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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:
5 questions with EADS chief executive Tom Enders (George Talbot column)
Protective's $1 billion deal will benefit Birmingham, CEO says
Birmingham seeking to reclaim All-American City designation last won in 1970
AIME DAY to feature local entrepreneurs
Report: Mobile leads construction employment rebound in Alabama
Los Angeles Times travel column praises Birmingham as destination for history buffs, foodies
UAB to host the Alabama Composites Conference (June 18-20th, 2013) in Birmingham




5 questions with EADS chief executive Tom Enders (George Talbot column)
By George Talbot | gtalbot@al.com 
on April 11, 2013 

EADS chief executive Tom Enders was in Mobile this week to formally break ground on a $600 million aircraft assembly plant at the Brookley Aeroplex.

The 1,000-worker factory will assemble A320 passenger jets for Airbus, an EADS subsidiary. 


Enders, a former German paratrooper, shared his thoughts on the project in an exclusive interview over breakfast Monday at the Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile.


1. What is the business case for this investment?

It's not one you can just break down into dollars and cents. My decision was based on two things: First, the U.S. remains the largest aerospace and defense market in the world. So it only makes sense for us to build a presence here.

Secondly, we're forecasting (U.S.) demand for something like 5,000 single-aisle aircraft over the next 20 years. It's a competitive market, and there's an advantage to having your own industrial footprint here. We don't want to be seen as a foreign company taking away U.S. jobs, because that is not the case.











Protective's $1 billion deal will benefit Birmingham, CEO says
By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 
on April 11, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Protective Life Corp.'s (NYSE: PL) move to invest more than $1 billion in expanding its business via acquisition will have a direct positive impact on the Birmingham area, says Chairman, President and CEO John D. Johns.  

Late last night -- just moments after the first pitch was thrown at Birmingham's new downtown ballpark, in fact -- Birmingham-based Protective announced that it had agreed to acquire MONY Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of AXA SA, for slightly more than $1 billion. In a statement, Protective said the deal would significantly boost its earnings in 2014, a positive outcome for the city in which the company is headquartered.

"We have more money to grow," Johns said in a phone interview on Thursday morning, adding that more profits will lead to "more people [i.e. employees] in Birmingham." Profits also help allow Protective to expand its charitable giving, which totaled nearly $3 million in 2012.









Birmingham seeking to reclaim All-American City designation last won in 1970
By Joseph D. Bryant | jbryant@al.com 
on April 12, 2013 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The city of Birmingham is among 20 finalists for the 2013 All-American City Awards.


The award from the National Civic League recognizes several communities each year for innovation, inclusiveness, civic engagement and collaboration to address local challenges,according to league's website.


Some cities have won the award multiple time while Birmingham last won the All American designation in 1970.

To be considered, participants must list three examples of significant community change and planning over the last five years.


Birmingham Mayor William Bell  announced the city's competition status at a press conference this morning. The city made its application in partnership with the Birmingham Business Alliance. 














AIME DAY to feature local entrepreneurs
ON APRIL 11, 2013
UA Entrepreneurial Week activities begin Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Hotel Capstone Ballroom, with different activities held throughout the week. Entrepreneurial Week will finish with an all-day event known as the University's Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs Day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday in Room 110 of the Alabama Institute of Manufacturing Excellence Facility.

Greg Sheek, director of Alabama Launchpad programs, David Snyder of Urban Cookhouse and Sam Brewer and Nick Wright of Game Day Tents are all to be featured at the week's beginning forum in the ballroom.


AIME Day, the final day of the week, includes presentations made by faculty and students along with University representatives participating in the Alabama Launchpad business plan at The Edge in downtown Tuscaloosa.


 Judges will select winners from 16 competing entrepreneurial teams that will be given funding and help from the University, Lou Marino, director of the entrepreneurial program in the College of Business, said.


"The teams will have these elevator pitches, and the concept behind the elevator pitch is that you imagine you're stuck in an elevator, and you have 90 seconds to 2 minutes to pitch your idea to the executive in the elevator with you," Marino said. "So the teams have 2 minutes to pitch their idea and the best 5 will be selected to go again, and winners will receive cash prizes and will hopefully be able to talk to the judges about maybe even investing in their ideas."




[Crimson White]











Report: Mobile leads construction employment rebound in Alabama
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on April 11, 2013 

MOBILE, Alabama - Mobile's construction employment gains for the 12-month period ending in February far outpaced Alabama's 10 other metropolitan areas and ranked it 24th nationwide.


According to the report released Thursday by the Associated General Contractors of America, Mobile gained 1,200 construction jobs, representing a 12 percent year-over-year increase and placing it in the top 7 percent nationally.


And although Pascagoula, Miss., added only 1,800 construction jobs during the same period, the boost represents a 51 percent gain, ranking it first among all 339 metropolitan areas examined.
















Los Angeles Times travel column praises Birmingham as destination for history buffs, foodies
By Kelsey Stein | kstein@al.com 
on April 11, 2013 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Add the Los Angeles Times to the growing list of publications to heap praise on Birmingham as the city commemorates the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement.


Alice Short, the newspaper's assistant managing editor for features, lauded Birmingham this week in a travel column written after a short visit in February.


Despite her admitted skepticism and the surprised reactions of others - she notes that one person quipped "Alabama? On purpose?" - Short gave the city a glowing review.


"After a few short days, I found myself becoming a banner carrier for Birmingham: Anyone who cares about U.S. history should plan a trip here," Short wrote.

















UAB to host the Alabama Composites Conference (June 18-20th, 2013) in Birmingham.


The conference events are of interest to the automotive, transportation, defense, aerospace, infrastructure, power and energy sectors with a common interest in advanced materials, lightweight composites and related technologies.



  • High quality technical sessions, keynotes speakers and panel discussion. All presentations are invited talks from program managers, technologies, company CEOs and business development personnel
  • Sessions on transportation, automotive, defense, power & energy sector, infrastructure, sustainability and emerging applications,  economic development and commercial opportunities
  • Panel discussions on Economic Development and Sustainability (led by Owens Corning)
  • Keynotes speakers from DARPA, industry and economic development leaders
  • Information exchange and network opportunities for practicing engineers and managers, small businesses, national laboratories and academia 
  • Exhibits featuring fabricators, material suppliers, product developers & end-users.
  • Three Workshops -

(a) Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) for Corrosion Prevention;

(b) Green Composites and Recycling;

(c) Design and Modeling of Composites

  • Opportunities for industry to meet potential students who have training in advanced materials - Work force development and future work force.
  • Emerging technologies in nano/biomaterials, structural and green composites, applications development, modeling and simulation - STUDENT posters

UAB has hosted this conference on a 2-yearly cycle since 2006. This is a high technical quality meeting and has been very well received over the years. 


Please visit www.uab.edu/composites/acc2013
for details on the 3-day events (June 18-20th, 2013). 
The exhibit days are June 19th and 20th. 

On-line registration is open - Register today

 Workshops (June 18th):-


Managing Corrosion with FRP Workshop (Michael Stevens, Ashland - Chair)


Design & Modeling of Composites Workshop


Green Composites & Recycling workshop


Who Should Attend:

  • Engineers, Professionals, Managers, Designers, Modelers
  • Companies and organizations interested in advanced materials and manufacturing, integrated process- product development
  • Companies with interest in lightweight energy efficient products in automotive, aerospace, defense, infrastructure, power, energy and sporting goods
  • Those interested in Recycling of Engineered Plastics and Composites
  • FEA, Process and Structural Modeling, Design and Simulation engineers
  • Advanced materials and manufacturing professionals at all levels
  • Material suppliers, OEMs, end-users, economic development organization/personnel and academia



Alabama Composites Conference Organizing Committee

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Birmingham, AL 35294

Phone: 205-934-9199 (O)

205-410-2898 (C)












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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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