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.
Five takeways from Farnborough (George Talbot)
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 6:14 AM Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 8:31 AM
Five takeaways from the Farnborough International Air Show, which concluded last week near London:
1. It's bigger than you think. Airbus plans a $600 million investment at the Brookley Aeroplex, but that may be just the tip of the iceberg for Mobile. City and state officials returned from London with a new vision for Brookley. The former Air Force base could become a showplace for Airbus - an American home for the European company, where it could entertain airline customers, conduct annual supplier conferences and host visiting dignitaries.
That means a massive renovation of Brookley's aging infrastructure, including new entryways on Broad and Michigan avenues, demolition of vacant buildings and homes to be replaced with residential and commercial districts, complete with world-class hotels, restaurants and office space. The grand plans won't go anywhere without money, and public dollars are scarce. The challenge will be to find private investors willing to buy in to the new Brookley.
2. Don't forget EADS. The parent company of Airbus put Mobile on the map, choosing Brookley in 2005 as a site to build military aircraft. Those plans were scrapped when the company lost the Air Force tanker contract to Boeing Co., but EADS continues to pursue Pentagon contracts that could bring additional work to Mobile.
The most immediate prospect is the A400M, a military cargo plane that could fill a gap between the U.S. Air Force's fleet of C-17 and C-130 airlifters. Mobile officials got an up-close look at the A400 on the tarmac at Farnborough, and came away optimistic that the plane known as the "Grizzly" could eventually be assembled at Brookley.
Aerospace Industries latest to predict severe local job losses in sequestration
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 4:13 PM Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 4:17 PM
By Ellen Mitchell, Press-Register
A new report released today by the Aerospace Industries Association predicts that Alabama could lose more than 38,000 jobs and Mississippi could lose more than 11,000 if planned government cuts take place in 2013.
According to the report, "The Economic Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on DOD and Non-DOD Agencies," 2.14 million American jobs could be lost in one year if the Budget Control Act's sequestration mandate takes effect on January 2, 2013. AIA, a trade organization that represents U.S. aerospace manufacturers, commissioned the report.
Sequestration is the $1 trillion in savings Congress is required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 to identify by that deadline. If Congress fails to make the cuts, it will result in an automatic $600 billion cut to the defense budget on top of $487 billion in reductions it is already planning.
"The sequestration cuts would be devastating to our military readiness, and they put thousands of jobs at risk," U.S. Sen.. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, said in a statement. "Addressing sequestration should be our number one priority, and we should act before the August break. I will oppose adjournment if we have not answered the sequestration issue by then."
The study outlines the impacts in all 50 states . Florida is at greatest risk, the study says, with potential loss of 79,459 jobs. Most states in the study have five-digit job losses.
Alabama Airbus Plant Shows Fierce Competition Among States
With the announcement of aircraft-giant Airbus SAS's decision to build a new $600 million facility in Alabama earlier this month, some in Georgia are likely wondering what's next for the aerospace industry in the Peach State.
In recent years, Georgia has placed a large focus on recruiting major and minor aerospace companies to invest in the state, which already hosts more than 500 industry-related companies employing more than 85,000 workers, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
And at the 2012 Farnborough International Air Show, one of the largest aerospace events in the world held July 19-25, the department exhibited with seven leading aerospace companies with major operations in Georgia to tout the state's economic advantages to potential investors.
As a largely non-unionized state with a moderate tax credit system, a top-ranked engineering university in its capital and a state-funded technical education for potential workers, Georgia is a very strong place to invest in as an aerospace company.
Further, its well-connected highway system, bustling ports and strong international connections via the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, means Georgia gets a lot of attention for aerospace suppliers looking to expand in the United States, particularly from companies based in Montreal, said Louise Fortin, economic affairs director for the Quebec Trade Office in Atlanta.
For example, two years ago when Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. was looking to build a new $2 million consumer airlines service center, the aircraft manufacturer settled on Macon, Ms. Fortin said.
Other manufacturing facilities in the state also play a part in determining when an aerospace company decides to invest in new facilities in an area, she continued.
Tax incentive aimed at increasing farm production
By: Ariana Diaz | Opelika-Auburn News
Published: July 17, 2012 Updated: July 17, 2012 - 9:13 PM
A new tax incentive for farmers who implement irrigation technology is expected to aid agriculture in the state and increase crop production and revenue for farmers, according to Auburn University research.
The Agricultural Irrigation Systems Tax Credit, signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley on May 14, gives farmers who install new irrigation systems or improve existing systems, a one-time tax credit up to 20 percent of the cost, with a maximum of $10,000 per farm.
Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn sponsored the bill, along with Rep. Chad Fincher, R-Semmes.
"The bill was done to help agricultural production, which is the No. 1 industry in Alabama, and it is going to help farmers increase the yield," Whatley said. "It's about helping people who are producing something and contributing to the economy."
Fincher said that adding 1 million acres of irrigated land in Alabama could equal two auto plants, or 26,000 jobs.
"We've been doing research at the experiment stations," Sam Fowler, director of the AU Water Resources Center, said. "Looking at crop yields, crop modeling and actual historic rainfall data to determine what effects it could have using computer models if we did have irrigation... and there's very significant increase on yields."
The state's poultry, catfish and livestock industry imports $1.4 billion in grain a year. If the state becomes more self-sufficient and keeps from importing, according to Fowler, there's a multiplier effect of what that money would do in the local economy.
more...Opelika Auburn News
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