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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:
Alabama's Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai plants get busier
Huntsville company creates virtual 3-D London for the Olympic Games
Alabama Manufacturers take Advantage of AL E3 Program
Zero RPM launching in Cullman
Huntsville ranked No. 3 for professionals, according to Kiplinger


Alabama's Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai plants get busier

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 5:30 AM    

By Dawn Kent -- The Birmingham News 


Alabama's three auto plants are ramping up staffing, filling more than 2,500 new jobs tied to the latest surge in global industry demand and new models planned for state assembly lines.


Beyond that, there are certainly hundreds and potentially thousands of jobs being created at supplier plants, as those companies try to keep pace with the automakers' growing output levels.


Besides adding jobs and expanding plant capacity, Alabama's auto industry is making key adjustments -- including overtime schedules and shift changes -- that allow the companies to respond to changing market conditions without investing huge sums of money in new people and facilities.


In that respect, it's also a healthy time for the companies' bottom lines, said Lew Drummond, executive director of the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association.




[The Birmingham News


Huntsville company creates virtual 3-D London for the Olympic Games

Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 11:25 AM

By Lee Roop, The Huntsville Times 


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- As the Summer Olympics approach this week, somewhere in England men and women are virtually flying and hovering over metropolitan London using a 3-D computer model made in Huntsville. Who these men and women are and who they work for is a secret. Precisely what they are using the virtual London for is also secret.


But if you knew that the photo-realistic, 2,800-square-kilometer computer world is accurate down to the sight lines and distances from building tops to street corners, you might suspect this model of London has something to do with security, traffic analysis or scenario planning for the games.


AEgis Technologies, the Huntsville modeling and simulation contractor that built the model, couldn't possibly comment. But AEgis could and did invite reporters to a secure conference room in Cummings Research Park on Wednesday to share a glimpse at what its model can do. A computer technician used the system to fly over London's rooftops and public buildings, stopping over famous sites, such as Buckingham Palace, and newer landmarks, like the Olympic Stadium.


"It's a virtual environment with photo-realistic, high-resolution 3-D models, terrain and elevation all built in," AEgis Geospatial Programs Group manager Lisa Caine explained. That means the customer can see a detailed, realistic image of any part of London in any weather, day or night.




[The Huntsville Times



Alabama Manufacturers take Advantage of AL E3 Program Focused on Green Manufacturing Certification


Huntsville, Ala., - July 25, 2012 - The first graduating class of the Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate Program - a program offered through Alabama E3, have completed their forty-eight hours of modular training focused on key aspects of energy and sustainability.


Representatives from five state of Alabama manufacturing companies: AAR Precision Systems, National Packaging Corporation, Navistar, O'Neal Steel, and Sanmina -SCI participated in the green training specifically designed for manufacturers by the Purdue University Technical Assistance program in coordination with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).


The attendees received the comprehensive training over six days covering a curriculum that focuses on sustainable manufacturing, energy efficiency, water conservation, reuse and recycling, designing for the environment, and how different pollutants affect the environment.





Zero RPM launching in Cullman

By Trent Moore --The Cullman Times 


HANCEVILLE - For Zero RPM president Lance Self, the formal announcement for his new tech company ended up a lot bigger than expected - much like the company itself in recent months.


What started as a cool idea a few years ago -finding a way to power a car without activating the engine - snowballed into a full-fledged, statewide industry announcement Wednesday at Wallace State. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was even in town to provide the keynote, with the project on the verge of mass production.


"I just thought we'd be doing a small event for the media, and it just got bigger and bigger from there," Self said, standing outside the Burrow Center, where the announcement took place. "This is just so great, because everyone involved has put in so much time and hard work."


Self's company has created the IMS 100 idle mitigation system, which can power a vehicle and the air-conditioning for several hours via high-capacity batteries.




[The Cullman Times]


Huntsville ranked No. 3 for professionals, according to Kiplinger

By Budd McLaughlin -- The Huntsville Times 


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- For the third time since 2009, a Kiplinger publication has ranked Huntsville one of the best cities in the country.


The latest accolade came today when Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine released its newest list "Best Cities for Different Stages of Life."


Huntsville was ranked third among best cities for professionals. Washington, D.C., was No. 1, followed by Durham, N.C.; Huntsville; Anchorage, Alaska; and Fayetteville, Ark.


In 2009, Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked Huntsville the No. 1 city in its list of "10 Best Cities of 2009," for solid employment opportunities. The next year, Kiplinger.com named Huntsville among "10 Great Cities for Raising Families."


In today's announcement, the categories were young adults, families, second acts (empty-nesters) and retirees.


The magazine said each list reveals the top five cities that satisfy specific requirements for each life stage, including cost of living, income growth, population share for each age group, crime rate, health care, public schools, and community services and cultural resources.


"People in different stages of life have different needs," said Jane Clark, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine senior editor. "For example, health care facilities are important to retirees, and schools are of more concern for families than apartment rental rates.




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