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.
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine to build branch campus at Auburn
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 10:00 AM
By Stan Diel -- The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, a medical school affiliated with Virginia Tech University, will open a satellite campus in the Auburn Research Park, the medical school and Auburn University announced this morning.
The medical school and Auburn will collaborate on biomedical research and health care projects, and medical school faculty will have access to Auburn facilities.
"Our goals for a new branch campus are to provide state-of-the-art medical education and research and train students to practice medicine in areas with the most need," medical school chairman John Rocovich said in a prepared statement.
Via College will build a new facility to house the school, and the first class of 150 students is proposed for the fall term in 2015. It will be Via College's third medical school campus. The nonprofit school hopes to address a shortage of physicians in rural areas.
Auburn officials said the medical school will complement the university, and do more than produce doctors.
[The Birmingham News]
Albertville could see hundreds of jobs
Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 9:12 am
By Malarie Haven
One of Albertville's top industries is expanding to two new locations this year.
ColorMasters, a leading national producer of flexible packaging, will be expanding its operations into new territory with two new plant locations.
One is currently under construction on Smith Road, directly across the street from the existing ColorMasters plant. The 70-foot-high steel frame of the building can easily be seen from U.S. 431. The plant will not only extend the company's manufacturing space, but it will offer a new dimension of service. It will be a blown-film extrusion plant that manufactures polyethylene films that will be printed and converted into plastic packaging.
"That's something we already use," said company co-founder Dennis Hicks. "This means it will be produced locally instead of out of state, and it will bring those jobs to our area."
The plant is expected to employ 30 people initially, but should increase that number to 60 over the next two years, according General Manager Ben Fryer. The blown-film plant is expected to open by the end of this year.
A second facility located in the former Berry Plastics manufacturing plant on Medlock Road, across from Fire Station No. 2, will give ColorMasters "additional, redundant capacity to expand its production," Fryer said. This will not only allow them to produce more products, but will also ensure the company has a place to continue operations if the current facility ever encountered a major problem.
[Sand Mountain Reporter]
Chamber launching five-year strategic plan for Shelby County
Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 10:07am CDT
The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is launching ShelbyOne, which is a new five-year strategic plan for economic and community development in the county.
According to the chamber, ShelbyOne will include collaborative partnerships between public and private entities to stimulate economic growth, retain and attract businesses, foster an excellent education system and provide a new tourism and marketing campaign for Shelby County.
Paul Rogers, regional president for Aliant Bank and general chairman of the campaign, said it will take a minimum of $340,000 per year over the next five years to accomplish the plan's goals. Money will be raised from the public and private sector.
More than $1 million has already been committed, according to a release from the chamber.
"ShelbyOne is uniquely equipped to accelerate our economy by creating new jobs and generating significant new capital investments in the Greater Shelby County area," Rogers said. "We have a well-crafted, five-year Strategic Plan that will benefit every segment of our community."
[Birmingham Business Journal]
Daikin buys Goodman for $3.7 billion, gains North America reach
By Yoshiyuki Osada
OSAKA | Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:50am IST
(Reuters) - Daikin Industries Ltd (6367.T) will buy Goodman Global Inc HELLFG.UL for $3.7 billion, gaining greater access to a recovering North American housing market and making the Japanese company the world's largest maker of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Daikin has long been interested in its Houston, Texas-based rival, but put off takeover talks following Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami last year and then later due to uncertainty over the global economy.
The deal will strengthen Daikin's business in duct-type air-conditioners, where ducts are used to ventilate buildings, the prevalent technology used in the United States, analysts said.
"They've tried for so long to break into the U.S. residential air-conditioner market with their ductless technology, but it's just not happening, so acquiring into that market is the only way to go," said Edward Bourlet, a machinery analyst at CLSA Asia Pacific Markets in Tokyo.
Daikin derives less than 10 percent of sales in its major air-conditioning segment from the Americas, where rivals include Johnson Controls Inc's (JCI.N) York, Lennox International Inc (LII.N), and Ingersoll Rand Plc's (IR.N) Trane.
The Japanese firm, helped by a strong yen, will pay $3.7 billion in U.S. dollars in an acquisition that will allow it to overtake top-ranked Carrier brand maker United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) as the world's top HVAC maker.
New tech center to have new name, curriculum
By Jamon Smith, Tuscaloosa News
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.
TUSCALOOSA | The new Tuscaloosa Center for Technology will feature a new name and a revamped curriculum when it opens in August 2013.
Kathleen Hughston, TCT's principal, presented an overview of the school's status during a Tuesday meeting of Tuscaloosa City Board of Education.
Construction of the new state-of-the-art career and technical school, which will replace the current 43-year-old facility, is well under way.
Beginning next month, the school's administration will gather input from current TCT students and the community about a name change.
"We want to see what students say about the name," Hughston said. "What do they think would be a good name and a good look for school colors? It's a good marketing/learning opportunity for them."
Hughston said the new career tech center will strive meet the demands of the local workforce and provide a rigorous program to prepare all students for careers or college. She also wants to change the school's culture and improve the image of career technical education.
OK-ING helps SAIC open facility with robotics demonstration
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 3:28 PM
By Budd McLaughlin, The Huntsville Times
TANNER, Alabama -- Tomi Krmpotich doesn't get upset when one of his company's machines is destroyed while on the job.
You see, his company - DOK-ING - builds mine-clearing robots and he prefers one of the M160s be destroyed as opposed to the alternative.
"Better that than a Humvee filled with soldiers," Krmpotich said today.
Krmpotich, company founder/owner Vejekoslav Majetic and officials with DOK-ING and SAIC in Huntsville watched a demonstration of the robot along with a robotic firefighting system the Croatian company builds.
SAIC is a subcontractor with DOK-ING and announced the opening of its facility in the Alabama Robotics & Technology Park where it will provide engineering support and services to DOK-ING.
"We have a real relationship with SAIC," Krmpotich said. "Their services and work are outstanding."
[The Huntsville Times]
AlabamaGermany Partnership Announces Changes
The AlabamaGermany Partnership has selected Tine Hoffmeister as its new Executive Director. The statewide group was founded in 1998 to develop and support relationships and friendships between organizations and individuals in Alabama and Germany.
Bryan Winter with Lewis, Smyth & Winter, PC in Tuscaloosa has been selected as Chair of AGP for an eighteen-month term. Mark Sheppard with the Alabama State Port Authority in Mobile will assume the position of Vice Chair/Chair Elect and Brian Hilson with the Birmingham Business Alliance will serve as Vice President - Business Development. Lamar Smith, Interim Executive Director, will reassume the position of Vice President - Membership.
AGP has more than 125 members and is based in Birmingham. For additional information, please contact:
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