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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:
Zilkha Biomass to make Selma plant a world's first
Government jobs account for 20% of Alabama workforce
Seafood industry tests export waters

 

Zilkha Biomass to make Selma plant a world's first
Published 12:15am Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Conservatives and some economists believe government mandates on industry, tied to protecting the environment, are job killers. While that debate still rages in the United States, government regulations in the European Union are tied to a major industrial announcement made Monday in Selma.

 

During a press conference and unveiling at the St. James Hotel, Zilkha Biomass Energy announced plans to begin manufacturing wood pellets at the plant once owned by Dixie Pellets.

 


 

 

Government jobs account for 20% of Alabama workforce

Birmingham Business Journal by Nick Bowman, Staff, Staff
Date: Monday, May 14, 2012, 3:02pm CDT - Last Modified: Monday, May 14, 2012, 3:38pm CDT

 

 

Government jobs now account for 20 percent of Alabama's nonfarm workforce of about 1.8 million, according to a new report by On Numbers.

Alabama ranked ninth for government jobs as a percentage of total jobs in the states.

In 2002, Alabama had 352,900 government employees. In 2012, that number increased to 373,900 - a nearly 6 percent increase.

Mississippi ranks fourth on the list with 247,500 jobs, or almost 23 percent of the state's workforce. That number is up from 237,900 government jobs in 2002.

Florida now has 1,090,200 government jobs that account for 15 percent of the state's workforce.

Georgia has 667,400 government jobs, accounting for 17 percent of the state's workforce.

 

 


 


 

Seafood industry tests export waters
1:38 AM, May. 15, 2012 |

 

It's been a long voyage to recovery for Alabama's seafood industry, which was battered by Hurricane Katrina and then stunted by the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Now that the industry is back on course, there could be new opportunities on the horizon.

State seafood workers predict a strong shrimp season as the problems of recent years ebb, and Alabama agriculture officials want to make sure they take advantage of every market.

"The seafood industry took a big hit with Katrina," said Brett Hall of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. "Now they've come back stronger than ever, and foreign markets - especially Europe - can offer them a great opportunity to sell product."

Those are untested waters for most state seafood businesses.

Bon Secour Fisheries in Baldwin County has been around since the 1800s and handles oysters, fish and shrimp. But it doesn't export any of its products.

"When someone asks me for a delivered price in China, I'm pretty much at a loss," said vice president Chris Nelson. "It's an area of keen interest to us, but we haven't developed the expertise. It's a tricky business."

A conference that kicks off today in Birmingham could help.

More than 100 business officials signed up to learn more about how to make headway overseas at the "Trading With the World" event. Hall said it will "take people by the hand" and teach them how to establish a presence for their product outside of the United States, while also getting them in touch with people who can help with connections or even funding.

 




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Wendy Wallace Johnson
 
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