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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:
Honda to invest $115 million, add 50 jobs
Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber Announces Plans to Locate New Facility in Chambers County
St. Elmo Airport supporters hope Airbus brings opportunities
Union opposes Lockheed Martin as Ft. Rucker contractor

Honda to invest $115 million, add 50 jobs and adjust shifts at Alabama auto plant
Published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 1:37 PM    

By Dawn Kent -- The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Honda plans to invest an additional $115 million and fill 50 new positions in its Alabama operations, the automaker is telling employees today during meetings at the Lincoln plant.

The company is also making a major change in the plant's shifts to meet growing demand. In January, the factory will move to a two-shift work schedule of four, 10-hour days per week (Monday through Thursday) for most vehicle assembly operations.

Under the new schedule, the day shift will run from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the night shift will run from 6 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Fridays will be open for overtime work -- another 10-hour shift -- which will be scheduled as necessary.

Honda's current day and night shifts operate on five, eight-hour days per week (Monday through Friday), leaving the weekend as the only option for overtime work.

Employees on the day and night shifts will rotate every two weeks, as they do now. In some cases, certain production departments will operate on 8-, 10- or 12-hour shifts, or keep existing schedules.

Honda employs more than 4,000 people at its $2 billion plant in Lincoln, where it produces the Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup.

Including today's news, Honda has announced nearly 300 new jobs and $390 million in new investment in Lincoln since last fall to increase production capacity and prepare for the addition of the Acura MDX SUV to its assembly lines next year, among other projects.




[The Birmingham News]



Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber, Inc. (MWAAF). announced plans today to expand its operations in the

Southeastern United States. The State of Alabama, Chambers County Commission and Chambers County Development Authority were pleased to learn of the company's decision to locate in Alabama earlier this month . Locating in an existing facility in the Huguley Industrial Park, MWAAF manufactures thermal shielding and acoustical products for high temperature insulation and noise suppression for the transportation industry, predominantly automotive. MWAAF plans to hire 35 fulltime team members within the first 12 months of operation.


"We are pleased to have MWAAF locate in Chambers County and the entire Commission looks forward to building a solid relationship with the Company to continue to grow," said Chambers County Commission Chairman Wayne White. "Our economic development team knew this was a high quality company from our initial meetings and we are grateful to MWAAF for choosing Chambers County."


Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield thanked company officials for the decision to locate in Alabama and for the jobs to be created within the first year of operation. "I have confidence that Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber will find that Alabama has an excellent business climate in which to prosper," he said. "We will work with the company to help them grow here and hire additional citizens of the Chambers County area. Welcome to Alabama."







St. Elmo Airport supporters hope Airbus brings opportunities

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 7:30 AM

By Ellen Mitchell, Press-Register 


ST. ELMO, Alabama --  With the recent Airbus announcement, supporters of St. Elmo Airport are making a push to market the little-known facility as a potential job creator for the small, south-Mobile County community.


A general aviation airport located about 18 miles from Brookley Aeroplex, St. Elmo Airport has been state-owned since 1947 and was used for training pilots during the Vietnam War. The 738-acre expanse -- with 20 hangers and a 4,000-foot landing strip -- is now used mostly for corporate and private jets.


"I think there's all kinds of opportunities available," St. Elmo Airport Manager Kip Turner said. "It's in a well-located position for general aviation given the adjacent land. It could be an opportunity for anything from commercial development to training to whatever the case may be."






Union opposes Lockheed Martin as Ft. Rucker contractor

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 8:43 AM    

By Martin Swant --- The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Local districts of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are opposing Lockheed Martin as a prime contractor for providing services for thousands of IAM-represented civilian employees at the U.S. Army Post at Fort Rucker, Ala. 


The groups, District 75 and Local 2003, said this week they are against Lockheed Martin and three others. The employees who would be served by the contractors would administer services ranging from service attendants to maintenance pilots.


"Lockheed Martin is known for confrontational management practices at numerous locations where it provides services to the U.S. government, causing serious harm to the labor-management relationship," District 75 President Steve Pridgen said in a prepared statement. "A hostile management style may win applause from Lockheed's Wall Street allies, but it can be a death sentence to surrounding communities like ours. We're very concerned that as a temporary contractor, Lockheed could undermine the mission at Ft. Rucker as well as the community at large."




[The Birmingham News

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