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.
Austal USA, Daikin America and Cascades Sonoco among state manufacturing award winners
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 1:00 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Shipbuilder Austal USA, chemical firm Daikin America Inc. and packaging supplier Cascades Sonoco were announced today as the winners of the 2012 Manufacturer of the Year Awards at a luncheon in Montgomery.
Austal USA, the world's largest builder of high-speed aluminum ships and a supplier to the U.S. Navy, employs more than 2,800 people at its waterfront facility in Mobile. The company was named the winner in the large manufacturer category.
The winner among medium manufacturers, Daikin America Inc., employs 350 people at its Decatur plant, which produces a wide variety of chemical products.
Birmingham's Cascades Sonoco, a supplier of paper mill roll packaging products, has 65 employees. The company won the award in the small manufacturer category.
Other award winners recognized at today's luncheon included:
Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, winner of the Governor Bob Riley Building a Better Alabama Award.
Rheem Manufacturing of Montgomery, 2012 Partnership Award
Alabama Steel Supply of Birmingham, The BCA Centennial Award
Davidson High School, Mobile, Best of the BEST Award
ZF Industries, Tuscaloosa, 2012 Sustainability in Manufacturing Award
University of Alabama in Huntsville's John Horack is new face of Teledyne Brown's space venture
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 9:25 AM Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 12:49 PM
By Budd McLaughlin, The Huntsville TimesThe Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Less than a week after announcing a new venture into the commercial space market, Teledyne Brown Engineering has added a face to its emerging space branch.
Dr. John Horack is leaving his post as vice president of research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville to head Teledyne's Space Systems Division, the company announced today.
"He's kind of a triple threat," said Teledyne President Rex Geveden. "He's been great with NASA, a top official in academia and he founded a business."
Horack was director of the Science and Mission Systems Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center before joining UAH. He was also a co-founder, executive and board member of Mobular Technologies, a software technology company founded in 2000.
"We had the opportunity to get John," Geveden said, "and the timing was right."
Last week, Teledyne, which employs about 1,200 people in Huntsville, said it would design and build a system to house cameras on the International Space Station that will point toward Earth.
About a month ago, Aerojet and Teledyne unveiled Aerojet's AJ26 liquid rocket engine at Teledyne's manufacturing facility on Sparkman Drive. In 2011, the two companies announced a partnership to manufacture rocket engines in Huntsville.
Finding money to keep Army airplane programs aloft a theme at fixed-wing forum in Huntsville
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 4:00 PM
By Kenneth Kesner, The Huntsville TimesThe Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Helicopters are the icons of Army Aviation. But the Army also has hundreds of fixed-wing airplanes that bring things to the fight that the more complicated and expensive Apaches, Black Hawks, Chinooks and other rotary-wing aircraft can't, said Col. Brian Tachias.
Airplanes are better platforms for the longer-duration intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) flights, said Tachias, project manager for the Fixed Wing Project Office, in the Program Executive Office for Aviation on Redstone Arsenal. And using fixed-wing airplanes to move equipment and people when circumstances don't require a helicopter also frees the rotary-wings for combat and other missions.
"Flying fixed wing, it goes a little bit faster, it goes a little bit longer, saves more fuel," Tachias said today during the Army Aviation Association of America's Fixed Wing Professional Forum at the Von Braun Center. "There is some cost savings by using Army fixed-wing versus rotary-wing aircraft."
With some big reductions in defense spending already planned and the threat of "sequestration" and billions more in across-the-board cuts next January if Congress doesn't act, "cost" is an underlying theme for the three-day forum, which ends Thursday. More than 400 attendees will hear Army managers provide updates on their fixed-wing programs, efforts to modernize aging aircraft with improved avionics and equipment, the growing use of unmanned systems, and more
Port of Mobile officials say $12 million allows rail yard site work soon to be underway
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 2:02 PM Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 2:12 PM
MOBILE, Alabama -- Alabama State Port Authority Chief Executive Jimmy Lyons said a $12 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation has accelerated plans for the start of the Garrows Bend Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, a project that, when finished, will directly connect containerized imports and exports from the Port of Mobile to major railroad lines across the United States.
Lyons said the grant will allow the port authority to begin site stabilization tests in the next few weeks, but it still needs to generate $14 million to $16 million from other sources to finish out the budget for the project.
"This is the fourth time we've applied for a grant," Lyons said. "We're pleased to see that DOT values the ports and the importance of utilizing intermodal to take some of the stress off U.S. highways. From an engineering stand point, we're well ahead of the game."
It was announced today that DOT had approved the grant for Phase 1 of the rail project, expected to create 322 direct jobs in logistics, handling, trucking and rail work.
The project will reduce the cost of imported goods, boost United States exports and foster economic growth across the nation, according to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, who helped secure the grant.
"The Port of Mobile has unlimited potential to facilitate commerce, thereby generating economic growth and creating jobs in Alabama and across the country," Shelby said in a statement. "Expanding and enhancing Mobile's containerized shipping footprint is a critical step in raising the port's profile and importance in the global economy."
Shelby said he and the rest of the Alabama Congressional delegation had requested $14.4 million for the project.
TIGER grants are discretionary awards made by the U.S. Department of Transportation to state and local governments and transportation agencies for national infrastructure investments.
The rail project is expected to cost $31 million total, including site stabilization, a rail bridge, laying down tracks and paving. Phase 1 of the project will represents about 50 percent of the full build-out.
Contract: Alfab, $96.5M
Alfab, Inc., Enterprise, Ala., was awarded a contract with a maximum $96,507,000 for pallets and matting. Using services are Air Force and Army. The date of performance completion is June 19, 2017. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 06/19/12)
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