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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:
Gov. Bentley tours Alex City, residents looking for new industry
Volunteers sought for Worlds of Opportunity Career Expo
Tennessee Still No. 1, AL and KY Coming Up Fast In BF's Automotive Manufacturing Strength Ranking
Success in Holly Pond-Editorial
Wells Fargo named most generous U.S. company


Gov. Bentley tours Alex City, residents looking for new industry 

July 23, 2013

ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -Gov. Robert Bentley called Alexander City and places like it, "The backbone of Alabama," during his visit to Tallapoosa County Tuesday.

"Small towns are important. I'm from a small town" Gov. Bentley said after meeting with city and county leaders at Alexander City Hall.


The governor also took a tour of the robotics lab at Central Alabama Community College where students learn to operate the machinery used at Honda and Hyundai plants in Alabama.


"What you're doing here is special" the governor told college leaders during a brief meeting. The governor's visit brought some comfort to residents who haven't had a lot to cheer about in recent years.


Residents in Alexander City are concerned for the future. "People travel away for jobs at places like Kia and Hyundai" said Darrell Mobley, who worked in Human Resources at Russell Athletic for 21 years. "I even know people who drive all the way to Lincoln to work at Honda."







Volunteers sought for Worlds of Opportunity Career Expo 

on July 23, 2013 

MOBILE, Alabama -- Volunteers are needed for the 2013 South Alabama Workforce Development Council's Worlds of Opportunity Career Expo, set Sept. 25-26 at the Mobile Civic Center Arena. Set-up and volunteer orientation will take place Sept. 24.

HandsOn South Alabama has partnered with the event to manage volunteer registration, orientation, logistics and procedures and is currently seeking volunteers.

In a news release issued Monday, organizers asked that sign up be completed soon as "a high level of organization" is required due to the large number of volunteers. To sign up, visit http://www.worldsofopportunity.com.







Tennessee Still No. 1, AL and KY Coming Up Fast 

In BF's Automotive Manufacturing Strength Ranking 

July 23, 2013


Business Facilities has released it's annual state Automotive Manufacturing Strength ranking. For an unprecedented fourth consecutive year, Tennessee has defended its automotive crown as the top-ranked state in this flagship category, holding off a strong challenge from a surging Alabama and an expanding automotive sector in Kentucky.


The Volunteer State is home to Nissan, Volkswagen and General Motors production hubs. "With VW intent on selling at least 1 million vehicles in the North American market, its new Chattanooga plant is ramping up to full production," said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. "Renewed commitments from GM, Nissan's electric-car line scaling up in Smyrna and a growing supplier network have kept Tennessee in a commanding position in our automotive strength evaluation."


Rogers said Alabama, which leapt into second place in the Automotive Manufacturing Strength ranking from last year's no. 7 finish, is coming on strong as a rising automotive powerhouse. Alabama's surge in BF's annual automotive sweepstakes has been fueled by its expanding production on behalf of industry giants from three nations: Germany's Mercedes-Benz, Japan's Honda and South Korea's Hyundai.


"Mercedes-Benz's long-term commitment to Alabama was followed by a parade of auto giants who have vaulted the state into the top tier in U.S. automotive production, with 880,000 vehicles produced in 2012," Rogers said. "The state has laid out the welcome mat for foreign investment and is working proactively to make sure a skilled workforce is readily available by offering on-site training."




[Business Facilities]




Success in Holly Pond

The Cullman Times- Editorial

July 23, 2013


CULLMAN - The town of Holly Pond saw an important part of its economy go away when VF Jeanswear moved out of the area. The effort to bring new life to the town, however, has not been in short supply.

Last week, area economic development officials and Holly Pond Mayor Herman Nail confirmed that HessAire had purchased the VF facility and planned to bring new jobs to the town.

VF Jeanswear was a part of Holly Pond for more than 25 years, employing 150 people at one time before moving away. Seeing a new investment coming to the town is welcome news and may well serve as a springboard for additional businesses to call Holly Pond home.

Economic development is a highly competitive field among communities throughout Alabama and the Southeast region. New jobs so often go to larger cities, leaving many towns isolated from their potential. But Holly Pond had strong selling points with the VF facility intact and the town's location along the busy U.S. Highway 278 corridor.





Wells Fargo named most generous U.S. company

Antrenise Cole

Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
July 23, 2013

Wells Fargo & Co. was named as the No. 1 corporate giver among U.S. companies for 2012, according to a recent survey.


Wells Fargo donated more than $315.8 million last year, or 1.3 percent of its 2011 pre-tax profits, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The bank's cash giving increased by 48 percent last year, primarily due to the $77-million it granted to NeighborWorks America to aid first-time home buyers in neighborhoods most affected by the housing crisis, the survey said.


In Alabama, Wells Fargo gave 613 grants totaling $3.6 million to local nonprofits in 2012.



[Birmingham Business Journal]


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