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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
Norfolk Southern McCalla hub on track for 2012 opening - Birmingham News
New Alabama-built 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class revealed - Birmingham News
Honda ready to ramp up its Alabama output - Birmingham News
ADO Selected as World Bank Private Sector Liaison Officer - News Release
New SANYO equipment propels UAB cell therapy toward clinical care - UAB News
The Value of Active Corporate Citizens - EDPA Developments Blog


Norfolk Southern McCalla hub on track for 2012 opening


Norfolk Southern's $97.5 million railroad hub in McCalla won't create that many direct jobs, but officials said Monday the project will deliver a major economic boost to the area.


Representatives of the railroad company were joined by Gov. Robert Bentley, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, elected officials, business leaders, economic developers and McCalla residents at a groundbreaking ceremony at the 316-acre site of the Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility, as the company calls it.


Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Wick Moorman called the hub an "anchor" to the company's $2.5 billion Crescent Corridor project that aims to boost the use of rail-to-truck shipping containers from New Orleans to New York.




Birmingham News 





New Alabama-built 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class revealed


The redesigned 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV has been revealed ahead of its official debut in Germany.


Pictures of the Alabama-built vehicle were leaked on the Web this week, and Mercedes' U.S. sales and marketing arm posted them on its Facebook page today.






Birmingham News 



Honda ready to ramp up its Alabama output


Workers at Honda's Alabama auto factory in Lincoln are more than ready to return to full production, their new chief said today.


Tom Shoupe, who took the reins of the 4,000-worker plant this spring, said it is expected to return to full production in August.


The plant, along with other Honda facilities in North America, drastically slowed output following the March 11 earthquake in Japan. The disaster damaged suppliers and created a parts shortage.





Birmingham News 


ADO Selected as World Bank Private Sector Liaison Officer

The Alabama Development Office's International Trade Division has been selected by the World Bank to act as the state's Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO), which will help the state's business community gain access to World Bank contract opportunities, be a resource for the private sector, and increase awareness of private sector-led growth in developing countries.


Governor Robert Bentley said, "My mission is to create jobs for Alabamians and the Alabama Development Office is charged with helping to fulfill that mission. With more than half of U.S. exports going to developing countries, it is great news that Alabama's World Bank liaison will make companies aware of World Bank funding and procurement opportunities."


The ADO joins a prestigious group of just four other organizations in the United States with this endorsement, including the Chicago Global Mid-West Alliance, the Greater Houston Partnership the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, and the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore.


This announcement comes as exciting news for the state and its companies which are interested in accessing World Bank procurement opportunities in developing countries. Since the Illinois PSLO opened, the number of World Bank contract awards for Illinois firms more than doubled, and the Midwest region saw an increase of more than a third in contracts, worth millions of dollars.


"This is an exciting opportunity to partner with the World Bank Group. We have been aggressively pursing international markets for Alabama businesses and with this accreditation we have an exceptional opportunity to increase export activities and sales in developing countries," stated Seth Hammett, Director of the ADO.






ADO News Release 




New SANYO equipment propels UAB cell therapy toward clinical care; potential sickle cell cure among the first to be processed 



By Clinton Colmenares



The University of Alabama at Birmingham has taken a significant step toward making sophisticated cell therapy a part of patient care with its acquisition of the first cell-processing workstation (CPWS) from SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO) in the United States.


Richard Marchase, Ph.D., vice president for Research and Economic Development at UAB, says "UAB has a rich history of breaking ground in the cell-therapy arena. We are thrilled that we were able to be the first in the United States to use SANYO's CPWS. This will add to our world-class abilities to translate basic science into clinical medicine."


"The CPWS puts us beyond the state-of-the-art for cell manufacturing," says Larry Lamb, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and pediatrics in the UAB School of Medicine and director of UAB's Cell Therapy Lab.


The CPWS, a piece of equipment about the size of a small car, contains all the necessary equipment required to manufacture cells for cell therapy in a sterile environment. It is, Lamb says, "like a clean room in a box. It provides bio-containment that's ideal for keeping a cell product sterile and stable, which is especially important if the cells need to be cultured for a long period of time or require several manipulations." 







UAB News 











Developments Blog 


The Value of Active Corporate Citizens

June 7, 2011

Wendy Wallace Johnson, EDPA

Alabamians are known for their hospitality. Call it southern comfort, call it being a good neighbor, Alabamians don't need to be told when to step in and help.


As a private, non-profit entity, EDPA also depends on "help," in the form of financial contributions from our Corporate Partners. Their participation represents the private sector investment in Alabama's economic development efforts.


Each worthwhile program of EDPA's-from the research we provide for companies looking to locate in the state; to the statewide buildings and sites database; to the services we offer communities, existing businesses; start-ups and industry associations-is dependent upon the support we receive from the 70+ corporate "citizens" who are our Partners. This makes Alabama unique, and we don't take that for granted.


The term "citizen" is an important one. A buzzword gaining traction lately is "active citizen," which implies a person (in this case a corporation), with an active stake in their community. Active citizens look for solutions to problems and take action.


Alabama is blessed with active corporate citizens. Look at any major charitable event across the state, and you'll see the logos of home-grown and international companies operating in Alabama.




EDPA Developments Blog



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Wendy Wallace Johnson
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