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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:
Car Seat Maker Plans to Add Three Hundred More Ala. Jobs
No, really: businesses in Florence-Muscle Shoals are hiring, and here's who they are
Finley named interim ECEDA director


Car Seat Maker Plans to Add Three Hundred More Ala. Jobs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A Korean company that makes seats for Kia and Hyundai vehicles says it plans to rapidly grow its workforce to go along with a new $50 million Montgomery plant.


Reports say executives of DAS North America want to expand their workforce from 100 Alabama employees to about 400 workers over the next four years.

The company's workers have started production using a temporary facility in Hope Hull. Employees are scheduled to move into a new 300,000-square-foot factory at Montgomery Industrial Park next year. Site work on the new plant is expected to begin in two weeks.


Company executives say they plan to gradually add workers in groups of 50 to 60 in the coming years, with hopes of reaching 400 employees in 2018.




No, really: businesses in Florence-Muscle Shoals are hiring, and here's who they are
By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 
May 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Earlier this week, a story on AL.com checked on the job growth trends in each of Alabama's 11 metros. Among the top fastest-growing metros was Florence-Muscle Shoals, home to roughly 3 percent of all of Alabama's jobs. For some AL.com readers, this was surprising.

"Totally don't understand growth in Florence area," said reader AlaJack via comment. "What in the world is there which created jobs?"

So which employers in Florence are expanding? Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the job gains are coming from manufacturers, which are expanding across the state. And reporting from economic development leaders on the ground in the Shoals back up the data. 

Manufacturing employment in the Florence area is nearly 30 percent larger than it was in early 2010, when such jobs reached a low point following the recession. Three years later, Florence-Muscle Shoals has added 2,000 manufacturing jobs, bringing total employment in the industry from 7,000 to 9,000.

But the industry-wide numbers don't answer the specific question of growing employers. So who is hiring? Fortunately, Forrest Wright -- president of the Shoals Economic Development Authority -- can handle that one.



Finley named interim ECEDA director
Sunday, June 2, 2013

Longtime project manager Leisa Finley was named interim executive director of the Elmore County Economic 
Development Authority by the group's board of directors Wednesday.

Finley first joined the economic development organization in 2006 and also served as interim director between the 
tenures of the first ECEDA chief, Eric Basinger, and Barry Mask, who resigned Wednesday to become CEO of the Alabama Association of Realtors.
"I appreciate the confidence the board has in me," Finley said Friday. "It's a great opportunity."

Lee Greer, the chairman of the ECEDA board of directors, praised Finley's "ability to see projects through to 

"She's also shown great willingness to go out and help different municipalities to recruit jobs to their areas," Greer, 
executive with Community Hospital in Tallassee, said.

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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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