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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:
Auburn, state officials announce 80 new jobs
Alabama's Mercedes-Benz plant fetes outgoing president, and Nick Saban stops by
Farming, forestry drive local economy
Alabama college jumps on injection molding
Dodge city gaining 46 jobs with new truck stop
Dothan Mayor: More jobs could be around the corner


Auburn, state officials announce 80 new jobs 

Drew Taylor | Opelika-Auburn News

June 27, 2013


On Thursday, it was announced that Donghee America will be seting up shop in Auburn, investing $48 million in the city and creating 80 jobs.


The company will manufacture fuel tanks to serve the automotive manufacturers in the area and that their highly-sophisticated manufacturing process will require them to employ a number of engineers.


"These fuel tanks that they are making are very sophisticated and very challenging," said Megan McGowen, deputy director of economic development for Auburn. "That process they're using is new to the area and we're very excited about it."


The company will locate at the corner of Innovation Drive and Riley Street in the Auburn Technology Park West and construct a 117,000 square foot manufacturing facility, which will be ready for by the end of this year or early next year, McGowen said.


McGowen said recruitment for Donghee started sometime early last fall and that that they match the city's mission statement of recruiting high-technology, value-based manufacturing.




[Opelika Auburn News]





Alabama's Mercedes-Benz plant fetes outgoing president, and Nick Saban stops by (video)

on June 27, 2013 

VANCE, Alabama - Tuscaloosa County's Mercedes-Benz plant today put on a splashy sendoff for its outgoing president and chief executive, Markus Schaefer, with live music, an art performance and a pep talk from Alabama football coach Nick Saban.


Schaefer, who has headed the 3,000-worker operation since July 2010, is taking an executive role at the automaker's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Today's event also served as an introduction for his replacement in Vance, Jason Hoff.


Amid all the entertainment, there was some real news: The plant is expected to have another record production year in 2013.







Farming, forestry drive local economy

By Brad Harper

June 27, 2013


The Alabama manufacturing boom may be getting the headlines, but it's got a long way to go to match the impact of farming and forestry. Yes, even in Montgomery.


State numbers released this week show that agriculture, forestry and related industries employ 24,575 people in Montgomery County alone. That's about six times as many as Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and every other automotive-related company in the county combined.


Agriculture and forestry account for almost 12 percent of all economic activity here.


Autauga County had the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state last month, and nearly 40 percent of that county's jobs are related to agriculture and forestry, according to the data.


It's part of a series of reports compiled by Auburn University, the state Agribusiness Council and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, in part to make sure local leaders understand the industries' importance when they make economic development decisions.




[Montgomery Advertiser]




Alabama college jumps on injection molding

By Frank Antosiewicz


Jume 21, 2013


Estimating a need for more than 400 injection molding workers in northwest Alabama over the next two years, Northwest-Shoals Community College is fast-tracking an injection molding technology program that will start this fall.


The program comes at a time when two area automotive suppliers are planning to put up new facilities to support the efforts of North American Lighting Inc., an automotive headlamp and signal lamp manufacturer with a plant in Muscle Shoals, Ala.


"We're excited - it definitely was industry driven. They came to us and said that they can't find enough qualified people," said Rose Jones, associate dean of workforce development at Northwest-Shoals.


She said leadership from the college and from local companies got together, talked about what was needed, visited a similar program in a nearby state and reworked it to meet their needs.




[Plastics News]


 By Lauren Estes 

The Cullman Times

June 27, 2013


Dodge City is implementing a $4 million Petro Lube truck stop that will open July 15 to coincide with the Petro gas station and travel center which will add 46 jobs for the town.

Mayor Tawana Canada said this type of business and employment additive is great for the community as a whole.

"This will give Dodge City a huge economic boost that we all need to see," Canada said. "This company is nationwide and a lot of trucking companies will be able to target this area to get tires or parts."                                                                                                                                                                                   Representative Mac Buttram will be in attendance with Hayes and Senator Paul Bussman in Montgomery on Wednesday to request that a traffic light be added to accompany the new business.




[Cullman Times]


Dothan Mayor: More jobs could be around the corner
Lance Griffin
June 27, 2013

Dothan continues to have positive momentum in industry recruitment and is currently in talks with a boat manufacturer who has expressed interest in moving to the city, according to Dothan's mayor.


Mike Schmitz said Thursday in a meeting of the Houston County Republican Women that the city has been in talks with the company for more than a year. He declined to reveal the name of the company because he said the company wants to remain confidential. He did say, however, that it could mean about 150 additional jobs for Dothan if the company decides to move.


"Things are happening and it's important for Dothan to put its best foot forward and I know we will," Schmitz said Thursday.


The meeting's purpose was to give candidates for local office an opportunity to address the audience. Schmitz, who is running unopposed, took the opportunity to give an economic development update. Other items mentioned by Schmitz included:


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Val Walton
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