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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:
The New Montgomery: Business: Alabama workers drive Hyundai's 2013 growth
Nine Huntsville companies share $997 million SETAC contract
Mobile economic outlook: 2013 offers opportunity to bridge skills gap
Bill requiring state to reveal effectiveness of funds used to recruit businesses prefiled



The New Montgomery: Business: Alabama workers drive Hyundai's 2013 growth: Korean automaker to rely on local plant even more
 Jan 9, 2013  
Written by Brad Harper

As Hyundai Motor Co. puts the brakes on building new production facilities around the world, workers at the Montgomery assembly plant may hold the key to the company's continued growth in North America and could have a bigger impact than ever on the global bottom line.


The Alabama plant builds the company's two best-selling cars in the American market, both of which set annual sales records in 2012.


"We just for the first time ever sold more than 200,000 each of the (Montgomery-made) Elantra and Sonata," Hyundai Motor America's Jim Trainor said. "We need every one of them."


The numbers show why.


Hyundai's U.S. sales fell in October as Hurricane Sandy hurt supply lines along the East Coast. The Montgomery plant, which had just launched a third production shift, responded by rolling out a plant-record 37,200 vehicles that month.


The following month, U.S. sales rose to a new November record, led by sales of Alabama-made vehicles. That trend continued in December, another record sales month for the company.

Sales rose 9 percent for the year in America and 5.4 percent in Canada, which the Montgomery plant also supplies.



[Montgomery Advertiser]





Nine Huntsville companies share $997 million SETAC contract
By Leada Gore | lgore@al.com 
on January 08, 2013 


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Nine companies will share a $997 million Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance Contract, or SETAC, award from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command.


The contract is for five years. It was awarded to Analytical Services Inc., COLSA Corp., Engineering Research and Consulting Inc., Quantum Research International Inc., Radiance Technologies Inc., Sigmatech Inc., Systems Studies and Simulation Inc., and Warfighter Solutions Inc. All are based in Huntsville. The companies will provide for the systems engineering and technical assistance services to support U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.


In other contracting news:

Raytheon Co. received a $57 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide modification to an existing contract to procure M982A1 155mm Precision Engagement Projectiles. The work will be completed by April 30, 2014 and work will be done in multiple locations, including Anniston.









Mobile economic outlook: 2013 offers opportunity to bridge skills gap
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on January 08, 2013


MOBILE, Alabama - At least one economic forecast paints a sobering portrait for Mobile's 2013 employment outlook, but it also highlights opportunities to address some of the underlying causes.


According to research released recently by Pittsburg-based PNC Financial Services Group, Mobile's economy re-accelerated slightly in late 2012 after a pronounced slowdown during the summer months, but recovery remains "weak and narrow."


"Payrolls have been weighed down by declining public sector employment. Government jobs are down 7 percent from mid-2010 amid local and state government budget deficits and revenues that are falling short of expectations. Local manufacturing, which is geared toward shipbuilding, has not seen much lift to payrolls, but the nationwide manufacturing recovery is stimulating transportation," PNC's Mobile Market Outlook for the first quarter of 2013 states.


Meanwhile, the report's household survey indicates although household employment spiked right at the close of 2012, both employment and labor force participation declined throughout most of the year.









Bill requiring state to reveal effectiveness of funds used to recruit businesses prefiled
Jan 8, 2013
Written by Brian Lyman

A prefiled bill would require the state to track its spending on economic development projects and whether they are creating paying jobs.


A version of the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, was introduced in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 regular sessions.


"It's about transparency," Todd said Monday. "We give a lot of financial incentives to companies to locate in Alabama, but the Legislature never really gets a report of how that money is used, how many jobs were created and when that subsidy will end and when the return on investment will begin."


The bill faces strong opposition from Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, who called it "very anti-job creation" in a phone interview Monday.


"This bill puts an undue burden on companies trying to do business in the state," Canfield said. "Every project agreement we enter into is a matter of public record."




[Montgomery Advertiser]




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