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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:
Economic development is flying high
TEDx Huntsville hopes to 'reignite' passion of entrepreneurs
Nursing, other jobs may face labor shortage in elderly care
Lockheed's Alabama missile programs touted as bright spot in gloom over defense budget
Lara Lee announced for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference


VIEWPOINTS: Economic development in Alabama is flying high

Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012, 5:37 AM

By: Greg Canfield


Alabama is celebrating a series of great announcements this year that continue to prove the state is on the right path to economic prosperity. From the news that Airbus will assemble its A320 family of aircraft in Mobile and employ 1,000 people, invest $600 million and pay its workers an average annual salary of $41,295 to the opening of Phase II of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, the Alabama Department of Commerce and our economic development partners are determined to continue a focus of building jobs that require technical skills and provide higher base wages to Alabamians.


In North Alabama, the Alabama Robotics Technology Park provides research, development and testing of leading-edge robotics used for military projects, space exploration and industrial applications. The second phase of the RTP provides Alabama companies the opportunity to test applications in nearly every field and improve their competitiveness and productivity.


Biotech is booming in Birmingham and Huntsville, with 150 companies graduating from Innovation Depot. Biomedical breakthroughs have become the norm at Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology. Researchers from HAIB are engaged in the work to sequence the genomes of approximately 500 patients with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, over the next two years. The average hourly wage for a biomedical engineer in Alabama is $35.03 and $33.70 for a biological scientist.


These are not the low-paying jobs referenced in a recent Georgetown University study that examined jobs created in the Southern states in previous years. These higher-paying jobs and others like them are the types of jobs we plan to continue recruiting as part of our state's economic development plan, Accelerate Alabama.



[The Birmingham News


TEDx Huntsville hopes to 'reignite' passion of entrepreneurs

Published: Monday, August 20, 2012, 6:04 AM

By Budd McLaughlin, The Huntsville Times 


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- What do you get when you have the founder of the Bonnaroo music and arts festival, a world-renowned cheese producer and a native of Saigon who founded a small business to help support American troops?


Don't know?


OK. Now add the inventor of a bug-powered battery with the assistant attorney general of Tennessee - who was the former frontman of a 1980s cult blues-punk band to help round things out.

Still don't know?


It's simple. It's TEDxHuntsville 2012.


TEDx Huntsville is the local program of TED (technology, entertainment, design). It's a nonprofit, annual event devoted to "ideas worth spreading" that started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from the areas of technology, entertainment and design.


The program includes video and live speakers whose presentations spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The Huntsville event is in its fourth year and this year's format - "Reignite" - features entrepreneurs from a variety of areas.


"The overarching theme is to connect people with ideas," said organizer Amy Robinson. "Reignite your passion and turn those ideas into action.




[The Huntsville Times



Nursing, other jobs may face labor shortage in elderly care as baby boomers retire

Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012, 8:31 AM    

By Jeff Hansen -- The Birmingham News 

Some professions, such as nursing, may face a la­bor shortage as baby boomers begin to retire.

Registered nurses are one of the older work forces in the nation, with a median age of 46. A large group of nurses now in their 50s are expected to retire in 10 to 15 years.


Most nursing schools have increased enrollment to stem future shortages, though it still may not be enough. Five or six years ago, the UAB School of Nursing had about 650 students, said Linda Mon­eyham, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the nursing school.


"Now it's a little over 1,800."


But nursing schools across the country turned away 75,587 qualified ap­plicants in 2011 because of insufficient faculty, clini­cal sites and budget, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing says.

"If the economy im­proves, a lot of nurses may retire," Moneyham said.




[The Birmingham News



Lockheed's Alabama missile programs touted as bright spot in gloom over defense budget

Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012, 6:30 AM

By Kenneth Kesner, The Huntsville Times 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- The U.S. plans to reduce defense spending by nearly half-a-billion dollars over the next decade or so, and there could be almost half-a-billion more slashed almost indiscriminately across the military if Congress and the Obama administration don't stop automatic "sequestration" cuts from beginning in January.


That's no gift for Lockheed Martin, the nation's largest defense contractor, as it celebrates the company's 100th birthday, which was Thursday. But officials said there was plenty to smile about as they outlined some of their programs during the 15th annual Space & Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville.


Lockheed Martin is the third-largest defense and aerospace employer in the Huntsville-North Alabama area, with a "little over a thousand fired-up employees who are providing capabilities and services and programs to our warfighters around the world," said retired Lt. Gen. Dennis Cavin, vice president of Army and Missile Defense Programs.


That work force could grow.




[The Huntsville Times



2012 Innovation Conference




Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, is pleased to announce Lara Lee as a speaker for the 2012 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference. 


Named one of 25 "Masters of Innovation" by Business Week in 2006, Lara Lee has driven customer-centric innovation for over 20 years, working across cultures and around the globe, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. As Continuum's Chief Innovation and Operating Officer, Lara brings her combined experience of hands-on innovation in the trenches and strategic consulting with senior executives to build out our strengths in complex service design, branded experiences, business model innovation, and global consumer insights, extending our ability to take clients into the future and make innovation real.

Lara draws on her extensive consulting background as well as corporate executive experience as a Vice President and head of Harley-Davidson's Enthusiast Services division, where she built an $80 million operation that monetized brand-building experiences and incubated new businesses, including Rider's Edge: The Harley-Davidson Academy of Motorcycling, the Harley-Davidson Museum, travel-related services and direct-to-consumer digital content.  Her appearances range from keynoting  the 2010 ProXXIma: Strategies in Marketing and Digital Media Conference in Sao Paulo to addressing the IDSA International Conference and debating new media models at MIT. Lara's perspectives have been featured in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review.

Stay tuned this week for the full 2012 agenda: www.innovatealabama.com 

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Enjoy the day, 

Sam Grimes
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