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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:
UAB President Carol Garrison stepping down after 10 years
Restart of Amtrak service along former Sunset Limited route topic of meeting
Southern States Must Invest in Postsecondary Education and Training


UAB President Carol Garrison stepping down after 10 years

Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 4:15 PM    

By Val Walton--The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Dr. Carol Z. Garrison announced today that she is stepping down as president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Garrison, who was named the sixth president of UAB in 2002, announced she will continue serving until an interim president is named.


"I have had an extremely rewarding 10 years as president of UAB," Garrison said in a statement. "Most of all, I have appreciated the opportunity to work with a team of talented and dedicated administrators, and with students, faculty and staff that any university would be proud to claim."


Garrison came to UAB from the University of Louisville, where she was acting president. She was hired after the tumultuous departure of UAB's former president, W. Ann Reynolds.


Garrison earned her bachelor's degree in 1974 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, but she held her first full-time job at University Hospital, earned a master's in nursing and pediatric nurse practitioner's certificate at UAB and taught there from 1976 to 1978.


UAB, one of three universities in the University of Alabama system, is the state's largest single employer.




[Birmingham News


Restart of Amtrak service along former Sunset Limited route topic of meeting in Mobile

Published: Friday, August 17, 2012, 7:42 AM    

By Michael Dumas, Press-Register 


MOBILE, Alabama -- Representatives from municipalities across the Gulf Coast attended a passenger rail summit hosted by Mobile Mayor Sam Jones on Thursday, and the overriding message was clear: planning is everything.


In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, such rail passage was suspended, and similar conferences have been creeping up along the Amtrak's former Sunset Limited route as civic leaders learn what details to put into proposals for their congressional delegations at home and in Washington, D.C.


"I think we've probably got another four to six months' worth of preparation before we step out with our plan and proposal," Jones said after the summit. "We need to sell it as a region, and that's what we're committed to do." He said the coalition's next meeting, tentatively scheduled to be held in the next 90 days in Biloxi, will focus on its congressional proposals.







Southern States Must Invest in Postsecondary Education and Training, According to Report

While job growth in the South is relatively strong (20 percent growth) compared to the nation (17 percent), many southern states are trapped in an economic cycle known as a low-wage/low-skill equilibrium, according to A Decade Behind: Breaking Out of the Low-Skill Trap in the Southern Economy - a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce. In this equilibrium, high-skill, high-wage industries lack the incentive to locate in the region and workers lack the incentives to pursue postsecondary education training due to limited demand for skilled workers.


To address this problem, southern states will need to develop an aggressive multidimensional strategy that mixes educational improvements with economic development. States can escape the quandary by producing more postsecondary talent and by modernizing existing industries and attracting new ones. However, the two efforts must be coordinated to prevent brain drain due to limited demand or a shift to the hiring of out-of-state talent (the loss of opportunity for state residents). The report's authors contend that states with significant natural resources should leverage those assets to support their economic and workforce development efforts.


The report also includes a detailed state-by-state breakdown of job projections by industry and occupation for the region. The seventeen state-by-state analysis includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia Washington D.C. and West Virginia. 






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