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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:
Alabama Department of Commerce to tout benefits of exporting
Windmill farms planned for Etowah, Cherokee counties
Expo gives students glimpse into future






Alabama Department of Commerce to tout benefits of exporting
Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on February 06, 2013

Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield will begin a tour this week that's aimed at encouraging more businesses in the state to participate in international trade.

The tour starts Thursday at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Tanner. Canfield also will discuss Accelerate Alabama, the state's strategic plan for economic development.


Alabama exports hit a record high in 2011, with nearly $18 billion in total shipments. The 2012 data has not been released yet.


Autos are a major driver of the state's exports, with Mercedes-Benz shipping more than half of the output of its Tuscaloosa County plant to foreign markets. 


















Windmill farms planned for Etowah, Cherokee counties
By William Thornton | wthornton@al.com 
 Published: Tuesday, February 05, 2013

GADSDEN, Alabama --- A Texas-based green energy company is planning two windmill farms for Etowah and Cherokee counties, which would be the first of their kind for the state.

Construction could begin as early as this fall to take advantage of federal tax breaks, said Andy Bowman, president of Pioneer Green Energy, a firm responsible for developing 17 windmill projects in Texas, New York and Pennsylvania.


For Etowah County, the company is planning a string of windmills about seven miles northeast of Gadsden, with the farm costing about $120 million. It would generate an estimated 80 megawatts of power. Patrick Buckley, Pioneer's development manager, said the "Noccalula" project, as it would be called, would provide enough power for 24,000 homes.


"This is a unique opportunity to bring new industry home to Alabama, and generate clean energy right in our own backyard," Buckley said.












Expo gives students glimpse into future
By Bayne Hughes
The Decatur Daily
Februray 6, 2013

With graduation approaching, high school juniors and seniors get a glimpse of their future employment options today at Calhoun Community College.


More than 1,000 students, parents and educators from seven school systems in Morgan, Limestone, Madison and Lawrence counties are expected to meet with industry leaders at the 2013 Career & Workforce Expo.

Calhoun Dual Enrollment Coordinator Gwen Baker said the expo isn't a job fair.


"It's an introduction to the kind of careers available locally and the type of education they need for these careers," Baker said.


Chris Blevins, Morgan County Schools career-tech director, has been carrying students to the expo since it began 12 years ago.Blevins said the event focuses on career options in the technology and health fields.


"This really isn't meant for kids who know they want to become doctors or lawyers," Blevins said.


Blevins said the expo helps students who haven't been exposed to career-tech or career counseling.




[Decatur Daily ]





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