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Greetings!

 

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:
Opelika's APR plans to expand, add 50 jobs
Alabama-made auto sales surge in June, strongest month for U.S. industry since 2007
Airbus anniversary: Mobile's pending A320 final assembly line sees steady 90-day boost in activity
Post-secondary education essential to employment
Benteler to close doors in Opelika

 


 

 

Opelika's APR plans to expand, add 50 jobs 

Tamiko Lowery | Opelika-Auburn News

 July 2, 2013 

 

APR LLC, a local automotive engineering firm, will expand its manufacturing facility in Opelika with an initial capital investment of $4.1 million and the creation of 50 new jobs.

 

During Tuesday's Opelika City Council meeting, Lori Huguley, the city's director of economic development, thanked APR President Stephen Hooks for continuing to grow his business in Opelika. The 50 new jobs will be available during three years with 25 of them expected within the first year.

 

The company currently employs 74 full-time employees at its Opelika facility located at 4800 US Highway 280 West. The company is currently operating in 53 countries.

 

"We deal in the distribution of products for the Volkswagen Automotive Group," said Hooks of his company's international dealings in the automotive industry. "We help improve performance with acceleration, brakes, cornering and better fuel economy."

 

APR was founded in 1997 and began its operations in a "small building" along Opelika Road. Ten years later, it moved to its current location along Highway 280 where construction is expected to be complete in August 2014. The company leases the land and building from H2 Development, LLC.

 

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Alabama-made auto sales surge in June, strongest month for U.S. industry since 2007 

on July 02, 2013 

 

U.S. sales of vehicles produced in Alabama rose 11 percent in June, a trend seen across the industry.

Combined sales of the nine models built in the state totaled 79,380, compared to 71,610 in June 2012, according to automakers' sales reports issued today.

 

Overall U.S. light vehicle sales topped 1.4 million, up 9 percent from a year ago, Autodata Corp. said. The industry's selling rate reached a level not seen since late 2007.

 

Analysts point to modest improvements in housing, unemployment and consumer confidence as factors driving the numbers. Pent-up demand also helps.

 

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[al.com]

 

 


 

Airbus anniversary: Mobile's pending A320 final assembly line sees steady 90-day boost in activity 

on July 02, 2013

 

MOBILE, Alabama - Any souls convinced the wheels of progress turn slowly have arguably paid little attention to foundations laid over the past 12 months to strengthen Mobile's expanding aerospace and aviation sector.

 

One year ago today, the Port City ushered in a new economic era expected to bothjumpstart long-stagnant manufacturing trends while simultaneously providing European aerospace giant Airbus a strategic foothold in the U.S. market via its first final aircraft assembly line on North American soil.

 

Nearly nine months to the day after Airbus, state and local officials stood against an A320-fueled backdrop while red, white and blue confetti rained down, ground was finally broken April 8 at Brookley Aeroplex on the $600 million facilityexpected to deliver its first Mobile-assembled aircraft in 2016 and employ an estimated 1,000 people directly when it reaches full production of 40 to 50 planes per year in 2018.

 

 

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[al.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Post-secondary education essential to employment
By Jim Cook
July 2, 2013

A new report shows that Alabama will create 790,000 new job openings over the next decade, with many of them requiring some sort of post secondary education. Between now and then, the state needs to fill the gap between the number of jobs requiring higher education and people with post-secondary credentials or degrees.

The report, created by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, said the 790,000 new jobs openings created by 2020 will come from a combination of job creation and spots being freed up by retiring baby boomers.

 

According to the report, total employment in the state is expected to grow 18 percent through 2020, outperforming the national average of 17 percent. Some industries predicted to experience substantial growth include education, waste management and remediation, mining and natural resource extraction and health care support.

 

There are some worrying signs in the report, however. Nicole Smith, senior economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, said not enough Alabama workers have the skills tomorrow's jobs will require. Smith said about 53 percent of Alabamians have a post-secondary certificate, credential or degree. About 80 percent of jobs in 2020 will require education after high school, according to the report.



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Benteler to close doors in Opelika

Tamiko Lowery | Opelika-Auburn News

July 2, 2013

 

Approximately 121 Opelika employees will be looking for work during the holiday season as Benteler Automotive Corporation announced Tuesday its closure of its facility at the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.

 

Due to global restructuring, the company has had to make corporate cutbacks having looked closely at five of its existing automotive facilities. The company is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich.

"Two of those five facilities were slated for North America, those being Opelika and Grand Rapids, Mich.," said Maryam Komejan, public relations spokesperson for Benteler.

 

The Opelika plant located at 4401 N Park Drive is expected to remain open over the "next five to six months" while transition of manufacturing operations move to South Carolina and Mexico.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller says that whenever a company closes doors it's hard for both the company as well as its employees.


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