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.
Small business hiring up in the South, but only slightly
Published: Monday, October 01, 2012
By Alex Walsh | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiring among small businesses headquartered in the Southern U.S. is up 1.3 percent over the year -- the only region tracked by SurePayroll to see an increase,according to the group's August Small Business Scorecard.
Nationwide, small business hiring is down 1.5 percent from August 2011, SurePayroll says. Conditions are especially difficult in the Western U.S., where hiring is down 5.1 percent.
A subsidiary of Rochester, N.Y.-based Paychex, SurePayroll provides payroll services to small businesses across the country. CEO Michael Alter says the data coming from businesses in the south speaks for itself.
"The south is faring better than the rest of the country," Alter says definitively. Overall, however, the country's small business environment is seeing "continuing deterioration" due to a lack of demand.
19th century Huntsville company helps customers with 21st century technology
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
By Marian Accardi, The Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- A 128-year-old family-owned Huntsville company is working with its customers to help them to be more energy efficient and find grants and other financial assistance to offset the cost of going green.
"Our customers got us started (in energy-efficient efforts) because they were looking for energy alternatives and ways to save money," said Jim Batson, the president of H.C. Blake Co., the sixth generation of family members to run the company that specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling and electrical work.
In tough economic times, customers don't have a lot of capital to make energy-saving improvements, he said, even though upgrades would eventually save them money.
"We're transforming the company for the future," said Sara Fair, H.C. Blake's director of energy services and Batson's sister.
Fostering Tech Talent in Schools
By NICK WINGFIELD
Published: September 30, 2012
SEATTLE - Leandre Nsabi, a senior at Rainier Beach High School here, received some bluntly practical advice from an instructor recently.
"My teacher said there's a lot of money to be made in computer science," Leandre said. "It could be really helpful in the future."
That teacher, Steven Edouard, knows a few things about the subject. When he is not volunteering as a computer science instructor four days a week, Mr. Edouard works at Microsoft.
He is one of 110 engineers from high-tech companies who are part of a Microsoft program aimed at getting high school students hooked on computer science, so they go on to pursue careers in the field.
In doing so, Microsoft is taking an unusual approach to tackling a shortage of computer science graduates - one of the most serious issues facing the technology industry, and a broader challenge for the nation's economy.
[New York Times]
Airbus lands $2.5 B deal with Philippine Airlines
Published: Monday, October 01, 2012
By Kelli Dugan | email@example.com
In a push to dominate its local market, Philippine Airlines has announced plans to purchase an additional 10 Airbus jets, Reuters is reporting.
The deal, worth $2.5 billion, is in addition to the company's $7 billion August acquisition.
The company has also expressed interest in buying an additional 35 planes in its quest to boost its fleet to 100 aircraft, but officials have not yet decided if that order will be placed with Airbus or rival Boeing Co.
Airbus unveiled plans in July to build a $600 million aircraft assembly plant at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile.
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