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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 lands more than 20,000 jobs, $5.4 billion in investment during 2012
City's bait to attract retail now tops $55M
PC awarded $1.5 million grant
Mobile balances nearly $778 million in new, expansion projects for 2012
Interstate 22 boosts economic development opportunities in northwest Alabama, developers say
Alabama Launchpad "Proof of Commercial Relevance" Finale Set for May 3
The Southeast Community Development Institute (CDI) is coming to Troy University



Alabama lands more than 20,000 jobs, $5.4 billion in investment during 2012
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on March 19, 2013 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- More than 20,000 jobs were announced in Alabama last year by new and expanding businesses, with a total capital investment topping $5.4 billion.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced those numbers today in a news conference on the steps of the State Capitol.

He and Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, also unveiled a rebranding campaign, Made In Alabama, aimed at luring more jobs and investment to the state.


The largest announcements last year included Airbus' new $600 million, 1,000-job aircraft assembly plant in Mobile. Others are a $1.2 billion expansion at Walter Energy and expansions at Austal USA and Hyundai.


Bentley said big projects get a lot of attention, but there are also many smaller ones in rural parts of the state.







City's bait to attract retail now tops $55M
$40 million tax incentive for Sweetwater project largest offer yet
By Tiffeny Owens
The Decatur Daily

Incentives for retailers locating in Decatur now top $55 million as the manufacturing town tries to remake itself into a business-friendly, regional shopping mecca.


The latest incentive package approved by the city Monday would be, by far, Decatur's largest: up to $40 million in land, infrastructure and sales tax rebates for the first phase of a proposed mixed-use development called Sweetwater in Decatur-annexed Limestone County.


Phase 1 of Sweetwater would feature a "destination retailer" believed to be Bass Pro Shops, a hotel and three restaurants.


While Decatur residents enjoy the additional shopping and dining choices, the mounting tax incentives leave some worried.


"I'm pro-business, but I feel like the city is putting itself in the position of picking sides," said John Wilhite, of Decatur, "and I'm not sure that's fair to our existing businesses."


Decatur has given sales tax incentives to big box, chain store retailers and commercial developers. Each one that has passed through City Hall was given considerable study, said Wally Terry, Decatur community and economic development director.




[Decatur Daily]







PC awarded $1.5 million grant
By Kellie Singleton
Published  March 19, 2013

PHIL CAMPBELL - On Thursday, Congressman Robert Aderholt announced over $1.5 million in federal grants that have been approved to help the town of Phil Campbell in their ongoing tornado recovery efforts.

Aderholt announced Phil Campbell was awarded $1,557,408 that would go towards the construction of critical water and sewer infrastructures to support the reconstruction of businesses in the Phil Campbell North Industrial Park.
The funds came from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

"Though the cameras are now gone and FEMA has packed up and left, long-term recovery efforts continue across the 4th Congressional District and these grants from the Economic Development Administration are examples of continued federal support," Aderholt said.

"These funds will help rebuild vital infrastructure that is critical to families and businesses. Further, these investments will save jobs, open additional areas for economic growth, and spur job creation in our communities.



[Franklin County Times]



Mobile balances nearly $778 million in new, expansion projects for 2012
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on March 19, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - Six counties in the far southwest corner of the state accounted for nearly 16 percent of the state's total economic development investments in 2012, according to figures released Tuesday by the Alabama Department of Commerce.


Mobile County - which welcomed six new companies and nurtured the expansions of 17 existing ones - captured the lion's share of that activity garnering a total of 2,586 jobs that represent investments of only slightly less than $778 million.


The commerce department's "New and Expanding Industry" report for 2012 indicates Mobile and its five closest neighbors - Baldwin, Clarke, Escambia, Monroe and Washington counties - generated collective investments of $846 million that created 3,422 new jobs. Statewide, more than $5.4 billion was invested in 2012, generating nearly 21,000 jobs.


"What this tells us is we are continuing to attract jobs, and we'll have to have a workforce development system that meets the needs of these hiring employers. It's something we've been planning for for years, putting the sorts of infrastructure in place to ensure we do just that," said Sam W. Covert Jr., chairman of the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council.







Interstate 22 boosts economic development opportunities in northwest Alabama, developers say

JASPER, Alabama - Segments of Corridor X - the roadway that will become Alabama's next interstate - are so new they don't show up on some GPS devices. But economic developers like David Knight and David Thornell believe that ribbon of asphalt will make Northwest Alabama appealing for new development.


Corridor X, or Interstate 22, as it will be known, connects Birmingham and Memphis. It's been under development for decades, and will be completed in 2014 when the Alabama Department of Transportation completes an intricate interchange that connects it to I-65 near Birmingham. The roadway will get the interstate designation at that time.

"The real story is not just I-22 in Jasper, or I-22 in Walker County, but what it means to all of Northwest Alabama. It is creating opportunity for us that we didn't have before," said Knight, executive director of Walker County Economic Development Authority in Jasper.


"Once it's connected to I-65, it will be the newest interstate in the nation and will be a major artery that connects with all the major cities of the Southeast," added Thornell, who heads the C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance. "It's literally going to put us on the map. We have high hopes and high expectations."


Interstate 22 cuts through the length of Walker and Marion counties, positioning them as prime beneficiaries of the new interstate in coming years. Economic developers, however, think that other nearby counties also will benefit once the interstate is officially christened.








   Alabama Launchpad "Proof of Commercial Relevance" Finale Set for May 3



The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation announces that the 2013 Alabama Launchpad Start-Up Competition finale event will be held May 3 in  Birmingham.


Seven teams were chosen by a five-judge panel comprised of entrepreneurs, investors and corporate stakeholders to move forward in the competion on March 4.


 All of the seven start-ups that advanced will get an assessment of their business model by a third-party firm. 


Those teams were narrowed down from 12. In all, 22 teams registered for the "Proof of Commercial Relevance" competition that promotes, rewards and increases the pipeline of high-growth, innovative ventures that have the potential to grow and thrive in the state.


The teams selected are "pre-seed" and are competing for awards totaling $100,000.


The finale event will be Friday, May 3 from 9:00 to 2:30 pm.  The event will be hosted at the auditorium at Evonik Corp, 750 Lakeshore Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35211.


Alabama Launchpad receives support from seven partnering universities: Alabama State University, Auburn University, the University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of South Alabama and Alabama A & M University. 


For more information, visit www.alabamalaunchpad.com





The Southeast Community Development Institute (CDI) is coming to Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama on April 22-26.


The CDI is designed to train those engaged, or wishing to engage, in community development. Techniques taught are beneficial to all in the community and revolve around management, leadership, and basic community development principles (which include economic, workforce, and leadership development).  Community officials and volunteers associated with city, county and state government, chambers of commerce, private and public sector economic development organizations, utility companies, main street organizations, community grant writers, downtown redevelopment organizations, workforce development professionals, and financial institutions will find the institute a valuable learning tool for the development of individual and community leadership skills.


The CDI is an annual development program that leads to the Professional Community and Economic Developer certification (PCED) through the Community Development Council. This year, we will host year one and continue with years two and three in 2014.



Registration fees are $600. Registration fees cover training/instruction, participant materials, breakfast, and refreshment breaks. Accommodations and all other meals are the responsibility of the participant. Hotels located downtown within walking distance are available and a room block has been established at the Hampton Inn Downtown.


For More Information Contact:

Courtney Taylor

Assistant Director, CIBED

334-670-3524 or cpurvis@troy.edu







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Val Walton
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