EDPA NewsFlash


home       about edpa        relocation     resources for     resources for     entrepreneurship &
                                          assistance     companies        communities            technology    




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:
AT&T investment in Alabama approaches $1.4 billion over three years
Presidents discuss joint program at UAB and community colleges
Geocent to hold ribbon cutting at new Research Park office
Job placement program for depot employees marks a milestone of success



AT&T investment in Alabama approaches $1.4 billion over three years
May 8, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield congratulated AT&T here today as the company announced a nearly $1.4 billion investment in its Alabama wireless and wireline networks from 2010 through 2012.

"More and more as we recruit new business and industry to Alabama, wireless connectivity is a major factor," Canfield said. "AT&T's $1.4 billion investment over the past three years is a significant investment in the state, and I am happy that they are committed to continuing to invest across Alabama.  I am also proud to announce they are hiring more than 350 employees in Alabama."


High speed Internet is essential for economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness for companies in both urban and rural areas.


Today in Montgomery, the company announced plans to conduct a statewide tour to highlight how that investment will impact rural and urban areas all across Alabama.   This year so far LTE has been added to more than 350 sites.








Presidents discuss joint program at UAB and community colleges
Yann Ranaivo Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
May 8, 2013

Starting this coming fall, students who earned their associate's degree from four community colleges in Birmingham, Hanceville and Gadsden will be able to enroll in a program that will allow them to immediately complete their junior and senior years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

UAB President Ray Watts, Gadsden State Community College President Raymond Staats, Jefferson State Community CollegePresident Judy Merritt, Lawson State Community College President Perry Ward and Wallace State-Hanceville Community College President Vicki Hawsey each signed an agreement today to launch a joint admission program targeting community college students interested in obtaining a four-year degree.

Students participating in the initiative will be eligible for a scholarship that will offer them $2,000 per year, and will also be eligible for more UAB financial aid awards, said UAB President Ray Watts.Watts explained that students seeking to participate in the program will need to be in good academic standing and have already obtained an two-year degree from the community college. He said advisers will be available at each of the community colleges to assist the students with the transition.
[Birmingham Business Journal]




Geocent to hold ribbon cutting at new Research Park office
By Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com 
on May 08, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Geocent, a Louisiana-based engineering and technology company, announced today it will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. May 15 to celebrate moving its engineering sector headquarters to Huntsville last August.  

The ribbon cutting will take place at Geocent's new offices on 6703 Odyssey Drive in Cummings Research Park. One of the company's initial goals after moving to Huntsville was to hire 100 workers within the first year of operation.  


"We've already hired about 50 employees," said Engineering Services Sector Vice President Mike Ogles in a statement. "And we already need the new, larger office space. Cummings Research Park is ideal for meeting our current needs as well as supporting our future growth. We are still hiring." 






Job placement program for depot employees marks a milestone of success
By Patrick McCreless/pmccreless@annistonstar.com
May 9, 2013

Dennis Hughes expected months of job searching after the Anniston Army Depot released him from his contract in March.

It took the Oxford resident eight days instead, due to help from Operation 1st Rate.

"I was surprised," Hughes said. "I'd definitely recommend people use 1st Rate - I already told everyone I knew about it."

Hughes, who now works at Aerospace Coatings International in Oxford, is one of 352 people Operation 1st Rate has placed in new jobs as of April 30, a milestone for the program. The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce's Operation 1st Rate is a federally funded program set up to help find new jobs for former depot employees and other laid-off area defense industry workers. The depot has shed many jobs in recent years, due in part to the end of chemical weapons incineration there and the drawdowns of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The job program, which began in August 2011, is funded through February 2014 and administrators are applying for a grant extension to February 2015, said Sherri Sumners, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation and overseer of the program.

Sumners said the program surpassing its 350th job placement marker is a milestone.

[Anniston Star]

Please feel free to forward along to someone who can use it by clicking on the "I'd like to forward this to a contact" link below the green bar. Note also, that you can now make changes to your e-mail address and contact information through the link at the bottom.    
If you have news or suggestions, please forward them along to me.
Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
Join Our Mailing List