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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:
GE Aviation opens 300,000 square-foot facility in Auburn
Steady improvement seen in Alabama's industry employment numbers
Mobile's Hargrove Engineers + Constructors climbs national ranking, talks Airbus


GE Aviation opens 300,000-square-foot facility in Auburn
By Ed Enoch | eenoch@al.com 
April 29, 2013 at 4:13 PM

AUBURN, Alabama - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley hailed the opening of GE Aviation's 300,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Auburn Monday as part of a trend of growth in the state's aerospace industry.


"The aerospace industry in the state of Alabama is very important. Before this plant developed, before Airbus announced they were coming to Alabama, we had over 330 aerospace industries in the state of Alabama, and we continue to produce more of those every day and this is one we are very proud of today."


Bentley was joined by company executives and state and Lee County leaders at the ribbon cutting for the new facility in the city of Auburn's west technology park on Monday. The plant will produce jet engine components and spare parts for commercial and military aircraft that use GE engines.







Steady improvement seen in Alabama industry employment numbers

By Antrenise Cole

Apr 29, 2013, 2:17pm


While all industries in Alabama lost jobs during the economic downturn, many sectors are experiencing job gains, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Data Digest for April.


Business services, which lost 10 percent of its jobs, saw the largest increase with an 8.8 percent employment gain in the state as of February, the report said.


The second largest employment gain was in transportation/warehouse/utilities with 6.4 percent. The industry's jobs declined 9 percent statewide during the downturn.


The construction industry was the hardest hit, losing 31.5 percent of its jobs. It has only gained 1.5 percent of its jobs as of February.


The state government sector, which was down 8.6 percent of its jobs during the downturn, continues to lose jobs.

Manufacturing, local government, wholesale trade, health care and private education and  transportation/warehouse/utilities had the strongest employment momentum in February. Meanwhile, state government and information were the weakest sectors, according to the report.




[Birmingham Business Journal]


Mobile's Hargove Engineers + Constructors climbs national ranking, talks Airbus project
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
April 29, 2013 at 6:26 PM

MOBILE, Alabama - Mobile's Hargrove Engineers + Constructors has jumped 40 spots to 135 on Engineering News-Record's Top 500 Design Firms ranking, far outpacing the other five Alabama companies making the list.


The annual national rankings are based on design revenue, and 118th ranked Volkert Inc. - also based in Mobile - was the only Alabama-based firm ranked higher than Hargrove. The latter, however, jumped from 175 in 2012, while Volkert inched up only one spot from 119 in 2012.


Mobile-based Thompson Engineering, meanwhile, slipped from 228 one year ago to 314; Madison-based Mesa Associates Inc. held steady at 188; Montgomery-based Goodwyn Mills & Cawood Inc. gained two spots to place at 251; and Birmingham-based Robins & Morton maintained its 2012 ranking of 414.


According to Engineering News-Record's report, the current Top 500 group as a whole saw overall design revenue for 2012 increase 6.1 percent to $90.24 billion compared with the $85.06 billion recorded in 2011. The report's authors, in turn, point to this second consecutive annual growth in revenue as a sign of the national recession's end.


Since its 1995 founding in Ralph A. Hargrove's attic, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors has grown to 771 teammates in nine locations across the Southeast and maintains a staff of about 400 at its Mobile headquarters. On April 15, the firm was tapped by Birmingham-based Hoar Program Management to assist with Package B of the $600 million Airbus final assembly line under construction at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex.


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Val Walton
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