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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:
Morrison leaving Honda's Alabama plant to join automaker's North American staff
KwangSung expansion adds 100 jobs
Council approves leasing building to Ozark Materials
Alabama is adding a bunch of manufacturing jobs, but mind the long-term trend
Canfield to speak at Opelika Chamber of Commerce meeting
SSAI and BAE to provide aviation support services under terms of $1.5 billion Army contract
Companies look to hire employees being laid off in Russell Athletics plant closure
NEWS RELEASE....Montgomery Industrial Project Site receives Advantage designation
News Release -- Montgomery Housng Authority receives a national award of merit


Morrison leaving Honda's Alabama plant to join automaker's North American staff
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on May 31, 2013 

LINCOLN, Alabama -- Honda is saying goodbye to a key member of its Alabama operations.

Mark Morrison, 50, has been named manager of regional communications for Honda North American Corporate Affairs and Communications, which is based in Marysville, Ohio.


Morrison joined Honda's Talladega County plant in April 2001 as manager of corporate affairs and communication.


He served as the company spokesperson and was responsible for media relations, governmental relations, community relations and charitable giving.



KwangSung expansion adds 100 jobs
By Alison James
May 30, 2013

KwangSung will add 100 jobs and invest $10 million in building and equipment to its plant in the William T. Thweatt Industrial Park in Dadeville.


The expansion is supported by local government, which will chip in about $350,000 toward the project.


"They are out of room to install more machinery to produce more parts," said Don McClellan, executive director of the Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance. "You can see that they have exceeded the investment they promised. They have exceeded every expectation that we had of them in the beginning."


With a $50,000 commitment from the City of Dadeville and a $150,000 commitment from the Tallapoosa County Commission to put toward site work, KwangSung will soon begin the process of adding an additional 80,000-110,000 square foot building to its facilities.


"We feel like the county has to do its part," said District 4 Commissioner Emma Jean Thweatt.



Council approves leasing building to Ozark Materials 
By Andy Brown
May 30, 2013

After nearly two years of vacancy, the former WestPoint Home building is another step closer to having a new occupant.


On Tuesday, just three days after Ozark Materials announced its intentions to locate a new production facility in Greenville, the city council voted to approve a deal that would allow the company to lease the building with an option to buy for $600,000.


The lease agreement extends 10 years, and covers the building and the land inside the fence that surrounds the property.


Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said the city has also agreed to sell approximately 15 acres of the property located outside of the fence to AIA Recycling.


"We're in the process of having the land appraised, so we still don't know the figure yet, but we have a deal worked out with AIA to sell that portion of the property," McLendon said.





Alabama is adding a bunch of manufacturing jobs, but mind the long-term trend
By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 
on May 30, 2013

Alabama manufacturers are adding jobs at a healthy clip, and have been doing so for the past 28 months.

Since the start of 2011, Alabama's manufacturing industry has added 14,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- a total that represents essentially 50 percent of all the jobs added across the state over that time. Put another way: without Alabama's manufacturing gains, the state's slow rate of job growth since 2011 would have been slashed in half.

Manufacturing employment in Alabama is now 6 percent larger than it was at the start of 2011. Meanwhile, total employment is up only 1.5 percent. That means manufacturing employment has grown four times faster than total job growth -- and seven times faster than all other industries combined.






Canfield to speak at Opelika Chamber of Commerce meeting
Staff report
May 30, 2013

Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Department of Commerce, will be the guest speaker at the Opelika Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting next week, which is sponsored by Opelika Power Services.


The event will be on June 12 at the Marriott at Grand National, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $35 per person. Gold Sponsors of the event include Tatum & Tatum, Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory and Hyundai of Auburn.


Greg Canfield was appointed as director of the Department of Commerce in July 2011 by Gov. Robert Bentley. Before being appointed, Canfield previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives as chairman of the Commerce & Small Business Committee.



[Opelika Auburn News]



SSAI and BAE to provide aviation support services under terms of $1.5 billion Army contract
By Leada Gore | lgore@al.com 
on May 30, 2013 

Support Systems Associates Inc., with major subcontractor BAE Systems, has landed a new Army contract valued at up to $1.5 billion. 


The work, which will include services across a variety of aviation platforms, will be performed at SSAI's new Huntsville facility, as well as at the BAE Systems hangar in Albertville and offices in Huntsville.


The Logistics Support Facilities Management Activity multiple award contract has a $1.5 billion ceiling over five years.


"SSAI is very pleased to be a prime contractor for Logistics Support Facilities," said Michael Reynolds, SSAI Vice President of Business Development. "We are committed to customer satisfaction and look forward to working with the U.S. Army, LSFMA, BAE Systems and all of our team mates, current and future, to ensure a successful program. SSAI is excited to establish a presence in Huntsville supporting the Redstone Arsenal."







Companies look to hire employees being laid off in Russell Athletics plant closure
By Bryan Henry 
May 30, 2013

ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -The headline this week in Alex City summed it for the Russell Corporation's Fruit of the Loom plant; 200 gone starting in late July.  

But there is a silver lining in the cloud of grim economic news. 


It can be found at SL Alabama near downtown Alex City. 


Renee Richardson knows all too well what those 200 are thinking right now. Richardson, too, was laid off two years ago from Russell and landed on her feet 6 months later at SL Alabama, a tier one automobile supplier for KIA and Hyundai.  


"I know what they're feeling but there are good jobs here, good paying jobs," said Richardson.  

Richardson's story is only one part of the equation. 


SL Alabama is prepared to offer jobs to at least 100 of the 200 who are about to be laid off at Russell's Fruit of the Loom plant. 











Montgomery Industrial Project Site receives Advantage designation

Less than 10 percent of industrial sites in State have designation

 May 30, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Representatives from the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce were recognized by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama today for developing one of the state's premier industrial sites.


To receive an AdvantageSite designation, community development organizations must provide documentation certifying that a proposed industrial site meets a specific set of standards that make it ready for industrial prospects. The 415-acre Wasden Russell property is located partially within the city limits of Montgomery and is easily accessible to Interstate 65.


"The AdvantageSite designation of Wasden Russell Property is extremely important to our business recruitment efforts," said Ellen McNair, senior vice president of economic development at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce." This designation proves to our clients that this site is ready for any prospective industry and that we are able to meet short project timeframes."


The Chamber worked in cooperation with a team of local entities to complete the AdvantageSite application process for the Wasden Russell property. The property is the 44th AdvantageSite in the state.


For more information about the Wasden Russell property, contact Rachel Madore at (334) 240-9432 or rmadore@montgomerychamber.com. For more information about the AdvantageSite program, visit www.edpa.org/bsc/advantagesites.asp. 







News Release -- Montgomery Housng Authority receives a national award of merit


The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) selected the Montgomery Housing Authority for an Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development for its renovation of The Terrace, formerlyknown as Richardson Terrace, located at 1301 Adams Avenue.   Representatives of the Housing Authority will receive the award on July 1 at a reception  at the 2013 National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Summer Conference in Denver


Built in 1969, The Terrace was a 100 unit high-rise building that serviced elderly and disabled residents.  Before the renovation, capital improvements to the property were minimal and sporadic. The units were poorly designed and lacked modern amenities that are found in many apartment communities.  The Montgomery Housing Authority used $ 7.7 million of stimulus and capital funds to complete the renovation in 2012.  The new apartments are now equipped with modern conveniences and communal spaces that improve the quality of life for the residents.   The apartment building, whose interior apartment walls were once cinder block, now contain 90 apartments (10 fully accessible apartments),  with  clearly defined living spaces that have updated kitchens and baths, energy efficient appliances, new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and a new fire protection system.  The residents also enjoy communal space including outdoor patio and picnic areas, a library equipped with computers, and an updated laundry facility and state of the art security system.  The Terrace also boasts a new community garden that was launched two weeks ago.







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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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