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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:
Safran to announce $2 million engineering center in Mobile
Alabama automakers set annual production record, nearing 810,000 vehicles in 2012
Auburn University unveils new cyber security facility
Columbiana leaders creating marketing position to boost and attract businesses



Safran to announce $2 million engineering center in Mobile
By George Talbot | gtalbot@al.com 
on December 06, 2012 at 9:24 AM


Safran Group, a global aerospace and defense firm based in France, will announce today its plans to construct a $2 million engineering center in Mobile that will create 50 high-paying engineering jobs.


Company executives arrived in Mobile late Wednesday in advance of a news conference scheduled at 3:30 p.m. today to announce the project with city and state officials.


The center, to be located at the Brookley Aeroplex, will operate under Labinal Inc., a Safran subsidiary and a primary supplier to Airbus. The Toulouse-based Airbus announced earlier this year its plans to construct a $600 million aircraft assembly plant at Brookley with a groundbreaking scheduled for April 2013.


Bruno Bernard, president of Safran Engineering Services, said the project represented a major step for the company as it expanded its global reach. 









Alabama automakers set annual production record, nearing 810,000 vehicles in 2012
Published: Thursday, December 06, 2012
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com


Alabama's auto assembly lines cranked out nearly 810,000 vehicles in the first 11 months of 2012, already setting a record for annual output with a month left to go in the year.

So far this year, the state factories operated by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai have produced 809,945 vehicles, the most ever in a single year, according to estimates from the trade journal Automotive News and Hyundai, which announces its monthly production data.

That's a 19 percent improvement over the first 11 months of 2011 and another sign of strength for Alabama's auto industry, which continues to add jobs and capacity to meet demand for vehicles.

The numbers aren't surprising, said Steve Sewell, executive vice president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, since output has been tracking ahead of 2011, which saw the previous production high, all year.

By year's end, he said, the state industry's production is expected to be in the range of 830,000 vehicles. 









Auburn University unveils new cyber security facility

Donathan Prater | Opelika-Auburn News

Posted on December 5, 2012


From protecting residents from the latest online phishing scams to safeguarding the nation's security online, these guys have got you covered.


Auburn University officially opened the doors to its Cyber and Security Center at the Auburn Regional Airport Wednesday, tapping retired Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess to lead the university's cyber initiative.


"I can't tell everybody how excited I am to be here," said Burgess, former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and AU alumnus, as he addressed an audience that filled the Cyber Center's open source intelligence lab. Burgess was officially appointed to his current position on Dec. 1.


The cyber and security center was previously housed on campus, Bob Norton, professor and faculty liaison to the AU Cyber Initiative said. Norton said the new facility should be fully functional in about a month


[opelika auburn news]





Columbiana leaders creating marketing position to boost and attract businesses
By Martin J. Reed | mreed@al.com 
on December 05, 2012

COLUMBIANA, Alabama - During conversations Tuesday night about changes to various positions in the municipality, the Columbiana City Council agreed to create a marketing and public relations job to grow and help community business and events.

Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley says the marketing and public relations position would help attract small business and light industry to the city.

"In my mind this person will be a full-time employee who will be public relations for this city and small business and light industry recruiter," Mayor Stancil Handley said about the position recommended by the municipality's policy committee. "We surely need all of that."


Handley envisions the position would coordinate city events including Liberty Day, Cowboy Day and the farmers market, while also boosting the community's presence online through Columbiana's website and Facebook page.


"You know what public relations and marketing strategies we've got now?" the mayor asked, eliciting a response the city has none. "You've got it and that can't continue. ... This is going to be a big task."









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Val Walton
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