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.
Hanil USA announces Tallassee expansion
9:19 AM, Jul. 10, 2012
TALLASSEE - Hanil USA will expand its facility, a move that will add 60 new jobs to the existing Tallassee location.
It will be the third expansion for the company since coming to Tallassee Corporate Park in 2005. Hanil USA, a subsidary of TI Automotive, supplies brake, fuel and power steering tubes for vehicles at Hyundai Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery.
Tony Kwon, president of Hanil USA and the company in Korea, discussed the hospitality of Tallassee and Elmore County at the groundbreaking on Monday. His company was presented both the state flag and state seal as part of the ceremony.
"This is another example in a long line of international expansions in Alabama," said Jim Byard, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. "It shows that Alabama has a great business climate and a tremendous workforce."
During its seven-year existence, Hanil USA has invested about $23.5 million and previously expanded its facility in 2008 and 2010, rising from 30 employees to 300. Kwon said a fourth expansion is a possibility for the near future.
The current expansion calls for an investment of about $3 million and will add 35,000 square feet of space to the west side of the facility.
Fiberglass Unlimited begins expansion
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012 2:30 am
by John W. Stevenson The Randolph Leader
A groundbreaking Thursday morning on Industrial Avenue in Roanoke began a new chapter in the progress of a Roanoke business. The 20,000-sq.-ft. building being constructed by Fiberglass Unlimited will bring most of the company's operations under one roof and greatly improve manufacturing efficiency.
It also will result in the hiring of five additional employees to join the 22 already employed there. Fiberglass Unlimited's primary products are high-quality fiberglass church steeples, baptistries and cupolas that are shipped worldwide.
According to co-owner Terry Kennedy, this is the most exciting time since he joined the company in 1990. He said the company's success has resulted in their adding buildings to the existing operation as more space was needed. This resulted in inefficiencies that the new building will eliminate, he said. The new building will have a state-of-the-art dust control system and sprinkler system and will bring 90 percent of production under one roof.
[The Randolph Leader]
Beverage distributor building $16 million facility in Alabaster
Published: Monday, July 09, 2012, 11:31 AM Updated: Monday, July 09, 2012, 11:37 AM
By Dawn Kent -- The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Alabama Crown Distributing Co., a distributor of liquor, wine, beer and other beverages, is building a $16 million facility in Alabaster that will employ 70 people.
Operations are expected to begin in August at the 175,000-square-foot building at Shelby West Corporate Park, which is near the Shelby County Airport.
Alabama Crown is a part of McDonough, Ga.-based Georgia Crown Distributing Co. The company has a facility in Birmingham, and some of the jobs there are being relocated to the new facility in Alabaster, said James Dedes, executive director of the Shelby County Economic and Industrial Development Authority.
Dedes and Julian Vann, corporate vice president of operations for Georgia Crown, gave an update on the project at this morning's Shelby County Commission meeting.
[The Birmingham News]
Birmingham Business Alliance hires education director
Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 7:57 AM Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 8:00 AM
By Martin Swant --- The Birmingham News
The Birmingham Business Alliance said Monday that L. Waymond Jackson Jr. has joined the organization as director of education and workforce development.
It said Jackson will work with educators and business leaders to align educational opportunities with the workforce needs of area businesses. He will report to Marcus Lundy, the BBA's vice president of education and workforce development.
"The addition of Waymond supports the BBA's regional efforts to expand quality education and workforce options throughout the Birmingham region," BBA chief Brian Hilson said in a statement. "His knowledge of the community will help identify skills and training needed in a local workforce, and his leadership will help guide local educators to fill those gaps with local students."
[The Birmingham News]
Project Hope yields impressive results for the Gulf Coast (Turner)
Published: Monday, July 09, 2012, 6:42 PM Updated: Monday, July 09, 2012, 6:48 PM
By K.A. Turner, Press-Register
What a great code name, especially now that hope has become reality with the announcement of an Airbus final assembly line at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex.
I've had many a conversation with economic developers in Alabama and Mississippi who never gave up hope.
There aren't many places, they'd remind me, that bring together Brookley's unique attributes -- 9,000 feet of runway, plenty of available space, access to a deepwater port and railroads, all in a business-friendly environment.
Those same leaders kept selling Brookley - when prospects for aircraft assembly there were good and when they weren't.
This time last year, right after Boeing had been awarded the contract for U.S. Air Force refueling tankers that had once been destined for the Gulf Coast, economic developers headed to Europe's biggest air show, then returned with little to show for their recruitment efforts.
At the time, I asked George Freeland, executive director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation, to speculate about what might have been.
He just wouldn't go there. Instead, he talked about a region that "has been successful through its political leadership and through its economic development agencies because it focuses very specifically and efficiently on those items that we can control.
How Baldwin bought its megasite (Dorsey)
Published: Monday, July 09, 2012, 8:16 PM
Besides tourism, Baldwin currently is invested in aerospace, light manufacturing, maritime, distribution, and healthcare along with the residual services. We have the potential to be very competitive in growing these existing industries and pursuing several sectors of larger manufacturing.
The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance optioned to purchase 3000 acres at exit 37 on Interstate 65 in Bay Minette in 2009. The property is intentionally named the South Alabama Industrial Megasite because this property will have a regional impact benefiting the communities of Southwest Alabama and the western panhandle of Florida.
The property was certified by McCallum Sweeney Consulting as a "megasite" in May 2011, and it is one of the largest in the country. Certification requires access to rail, available utilities, thorough site evaluations, and that all appropriate due diligence has been completed -- Phase 1 environmental, geotechnical evaluation, wetlands delineation, cultural resources, and protected species survey. This certification is a difficult process, but upon completion, it is very valuable to the property as it lets potential tenants know the site is ready for construction.
One of the key factors to certification and landing a quality tenant is property control. It was always known that the alliance could not close the purchase of the property itself but would rely on the Baldwin County Commission to accept transfer of and exercise the options to purchase the property. With those options set to expire last August, the pressure was on because many people are personally invested in the vision of landing a large manufacturing facility on the megasite; perhaps an automotive plant. And, Alabama knows how to build cars.