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Greetings!

 

Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner

 

in this issue:
Honda to boost North American manufacturing - Birmingham News
Global Special Effects of Lexington, Alabama: A great American business story full of snow - Huntsville Times
Alabama governor awards $1 million in grants to create jobs in tornado-ravaged Marion County - AP

 

 


 

 

Report: Honda to boost North American manufacturing

Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 9:00 AM     Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 9:02 AM

 By Martin Swant --- The Birmingham News The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Honda Motor Co. plans to increase its auto manufacturing in North America by as much as 40 percent over the next two years and also increase exports, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The move is an effort to offset the cost to the company caused by the rising value of Japan's currency against the U.S. dollar and the setbacks of natural disasters in 2011.

Last month, Honda announced it would increase production at the Lincoln plant to 340,000 from 300,000.
Other plants the company has around the continent include U.S. plants in Indiana and Ohio, with another two in Mexico and one in Canada. Less than 20 percent of Honda's workforce is in North America, the Wall Street Journal said.

  

more...

 

 


 

Global Special Effects of Lexington, Alabama: A great American business story full of snow Published: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 7:54 AM 
 

Francisco Guerra has turned snow from northwest Alabama into a fortune.

"It's a great story, a great American story," he announces in his company's 45,000-square-foot building on Lauderdale County 71.

 

He's not kidding.

 

How many people anywhere, much less from North Alabama, have business associations ranging from Justin Bieber and Jack Daniel's to J.K. Rowling and the family of Walt Disney?

 

It's the story of how Guerra, the president of Global Special Effects, has turned fake snow into a worldwide operation that is expected to generate revenue of about $10 million this year.

 

He projects about $20 million in revenue in 2012.

 

"This is the world headquarters," he says. "We're in 23 countries."

 

Among the countries are Lebanon, Russia, China and South Africa.

 

"We help the film industries" there, he said. "For instance, when China started a film industry, I'm the effects guy. They came here and asked me to go over there."

 

Making snow and other special effects has afforded him something of a luxurious lifestyle, certainly for someone who works in a one-caution-light town.

 

"The big claim was the Harry Potter ride," he says. "We designed the effects."

 

That's the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando.

 

"The writer, J.K. Rowling, comes in and says, 'Fantastic, you're bloody brilliant,' " he says. "This was in Universal in Orlando. To spend time with her and the family of Walt Disney was amazing. She had to approve everything."

  

more...

Huntsville Times

  

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Alabama governor awards $1 million in grants to create jobs in tornado-ravaged Marion County
Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 6:50 AM     Updated:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 6:56 AM

 

 
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded more than $1 million in grants to help create and preserve jobs in tornado-ravaged Marion County.

 

Bentley said Tuesday much of the Community Development Block Grant money will go to the town of Hackleburg, where an April 27 tornado destroyed the town's largest employer, a distribution center for Wrangler jeans.

The tornado was one of a number of storms that hit across the state that day, killing about 250 people.

Bentley awarded $750,000 for the rebuilding of the Wrangler Distribution Center. He awarded $191,240 to the city of Hamilton and $117,956 to the city of Winfield.

The funds will be used in Hackleburg to repair two tornado-damaged water tanks and to install new water lines to provide fire protection for the Wrangler plant.

 

   

more...

AP

 





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