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:
Alabama showcases high-tech capabilities at trade conference in Canada
$50 million bond issued to help update local schools CTE programs
Officials: Development fund improves our quality of life
Royal Cup expansion plans have been percolating for some time
Two Birmingham start-ups among five advancing to Alabama Launchpad finals
Former Enterprise mayor honored for time as chairman of state workforce board


Alabama showcases high-tech capabilities at trade conference in Canada

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - From a sustainable energy research firm based in Brownsboro to a materials management company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama's delegation at this week's trade conference in Canada will demonstrate the state's high-tech economy.


A delegation of 19, including economic development leaders and business representatives, will travel from Alabama to Halifax this weekend for the Southeast U.S. Canada Province Conference, which begins Sunday and ends Tuesday.


Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield will represent the state on behalf of Governor Robert Bentley, as the state looks to continue to build the relationship with Alabama's largest export destination, Canada.


The conference includes matchmaking meetings to introduce companies to potential joint venture partners in Canada. It also will feature a number of discussion forums and individual sessions for competing in a global marketplace.










$50 million bond issued to help update local schools CTE programs

By Sebastian Posey
July 12, 2013

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) - During this year's state legislative session, Governor Bentley, along with members of the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate, passed a new bill to help Alabama schools prepare students for their futures and helping them prepare to enter the workforce.


The 21st Century Workforce Act will provide funds for local school systems to update their career and technical education (CTE) classroom technology and equipment.


The goal is to ensure that these courses are fitted with modern resources that meet or even exceed the standards of the global business community. A total of $50 million has been allocated for this initiative.
















Officials: Development fund improves our quality of life

By Bernie Delinski 

Staff Writer

July 14, 2013


FreightCar America announced plans in February to begin an operation at the Navistar Corp. plant in Barton - a move they say will produce 200 workers by the end of the year and 400 by the end of 2014.


In March, North American Lighting announced a project to expand its Muscle Shoals plant and add 275 jobs.

Tarkett announced an expansion in June that is expected to nearly double its local employment base by adding 170 jobs by 2014.


That same month, CBC ING announced plans to build in Muscle Shoals and hire 125 workers.


In all these cases, money from the Shoals Economic Development Fund has been dedicated toward the projects, provided employment benchmarks are met.




Royal Cup expansion plans have been percolating for some time 

on July 12, 2013


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Royal Cup's $30 million expansion of its Birmingham operations reflects the growth the family-owned coffee and tea business is experiencing across the country.


The company announced its expansion plans yesterday following last month's purchase of the 16 acres and 153,000-square-foot former RockTenn industrial building adjacent to its current corporate campus off Pinson Valley Parkway in Jefferson County.


The space will allow for initial growth over the next couple of years - adding 40 new jobs - and fuel the company's growth plans for years to come, according to William E. Smith III, vice president of Royal Cup.


"We have seen solid sales growth, both organically and through acquisitions," Smith said in an interview. "We have an immediate need to enhance our coffee and tea operations and a strategic need going forward."




Two Birmingham start-ups among five advancing to Alabama Launchpad finals

on July 12, 2013


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Five teams trying to launch businesses that do everything from produce tea to protect pigs from pneumonia advanced today to the final round of theAlabama Launchpad Start-Up Competition.


Two teams from Birmingham, two from Auburn and one from Tuscaloosa will compete for $100,000 in prize money when the finals are held in conjunction with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference on Sept. 26. All of the advancing teams will get free, third-party analysis of their business plan.


"We're very excited about this," said Sloan McCrary, an MBA student at the University of Alabama and leader of the e-Electricity team. That start-up is developing technology that allows electronic devices such as cell phones to charge wirelessly, using radio waves.










Former Enterprise mayor honored for time as chairman of state workforce board 

Special to the Sun 
July 12, 2013

Dr. Tim Alford, the retiring chairman of the Alabama State Workforce Investment Board, received a special recognition from Gov. Robert Bentley and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs at the board's meeting recently in Montgomery.


ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. presented Alford with a certificate of appreciation from Bentley for his years of service to the state. He was appointed to the board by former Gov. Don Siegelman in 1999 and served through three administrations. Gov. Bob Riley appointed Alford as director of the Alabama Office of Workforce Development from 2003 to 2007.


Alford also is retiring from his current position as executive director of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute, a group educating young people, parents, teachers and others about job opportunities in the construction industry.


A native of Samson, Alford served as mayor of Enterprise from 2000 until his appointment by Riley in late 2003. He was the founding executive director of the Enterprise Economic Development Corp., a public-private partnership that leads economic development efforts in Coffee, Dale and Geneva counties.











The SRMSDC Gears Up for its 30TH Annual Business Connections Conference and Business Opportunity Expo


Birmingham, AL - Themed "Celebrating Thirty Years of Excellence, Inclusion and Advocacy," the 30th Annual Business Connections Conference & Expo, will bring hundreds of minority entrepreneurs, corporate purchasing professionals and corporate executives together on August 14-16, 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center East Meeting Rooms.


 As the largest minority procurement conference in the state of Alabama, hosted by the South Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC), Business Connections is designed to provide top corporations and Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in Alabama, Mississippi and the pan-handle of Florida with a platform to collaborate through entrepreneurship and supply chain excellence. This is where big contract opportunities often begin for Alabama's top minority-owned companies.


"This conference will not only recognize the impressive legacy of our Council, it will raise issues that make it clear why inclusion and minority business advocacy is still relevant today," says SRMSDC President and CEO, Chris Lewis, "We will have economic development leaders, top corporate CEOs and proven minority owned business executives building relationships for and with one another."


The centerpiece of Business Connections is networking, especially when it involved access to leaders discussion issues that are relevant to minority entrepreneurs. Town Hall Meetings will be held to discuss a variety of issues. Featured speakers include:



30th Annual Business Connections Conference and Business Opportunity Expo


  • Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association - Ron Davis, Chairman
  • Alabama Community College System - Dr. Mark Heinrich, Chancellor
  • Birmingham Water Works Board - Mac Underwood, President and CEO
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama - Michael Patterson
  • City of Birmingham - The Honorable William A. Bell, Sr., Mayor
  • Economic Development Partnership of Alabama - Bill Taylor, President and CEO
  • Hershell Hamilton - BlocGlobal, CEO
  • SRMSDC - Chris Lewis, President and CEO
  • State of Alabama - Ed Castile, Director, Alabama Industrial Development and Training
  • State of Alabama - Greg Canfield, Secretary of Commerce
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama - Jim Bolte, President
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Michael German, District Director
  • U.S. Foreign Trade Department - Robert Stackpole, Director
  • U.S. Small Business Administration - Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator


Top sponsors of the event are Motion Industries, Mercedes Benz U.S. Int'l, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Alabama Power, Toyota Manufacturing, Hyundai Manufacturing, Thyssenkrupp Steel, the City of Birmingham, Alabama Gas Corporation, Volkswagen, and Mobile Area Water and Sewer among others. 


For more information and to register, call our Business Connections Hotline at (205) 957-1883 or visit our website at www.srmsdc.org.  


ABOUT SRMSDC: Established in 1983, the South Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC) is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).  The SRMSDC's mission is to facilitate relationships between corporations, educational, governmental and health care entities and certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs.)



Contact:  Ed Fields                               

(205) 957-1883 (Business Connections General Information)

(205) 401-7324 (Ed's Cell for Media Only)                                                                                                     







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