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.
The 2012 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference agenda is now available at www.innovatealabama.com!
See the lineup:
Patrick Riley, CEO, Global Accelerator Network
Bill Taylor, President EDPA
Art Tipton, Evonik Industries
Peter Goodman, Executive Business Editor, Huffington Post
Lara Lee, Chief Innovation and Operating Officer, Continuum
Bob McEwan, GE Aviation
Bobby Abrams, CEO, CV Holdings
Phil Paradice, Regional Director, EDA - Atlanta Region
Helen Parker, Regional Director, Dept of Labor - Atlanta Region
Joe Benson, Vice President for Research, University of Alabama
Dr. Dean Sicking, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Rick Davis, Birmingham Business Alliance
Joel Dobbs, UAB
Dennis Leonard, UAB
Richard Marchase, Interim President, UAB
Join over 200 professionals from: economic development, universities, local "fast companies", government, entrepreneurs, defense, manufacturing, professional services and more!
For registration: http://www.innovatealabama.com/registration.html
Richard Marchase, veteran administrator, named interim president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 4:16 PM
By Val Walton--The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Richard Marchase, a veteran administrator and academic leader, has been named interim president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, officials announced today.
University of Alabama System Chancellor Robert Witt said the appointment is effective today. Carol Z. Garrison, who served as UAB president for 10 years, announced last week she was stepping down from the position.
"An accomplished scholar, researcher and administrator, Dr. Marchase has helped build UAB's global stature over the last 26 years," Witt said in a statement.
Marchase joined the UAB faculty in 1986 and has risen steadily through the ranks to his current position as vice president for research and economic development, which he assumed in 2005.
Marchase played a key role in expanding UAB's efforts in research, technology transfer and economic development. He chairs the board of the Innovation Depot, the business incubator affiliated with UAB; oversees the UAB Research Foundation; and coordinates UAB's efforts with the Alabama Development Office, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Birmingham Business Alliance and others.
"I am honored and delighted to be asked to serve in the interim role," Marchase said in a statement.
[The Birmingham News]
Mercedes adding new C-Class jobs in South Africa; bulk of Alabama hiring to come in 2014
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 8:00 AM
By Dawn Kent -- The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Mercedes-Benz is moving closer to the launch of its new C-Class sedan, firming up hiring plans for additional jobs around the globe.
The German automaker's Alabama plant in Vance will be one of the sites for C-Class production, along with plants in Germany, China and South Africa.
The East London plant in South Africa is now looking for an additional 600 workers to prepare for the production launch of the new C-Class in 2014, according to the auto website, just-auto.com.
The plant currently builds the C-Class and exports most of its output, left-hand drive models, to the U.S. The balance, right-hand drive, is sold locally.
But now that the C-Class will be built in the U.S., that export focus will likely switch back to the right-hand drive markets of Japan and Australia, which the plant served with previous generations of the car, just-auto.com says.
In Tuscaloosa County, the bulk of hiring for C-Class production jobs won't happen until 2014, said Felyicia Jerald, a spokeswoman for the plant.
The Vance operations, now with 2,800 employees, is expected to add 1,000 C-Class-related jobs.
[The Birmingham News]
Development board seeks $7.6 million to buy land
By Bernie Delinski
FLORENCE - The Shoals Economic Development Authority Board will ask the Shoals Industrial Development Committee to dedicate about $7.6 million to purchasing available land in area public industrial parks.
The SEDA board unanimously approved the proposal Tuesday from President Forrest Wright. The development committee has a called meeting at 10 a.m. Friday to consider the matter.
SEDA officials said having the available unused land under one jurisdiction could expedite industrial recruiting efforts.
Wright said available land on seven Shoals public industrial parks is owned by nine public entities. He added he has spoken individually with various local officials connected with the entities and received positive feedback on the plan.
"I thought the push back would be from the local governments and boards, but what I found was they were saying 'go ahead, SEDA, take it,' " he said. "There is quite a bit of interest in us doing this."
The local entities would be under no obligation to sell the land if the committee approves pursuing the purchases, Wright said.
"This is an option that will be presented to these nine groups and boards," he said. "If someone says 'no,' we'll respect that and they'll continue to enjoy the service and representation they're getting now."
More than 1,200 acres are available in the parks, all of which is in Colbert and Lauderdale counties, SEDA officials said.
Jacksonville business wins $250K in national contest
By Paige Rentz
JACKSONVILLE - Before last week, Catherine Minerich had never held a quarter of a million dollars in her hands.
But when a grant she wrote for Jacksonville-based Carmin Industries won a national contest, she got her chance.
"I held that check and I was just shaking," she said.
Carmin Industries, a manufacturer specializing in precision waterjet cutting of metal and other materials, was among 12 small businesses chosen from among more than 70,000 applicants in the Mission: Small Business grant program sponsored by Chase and Living Social and supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"The goal of the program was both to celebrate small businesses and entrepreneurs who are out there taking risks and creating jobs, and to give a helping hand to several deserving small businesses," said David Chavern, chief operating officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
"We are very grateful," said Carolyn Minerich, owner of the company and Catherine's mother. Her company's work is varied, with contracts with both the Department of Defense and Disney, crafting pieces to be used in military armored vehicles as well as the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. And they do it all just down the road in Jacksonville.
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