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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
Alabama Economic Development Alliance to launch Sept. road show - Birmingham News
Three Huntsville businesses make Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list - Huntsville Times
Northrop Grumman to produce Viper Strike missiles for Marines - Huntsville Times
Tim Cook, Steve Jobs' successor at Apple, has Alabama roots, Auburn spirit - Press Register
BAE Systems in Huntsville wins $450 million contract for next Army combat vehicle - Huntsville Times
6 Mobile firms make list of fast-growing businesses - Press Register
Birmingham Business Alliance hires technology and innovation expert - Birmingham News
Advisory council for maritime training center named - Press Register
International Shipholding inks contract with Defense Department - Press Register
Phase II of Robotics Park now open - Athens News Courier
Richard Pizitz Featured at 30th Annual Retail Day - EVENT

Alabama Economic Development Alliance to launch Sept. road show
Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 12:48 PM     Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 1:08 PM

The Alabama Economic Development Alliance is planning several road trips in September seeking input into "Accelerate Alabama," a new strategic economic development plan being developed for the state.


The Alliance, which Gov. Robert Bentley created through an executive order in July, brings various agencies, businesses and organizations together that are currently involved in economic development in the state.


The Alliance has hired Boyette Strategic Advisors, an economic development consulting firm, to develop Accelerate Alabama that will guide the state's economic development initiatives for the next five years.


"The Accelerate Alabama plan will allow us to more effectively use our job creation and work force development assets. It is of great importance because economic development efforts impact every Alabamian," Seth Hammett, chairman of the Alliance, said in a statement.


The plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will identify targeted business sectors for the state along with strategic recommendations designed to position Alabama for economic development success based on its key assets for business and industry.


Towards that end, the Alliance and Boyette Strategic Advisors are seeking input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders through a series of "visioning sessions" across the state. The schedule includes stops in:

  • Anniston on Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon; Anniston City Meeting Center, 1615 Noble Street.
  • Birmingham on Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon; Federal Reserve Bank, 524 Liberty Parkway.
  • Demoplis on Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon; Demopolis Civic Center, 501 North Commissioners Avenue.
  • Mobile on Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon; Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, 451 Government Street.
  • Dothan on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon; Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, 102 Jamestown Boulevard.
  • Huntsville on Sept. 26 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, 225 Church Street.
  • Montgomery on Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon; Small Business Resource Center, 600 South Court Street.

During these meetings, Boyette Strategic Advisors will give participants an opportunity to share their thoughts and vision for the future of economic development in Alabama and their perspectives on a variety of issues impacting preparation of Accelerate Alabama.


"I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in the economic future of Alabama to attend at least one visioning session," said Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Development Office. "This plan will ensure ADO remains competitive and we want input from everyone."


ADO is part of the Alliance along with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the state's four-year colleges, the Alabama Community College System, local economic developers, and a group of businesses and organizations known as the Alabama Marketing Allies.


"Foremost, we want this process to be inclusive," said Bill Taylor, chief executive of EDPA. "The citizens of Alabama have great ideas and we want to incorporate them into the Accelerate Alabama plan."



 Birmingham News 



Three Huntsville businesses make Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list;
Connected Logistics ranks 10th
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 6:37 PM     Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 6:52 AM


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- A trio of Huntsville companies are among the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country, according to the most recent edition of Inc. magazine.


Connected Logistics is ranked 10th, Davis Strategic Innovations came in at 301 and LocoX was 473rd on the 2011 Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list. Iron Door Co. of Alabaster was the only other state company on the list at No. 157.


Connected Logistics is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that specializes in IT requirements, design, certification and implementation for the Department of Defense.


Davis Strategic Innovations provides expertise in engineering, weapons of mass destruction and bioterrorism issues, agrosecurity, combatant command support, design and execution of exercises and wargames, and training to government customers in aerospace, defense and homeland security.


LocoX.com is an online retailer of motocross, sport bike and active lifestyle accessories and apparel.

To reach the Top 10, Connected Logistics achieved a three-year growth rate of 10,112%, was the top growth firm in Alabama, and the number two Government Services growth firm for the year.


"It was quite surprising," said Forrest Burke, CEO of Connected Logistics. "This was due to a lot of hard work by an amazing crew of folks."



 Huntsville Times 



Northrop Grumman to produce Viper Strike missiles for Marines
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 6:25 PM     Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 6:51 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to produce additional Viper Strike missiles for the Marines' Harvest Hawk aircraft as well as the KC-130J refueling and cargo aircraft.

Under the terms of the contract, Northrop will deliver the missiles this year to the Joint Attack Munition Systems Project Office within the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space at Redstone Arsenal. The Viper Strikes are produced at Northrop's facility in Huntsville. The company did not release the value of the contract nor the number of missiles it will deliver.


The Viper Strikes on Harvest Hawk have updated software to enhance their effectiveness against moving targets. During flight testing at China Lake, Calif., the missiles scored multiple hits against moving vehicles in a variety of scenarios.


The Viper Strike is a 3-foot long, unpowered glider. It can be launched from long distances using GPS-aided navigation and a laser seeker.


Its size, precision and high agility help reduce casualties to nearby civilians but it's still suitable for urban warfare.

The laser guidance also enables the missile to hit vehicles - moving or stationary - and small targets, Northrop said.


 Huntsville Times 




Tim Cook, Steve Jobs' successor at Apple, has Alabama roots, Auburn spirit
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 6:18 PM     Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:56 PM
By Jeff Amy, Press-Register Press-Register


MOBILE, Alabama -- Robertsdale native Tim Cook was named to replace iconic Apple CEO Steve Jobs after Jobs' abrupt resignation on Wednesday.


Cook, a 1978 graduate of Robertsdale High School, will get his third stint filling Jobs' sizable shoes.


Cook spent 2 months as CEO of the Cupertino, California, company when cancer surgery forced Jobs to step aside for 2 months. He also filled in another 6 months in 2009 when Jobs' health again became an issue.


Cook has been chief operating officer since 2005. 


Donald and Geraldine Cook, Cook's parents, still live in Robertsdale. Donald Cook declined comment when contacted by the Press-Register on Wednesday night.


Cook, never married, also has 2 brothers, Mike and Gerald Cook.


Cook was salutatorian of Robertsdale High School in 1978 and was voted "most studious" in grades 7 through 12, according to the 1978 yearbook, which Cook worked on. He was also a band member and represented Robertsdale at Boys State, an American Legion program.


He went on to Auburn University, graduating with a degree in industrial engineering in 1982. Cook has remained a big Auburn football fan and has supported the school, university officials have said. 


 Press Register 




BAE Systems in Huntsville wins $450 million contract for next Army combat vehicle
 Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 5:29 PM     Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 8:51 AM
  HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- BAE Systems' and Northrop Grumman's operations in Huntsville are part of a nearly half-billion dollar contract to design the next Army combat vehicle.

BAE is the prime contractor of a team was awarded a $450 million contract to participate in the technology development phase of the Army's Ground Combat Vehicle program. The team includes Northrop, along with QinetiQ, iRobot, MTU and Saft.


Another group, led by General Dynamics, won a $440 million contract, also for the technology development phase.

The technology development phase is a 24-month program leading toward building a prototype in the engineering and manufacturing development phase.


The contracts are fixed-price-incentive fee, designed so that companies absorb cost overruns above a negotiated ceiling.

"Advancing to this next phase in the competition brings us one step closer to fielding a vehicle for our soldiers that is affordable, provides for maximum force protection and is built to accommodate future technological enhancements," said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. "We appreciate being selected by the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense to mature our GCV solution, a critical capability required to modernize our Army and provide soldiers with a decisive edge against any adversary.


 Huntsville Times 




6 Mobile firms make list of fast-growing businesses
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 5:07 PM     Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 5:15 PM


MOBILE, Ala. -- Six Mobile companies were named to this year's Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest growing private companies in America.


Inc. magazine puts together the list based on three-year revenue growth. Every company in this year's list had to be making at least $100,000 in revenue in 2007, and have made at least $2 million in 2010.


Companies have to be based in America and be independent, as opposed to divisions or subsidiaries of different companies.


The Mobile companies on the list are:

--Aaron Oil Co., which took in $46.2 million in revenue in 2010 and grew 67 percent since 2007. The company, which employs 116, recycles used oil and performs environmental remediation services.

--Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, which took in $38.3 million in 2010 and grew 68 percent since 2007. The engineering firm employs 374 people.


 Press Register 




Birmingham Business Alliance hires technology and innovation expert
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 2:46 PM     Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 2:53 PM
By The Birmingham News The Birmingham News

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Birmingham Business Alliance has hired a technology commercialization expert to focus on recruiting and retaining technology-based businesses in Alabama's largest metro area. 

"This is an exciting time for the BBA and the Birmingham region," BBA chief Brian Hilson said in a statement. "Steven will be Alabama's first economic development professional solely dedicated to innovation and technology. Plans are already under way to partner with major universities in the area to put the spotlight on innovative research and product development being conducted in the region."


At the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, Ceulemans managed technology-based economic development and technical assistance programs aimed at commercializing biotechnology efforts.



 Birmingham News 




Advisory council for maritime training center named
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:45 AM     Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:47 AM

 MOBILE, Ala. -- Alabama Industrial Development Training named nine people to an advisory council for the recently opened Maritime Training Center on the Causeway.

The council is supposed to help the center set its training and program content.


Council members include:

--Julia Bryant, principal at North Baldwin Center for Technology.

--John Coll, production manager at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama.

--Mickey Cook, president of C&G Boat Works.

--Patty Hughston, dean of workforce development and technology at Faulkner State Community College.

--Rickey Johnson, director of training and testing at Signal International Inc.

--Jim Kellen, workforce development director at Bishop State Community College.

--Larry Mouton, director of workforce development for Mobile County Public Schools.

--Mike Nelson, electrical instructor at Austal USA.

--Travis Short, president of Horizon Ship Building.

Short will chair the group with Cook as vice-chairman. 


 Press Register 




International Shipholding inks contract with Defense Department
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:38 AM     Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:45 AM


MOBILE, Ala. -- International Shipholding Corp. announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Waterman Steamship Corp., was awarded a $10 million, one-year time charter contract with the Military Sealift Command.

The command, which operates civilian vessels to resupply Navy ships, has three one-year options and one 11-month option on the contract. If the command executes all the options, the total value of the contract will be $50 million, according to International Shipholding.

The new $10 million contract represents about 3.5 percent of International Shipholding's total revenue in 2010.

The company also announced that it will buy an 11-year-old multi-purpose vessel, to be named Green Wave, to service the command contract. The company did not say how much it paid for the ship, but said it would fund the purchase with available cash and by arranging permanent financing.

International Shipholding owns a fleet of about 40 vessels that it rents. It tries to have a diverse array of lease agreements -- some lasting years, some just weeks -- to protect against volatile swings in the shipping industry.

The company employs about 115 people in Mobile and is one of the few publicly traded companies headquartered here. 


 Press Register 





Phase II of Robotics Park now open

The News Courier The News Courier Thu Aug 25, 2011, 02:00 AM CDT

- The second phase of a one-of-a-kind technology facility opened Wednesday on the campus of Calhoun Community College in Limestone County. 


The Advanced Technology Research and Development Center is part of the three-phase Alabama Robotics Technology Park. Part I, the 52,000-square-foot Robotic Maintenance Training Center, opened last November. Currently, short-term, non-credit training classes are being taught in the facility by instructors from Alabama Industrial Development Training. Credit courses for students from Calhoun are scheduled to be taught there soon. 

Gov. Robert Bentley cut the ribbon Wednesday at the newest center. He was accompanied by officials from Calhoun Community College, AIDT, the Alabama state Board of Education and the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. Attending were: Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur; Postsecondary Chancellor Freida Hill; Dr. Charles Elliott and Mary Scott Hunter, members of the Alabama state Board of Education; members of the center's executive board; Calhoun College President Marilyn Beck; AIDT Executive Director Ed Castile; and elected officials and business leaders from across the region.

The RTP's second phase is a 35,000-square-foot, $8.3 million building featuring a test facility for companies currently in the robotics manufacturing industry. The building will be used for the research, development and testing of leading edge robotics used for military projects, space exploration, and other applications. The center will have appropriate infrastructure to support these activities with substantial outdoor areas for testing in a variety of environments.



 Athens News Courier 






Richard Pizitz Featured at 30th Annual Retail Day


Richard Pizitz, Sr. will be the keynote speaker for the 30th Annual Retail Day in Alabama set for September 22 at The Club in Birmingham.


Richard, whose grandfather Louis Pizitz founded Pizitz Dry Goods Company in 1899, is the present day patriarch of the Pizitz retail family. The Pizitz Management Group currently operates 40 retail enterprises throughout six southeastern states. Richard will offer an experienced executive's view of the past and future of retailing.


Also featured will be Tracy Tuten, Ph.D., author of Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World. Tracy, a marketing professor who teaches advertising at East Carolina University, will conduct a workshop on how social media campaigns that are being integrated into modern marketing communications are transforming buyer-seller relationships. Her research in social media focuses on brand engagement online, using game advertising, alternate reality games, and virtual worlds. Frequently quoted in the press, including in the New York Times, Brandweek, the International Herald Tribune, and the Washington Post, she is a leading contributor to industry views on leveraging the Internet for branding.


Retail Day is co-sponsored by the UAB School of Business, the Alabama Retail Association and Firestone Complete Auto care.


A highlight of the event will be the ARA's presentation of its 2011 Retailer of the Year and Centennial Retailer awards.


For more information, contact Cassandra Walker at 205 934 8840 or walkerc@uab.edu.

RSVP by September 15, 2011.



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