutions.” See the story, "Bankers' software provider moves HQ to Austin." (RELO-OS)

New! Cereplast Inc., (updated Sept. 7, 2010 upon learning of the company's candid comments regarding California):  Cereplast, HQ’d in El Segundo, has cut back in California and placed a new facility in the Midwest. The company is "green" in that it makes renewable plastics that are an economically and ecologically sound substitute for petroleum-based products. Cereplast said it's "reducing its footprint in Southern California to 3,000 square feet, and is moving all R&D and production lines to its much larger state-of-the-art facility in Seymour, Indiana. 'The Indiana plant will allow us to reduce drastically our costs compared to California from real estate to utilities,' stated Mr. Frederic Scheer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Inc. 'As we open this new facility it made sense to reduce our leased space in California. This will improve cash flow and allow us to focus on our strengths.'" That's in the January 12 news release, "Cereplast, Inc. Moves Operations to its Indiana Facility." Another statement said, "The new facility, which occupies approximately 110,000 square feet on 14 acres of land, is located one hour south of Indianapolis. . . . Cereplast’s head of production and head of Technology are now based in Indiana to head up the new facility and will be supported by Mr. Scheer, who will reside in Indiana one week per month in order to be on location." That's in the March 22 news release, "Cereplast Begins Bioplastics Production In Indiana." An older story in the Seymour Tribune said that Cereplast expects to eventually employ up to 200 people and that factors in selecting Seymour included Ivy Tech Community College's program in plastics processing and the possibility of extending a rail line to the plant. See the story "Cereplast to start in January." In June 2010, Cereplast said one reason for its Q1 2010 gross margin increase of 31.6% is due to cost savings at its new Indiana facility. See: “Stock Alert for Cereplast Inc. (CERP)." (RELO-OS)

New! CODA, a Santa Monica-based "green" electric car and battery company, announced in May that it plans to build an automotive-grade lithium ion battery system manufacturing facility in Ohio. CODA is considering several sites for the facility, which could employ more than 1,000 skilled workers initially. Construction contingent upon finalizing an incentive package with the state of Ohio and the approval of Department of Energy loan. Lio Energy Systems, a joint venture between CODA and Lishen Power Battery, would operate the facility. Lio Energy Systems operates a major facility in Tianjin, China with the capacity to produce more than 20,000 battery packs per year, which the proposed Ohio facility would replicate. CODA is slated to begin delivering its all-electric car in the fourth quarter of this year and anticipates that it can deliver more than 14,000 vehicles by the end of 2011. See the company’s press release here. (CD-OSG)

Creators Syndicate may move out of Los Angeles because the city operates like a “banana republic” and unfairly changed its interpretation of tax rules in a way that injures the company. (RELO-OST)

Digital Domain, the Academy-Award-winning visual effects studio based in Venice, Calif., is expanding big-time in Vancouver, British Columbia, a move that will allow the company to reduce costs while continuing to deliver quality work. Variety reports that Digital Domain finished putting management in place at its Vancouver office, which opened the first week in January 2010 – see "Digital Domain sets Vancouver team" by going here and looking through the press releases. (CD-OSG)

Dimensional Fund Advisors moved its headquarters from Santa Monica to Austin, Texas, with the move to be completed in 2010. (RELO-OS)

New! DIRECTV, HQ’d in El Segundo, has arranged with a call-center company to create 40 positions to work with DIRECTV's top-tier customer base – and they will be based in Marshalltown, Iowa. The contractor, Thomas L. Cardella & Associates, was expected to begin hiring on July 7, 2010. According to the Marshalltown Times-Republican, “All positions will receive guaranteed pay increases every six months, paid training and a comprehensive benefits package. See: "Call center adding 140 jobs in Marshalltown." (CD-OSG)

New! Harman International Industries, Inc., an audio and video products manufacturer, eliminated 72 jobs from its JBL Professional Division in Northridge at the end of June. The employee count now is about 400 people, down from a peak of 1,400. Employees report that the company has moved manufacturing to other sites in the U.S. and Asia, and shifted some loudspeaker manufacturing to Mexico. See the story in the Contra Costa Times here. Also, an employee reports that “Costs of operations in California was given as the reason for closing down here.” (RELO-OS)

New! Hino Motors Manufacturing USA Inc. is moving equipment from a now-closed Long Beach plant to Marion, Arkansas, as part of a $20 million expansion to its truck-frame line, where it's also adding 25 jobs to its existing 440-person workforce. The finished parts are trucked to Williamston, W.Va., where all Hino trucks sold in the U.S. are assembled, and to a plant in Ontario, Canada. Earlier, Hino Motors President Yasuo Tanigawa said the Japanese company was pleased to have found a home in Williamstown, WV, for its new plant that opened in 2008. Back then, he said ceasing production in Long Beach was justified because it "was not a suitable location." See in the News and Sentinal: "Hino USA president speaks to chamber." (RELO-OS) Inc. said in April that it's about to leave Hollywood/Los Angeles after a lengthy dispute over city taxes. A company official said: “With this business tax, the economic costs don’t justify staying here. Physical location is not important to us as an Internet business.” A move could mean a loss of 1,000 jobs. Part of the company may move to neighboring West Hollywood, Burbank or Glendale where tax rates are lower. Meanwhile, major growth will occur in LegalZoom's new office in Austin, Texas, where within four years the company may employ 600 people. See the Austin American-Statesman story: "LegalZoom eyes Austin."  Jan. 2011 LegalZoom update: the Austin American-Statesman reported that 35 of the company's 400 employees asked to move to Austin — many more than expected — and that made a big difference in the decision to select Austin, according to Mike Wilson, vice president of operations. Now they're getting settled in Austin, with some buying homes for the first time. Wilson said: "We never expected that many people would want to relocate. . . . We take that as a sign that we made the right decision." See the Jan. 3, 2011 story “Austin leaders plot 2011 job growth.” (RELO-OST)

Northrop Grumman – the company will relocate its Los Angeles H.Q. to Falls Church in Northern Virginia and a July 12 report by AP says, “The company has said that about 300 jobs with an average salary of $200,000 are associated with the move. Some executives will relocate from California, while others will be new hires.” See that AP story here. State economic development officials report that 300 jobs will relocate. It's the last major aerospace company to leave Southern California, the birthplace of the aerospace industry. See a photo of the building they bought in the Washington Business Journal here. (RELO-OS)

Pixel Magic HQ’d in Toluca Lake is locating a studio in Lafayette, Louisiana, where it will create 40 new jobs between now and 2013. The company, which provides digital effects for motion pictures and television, said the Louisiana people they are in contact with have an immediate understanding of technology and data handling. (CD-OSG)

New! Precor Inc. stopped manufacturing fitness machines in Valencia and on March 30 held a grand opening at its new North Carolina plant. The company will hire up to 70 workers for its $26.2 million, 230,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Whitsett, near Greensboro. Precor is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corp., the world’s largest sports equipment company, with the high-recognition brands Wilson, Atomic, Suunto, Salomon, Arc’Teryx and Mavic. See the Greensboro News & Record story (through NewsBank): "Precor begins recruiting for new Rock Creek plant" and the company's press release: "Precor opens new North Carolina manufacturing facility." (RELO-OS)

Race Track Chaplaincy of America shifted its headquarters from Inglewood to Lexington, Kentucky. The non-profit group said it had wanted to relocate from the Hollywood Park Race Track for several reasons, one of which is the significant cost of doing business on the West Coast. (RELO-OS)

New! Redbarn Pet Products, HQ'd in Long Beach, moved to Great Bend, Kansas, relocating to a 150,000-square-foot building. By the end of this year the company will employ 175 to 200 people with an annual payroll of about $4 million. The Great Bend Tribune reported that Redbarn “will invest about $3 million in capital improvements . . . Because of taxes, the work ethic and the available labor pool, [company co-founder Howard] Bloxam said Kansas is much more small business-friendly than California.” Redbarn, a $35-million company looking to grow to $75 million, has products in such stores as PETCO, Walgreens and Kroger, and also has independent distributors. See the story: "Doggone good news." (RELO-OS)

New! Ryder Integrated Logistics, which operates an Eastman Kodak Product distribution center in Whittier, is heading to Reno, Nevada, after decades in the L.A. area. The Whittier Daily News in July quoted Councilman Joe Vinatieri as saying the company "is one of the city's top 25 sales-tax producers and brings in as much as an auto dealership." The paper gave some background: "The distribution center apparently opened in the 1960s. In 1984, it was expanded to handle all shipping, repair and service operations in nine western states, including California. At the time it employed 400 people and was expected to grow even larger but since the number of employees has declined. Now it appears that the center is down to 50 jobs and presumably all of them will move out of state. See the story at "Whittier Kodak distribution center heading to Nevada." Also, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the company will move into 390,000 square feet of space in a warehouse slated to open in late 2010 or early 2011. See "Reno-Sparks industrial market hopes for more businesses to move in." (RELO-OS)

New! Structured Solutions Inc. of Pasadena, a loan-management company, confirmed that it will move to Grand Island, Nebraska. According to the Omaha World-Herald, “Among the 200 employees will be ‘30 engineers at a starting wage of $45,000 to $90,000 a year, 57 customer operations employees with wages of $36,000 to $72,000 a year, 22 management at a rate of pay between $68,000 to $96,000 a year and 20 administrative employees at a rate of $25,000 to $36,000 a year.’ See: "High-tech firm looking to locate in Nebraska." (RELO-OS)

New! Unilever PLC, a consumer products maker, said it will close a plant in the City of Industry, Calif., by September 2010 and eliminate 61 jobs in a cost-reduction move. Manufacturing will shift to plants in Jefferson City, Mo., and Raeford, N.C. See: “Unilever to close California plant, cut 61 jobs." (RELO-OS)

MERCED COUNTY – 1 Known Event

Malibu Boats is moving from Merced to Knoxville, Tenn. Details are difficult to come by except that it's known some Merced employees are buying homes in Knoxville. (RELO-OS)

ORANGE COUNTY – 25 Known Events

Amonix Inc., a "green" company based in Seal Beach, plans to build a $20 million factory in the Las Vegas area that will employ about 280 workers to build photovoltaic solar panels. According to Associated Press, "Amonix got $9.5 million in investment tax credits this year from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of that, about $5.9 million will go toward the manufacturing plant in Nevada." Amonix was started in 1989 in Torrance where it continues to have some facilities. See AP's "Company plans manufacturing plant for solar cells” and also a story in the Orange County Business Journal: "Solar Panel Maker Amonix Plans Plant in Las Vegas Area." (CD-OSG)

Bazz Houston Co., located in Garden Grove, has slowly been building a workforce of about 35 people in Tijuana. In early 2010 the company said it expects to move more jobs to Mexico, citing costs and regulations in Southern California. (RELO-OS)

CB Richard Ellis will move 60 IT jobs from Newport Beach and a "handful" of IT jobs in El Segundo to Texas. The company will close its Newport Beach support services office in 2011. See the Orange County Register story "CB Richard Ellis sends more jobs to Texas." (RELO-OS)

New! Corinthian Colleges HQ’D in Santa Ana, opened an enrollment center in Colorado Springs that will employ 600. See the Orange County Register story here. (CD-OSG)

Ditech, the mortgage company HQ’d in Costa Mesa, announced in January a 269 job cut and a move of most activities to the GMAC Financial Services (parent company) HQ in Fort Washington, Pa. In 2007, Ditech relocated some workers from Costa Mesa to Phoenix. A once robust Costa Mesa facility employing hundreds will be down to 20 or 30 workers. (RELO-OS)

Edwards Lifesciences based in Irvine will expand with 1,000 new employees – not in California but in Draper, Utah. It will give the company more manufacturing and research and development capability in anticipation of future growth. The facility will be the company's second plant in the state – it's Midvale facility now has 228 jobs – and the facilities will be combined during 2010. Read the story at the Washington Examiner: "Edwards Lifesciences plans new facility in Utah, expanding manufacturing capabilities." (CD-OSG)

New Yesterday! eEye Digital will move its Irvine HQ to Phoenix, where it has relocated about 10 employees and hired another 15. The Phoenix Business Journal reports that, "The space has room for at least 50 more employees, which the company hopes to have hired by the end of 2011" and that eEye will keep a research and development office in Irvine and another in Halifax, Nova Scotia. See the story: "EEye Digital Security moves to Phoenix from California." (RELO-OS)

First American Corp., based in Santa Ana, opened a call center in March in Phoenix, where it expects to employ about 400 people within two years. (CD-OSG)

New! Imperial-Newton Inc., a manufacturer of wrenches and other equipment, left Huntington Beach and by June was moving to Centennial, Colo. According to the Orange County Register: “’We found the environment in California to be anti-business,’ said sales manager Eric Franks. ‘California costs are higher from an operational and tax standpoint. Especially having employees in California, the administrative burden is substantial.’” Imperial-Newton Inc. was a subsidiary of Xtolere. The company closed the parent company and incorporated under the Imperial-Newton name in Colorado. See: "O.C. manufacturer moves to Colorado." (RELO-OS)

New! InsulTech LLC in Santa Ana will move engineering and some manufacturing operations to Evanston, Wyoming, and it's conceivable that its HQ will also move there someday. The Evanston Herald Reporter reports: “InsulTech plans to begin moving parts of their operation” including “development and manufacturing of a wide range of insulation products” to Evanston as soon as this summer [2010]. According to InsulTech president Chris Harano, quoted in the newspaper, “We needed to find a location where we could expand our manufacturing capabilities and increase our competitive position. Evanston provided us the opportunity to locate in a community that is business friendly, attractive for our employees, and logistically central to servicing our customers in North America.” The company expects to create 20-40 new positions in the near future in manufacturing, engineering, management, sales and customer support. See: “New business to move into Everett Graphics building.” Update posted Sept. 5, 2010: InsulTech President Chris Harano said, “If we can enlist the right people, especially at the executive level, we could put a big flag there and call the Evanston facility our Corporate HQ." A story in the Unita County Herald added that “The general plan is to have the business triple in size with 66 percent of the equation happening in Evanston. He said they could hire about 100 people or more. . . . Harano said California is not the most friendly state to grow a business. from a tax perspective [Wyoming] is more attractive than California..” See "InsulTech's: Long-term plan to base HQ in Evanston." (RELO-OS)

New! Kaiser Aluminum Corp., HQ’d in Foothill Ranch, "recently made a $300 million investment in its facilities outside OC, including increasing capacity and technology at its Trentwood rolling mill in Spokane, Wash., and opening a facility in Kalamazoo, Mich.,” according to the Orange County Business Journal. See: "Manufacturers See More Demand, Output; Jobs Still Lag." See also the Kalamazoo Gazette: "Kaiser Aluminum's Kalamazoo plant being built for efficiency gains." (CD-OSG)

Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. announced in February that it is reducing work at its Irvine plant, laying off 56 people, and will shift work to Malaysia and Singapore. Some work will remain in Irvine. The facility had been owned by Orthodyne Electronics Corp., which Kulicke & Soffa bought in 2008. (RELO-OS)

New! Kyjen Company, maker of toys and other products for dogs, moved from Huntington Beach to Centennial, Colo., in early 2010. Company owner Kyle Hansen told the Orange County Register, “I realized we were paying more in taxes in California. I would rather invest that money to hire more people.” The paper continued: “The company also changed third-party logistics companies from one in the South Bay to one in Reno. So indirectly that’s more California business lost.” Kyjen started in 1992 and its products are now carried in 7,500 stores nationwide including PETCO and PetSmart. Annual sales are $15 million. Kyjen had nine employees in 2009; has 21 now and is growing. Hansen added: “We pride ourselves in building corporate culture, paying full benefits, finish on Friday by 2 p.m. . . . It’s not that we hated Orange County … We love it. But here we’re not spending our time sitting on a freeway. There are trails right by our office.” See the story “Two O.C. companies move to Colorado.” (RELO-OS)

Lennox Hearth Products Inc. in Orange will lay off 71 workers and by March 2010 will have transferred the jobs to Nashville and Union City, Tennessee, "to reduce costs and increase operating efficiencies." (RELO-OS)

Maxwell America, a boating equipment maker, in February closed its Santa Ana offices and moved them to Hanover, Md. One reason was the impact of state environmental regulations. A company official said over the years many California boat builders relocated to the Midwest and East where they don't face the same restrictions. (RELO-OS)

MotorVac Technologies announced in February that it's leaving Santa Ana for Ontario, Canada. The CEO said he "really fought hard to keep MotorVac here, but unfortunately the numbers didn’t support it." The move cuts costs because it's new owner, UView, has its own plant with excess capacity in Canada. “And the general cost of doing business in California is much more expensive.” (RELO-OS)

New! Newport Partners LLC, an Irvine-based firm that focuses on developing, financing and managing properties with tax credits, will through its Silicon Energy MN LLC build a manufacturing plant in Minnesota. At first blush, it seems only 21 jobs would be created. However, "John Carroll, vice president of Newport Partners, said the project "is going to create a lot of jobs." See It’s also involved in the Laurentian Energy project in Hibbing and Virginia, and in the Embarrass Mountain Wind project. See here. All in all, this isn't the most earth-shaking news. But why wasn't the Silicon Energy factory put here? It’s one more piece of evidence that California's "green" leaders are locating facilities in other states. Newport Partners is here. (CD-OSG)

Paragon Relocation Resources moved from Rancho Santa Margarita to Dallas, a move that was officially completed on January 1, 2010. (RELO-OS)

New! Pixel2Canvas moved from Lake Forest, Calif., to Las Vegas in July. Curtis Benton, P2C’s owner, said, "For too long we have been the victim of California's over-exuberant taxation policies. We are a small company of about 15 employees and we [will save] close to $14,000 in workman's comp insurance alone [by moving to Nevada]. Our employees paychecks are going further with lower rents, lower gas prices, and no state income tax.” He said staff will pay less than half for equivalent housing or will move to much nicer accommodations. P2C moved from two Lake Forest locations (about 3,500 sq. ft.) to a new 8,000 sq. ft. Las Vegas location with lower rent. Benton added: "We will be able to expand the business with the greater amount of capital without having to pass the costs on to our customers. Many of our competitors have already moved to lower cost areas and their profits have enabled them to get a jump on their growth." Benton made these comments in a series of emails to yours truly, the Business Relocation Coach. Pixel2Canvas is an international printer of fine art canvas and prints for photographers and digital artists. See their website. (RELO-OS)

New Yesterday! TriZetto Group Inc., will move its Newport Beach HQ to Greenwood Village, Colo. The Orange County Business Journal says the company makes software to help health plans and benefit administrators manage billing and other services. It employs 1,850 workers, but only 25 are in Orange County. Its 2009 revenue was $490 million. See: "TriZetto Names New CEO; Headquarters to Colorado." (RELO-OS)

True Games Interactive Inc., a video game company, moved its HQ from Irvine to Austin, combining it with a development studio it already had in the Texas capital city. Most employees were expected to move in January. The Austin American-Statesman reported, "Once the California employees join those already in Austin and the company makes some additional hires by the second quarter of 2010 , the company will be approaching the 50-employee mark. Peter Cesario, director of product development, said Austin's attractions included the available talent pool, far lower office rents and a lower cost of living. Log in to NewsBank and search for "True Games relocating headquarters to Austin." (RELO-OS)

New! U.S. Olympic Committee will move its International Relations office from Irvine to Colorado Springs, Colo., later in 2010. Los Angeles Business cites a report on Around the Rings, a Web site that covers Olympics news, that USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said: "While there were very good reasons in the past to have staff based in Irvine, that is no longer the case. I am looking forward to bringing our international relations group to Colorado Springs where it can work closely with the rest of the team.” See the story, “USOC moving Irvine office to Colorado Springs.” (RELO-OS)

US Airways is realigning operations and California is no longer considered part of its "core." The airline is closing its John Wayne Airport maintenance station and in early 2010 will redistribute the mechanics across its system. See the Orange County Register story, "US Airways closing JWA maintenance station." In a letter to employees US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said, "By concentrating on our strengths we will be better positioned to return US Airways to profitability." See the company's press release: "US Airways Announces Strategic Plan to Strengthen Core Network." (RELO-OS)

New! Vizio, an Irvine-based maker of flat-panel HDTVs, is growing faster in 2010 in South Dakota than was predicted last year when it opened a North Sioux City call center. Then, the company said, "The facility will initially employ a staff of 25, including 5 managers, and is expected to grow to employ 45 sales agents plus management by the end of 2009." But by February 2010, Vizio moved that office numbering 50 employees to neighboring Dakota Dunes and by the end of this year the company "hopes to double its local workforce." In short, Vizio will grow from zero to 100 in South Dakota jobs in about 20 months. See the company's 2009 announcement here: "VIZIO Announces Grand Opening of a New Customer Service Based Sales and Support Center in North Sioux City, South Dakota” and the 2010 expansion story in the Sioux City Journal here: "Vizio Direct leaves North Sioux for the Dunes." (CD-OSG)

Western Digital Corp., HQ’d in Lake Forest, will invest $1.2 billion in the next five years to expand its manufacturing operations in Malaysia. According to the Orange County Business Journal: "The company is set to build a 1.5 million-square-foot building for manufacturing disk drive parts and for research and development, according to a report from the government of Malaysia." Although the company has had a long presence in Malaysia, it's noteworthy that jobs to produce parts and conduct R&D used to be done in California. So 10,000 new jobs will be there, not here. See "Western Digital to Expand Malaysian Operations." (CD-OSG)

Workforce Management – a magazine with a human resources focus – will move its operations from Irvine to Chicago in mid-2010. OC Metro quoted Publisher Todd Johnson, “With our current lease expiring, we have a wonderful opportunity to move closer to the company fold in Chicago [providing] us with tremendous operational advantage and efficiencies in utilizing the existing infrastructure we have in one of our company’s core offices.” The magazine, which is owned by Crain Communications of Chicago, has more than 52,000 print and 400,000 registered online subscribers. See the story: "Workforce Management magazine packs for Chicago." (RELO-OS)

PLACER COUNTY – 1 Known Event

New! TASQ Technology is closing its Rocklin headquarters and warehouse to relocate near Atlanta, Georgia, from now through 2011. "Some of the 350 local employees are being offered relocation packages, but the majority will receive severances and help with job transition," according to the California Job Journal's JOBWIRE for the Week of June 20, 2010. (RELO-OS)


Hayden Automotive, an auto-parts maker in Corona, is relocating its entire operation to facilities in Grapevine and Lewisville, Texas. The company said it will lay off 73 people in California between April 1 and Oct. 1, 2010. (RELO-OS)

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – 4 Known Events

New! Dot Hill Systems Corp., a developer of network storage products, relocated its HQ from Carlsbad to Longmont, Colo. The Longmont Times Call reported that "A small core of research and development workers remain in Carlsbad, but everyone else from the company who chose to relocate is coming here . . . it appears at least 30 have already moved here, bringing the company’s head count in Longmont up to about 180." See the story: "Dot Hill moving its HQ here." (RELO-OS)

Premier Inc., the nation's largest healthcare alliance, will cease operations in San Diego – its longtime headquarters – in 2011 as it consolidates in Charlotte. This will follow the 2009 move of its San Diego headquarters to North Carolina city, where it has invested $17.7 million and will add 300 jobs over the next five years. See the Charlotte Business Journal story "Premier will close in San Diego." (RELO-OS)

SAIC will move its headquarters from San Diego to McLean, Virginia, which The Washington Post called "Another Coup for Area." It’s unclear how many employees will east in 2010. Also, the company expanded not in San Diego but in Colorado Springs by placing 400 new jobs there in 2005. (RELO-OS)

New! Cannon Power Group, a "green" company based in Del Mar, received a $200 million stimulus grant from the federal government to help finance a wind turbine farm – in Washington state. The San Diego Business Journal reported in June that the company is building a 500-megawatt farm "that is anticipated to generate enough electricity to power 250,000 homes a year' and "plans to sell some of that electricity back to California . . . . Cannon said it has invested more than $1 billion in the project to date. The company is also developing a 1,000-megawatt wind project just east of Tecate, in northern Baja California, Mexico, designed to sell power to Mexico and the United States." See: "Cannon Receives Stimulus Funds for Wind Farm" (CD-OSG)


BMC Select has conducted an unusual relocation. The company, which had shifted its headquarters from Idaho to San Francisco, relocated its H.Q. back to Boise in January 2010. The building materials distributor said that regaining its footing in Boise allowed it to retain access to high-quality employees while reducing wage and occupancy costs. (RELO-OS)

New! Genentech, HQ’d in South San Francisco, started producing pharmaceuticals at a $400 million Hillsboro, Oregon, plant in 2010. According to the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal, the company received a $2 million state loan to fund worker training that it needn’t repay because it has exceeded its job creation target of 200 employees. "What Genentech brings to us is the opportunity for a seat in a biotechnology sector that will be here for years and years and years," said Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Barry Starkman, Hillsboro plant manager, added that "The tax climate here was very favorable, certainly, when compared to California.” See: "Genentech nears completion of $400M plant." (CD-OSG)

New! Yelp, the San Francisco-based online consumer ratings service, opened in Scottsdale's Galleria Corporate Centre with about 100 workers. The Arizona Republic reports that "Yelp plans to hire 100 more people by year's end" with most jobs "related to advertising sales and account management." See: "Yelp office gets good reviews." Yelp Jobs are open right now and are posted online. (CD-OSG)

New! Zynga, a San Francisco-based unit of Facebook, will expand in Austin, Texas, according to a June 2010 report, through purchase of Challenge Games, an Austin social-games company. "Austin is an ideal location to extend our studio operations with its rich talent in the games business," said Senior VP Mike Verdu. “We look forward to building out our Zynga Austin studio with the best and brightest in the industry as we continue to bring social games to more users worldwide.” See "Biz Break: Facebook game maker Zynga expands, buys Texas rival." (CD-OSG)

SANTA CLARA COUNTY – 17 Known Events

Beckman Coulter, a biomedical test equipment manufacturer, in early 2010 is making a multimillion-dollar investment to expand and create up to 100 new jobs in Indianapolis. The company said the area offers a "favorable business environment and lower total cost of operations, plus a local work force with strong skills in both engineering and manufacturing." The investment appears to be a follow-on to a relocation of part of its Palo Alto facilities to Indiana two years ago. (CD-OSG)

New! Apple Inc., based in Cupertino, is building a $1 billion data center in Maiden, North Carolina. See a view from a February 2010 flyover of the stunning 500,000 facility at YouTube here. Bloomberg BusinessWeek says the server farm "rivals the largest such facilities in the world" -- see "Apple shutting Lala; `Cloud' music on horizon?" Associated Press reported that Apple's server farm will "employ at least 50 people full-time as the billion-dollar investment is made over nine years. . . . and the data center could generate another 250 jobs for people providing services to the plant and more than 3,000 related jobs for the region surrounding the site." However, the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reported "there’s a chance the Apple facility will double to $2 billion in investment," says the Catawba County Economic Development Corp. See that story here. "Technology-driven projects like this may bring fewer overall jobs than traditional industry, but they have a tremendous economic impact through locally purchased goods and services," said the North Carolina Commerce Dept. in a press release. ZD Net points out that the cost to Apple for electricity will be 4-5 cents per kilowatt hour in North Carolina from Duke Energy versus 7-12 cents per kilowatt hour in California. More details are at “Apple's massive new data center portends a cloudy future.” A detail-rich interview with Rich Miller, editor of Data Center Knowledge, is at Cult of Mac. (CD-OSG)

Applied Materials, based in Santa Clara, built its largest research lab in China and also opened a new $60 million operations center in Singapore in April, which will be its hub for semiconductor manufacturing around the world. In the past, facilities such as these are what helped make California a high-tech leader. The company reported in its 3Q 2010 conference call that transition of manufacturing to Asia continues. By 2012, about 50% of the company's semiconductor equipment shipments will be out of Singapore and the rest from Austin, Texas. See the Solid State Technology Aug. 20, 2010 story "Analysts' take: AMAT 3Q10 numbers, marketshare gains and flash memory dreams." (CD-OSG)

New! Facebook, based in Palo Alto will invest about $3.1 million to establish operations in Texas. “Facebook continues to grow and Austin, with its deep talent pool, would allow us to hire the high-caliber employees we need to properly serve the people, advertisers and developers that rely on our service,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in February 2010 to the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. See: “Facebook opening 200-person Austin office” and this Texas announcement: "Gov. Perry Announces Facebook to Create 200 Jobs in Austin." (CD-OSG)

New! Facebook will establish a $150 million facility in Hyderabad, India, perhaps by September 2010. India's Economic Times reports that the company's proposal was approved by the government and that hiring has begun. The total number of employees may total 500. The newspaper reported, "Facebook's new operations centre in Hyderabad will supplement operations supported out of Palo Alto, California, Dublin, Ireland, and a recently-announced location in Austin, Texas. The Hyderabad office will be Facebook's first office in the Asian region." See the June 27, 2010 story: "Facebook to launch India operations in two months." (CD-OSG)

Facebook will expand in a major way in Oregon by locating a custom data center in Prineville. It will be a 147,000-square-foot facility costing $180 million and will employ 200 workers during construction and another 35 full-time once operating in 2011. (CD-OSG)

New! Yesterday! Globalstar, Inc., HQ'd in Milpitas, said it will relocate to Covington, Louisiana, located north of Lake Pontchartrain on Interstate 12. The company will move its HQ, product development center, international customer care operations, call center and other functions including finance, accounting, sales, marketing and corporate communications. Globalstar expects to relocate and create close to 150 high value jobs in Covington by the end of 2011, increasing to 200 jobs by 2013 and more than 490 by 2018. The company provides commercial and consumer mobile satellite voice and data services. Jay Monroe, Globalstar's executive chairman, said, "Relocating to Covington will help dramatically reduce our operating costs as we execute our next generation strategic initiatives. The telecommunications industry is extremely competitive and we are seeing increased competition. We are positioning Globalstar for long-term success by lowering our cost of operations, improving revenue growth and speed to market for . . . innovative products developed in Louisiana. Added CEO Peter Dalton, "Louisiana's leading universities including Loyola, LSU, Tulane and The University of New Orleans plus the state's reputation as a recreational sporting enthusiast's paradise provide an ideal environment for recruiting highly skilled employees." See the press release, "Globalstar Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Louisiana." Globalstar recently bought Louisiana-based Axonn L.L.C., HQ'd in Covington, but instead of moving the company out West, the new owner will move to Covington. See more at "Satellite Company Relocates To Northshore." (CD-OSG)

New! Google Inc., based in Mountain View, made its first investments in utility-scale renewable energy with $38.8 million into two wind farms – in Barnes County and Burleigh County, North Dakota. See "Google makes first investment in utility-scale wind farms." (CD-OSG)

Hewlett-Packard, HQ’d in Palo Alto, is expected to establish a new R&D center in Taiwan this September for notebooks and desktops, another sign of the erosion in California’s status as a computer R&D center. HP already has a Product Development Center in Taiwan that employs about 700. See DigiTimes, (subscription required) May 18: "HP expected to establish a new R&D center in Taipei." (CD-OSG)

McAfee, Inc., HQ’d in Santa Clara, made a remarkably candid admission in March 2010 when it acknowledged that it intentionally avoids hiring in California. The company has transferred entire departments elsewhere and saves about 30 to 40% every time the company hires outside of the state. Texas is one of the locations to which McAfee has moved. See Forbes: “Not Hiring in California.” (CD-OSG)

New! Network Appliance of Sunnyvale, continues to hire in North Carolina as part of an ongoing expansion project. The company is expanding in Research Triangle Park and will add 646 jobs and invest $41.5 million during the next 10 years. A state job-development grant requires the company to maintain all of those workers and add 646 more by the end of 2010. (The jobs pay an average salary of more than $94,000 a year plus benefits.) The company appears to be living up to its commitment in that, as of July 10, 2010, it has 72 Research Triangle jobs posted on its Career page. The announcement is here. (CD-OSG)

Novellus Inc. is making investment decisions not just on what California policies are now but also on what they are expected to be in the future. Novellus is closing its San Jose production facility and is shifting all work to Tualatin, Oregon, in 2010. The company said California’s budget crisis is partly to blame for the decision to move jobs out of high-cost California. (RELO-OS)

PayPal, HQ'd in San Jose, is expanding big time in Omaha, which is confirmed by the fact that it’s hiring there right now. on July 9, 2010, showed 75 jobs available at PayPal's office in nearby La Vista, Neb. See here. A little history – PayPal moved into a 125,000-square feet building in 2006, where employees are involved in customer service, payment processing and sales. More than 2,000 worked there in 2007 with the company then planning to hire another 600 (not sure how many work there today). The employees resolve customer problems in more than 20 different languages. PayPal is also expanding in Scottsdale, Arizona and Austin, Texas. (CD-OSG)

Solaicx Inc., based in Santa Clara, a "green" company, said in early 2010 that it plans to spend $60 million to expand its Portland, Oregon, manufacturing plant, which will triple capacity and double the size of its work force. Prior to the announcement, the company received $18.2 million in federal tax credits as part of Washington's efforts to advance green energy. The Portland Business Journal gave additional details about the expansion: "Solaicx opened its 136,000-square-foot manufacturing plant a little more than two years ago. . . . The plant’s employment is expected to double to 120 by the end of the year when the expansion is completed . . . A handful of developments in the last four months cement Oregon’s standing as one of the country’s leaders in solar manufacturing. Manufacturers have long been attracted to Oregon because of its large high-tech work force, abundant access to cheap power and generous tax incentives." See the story: "Read more: Solaicx sets $60M outlay." (CD-OSG)

New! Solexant . . . See the entry at the very top of this story. (CD-OSG)


New! Coca-Cola North America will close its water bottling plant in Mount Shasta this year and 50 workers will lose their jobs. The Redding Record Searchlight reported, "Coca-Cola will stop production in Mount Shasta on Sept. 27 . . . . The $30 million Coca-Cola watering bottling plant, formerly known as Dannon, opened in 2001 with much fanfare. The facility at one time employed up to 200 people. (Also, Nestle Waters North America dropped plans for a bottling plant in McCloud, a facility that officials said would employ about 100 workers. However, I’ve been unable to confirm this and therefore have not counted it.) See: "Layoffs to hit Siskiyou County's economy hard." (CLO)

SOLANO COUNTY – 1 Known Event

Soy Labs LLC of Fairfield is moving to Mexico, Missouri, where a groundbreaking was held in April for a new Plant Science Center. AP reports that "The governor's office says this relocation will create at least 20 new, high-paying jobs in the Mexico area." See: "Groundbreaking today for new science center." (RELO-OS)


New! Hormel Foods Corp. will close its canned meat plant in Turlock by October, which will affect about 150 employees. Employees will receive severance pay and may be able to work at one of four other Hormel Foods facilities in California, the company said. See the Modesto Bee story here. (CLO)

TULARE COUNTY – 1 Known Event

New! Land O' Lakes will shut down its Tulare cheese operation and eliminate 80 jobs in the latter part of 2010. The plant, which in 2009 employed 640 people, will continue to manufacture butter. See Visalia Times-Herald: “Land O'Lakes to close Tulare cheese plant.” (CLO)

VENTURA COUNTY – 2 Known Events

New! Life Technologies Corp., a biotechnology tools company, in February announced plans to lay off 150 employees and permanently close its Camarillo facility in 2011. (CLO)

Zebra Technologies Corp. is cutting jobs at its Camarillo, Calif., facility and moving them to China. According to the Ventura County Star, the company’s action is “an effort to cease local manufacturing, after it outsourced about 400 to 450 jobs to China. Today 380 employees are working at Zebra in Camarillo, down 39 percent from last year when there were 600 to 650. Zebra’s plan is to have all production moved by midyear [2010], leaving about 200 employees in Camarillo.” See: "Zebra Technologies sheds more Camarillo jobs." (RELO-OS)

YOLO COUNTY – 1 Known Event

VinPerfect, a startup in Davis, may outsource work to China. According to the Sacramento Bee, company founder Tim Keller said friends warned him about California's workers' compensation costs and investors urged him to locate in Reno, Nevada. The paper reported: “His contacts in the packaging industry told him the same thing: ‘They're all deathly afraid of doing business in California.’ Though he considers himself an environmentalist, he might set up production in another state or China, where the laws are less strict.” See the story at: "Businesses scared off by California go global." Also, As of July 13, the company's website had jobs on this page that will be filled in the Summer and Fall of 2010. (RELO-OST)

2009 Events
Total of 51

ALAMEDA COUNTY – 1 Known Event

TTM Technologies, Inc., closed its Hayward plant, which employed 84 full-time employees, and assembly services will be transferred to company facilities in Shanghai, China and Stafford Springs, Conn. (See TTM again under Los Angeles County – more details are given there because the cutback there is bigger.) (CLO)


Pacer Stacktrain, Inc., moved from Concord to Dublin, Ohio. Details are difficult to discern, but an employee reports that staff members who declined the transfer lost their jobs. The move was confirmed in the company's annual report that it "implemented an organizational simplification and workforce reduction initiative in 2009 to move toward operations organized by function rather than by business unit and to consolidate operations into a centralized operational headquarters based in Dublin, Ohio. . . . During 2009, the Company reduced its workforce by 559 positions." (RELO-OS)

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – 12 Known Events

Cessna Aircraft Co. moved its Long Beach service center to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona in February. About 65 percent of the 75 maintenance workers accepted Cessna’s offer to relocate from Long Beach to Mesa. (RELO-OS)

DaVita Inc. moved its HQ from El Segundo to Denver in 2009 and expects to see millions of dollars in savings over time. (RELO-OS)

New! English Language Institute/China (ELIC) moved from San Dimas to Fort Collins, Colorado. The company specializes in English language instruction in Asia and the office, with about 75 employees, directs its global operations. According to the Northern Colorado Business Report, the ELIC partners with schools in Asia to provide instruction in Beijing; Hong Kong; Hanoi; and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The institute sent its first teachers abroad in 1982 and now fields about 800 teachers annually in Asian locations. See “Language institute chooses F.C. headquarters” (RELO-OS)

Gregg Industries, owned by Neenah Enterprises Inc. in Wisconsin, closed a 300-employee foundry in El Monte after the South Coast Air Quality Management District demanded $5 million in upgrades. The company, with a 60-year history in California, was unable to justify the investment in the difficult economic climate. About 230 employees lost their jobs. (CLO)

Hawker Beechcraft Services closed its Van Nuys maintenance facility in March, relocating to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA) in Mesa, Arizona. (RELO-OS)

Hilton Hotels Corp. moved its HQ from its longtime Beverly Hills location to McLean, Virginia. Some follow-up information is available – approximately 220 of the 350 employees working at the new headquarters are new hires, according to the Washington Business Journal story "Christopher Nassetta reflects on Hilton’s move to D.C. area." (RELO-OS)

Klaussner Home Furnishings closed its La Mirada manufacturing plant, impacting 84 employees, while maintaining its North Carolina and Iowa operations. The company began operations in California in 1984. “While our import upholstery and case goods business on the west coast continues to grow, demand for our domestic upholstery products produced there just wasn’t at an adequate level to operate the facility profitability,” said CEO J.B. Davis. “This move will allow us to reduce our overall production costs which will enable us to improve our competitiveness.” See the story in the Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area: “Klaussner to shut California factory." (CLO)

LinkIt Software Corp. of Santa Clarita said it was opening additional call centers in Eureka, Watertown, Roslyn and Britton, all in South Dakota, which follows an October 2005 expansion to Milbank, S.D., where it was expected to create as many as 50 jobs in a five-year period. (CD-OSG)

Medtronic, HQ’d in Northridge, announced in May that it had chosen San Antonio as the home of its new Diabetes Therapy Management and Education Center. The company is expected to hire nearly 1,400 professionals during a five-year period to staff the new 150,000-square-foot facility, which will benefit from $23 million in capital improvements. “[We] look forward to becoming an active member of the growing biomedical community in South Texas,” said Chris O’Connell, president of the Diabetes business and SVP at Medtronic. The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation found that the new operation is expected to generate more than $750 million in economic benefits annually. See the press release: “Medtronic Announces San Antonio as Home of New Diabetes Facility - Move Will Add 1,400 High-Skilled Jobs to Local Community." (CD-OSG)

Pandemic Studios, a game developer, virtually shut down with the loss of nearly 200 jobs. See the Los Angeles Times: “Electronic Arts shutting down Pandemic Studios in Westwood.” The video gaming blog Kotaku reported that EA's Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello "described California as a 'bloody expensive' place to employ workers, saying it costs the company two to three times more to employ developers in that state than it does in Montreal, the U.K., eastern Europe or China. . . . 'For good or for bad, we are taking down headcount in California because it is really expensive.'" See "One Of Pandemic's Biggest Problems Was Being In California." (CLO)

TTM Technologies, Inc. said weak demand for printed circuit boards and backplane products forced the closing of two California plants that together employed 347 workers, or 11 percent of TTM's work force. The L.A. operation employed 263 people and TTM will transfer some of that work to other company sites in California, Utah and Wisconsin. The company will sell some property, plant and equipment. (Also, see separate item above in Alameda County where TTM closed the Hayward plant.) The combined actions means the company expects to achieve annual cost savings of approximately $14 million. See the company's press release: "TTM Technologies, Inc. Announces Closure of Hayward and Los Angeles Facilities." (CLO)

Twentieth Century Props went out of business as film-making has moved to lower-cost states. (CLO)

New! Modern Living (updated Sept. 6, 2010): The company, located in Grass Valley, moved to Richmond, Va., on the same day it came under new ownership in July 2009. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Travis and Devin Weislederm (brothers) bought the company for “seven figures” and since it has expanded to eight employees from three. The online company specializes in children's high-end furniture, toys and gifts through, and See the Aug. 23, 2010 story "Biz Buzz: Modern Living grows under new owners." Intrigued, yours truly interviewed Travis, who said, “We closed and moved it here on the same day we bought it in July. It is too expensive to have employees or nexus in California versus other regions of the country.” He said he examined many companies for purchase, concluding, "I would have never kept any of the businesses in California – the expenses there are too much. The combination of property taxes, business taxes, and sales taxes combined with higher salaries means California is out of the question. We looked at one company in Irvine and decided not to buy it, but if we had and moved it out of state the savings would have been in the millions." (OSR)

ORANGE COUNTY – 8 Known Events

Alliance Company moved its headquarters from San Juan Capistrano to Colorado Springs. (RELO-OS)

Apria Healthcare Group of Lake Forest shifted jobs from California to Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb. Apria moved 200 employees into the Sprint Nextel Corp. campus during 2009 and will expand there with additional employees (perhaps as many as 550) within four years. (RELO-OS)

BRP Billet Racing Products moved from Laguna Hills to Colorado Springs, Colorado. (RELO-OS)

Creel Printing left Costa Mesa for Las Vegas in 2009 and SoCal lost 60 more jobs. (RELO-OS)

Foxconn Electronics, a large Chinese-owned contract electronics maker, moved some of its Fullerton operations to Dallas, relocating to a 445,000 sq. ft. site where its subsidiary, Q-Edge, will eventually employ up to 500 workers, some 200 more than the Fullerton plant did. Roughly 50 employees have relocated. See the Free Library article: "Foxconn PC subsidiary relocating to Fort Worth." (RELO-OS)

Telmar Network Technology Inc. moved its HQ from Irvine to Plano, Texas, near Dallas, in July 2009, consolidating 150 workers there. A few employees will remain in Irvine. The Dallas Business Journal reports that Telmar is "A supplier of new and refurbished telecom equipment with nearly $300 million in annual revenue and more than 800 employees worldwide. See: "Telmar expands Plano operations." (RELO-OS)

Terumo Cardiovascular Systems moved R&D from Tustin to Ann Arbor, Michigan, involving 65 jobs and $3.5 million in investments. The Ann Arbor News reported that by the end of 2009, "Terumo CVS plans to finish moving to Scio Township the research and development and manufacturing of one of its products currently made in a California facility. It's a move the company said will bring 45 additional jobs by 2010 and a total of 65 jobs by 2014” through a $3.5 million investment. The company has grown from 251 in 2005 to 350 in 2008. See: "Ann Arbor area expertise works to Terumo's advantage" and the company's press release: "Terumo Cardiovascular Systems to Bring 65 New Jobs to Ann Arbor plant." (RELO-OS)

New! Thomas Brothers Maps (posted Sept. 14, 2010) left its Irvine HQ and warehouse in November 2009 and sent some jobs to Skokie, Illinois, where it's parent company, Rand McNally is located, while map production was further solidified in Bangalore, India, where it had been located for some time. Reportedly, the makers of the famous Thomas Guides had about 180 employees in Irvine in the late 1990s and that number had dwindled to about 20 at the time of the closure. I used this as a "case study" in how even a legendary California company can depart without a single news story appearing about it – an example of how difficult it is to determine the extent of out-of-state moves by California businesses. See more about it at the blog entry on this site: "Case Study: Why it’s Hard to Track Companies That 'Quietly' Leave California." (RELO-OS)


Schott Solar Inc., a "green" company, closed its Roseville sales and customer service office and relocated it to Albuquerque, New Mexico. See the Sacramento Business Journal story: "Roseville loses Schott Solar office." (RELO-OS)


Dassault Falcon looked at building an aircraft services facility in Riverside County but instead located in Reno. The company said in May 2009 of the Nevada facility: "The nearly 40,000 square foot facility will eventually be staffed by more than 40 highly skilled personnel. (CP)

Deutsch Industrial Products Division closed its Banning, Calif., facility and moved the jobs to Tennessee. (CLO)


J.C. Penney closed its call center in Carmichael and about 260 people lost their jobs, reported the Sacramento Bee, which also reported that "The retailer said it will continue to operate five similar call centers nationwide, with western region calls diverted to other sites in March." See: "Brief: 260 layoffs at J.C. Penney Carmichael call center." (CLO)

USAA Insurance closed its 625-person Sacramento campus in September and offered to relocate most of the workers to company jobs in Colorado, Florida, Arizona or Texas. The closure coincided with USAA cutting rates by $47.6 million, which will save USAA California auto insurance policyholders an average 7 percent or $104 per policy per year. The San Francisco Business Times reported that "USAA customers in Los Angeles County will save an average of 15 percent, or $262 per year per policy. Policyholders in San Francisco will save an average of $157 per year." See: "USAA to cut rates by $47.6M." Other stories include the Sacramento Bee (through NewsBank): "USAA to close local call center - Financial Services Firm Will Offer Most Workers Jobs in Other States," in the Colorado Springs Gazette (through NewsBank), "USAA adding jobs in Springs - Insurer sees at least 250 openings and plans to hire before Sept. 30" and the St. Petersburg Times (through NewsBank): " USAA Bringing Hundreds of Jobs to Tampa."(CLO)


New! Bar-Sto, a gun-barrel manufacturer HQ’d in Twentynine Palms, announced it’s moving to Sturgis, S.D. Irv Stone, second-generation owner of Bar-Sto, said, “South Dakota is really a great place to do business. The differences in the tax climates between California and South Dakota are night and day.” The relocation of the 40-year old family-owned company involves building a new facility in Sturgis, where it will bring 18 jobs in the next three years with the potential for further growth. See the state press release here. (RELO-OS)

CalPortland Cement announced closure of its Colton plant because of new environmental regulations from a state law (AB 32). It was the oldest operating cement plant west of the Rockies. The company's CEO wrote, "A cement plant cannot be picked up and moved, but the next new plant probably won’t be built in California meaning more good, high paying manufacturing jobs will be lost to Nevada or China or somewhere." He also testified that “There are 67 separate federal, state and local agencies that regulate our business.” (CLO)

EMRISE Corp. completed its HQ move from Rancho Cucamonga to Eatontown, NJ, in May 2009. The company said the move "will result in additional annualized cost savings of approximately $1 million and facilitate improvements in operating efficiency. . . . The cost savings associated with relocating our corporate headquarters will start immediately. . . these expense reductions will increase our profitability and cash flow in this and succeeding years and, over time, substantially improve our ability to further reduce our long term debt.” (RELO-OS)

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – 1 Known Event

Helix Wind Inc., a "green" company, said in late 2009 that it may move its research and development, engineering, and testing departments from Poway, near San Diego to "more supportive" Oregon. (RELO-OST)


New! CallTower, Inc. moved its San Francisco HQ to Henderson, Nevada. The company, which provides unified communications solutions for voice and data, said the move was part of is effort to accommodate growth. See the company's news release of Aug. 13, 2009: "CallTower Moves Headquarters to Henderson, Nevada."

StarKist's HQ left San Francisco and returned to Pittsburgh, Pa. The move resulted from South Korean conglomerate Dongwon Industries Co. Ltd. completing a $359 million deal with Del Monte Food Co. to acquire the StarKist seafood business. StarKist, which has a Pittsburgh history having been previously owned by the H.J. Heinz Co., now plans to expand its product line and will grow from about 35 Pittsburgh employees to about 100 during the next two years. See the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story: "StarKist headquarters headed back to Pittsburgh." (RELO-OS)


Mariah Power, a "green" manufacturer of small wind turbines, in 2009 teamed up with another company to begin production in Manistee, Michigan. News reports say that the company also moved to Reno, but its website continues to state Lodi, Calif. The confusion was alleviated as a website says that on April 5, 2010 Mariah Power changed its name to Windspire Energy Inc. and that company is now HQ'd in Reno. (RELO-OS)

SAN MATEO COUNTY – 1 Known Event

Scale Computing, a data-storage developer and manufacturer, left San Mateo for Indiana and in November 2009 had its grand opening at the Purdue Research Park near the Indianapolis airport. It appears that the company has retained some presence in Silicon Valley. The company is looking to expand from about 24 employees to 50 by the end of 2010. Forbes magazine named Scale one of America’s 20 most promising companies. See: "Bringing Silicon Valley to Indiana." (RELO-OS)


New! Agilent Technologies, HQ’d in Santa Clara opened a new life sciences manufacturing facility in Singapore in June 2009, it’s first outside the U.S. that makes high-precision laboratory automation instruments. “Singapore is our natural choice for our life sciences manufacturing site as the island-state is home to the world’s top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and is well-positioned to be the leading global manufacturing site for innovative medicines,” said Gooi Soon Chai, president of Agilent Technologies Singapore. See: "Agilent Technologies Opens New Life Sciences Manufacturing Facility in Singapore" (pdf). (CD-OSC)

CoreSite, a Carlyle Company, is delaying a Santa Clara project in 2009 while expanding its data center in Reston, Virginia. (CD-OSC )

New! eBay (added Sept. 20, 2010): The company opened Project Topaz in South Jordan, Utah, near Salt Lake City (date undetermined). It's a $300 million Tier IV data center which SmartPlanet called the company's largest and most efficient yet. It's built on 15 acres but another 45 is available for expansion. See the Aug. 18, 2010 story: "eBay’s data center boss on new Project Topaz: Green is green for us." (CDOSC).

Intel Corp., closed its Santa Clara chip factory, which Bloomberg News said "closes the books on Silicon Valley’s history as the manufacturing hub of the U.S. technology industry." Bloomberg added: "The strip between San Francisco and San Jose -- once a major fruit growing center -- was populated by the plants of Intel, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and National Semiconductor Corp. starting in the 1960s. Those factories slowly became obsolete, and were replaced by plants in Texas, Oregon, Arizona, Germany and Asia. . . . [Intel] has its most modern plants in New Mexico, Oregon, Arizona, Israel and Ireland. See the Bloomberg story: "Intel’s Silicon Valley Plant Closure Signals End for Production." Because Intel is such a leader, more elaboration is worthwhile. Intel Corp.'s then-CEO Craig Barrett in 2001 declared that his company would never build another plant in California, and apparently the company has been true to its word. (That quote can be found in the Sacramento Bee story accessed through NewsBank, "Capital region hangs tough - The area suffers a glancing blow from the poor economy.") Now, 9-1/2 years later, the Bee observed: "It kept that promise. Over the past decade, even as it downsized some operations, Intel spent $11 billion on plants in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. It closed its last California plant, in Santa Clara, last June, although it closed plants elsewhere, too. Intel has taken the ax to white-collar jobs as well, demonstrating that one of California 's greatest assets – its brainpower – doesn't count for as much as it used to. Not when tech companies can hire engineers in Russia and India ‘for 20 percent of what it costs for an engineer in Silicon Valley,’ as former Intel CEO Craig Barrett once said." See through NewsBank: "California 's comeback faces global competition." (CLO)

Intuit Inc., HQ'd in Mountain View, opened a Denver-area customer support office and hired 100 people there. (CD-OSC)

Intuit, Inc. dedicated a new data center in Quincy, Washington, a 240,000-square-foot facility which is Quincy's third operating data center, joining ones built by Yahoo and Microsoft. At the grand opening, an company spokesperson called the new center the company's primary data site for its main products. The center employs about 30 people. See the Seattle Times: "Intuit dedicates new Cent. Wash. data center." In other years (dates unknown) Intuit located Innovative Merchant Solutions LLC in Las Vegas as part of $1.8 million in investments in Nevada. (CD-OSC)

New! Rockwell Collins (updated Sept. 6, 2010): The company closed a San Jose plant on August 27. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, spokeswoman Pam Tvrdy said that 600 workers received layoff notices, See the Sept. 18, 2009 story "Rockwell Collins closing San Jose division."  Dow Jones Newswires quoted Chairman and CEO Clay Jones as saying, 'It's a high-cost area" in a Nov. 3, 2009 story, "Rockwell Collins CEO: Fiscal Year First Quarter Seen As Low Point."  The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported that some of San Jose 's production would move to facilities in Portland, Ore., Cedar Rapids and Manchester, Iowa. See "Rockwell Collins making changes at area plants" (NewsBank subscription required). (OSR) 

Terremark Worldwide postponed a Santa Clara data center expansion to invest $250 million in a Culpeper, Virginia data center campus. Data Center Knowledge reported Terremark CEO Manuel Medina as saying that the company has plenty of cash to fund the Culpeper expansion and make a $30 million scheduled debt repayment due in June, but had to prioritize its construction spending. "At this particular stage we are being very prudent and we don’t want to take on anything that gives us the slightest discomfort when it comes to safety and liquidity,” said Medina. “This is why we made that decision. Without a doubt, us getting going with the second pod at [Culpeper],took priority over us getting going in Santa Clara at this time.” See: "Government Deals Boost Terremark Results." (CD-OSC)

New! YesVideo, Inc. (updated Sept. 6, 2010): This digital media company, HQ’d in Santa Clara, will create 300 production jobs and invest millions in production and IT technology in Norcross, Georgia. “For high-tech companies like YesVideo that are reaching a wide customer base, the state of Georgia is perfectly situated,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We have a skilled workforce, the technical infrastructure, a terrific transportation network and a business-friendly environment that fosters success.” The company has leased 30,000 square feet in the Oakbrook Technology Park in Norcross, which is located in Gwinnett County. See news release, “Governor Perdue Announces Digital Media Company to Locate New Facility in Gwinnett County.” (CDOSG)

SONOMA COUNTY – 3 Known Events

Barefoot Motors, a small "green" manufacturer of all-electric, all terrain vehicles for agricultural, industrial and other uses moved from Sebastopol and will grow in Ashland, Oregon, where it opened its new facility in June 2009. (RELO-OS)

Basin Street Properties, which has backed startup firms and also owns office buildings in Sacramento, and which had its headquarters in Petaluma since 1974, moved to Reno, in August. The North Bay Business Journal reports: “'Long term, Reno is a good hub to do business as we continue to expand in the Western U.S.,' said President Matt White. 'The business climate in the Bay Area and in Sonoma County has become more difficult.'" See the story: "Here since 1974, company to retain Petaluma satellite office for property and construction management." (RELO-OS)

Stasis Engineering moved its headquarters from Sonoma to Summit Point Motorsports Park in Jefferson County in West Virginia, a state that provides a "friendlier business climate." The company designs, engineers, manufactures and resells equipment that enhances the performance of luxury cars. It was expected that from 12 to 15 employees including management and engineers would make the cross-country move. See the Charleston Daily Mail story "Auto engineering firm moving to W.Va." and the company's press release here: "STaSIS Expands Operations, Relocates Headquarters to Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia." (RELO-OS)

VENTURA COUNTY – 3 Known Events

SolarWorld Industries America, a "green" company in solar technology founded in Camarillo, consolidated manufacturing in Hillsboro, Oregon, where it will employ about 1,000 by 2011. See: "SolarWorld Opens North America’s Largest Solar Cell Manufacturing Facility." (CD-OSC)

Special Devices Inc. brought 250 jobs to Mesa, Arizona, from Moorpark in 2009. For those who wonder how California's regulations can affect business decisions, consider this development as reported by the Arizona Republic: "Within weeks of hearing that [SDI] was consolidating its automotive operations, Mesa city officials made it a priority to approve building permits so the company could quickly transfer its production lines . . . . That response helped the company emerge out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and bring 250 jobs to Mesa from Moorpark, Calif. . . . 'The pace of consolidation was astonishing. SDI relocated and installed nine complete production lines in just over six months that required the issuance of a city building permit approximately once per week,'” said SDI CEO Christopher Hunter. Mesa's mayor, Scott Smith, said that there were no short cuts taken in processing permits: "We have a responsibility to our community's health and safety. You just don't hand out permits willy-nilly. The fact that we were able to muster resources to focus on the issue and problems is a testament to their professionalism and seeing the big picture, we need the company to succeed so we can build our economy." SDI first established a footprint in Mesa in 1991. See the Arizona Republic story: "Special Devices Inc. bringing 250 jobs to Mesa." (CD-OSC)

New! Wamar International, Inc. (updated Sept. 6, 2010): The company, HQ’d in Simi Valley, will expand operations in Atlanta where it will create 100 jobs over the next three years and 300 jobs over the next 10 years. Wamar will move to a 100,000-square-foot location in proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in an investment of up to $4.5 million. There, it will consolidate three business units – defense and security, energy and procurement and logistics. Wamar was established in California in 1983 and incorporated in 1987. Governor Perdue said. “Atlanta has long held a strong, international reputation as a hub for aerospace and today’s decision by Wamar is further proof that we will continue to be a global center for the aviation industry.” Georgia ranks eighth among U.S. states for aviation industry employment, with more than 80,000 employees in 500+ operations. Boeing, Cessna, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin and others have a presence in the state. See the Nov. 16, 2009 news release, "Wamar International to Expand in Georgia" (pdf) (CDOSG)

2006 – 2008 Events
Total of 43

Many of the following events were previously listed on this blog. But this time span is repeated here because I learned about additional company departures that occurred during those years. Also, any serious researcher looking into disinvestments in California may find some of the following detail to be useful. The events are listed by year; I’ve not taken the time to put these in order by county or by type of event, and I no longer list events prior to 2006 (going back 5 years is more than enough to make the point.)

2008 Events
Total of 13

Braxton Technologies moved its HQ and some operations from Pleasanton to Colorado Springs, Colo., where it created 100 new jobs.

New! Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) (updated Sept. 6, 2010): The global information technology services company relocated its corporate HQ from El Segundo to Falls Church, Va. See the news release, "CSC to Move Corporate Headquarters to Falls Church, Virginia."

DuPont Fabros Technology suspended a $270 million Santa Clara data center project in favor of one in Ashburn, Virginia, which was completed that year.

New! Dynamic Cooking Systems, after being purchased by Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Ltd., of New Zealand, moved its Huntington Beach manufacturing facility to Mexico. Bloomberg News reported that "Cooker production at the former Dynamic Cooking Systems Inc. plant in California, bought in 2004, will shift to Mexico by the end of the year. See, "F&P Appliances Shares Jump Most in 5 Years on Moves (Update3)."

New! Google Inc. spent about $1.8 billion building data centers in locations with electricity costs that are lower than in California and has done so for a number of years. In 2008, it opened its Lenoir, North Carolina center, a $600 million data complex. See "Hello Lenoir!"

HCL America Inc., HQ'd in Sunnyvale, opened a $3.2 million facility in Cary, North Carolina, in 2008 with plans to hire 513 employees in the ensuing 5 years.

Hershey Co. closed its chocolate plant in Oakdale, with 600 jobs lost by February 2008. Hershey's kisses with almonds and Hershey's syrup were transferred to a plant in Pennsylvania and Hershey's miniatures to a plant in Mexico.

Nordic Windpower, a "green" company HQ'd in Berkeley, moved production to Pocatello, Idaho, in November.

Numira Biosciences moved from Irvine to Salt Lake City. According to the Orange County Register, "CEO Michael Beeuwsaert said the major reasons for the move were 'taxes, quality of life and ability to recruit quality people.' He added, 'The tipping point was when someone from the Orange County tax (assessor) wanted to see our facility to tax every piece of equipment I had.' (It’s called the business property tax.) 'In Salt Lake City at my first networking event I met the mayor and the president of the Utah Senate, and they asked what they could do to help me. No (elected official) ever asked me that in California,' he said." See the Register story here.

One2Believe, a specialty religious-toy maker, left California (city unknown) for East Aurora, New York.

New! PayPal said it wanted to double employment from 200 to 400 at a center in Austin that it had opened a year earlier. The facility employs technology and engineering professionals. According to the Austin American-Statesman, "Chief executive Scott Thompson offered explanations for the expansion: His company is growing fast, it needs more technical workers and it likes what it sees in Austin." (The story is available through a NewsBank search.)

Racing Optics Inc. moved from San Clemente to Las Vegas. According to the Orange County Register, the company sells more than 10 million peel-away protective shields for helmets, goggles and vehicle windshields annually. Company owners said most expenses are about 20% to 30% less in Las Vegas.

New! Seagate Technology, with its HQ in Scotts Valley, vacated a 77,200 square-foot R&D center in Milpitas. According to the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal, the move occurred after the "announced its plans to relocate to an off-shore facility. The company said it will cease production at the Milpitas plant on Oct. 3, 2008." A search of various data bases did not identify where the jobs went to, a typical result when companies want to downplay their California departures. See the Aug. 4, 2008 story: "Seagate Milpitas R&D facility up for sale."

2007 Events
Total of 19 Events

Alorica, Inc., based in Chino, a customer service management firm, announced plans to create 300 more jobs than originally projected when it expanded to North Sioux City, S.D., a year earlier. Alorica made a $1.2 million investment in the community to start operations prior to the latest expansion.

Alza Corp. eliminated about 600 jobs in drug R&D while also exiting its Mountain View HQ. It's unclear where the jobs went. Parent company Johnson & Johnson said it would relocate the jobs at Alza and Scios Inc. (which shared the Alza facility) to other company sites in and outside of California.

American AVK, a producer of fire hydrants and other water-related products, moved from Fresno to Minden, Nevada. Reportedly, 57 jobs were lost.

New! Blizzard Entertainment, HQ’d in Irvine, relocated a “significant portion” of its gaming staff to Austin, where it also will employ customer service employees. The Austin Business Journal reported that “sources say the new facility will eventually house around 500 employees.” Blizzard said it selected Austin “because it's a dynamic community with a well-established tech industry and a distinguished university. That the city is also a hub for call centers in North America was another plus. . . . Rich Vogel, co-studio director for gaming company Bioware Corp. in Austin . . . said, “There is a lot of support for the industry here and it's far less expensive than in California.’” Blizzard, a division of Vivendi Games, has grown to become one of the biggest players in the gaming industry. See "Gaming giant sets new course for Austin.”

Commerce Overseas Corp., an aerospace supplier, moved from Tustin to Lenoir County, North Carolina, where it was expected to create 72 jobs and invest $4.3 million over the next three years. Company CEO Chris Garville said, “After more than a year and a half of careful evaluation, COC found North Carolina was its best choice." He added that among its virtues was "The beauty of the state, the willingness of the workforce, the affordability of living and the 'Southern Hospitality.'"

New! Google announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Berkeley County, South Carolina. See: "Hello Berkeley County!"

Hino Motor Manufacturing USA moved from California to Williamstown, West Virginia, where it now employs about 100 workers. The company has growth plans to "Raise Hino’s presence from medium-/heavy /heavy-duty trucks to all ranges of trucks" and an aggressive program to improve fuel economy and emissions.

King Kelly Marmalade in Cerritos was sold, the work shipped to Ripon, Wisconsin, and the local plant closed. The owner cited difficulties with regulations, fees, taxes and other government actions, saying to the Orange County Register, “At one point we started making copies of the different city, county, state and federal government agencies that we had to deal with . . . We posted their forms on one wall of the office. We quit at 44.”

New! LinkedIn, HQ'd in Mountain View, opened an operations center in Omaha, Neb. 

MK Sound (loudspeakers for the film and music industries and home users) moved most or all manufacturing from its own Chatsworth factory to China (unsure if this is 2007 or 2008).

New! Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. built a $39 million distribution center in Olathe, Kansas, near Kansas City, employing 150. The company has space to double the facility's size and add another 100 jobs in a project that eventually could result in an $80 million investment. See the Kansas City Business Journal here.

Quantum Corporation, with a headquarters in San Jose, expanded in Colorado Springs with 90 new jobs there.

Red Truck Fire & Safety Company left Fresno for Minden, Nevada because of California’s myriad fees and regulations.

Shutterfly, HQ'd in Redwood City, an Internet-based publishing service, opened a manufacturing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, a $31.5 million investment that was expected to create 233 jobs over the ensuing three years.

Sterling Electric, Inc., which was founded in Los Angeles in 1937 and moved to Irvine in 1968 relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana.

Telematrix moved a facility from the San Francisco Bay Area to Colorado Springs.

Term 101 Insurance moved its headquarters from Thousand Oaks in Ventura County to Colorado Springs in 2007.

Virgin Galactic moved from Mojave Air and Space Port in California's Kern County to Las Cruces, New Mexico where the new $250 million Spaceport America is being built, albeit with tons of taxpayer cash. It's difficult to discern when this occurred, but the move could have been in 2007.

Yahoo opened a data center in Quincy, Washington, a community that now hopes to land high-tech manufacturing.

2006 Events
Total of 12

Fluor Corp. moved its global HQ from Aliso Viejo to Irving, Texas, with about 100 employees asked to relocate while the company planned to hire the same number there. Later, when Fluor moved into its new building, a company statement said: "The official dedication had a decidedly Texas theme" as a horseshoe was raised on the building, a time-honored Texas tradition.

New! Giant A&M, more formally known as Giant Advertising & Manufacturing, HQ'd in Oceanside, moved an undetermined segment of its operations to Laurel, Nebraska.

Glassical Designs moved from Irvine to Colorado Springs in 2006.

New! Google opened a data center in The Dalles, Oregon. The company said that it has "approximately 200 people on site, ranging from technology assistants to experienced data center managers. We have had an excellent experience in The Dalles as we've built out this $600 million investment . . . " See Google's "Hello City of The Dalles!" Also, see what the facility looks like in this Information Week photo.

New! Iris USA Inc. closed its Stockton plastic-products plant during the first quarter, eliminating 70 jobs. Servicing customers could be done "just as effectively, and more cost efficiently" from the company's Pleasant Prairie, Wis., headquarters and Mesquite, Texas, plant. Both of those out-of-California facilities were expanded. See the Stockton Record story: "Plastic-products plant to close."

New! Knight & Carver Wind Blade, HQ’d in National City, expanded into Howard, South Dakota, where it expected to employ up to 46 people within the first three years.

Nissan North America moved its headquarters from Gardenia, a Los Angeles suburb, to Nashville, Tenn., in 2006 and by 2008 the company completed construction on its new headquarters building in suburban Cool Springs.

Olhausen Billiards relocated its HQ, manufacturing and distribution operations from the San Diego area to Portland, Tenn. The action, completed in June, brought about 130-150 new jobs to the region. The company said moving to Tennessee helps to better manage costs and stay ahead of customer demands.

New! PayPal, in opening a technology development center in Scottsdale in 2006, said it expected to hire between 300 and 400 local employees. See this Phoenix Business Journal story, "PayPal ready to hire for new Scottsdale facility" and Arizona Republic story, “PayPal moves staff to Scottsdale today.”

SimpleTech of Santa Ana announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Malaysia citing the country’s attractive income tax incentive package, proximity to several major customers, ease of doing business, availability of low-cost qualified labor, availability of highly-qualified engineering talent, and long track record of supporting the electronics industry. The estimated investment in land, facilities and capital equipment would approximate $28 million in the ensuing five years.

New! Technologent, HQ'd in Lake Forest, put a back office and IT facility in Chadron, Neb., where it planned to create between 50 and 100 jobs. (This followed Technologent's opening of another facility in Ainsworth, Neb. in 2003.) moved to Reno, a loss for the San Francisco Bay Area in that the company is a leader in web-based patient education content and shows strong growth.

Important Caveats

The list excludes companies that have furloughed employees because of the recession. For example, NASSCO-General Dynamics , the last major shipbuilder on the West Coast, laid off 290 workers in San Diego this week because of a downturn in business. Events like that are left off the list. Nor does it include an announcement like the one issued yesterday by Irvine Scientific, HQ'd in Santa Ana, that it opened a new production facility in Tokyo, Japan. Here, I give the benefit of the doubt that the company’s capital investment is related to the company’s worldwide expansion and has little to do with California's difficult business environment.

Primary Employers and Non-Primary Employers

The list includes “primary employers” – e.g., those like Hilton Hotels or DIRECTV or Hino Motors that sell the majority of their goods and services nationwide or even worldwide. Excluded are non-primary employers (often called secondary employers) – e.g., retail stores, coffee shops, restaurants – who are dependent on the wages that primary employers provide. Another way of saying it is that primary employers bring new money into the community and non-primary employers circulate it in the community among themselves. Generally, the futures of non-primary employers rise and fall depending on what happens with primary employers.

County Totals

Don’t read too much into the county totals for 2010. For example, it’s misleading to think that more companies are disinvesting in Orange County than in Los Angeles County. The disparity results from the fact that the Orange County Register does an admirable job of covering such events while the Los Angeles Times, for whatever reason, does a poor job.

Event Code Explanation and Analysis

Here is what the Event Code means after each entry:
  • CLO – Closure, full or partial (it’s sometimes difficult to discern)
  • CD-OSG – Capital Directed to Out-of-State Growth
  • CP – Cancelled Plan to Move to California
  • RELO-OS – Out-of-State Relocation
  • RELO-OST – Out-of-State Relocation Threatened
(The two-year totals by category that were here are being updated and will be included in a new posting of Sept. 21, 2010.)

© Copyright by Joseph Vranich, 2010. Use is permitted provided attribution is given to "Joseph Vranich, The Business Relocation Coach."