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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:
Jobs watch: Area industries' new hiring plans and how to apply
Mobile: U.S. South Winning War For Foreign Investment
Mobile Airbus plant a 'jewel' in Gulf Coast crown
Ties That Bind: The Benefits of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment
Governor Robert Bentley headed to Europe for Fourth of July
New industry M-Tek could be running by fall





Jobs watch: Area industries' new hiring plans and how to apply
Published: Thursday, July 05, 2012, 8:00 AM
By Dawn Kent -- The Birmingham NewsThe Birmingham News


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Several companies have announced new hiring plans in the past week, including aerospace giant Airbus, which will build a 1,000-job aircraft factory in Mobile.

AIDT will provide hiring services and pre-employment training for Airbus. The agency will post vacancies for project management and related support roles during the third quarter of this year and will begin recruiting in the fourth quarter.

The application process for hourly and maintenance workers will begin next year.

For those interested in applying now, send a cover letter and resume to airbus@aidt.edu. The resume should specify the name "Airbus Alabama" and the type of role for which the applicant is best suited.

Resumes will be reviewed according to the recruiting schedule. Updates on hiring for the plant will be available at www.airbus.com and www.aidt.edu/airbus.

In addition, Honda's auto factory in Talladega County has announced plans to add more than 100 engineers, managers and other professionals in the most recent round of hiring to support the upcoming launch of the Acura MDX.

For more information, visit the careers page at www.HondaAlabama.com. The plant currently employs about 4,000 people.

Meanwhile, just across the state line in West Point, Ga., the on-site transmission supplier for Kia's Georgia auto plant, Powertech America, is adding a third shift and 143 jobs.



Birmingham News






Mobile: U.S. South Winning War For Foreign Investment


July 3, 2012

Airbus' choice of Mobile, Ala., as the site for its first-ever U.S. aircraft manufacturing plant is but the latest Southern victory in an economic war between the states: The fight to win direct economic investment from overseas, in manufacturing especially.

"For 10 years now, 39 percent of all direct foreign investment in the U.S. has gone to the South," says Michael Randle, owner, editor and publisher of Southern Business & Development, the economic development magazine of the South, based in Birmingham. "It's part of a trend you're going to see more of. If you want to sell to North America, it makes sense to make your products here."

Though an increasing number of foreign manufacturers, says Randle, want a foothold in U.S., "They don't want to throw their money around. They want a good deal." They're extremely conscious of costs, he says, and costs for lots of things--including land, infrastructure, electricity and labor-tend to be cheapest in the South. "Plus, there's the work ethic that the South is famous for."

Starting in the early 1990s, he says, Alabama made a huge commitment to winning aerospace and automotive manufacturing from Europe and Asia. After the state persuaded Mercedes-Benz to build a plant in 1993, it "knew it was on to something."










Mobile Airbus plant a 'jewel' in Gulf Coast crown

Published: Thursday, July 05, 2012, 6:48 AM

 By Michael Dumas, Press-RegisterPress-Register
MOBILE, Alabama -- The announcement of an Airbus aircraft assembly plant landing with as many as 1,000 jobs feels like vindication to many in the bay area. But for those watching the aerospace industry as a whole along the Gulf Coast, such a facility is a much-needed jewel in the crown that is the corridor between Louisiana and the panhandle of Florida.

The four states that comprise that industrial region - including Mississippi and Alabama - as a whole make up the fourth-largest aerospace manufacturing corridor in the world, according to leadership with the Aerospace Alliance, which promotes specific growth in those areas.

And having an Airbus plant that, at full capacity, is expected to assemble 40 to 50 planes a year could very well be the catalyst that moves this region up that list in the coming decades.

Neal Wade, chairman of the alliance, said that since Monday's announcement, the members of its board "all recognize this is going to elevate this region beyond anywhere we've ever been," and that becoming the third largest aerospace corridor is a "good goal" to have.

But regardless of ranking, he said the alliance believes aerospace development to be a major economic driver along the Gulf Coast.

Jason Dean, the alliance's managing director, said that the region's aerospace industries, both private and government, account for more than 300,000 jobs with an average annual wage of $64,203. All of the companies involved in those industries have a total revenue cresting $31 billion, he said. 




Press Register








Ties That Bind: The Benefits of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment


HONG KONG , June 13, 2012 - In 2010, China's newfound status as the world's second largest economy - according to The Economist - made headlines. Now, just two years later, it is poised to become the world's largest economy. Asia Society Hong Kong Center's lunchtime panel "An American Open Door? Reversing the Trend" focused on the impact of Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States. Panelists Bill Taylor, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), George Landegger, chairman of Parsons and Whittemore and Linda Yang, senior partner at Yingke law firm, discussed the significance of China's rapid economic growth and the ways in which it will contribute to the development of a mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.


Landegger believes that conflict can be averted if the potential for mutual understanding and ties through investment is realized. He emphasized the meritocratic nature of business in America and the importance of cultivating a long-term relationship between the two nations based on trust, citing George Santayana's maxim to the effect that "those who do not study the lessons of history are doomed to re-live them."


Taylor discussed the collective challenge facing all businesses - the process of globalization. He focused on the importance of openness and honesty in partnerships, stating that although cultural differences exist between countries, their underlying core values are the same.


During the discussion, Yang addressed the complexity of trust issues between countries, wondering about the ways in which Chinese companies can prepare themselves before entering into business in America. Taylor replied that the best way is to gather information on all fronts - economic, social and cultural - in order to inhabit and understand a point of view very different from one's own.


A business partnership requires more than facts and figures; the strengthening of economic ties between the U.S. and China will bring with them a greater ability to acknowledge, and adapt to, cultural differences.





Asia Society






Governor Robert Bentley headed to Europe for Fourth of July

Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 5:39 PM Updated: Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 7:08 PM

By The Associated PressThe Associated Press




MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Alabama's governor will be spending the Fourth of July in Europe.

Gov. Robert Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, said he was leaving Tuesday evening for Hamburg, Germany, where he will visit an Airbus assembly plant. She said the trip resulted from Airbus announcing Monday that it will build a $600 million assembly plant in Mobile that will employ 1,000 people.

His schedule calls for him to leave Germany on July 7 to attend the Farnborough International Air Show near London. He will be joined in England by many other state and local officials who are trying to recruit business as a result of the Airbus announcement. Bentley plans to return to Alabama on July 11










New industry M-Tek could be running by fall
by CHRIS NORWOOD The Daily Home
Jul 05, 2012 |
TALLADEGA COUNTY - The newest resident of the Coosa Valley Industrial Park, M-Tek, should be up and running by October, according to Talladega County Economic Development Authority Director Calvin Miller.

Although M-Tek is a Japanese company, its North American headquarters is in Tennessee, and they already operate one other plant in Alabama.

The company will manufacture parts for the Honda Odyssey and Pilot and for the Acura MBX out of a speculative building the EDA put up several years ago. Miller explained the building was constructed with a gravel floor because many industries, including M-Tek, require a network of pipes and trenches underneath the floor. It is much easier and less expensive to put in a gravel floor and then pour a foundation when the under floor work is done.

Getting the building ready for production is expected to cost $6.5 million. By the end of its third year, the company is expected to have 198 people on a $7 million payroll. Most jobs will begin at $14 to $15 per hour.

M-Tek and Allegiance Staffing will host a job fair July 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alabama Career Center on South Street East, next to Central Alabama Community College's Talladega campus. Available positions include production technicians, process engineers and techs, maintenance, quality techs and supervisors.





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