EDPA NewsFlash


home       about edpa        relocation     resources for     resources for     entrepreneurship &
                                          assistance     companies        communities            technology    




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:
Austal USA's Joint High Speed Vessel clears latest US Navy hurdle
AU announces osteopathic medicine campus
AMVAC expansion gets tax breaks from Mobile County
Alabama Tourism Director: Despite Isaac, Gulf Coast beaches in good shape, ready for Labor Day
Birmingham Fastener expands in Pratt City



Austal USA's Joint High Speed Vessel clears latest U.S. Navy hurdle

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 5:33 PM    

By Kelli Dugan, Press-Register 


MOBILE, Alabama -- Austal USA's USNS Spearhead successfully completed acceptance trials conducted by the U.S. Navy Aug. 17 in the Gulf of Mexico, company officials announced Thursday.


The Joint High Speed Vessel being constructed in Mobile hit this latest milestone by demonstrating the catamaran's high-functioning propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems.


"I consider it a major accomplishment to be authorized by the Navy to hang a broom from the mast, a Navy tradition representing a 'clean sweep' of trial events, after competing our first Acceptance Trials as a prime contractor," said Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA's senior vice president of operations, in a statement.

The trials are considered the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy.


Said Brian Leathers, Austal USA's interim president and chief financial officer, in a prepared statement: 

"First-in-class ships are always a challenge, but we are honored to have been able to present a complete, functional vessel...Austal is proud to have played such an integral role in U.S. Naval history by being selected to produce this new class of vessels to support America's national security needs."







AU announces osteopathic medicine campus

By: CHRIS ANTHONY | Opelika-Auburn News  

Published: August 30, 2012


The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine's new campus planned for the Auburn Research Park will represent a major economic development achievement that could help alleviate the shortage of doctors in rural parts of Alabama, officials said Thursday when announcing the new campus.


Leaders from academia, the health care industry, and state and local government gathered at Auburn University's MRI Research Park on Thursday morning to announce the agreement between the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation and the Virginia-based Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, or VCOM.


Under the agreement, Auburn and VCOM will collaborate on an array of health care research in addition to sharing each other's facilities.


VCOM will pay for the construction and maintenance of its Auburn campus branch, which is expected to admit its first class of 150 doctoral students in the fall of 2015. Founded in 2001, VCOM operates campuses in Blacksburg, Va., and Spartanburg, S.C.


VCOM chairman John Rocovich said the college's goal is to improve the health of all people, but especially those who are most in need. He said VCOM will help fix some of Alabama's health care deficiencies, such as the state's dearth of primary care physicians in rural areas and its ranking in the nation's lowest percentile for overall health.


"Alabama and the people of Alabama are exceptionally blessed to be able to get this coordination together to get better care here in Alabama," said Martin Levine, immediate past president of the American Osteopathic Association.




[Opelika-Auburn News


AMVAC expansion gets tax breaks from Mobile County

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 12:00 PM    

By Ellen Mitchell, Press-Register 


MOBILE, Alabama -- The Mobile County Industrial Development Authority has approved local tax abatements for a $9.92 million project at the AMVAC Chemical Corp. plant in Axis.


A wholly owned subsidiary of agriculture products company American Vanguard Corp., AMVAC said it will spend about $6.59 million to expand its equipment and about $922,000 for building upgrades.


The project will create 21 jobs in Mobile County and workers should earn about $54,000 a year, benefits included, said Claudia Zimmermann, director of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.


American Vanguard operates the plant out of a E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Co.- owned facility. The expansion is already underway, with production expected to start at the end of this year.






Alabama Tourism Director: Despite Isaac, Gulf Coast beaches in good shape, ready for Labor Day travelers

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012, 3:54 PM    

By Roy L. Williams -- The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama--Alabama Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell had a message today for vacationers planning to visit Gulf Shores or Orange Beach this weekend: The state's beaches came through Hurricane Isaac relatively unscathed and are ready for Labor Day travelers.


"Many people in Alabama following the storm were concerned about what happened at the beach," Lee Sentell told members of the Rotary Club of Homewood during a luncheon today at the Homewood Public Library on Oxmoor Road.


 "The good news is that despite getting a lot of rain, the beaaches are all cleaned up now and they are expecting a great weekend in terms of visitors," Sentell said.


Other beach destinations in the Florida Panhandle are also trying to encourage vacationers not to cancel planned Labor Day weekend visits.


"For our area it was more of a non-event, still, people who had planned a beach trip are cancelling their reservations," said Gina Gregory, spokeswoman for nearby Navarre Beach and Santa Rosa County, Fla. "We are breathing a sigh of relief now that Hurricane Isaac has moved on and are thankful that all the storm brought was some rain, wind and high surf to our area."



[The Birmingham News


Birmingham Fastener expands in Pratt City


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - August 31, 2012 - Birmingham Fastener Inc. said it will expand its operations in Birmingham's Pratt City with a $2 million capital investment in new equipment and five to 15 new jobs for the nuts and bolts manufacturer.


"Birmingham Fastener's expansion will help meet the rising demand our company has seen recently," said Keith Townes of Birmingham Fastener. "This growth in our corporate headquarters will help us serve our customers and community at a higher level."


Birmingham Fastener is a leading manufacturer and distributor of fasteners for structural steel fabrication, metal building manufacturers, transportation, water works and utilities, original equipment manufacturers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, construction and more.


The company worked with the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) and the Birmingham Mayor's Office of Economic Development on this expansion. What began with a routine visit from the BBA's Existing Industry and Business Retention program, transformed into the City of Birmingham's recent endorsement of the company's request to the State of Alabama for Enterprise Zone tax credits. Since Birmingham is an Enterprise Zone city, Birmingham Fastener is eligible to receive Enterprise Zone tax credits from the state for each new employee.


In addition to its corporate headquarters in Birmingham, it has 10 locations in the United States. Locally, the company employs more than 150 people.


Please contact Dave Rickey (205-241-8102) or Lauren Cooper (205-241-8127) for more information. 

Please feel free to forward along to someone who can use it by clicking on the "I'd like to forward this to a contact" link below the green bar. Note also, that you can now make changes to your e-mail address and contact information through the link at the bottom.    
If you have news or suggestions, please forward them along to me.
Enjoy the day, 

Sam Grimes
Join Our Mailing List