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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:
Regions' Hall gets kudos from Fortune
GHX Industrial building new Loxley facility, creating 24 jobs
Kia to invest $1.6 billion in Georgia plant in another boost for Southeast U.S. auto sector
Alabama industry report: State aims to boost exports to Nordic Region
Ready to work;...Technology center looks to give students real-world experience before graduation
Notasulga gets state grant for infrastructure



Regions' Hall gets kudos from Fortune
Birmingham Business Journal
By Antrenise Cole, Reporter 
Date: Thursday, November 29, 2012,

Regions Financial Corp. CEO Grayson Hall was recently among the 50 business leaders named to Fortune magazine's 2012 Businessperson of the Year list.

The magazine noted the Birmingham-based banking giant's turnaround in the years since the financial crisis under Hall's leadership.


This year, Regions (NYSE: RF) has surged towards recovery by selling off its Morgan Keegan investment banking unit, increasing commercial and industrial lending along with mortgage revenues and repaying its $3.5 billion in TARP funding, Fortune said of its reason for choosing Hall.




[Birmingham Business Journal]






GHX Industrial building new Loxley facility, creating 24 jobs
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
November 29, 2012 

LOXLEY, Alabama - The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance confirmed Thursday that GHX Industrial will construct a new facility - creating 24 jobs - in Loxley.


Barry Stephens, regional manager for the national fabricator and distributor of industrial gaskets and hoses, said the Loxley location will allow the company to integrate existing Mobile and Pensacola branches to better serve the industrial markets while positioning the company to better meet the supply needs of that growing industrial base.


"This strategic integration will increase market penetration, decrease operational risk and return the greatest value to both our customers and shareholders," Stephens said.











Kia to invest $1.6 billion in Georgia plant in another boost for Southeast U.S. auto sector 
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 

Kia plays a key role in Alabama's auto industry. The plant sits just across the state line, so a number of Alabama residents work there.

Alabama also is home to Kia suppliers that also supply the auto plant run by its sister company, Hyundai, in Montgomery.




Alabama industry report: State aims to boost exports to Nordic Region
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012, 6:00 AM   
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com

Alabama exports to the Nordic Region have more than doubled in recent years, and state trade officials hope to bolster that growth with a strategy that aims for even more goods and services shipped to those countries.

This week, Marianne Ruud, a commercial specialist with the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, met with Alabama business owners and representatives about the prospects for selling their products in the region, which includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
She also conferred with Alabama tourism officials, who hope to sell Nordic travelers on Alabama's state parks, beaches and other attractions. Currently, their top U.S. travel destinations are California, New York and Florida.

"Nordic consumers are pretty active," she said. "They like to go experience things."
Ruud's trip was supported by the Alabama Department of Commerce's International Trade Division and other U.S., state and local agencies involved in international trade.



Ready to work; Technology center looks to give students real-world experience before graduation
By Bernie Delinski
The TimesDaily

MUSCLE SHOALS - Gary Dan Williams admired the craftsmanship in display as carpentry students cut precise angles and made perfect plans while building a small room.


Williams, career and technical director at the Muscle Shoals Center for Technology, later marveled at the delicate welds students provided in a welding class at the center.


"These kids, they need to be working," Williams said. "They are really learning their trades well. We hope to get some partners who will work with us on this program."


The program is Pathfinders, which is a new venture that attempts to connect students at the Muscle Shoals center with local businesses.


The idea is to match the needs of local industries with the skills of the students. Williams said he wants to find out specifically what types of work local businesses need, so the center can prepare students for that work.

A major aspect of the program involves the students interning with local businesses.


"We want there to be a slot the company could have each semester for a student," he said. "A student could work there for the semester, and then a new student could come in the next semester.


"There's always been a disconnect. We prepare the students and the businesses, but then the industries say what we've taught them is not really what they wanted."






Notasulga gets state grant for infrastructure

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 

Staff report


Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday a $200,000 grant for the improvement of public water services in Notasulga and the enhancement of the town to attract new businesses, according to a news release from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.


The funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission will be used to replace 1,720 feet of deteriorated water line along Alabama Highway 81 and Tuskegee Street and three inoperable fire hydrants in the town.


Larger capacity lines will be put in place, which will also improve the purity of the water running through the lines. The currently corroding iron frequently breaks, requiring expensive repairs.


Bentley notified Notasulga Mayor Tommy Miller that the grant had been approved.





[Opelika Auburn News]


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