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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:
Automotive supplier building US headquarters in Auburn
Alabama's chief recruiter says 2012's business bounty will top 2011
Green light for tech center
UAB's Marchase, Sicking named NAI Charter Fellows for inventing
Bentley awards grant to help create new jobs in Autaugaville





Automotive supplier building US headquarters in Auburn

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 

OANOW staff


Automotive supplier RAPA (Rausch & Pausch LP) is coming to Auburn, Gov. Robert Bentley announced at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center on Tuesday.


The German company's establishment of a U.S. headquarters and production facility in Auburn Technology Park West will create approximately 105 jobs in Auburn over the next five years with an $18 million in planned capital investment, according to a release from Bentley's office.


"The automotive industry is one of the business sectors we focus on in Accelerate Alabama, and RAPA fits right in with our long-term economic development plans for Alabama," Bentley said in a statement. "RAPA will soon know what so many other national and international corporate leaders have learned: There's no better place to do business than Alabama."


RAPA, a family-owned company, produces high-precision automobile parts, including solenoid valves and control blocks. The Auburn plant, under construction, is slated to begin production in fall 2013 and will supply Chrysler and German transmission manufacturer ZF.


"We are now an Auburn company," said board chairman Horst Pausch Sr. "Over time, we want to build a company in Auburn that is independent from Germany, with its own research and development capabilities and its own set of North America-based customers."




[Opelika Auburn News]  
















Alabama's chief recruiter says 2012's business bounty will top 2011

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The number-crunchers haven't finished their work yet, but it looks like 2012 will surpass last year in terms of economic development wins for Alabama.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, spoke today at a meeting of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club at The Harbert Center. He cited 2011's statistics: 383 new and expanding projects, 17,248 new jobs and $4.2 billion in investment.


This year saw several highlights, including Airbus' new airplane plant in Mobile and a host of new and expanding auto suppliers scattered around the state.

But Alabama recruiters must maintain their focus if the state is to remain competitive for such projects, Canfield said.


He listed several new endeavors,including the merger of the Alabama Department of Commerce and the state's worker training program, Alabama Industrial Development Training. 















Green light for tech center
By Lisa Singleton-Rickman
The TimesDaily

MUSCLE SHOALS - The city's board of education has unanimously approved an eight-program career technical center at a cost of $5.9 million.


The project is expected to take a year to complete, with students attending classes at the new facility adjacent to Muscle Shoals High School in January 2014.


The board, during its monthly meeting Monday, also gave the go-ahead for entering into an agreement with Joe Jolly and Associates, of Florence, for funding representation for the new center. Superintendent Jeff Wooten did not say how much of the money would be pursued through bonds. Some of the system's capital money could be used for the project, school board President Pam Doyle said. The board has previously discussed using up to $3 million of the system's capital reserve funds.


In addition, the board approved an agreement so local money used on the project could be reimbursed.


During a work session before Monday's meeting, the system's career technical director, Gary Dan Williams, said he'd be disappointed if the board didn't fund all 10 of what he described as "much needed programs."


"We'll do the best we can with what we're given," he said. "Our students need more opportunities in career tech. A facility that allows for no expansion would be a great concern," he said.












UAB's Marchase, Sicking named NAI Charter Fellows for inventing

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

 By Kevin Storr

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Interim President Richard Marchase, Ph.D., and School of Engineering professor Dean Sicking, Ph.D., have been named National Academy of Inventors(NAI) Charter Fellows. 


The NAI selection committee cited the researchers' "highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society."


Marchase, who joined UAB in 1986 and was named vice president for research and economic development in 2005, works directly with the Alabama Development Office, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and Birmingham Business Alliance, and he oversees the UAB Research Foundation. During his tenure he has expanded UAB's research, technology transfer and economic development enterprises.


"I am very grateful to be named an inaugural NAI Fellow, but, in contrast to Dr. Sicking, I was honored not so much for personal discoveries but on behalf of the many UAB researchers who are daily pushing the envelope in engineering, drug discovery and many other fields," said Marchase. "My induction is really a testament to UAB's robust capacity for innovation, and translating those discoveries to benefit our community and state in the form of better health, quality of life and economic development."




[UAB News]















 Bentley awards grant to help create new jobs in Autaugaville

 Dec. 18, 2012


The land of pure water landed a new industry to take advantage of that resource, and now a $300,000 grant awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley will help the business to grow and hire 100 employees.


The Community Development Block Grant awarded to the town of Autaugaville will enable Atagi Water, a plant that bottles water from local artesian wells, to expand its operations. Atagi, the Native American variation of the word Autauga, translates into "pure water." Numerous artesian or free-flowing wells are found in the southern part of Autauga County.


"My administration is steadfastly committed to helping industries grow and create jobs," Bentley said. "The expansion of this business is exciting news for Autaugaville and Autauga County, and I commend local leaders and company representatives for working to make this expansion a reality."


State Sen. Bryan Taylor, who represents much of the Autaugaville area, lauded the grant as "great news" for the community and Autauga County.


"A hundred new jobs in Autauga County is like 1,000 new jobs in Mobile," Taylor said. "The positive impact it will have on Autaugaville and Autauga County will be considerable."














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