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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:
Site Selection: Alabama has one of top business climates
Logging industry is seeing signs of recovery for first time in years
NASA seeks industry advice for increasing SLS cargo payload
Groundbreaking set for new $10 million Explosive Ordnance Exploitation complex at Redstone Arsenal
Alabama beach tourism on record-breaking pace; lodging revenue expected to hit $320 million
Hundreds attend veterans home dedication
New Montgomery technical high school offers different pathway to success




Site Selection: Alabama has one of top business climates
Birmingham Business Journal Date
Friday, November 2, 2012

Alabama has one of the 10 best business climates in the nation, according to Site Selection magazine.

The report was based on a number of factors, including tax burden, business growth activity and a survey of corporate site selectors.


Alabama ranked sixth best overall on the list, which also included neighbors No. 4 Georgia, No. 8 Tennessee and No. 10 Florida. North Carolina topped the list, which was dominated by states in the South.


On the executive survey, Alabama was No. 8.




[Birmingham Business Journal]






Logging industry is seeing signs of recovery for first time in years
By David Atchison
Oct 29, 2012

TALLADEGA COUNTY - Billy Ray Camp, 73, has seen it all working in the logging industry for almost a half-century.

"It's been good to us, but it hasn't always been easy," Camp said.
Camp said the family logging business is now run by his 38-year-old son, Ray. But the elder Camp can load a logging truck about as well as anyone else, and he certainly hasn't retired from the logging business.

Camp leaves home when it's still dark and returns way after the sun goes down.
He said you have to work long days, if you're going to make it in the logging business.

It's all about volume."The price they pay us now is not much greater than it was 30 years ago," Camp said. "If you can't move volume, you can't make it."

Camp's family operation is considered a large logging operation. The Camps have some of the best, most advanced equipment to cut timber, and cut it fast.






NASA seeks industry advice for increasing SLS cargo payload (updated)
Published: Friday, November 02, 2012
By Martin Swant | mswant@al.com 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- NASA is wants the aerospace industry to weigh in on how to carry more cargo on the new Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket. 

The agency issued a request for information (RFI) Thursday to industry about payload adapters and fairings already available in the commercial industry. The initial capacity of the SLS under development by NASA is 77 tons, with the ability to increase through a series of upgrades.

The rocket's design is meant to be flexible for crew or cargo missions, but the initial settings will be for NASA's Orion spacecraft. Future configurations could carry science instruments or exploration payloads to the moon, asteroids and Mars.

Craig McArthur, deputy manager of the spacecraft and payload integration office within the SLS program, said future upgrades will bring the SLS cargo payload capabilities up to 130 metric tons.

"We've got a lot of smart people here at NASA, but we also realize we don't have all the answers," he said.







Groundbreaking set for new $10 million Explosive Ordnance Exploitation complex at Redstone Arsenal
By Leada Gore | lgore@al.com 
November 02, 2012

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Groundbreaking ceremonies are set for Monday on the Missile and Space Intelligence Center's new Explosive Ordnance Exploitation complex at Redstone Arsenal. Once complete, the $10 million facility will house 250 analysts who will be charged with evaluating threats from foreign missiles systems.

Monday's ceremony at Redstone Arsenal will begin at 9:30 a.m. Among those attending will be Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who secured funding for the complex. Shelby is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee


"By drawing upon the capabilities of MSIC and the organizations and associated technology base in the Huntsville area, our nation stands better prepared to defeat a wide variety of threats," Shelby said. "I remain committed to MSIC and will continue working to ensure we provide the resources necessary to support their mission for many years to come."












Alabama beach tourism on record-breaking pace; lodging revenue expected to hit $320 million
By Marc D. Anderson | manderson@al.com 
November 03, 2012

GULF SHORES, Alabama -- Tourists flocked to the Alabama Gulf Coast like never before during the summer months and the trend will likely set an all-time record with taxable lodging revenue surpassing $300 million for the first time, according to a figures released by Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism this week.


Through September, lodging revenue was up 17 percent compare to the same time last year and retail sales saw a nearly 8 percent jump, according to tourism numbers presented Friday during the Alabama Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce's monthly First Friday Forum at LuLu's in Gulf Shores.


The statistics show that in 2011 Baldwin County's beaches attracted 4.9 million guests, produced $2.6 billion in visitor spending, 40,000 travel-related jobs and $906 million in wages and salary.










Hundreds attend veterans home dedication
by David Atchison
Nov 02, 2012
PELL CITY - Close to 500 people gathered for Thursday's ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the new Colonel Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home.

"It is my long awaited pleasure to welcome you here today," Kim Justice, the veterans homes executive director for the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, told those who attended the opening ceremony of the $50 million, state-of-the art facility.
Officials from across the state, as well as local officials and veterans, attended the historic ceremony.

"What a fantastic facility we have here today," Gov. Robert Bentley said. "In Alabama, we love our veterans."
And the plush, state-of-the-art Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home put an exclamation point on the governor's statement.

Bentley said Alabama veterans deserve a new home, which officials tout as a national model for future veterans homes.





[Daily Home]




New Montgomery technical high school offers different pathway to success
By Tiffany Nabors
Nov. 4, 2012

When freshman Ward Andrew learned about the construction program at the new Montgomery Technical Educational Center, he didn't think twice about registration.


"My uncle is a carpenter," he said. "I've always wanted to be like him, so I thought I would give it a shot and see how it works out."


Nearing three months into the school year, he said it's been great. He likes the schedule, which includes two days of lab work per week in addition to traditional core classes on the other days. Students are bused for the labs to Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School for carpentry or H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College for welding, electrical and HVAC.


Students also receive collaborative classroom instruction from both their core and trade teachers.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Donald Dotson called the high school, which is housed in the former McIntyre Middle School building, an untraditional approach that seeks to service those whose preference is for hands-on learning.


"They are teaching applied academics and project-based learning," he said. "We're excited. We feel we have a diamond in the rough, and we are meeting a need. This fills a void we didn't have, regardless of where they fall in the spectrum."




[Montgomery Advertiser]

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Val Walton
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