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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
Land near McCalla rail hub may soon be snapped up - Birmingham News
Troy gets peanut butter manufacturing plant - WSFA
Going places: Exports of Alabama-built vehicles up 28% - Birmingham News
Bessemer, Alabama, emerges as economic powerhouse in Birmingham metro area - Birmingham News
FEMA Urges Tornado Survivors to Complete SBA Appliciations - NBC13


Land near McCalla rail hub may soon be snapped up


Large tracts of nearby land could have the inside track for development when the spin-off effects from the $97.5 million railroad hub being built in McCalla become a reality.


Three large tracts of property already are on the market, ready to hitch their futures to the Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility that Norfolk Southern is constructing on 316 acres next to its tracks in McCalla.


The largest tract not broken up by road or railroad is the 370 acres on Eastern Valley Road that were annexed into the city of Bessemer earlier this year. David Keith of Farmer Keith LLC assembled the site with options on land from several property owners, and he is working with a developer to create an industrial park on par with the county's Jefferson Metropolitan Park McCalla directly across the railroad tracks.


"We're working with an out-of-state developer to do an industrial, logistics park very similar to JeffMet," Keith said. "We hope to close on the property the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year and start development."




Birmingham News 




Troy gets peanut butter manufacturing plant




Posted by Bryan Henry

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) --Peanut butter money is coming to town.


"This is a good day for Troy," said Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.


Richard Harris is the head of the Golden Boy Foods, a Canadian company promising to start off with around 65 jobs and increasing that number to 130 within two years.


The starting pay is expected to be $10 an hour.


"We hired our first employee yesterday," Harris said with a smile.


Golden Boy will soon start operations in a vacant building in the Troy Industrial Park, a much-needed boost to the local economy.


The Troy plant will be the company's second U.S. plant and even though Golden Boy has yet to make its first jar of peanut butter, there's already talk of expanding, spreading the wealth a little more down the road.


State economic leaders have spent the last 4 days announcing new jobs in Alabama, most of them for now are in central Alabama. That's a fact not lost on those who work to find jobs for the state.


Golden Boy Foods says it makes and supplies peanut butter to 20 of the top 30 retailers in the country.










Going places: Exports of Alabama-built vehicles up 28%


From the bustling population centers of the Far East to the laid-back tropical locales of the Caribbean, Alabama-built vehicles are on the road.


SUVs, sedans, minivans and other rides produced in the state's three auto assembly plants also are popping up across the arid climates of Middle Eastern nations, as well as countries surrounding the South American rainforests.


Alabama's automakers -- Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai -- export their products to far-flung spots around the globe, and those numbers are rebounding in 2011 amid an overall industry recovery.


The value of vehicles exported from the state this year totaled $1.4 billion through April, a 28 percent improvement over last year, according to the latest data from the Alabama Development Office.







Birmingham News  







Bessemer, Alabama, emerges as economic powerhouse in Birmingham metro area


BESSEMER, Alabama --- A decade ago, Bessemer was labeled a city in an inescapable spiral of decline. Now it's emerged as the metro area's economic development powerhouse.


If you keep score of new investment and job creation, Bessemer has been a clear winner lately. Consider:


*Dollar General is building a $100 million distribution center that will have 650 jobs in Bessemer.


*Bermco Aluminum aims to expand its operations in Bessemer, adding a new smelter and 75 jobs as part of an $8 million project.


*Amsted Rail Griffin Wheel held a job fair in Bessemer on Thursday to fill up to 150 positions at plant just outside the city limits. It's a $45 million project.


*Bessemer borders the $97 million railroad transportation hub being built by Norfolk Southern and is expected to be a major beneficiary of its 230 jobs and its ripple effects.







Birmingham News 







FEMA Urges Tornado Survivors to Complete SBA Appliciations


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- There's two weeks left for Alabama residents to register for Federal Emergency Management Administration assistance and apply for small business loans. To help ease the process, the federal government has organized workshops in several commmunities.

Tornado survivors, who haven't yet registered with the federal agency, the deadline is July 18. FEMA officials say there are important documents that applicants must fill out, as well.

"Now that deadline is not just from FEMA registration. It's for our Small Business Administration application deadline as well," FEMA official, Steve Cooper said.

The federal government sent thousands of SBA applications to storm victims. However, FEMA says many people haven't returned the forms for various reasons; thinking they don't want or need a loan, or may not qualify for one. However, FEMA says not completing the application, could hurt people, in the end.

"By not filling it out you may cut off your process right there," Cooper said.

FEMA employees say continuing with the federal process, benefits people.

"If SBA finds you don't qualify for a loan they'll refer you back to FEMA for possible grant assistance," Cooper said.

FEMA says they can answer any questions or concerns regarding the SBA application process.

"Make sure you're registered if you have damages and just know that we're going to be here until the mission is complete, "Cooper said. 


NBC 13



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Wendy Wallace Johnson
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