NewsFlash header graphic
Greetings!
 
Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
 
in this issue:
$20 million data center looks to bring 10 jobs to Jefferson County - Birmingham News
International Shipholding to pay back part of incentives - Press Register
Daughter of Birmingham Plans Revival - NY Times
Clean-up of Birmingham's Trinity Steel site progressing, development official says - Birmingham News
Kimberly-Clark says it will close facilities that make low-profit tissue - Press Register
Hyundi, Kia auto supplier plans expansion, to add jobs at Greenville - AP
Ascend nylon plant in Foley, Ala., to add 20 jobs in $7 million expansion - Press Register
Wise Metals, part-owned by RSA, to expand recycling facility - Press Register
Governor Bentley Signs Executive Order Creating Alabama Rural Development Office - Release
Dale County economic development corporation board appointed - Dothan Eagle
Potential AU-Southern Union partnership announced - Opelika Auburn News
I-22 project on course: Weather doesn't slow Corridor X interchange - Birmingham News

       

$20 million data center looks to bring 10 jobs to Jefferson County
 

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 5:45 AM

By Roy L. Williams -- The Birmingham News

 

Jefferson County industrial officials say a company wants to set up a $20 million data center in Jefferson Metropolitan Park Lakeshore.

 

Carma Jude, executive director of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Authority, said the project would create 10 jobs. She wouldn't identify the company, whose interest in buying 4 acres in the park was discussed during a board meeting Wednesday.

 

The authority board, which manages the park, did not take any action on the project due to lack of a quorum, and specifics such as a potential selling price for the land or incentives weren't discussed. The board is expected to vote on the proposal at another meeting scheduled for Monday.

 

"The company wants to buy land for a data center facility," Jude said in an interview after the meeting. "It would fit in well at the park. That property is becoming a great technology center.

 

more...

 

Birmingham News link 

 

 


 

International Shipholding to pay back part of incentives

 

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 5:30 AM Updated: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 10:39 PM
By Dan Murtaugh, Press-Register

MOBILE, Ala. -- International Shipholding Corporation will pay back $750,000 in incentives to state and local governments after failing to meet an employment target, a company official said Wednesday.

Erik L. Johnsen, president of the company, said it employs 115 people in the Mobile area, 20 shy of the mark it pledged in exchange for $4 million of taxpayer incentive cash. State, city and county governments offered the incentives in 2006 to lure the company to move its headquarters and Central Gulf Railway unit from New Orleans to the RSA Tower in downtown Mobile.

The state will be in line for $375,000, while the city of Mobile and Mobile County would each get $187,500, based on incentives each contributed.

The company still plans to grow employment to that level, but it has been slowed by the economy, Johnsen said.

 

more...

Press Register link


 

Daughter of Birmingham Plans Revival

 

Meg McKinney for The New York Times
By DONNA PAUL
Published: January 25, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - This city was founded, quite deliberately, in the late 19th century by a group of industrialists who wanted to capitalize on proximity to vast deposits of coal, iron and limestone. But after a period of prosperity and growth, Birmingham was brought to its knees by the Depression and wracked by the end of segregation.

Birmingham has never fully recovered its prominence. Its population today, 230,000, is less than it was in 1930.

Now, a descendant of one of Birmingham's founders is trying to invigorate a section of the city and bring people and businesses back to the urban core. Catherine Sloss Crenshaw, whose great-great-grandfather James Withers Sloss was a prominent iron manufacturer, has bought numerous properties in the Lakeview district with the goal of creating a design-centered destination.

Lakeview flourished as a light industrial area in the 1930s to the 1960s, but as white flight took hold in the city, and as industry declined, many of its buildings were abandoned. "If you drove down these streets in 1988," Ms. Crenshaw said, "there was no rhyme or reason to how the buildings related to downtown, or to each other. Now there is a master plan and an identity."

 

more...

New York Times link


 

Clean-up of Birmingham's Trinity Steel site progressing, development official says

 

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 10:23 AM By Roy L. Williams -- The Birmingham News


The head of a Jefferson County economic development agency says efforts to remove contaminated soil on the former Trinity Steel site just off Interstate 65 near Titusville are going well.

Carma Jude told board members of the Jefferson County Economic and Industrial Development Authority this morning that $80,000 remains from a $200,000 grant the agency received in 2009 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help clean up the site.

The group manages the 27-acre property for the county and city of Birmingham, which bought the site in 2005 for $2.6 million. Once home to Mosher Steel, Ingalls Steel and Trinity Steel, the site has been vacant for 20 years.

Besides the grant, the authority has spent $90,000 of its own money on contamination cleanup, and another $800,000 demolishing structures and cleaning up portions of the site.

 

more...

Birmingham news link


 

Kimberly-Clark says it will close facilities that make low-profit tissue

 

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 6:15 AM
By Jeff Amy, Press-Register

Kimberly-Clark Corp. said it would dispose of the last three pulp mills that it owns and two or three other facilities, as it tries to get rid of low-profit businesses.

Pulp and tissue mills in Everett, Wash., and Australia will be affected as well as unnamed locations.

"These were facilities and businesses that we didn't think would earn our cost of capital over the long term," Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falk told analysts on a conference call.

A Kimberly-Clark spokeswoman refused to say what other facilities, including the Mobile mill, might be hit by the moves. Executives did say that the mills made unbranded, low-profit tissue products. Kimberly-Clark's 600-employee tissue and towel mill on Bay Bridge Road north of downtown Mobile mainly makes branded paper towels and products sold to businesses through the K-C Professional unit.

more...
Press Register link


 

Hyundi, Kia auto supplier plans expansion, to add jobs at Greenville

 

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 8:40 AM Updated: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 8:41 AM
By The Associated Press

GREENVILLE - An auto supplier in Greenville is expanding and adding jobs.

HYSCO America Co. announced Monday night that it will spend $22 million to enlarge its plant in Greenville and will hire 40 more workers. The plant currently employs 90 people. It supplies parts for the Hyundai plant in Alabama and the Kia plant in Georgia.

HYSCO officials said the screening of potential workers will begin in April through the Alabama Career Centers and Alabama Industrial Development Training.

 

AP link


 

Ascend nylon plant in Foley, Ala., to add 20 jobs in $7 million expansion

 

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 6:20 AM
By Jeff Amy, Press-Register

 

Ascend Performance Materials, the Foley nylon maker formerly known as Solutia, plans a $7 million expansion that will create 20 jobs.

The company, which now has about 70 employees, will install a new extruder to roughly double nylon production at its 39-acre South Bay Street plant. The new machinery will also allow the company to make a wider range of products.

"We expect exports to Europe and Asia to increase significantly as we double our production capacity, although we've exported products worldwide for some time," Plant Manager Thomas Boggs said in a statement.

Boggs said new employees would include operators, electrical technicians and engineers.

The nylon pellets made at the plant are often used to make auto parts that can stand up to the heat and abrasion under the hood, said spokeswoman Marianne Cone.

Ascend's nylon is also used in industrial, electrical and electronic, apparel, carpet and other applications.

 

more...

Press Register link


 

Wise Metals, part-owned by RSA, to expand recycling facility 

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 6:15 AM

By Jeff Amy, Press-Register

 

Wise Metals Group said Monday it would spend $25 million to expand its aluminum recycling operation in Muscle Shoals, adding 43 new employees.

 

The reclamation facility feeds scrap aluminum to the neighboring Wise Metals plant that makes aluminum can stock for companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V., the world's largest brewer.

 

The Retirement Systems of Alabama, which manages pensions for the state and public school employees, acquired 15 percent of Wise Metals in December, when it agreed to lend up to $590 million to the privately held Maryland firm.

 

"RSA's ongoing support positions Wise to continue efficiency improvements and environmental excellence," said David D'Addario, Wise's chairman and chief executive officer.

 


Wise has 1,000 employees in Muscle Shoals, where it has owned the aluminum operation since 1999.

 

more...

Press Register link


 
Governor Bentley Signs Executive Order Creating Alabama Rural Development Office

 

MONTGOMERY-Governor Robert Bentley today signed Executive Order Number Five, establishing the Alabama Rural Development Office. The purpose of the new office is to improve and advance education, healthcare, and economic development in the rural areas of Alabama. The Executive Order also rescinds previous Executive Orders which created the Black Belt Action Commission and the Alabama Rural Action Commission. The missions and responsibilities of the Black Belt Action Commission and the Alabama Rural Action Commission will now be implemented by the Alabama Rural Development Office.

Governor Bentley named former Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Ron Sparks Director of the ARDO. Sparks was also the 2010 Democratic nominee for Governor. Bentley said his former opponent and he share a common desire to create a better quality of life for Alabama's rural areas. "During the campaign, I got to know Commissioner Sparks well and the one issue we could always agree upon is the need to improve the lives of those who live in our rural communities," Bentley said. "This is an example of how we can put politics aside and work together for the common good of all Alabamians. I appreciate his willingness to serve."

Sparks said he looks forward to leading the Alabama Rural Development Office and working with the Governor. "It's an honor to work with Governor Bentley on rural issues. I look forward to implementing the Governor's policies improving the quality of life in some of our state's poorest regions."  

The Executive Order provides that members of the Alabama Rural Development Office be appointed by the Governor.  It also requires the Director to work with existing department heads, commissioners and directors to coordinate the efforts of their organizations to support, aid, or assist in the education, healthcare, and economic development in rural areas of Alabama. The fiscal agency of the Alabama Rural Development Office is the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

 


  

  Dale County economic development corporation board appointed

By Ebony Horton

Published: January 26, 2011 - Dothan Eagle

 

 

OZARK - Nearly a year after initial discussions for the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation, all of the city, county and chamber members have approved their appointments for the board.

The Dale County Commission approved appointing businessman Stacey Hughes and Dale County Commissioner Doug Williamson to the board; the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce appointed businessman Trent Dillard and Alabama Aviation College educator Tom Kirk; the City of Ozark appointed Mayor Billy Blackwell and businessmen Johnny Ferguson and Frank Garrett.

Blackwell announced the partnership earlier last year as an effort to promote regional development for the county. The City of Ozark, Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce and the county commission approved articles of incorporation for the corporation last year.

The commission and chamber approved earlier this year pledging $75,000 from the county's general fund for startup costs. Ozark is expected to commit $150,000 from its economic development budget for startup costs like payroll, utilities and a facility for the corporation, while the county and the chamber are responsible for $75,000 each.

It was not clear when the board would meet or when the corporation would start taking any action.

While the board members have been approved, county commissioners still expressed some uncertainty over committing $75,000 to the project.

 

more...

 

Dothan Eagle link

 


 

Potential AU-Southern Union partnership announced

 

By William White | Staff Writer, Opelika Auburn News
Published: January 25, 2011

Opelika Chamber of Commerce members and guests got to hear it first at breakfast Tuesday.

"I get to make a new announcement," said Dr. Freida Hill, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. "Southern Union has invited Auburn University to partner with them by offering a bachelor's degree, through their College of Business, at Southern Union's Opelika campus during the evening hours.

"This is a big step," Hill said. "And they are working on the process right now of filing the papers with the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

"What a great opportunity for our students to be able to move on in their education and career, and they can do it right there in their own hometown."

 

more...

Opelika Auburn News link


 

I-22 project on course: Weather doesn't slow Corridor X interchange
 

Published: Monday, January 24, 2011, 6:30 AM

By Jeremy Gray -- The Birmingham News

 

Despite recent snow and ice storms, work on the interchange linking Corridor X and Interstate 65 is on schedule and on budget, Alabama Department of Transportation officials said.

 

"The weather's been a factor but the project's going well and work will accelerate as the weather begins to improve," said ALDOT spokeswoman Linda Crockett.

 

Blasting work began in October by the Georgia-based Archer Western Contractors, the company building the $168.6 million interchange. It includes 14 ramps and 14 bridges and stretches 1 miles.

 

"So far, the contractor's efforts have revolved around clearing and performing the initial bridge work and some culverts have been constructed," said ALDOT spokesman Tony Harris.

 

Portions of the bridges will be constructed off-site then brought to the construction zone for installation, Harris said.

 

"So far, everything appears to be on target as far as schedule and budget," Harris said.

 

more...

 

Birmingham News link 

 

 





Please feel free to forward along to someone who can use it by clicking on the "I'd like to forward this to a contact" link below the green bar.
 
Note also, that you can now make changes to your e-mail address and contact information through the link at the bottom. 
 
As always, if you have news or suggestions, please forward them along to me.
 
Enjoy the day,  
 
Wendy Wallace Johnson
 
 
Partners thank you
Featured Community Partner:
Join Our Mailing List