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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:
Gov. Bentley announces $15.75 million to continue rebuilding from deadly tornadoes of April 27, 2011.
AEgis Technologies military training video game wins conference award
Opelika council OKs tax abatements for growing Daewon
Mercedes-Benz plans major hiring wave in Alabama next year as C-Class production nears








Gov. Bentley announces $15.75 million to continue rebuilding from deadly tornadoes of April 27, 2011
By Challen Stephens | cstephens@al.com 
 on December 19, 2012 

Gov. Robert Bentley drove to Hackleburg this morning to announce $15.75 million for the continued rebuilding of several communities, including Tuscaloosa, which were devastated by the tornadoes of April 27, 2011.


Hackleburg in Marion County was perhaps the most thoroughly devastated small town in the state on a day when dozens of communities, from Rainsville to Cullman to Cordova, saw downtowns leveled by an outbreak of 62 separate tornadoes.


The day's deadliest and strongest twister, an EF-5 with winds of 210 mph, first touched down outside Hackleburg, lifting sidewalks into the air, crushing the high school and razing the middle of the town. 


Bentley announced that Hackleburg, a town of nearly 1,600 people before the storm, will receive $4.8 million for recovery. That includes $398,921 for street improvements, $200,000 for water facilities, $1.2 million for sewer and sidewalks, $2.1 million for downtown revitalization, $300,000 for the demolished public housing, $350,000 to the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama and a $250,000 loan for economic development. On top of that, Marion County will receive another $300,000 for debris removal.




















AEgis Technologies military training video game wins conference award 
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
By Martin Swant | mswant@al.com 

 HUNTSVILLE, Alabama --A video game for military training developed by Huntsvile-based AEgis Technologies has won the People's Choice Award at the 2012 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge.


AEgis' game, Combat ID, is the first in a series of projects planned by AEgis utilizing the company's modeling and simulation technologies. The Serious Games Showcase highlights games and technology used to deliver instructional material to the public in the categories of business, government and student. Industry experts chose the "Best in Category" winner, while the conference attendees select the winner for "People's Choice."

The competition was held at theInterservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) -- an event promoting cooperation among the military, industry, academia and other government agencies.


Combat ID focuses on the recurring problems with combat vehicle recognition and friendly fire that takes place on modern-day battle fields, according to AEgis. The game's developers used research from Dept. of Defense analysts, industry experts and military trend reports. The game provides a training environment for users to identify which vehicles are most commonly used in combat by allies and enemies, then places them in realistic gaming environments to test their knowledge.
















Opelika council OKs tax abatements for growing Daewon

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 

Drew Taylor | Opelika-Auburn News


Tax abatements for Daewon America Inc. in Opelika were the main topic discussed during the Opelika City Council meeting Tuesday night.


The council approved a resolution for the abatement of certain taxes for the company, which is located in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park. The abatements pair with a company investment of $16 million in capital for the purchase, acquisition and installation of new manufacturing equipment in its existing for a new coil spring line expansion in Opelika, which is estimated to produce 30 new jobs in the area. According to the ordinance, the equipment will be installed by May 31, 2013.


"We're pleased that Daewon is making this additional investment in Opelika," Mayor Gary Fuller said in a written statement. "Their need for additional capacity is a good indication that Daewon is enjoying success here in Opelika. It is wonderful to see existing industry continue to grow and bring more opportunities for our citizens."

Abatements include all state and local non-education ad valorem taxes and all construction-related transaction taxes, which include sales and use taxes. The abatements will be authorized for a period of 10 years.




[Opelika Auburn News]









Mercedes-Benz plans major hiring wave in Alabama next year as C-Class production nears Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 

VANCE, Alabama  -- The Mercedes-Benz auto plant in Tuscaloosa County plans a major hiring wave next year, as it will fill the bulk of the 1,000 jobs that are being added for production of the C-Class sedan.

The car is expected to officially join the German automaker's Alabama assembly lines in early 2014. The plant is coordinating with other Mercedes factories in Germany, South Africa and China to launch the redesigned C-Class.

Construction for the project also is picking up speed.


"We are on track," Markus Schaefer, head of Mercedes' Alabama operations, said in an interview. "We're working through the Christmas holidays to install C-Class equipment."
















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