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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:
French ambassador to visit Montgomery, meet state officials
Board elects new trustee, UAB president
Bessemer gives tax incentives to Michigan auto-parts make
Economy, costs send some to trade school
UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship approved by trustees
UA Economists Forecast Moderate GDP Growth, Improving Job Gains for 2013






French ambassador to visit Montgomery, meet state officials
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on February 11, 2013


Francois Delattre, France's ambassador to the United States, will visit Montgomery on Tuesday where he will meet with Gov. Robert Bentley and other state officials.

The purpose of the trip is to strengthen economic ties between France and Alabama. Delattre's visit follows an invitation from the Alabama World Affairs Council, where he will speak on U.S.-France relations.


Recent investments in Alabama by French companies include Airbus' plans to construct a $600 million aircraft assembly plant and Safran Group's new $2 million engineering center, both in Mobile.

























Board elects new trustee, UAB president
By Jason Morton
Staff Writer
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013

BIRMINGHAM | A new trustee and university president were chosen today by the University of Alabama System's Board of Trustees.

Ray Watts was selected unanimously as the seventh president of the University of Alabama-Birmingham.


"I love UAB, my collegiate alma mater. And I love my hometown of Birmingham and my home state of Alabama," said Watts, who graduated from UAB in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in engineering. "I am grateful for this opportunity."


Watts, who earned his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was a senior vice president and dean of UAB's School of Medicine prior to appointment.


The Board of Trustees also elected Mobile businessman Harris Vaughan Morrissette to fulfill the unexpired term of Trustee Angus Cooper II, who stepped down from the board in September after less than three years into his most recent six-year term.




[Tuscaloosa News]











Bessemer gives tax incentives to Michigan auto-parts maker
By Jesse Chambers | jchambers@al.com 
on February 08, 2013

The Bessemer City Council voted Tuesday to approve tax incentives for an auto-parts manufacturer that plans to eventually employ about 100 people at a renovated facility in the city.


The council voted to grant Intertec Systems of Plymouth, Mich., a 10-year abatement of some non-educational ad valorem taxes on personal property.


Intertec was also granted a short-term break -- only until the plant opens -- on transactional taxes on the purchase of what is expected to be about $18.5 million in construction materials and equipment.


Rob McCormick, Intertec's Director of Business Integration, told the council that the firm is a 50/50 joint venture of Johnson Controls and Inoac, two large automotive suppliers. Intertec makes instrument panels and glove boxes.

According to McCormack, the firm has recently been awarded with three new "programs," or long-term contracts. This gives Intertec enough new business that they have achieved what McCormick called "critical mass" and need their own manufacturing facility.











Economy, costs send some to trade school
 ON FEBRUARY 11, 2013

As the economy in Alabama changes and the University's tuition rises, the number of potential students who instead choose to attend community colleges and technical schools might be rising with them.


Amy Brabham, the vice chancellor for Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development for the Alabama Community College System, said the increase in the manufacturing and automotive, especially in the Alabama area, have pushed individuals into more of a technical based career.


ACCS focuses on three things - academics, adult education and workforce development, which encompasses what the technical institutions do on the basis of what businesses and industries need, Brabham said.


"We have seen increases in our enrollment and in our technical programs specifically," Brabham said. "A reason why is due to the economic conditions, job changes and lay-offs."




[Crimson White]












UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship approved by trustees
 By Jim Bakken
 February 08, 2013

 The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved a proposal for the development of an Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) during its meeting on Feb. 8, 2013. 


The UAB Research Foundation (UABRF), which currently manages technology transfer and intellectual property created by the UAB community, will now have an expanded presence and operate as the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


In this capacity, the Institute will serve to create and foster an entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem integrating the UABRF's existing strengths and capabilities, enhancing and facilitating service and technology commercialization.


 Further, its mission will include engagement of faculty in creating new classroom and experiential learning opportunities for students across campus, as well as encourage and cultivate interdisciplinary scholarly research and publication among faculty and clinicians, and serve as the resource center for UAB as it continues to advance its role in innovation and entrepreneurship.




[UAB News]














UA Economists Forecast Moderate GDP Growth, Improving Job Gains for 2013
on February 08, 2013

Output gains could be substantially higher for manufacturers of motor vehicles and parts and other transportation equipment.


 Businesses in financial activities, administrative and waste management, ambulatory healthcare services, as well as food services and drinking places, could also see above average output gains in 2013.


The pace of job growth is expected to pick up modestly from the 11,300 jobs added in 2012. About 15,000 to 20,000 jobs could be added in 2013, largely in services, primary and fabricated metals, and transportation equipment manufacturing. However, the unemployment rate will remain around its current seasonally-adjusted level of 7.8 percent as individuals enter or reenter the labor force.  


Manufacturers, particularly of transportation equipment; firms in professional and business services; and the leisure and hospitality sector were the largest job creators in 2012.


















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Val Walton
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