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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 companies recognized for excellence in exporting
Officials plan for economic growth
Students get 'job ready'...DCS career tech classes growing with Calhoun deal
What kind of competition do Birmingham job seekers face?
New robots in the workplace: Job creators or job terminators?
"Camp iMade it" will expose students to advanced manufacturing careers in Montgomery.




Alabama companies recognized for excellence in exporting
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on March 06, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Gov. Robert Bentley today recognized eight Alabama companies that are excelling in international trade.

The value of Alabama exports reached a record $19.5 billion last year, a 9.4 percent improvement from 2011.

See the slideshow of the state's top exports.

Companies recognized with the 2013 Governor's Trade Excellence Awards are:

Atlas RFID Solutions, Birmingham; Intergraph Corp., Madison; Mack Manufacturing Inc., Theodore; Quincy Compressor, Bay Minette; Induron Coatings LLC, Birmingham; LINE-X LLC, Huntsville; Motion Industries, Birmingham; and Von Corporation, Birmingham.


"The success of these companies shows how Alabama products are reaching a global marketplace," the governor said in a statement.





























Officials plan for economic growth

By Phil Johnson 

/   March 6, 2013  /


Local and state of Alabama officials met in Brewton Wednesday, February 27, to exchange ideas and receive information about available programs to aid elected officials in supporting economic growth in South Alabama.


The event, Elected Officials Economic Development Orientation, was sponsored by Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance.


About 26 representatives from city, county and regional governments attended the workshop, among them Atmore Mayor Jim Staff, Atmore City Councilwoman Susan Smith, Escambia County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Marshall Rogers, and Atmore Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sheryl Vickery.


"Economic development starts locally. Job creation is our number one priority at AIDT (Alabama Industrial Development Training)," Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said. "No other state does the job better."




[Artmore News]




























Students get 'job ready'
DCS career tech classes growing with Calhoun deal
By Deangelo McDaniel
The Decatur Daily
3/7/13 | 

Decatur City Schools is expanding its career technical curriculum, a move that could have some students "job ready" when they graduate high school, secondary curriculum coordinator Dee Dee Jones said.


The school system reached an agreement with Calhoun Community College to add more dual-enrollment options. A grant is paying for the classes, which normally cost about $400 each per semester, Jones said.


"Our goal is to be a model for the state," she said.


Calhoun and Decatur school officials started talking about an alignment in January.


"Our goal is to make sure every student in our system is career-ready when they graduate," Decatur schools Superintendent Ed Nichols said.


The classes would prepare kids for jobs in fields such as EMT certification, cosmetology, nursing assistant, industrial maintenance, aviation welding and even broadcasting. The classes also would apply toward a college degree at all in-state colleges and universities, Jones said.




[Decatur Daily]
























What kind of competition do Birmingham job seekers face?
The outlook for job seekers is slightly better in Birmingham than the U.S. average.
Brent Godwin/Online editor-Birmingham Business Journal
Mar 6, 2013

The job outlook for the unemployed in Birmingham is better than the national average, according to data from Simply Hired.

For every two unemployed persons in the Magic City, there is one job opening. The national average is three to one. The study shows that the number of job openings in Birmingham increased by 13 percent year-over-year to 19,528.


Simply Hired found that in February, job openings nationwide increased more than 8 percent month-over-month.

































New robots in the workplace: Job creators or job terminators?
By Cecilia Kang
Published: March 6

BOSTON - At MIT, a management robot is learning to run a factory and give orders to artificial co-workers, and a BakeBot robot is reading recipes, whipping together butter, sugar and flour and putting the cookie mix in the oven. At the University of California at Berkeley, a robot can do laundry and then neatly fold T-shirts and towels.

A wave of new robots, affordable and capable of accomplishing advanced human tasks, is being aimed at jobs that are high in the workforce hierarchy.


The consequences of this leap in technology loom large for the American worker - and perhaps their managers, too. Back in the 1980s, when automated spray-painting and welding machines took hold in factories, some on the assembly line quickly discovered they had become obsolete.


Today's robots can do far more than their primitive, single-task ancestors. And there is a broad debate among economists, labor experts and companies over whether the trend will add good-paying jobs to the economy by helping firms run more efficiently or simply leave human workers out in the cold.


"We've reached a tipping point in robotics," said Daniela Rus, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The possibility is to run a factory, she added, "all while you are sleeping." 




[Washington Post]
































"Camp iMade it" will expose students to advanced manufacturing careers in Montgomery 


On Friday, March 8, 2013,  more than 200 eighth-graders from the Montgomery Public Schools district will learn about manufacturing careers at H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College and at the Alabama Industrial Development Training center.


At Camp iMade it, students will visit about a dozen stations from such varied companies as Industrial Specialty Co., STERIS Co., Alabama Power, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, SABIC, an innovative plastics business unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.; and PHA Body Systems.


The students will be exposed to surgical equipment at the STERIS station; door modules at PHA Body Systems, which is a Hyundai supplier; chemistry at SABIC's station; and custom accessories for the Spyder Motorcycle at Industrial Specialty's station. Trenholm has stations that detail assembly line work and robotics and two of AIDT's stations will focus on machine shop activities and performance assessment programs.


The half-day event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. at Trenholm (Patterson Campus). Students will be divided into groups and will visit each of the stations.


The students attending Camp iMade it have shown an aptitude for manufacturing. The camp is an introduction into the district's Advanced Manufacturing Career Academy at George Washington Carver High School.


Camp iMade it is a partnership of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery Public Schools.


The sponsors of the camp are Industrial Specialty, SABIC, STERIS, Alabama Power Company, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC, PHA Body Systems, Hager Companies, Giles Foodservice Equipment, H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College and Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT).


For further information before and during Camp iMade it, contact Jessica Horsley at jhorsley@montgomerychamber.com or 334-240-9248. 


















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Val Walton
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