Auto Manufacturers ‘Can Get an Ample, Willing, and Qualified Work Force — and Have the Added Benefit of Expanding in a Right-to-Work State’

Area Development, one of America’s leading publications focusing on site-selection issues, recently surveyed the states of the South Atlantic region, and found that Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are benefiting enormously from their Right to Work laws.

Kathy Mussio, a managing partner at the southeastern Pennsylvania-based site-selection firm Atlas Insight, told reporter Beth Mattson-Teig that, while there are several reasons why the South Atlantic region is growing more rapidly than the national average,

[o]ne of the contributing factors is a shift in activity from union states to non-union or right-to-work states . . . . “So, when you look at the growth trend over the last 10 years, the growth has really been, for the most part, in those non-union states where businesses are looking to expand,” Mussio [said].

Mussio later cited the automotive industry as a good example:

Advanced manufacturing continues to be a staple industry for the South Atlantic, and the region is benefiting from the rebound in the automotive sector. . . . “What you have seen is auto OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], and even the auto manufacturers themselves, doing more of the expansions in the Southeast because they can get an ample, willing, and qualified work force — and have the added benefit of expanding in a right-to-work state,” [said] Mussio. 

In addition to mature sectors like motor vehicles, the South Atlantic region, in which six of nine states, and all the fastest growing ones, have Right to Work laws, is also”gaining momentum in capturing new manufacturing and other high-tech businesses.  The South Atlantic is

“going up the pyramid” to attract new industries such as life sciences, aerospace, and more advanced manufacturing, [said] Andy Mace, managing director of Global Business Consulting, Supply Chain Solutions at Cushman & Wakefield in York, Pa.

While Mussio, Mace, and other experts cited by Mattson-Teig correctly identified several of the reasons why the South Atlantic is attractive to employees as well as employers, one point they missed is that, when interstate differences of cost of living are taken into account, the region’s average disposable income per capita is superior to the Big Labor-dominated Northeast and Pacific Coast.

Regional Report: The South Atlantic Capitalizes on Its Pro-Business