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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:
UAB biotech startup wins $22,000 in Alabama Launchpad competition
University of Alabama research team wins $30,000 grant
Mando America Corporation Adding Production Line at North American Headquarters
ipple effect: ACOM's impact will be widespread
Aviation program helps students fly high
Airport could handle more business, city leaders say
Export-Import Bank board member to speak at World Trade Day event in Huntsville



UAB biotech startup wins $22,000 in Alabama Launchpad competition
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 9:14 AM Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 9:14 AM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A biotechnology company from the University of Alabama at Birmingham brought home big bucks Tuesday.

Proteomic Profiling Technologies, which has developed a method to identify causes of disease by observing samples such as blood and protein, won funding totaling $22,000 from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama in a proof of concept competition Tuesday. It was one of four start-up companies associated with Alabama universities that split $100,000.

Six start-ups are competing in Alabama Launchpad, a contest sponsored by the EDPA that is meant to promote and reward high-growth, innovative startup companies from the state's research universities. Contestants are fledgling ventures in the seed or early-growth stages or businesses looking to move into a new high-growth market.

Alabama Launchpad gives early-stage companies the momentum to take an idea from concept to reality.



Birmingham News 



University of Alabama research team wins $30,000 grant
Staff report
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.Last Modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:06 p.m.

MicroGreen Technologies, a research team from the University of Alabama, won a $30,000 grant Tuesday in the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama's business plan competition in Birmingham.

It was one of four research teams from state universities to win grants. The money will help further their research with a goal of creating a new business enterprise.

MicroGreen is developing a cost-effective, environmentally sustainable agricultural crop fertilizer that delivers phosphate to plant roots through beneficial bacteria. Its product reduces the amount of phosphates needed in fertilizers, which would save farmers money.

Robert Martinez, a microbiologist who heads the team, said the researchers have isolated the bacteria, which occurs naturally in soil. The team plans to do greenhouse tests on different plants and different soils. If those tests prove satisfactory, its product could next be tested on fields in West Alabama.



Tuscaloosa News



Mando America Corporation Adding Production Line at North American Headquarters


OPELIKA, AL - April 17, 2012 - At the Opelika City Council meeting, Mayor Gary Fuller announced that Mando America Corporation (MAC), whose North American Headquarters is located in Opelika, will be expanding and adding an additional production line at the facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park. MAC is planning to invest an additional $24.3 million for equipment and building improvements to accommodate the new line. The company plans to hire an additional 30 employees to support the expansion. This new investment will bring MAC's total investment in Opelika to nearly $160 million and bring their employment level to over 600.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller expressed his appreciation for Mando's continued investment in Opelika "We are extremely honored that Mando continues to invest in Opelika and grow their business here. Mando is one of Opelika's largest employers and a valued corporate citizen in our community and we appreciate our partnership with them."

Governor Robert Bentley added his appreciation and congratulations as well, "Mando is now one of Opelika's largest manufacturing employers with more than 600 workers and is an asset to the area's economy. We will be here to assist through the Alabama Department of Commerce as they continue to grow and employ Alabama citizens."

Mando's Opelika operations continue to produce brake corner modules, brake calipers, suspension modules and steering systems to support its customer base located throughout the U.S.

Mando Corporation is one of the leading automotive parts manufacturers in the world, specializing in internationally competitive state-of-the-art chassis components and systems. Mando's extensive research and development has succeeded in becoming the first manufacturer in Korea to develop advanced products such as ABS (Anti-Lock Brake System), ESP (Electronic Stability Program), CDC (Continuous Damping Control), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and EPS (Electric Power Steering), which clearly demonstrates Mando's ability to respond to customer needs on a global basis. Headquartered in Korea, the company operates 17 production plants and 8 R&D centers in 10 countries. Mando employs over 7,500 associates worldwide.Further information about Mando is on the web at:www.mando.com.





Ripple effectConsultant: ACOM's impact will be widespread  

By: Elaine Brackin | Dothan Eagle
Published: April 19, 2012 Updated: April 19, 2012 - 10:09 AM
DOTHAN, Ala. --

In what has proven to be very difficult economic times, good news can provide a much-needed lift. This region received some good news April 11 in a presentation given by David Primm of Tripp Umbach, a research firm commissioned by the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce to study the economic impact of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, now under construction on Cowarts Road.

Before introducing Primm, Matt Park, president of the DACC, noted that Tripp Umbach, based in Pittsburgh,Pa., "is the gold standard in healthcare as far as economic studies are concerned."

Parker also said that much conversation has centered on the important role the healthcare industry plays in southeast Alabama.

"Four months ago, we released an impact study that showed the healthcare industry has a total impact of $2 billion," Parker said. "Today, the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine is a reality. We are talking about real stuff, real economic impact. Other projects can spring from this, other ancillary things. This is a historic day for the state ofAlabama. We're not talking about projects but real things that will happen."



Dothan Eagle



Aviation program helps students fly high  

Published 12:03am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

David Craft, an Opp native and U.S. Air Force retiree, took the post in January. Now, he's working to spread the message about a partnership with the airport and Enterprise-State Community College, which allows students beginning in the 10th grade, as well as adults, to take up to eight of the 18 courses needed to obtain a airframe and/or Powerplant licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

"When you talk about an A&P license from the FAA, what that means is not common knowledge," Craft said. "And when people hear about jobs at the airport, they come to my door, and I have to ask if they've ever worked on airplanes before, and I have to tell them they need that license."

And if there's one person who knows what's needed to work on aircraft, it's Craft, a retired chief master sergeant with 27 years of experience in aircraft maintenance.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for aviation maintenance technicians will grow 7-13 percent annually through 2018.

"This is a sweet deal for our kids," Craft said, speaking to members of the Andalusia Board of Education Monday. "It's also a good opportunity for the people in this community to work toward a profession where the demand is steady and the pay is good."



Andalusia Star News



Airport could handle more business, city leaders say
by Laura Camper
Apr 18, 2012 |
An unexpected plane landing at the Anniston Metropolitan Airport earlier this month may help the underused facility gain some recognition.

At least, that's the hope of city leaders.

Anniston was enjoying storm-free weather on April 10. But at the Birmingham airport, a severe thunderstorm kept a Southwest flight out of Baltimore from landing.

The plane was running low on fuel and was diverted to Anniston for refueling, said Scott Wallace, general manager for the fixed-base operator at the airport.

"Southwest has come in here several times in the past to fly JSU out to football games and such," Wallace said. "This was the first time one was diverted that was trying to get into another airport."

Wallace had about 15 minutes to call in additional employees, notify the fire department of the potential emergency and prepare for the landing. Everything went flawlessly, he said.

The pilot never declared an emergency; the unplanned Anniston landing was just a precaution, Wallace said. But the airport's smooth response under pressure may convince more pilots to use Anniston as an alternate airport, Wallace said. He noted it could even later position the Anniston facility as a feeder airport for a commercial airline.

"We want all the airlines to label us for both Birmingham and Atlanta as the alternate," Anniston City Manager Don Hoyt agreed. "Eventually people will understand, well, maybe we can start having flights out of there. That's the goal."



Anniston Star



Export-Import Bank board member to speak at World Trade Day event in Huntsville
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012, 4:27 PM Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012, 4:43 PM


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Sean Robert Mulvaney, a member of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, will speak at the World Trade Day luncheon on May 10 at the Westin Huntsville at Bridge Street Town Centre.

The North Alabama International Trade Association's 2012 Global Trade Award will be presented at the luncheon.

The Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. It assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services from many industries at no cost to taxpayers.

NAITA and the Madison County Commission are hosting the 29th annual World Trade Day event, and the Port of Huntsville is the presenting sponsor.

To register, visit www.naita.org. For more information, contact NAITA at 256-532-3505 or naita@naita.org.



Huntsville Times









Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC is holding a Pre-Bid meeting for the GD Copper USA, Inc. Precise Copper Tube Facility on MAY 3, 2012 @ 3:00 P.M. in Thomasville, AL at the Thomasville Civic Center, 559 West Front St N. Thomasville, AL 36784.


Project Description

Golden Dragon USA is a precise copper tubing production facility located on State Highway 5 in Wilcox County, near Thomasville, Alabama.

Phase 1 of the project is a 500,000 SF facility including high-bay manufacturing workshops and storage areas, central plant, nitrogen production station, loading docks, control rooms and offices. The facility is located on a 100 acre site which will include roadways, fences and gates and miscellaneous outlying structures.


The project scope includes, but is not limited to the following items:

Grading, site utilities, deep foundations, hardscape, asphalt paving, site concrete, reinforcing steel, concrete foundations, masonry, pre-engineered metal buildings, miscellaneous steel, glass & glazing, loading dock equipment, waterproofing and joint sealants, overhead doors, doors/frames/hardware, drywall, acoustical ceilings, flooring, painting and coating, finish carpentry, specialties, HVAC, plumbing, process piping, fire protection, electrical, fire alarm, audio visual.


Information regarding the bid process and how to obtain bid documents will be distributed at the pre-bid meeting.


All interested subcontractors and vendors are encouraged to attend.






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