NewsFlash header graphic
Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
EADS executive said he knew his company could lose on price - Press Register
Gov. Bentley names members of Commission on Improving State Government - NBC 13
2010 Census: Birmingham shrinks, Hoover, Shelby surge - Birmingham News
UA business school dean to step down - Tuscsaloosa News
Calhoun getting aviation center - Decatur Daily


EADS executive said he knew his company could lose on price


Published: Friday, February 25, 2011, 5:15 AM
By Dan Murtaugh, Press-Register

MOBILE, Ala. -- Mobile might have been shocked at Boeing Co.'s win of a lucrative deal to build U.S. Air Force refueling tankers, but a top EADS North America official said that he was not.

"If the price of your pen is $1.50, and a guy is willing to sell it for a quarter, it's going to be hard to compete with that," Dave Oliver, chief operating officer, said shortly after Thursday's announcement that Boeing Co. had won the coveted contract. "I always knew that if Boeing decided to set their price at a quarter, we would lose."

The news silenced what had been a boisterous crowd of about 100 gathered at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. A European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. win would have meant a steroid shot for Mobile's economy - a $600 million assembly facility at Brookley Aeroplex that would have employed 1,500 people.

"Team Alabama" had been buoyed for weeks by defense industry analysts who had given the edge to the Paris-based company.


Gov. Bentley names members of Commission on Improving State Government


By Governor's Office Official Release
Published: February 25, 2011

MONTGOMERY- Governor Robert Bentley today appointed 22 members to serve on the Alabama Commission on Improving State Government.

Governor Bentley signed Executive Order Number Four creating the Alabama Commission on Improving State Government on January 25, 2011. The duty of the Commission is to work with the Legislature and the Governor's Policy Office to analyze and explore new ways to reduce government spending with minimal or no reduction to essential state services.

The committee members include: Finance Director David Perry, Treasurer Young Boozer State Personnel Director Jackie Graham, Auditor Sam Shaw, ADO Director Seth Hammett, Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh, Ruffner Page, Mike Thompson, Charles McCrary, Tom Hamby, Johnny Johns, John McMahon, Judy Bonner, Retired General Ed Crowell, Will Sellers, Billy Powell, Alfred Seawright, Bill Wallace, and Greg Powell.

Ex-Officio members of the committee include Jim Williams, Executive Director of the Public Affairs Research Institute, Gary Palmer, President of the Alabama Policy Institute, and Leslie Meadows, Program Director for Auburn University Montgomery's Certified Public Manager Program.


2010 Census: Birmingham shrinks, Hoover, Shelby surge

Published: Friday, February 25, 2011, 5:30 AM Updated: Friday, February 25, 2011, 9:16 AM


By Thomas Spencer -- The Birmingham News


The city of Birmingham experienced a dramatic 12.6 percent drop in population over the last decade, losing 30,583 residents, according to the results of the 2010 U.S. Census released Thursday.


If population trends continue, Birmingham, with 212,237 residents in 2010, could become Alabama's second-largest city in 2012, falling behind Montgomery. The state capital had a population of 205,764 in 2010, but grew at a pace of about 420 people a year over the previous decade.


By 2017, if those trends continue, Birmingham would trail Mobile and Huntsville in population as well.


Birmingham's decline was offset in the metro area by rapid growth in places such as Hoover, which grew 30 percent, and Shelby County, which had the highest growth rate in the state at 36 percent. The Birmingham-Hoover metro area grew, remaining by far the largest in the state, topping 1.1 million people living in the seven-county area.


Birmingham Mayor William Bell said he was disappointed but not surprised by the numbers. He said it underscores the work that must be done to preserve the city's standing.


"It does mean our work is cut out for us," Bell said. "The city of Birmingham's goal is to attract individuals and corporations by working to improve the city's infrastructure, transit, parks and other amenities. We have to set our focus on improving the city's school system and preparing our next generation of leaders to stay in Birmingham and help grow the city."


Populations in Jefferson and Walker counties dropped by more than 3,500 people each. But in percentage terms, Jefferson's drop was slight, 0.5 percent. Jefferson County is still by far the state's most populous county with 658,466 residents.


Overall the seven-county metro area gained 7 percent. Shelby added 51,792 people, growing 36 percent during the past decade. Now with a population of 195,085, Shelby County has passed Tuscaloosa County to become the fifth-largest county in the state. St. Clair County gained 18,851 people, 29 percent. That's enough to make St. Clair the third-fastest-growing county, behind Shelby and Baldwin.


Among cities, Hoover was second only to Huntsville in terms of the number of new residents, adding 18,877 and reaching a population of 81,619 percent.





UA business school dean to step down


By Wayne Grayson Staff Writer

TUSCALOOSA | Barry Mason, the longtime dean of the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, has decided to step down from his position.

"Actually, I'm stepping up to the role of faculty member," Mason said Thursday. "That position is far more prestigious."

Upon stepping down, Mason said he will return to his first love of teaching, but he said he will not vacate his position as dean until a successor is named and in position.

UA has begun the search for a successor. The job has been posted on the Chronicle of Higher Education website.

Mason, 67, has been a member of the UA faculty since 1967. He served as head of the Department of Management and Marketing for 16 years before becoming the dean of the business school in 1988.

Mason also served as the university's interim president from May 2002 to March 2003, between the resignation of former President Andrew A. Sorensen and the hiring of current President Robert E. Witt.

Witt said Thursday that Mason's work has improved not only UA, but the Tuscaloosa community and state of Alabama as well.


Calhoun getting aviation center


State moving program from Albertville facility
By M.J. Ellington

An aviation program dubbed a cooperative effort between two junior colleges is expected to start at Calhoun Community College in Limestone County next fall.

The state Board of Education on Thursday approved moving Enterprise State Community College's Alabama Aviation Center from Albertville to the Calhoun campus.

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education must approve the move, but the plan is to start the program in one of the historic hangars at Pryor Field Regional Airport, Calhoun President Marilyn Beck said. The airport is adjacent to the Calhoun campus.

Calhoun's only expense to prepare for the opening is cleaning and painting the building, she said.

The Alabama Aviation Center is the only aviation training facility in the state's two-year college system. The program will include five airframe technology courses, leading to a certificate in aircraft structures. It trains students in aircraft equipment maintenance and aircraft service technology.

Enterprise State President Nancy Chandler said she expects her college, which has its main campus in Enterprise, will save $80,000 in lease expenses it has to pay in Albertville.

"The rapidly expanding aviation industry in Decatur and Huntsville" is the main reason for the move, Chandler said.  

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
Join Our Mailing List