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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:
Bentley signs executive order merging AIDT with Alabama Dept. of Commerce
Six banks with major Birmingham operations on list of largest in nation
BAE Systems starts hopper dredge project in partnership with IHC Merwede
Children's, UAB hospitals make U.S. News national rankings
Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association Quarterly Conference
28th Annual Intensive Economic Development Training Course



Bentley signs executive order merging AIDT with Alabama Dept. of Commerce
Published: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 10:45 AM Updated: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 10:46 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Gov. Robert Bentley signed an executive order this morning that will merge the the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) program with the state's Dept. of Commerce.
The merger is meant to unite AIDT efforts with those of the state's economic developers and recruiters at the state's commerce department. The governor's office said it hopes the realignment will increase efficiency and ultimately create new jobs and investment in Alabama. The move will also help the state achieve the goals set forth in Accelerate Alabama, a three-year economic development plan announced by the the state earlier in 2012.

"I believe Alabama has the best workforce in the country, and part of the reason for that is the dedicated training of AIDT," Bentley said in a statement announcing the executive order. "Throughout the state, we have many success stories of how AIDT has trained and equipped people for success. The work of the AIDT has had a lasting, positive impact on the success of employers around Alabama, and it will continue to help train workers and benefit companies in the years to come."

Since 1971, AIDT has worked to help economic developers recruit businesses and help businesses recruit and train staff. The state agency currently manages on-site training facilities at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama and ThyssenKrupp. It also manages Robotics Technology Park in North Alabama and the Maritime Training Center in South Alabama.


Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Dept. of Commerce -- which until this year was known as the Alabama Development Office -- said the move will help the agencies save money.



Birmingham News  |  Office of the Governor Press Release


Six banks with major Birmingham operations on list of largest in nation

Published: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 9:25 AM Updated: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 9:26 AM  

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Six banks with major operations in Birmingham made the SNL Financial list of the Top 50 institutions in the nation, including Regions Financial Corp., the top entrant that is based in the metro area.

Birmingham-based Regions, with 6,000 metro-area employees, ranked 16th overall, unchanged from the fourth quarter, with $125 billion of assets. The company operates about 1,700 branches in 16 states and claims a metro-area deposit share of 38 percent.

Also ranking were:
  • San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., at No. 4. The successor to Wachovia Corp. has $1.3 trillion of assets and a 13 percent deposit market share in Birmingham, good for third-place behind No. 1 Regions and No. 2 BBVA Compass.
  • Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services, at No. 9. PNC bought North Carolina's RBC Bank this year, gaining 17 branches in the metro area. PNC now ranks seventh in Birmingham, with 2.6 percent deposit share.
  • Winston-Salem-based BB&T Corp. rated 13th on the SNL Financial list, with $175 billion of assets. In Birmingham, BB&T ranks fifth in deposit share, with 3.7 percent. The company entered Birmingham in 2009 after a government-brokered takeover of bankrupt Colonial Bank.

  • BBVA U.S. Banchshares at No. 28 in assets on the SNL list, with $65 billion. The holding company is based in Houston, but the 710-branch banking subsidiary BBVA Compass is based in Birmingham, where it has a second-place deposit share of 15 percent.


  • Columbus, Ga.-based Synovus Financial Corp., at No. 40, with $27 billion in assets. The company operates First Commercial Bank in Birmingham, which has a 6 percent metro-area deposit share.

The nation's largest bank, according to SNL, is New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., with $2.3 trillion of assets. The company is embroiled in litigation with bankrupt Jefferson County, over $3.2 billion of defaulted sewer bonds arranged and sold its investment banking division. 



Birmingham News





BAE Systems starts hopper dredge project in partnership with IHC Merwede

Published: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 5:35 PM Updated: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 5:36 PM  


BAE Systems said today it began construction on the MV Magdalen, a trailing suction hopper dredge for Weeks Marine Inc.

Executives from both companies were at BAE Systems' Mobile shipyard this week as steel was cut for the vessel's first module, which will weigh 130 tons. BAE expects to complete the vessel in 2014.

At 340 feet long, it would almost be the size of a football field, endzones included. The ship will have an 8,500 cubic yard capacity.

The ship is used to gather sediments in shallow water, trailing a suction pipe while working, and then loading the sediments into one or more hoppers in the vessel to be disposed of at a different location.

For the MV Magdalen contract, BAE has added 25 employees to its 800 workers at its yard on Pinto Island and anticipates hiring an additional 125 workers by the end of the year.

"A tremendous amount of effort has led us to this point," Vic Rhoades, director and general manager at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama, said in a statement. "As a team, we will move forward together to construct and deliver the finest dredge for the U.S. dredging industry."

The vessel will be the first designed by Netherlands-based IHC Merwede to be built in the United States. Gibbs & Cox, an independent naval architecture and engineering firm, will provide engineering and production support during the construction.

BAE said in July 2011 that it would partner with IHC Merwede to build offshore oil vessels at BAE's yards in Jacksonville and Mobile. Company officials said the workforce should grow by about 400 in coming years because of the agreement.


  Children's, UAB hospitals make U.S. News national rankings
Published: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 3:42 PM Updated: Thursday, June 07, 2012, 3:48 PM
By Stan Diel -- The Birmingham NewsThe Birmingham News

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Children's of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospitals both were judged to be among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The magazine's hospital rankings will be included in its August issue, but were made available online today.

Nine of Children's specialties ranked among the top 50 in the United States, as did nine specialties at UAB. Children's ranked in the top 50 in cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, neonatology, nephrolgy, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

UAB Hospital ranked in the top 50 in gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology, rheumatology, urology and ear, nose and throat.

UAB ranked best overall among hospitals in metro Birmingham, with Brookwood Medical Center ranking second, Walker Baptist Medical Center third and Princeton Baptist Medical Center fourth. Children's hospitals were rated separately.

Mike Warren, Children's president and CEO, said the rankings will help the hospital tell its story "at a national level."

"We are proud that nine of our programs were ranked among the nation's best," he said in a prepared statement.


Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association Quarterly Conference


June 21 & 22

Embassy Suites, Montgomery

Will Include Hyundai Plant Tour


The featured speaker for the conference on Friday morning, June 22 will be Michael Robinet, managing director of the automotive practice for IHS Global Insight, which provides forecasting, analysis and other consulting. Michael has over two decades of experience in automotive forecasting, strategic analysis and manufacturing finance.


In his new role as a Managing Director in the global consulting practice, Michael will build upon his experience as a leader and innovator in global production forecasting, tracking future product programs (FPPs), analyzing sourcing and production strategies to serve OEM, supplier and government entities throughout the global industry


Prior to joining CSM Worldwide, he worked at various research companies and was schooled in finance at a major Tier 1 supplier. He has been widely quoted by worldwide print, radio and TV media on a variety of industry topics. Michael regularly presents at global OEM and supplier conferences/symposiums.


Michael holds an undergraduate degree in international and developmental economics and an MBA - both from the University of Windsor, Canada. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA). Michael is a board member of the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) as well as a participant with the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council's (CAPC) Trade and Infrastructure Committee.


AAMA is the statewide organization that works to promote the growth and continuous improvement of Alabama's automotive industry. Its membership includes all of the state's vehicle assembly plants, many component suppliers and other vendors and service providers to the industry.

more information and registration: HERE

28th Annual Intensive Economic Development Training Course



The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) at Auburn University is gearing up for its 28th annual (two-week) Intensive Economic Development Training Course.  The first week of the 2012 Intensive Course will be held on July 9-13, and the second week will be conducted September 10-14.  This course introduces participants to all phases of economic development.  Program leaders and faculty members are leading community and economic development practitioners from across the state and region.  The Intensive Course will be held at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, located at 241 South College Street in Auburn.


The course curriculum is tailored to meet the expressed education and training needs of: local, regional, and state-level economic development professionals; economic/industrial development board members; chamber of commerce executives and staff members; state and local elected officials; community leaders; county commissioners; utility company representatives; and community and regional planners.  Created in 1985, the Intensive Course has over 1,000 alumni, including most of the state's top economic development professionals.


In Week One, participants will hear from Vaughn Grisham, Greg Barker, Joe Sumners, O'Neal Smitherman, Grady Batchelor, Greg Sheek*, Jay Garner, Steve Sewell*, Euell Screws, Galen Thackston, Peggy Smith, Phillip Dunlap, Mike McCann, Brian Davis, Hilda Lockhart, Sharon Younger, Bob Robicheaux, Nathan Norris, and Colin Coyne, among others. In Week Two, participants will tour the Hyundai auto manufacturing facility in Montgomery.  Week Two faculty includes Mac Holiday, Deborah McGill, Ed Bridges, Keivan Deravi, Ellen McNair, Lee Sentell, Karen Kimbrel, Ed Castile, Tommy Bice, Bill Taylor*, Seth Hammett, Ken Novak, Warren McCullars, and Horace Horn, among many others.


 Registration and more information: HERE


* listed EDPA presenters


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Enjoy the day, 

Wendy Wallace Johnson
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