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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:
Newman Technologies To Locate New Plant in Albertville
Birmingham needs help with workforce development, analysis says
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signs film project incentives legislation
University of Alabama in Huntsville team develops patent search engine
Roberts leaving CCEDC
Plan targets 'small hires'
Yutaka celebrates 5th year manufacturing in Cullman


  Newman Technologies To Locate New Plant in Albertville

The City of Albertville and Marshall County welcomed Newman Technology to the Albertville Industrial Park today. The new plant, a supplier to the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama plant in Lincoln, initially will employ 60 people and begin production in early 2013.

Newman, which manufactures door sashes and exhaust components for Honda, Acura and Subaru, has plans for continued expansion of the facility and the labor force. This will be the company's first plant in Alabama.

Governor Robert Bentley thanked the company for its confidence in the state's business climate and said he was glad that the State of Alabama played a role in attracting the company.

"It was a tremendous effort by both our state and local partners working together to bring a company here that will continue to lower the unemployment rate of the area and provide good jobs," Governor Bentley said.

"We are pleased that Newman Technology will become the newest corporate citizen in Alabama's thriving automotive supplier base as well as our newest international partner," said Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. "We are proud to be this company's partner and promise to help encourage its future growth and prosperity here. Welcome to Alabama."



Dept. of Commerce release




Birmingham needs help with workforce development, analysis says

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9:30 AM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Birmingham Business Alliance officials rolled out an analysis Friday that showed the area's economy is moving along at a good clip but needs work in some key areas to keep pace with 11 peer cities.

The analysis -- displayed in the form of dashboard graphics -- was meant to show how Alabama's largest metro area compares to the other cities in key aspects of the BBA's Blueprint Birmingham, the five-year growth plan unveiled in September 2010.

The dashboard measurements were discussed Friday at the first-ever Blueprint Birmingham Summit at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center.

The results: Birmingham is performing better than most of the peer cities on the economic prosperity track, is just ahead of the middle of the pack on the community and regional stewardship and public and private leadership tracks and lagging towards the back of the pack on the workforce development track.

Those are the four key goal areas of the Blueprint plan.

"Good communities make great plans but great communities achieve results," BBA Chief Executive Brian Hilson told a crowd of 300 at the summit.

For each dashboard tied to a Blueprint goal, a low score of 85 and a high of 115 was possible, with 100 representing the national average. Each had its own set of criteria based on growth.

Birmingham was compared against 11 other cities -- three from Alabama (Mobile, Montgomery and Huntsville), three other cities with their own Blueprint (Austin, Oklahoma City and Louisville) and five Southeastern competitors (Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.).



Birmingham News



Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signs film project incentives legislation
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012, 3:50 PM Updated: Friday, April 20, 2012, 4:51 PM


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Film productions companies working in Alabama will be eligible for more money under new legislation signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley on Thursday.
The bill, HB243, would allow for production companies to receive incentives on up to $20 million in investment from the current $10 million cap. Those incentives provide rebates of 25 percent of expenditures and 35 percent of the payroll of Alabama residents hired. It would leave the $500,000 project minimum intact.

The new law also increases the total funds that can be rebated to qualified productions each year. In 2013 and 2014, the current $10 million total will increase to $15 million. In 2015 and subsequent years the total will be $20 million.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur.

"This law demonstrates Alabama is open for business when it comes to competing for movie and TV productions, and our state will benefit from the investments these projects bring with them," Collins said in a statement.


Birmingham News




University of Alabama in Huntsville team develops patent search engine
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012, 8:45 AM Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012, 8:54 AM


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Just like a lot of great discoveries, a new Internet-based search tool was the result of work on another project.

And that new tool resulted in a $24,000 payday for a local company from the Alabama Launchpad Business Plan Competition.

Well, $24,620 to be exact.

"We were looking at something else" searching for patent information, said Tony Rainoldi of Arch Data Intelligence. "We were having trouble with some issues and talked to attorneys and asked what they do for patent searches."

Then, Rainoldi, who has a master's in electrical engineering from UAH, teamed with Jason Martin and Brad Chassee, who all also have engineering masters from UAH to find a better patent search engine.

"All the sites had their own issues," Rainoldi said. "So we said 'let's put something together.' "

They launched it last October and are "rockin' 'n rollin' now."

The search engine - found at www.archpatent.com - enables users to "intelligently' sift through the millions of patent filings to find relevant information, he said.



Huntsville Times


Roberts leaving CCEDC

Published 12:25am Saturday, April 21, 2012 


Covington County economic Development Commission president and CEO Tucson Roberts confirmed Friday that he will leave the post at the end of this month.


Roberts, who has held the job for the past 10 years, is resigning to become assistant to the president and dean for aviation and workforce at Enterprise State Community College's Alabama Aviation Center, which has instructional sites in Ozark, Ft. Rucker, Mobile, Albertville and Andalusia.

Roberts said his new mission is to promote and develop the Aviation Centers, serve existing industries, assist economic developers to recruit aviation industries and ensure that they have an adequately-trained workforce.

"For those of you involved in recruiting or supporting aviation in your communities, we are now partners," he said.

Roberts said that Covington County is a very special place and the decision to leave was difficult.

"However, the position at the Aviation Center is a very special opportunity," he said. "The ESCC Alabama Aviation Center is the statewide, FAA certified, aviation training facility with campuses in Andalusia, Albertville, Decatur, Ozark and Mobile. Its graduates enter high-wage, high-demand jobs."







Plan targets 'small hires'

By Bernie Delinski  Staff Writer

The Shoals Industrial Development Committee doles out incentives to companies that provide lots of jobs.

The Shoals Economic Development Authority wants to make sure local manufacturing industries also are rewarded for small hires.

SEDA is proposing a program that offers cash incentives for manufacturers that add one to five employees. The program gives a company $1,500 per employee.

"We want existing industries to know if they're small, SEDA is just as interested in them," SEDA board member Marty Abroms said. "The backbone of our country is small employers."

The SEDA board unanimously agreed this month to present the plan to the industrial development committee. The committee, which includes elected leaders from the Shoals, distributes money obtained from a half-cent sales tax increase that was approved in 2007 for Colbert and Lauderdale counties.

The money must go toward job creation.

SEDA's proposal is for the committee to dedicate $75,000 a year toward incentives for small hires.

At $1,500 each, that would provide incentives for 50 jobs.





Times Daily





Yutaka celebrates 5th year manufacturing in Cullman Last phase of expansion goes on line in 2013

By Benjamin BullardThe Cullman TimesThe Cullman TimesSat Apr 21, 2012, 02:00 PM CDT

CULLMAN - Local officials, company representatives and employees gathered Friday at Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technology (ACYT) to celebrate the tier-one automotive manufacturing supplier's fifth year as an anchor tenant at Cullman Industrial Park No. 5. 

The Yutaka plant has done nothing but grow in the short time since it began manufacturing automobile exhaust components, torque converters and other equipment as part of a long-term partnership to provide parts to American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

In the parlance of the automotive industry, 'tier one' suppliers are those which make and directly provide parts either to major vehicle assembly companies, or their original-equipment manufacturing (OEM) counterparts. Yutaka is one such supplier.

The company, which also operates manufacturing plants in Ohio and South Carolina, moved into its Cullman location in Oct. 2007 and spent about two and-a-half years running shifts in its original 166,000 square-foot facility before announcing a series of expansions that will have expanded the plant's footprint by thirty percent and added around 100 jobs, when the last phase of expansion goes online in 2013.












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