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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:
Rural communities face a special set of challenges when it comes to recruiting business
Left behind: Alabama's economic development success isn't felt in every corner of the state
GE Aviation opening factory in Auburn
Opp to announce AdvantageSite designation
Mercedes-Benz sets May 10 deadline for Vance, AL Job Posts


Rural communities face a special set of challenges when it comes to recruiting business 
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
April 27, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Recruiting new business to rural communities often is a daunting task from the beginning.


Small work forces, a lack of interstate access and prepared sites, as well as limited resources for incentives and marketing are all challenges.


There's no one-size-fits-all solution for meeting these challenges, say Bill Taylor, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and Steve Sewell, the group's executive vice president.


EDPA has been holding meetings in rural counties to help set long-range economic development goals that align with the state's priorities and to start a dialog about what's working and what's not.


"It's a lot of fun. It's engaging. It's energetic," Taylor said. "Coming together means so much...there are great folks in rural Alabama with a huge amount of passion for their communities."


Taylor and Sewell sit on the steering committee of a new effort by the Economic Development Association of Alabama to boost business recruiting in rural areas.


The regional focus is key, they say. Communities that work together to draw projects have a better shot at success, with their combined work forces and other resources.








Left behind: Alabama's economic development success isn't felt in every corner of the state 
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 

April 28, 2013 at 7:00 AM


New and expanding industries announced plans to create more than 20,000 jobs with investments topping $5.4 billion in Alabama last year.


But a closer look at those numbers shows there wasn't a single new job or investment in almost a dozen of Alabama's 67 counties -- a fact lost in the fanfare as Gov. Robert Bentley announced them on the steps of the Capitol last month.


Three-quarters of that investment and two-thirds of the jobs are slated for the state's 15 urban counties, defined as those with cities that have populations of 25,000 people or more.


The rest of the bounty was split among 41 rural counties, and the 11 that ended up empty-handed are also all considered rural.


It's an important issue, no matter where you live in Alabama, because a lack of prosperity anywhere can be a drain on the state as a whole, particularly when it comes to education, job training and tax aid.







GE Aviation opening factory in Auburn
Apr. 29, 2013 8:04 AM

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - GE Aviation is opening a $50 million factory that will provide several hundred jobs in east Alabama.


The company has a ribbon-cutting Monday morning for a new plant that will make parts for GE jet engines.


The 300,000-square-foot factory is located at Auburn Technology Park West, and officials say it's expected to hire between 300 and 400 people in coming years.


Gov. Robert Bentley and House Speaker Mike Hubbard are among those scheduled to attend the plant opening.

[Montgomery Advertiser


Opp to announce Advantage Site designation 
By Kendra Bolling

Published 9:40pm Friday, April 26, 2013 


The city of Opp, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and the Covington County Economic Development Commission will announce its Advantage Site designation for the Opp Industrial Park.


An Advantage Site designation confirms that documentation critical to the site selection process is ready for prospective industry.


It is a voluntary program that allows communities to demonstrate that due diligence has been done on the designated site.


Opp Mayor John Bartholomew said that Opp is one of only 39 advantage sites in the state.


"That means we are shovel-ready for any company that wants to come," he said. "This is very big news, and we are very excited. It puts the city in very good position."




[Andalusia Star]



Mercedes-Benz Sets May 10 Deadline for Vance, AL Job Posts

In a statement, Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) said that, after May 10, it will no longer be taking any more applications for some 1,000 job posts to accommodate the production requirements for two additional Mercedes-Benz car models set to start in a couple of years.

MBUSI is the entity behind the Vance, Alabama plant of the German automaker. The plant was founded in 1993 and rolled out the first vehicle in February 1997. In December of 2009, Daimler announced that it would be moving C-Class production to the plant, and production is set for 2014, and a fifth vehicle model is said to be on the way to the plant-hence the job openings.

"Candidates interested in the new production jobs at ­Mercedes-Benz U.S. International shouldn't wait until the last minute," says MBUSI in an excerpt from the automaker's Friday statement. It also went to say that some early applications are already being processed and that some candidates are already being contacted.

Interested applicants can go to http://www.aidt.edu/jobs (applications are only processed online) to check out the Mercedes-Benz US International listings for maintenance and production personnel.

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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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