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:
U.S. economy adds 175,000 jobs, unemployment rate up to 7.6 percent
Business Community has big stake in quality of local education
Nature Made facility brings 245 jobs to Alabama
Census data shows Calhoun a regional economic draw for workers
Alabama Crops in the Shipping News Trade winds prevailing in Alabama's agriculture
SAIC donates $100,000 to UAH for software program, faculty training
Pointed toward heaven: Wedowee company builds steeples seen on churches across the country


U.S. economy adds 175,000 jobs, unemployment rate up to 7.6 percent
By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 
on June 07, 2013 

The U.S. economy added 175,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The official unemployment rate is now 7.6 percent, up by just a tenth of a percentage point from April's rate.

The number of Americans considered employed increased by roughly 300,000, after adjusting for seasonality in the data. The number of unemployed Americans increased by 100,000. Both numbers increased because more Americans sought out work in May, relative to April. (To use a more technical phrase, the labor force participation rate increased.)

Many of the jobs added in May appeared in two subsections of the economy: employers added 26,000 temporary help services jobs, and 38,000 food and beverage service jobs.

The federal government shed 14,000 jobs in May, and has now eliminated 45,000 jobs over the past three months, the BLS said.



Business Community has big stake in quality of local education

By Patrick Rupinski

Business Editor
 June 7, 2013 

Businesses depend on educated workers to succeed. So it was no surprise that among the several hundred people at Thursday's Education Summit were business people.


Their concern focuses on educating today's students for tomorrow's jobs.


"It's a question of economic development," said Carl Jamison, a partner in the Tuscaloosa accounting firm of JamisonMoneyFarmer PC, and chairman of the Business Council of Alabama.


"In today's economic development climate, if you do not have a workforce that is up to the standards employers look for, you are not in the ballgame."


The quality of school systems is a major consideration when industry decides where to build plants and create jobs, he said.





Nature Made facility brings 245 jobs to Alabama
Brent Godwin 
Online editor-Birmingham Business Journal
June 7, 2013

Pharmavite LLC, manufacturers for vitamin and supplement brand Nature Made, opens a new facility Friday in Opelika, creating 245 new jobs.

The company, which is based in Northridge, Calif., will unveil the 330,000 square foot facility on North Park Drive in Opelika to help meet the growing global demand it has seen in its Nature Made health and wellness products.

According to a release from the company, the facility will be the biggest of its kind built in a decade, and the first in the Southeast.


In addition to Nature Made, Pharmavite also manufactures products under the brand names Soyjoy, Voots and Veggie Fruit Tart.




[Birmingham Business Journal]  


Census data shows Calhoun a regional economic draw for workers
By Patrick McCreless
Jun 06, 2013
The high volume of traffic into Anniston and Oxford each morning is the last thing motorists want to see, unless perhaps they are area economic developers.

Calhoun County pulls in nearly 5,000 workers from the surrounding area every day while the majority of its own workforce stays put, U.S. Census data shows, indicating economic strength and the potential to attract new industries. Economic experts say that with a strong health care industry, public institutions such as Jacksonville State University, multiple manufacturers and a healthy highway infrastructure, the county is on strong economic footing with the potential to lure in more industry.

According to 2010 Census data, the county's 117,149 population grows by 4.3 percent every workday due to commuting, ranking it fifth among the Alabama counties with the highest daily commuter growth. Meanwhile, of the county's total working population, 83.2 percent stay in the area to work, ranking it among the 10 Alabama counties with highest local workforce retention, the data show. The data have remained consistent, despite a decline in the local manufacturing sector in the past decade and more recent job losses in the defense industry due to the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.



Alabama Crops in the Shipping News Trade winds prevailing in Alabama's agriculture - broilers to South America, peanuts to China, pine pulp to Europe - follow global markets through the Port of Mobile.
Text by Nancy Mann Jackson
June 2013

The number of farms in Alabama may be dwindling - the state was home to only 43,000 farms in 2007, down from 56,678 in 1974, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - but agricultural products contribute $70.4 billion annually to the state's economy and account for 22 percent of the workforce, according to a recent study by the Alabama Agribusiness Council. Many of those agricultural products are exported from Alabama to international customers.


Alabama's leading agricultural export products are poultry and forest products, says Jimmy Lyons, CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority. The Port of Mobile is the largest break bulk forest products port in the United States. According to the Alabama Forestry Association, the state exports 1.2 million tons of forest products each year. Exact numbers are unavailable, because forest products that are transported in containers, such as wood pulp, are not tracked by the ton but by the box, Lyons says.


Forest products are shipped from Alabama to destinations worldwide, "with the bulk moving to Northern Europe, Asia, Caribbean and Mediterranean," says Judith Adams, vice president of marketing for the Port Authority.

Poultry is a close second to forest products as the largest agricultural export product from Alabama.


 Approximately $387 million worth of poultry is exported from Alabama each year, says Ray Hilburn, membership director at the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. The exact tonnage is difficult to track, because most Alabama poultry producers do not sell directly to international customers, Hilburn says. Instead, they sell to brokers in Ohio, Miami or other locations, who purchase poultry from many producers in various states and sell it to international customers.




SAIC donates $100,000 to UAH for software program, faculty training
By Paul Gattis | pgattis@al.com 
on June 06, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - A Cummings Research Park technology company donated $100,000 to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, continuing a five-year partnership to develop a skilled workforce.


At a ceremony today at the UAH Business Administration Building, SAIC presented the school with the check - pushing the total donation of the program to more than $500,000, according to Jeet Gupta, eminent scholar and business professor at UAH.


The donations pay for UAH business faculty training with the SAP software. That knowledge is then passed along to students, Gupta said, who in turn often find jobs at Virginia-based SAIC upon graduation.


The funding also pays for the licensing fee for the software, the organization of workshops and the appearance of speakers, Gupta said.






Pointed toward heaven: Wedowee company builds steeples seen on churches across the country
By Eddie Burkhalter
May 31, 2013
At a small white country church in Leakesville, Miss., a steeple rises among the pines, its spire pointing toward heaven like a guidepost showing believers the way home.

The steeple - simple and traditional, with crosses adorning its base and a light inside that at sundown brightens the dark Mississippi nights - means everything to Reubin and Freddie Ruth Ball.

It was raised atop the family church in memory of their daughter Charlene, who died from cancer in 2011 at the age of 42.

"The light in it, it just shines. And we feel like her light still shines, you know?" Freddie Ruth Ball said.




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