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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:
Unemployment rate falls to 7.8%
5 Questions: Sydney Raine, president of Mobile Works
Legislative group tasked with developing payment plan
UAB wins recruiting battle for highway safety expert.






Unemployment rate falls to 7.8%

By Neil Irwin and Nia-Malika Henderson
The Washington Post
 Friday, October 5

The job market is finally showing some juice.


The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday, from 8.1 percent in July, its lowest since January 2009. It is a surprising show of improvement in a job market that had seemed listless in recent months. Unlike in August, the number improved for the right reasons: Not because people gave up looking for jobs, but because far more people reported having one.


Employers reported creating 114,000 jobs in September, almost identical to analysts' forecasts, but revisions to data from July and August brought improvement of that measure of the job market as well.


Add it up, and what had seemed to be a summer lull in employment increasingly appears not to have been much of a lull at all.


While it is that headline number - the drop in the unemployment rate - that will surely capture the most attention in the final weeks of a hard-fought presidential campaign, if anything the inner details of the survey on which it is based reveal an even rosier picture.






[Washington Post


5 Questions: Sydney Raine, president of Mobile Works

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com

MOBILE, Alabama -- Mobile Works pairs employers seeking qualified workers with prospects and training programs.

The organization's commitment extends beyond job placement, though, because of its dedication to "building a world-class workforce with solutions that create a stronger economy, so that all Mobilians have the opportunity to share in the prosperity of Mobile."

Q. What is unique about Mobile Works' approach to workforce development?


Raine: When compared with the Local Workforce Investment Areas in other parts of Alabama, Mobile is probably the most proactive at reaching out to the community through marketing and public relations. We have developed our weekly e-news and have also partnered with local groups who serve individuals who are likely to be looking for employment. Our goal is personal contact with our clients and the community.






Legislative group tasked with developing payment plan

By Dana Beyerle
Times Montgomery Bureau
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012

MONTGOMERY - The Senate Republican Caucus on Thursday created a subcommittee to write a bill outlining how to repay $437 million that voters said the Legislature could take from the Alabama Trust Fund over the next three years.


Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said he named Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman, chairman of the ad hoc subcommittee. Other members include Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa; Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville; and Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville.


"There's a very strong consensus within the caucus that we will do this," Allen said. "We're trying to figure out a way to repay the trust fund with interest."




[Gadsden Times]


 UAB wins recruiting battle for highway safety expert

Tuesday, October 02, 2012
 By Kevin Storr

Dean Sicking, Ph.D., one of the developers of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers that are used on NASCAR and IRL racetrack walls around the world, was named associate vice president of product development and professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Sicking says although he is best known for the SAFER barriers, his work at UAB will expand upon his 32 years of highway safety research.

 "Based on work I've done in the past we estimate that we have saved 1,000 lives per year on U.S. highways and I want to double that number in the next 10 years," says Sicking. "My focus is on saving lives. You do that by developing safety products that are better than the ones on the road now and that will be my objective at UAB."

"Dean Sicking is an internationally respected authority on highway safety research whose work has saved countless lives," says Richard Marchase, Ph.D., interim president of UAB. "He literally wrote the industry standards that the National Cooperative Highway Research Program set for safety performance evaluation - just one instance of his expertise and leadership in this field - and we are thrilled to have him join our team."



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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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