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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:
Massive megasite, oil-spill resiliency earn Southern Baldwin honors from biz magazine
Page & Jones celebrates 120 years of shipping logistics in Mobile
New industry is coming to Talladega


 Massive megasite, oil-spill resiliency earn Southern Baldwin honors from biz magazine

Published: Monday, April 23, 2012, 5:23 PM Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 8:54 AM

Kaija WilkinsonPress-Register

BALDWIN COUNTY, Alabama -- Efforts by south Baldwin County economic development officials to market an industrial megasite and rebuild the area after the BP oil spill have resulted in the county being named in two Top 10 lists in Southern Business and Development Magazine.

The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance announced Monday that the McCallum Sweeney Consulting-certified megasite is one of 10 Southern sites most likely to land the next "Big Kahuna."

Located 45 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, the site is unusually large and has easy access to rail and water transport, as well as jobs training, the magazine said.

"Many of today's mega-size manufacturing projects require megasites of 1,000 or more acres," it said. "Certified megasites, with all due diligence complete, are rare."

The south Baldwin site boasts over 3,000 acres. It was originally considered by startup Chinese company HK Motors, but the company could not secure financing to build its green-energy powered cars.

Today, the site's getting more interest than ever, according to Robert Ingram, the alliance president and CEO. A website created for it a little over a half a year ago has generated a lot of interest from both consultants and potential clients, he said.



Press Register



Page & Jones celebrates 120 years of shipping logistics in Mobile
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012, 4:34 PM Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012, 4:36 PM

MOBILE, Alabama -- The founders of Page & Jones Inc. built a business starting in 1892 assisting ships carrying banana imports and lumber exports through the Port of Mobile.

Over the next 120 years, the company grew a customs brokerage business, survived near-bankruptcy after the Great Depression, and expanded inland to keep up with changes in shipping and freight.

Still headquartered in downtown Mobile, it now lists a diverse array of more than 1,000 clients. Those include manufacturers and suppliers of electric guitars and amplifiers, electrical transformers, giant water pipes, cars and frozen chicken -- sent around the world by both air and sea.

"We've seen a lot of changes over the last 120 years," said Page & Jones President and CEO Mike Lee Sr., whose father was one of three employees who purchased the company from the founders in the 1950s. "It's getting hard to find someone who's been around that long."

Co-founder John Jones in 1910 was issued Customs Brokers License No. 10, one of the first group of licenses issued by the federal government and the oldest license still active today, according to Lee.



Press Register




New industry is coming to Talladega
by Chris Norwood The Daily Home
Apr 24, 2012 | 744 views | 0 | 8 | |

TALLADEGA - The City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to approve tax abatements for a new industry that will be moving into the speculative building in the Coosa Valley Electrical Cooperative Industrial Park.

According to Talladega County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Calvin Miller, the company, M-Tek, will manufacture parts for the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and the Accura MBX. The plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, Miller said. Getting the building ready for production will involve a $6.5 million capital expenditure.

By the end of the third year of operation, the M-Tek facility will employ 198 people and have a $7 million payroll. Most jobs will start at $14 to $15 per hour, Miller said. He added he did not know when recruiting or interviewing would begin.

The resolution abates sales and property taxes not earmarked for education for 10 years, and non-educational construction taxes until the plant opens.

Council President Horace Patterson thanked Miller "for this very exciting piece of news. It looks like we're finally getting a piece of that economic recovery we've been hearing about."

City Manager Brian Muenger said the plant will be running by the end of the year "because it has to. So this shows one of the benefits of having a spec building."

Although M-Tek is a Japanese company, their North American operations are based in Tennessee. They operate several other facilities in the United States, including another plant in Alabama.

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