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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
ThyssenKrupp sprints to build delayed stainless steel melt shop in Calvert - Press Register
All 7 metro Birmingham counties expect to see job growth, with Shelby leading the way - Birmingham News
Orange Beach City Council votes to purchase Wharf Conference Center - Press Register
Work interruption expected at Alabama's Honda plant because of earthquake and tsunami - Birmingham News
Work could soon begin on Raytheon missile plant at Redstone Arsenal - Huntsville Times
Lockheed Martin unveils new missile defense simulation, test center in Huntsville - Huntsville Times
EADS to buy Vector in $638m deal - Financial Times
Guin Interstate 22 Industrial Site receives AdvantageSite designation - Release


ThyssenKrupp sprints to build delayed stainless steel melt shop in Calvert

Published: Monday, March 28, 2011, 6:00 AM Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011, 7:11 AM

By Jeff Amy, Press-Register Press-Register



CALVERT, Ala. -- The race is back on at ThyssenKrupp AG's stainless steel melt shop.


The German steelmaker had planned to build the unit, which will melt scrap into new stainless steel, at the beginning of its $5 billion project in on the Mobile-Washington county line. But it put off construction to conserve cash during the global downturn.


Already having poured concrete foundations and structures, the stainless unit plans to begin erecting structural steel this week. It's a key milestone in the push to begin using the facility before the end of 2012.


The stainless unit shares the 3,600 acre site with a separately managed carbon unit. The melt shop will allow stainless to make its own steel for processing. The carbon side processes steel slabs produced in Brazil.


The stainless unit will have about one-third of the total employees on the site.


Guido Stebner, the director of the melt shop, said that ThyssenKrupp wants to start getting its money back from the unit as quickly as possible.


"When I came here in 2005, it was a timeline-driven project," he said. "Then it was budget-driven. Then cash flow-driven. Guess what? For the moment now, it's timeline-driven again."


The company plans double shifts, one for workers erecting steel, and another for workers pouring concrete and installing pipes, over the coming months. That's not only quicker, but safer, said Peter Elliott, who manages construction for the stainless unit. With separate shifts, cranes can't drop steel on people doing other work.




Press Register   





All 7 metro Birmingham counties expect to see job growth, with Shelby leading the way 



Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 10:15 AM

By Roy L. Williams -- The Birmingham News The Birmingham News




All seven counties in the Birmingham metro area are projected to add jobs through 2015, though much of the growth will be in Shelby County, an analysis from an economics forecasting firm shows.


The slowest grower among the metro counties will be Jefferson, the report from Washington, D.C.-based Woods & Poole Economics said.


Overall, the seven-county Birmingham-Hoover area is expected to add about 28,630 jobs during the period, keeping pace with the national average of 1.15 percent average annual growth, Woods & Poole's analysis showed.


Jefferson County's labor force will expand by slightly more than half the U.S. average annual rate.


Shelby County was forecast to add nearly 10,000 new jobs between now and 2015, and its projected growth rate of 2.61 percent annually ranked No. 8 among the 3,000 counties nationally analyzed by Woods & Poole.



Birmingham labor experts said it is not surprising to see Shelby County, whose 7.1 percent unemployment rate in February was the state's lowest, leading the way for Alabama's largest metro area.



Birmingham News 


Orange Beach City Council votes to purchase Wharf Conference Center

Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011, 9:00 AM Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011, 6:22 AM

By David Ferrara, Press-Register Press-Register


ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The City Council voted Friday to purchase the Wharf Conference Center, with the idea of converting it into a civic center that officials hope will spur economic growth.


The $1.6 million price tag - less than half of what it was a year ago - attracted city leaders to agree on buying the 27,000-square-foot facility from property owner Solution Capital Investments Inc.


The city spent weeks showcasing the building, hosting two afternoon-long open houses and two discussion-packed council meetings inside, with the support of city workers and most council members.


When those talks began, Councilman Brett Holk initially said he would have preferred to see a private enterprise own and operate the center and instead have the city put the money toward debt payments.


"At this time, I just do not see that it's the best thing for the city," Holk said.


On Friday, he voted against the purchase, along with Councilwoman Pattisue Carranza, who said she wavered on her decision right up to her vote.


After the meeting, she said she was ultimately convinced by Holk.


There was little resistance from residents. Many publicly embraced the idea of buying the center, though some questioned year-to-year costs.




Press Register


Work interruption expected at Alabama's Honda plant because of earthquake and tsunami

Published: Friday, March 25, 2011, 10:05 PM Updated: Friday, March 25, 2011, 10:06 PM

By The Associated Press


Production will likely be interrupted after April 1 at Honda Motor Co.'s six North America plants, including the one in Lincoln, due to a lack of critical parts as Japanese suppliers work to recover from earthquake and tsunami damage, the automaker said today.


Interruptions are expected at the Lincoln plant, at Honda's two Ohio plants, and at plants in Indiana, Canada and Mexico until the issues are resolved, said spokesman Jeffrey Smith.


Honda said workers at the plants were informed today.


The company said on its website that a few suppliers in Japan are still working to re-establish operations, and that Honda is looking for other possible supply sources.


"The vast majority of Honda's parts and materials are sourced here in North America. However, for global efficiency, a few critical parts continue to be supplied from Japan," the site said.


The March 11 disaster in Japan, followed by damage to nuclear reactors, has disrupted the flow of auto parts and cars around the globe. 


Work could soon begin on Raytheon missile plant at Redstone Arsenal

Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 2:01 PM Updated: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 8:48 PM

By Kenneth Kesner, The Huntsville Times The Huntsville Times


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Work could soon begin on the Raytheon plant at Redstone Arsenal that will assemble and test the company's SM-3 and SM-6 "Standard Missiles." The company announced plans for the 70,000-square-foot facility in last July. But, since the plant is on the Army's Redstone Arsenal grounds - at the site of the former Morton Thiokol facilities - the negotiations and agreements involve a number of entities, said Wes Kremer, Raytheon's SM-3 program director.


"We are making significant progress," he said in a telephone interview last week. "In the very near future we will be announcing the groundbreaking ceremony on that. We're very anxious to move ahead with that."


The SM-3 missiles and variants under development are used by the Navy's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships. They are a part of the Missile Defense Agency's overall "layered" BMD program, which uses sensors and radars to detect an enemy ballistic missile launch, track the incoming threat, and fire missiles to hit and destroy it.


The SM-3 is to play a major role in the U.S. and NATO-supported European Phased Adaptive Approach to enhancing missile defense in Europe over the next decade. Phase 1 includes deploying the current SM-3 Block 1A missile, he said. That began a few weeks ago as the USS Monterey departed Norfolk, Va., for a six-month deployment with a complement of the missiles.




Huntsville Times


Lockheed Martin unveils new missile defense simulation, test center in Huntsville

Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011, 7:01 AM

By Kenneth Kesner, The Huntsville Times The Huntsville Times


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Lockheed Martin launched a new 21,000-square-foot Huntsville Integrated Test Center on Friday afternoon, adding to the company's robust missile defense capabilities in North Alabama. The center will provide high-fidelity, end-to-end testing of hardware and software for a variety of missile defense and interceptor weapons systems, including THAAD, PAC-3 and others used in the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense or other Ballistic Missile Defense programs.


Full-scale "hardware-in-the-loop" and "software-in-the-loop" simulations and testing is supported. Among the center's features are two Five-Axis Motion Simulators - FAMS - with infrared scene generators. The FAMS can work independently or together with command and control and other systems, allowing for simulations of a "salvo" of enemy missiles or multi-tiered intercepts, said Melissa Wuerl, systems integration lead for the HIT Center.


Through the glass wall of a theater section in the HIT Center, visitors saw one of the FAMS go through an intricate, spinning and twisting ballet, turning at a blink of the eye then smoothly, slowly curving as elements of the machine were controlled by computers replicating both the motion of a targeted enemy missile and the kinetic energy warhead sent to hit and kill it.




Huntsville Times 


EADS to buy Vector in $638m deal

By John O'Doherty

Published: March 28 2011 15:43 | Last updated: March 28 2011 15:43


EADS is to buy Vector Aerospace, a Canadian helicopter services company, for $638m, it announced on Monday, less than a week after the European aerospace group disclosed it was in talks with the company.


Under the terms of the all-cash deal, EADS's Eurocopter unit will pay C$13 per Vector share, valuing the company at C$625m ($638m). This is 80 per cent higher than Vector's closing price in early December, when it first announced it was reviewing its strategic options.


The deal marks the latest step in EADS' plans to expand its revenue base beyond Europe, where the bulk of its manufacturing is based. A greater footprint in North America will reduce the exposure of EADS to currency fluctuations. As part of its Vision 2020 plans, EADS is aiming to cut its exposure to cyclical commercial aerospace equipment sales from about 65 per cent at present to 50 per cent over the coming nine years. The plan foresees EADS increasing its presence in the US both in services and in equipment, with a target of $10bn in non-Airbus US sales by 2020.


"This acquisition perfectly fits EADS' Vision 2020 strategy, increasing services, strengthening the helicopter business, international and more specifically North American exposure while keeping a good balance between military and civil activities," said Louis Gallois, chief executive of EADS. 







Financial Times 




Guin Interstate 22 Industrial Site receives AdvantageSite designation 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 7 - The Guin Interstate 22 Industrial Site in Marion County has received an Alabama AdvantageSite designation.


The AdvantageSite program requires that community economic development organizations provide

documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/ control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size, zoning and accessibility requirements.


"We are very proud to receive this designation," said Guin Mayor Phil Seagraves. "A lot of people have

worked hard for us to receive this, and we are very happy for the city. This AdvantageSite designation

brings the total of designations in Marion County to three."


"We at C3 of Northwest Alabama join in congratulating our teammates in the City of Guin," said David

Thornell, president and CEO for C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance. "They have

always done whatever they can to prepare their community as a place where businesses would choose to locate and expand and in doing so, create new and better jobs for their residents."


"The AdvantageSite Sponsors are proud to provide this designation for the Guin I-22 Site," said Greg

Knighton, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama vice president and director of business

information. "We believe that the I-22 corridor is ripe for growth and commend the local leadership for their preparation."


AdvantageSite is a voluntary industrial site preparedness program created in order to make the state more competitive for companies considering a location in Alabama. The program is jointly sponsored by the Alabama Development Office, Alabama Gas Corporation, Alabama Power Company, EDPA, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.


For more information on the AdvantageSite program, please visit 


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Wendy Wallace Johnson
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