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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:
Exclusive:Governor Bentley Returns From Paris Air Show
Who loves Birmingham? Young entrepreneurs
Huntsville, Alabama Department of Commerce to improve Bob Wade Lane for Toyota's growing engine plant
Mobile Airport Authority chief: 'We're going to be wildly successful'
Alabama cities at the Paris Air Show: Huntsville, Mobile, Baldwin County, Montgomery and more
The Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) has named a new executive director


Exclusive:Governor Bentley Returns From Paris Air Show

By Alabama News Network

Story Created: Jun 19, 2013


Governor Robert Bentley just returned from a trip to the Paris Air Show.


He spent the week overseas trying to recruit business to Alabama.


Governor Bentley says he met with close to 25 companies during his time at the air show.


The main goal was to bring suppliers for the new Airbus assembly plant being built in Mobile. 


Governor Bentley said bringing jobs to Alabama is still his number one priority.


"I actually do but I can't talk about it until we work up the incentives and the packages and the programs with the companies. But there are a number of companies, major companies that are suppliers for Airbus that are coming to Alabama," said Governor Bentley.








Alan Alexander Editorial intern-Birmingham Business Journal
June 19, 2013

Online business magazine Under30CEO.com named Birmingham the tenth best small-sized city for young entrepreneurs as part of a survey of its readers.


The survey cited Birmingham's competitive salary rate, low living expenses and strong connection between its education, business and economic communities as credentials for making the list.


The survey included 30 cities in all and was divided into three categories of ten small, medium and large cities based on city population.


Huntsville, Alabama Department of Commerce to improve Bob Wade Lane for Toyota's growing engine plant
on June 19, 2013 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The Alabama Department of Commerce is paying $366,000 for new turn lanes and a median crossover on Bob Wade Lane serving Toyota's growing Huntsville engine plant.


Toyota is adding 300,000 square feet to the factory toramp up production of V6 engines. The expansion, announced in May 2012, will mean about 125 new jobs and push total employment to 1,150.


Huntsville Urban Development Director Shane Davis said the city and state commerce department are teaming up to improve employee and truck access to the plant from Bob Wade Lane.






Mobile Airport Authority chief: 'We're going to be wildly successful'
on June 19, 2013 

PARIS, France - The Mobile Airport Authority needs only three things to parlay its presence at the 2013 Paris Air Show into new development for the city's strengthening aerospace sector: collaboration, detailed planning and disciplined execution.


"If we can do those things well, we're going to be wildly successful, and all indications at this point are that we're talking to the right people and making the right impressions," Roger Wehner, the authority's new executive director, said late Wednesday evening from Paris.


Specifically, Wehner said the authority will walk away from the global aerospace and aviation trade show with a robust pipeline that includes about 10 companies he would "put in the mix as prospects," as many as eight of which he considers "true opportunities" for continued development at Brookley Aeroplex.



Alabama cities at the Paris Air Show: Huntsville, Mobile, Baldwin County, Montgomery and more 

June 19, 2013


PARIS, France - In addition to Governor Robert Bentley representing the state in meetings this week at the Paris Air Show, a number of Alabama cities and counties sent representation to meet with companies at the show, particularly municipalities with existing aerospace industry businesses that see opportunity to expand.


Of course both Huntsville and Mobile had an active presence with Huntsville's historic strength in the aviation sector and Mobile's recent aerospace development win as home to the first U.S. final assembly line for Airbus.

In addition, representatives from cities including Auburn, Opelika, Tuscaloosa, Andalusia, Montgomery and more attended the event. All came with planned meetings and many picked up additional appointments on the ground with an eye toward new development.


"We're here this week for three reasons," said Chip Cherry, president and CEO of theChamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County about the Huntsville delegation's trip, "to cultivate business with companies that have expressed an interest in our community, to say thank you to those companies who have a presence in Huntsville, and to talk to new companies who may be interested in establishing facilities in Huntsville."







Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) has named a new executive director.  


Jim Searcy has been selected as the Executive Director of EDAA.  The association is a membership based organization with the mission to promote economic growth throughout the state.  Members of EDAA are economic development professionals, as well as companies and individuals in related economic development fields.  Searcy will be responsible for further implementing the association's current strategic plan and identifying additional opportunities for professional development, meaningful legislative action, and enhanced communications.

Searcy is currently the Executive Director of the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, a five county economic development organization in southwest Alabama.  Prior to joining Coastal Gateway in early 2011, he served as Vice President of Marketing for the Birmingham Metropolitan Development Board for 13 years.  Searcy spent several years as a project manager at the Alabama Development Office (Now the Alabama Department of Commerce).


"Jim not only brings experience to the executive director position but he has practiced economic development in urban, suburban, and rural environments.  That diversity will serve our members well as EDAA moves forward," said Valerie Gray, President of EDAA. 


"The economic development profession continues to rapidly evolve and while there are universal economic development principles, developers in Alabama also face unique challenges ranging from workforce development to effective statutory incentives."  Searcy observed and "a vibrant and effective EDAA will aid its membership as they formulate comprehensive sustainable economic development strategies."


Searcy will continue to serve as Coastal Gateway's Executive Director until July 5th and assume his post with EDAA on July 8th. 






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Val Walton
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