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.
Winning the future in Mobile
Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2012, 7:04 AM
By George Talbot
America could learn from Mobile.
The city's successful recruitment of foreign direct investment - capped by last month's landmark announcement by Airbus - offers a playbook on how to create U.S. jobs in a time of economic recession.
Airbus' plan to build a $600 million aircraft assembly plant at the Brookley Aeroplex is just the latest example of "insourcing," where foreign companies invest on American soil.
Mobile has a long track record of success in recruiting international corporations, from Germany's Degussa and Singapore's ST Aerospace to the Australian shipbuilder Austal and German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG.
The Airbus deal stands out because it represents the European company's first major foray into the U.S., and because it could establish a new center of aircraft production to rival Boeing Co.'s assembly base in the Seattle area.
It also comes at a time when competition for foreign investment has never been tougher.
Michael Nutt of Movable Ink is helping make e-mail more current
Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 9:05 AM
By Mike Marshall, The Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Now, he's in New York City as the co-founder of a company that does work with some big-name businesses: Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, American Eagle Outfitters and Verizon, among them.
But years ago, Michael Nutt was living in Huntsville, dreaming of the day he could capitalize on his lifelong interest in computers.
Nutt knew when he was 5 that he wanted a career in computer science. He liked the "limitless possibilities" of computers, as he puts it.
Some fatherly influence helped, too. His father, now an employee of World Wide Technology, worked for computer companies here.
"It was all accessible," he said. "Anybody can buy a home computer and build something without having to spend millions of dollars or asking anybody's permission."
In 2010, Nutt co-founded Movable Ink, along with Vivek Sharma. Sharma is also the chief executive officer; Nutt is the chief technical officer.
Nutt describes Movable Ink as a way for companies to "make their email marketing campaigns more dynamic.''
Movable Ink does this by making emails more real-time. Among the company's chief goals is to make email current when the user opens it, instead of emails that become stale as time passes,
"We determine the content that goes into an email when the user opens it as opposed to when it is sent," Nutt said.
[The Huntsville Times]
Governor Bentley: Future Looking Good For Airbus Assembly Line
updated 8/8/2012 1:18:17 AM ET
(MOBILE, Ala.) Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said Tuesday that the state has been courting manufacturers that would make up Airbus's growing supply chain in the United States.
The European aerospace giant announced Monday in Wichita, Kansas that it plans to double the $12 billion it now spends with U.S. suppliers amid strong airplane sales, explaining that the company has a backlog that is "disturbingly healthy".
Governor Bentley said he's known of Airbus's backlog for some time, and expects the company to grow even more even after last month's announcement to open an assembly plant in Mobile.
Bentley said Airbus will need local suppliers, and Alabama is ready to receive those additional jobs.
"As important as bringing Airbus is," Bentley said in a phone interview with Local 15 News, "the suppliers are just as important."
Bentley said neighboring states Florida and Mississippi are already racing to play host to companies that make up the jetliner's supply chain, brining a slew of jobs to their states. However, Bentley said, he has been chatting with company representatives since the Farnborough Airshow last month.
"In a two day period of time I met with 24 individual companies," Bentley said. "Many of those were suppliers and potential suppliers."
More than grants: ADECA programs could pay off for state industries
12:02 AM, Aug. 8, 2012
By Brad Harper
One state agency touches nearly every aspect of Alabama life through the millions of dollars in federal grants it handles. That may not be something that the average Alabamian needs to know, the agency's director said, but it could be invaluable for some businesses.
Jim Byard Jr., head of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, shared that message Tuesday with a gathering of trade and professional association leaders. While the agency's main customers are municipalities and non-profit organizations, some of ADECA's programs can help far more groups.
One program Byard highlighted, Alabama Saves, can help existing businesses get low-interest loans to retrofit their facilities to be more energy efficient. "It can be anything from a dental office to a United Way office," Byard said.
ADECA also provides re-training and placement services when workers lose their jobs, which its Workforce Development Division is doing this week at the soon-to-close Greil Memorial Psychiatric Hospital in Montgomery.
Keep Alabama Working PAC formed to promote money transfer to Alabama General Fund
Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2012, 6:45 AM
By Kim Chandler -- Montgomery Bureau, The Birmingham News
MONTGOMERY -- A political action committee has been formed to promote the passage of a Sept. 18 referendum on taking money from a state savings account to prop up the state's ailing General Fund.
The Keep Alabama Working, or KAW, PAC was formed July 25, and has so far received $125,000 from the Alabama Nursing Home Association. The PAC is promoting a website by the same name: www.keepalabamaworking.com.
The Keep Alabama Working campaign is being backed by individuals and organizations to educate voters about what is at stake with the Sept. 18 vote, campaign spokesman Rick Journey said.
"These are groups of people who see the threat if it doesn't pass," Journey said.
Groups involved in promoting the amendment include the Nursing Home Association, Alabama Hospital Association, Alabama Association of Volunteer Firefighters and others Journey said.
Voters go to the polls Sept. 18 on a proposal to transfer $145 million a year for three years from the Alabama Trust Fund to the General Fund. The Trust Fund is a state savings account fueled by the state's royalties from offshore natural gas drilling leases in Alabama waters.
[The Birmingham News]
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