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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:
Alabama named among top 10 'pro-business' states
Bentley visiting Shelby County for Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative
Why Airbus chose Alabama for A320 assembly line
South Alabama Megasite, Loxley North nab Baldwin County's third, fourth industrial AdvantageSite designations
Auto supplier rolls out big expansion in McCalla
West Franklin Industrial Park receives Advantage Site distinction
Gadsden mayor touts city's status on job growth, wages, unemployment
Gulf Coast Economic and Industry Development Forum to spotlight successes, challenges for minority businesses
Immediate Release:Alabama Governor's School entrepreneurship students go behind the scenes of Brookwood Medical Center


Alabama named among top 10 'pro-business' states

on July 16, 2013 

Alabama has been ranked among the top 10 "pro-business" states in the U.S. in an annual list compiled by a Chicago area-based real estate firm.


The state ranked No. 10 on the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2013, which was co-published with the American Economic Development Institute.


Utah was No. 1, followed by Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming in the top five.


The list from Pollina Corporate Real Estate of Park Ridge, Ill., now in its 10th edition, ranks how well all 50 states have positioned themselves to create and retain jobs, as well as sustain the middle class. It is based on a number of factors, including taxes, education, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, economic incentives and economic development efforts.








Bentley visiting Shelby County for Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative

on July 16, 2013

NORTH SHELBY COUNTY, Alabama - Gov. Robert Bentley is coming to Shelby County on Wednesday to visit Oak Mountain Middle School for the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative's Summer Institute.


Bentley will visit with educators from throughout central Alabama as part of the program, dubbed AMSTI, which works to increase students' college and career readiness. He will visit various classrooms starting at 9:30 a.m.


According to a statement from Bentley's office, the initiative under the Alabama Department of Education strengthens the state's workforce that, in turn, helps recruit more high-paying jobs. His office noted the governor has worked to protect funding for the program.













Why Airbus chose Alabama for A320 assembly line
By: Allan McArtor, Chairman, Airbus Americas
Published: July 15, 2013

On July 2, 2012, Airbus, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, announced that it would build an aircraft assembly line on Brookley AeroPlex in Mobile, Ala., which will employ 1,000 people at full production.


 The decision to construct a plant in this country represents the most significant, game-changing event in U.S. aerospace in decades and is a positive step-change in the longstanding relationship between Airbus and U.S. industry.  


I use the word "relationship" intentionally.


Our industry is built on relationships. Airplanes are not impulse buys, with their multimillion-dollar price tags. Sure, Airbus makes great, high-quality, technologically advanced products. But what is just as important to carriers is that we build longstanding, trustworthy relationships. Our airline partners know us well and therefore know that we'll be here to support them throughout the many years that they will operate the aircraft they purchase.








South Alabama Megasite, Loxley North nab Baldwin County's third, fourth industrial AdvantageSite designations

on July 16, 2013


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama - Two Baldwin County sites totaling nearly 3,100 acres have received the AdvantageSite designation from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, boosting their marketability to potential industrial partners.


Lee Lawson, president and chief executive officer of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, said the 3,009-acre South Alabama Megasite in Bay Minette and the 50-acre Loxley North site can now court more effectively the caliber of development the sites are meant to sustain.


The Bay Minette megasite, which already earned a certified CSX megasite designation in 2011 from McCallum Sweeney Consulting, is located 32 miles from the Port of Mobile and boasts direct access to Interstate 65. The site is also less than 25 miles from Interstate 10, less than 90 minutes from four regional and municipal airports and offers direct CSX rail access, nestling it perfectly within Alabama's automotive and aerospace corridors, Lawson said.





Auto supplier rolls out big expansion in McCalla
Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
July 16, 2013

With Mercedes-Benz's Alabama-made C-Class sedans scheduled to roll out in June 2014, auto parts supplier Gestamp Automoción is investing millions to expand its McCalla plant.

Spain-based Gestamp subsidiary Gestamp North America Inc. plans to hire 58 people with a total annual payroll of $2.7 million, said Frederick Hamilton, directors of the Jefferson County Office of Community and Economic Development.


Gestamp Human Resources Manager Will Smith said the company is working with the Alabama Industrial Development Training agency to begin advertising the positions by the end of 2013, and could begin hiring as early as February 2014.




West Franklin Industrial Park receives Advantage Site distinction
By Kellie Singleton
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

RED BAY - Economic development is an important part of what city officials in Red Bay see as a plan for growth and improvement in the city's future.

Because of this, city officials said they were pleased to announce the recent designation of the West Franklin Regional Industrial Park as an Alabama AdvantageSite, which means the park is "shovel ready," or ready for prospective industry to come in and begin to build.


"This is a big step in showing that the city of Red Bay is committed to working with our current industry, and it gives us an advantage as we recruit new industry," Red Bay Mayor Bobby Forsythe said.


"We live in a competitive world today, so any leverage in marketing our site is very beneficial."




Gadsden mayor touts city's status on job growth, wages, unemployment
GADSDEN, Alabama -- Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton Tuesday touted the city's position among others its size, using figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Guyton's point: Gadsden is doing well in a challenging economy, and has the ability to improve as the national picture improves.


"If we keep plugging along like we're doing, and everybody stays on the same page," he said, "the City of Gadsden will be well positioned to do some good things. Let's just keep it positive and keeping working on it together."


The numbers Guyton cited were labor statistics analyzed by Garner Economics, which published a research report on wage growth in U.S. metropolitan areas for 2010 through 2012.



Gulf Coast Economic and Industry Development Forum to spotlight successes, challenges for minority businesses July 26
on July 16, 2013 

MOBILE, Alabama - Alabama's Minority Business Development Agency Business Center in Mobile will host its Gulf Coast Economic and Industry Development Forum beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, July 26 at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.


The two-hour forum is designed to provide a platform for government, financial, community and business development leaders to discuss recent successes, challenges and opportunities to the region's minority business owners.


Specifically, MBDA-Mobile eclipsed recently the $1 billion mark in contracting and financing it assisted minority businesses across Alabama in securing since opening its doors in 2006. In turn, those efforts helped create more than 1,100 jobs. The center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities, and to create and retain jobs. It also operates a satellite office in Birmingham.


And because the forum coincides with the 2013 Southern Legislators Conference also being held in Mobile July 27-31, MBDA-Mobile Executive Director Pamela Ramos intends to leverage that timing to better showcase her office's reach and impact.





Immediate Release:

Alabama Governor's School entrepreneurship students go behind the scenes of Brookwood Medical Center


Birmingham, Ala. - Students participating in the Alabama Governor's School's entrepreneurship class taught by Samford University Brock School of Business dean, Howard Finch and professor Franz Lohrke recently toured Brookwood Medical Center as part of their class activities. 


Bradley Dennis, Chief Medical Officer for Brookwood and a Samford graduate, escorted the students through the hospital touring the Operating Room, Radiology, Women's Center, Labor & Delivery, Women's Operating Room and the Cancer Center's Cyberknife units.  Students ended their tour with a small group roundtable discussion with Brookwood's Chief Executive Officer, Garry Gause.


"We truly enjoyed this opportunity to engage with an incredible group of students. It gave us a chance to show them a very real, behind-the-scenes look at how a hospital operates, " said Garry Gause, chief executive officer, Brookwood Medical Center. "This experience allowed us to really dialogue with students about the day-to-day business of running a hospital - including costs, the role insurance plays in healthcare, and the intricacies of patient care."


The Alabama Governor's School is hosted annually by Samford University for rising high school seniors.  Students participating in the Governor's School learn critical business and finance skills, get hands on experience with social science and humanities projects as well as hands-on experience working in visual and performing arts.  The program is a 12-day program where students live on campus in order to get a real feel for college life.


Kara Kennedy

Director of External Affairs     

Samford's Brock School of Business

DBH 338

800 Lakeshore Dr.

Birmingham, AL 35229

(205) 726-4070 or (205) 370-1677 Cell


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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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