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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:
Gadsden State's STEM Camp teaches automotive manufacturing to students
Mando America Follows Statewide Trend of Expansion
Pharmavite, a Leading Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturer, to Meet Increased Demand with New Facility
Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee to be keynote speakers at BCA Chairman's Dinner
Join ECDI at Auburn University for the 29th Annual Intensive Economic Development Training Course


Gadsden State's STEM Camp teaches automotive manufacturing to students
By William Thornton | wthornton@al.com 
June 05, 2013

GADSDEN, Alabama -- About 25 juniors and seniors from area high schools will be participating this month in a summer camp teaching automotive manufacturing skills.

STEM Camp, short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, will take place June 17 through 20 at the East Broad Campus of Gadsden State Community College. The program is part of the Consortium for Alabama Regional Center for Automotive Manufacturing, or CARCAM.


Beverly Hilderbrand, CARCAM director, said similar camps are taking place at other community colleges in Alabama. The goal is to equip students with skills needed in automated manufacturing jobs.


During the camp, students will get instruction in elements of electronics, industrial automation, civil engineering, mechanical design and welding. Some will also build and test robots. Camp members will also tour the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.



Mando America Follows Statewide Trend of Expansion

By: Dorothy Sherman

June 6, 2013 


OPELIKA, AL - The manufacturing industry is booming in Opelika.  Recently, the Mando America Corporation announced they're expanding, meaning good news for the city's economy. 

"The larger the company, the bigger it grows then the more resources that are generating in the community and multiplying in the community," Dr. Joe Sumners, Director of Auburn University's Economic and Community Development Institute, said.

For Mando, this expansion in Opelika isn't their first. 

According to the city, the manufacturing industry opened along the I-85 corridor back in 2003, promising the city 150 new jobs with a $40 million capitol investment.  But now, with this new expansion Mando will hold 700 jobs with a $190 million investment.  Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said Mando's continuous expansions and success speaks volumes.

"It indicates the confidence that companies like Mando and others have in our community,"  Mayor Fuller said.  "It says a lot about the quality of work force."

This expansion is part of a statewide trend.  Several industries, like Mando, break ground in Alabama, and continue to expand.





Pharmavite, a Leading Vitamin and Supplement Manufacturer, to Meet Increased Demand with New Facility
June 6, 2013

OPELIKA, Ala., June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmavite LLC, one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of high-quality vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements, including Nature Made(R) vitamins, will officially announce the opening of the company's new manufacturing facility at the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park in Opelika, Ala. during a grand opening ceremony that is being held tomorrow, June 7 at 10:00 a.m.


 Nature Made is the number one retail national vitamin and supplement brand in the United States(i) , and the new facility is a key part of Pharmavite's strategic plan to meet the growing global consumer demand for health and wellness products.


The U.S. dietary supplement industry has tripled in size since 1995 and is expected to grow at a similar annual growth rate through 2020, and Pharmavite believes the new facility is well-positioned to meet that need. Growth in the U.S. dietary supplements market has been driven by greater consumer awareness and usage of vitamins and supplements, and according to the Nutrition Business Journal, as of 2010, 66 percent of American adults use dietary supplements at least occasionally, up from 52 percent in 1999. What's more, even existing consumers of dietary supplements are buying approximately 20 percent more supplements per month in 2010 than they were in 1999.(ii)


"Pharmavite has been a pioneer in this industry for more than 40 years. Our new facility in Opelika will help us continue our leadership role and supports our vision of people creating new products for better health worldwide, which is the mission we share with our parent company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.," said Doug MacLean, chief executive officer of Pharmavite. "We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the planning and building process for our new Opelika facility, and we look forward to a bright future for this community, our company, and the vitamin and supplement industry as a whole."



Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee to be keynote speakers at BCA Chairman's Dinner
By Mike Cason | mcason@al.com 
on June 05, 2013 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama ---Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who has won high praise in conservative political circles, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will be the keynote speakers at the Business Council of Alabama's 2013 Chairman's Dinner, which will be held Sept. 30 in Birmingham, the BCA announced.


Carson, a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, drew national attention with his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. He has written five books. 


Huckabee hosts a program on the Fox News Channel and a syndicated radio show. He was governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007 and ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008.



Join ECDI at Auburn University for the 29th Annual Intensive Economic Development Training Course

                                                    July 8-12, 2013 September 9-13, 2013

With over 1,000 alumni, this course is Alabama's top choice for economic and community development training for beginning and expert practitioners from a wide variety of fields.

Register now to:

  • Learn from leaders in community and economic development from across the state and region
  • Gain an understanding of key players, organizations, components, and issues
  • Hear about economic development trends and strategies
  • Network and partner with leaders and peers
  • Understand how economic and community development works in Alabama



Questions? Contact Amelia Stehouwer: hallame@auburn.edu



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Val Walton
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