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.
Auburn-Opelika named one of the top small cities for women in workforce
By Erin Edgemon | firstname.lastname@example.org
on May 27, 2013
AUBURN, Alabama -- Auburn-Opelika was named one of the top small cities in the country for women in the workforce, according to a report released by NerdWallet.
"A college town, Auburn has an abundance of educated, academically-minded residents, and the small gender pay gap and high population growth make this an exceptionally good city for working women," stated NerdWallet, a financial website. "Known as "The Loveliest Village on the Plains," the city is known for its manufacturing and research firms."
In its study, NerdWallet looked at the characteristics in metro areas that support working women, including a growing economy, a small gender pay gap and robust salaries.
Officials to vote on up to $800,000 in incentives to lure agri-chemical business to Mobile County
By John Sharp | email@example.com
on May 24, 2013
MOBILE, Alabama - City and county officials will vote on up $800,000 in local incentives to match a host of state and other tax abatements needed to lure a German-based agri-chemical company to Mobile County.
Mobile County Commissioners, who meet on Tuesday due to the Memorial Day holiday, will vote on $500,000 in incentives followed up by the City Council, which is also scheduled Tuesday to vote on up to $300,000 in incentives.
The money is part of a $429.5 million incentive package for German-based Bayer CropScience to build a $396 million global herbicide production facility aimed at creating an herbicide to combat glyphosate-resistant weeds.
"We're very pleased to have Bayer as our corporate community and will do whatever we can to make them feel welcomed," Mobile City Councilman John Williams said.
Friday makes the third major jobs announcement for the Butler County area this year. A new company is coming in that manufactures what will eventually become stripes on roads.
Ozark materials is setting up shop in the old Westpoint building. The company is making a $3 million investment in Greenville. With that investment come 40 jobs.
While that may not sound like a lot, Mayor Dexter Mclendon says this is just the beginning.
Governor Bentley has seen many job announcements in the recent months as well as a decreasing unemployment rate, with April numbers showing 6.9%. He says he enjoys taking time for announcements like this.
University of Alabama's business school dean has plans to improve college and community
By Patrick Rupinski
Published: Sunday, May 26, 2013
J. Michael Hardin is an ordained Baptist minister with a mathematics-related Ph.D., but his forte is business. He doesn't run a company, but he leads an organization that turns out the men and women who will.
Hardin, 57, succeeded Barry Mason as dean of the University of Alabama's business school two years ago. He had been an associate dean under Mason, who headed UA's Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration for almost 23 years and also served as an interim president for UA for almost a year.
During Mason's tenure, the business school enrollment and faculty increased and new facilities were added. Culverhouse's faculty and students also got involved in projects off campus. When he stepped down as dean, Mason was lauded for his work in improving Alabama and Tuscaloosa's business environment.
Alabama Gained Manufacturing Jobs over Past Year Reports Industrial Directory
May 28, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Industrial employment in Alabama increased slightly over the past year, according to the 2013 Alabama Manufacturers Register®, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports the state gained 2,411 manufacturing jobs between April 2012 and April 2013, or about one percent.
The industrial directory reports Alabama is now home to 5,476 manufacturing companies employing 301,956 workers.
"Alabama's industrial climate continues to improve," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Increased investment in the transportation equipment sector combined with the state's friendly business environment has spurred plant openings and encouraged hiring."
Several manufacturers have announced plant openings in Alabama, including Airbus, which opened its first U.S. plant in Mobile, and General Electric, which broke ground on a new aviation plant in Auburn. In addition, Raytheon established a missile assembly plant in Huntsville; Mercedes-Benz announced an expansion of its assembly plant in Tuscaloosa; and Indorama Ventures plans an expansion of its plastics facility in Decatur.
Auburn University gets $1 million from Legislature to expand cyber security operations
By Evan Belanger | firstname.lastname@example.org
on May 24, 2013
AUBURN, Alabama -- Auburn University will use a $1 million appropriation from the state Legislature to expand its new cyber security program.
The university announced the appropriation today in a press release that said it would use funding to expand its research, education, workforce development and economic development in growing the cyber security field.
"The threat to our infrastructure, commerce and security will only continue to grow," said Auburn professor Bob Norton. "The state and national economy depend on a workforce capable of protecting us against it."
The appropriation comes just months after auburn launched its new cyber security center overseen by retired Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess, former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
AutoXLR8R summer program in Spring Hill nurtures new ideas
Auto start-ups develop, pitch new technology
Written by G. Chambers Williams III
May 27, 2013
SPRING HILL - Kits that can convert a vehicle from gasoline to propane or natural gas, a tailpipe attachment that can cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than half and a new lightweight material that's stronger than steel are among the ideas taking shape this summer during the area's first "boot camp" for transportation start-ups.
The 13-week AutoXLR8R program, sponsored by the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Centers, is designed to help "identify, commercialize and fund promising new technologies applicable to the automotive industry," said program director Mike Nichols.
Taking place at the Northfield Workforce Development & Conference Center, formerly General Motors' Saturn Corp. headquarters, the camp hosts 10 embryo-stage technology companies by giving them a place to develop their ideas. The program's budding entrepreneurs come from Tennessee, Alabama, Florida and California.
News Release -- Huhtamaki announces major expansion in Andalusia plant.
May 28, 2013
The Box Factory has been a part of Andalusia and Covington County for a number of years. In 2001 the Andalusia Industrial Development Board obtained the property and worked with Paris Packaging to reopen the plant and bring back many of the long time employees. Employment began at 20.
In 2011, the plant was acquired by the Huhtamaki Group whose North America segment is a leading manufacturer of foodservice packaging for the foodservice industry and retail markets. Current employment has grown to 49.
The Company has announced a major expansion with the acquisition and installation of new machinery and equipment and the addition of 13 new employees in order to promote the continuous operation and growth by the Company of its manufacturing facilities for the manufacture of folded cartons and related products and improvement of its flexographic printing capabilities. Total cost of the expansion is approximately $1.9M.
Steven Dendy, Plant Manager said, "The addition of this equipment expands our business capabilities and output and enables us to better serve our existing customers and expand our customer base."
Rick Clifton, President & CEO of the Covington County Economic Development Commission said the plant is a continuing example of how a public/private partnership can work for the benefit of all. "Huhtamaki has shown its commitment to this plant and our community. We hope this is just the beginning and will lead to more expansion as business grows."
"More great news for Andalusia," said Andalusia's Mayor Earl Johnson. "With Steven Dendy's leadership and his staff's hard work, experience, and dedication, Huhtamaki continues to excel. Andalusia is fortunate to have such a winner as Huhtamaki in our community and we look forward to its continued success."
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