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.
Tuscaloosa president chosen Alabama chancellor
12:51 AM, Sep. 14, 2012
By: PHILLIP RAWLS
The man credited with restoring the reputation of an Alabama community college after scandal will soon be overseeing the state's entire community college system.
The State Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to hire Shelton State President Mark Heinrich of Tuscaloosa as chancellor over the other finalist, Blake Flanders, vice president of workforce development for the Kansas Board of Regents.
The board president, Gov. Robert Bentley, who's from Tuscaloosa, said he voted for Heinrich because he saw firsthand what Heinrich did at Shelton State after the State Board of Education named him president in early 2008 following a corruption investigation.
"His personality and the way he handles problems will show as he takes over the chancellorship," Bentley said.
The school board still must negotiate a contract with Heinrich, but Bentley said the salary is likely to be closer to the $198,000 paid to Alabama's K-12 superintendent, Tommy Bice, than the $289,900 that previous chancellor Freida Hill received. She stepped down in March under pressure from some board members.
Heinrich, 59, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Tennessee Tech University and his doctorate from the University of Alabama. In addition to being a longtime educator, he is a licensed psychologist.
George Hall Elementary has the best math teaching in the country, according to IntelPublished: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 1:18 PM
By Rena Havner Philips, Press-Register
MOBILE, Alabama -- Mobile's George Hall Elementary has the most innovative math teaching out of all elementary schools in the country, according in the country, according to the technology company Intel.
The school was honored in Washington D.C. today for differentiating its teaching to meet the learning styles and levels of all of its students.
At George Hall, 99 percent of the students are black, and 90 percent come from families that are poor enough to qualify the students for free or reduced-price lunches.
Yet, 99 percent of the third-graders, 96 percent of the fourth-graders, and 97 percent of the fifth-graders passed the state's standardized math test last year.
Intel recognized 18 "Schools of Distinction" nationwide for science and math teaching, three of which were from Alabama.
UAHuntsville graduates find opportunity; develop software to search patent database
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It was conversations with lawyers, engineers, and inventors, when a trio of graduates of The University of Alabama in Huntsville discovered that the same frustrations kept coming up.
Entrepreneurs Jason Martin, Brad Chassee and Tony Rainoldi, the founders of ArchPatent, despite the critical role that intellectual property plays in the current business environment, there was simply no easy, low-cost way to navigate the enormous database of patent information or be confident that you were identifying the most important results.
"We found that people were relying on free search tools offered by Google and others, but were frustrated that they didn't do enough," says ArchPatent CEO Brad Chassee. "They had a lot of ideas about what functionality they needed to save time and money. We listened and set out to build something better."
Chassee says there is no secret formula to launching a successful product. "You just need to seek honest, straightforward feedback from people who understand the market space and then execute on their input. We knew early on that the insights of industry experts would be crucial to developing a better patent search tool."
Mercedes, city schools team up to offer course
By Jamon Smith
TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa City School System and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International are teaming up to offer a weekend Workforce Development Academy for high school students interested in working for the automotive industry giant after they graduate.
According to a news release, students enrolled in the academy will participate in applied mathematics, measurements, team building, team projects and field trips to the MBUSI plant. They'll also participate in hands-on projects and learn about robotics.
But most importantly, the academy will give students a better chance of having their applications selected to enroll in one of MBUSI's two apprenticeship programs in mechatronics - the integration of mechanics, electronics and computer science in the manufacturing of products - or automotive production.
"With customers wanting more features in their vehicles, there's no end in sight to the cutting-edge technology and increasing vehicle complexity we expect in the future," Markus Schaefer, president and CEO of MBUSI, said in a news release. "We saw this program as one way to plant the seeds to help meet Alabama's future workforce needs in the automotive industry, as well as support the knowledge and world-class skill sets necessary for today's technologically advanced, modern vehicles."
Report: Aging ports and waterways cause for economic concern
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 5:14 PM
By Ellen Mitchell, Press-Register
Aging infrastructure for marine ports and inland waterways will threaten U.S. jobs unless maintenance is properly funded, according to a report released today by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
According to the Failure to Act report, between now and 2020, investment needs in the nation's marine ports and inland waterways sector total $30 billion, while planned expenditures are about $14 billion, leaving a total investment gap of nearly $16 billion.
The report concludes that unless the gaps are filled, transporting goods will become costlier, prices will rise, and the United States will become less competitive in the global market. As a result, employment, personal income, and GDP will all fall due to inaction, the ASCE said.
"Congestion and delays lead to goods waiting on docks and in warehouses for shipment, which in turn leads to higher transportation costs and higher-priced products on store shelves," President of ASCE Andrew Herrmann said in a statement. "If we don't close the investment gaps, everyone is going to feel the negative impacts."
ConnectingALABAMA and the Alabama Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc. cordially invite you to attend the Broadband TeleHealth Summit 2012 October 17-19, 2012 - The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill, Prattville, Alabama
More about ConnectingALABAMA and the Alabama Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc.
The Alabama Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc. (APT), a charitable nonprofit corporation, is a new organization in Alabama with a focus on increasing access to healthcare through the innovative use of technology. In collaboration with Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, Georgia's highly successful nonprofit state-wide TeleHealth network and the federally (OAT) funded Southeastern TeleHealth Resource Center, APT will strive to serve the citizens of Alabama by promoting and supporting new and existing TeleHealth programs across the state.
With the support of Governor Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks, Director of the Alabama Rural Development Office, the Alabama Partnership for TeleHealth will provide an opportunity for TeleHealth services to expand and provide greater access to healthcare to all of Alabama.
The ConnectingALABAMA initiative works with governmental, community/industry leaders and citizens from across the State to articulate a clear vision for Alabama's broadband future, and to develop regional technology adoption and growth strategies addressing the needs of communities in all 67 counties through 12 regional Broadband Action Teams.
Over the next few years, efforts will focus on encouraging private investment for high-speed Internet deployment and on promoting consumer adoption.
Visit alabamatelehealth.com for more information!
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