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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:
Gov. Robert Bentley makes stop in Fort Payne for Road to Economic Recovery Tour (photos)
UAB, Birmingham Business Alliance, win $600,000 National Science Foundation grant
Wildlife tourism spending tops $2 billion in Alabama, $19.4 billion in Gulf states, study finds
Work Force Development Programs Can Make or Break a Site Selection Deal
Huntsville International Airport reopens west runway after completing $27.8 million improvement project

 


Gov. Robert Bentley makes stop in Fort Payne for Road to Economic Recovery Tour (photos)

on July 09, 2013 

 

FORT PAYNE, Alabama - On the verge of losing her job, Crossville resident Tracy Norris sat outside the Dekalb County Courthouse in the heat Tuesday afternoon, hoping for a miracle.

 

Norris, who works for the Lifecare program at the Jackson County Health Department, waited for her chance to speak to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who made a stop in Fort Payne on Tuesday during his Road to Economic Recovery Tour.

 

"I'm losing my job," she said. "They made cutbacks where they're getting rid of the program called Lifecare where we go in and take care of the elderly and disabled. They're giving it to other agencies because they can provide the care cheaper."

 

Norris was among workers who were informed last month they would lose their jobs by July 1, but no staffing cuts have yet been made. Norris said she was told she could try for a job at one of the outside care agencies, but at a cost. 

 

"It's making less, no travel pay, no mileage and the insurance is no good," she said. "...I can't afford it. I can't do it. We make nearly nothing already, so getting a cut in pay, I just couldn't do it."

 

Bentley, who visited Dothan on Monday, met with chamber and city officials, residents, business owners and local leaders during the economic recovery tour to discuss job creation and ways to increase government efficiency.

 

 more...

 

[al.com]

 


UAB, Birmingham Business Alliance, win $600,000 National Science Foundation grant

on July 09, 2013 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - The University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham Business Alliance have been awarded a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant to support research into synthetic diamonds.

The Partnership for Innovation grant is the first ever awarded in Alabama.

 

UAB and the business alliance will work with Almax-easy Lab, Onyx Optics and Vista Engineering on the development of diamond-based sensors for industrial and commercial use. The sensors and related products are used in extreme environments such as gas and oil drilling, space exploration and biomedical implants.

 

Principal investigator Yogesh Vohra, a physics professor and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the technology will "improve the quality of life for millions of Americans and reduce the need for revision surgeries."

 

The grant is one of 17 awarded nationally this year and meant to encourage cooperation between universities and business to bolster U.S. competitiveness.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wildlife tourism spending tops $2 billion in Alabama, $19.4 billion in Gulf states, study finds

on July 09, 2013 


GULF SHORES, Alabama -- From fishing to hunting to sightseeing, wildlife tourism generates more than $19.4 billion in spending across the five Gulf Coast states with Alabama having a $2 billion piece of the pie, according to a new study released Tuesday.

 

The report "Wildlife Tourism and the Gulf Coast Economy," released by economic research firm Datu Research LLC and funded by Environmental Defense Fund and Walton Family Foundation, found that wildlife tourism attracts 20 million people annually to Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and funnels $5.3 billion in tax revenue to the government.

 

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said the study's "outstanding numbers" underscore the value the environment has on the economy of Gulf-front states and their parishes and counties, such as Baldwin and Mobile.

 

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 


 

Work Force Development Programs Can Make or Break a Site Selection Deal
With scant time and resources for recruiting and training workers, companies are looking at states that will help them to quickly satisfy their labor force needs.
Mark Crawford (Q3 / Summer 2013)
 

Labor is almost always the number-one priority for every major site selection decision. Many consultants start the screening process for their clients by defining work force density within geographic regions - this is especially important for larger projects of 500 employees or more. Once a potential pool of reliable and productive workers is identified, the next major consideration is the ability of the state or region to help recruit and train the work force. 

 

"Some companies have strong internal training resources," says Buzz Canup, founder of Canup and Associates in Greenville, S.C. "However, many businesses are very lean today when it comes to designing, developing, and implementing their own training programs and rely on outside assistance."


Most site selection consultants would agree that only a handful of states do an outstanding job at work force training and development. Many of these programs are in the South, including Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and North and South Carolina, and serve as models for other states. 

 

more...

 

[Area Development]

 

 


 


Huntsville International Airport reopens west runway after completing $27.8 million improvement project (updated)
July 9, 2013

 HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Huntsville International Airport announced today during its monthly board meeting it has reopened its west runway and adjacent taxiways after an extensive 18-month renovation to accommodate Panalpina's 747-8 freighters.  

The $27.8 million airport improvement project meets Federal Aviation Administration requirements to operate Group VI aircraft. The FAA funded the majority of the project, while the Huntsville airport matched 10 percent of the improvements using taxed passenger fees.

 

APAC Mid-South, Inc., was the primary contractor for the 12,600-foot west runway, which officially opened Monday morning. Stan Hogan, director of capital improvements for the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority, said the airport began planning the improvement project four years ago, started the design process 18 months ago and began construction in June 2012.

 

"With larger planes, it takes longer runways, wider taxiways and a wider turning radius that we're on now," he said. "With the new 12,600-foot runway, that allows Panalpina on a hot day like today to leave Huntsville fully loaded, fully fueled. With the hot temperatures, the (larger planes) need a longer runway, where the 10,000-foot runway just isn't enough this time of the year."

 
more...

[al.com]

 




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