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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:
Austal USA, Daikin America and Cascades Sonoco among state manufacturing award winners
University of Alabama in Huntsville's John Horack is new face of Teledyne Brown's space venture
Finding money to keep Army airplane programs aloft a theme at fixed-wing forum in Huntsville
Port of Mobile officials say $12 million allows rail yard site work soon to be underway




Alabama in top 10 of states most vulnerable to Europe's debt crisis, report says

Published: Friday, June 22, 2012, 10:10 AM Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012, 10:11 AM

By Martin Swant --- The Birmingham NewsThe Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Alabama is one of 10 U.S. states most affected by the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, according to a new report.
The study, released this week by The Milken Institute says Alabama ranks eighth in terms of how much of its gross domestic product is reliant on exports to European countries.

About 26 percent of Alabama's exports go to European countries, according to the report, which accounts for 2.68 percent of the state's total GDP. While European exports aren't as much as they were a few decades ago, some states could still be hurt by an economic slowdown across the Atlantic.

"However, while at the national level the contagion effects of a EU recession on U.S. exports appear relatively mild, the impact on some states doesn't appear as rosy," Armen Bedroussia, an economist at The Milken Institute, writes in the report. "Chemicals, transportation equipment, computers and electronic products make up the largest component of U.S. sales to the EU. It is no surprise that states whose exports constitute a large share of these products are likely to be most affected by the EU crisis."

Business Insider has a slideshow of the top 10 and points out Alabama's coal and auto products as key exports whose revenue could be hurt.





Gov. Bentley to attend Nufab Rebar groundbreaking in St. Clair County

Published: Friday, June 22, 2012, 8:18 AM Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012, 8:19 AM

 By Martin Swant --- The Birmingham NewsThe Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Gov. Robert Bentley will join state and local leaders this morning for the groundbreaking of a new Nufab Rebar manufacturuing facility in Riverside. The $7-million facility will employ dozens of people in the St. Clair County city.
The company manufactures concrete reinforcing steel and other related products. Bentley and other officials will discuss the project at the groundbreaking. The event, located at 11365 U.S. 78 in Riverside, begins today at 11am.

St. Clair County Economic Development Council in April voted to approve 10 years of local and state non-educational property tax abatement for Nufab Rebar's project.

Officials said the project itself was also announced in April. According to The Daily Home, officials expect the plant will hire 50 employees within three years and grow to 80 employees within five years. If that happens, the facility will become Riverside's largest employer.








Dynetics plans for test facility in Jackson County called 'absolute honor'

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 5:51 PM


By Budd McLaughlin, The Huntsville TimesThe Huntsville Times


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Dynetics' plans for a test facility in Jackson County shouldn't be cause for concern by residents, company and county officials say.

In fact, they say, it is a chance for Jackson County to support the military and show its patriotism.

"This is a huge deal for Jackson County," said Rick Roden, president/CEO of the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. "To me, it's an absolute honor for us to play a small part and to show our support for the warfighter."

The Huntsville-based company said it is looking at a site in the Larkinsville area in rural Jackson County to perform testing services. Dynetics provides propulsion and munitions' testing for government and commercial customers, as well as products and services in the areas of intelligence, missiles, aviation, cyber and space.

"We've participated in propulsion systems and munitions testing for large systems in such places as Eglin Air Force Base and other large government ranges," said CEO Dr. Marc Bendickson. "The site we are looking at in Jackson County would be for small testing. The amount of explosive charge would be 200 times smaller than the typical charge used in a rock quarry."

Dynetics, an employee-owned company founded in Huntsville in 1974, is committed to economic growth in North Alabama, and the growth into Jackson County will help facilitate that, Bendickson said.

"This is a great company and they do things the right way," said Dus Rogers, the president/CEO of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority. "It's scientific research right here in Jackson County.




Huntsville Times





Mercedes to unveil new GL-Class SUV at Alabama plant

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 10:39 AM Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 11:39 AM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Mercedes-Benz will formally kick off production of the redesigned 2013 GL-Class at its Alabama factory next week.

The "Job 1" celebration, which marks completion of the first customer-ready edition of the updated luxury full-size SUV, will be held June 28. Executives from Mercedes' home base in Germany are expected to attend the event at the Tuscaloosa County plant.

Planning for the second-generation GL-Class began more than three years ago. The new design, which debuted at the New York International Auto Show earlier this year, is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, with a number of new features.

The 2013 GL goes on sale in September. Pricing has not been announced, but the 2012 models start at $62,445.


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