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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:
Jay Love, Joe Morton to head new education reform foundation
Google names Madison digital capital of Alabama for 2013
Mobile County schools' signature academies taking care of business -- and vice versa
Project transforms blighted house into work of art in York
Japan tops list of jobs created by foreign investment in Alabama
News Release --...MFG Alabama, LLC adds 60 new employees to Opp plant


Jay Love, Joe Morton to head new education reform foundation

on August 17, 2013


POINT CLEAR - The Business Council of Alabama on Saturday introduced an education reform foundation that will be led by former state Superintendent of Education Joe Morton and former state Rep. Jay Love.


The nonprofit Business and Education Alliance will work to unite the business and public educaton communities in Alabama, according to organizers.


"Business depends upon a qualified and well-educated workforce in order to fill the 21st Century jobs that Alabama is attracting, but in many areas of the state, schools are in need of improvement and measures of their effectiveness are lacking," Morton told BCA members at the organization's annual Governmental Affairs Conference in Point Clear.


Morton, who will serve as chairman and president of the foundation, said BEA will provide research and support for education programs such as Alabama's First Class voluntary pre-K program and the Alabama Reading Initiative, among others.









Google names Madison digital capital of Alabama for 2013

on August 19, 2013 

MADISON, Alabama -- Google has recognized the City of Madison as the digital capital of Alabama in its 2013 eCity awards.


The award goes to one city in each state where businesses are most using the web to find new customers, connect with existing customers and fuel their local economies. Across the country, businesses that are online expect to grow 40 percent faster, Google said in a press release.


"Madison is leading the way on the web in Alabama," Google said. "This fast-growing suburb of nearby Huntsville has a strong online business community, virtually connecting shops and eateries with residents and visitors alike."








Mobile County schools' signature academies taking care of business -- and vice versa 

on August 18, 2013


MOBILE, Alabama - A crucial component of Mobile County Public Schools' commitment to producing career-ready students is the active recruitment of business and industry to the classroom.


"Unless you have industry partners, it's very difficult to get a job or scholarship," said Larry Mouton, the system's executive director of career and technical education.


In turn, the school system's signature academies -- being phased in to all high schools beginning with B.C. Rain, Blount, Citronelle and Mary G. Montgomery in the 2013-14 school year -- will incorporate hands-on participation of local companies representing industries key to growing and maintaining Mobile's employment base.






Project transforms blighted house into work of art in York

By Ashley Chaffin | Staff Writer
Published: Monday, August 19, 2013

The four walls, door and window on the outside of a pink house on Main Street in York hide much more than bedrooms and a kitchen.


"It's like a transformer," said Nathan Purath, co-director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in York. "It looks like a house when it's in its dormant stage, and then it unfolds into stadium seating for 100 people that can be used to do all kinds of things."


Conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta created the "Open House" as part of the artist-in-residence program through the CCA. The stadium seating faces a raised earth stage that has played host to concerts and movies since the opening on June 15.






Japan tops list of jobs created by foreign investment in Alabama

on August 16, 2013 

A new report breaks down the jobs created by foreign-owned companies in Alabama, with Japan topping the list.

The report from Business Roundtable shows companies based in Japan employ 13,500 people in Alabama.


 Germany is next, with 10,900 jobs, followed by the United Kingdom, with 10,300 jobs.


The numbers aren't surprising, as two of Japan's top manufacturers -- Honda and Toyota -- have operations in the state, along with significant supplier networks. Honda has a 4,000-worker auto assembly plant in Talladega County, while the work force at Toyota's Huntsville engine plant numbers about 1,000.


more ...





News Release -- MFG Alabama, LLC adds 60 new employees to Opp plant.

MFG Alabama has given the local economy a nice boost and shot of enthusiasm with the recent addition of 60 new jobs. Plant Manager Mike Leonard relayed the good news Monday to Opp Mayor John Bartholomew. 


Leonard said they began to ramp up production at the Opp facility earlier this year.


"Planning for this expansion began in December," Leonard said. "We have now added a second shift  and a total for both shifts  of about 60 new employees.

 He said the site was previously producing two composite, fiberglass windmill enclosures per day (nacelles), but now with the second shift, they are now   producing  a total of five per day with both shifts. He said this requires "double turning" the molds each day to meet the goal.


Leonard said the molding process for producing the enclosures was first utilized in the1950s and has not changed dramatically through the years."It is kind of a 1950s type of process," he said. "It is the way the original Corvette body was produced. MFG produced the first Corvette bodies in Ashtabula, Ohio. Process equipment that sprays a combination of resin and chopped fiberglass in the molds forms the part and chemically reacts and becomes hardened."


Leonard also said the company plans to keep the second shift for the rest of 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014. A decision would be made later for continuing this schedule adding, "The prospectus is very good for the rest of the year and into the first quarter of next year."


MFG has also hired an engineering manager, Pat Hawkins, and an operations manager, Seth Burnett. Leonard said both men's contributions to the company are already being seen.  The company is designing and developing an underground community storm shelter.  The shelter is designed for 40 persons and a module can be added for 40 more.  It is a temporary shelter to house people during storms and provide a safe place to "ride out the storm."


Opp's Mayor John Bartholomew congratulated Leonard on the expansion and again pledged the city's support for any future building expansion at the site on the U.S. Hwy. 331 Bypass.  "This is a major investment by MFG Alabama into the people of Opp," Mayor Bartholomew said. "These are good paying, quality jobs. When you consider they could have made the expansion elsewhere but chose to do it in Opp, it says a lot about the company's belief in Opp's future. We're very appreciative of it."

Submitted by :Rick Clifton, president & CEO of the Covington County EDC & Business Development Center. 


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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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