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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:
Airbus Mobile: How did we get here?
Mercedes-Benz delivered a record number of vehicles in March
ESCC sees opportunity with Commercial Jet
Online classes likely to become more common
JeffCo schools look to tap into tech



Airbus Mobile: How did we get here?
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on April 08, 2013 

MOBILE, Alabama -- Today's groundbreaking forAirbus' $600 million final aircraft assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex is both the culmination of an eight-year courtship and Mobile's debut on the global commercial aviation stage. The road has been long and -- at times -- absolutely heartbreaking, but today exemplifies for many involved the power of slowly-crafted relationships and unyielding faith in a shared shared vision for prosperity.

exemplifies for many involved the power of slowly-crafted relationships and unyielding faith in a shared shared vision for prosperity.

  • 2005: Airbus' parent, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., selects Mobile as a potential site for aircraft production.
  • August 2005: Airbus is among the first to respond Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast. Within days of the storm, the company delivered tons of relief supplies to Brookley via its Beluga transport plane.
  • 2008: EADS was awarded a $40 billion Pentagon contract for the production of U.S. Air Force refueling tankers that would be built in Mobile at Brookley Aeroplex. Chicago-based Boeing Co. challenged the award.








Mercedes-Benz delivered a record number of vehicles in March; 139,920 vehicles went to customers worldwide
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 

Mercedes-Benz delivered a record number of vehicles to customers in March - 139,920 vehicles worldwide, according to a statement released this afternoon from the company's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.


The German automaker, which has an auto assembly plant in Vance, also reported a 3.5 percent increase in vehicles sold for the first quarter, compared with the first quarter of 2012.


Mercedes did not give a breakdown on which of its models set records in March but said its sport utility vehicles, which include the M-Class and GL-Class made only in Vance, saw record sales in the first quarter.


"With strong gains in the USA and in many new growth markets, we were able to balance out weakening European markets and the sales decrease in China and have posted yet another sales record in the first quarter" said Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes vice president sales and marketing, in commenting on sales of all models.


[Tuscaloosa News]












ESCC sees opportunity with Commercial Jet
By Jim Cook
April 5, 2013

The coming of Commercial Jet Inc. to Dothan will provide students at Enterprise State Community College's aviation campus in Ozark a place to work after they graduate, and the company and college will likely find ways to partner in the future.


Matthew Hughes, dean of instruction, said the addition of the company to the local economy could cause an enrollment increase of up to 25 percent at the college.


"Enrollment depends on the economy, and any time there are employment opportunities, enrollment goes up," he said.


The school currently has about 650 students. The aviation campus offers courses in aviation maintenance, skills Commercial Jet will need at the Dothan facility.





[Dothan Eagle]










Online classes likely to become more common
By Lisa Singleton-Rickman
The TimesDaily

Alabama educators have long known that online classes provide experience and preparation students need for life after high school, either for college or the workforce.


But the state has never done much more than suggest schools implement them in the curriculum, until now. Under the state's new diploma requirements, which go into effect this fall and begin with incoming ninth-graders, there's a required college and career preparedness course that incorporates computer applications.


Though Alabama schools have discretion as to how to implement that part of the career preparedness course, online classes will likely become more commonplace, according to Alabama Department of Education officials.

"In the past, it was suggested that schools encourage that online (course) experience because in today's world it is needed, but it wasn't an actual mandate," said Malissa Valdes-Hubert, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Education. "We just left it up to schools to recognize the need and incorporate it into their curriculums. But now it's a firm part of the college and career preparedness course."


While area high schools don't require online courses for graduation, there's interest in making those options readily available to students.


Online courses have been a trend in the Southeast for more than a decade.







JeffCo schools look to tap into tech
Yann Ranaivo Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
April 5, 2013

The world is becoming increasingly digital, and local educators are taking note.


Moving forward, that means Birmingham's growing information technology sector could tap more into Birmingham area high schools to fill future jobs. 


That's what Jefferson County School District Superintendent Stephen Nowlin told me during an interview for this week's special report on career academies.


The Shades Valley Technical Academies, an extension of Shades Valley High School, houses four technical education programs that prepare and certify students for work in residential and commercial wiring, welding and automotive work. State and Birmingham education officials are lumping the programs, and others like them, in an effort to improve career preparedness among high school students.




[Birmingham Business Journal]


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Val Walton
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