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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
University of Alabama at Birmingham hopes to turn health care expertise in consulting business - Birmingham News
Richard Shelby: Air Force tanker contract decision could come soon - Press Register
OUR VIEW: EADS, the apparent favorite, is optimistic it will build U.S. Air Force fuel tankers...- Birmingham News
County establishes development board - Andalusia Star News
Ivey appoints two new North Alabama senators to state Workforce Investment Board - Huntsville Times
St. Clair gets an 'A' for cooperation - Daily Home


University of Alabama at Birmingham hopes to turn health care expertise in consulting business


Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 6:00 PM
By Stan Diel -- The Birmingham News
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is planning to turn its expertise in health care into consulting contracts.

The university has appointed an associate dean for clinical affairs, who will try to leverage the School of Health Professions' expertise into deals helping businesses and nonprofits solve health care-related problems, UAB said Monday.

The effort ultimately will include faculty and students in each of the schools' five departments: clinical and diagnostic sciences, health services administration, nutrition sciences, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

Dr. Jamy Ard, the newly appointed dean who will head the effort, said the number and variety of opportunities for consulting and community service deals is nearly limitless.

"It's a wide open field," he said.

Among the likely results are consulting deals under which UAB faculty and students would design and implement wellness programs for private businesses, helping them cut or minimize the costs associated with obesity and diabetes. Faculty and students also could design occupational therapy or nutrition programs for businesses, nonprofits or schools, he said.


Richard Shelby: Air Force tanker contract decision could come soon


Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 2:53 PM Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011, 2:53 PM
By George Talbot

MOBILE, Ala. -- A decision could come soon on the U.S. Air Force tanker contract, according to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa.

Shelby said Monday that he feels good about Mobile's prospects in the competition for the potential $40 billion deal. The Air Force received final bids from Boeing Co. and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. on Thursday and could announce a winner this month.

"It should come fast," Shelby told an audience of about 300 area business leaders during a breakfast speech in Mobile. "I hope it's quick, it's decisive and it comes to Mobile. Something inside me tells me it will."

EADS, the parent company of Airbus, is proposing to assemble its tankers at a $600 million factory to be constructed at the Brookley Aeroplex. Shelby said the project would be an economic catalyst for the Gulf Coast, comparing it to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance.

"There will be spinoffs galore. I can tell you from my experience with Mercedes - they brought in nearly 50 suppliers that collectively have more employees than the assembly plant," he said. "If this could happen in Mobile - and it could - it would be the best thing since the French discovered the port here."


OUR VIEW: EADS, the apparent favorite, is optimistic it will build U.S. Air Force fuel tankers in Mobile


Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 5:40 AM
By Birmingham News editorial board

Alabama officials are getting ready to party like it's 2008. That's because they believe the state will be on the receiving end of a princely deal with the U.S. government to build fuel tankers in Mobile.

Both EADS North America and Boeing Co. submitted bids ahead of this past Friday's deadline for a contract worth up to $40 billion. If EADS wins the deal, the flying gas stations, which refuel military aircraft in midair, will be assembled at a $600 million factory at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile. The plant will employ 1,500 people and bring thousands of other jobs to the state.

"It's going to be one great time when we win the second time," Sam Adcock, vice president of government affairs for EADS North America, told Alabama economic developers last week.

EADS and Northrop Grumman Corp. won the contract in February 2008, triggering a massive celebration among state and Mobile-area officials. But Boeing challenged the award, the Government Accountability Office found "significant errors" in how the contract was awarded, and the Air Force reopened the competition.

Almost three years later, EADS and state and Mobile officials are gearing up to celebrate again.

"We're sick of saying we're cautiously optimistic," said Troy Wayman, head of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. "We are confident EADS will be the winner."


County establishes development board


Published 12:03am Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Commissioners established a five-member county industrial development authority board Monday.

County attorney Rick Clifton said the new board will be used as a "vehicle to encourage economic development in all of Covington County."

"The board speaks to the fact that Covington County is open for business," Clifton said. "It should have been done a long time ago. Its job is to promote, to find projects and to meet with different entities that want to come into Covington County."

The official paperwork for the board was filed Friday in the probate judge's office, he said.

Five members - one from the county-at-large and one from each district - were appointed and will serve the following staggered terms:

Greg Henderson of Andalusia, six years;

Alan Miller of Opp, four years;

Jimmy Cox of Carolina, four years;

Milner Perry of Florala, two years; and

Rudon Taylor of Red Level, two years.


Ivey appoints two new North Alabama senators to state Workforce Investment Board

Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 5:31 PM Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011, 5:38 PM

By Bob Lowry, The Huntsville Times


MONTGOMERY - Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey today appointed two North Alabama lawmakers, Sens. Clay Scofield, R-Arab, and Shadrack McGill, R-Woodville, to the state Workforce Investment Board.


The board is an economic development tool aimed at providing jobs for Alabamians, said Ivey.


"Sens. Scofield and McGill have both proven their devotion to their personal jobs, as well as their state legislative positions," Ivy said in a statement, "and have promised to carry on their devotion to the mission of this board."


Scofield, a farmer, defeated Marshall County Probate Judge Tim Mitchell in the 2010 elections to capture the Senate District 9 seat formerly held by Hinton Mitchem.


"We need to band together to provide more job opportunities for Alabama's citizens," he said.


McGill, who beat veteran Democrat Lowell Barron in November, and is a business owner, said he understands the challenges of starting a business during a recession.




Huntsville Times  



St. Clair gets an 'A' for cooperation

The Daily Home

Feb 14, 2011 | 216 views | 0 | | 3 | |

"Works well with others" was always one of those little lines on the report card that we never paid much attention to in elementary school.


Now, however, in the realm of economic development, it appears to be a major characteristic of those communities that do well in such a crucial area.


So says Don Smith, executive director of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council.


Other counties in Alabama look at us and say, "St. Clair County works together, why can't we?" Smith said. He commended "our officials, county and municipality for working together to benefit everyone."


A look back at recent development history in St. Clair County proves his point.


A new veterans home and a new St. Vincent's St. Clair Hospital in the works are shining examples of how working together has paid off for the entire county.


No matter the location of those two facilities, they will draw employees from all across the county. And those employees will take their paychecks back to their communities, where they will pay for housing, groceries, entertainment, transportation and all the other necessities and luxuries we use in life.




Daily Home  

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Enjoy the day,  
Wendy Wallace Johnson
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