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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:
Impact of Airbus assembly line goes beyond Mobile (opinion from Allan McArtor)
AT&T's Fred McCallum elected chairman of BBA board
Redesigned Acura MDX, to be built in Alabama, set for Detroit auto show debut
Mallard named Advantage site
Inspiring innovation in the US
Cullman County Economic Development Office gets new home





Impact of Airbus assembly line goes beyond Mobile (opinion from Allan McArtor) 
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Special to The Birmingham News 

By Allan McArtor

On July 2, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world announced it would be building an aircraft assembly line on Brookley AeroPlex in Mobile, Ala. The Airbus announcement event was a true celebration -- with nearly 3,000 guests in attendance -- and the cheer from the auditorium could be heard around the world.


The Airbus assembly line represents the most significant, game-changing event in U.S. aerospace in decades. It will double the number of companies manufacturing large commercial aircraft in the United States, and it marks a positive step-change in the longstanding relationship between Airbus and U.S. industry.


I use the word "relationship" intentionally.


Our industry is built on relationships. Airplanes are not impulse buys, with their multi-million-dollar price tags. No matter how much we wish it were so, an airline CEO doesn't sit up one day and say, "I think I'll call the Airbus 1-800 number and order up a few dozen A320 aircraft."














AT&T's Fred McCallum elected chairman of BBA board 
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
By The Birmingham News 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Fred McCallum, president of AT&T Alabama, has been elected chairman of the board of the Birmingham Business Alliance, the organization announced today.


McCallum said the organization will continue to implement its development plan, called Blueprint Birmingham, and support revitalization of the city's core.


"I think the momentum we've seen recently will continue to carry over into economic development in 2013, as more companies announce new jobs and capital investment in the region," he said in a prepared statement.


McCallum succeeds John Johns, chairman of Protective Life Corp.













Redesigned Acura MDX, to be built in Alabama, set for Detroit auto show debut
 Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 11:38 AM
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 

Acura, the luxury vehicle division of Honda, said today that it will unveil a prototype of the redesigned 2014 Acura MDX SUV at the North American International Auto Show, to be held in Detroit in January.

The vehicle will be produced at Honda's Talladega County plant, starting next year.

Acura said the new MDX has an "aero sculpture" design and "will feature alluring proportions with smooth, arching body lines matched to an efficient architecture."

Honda announced in 2011 that it would shift production of the MDX from Canada to Alabama
to make room for more output of the CR-V SUV in Canada.









Mallard named Advantage site
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex is now listed among the elite sites for potential industry. Only 39 other sites in Alabama are in that list.

Lawrence County Industrial Development Board Executive Director Tony Stockton knew the special designation had been approved. On Tuesday Sean Lytle an analyst with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, presented an Advantage Site certificate to the IDB at its meeting.

"I want to express my appreciation to everyone who worked with us to gain the Advantage Site designation," Stockton said. "It was our cooperation that so impressed the Jack Daniel people. They continue to tell us that. Our support team has worked tirelessly to ensure all the infrastructure was in place to enable us to meet the Advantage Site requirements."

The Advantage Site designation does not mean Mallard-Fox is shovel ready. But it does mean that a successful comprehensive site documentation process has been completed. This documentation includes required data related to owners/control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, as well as infrastructure status. Advantage Sites must also meet, size, zoning and accessibility requirements.


[Moulton Advertiser]







'Inspiring innovation' in the US

A great swathe of California seems to be under the spell of the second great internet revolution and the combination of youth, endless optimism and the prospect of enormous riches has created a technological gold rush in the state.


At its heart is innovation - the modern day holy grail for policymakers and something that Silicon Valley and the surrounding area is thick with.


The BBC's North American correspondent Jonny Dymond drove forty minutes out of San Francisco, to one of the world's great research universities, Stanford, for a peak into the future of innovation.





[BBC News]










Cullman County Economic Development Office gets new home

By Benjamin Bullard

The Cullman Times

December 12, 2012 


The Cullman County Economic Development Office (CCEDO) has been roosting in a leased space ever since April of 2011, when a tornado swept away its former home.

Located on the second floor of the old First Federal Banking building in Cullman, the rented digs turned out to be pretty nice. CCEDO occupied the 3,700 square-foot top floor, while local engineering firm St. John and Associates leased the bottom floor until construction on their new headquarters (now open) could finish.

But what started as a temporary solution for a displaced county department is now permanent. At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Cullman County Commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing chairman Kenneth Walker to purchase and negotiate financing for the old First Federal property.

Located on 4th Avenue SE near downtown Cullman, the 7,400 square-foot building is expected to cost approximately $250,000. Associate commissioner Darrell Hicks said that's a deal the commission would be foolish to overlook. 

[Cullman Times]




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Val Walton
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