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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
Bermco Aluminum favors Bessemer for new plant site - Birmingham News
BAE looking to add as many as 400 workers at shipyard - Press Register
Senate OKs slashed General Fund budget - Montgomery Advertiser
TechMixer Expo online registration LAST DAY


Bermco Aluminum favors Bessemer for new plant site

Published: Friday, April 08, 2011, 6:00 AM

By Michael Tomberlin -- The Birmingham News The Birmingham News


Howard Parker monitors ingot pouring machinery at Bermco Aluminum in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. The secondary aluminum smelting company plans to relocate to Lincoln to be closer to the Honda plant and other customers. (The Birmingham News/ Mark Almond)


Bermco Aluminum now favors Bessemer as the site for a new multimillion-dollar smelting and scrapping plant, a development that could keep 100 jobs from moving out of Jefferson County to Talladega County.


Steve Weinstein, chief executive of Bermco, said the company has warmed up to the idea of investing $8 million on a new plant at the 20-acre site of its Bessemer scrapping and shredding plant.


Bermco, which has been in Birmingham for nearly 100 years, was considering consolidating its Birmingham aluminum smelting and distribution operations and its Bessemer operations in a vacant building in Lincoln in Talladega County, or at a site in Sylacauga.


But a conversation with a business owner in a barbecue restaurant in Bessemer convinced Weinstein to give the west Jefferson community a new look.


Van Sykes, the owner of Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, chatted with Weinstein as the Bermco CEO waited for his order. When Weinstein mentioned the company was looking to move to Talladega County, Sykes told him he should at least talk to the new leadership in Bessemer because it had gotten aggressive in economic development.


Mayor Ken Gulley became Bessemer's new mayor after defeating former Mayor Ed May in October.


Five of Bessemer's seven city council members also took office with Gulley in November.


"We have to let people know Bessemer is open for business again," Gulley said in an interview Thursday. "I'm not one to take shots at the previous administration, I think it speaks for itself. But I think it's important to know that they have a mayor and a council willing to work together for the good of Bessemer."


Weinstein said that attitude is apparent.





Birmingham News 




BAE looking to add as many as 400 workers at shipyard

Published: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 4:02 PM Updated: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 4:02 PM

By Dan Murtaugh, Press-Register Press-Register


MOBILE, Ala. -- The Mobile facility of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards will add as many as 400 workers to complete construction of an oil tanker, a company official said.


The shipyard on the east bank of Mobile River employs 600 workers and another 200 to 250 contractors, BAE spokesman Joe Chopek said. They do mostly repair and standard upkeep work, Chopek said.


The company plans to hire another 150 to 200 employees and another 200 contractors, he said.


The extra workforce is needed to finish a tanker for Mid-Ocean Tanker Co. LLC of South Norwalk, Conn., a joint venture between private equity firm Alterna Capital Partners and Mid-Ocean Marine, a shipping company also based in South Norwalk.


The tanker is partially finished. Construction began in 2007 by Atlantic Marine, the previous owner of BAE's Mobile shipyard. Mid-Ocean bought the tanker in January for $12.65 million through a New Orleans-based bankruptcy court.


Chopek said BAE will hold a job fair at the shipyard sometime in May for all trades.


"Ship-fitters, pipe-fitters, welders, electricians -- we're looking for a whole gamut of folks," he said.


Chopek said that while the work on the oil tanker is supposed to be complete by the end of this year or early 2012, BAE is hoping to add enough additional business that the new jobs are permenent.


"Our product that we sell is the skilled labor of our talented employees, so we're always trying to find more master craftsmen," he said.















Senate OKs slashed General Fund budget 



3:07 AM, Apr. 8, 2011 |

The Alabama Senate approv­ed a $1.8 billion General Fund budget Thursday that increases funding for Medicaid and pro­tects spending on state prisons and mental health, but drastical­ly cuts many other agencies.


Many line items, for projects and events in local communities, were eliminated.


The budget would further cut many state agencies, some by 45 percent or more. Some depart­ments, including the agriculture department and the court sys­tem, already have started the process of laying off employees.


"It's about the best we could do with what we had," said Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road.


He said this proposed budget is "scraping the bottom of the barrel," but that the constitution requires legislators to balance the budget even during these dire economic times.


"It was brutal," Brewbaker said, but added he is convinced the Senate passed the best bud­get it could given the situation.


While gutting money for state parks, slicing funds for historic sites, and reducing funding for state courts, Brewbaker said they protected the core of state government, in­cluding Medi­caid.


The Senate passed the bud­get 27-4. The budget is for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The proposal now goes to the House for considera­tion. The General Fund is the budget for most noneducation operations in the state.


Sen. Arthur Orr, chairman of the Senate General Fund budget committee, said the Senate un­derstood the difficult economic times. Orr and state Finance Di­rector David Perry said they ex­pect the budget for the 2013 fis­cal year to be tougher







Montgomery Advertiser 



TechMixer Expo online registration LAST DAY
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 from 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM; Sheraton Birmingham
TechMixer Expo is a networking event for the technology community of the greater Birmingham region. Tech professionals and enthusiasts from the region are invited to attend this FREE event which is centered on the numerous Technology User Groups and technology supporting companies in the region. This is the 6th edition of TechMixer Expo. The last Expo attracted over 1000 attendees. Past attendees come from a broad spectrum of demographics including attendees from every major company in the Birmingham Region. The event is organized by TechBirmingham whose mission is to promote Birmingham as a great city to locate a technology company.

The event is hosted at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. Free parking is available under the interstate and along the surrounding streets. Covered deck parking is also available for $8. Free finger foods and a cash bar.

Onsite registration will be available starting at 5:30 PM on April 12th. 



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