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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:
UWA launches training program to increase employment opportunities in Black Belt
EDA preps for more site work in Kellyton
Black Belt Commission continues to make progress
Cordova struggles after tornadoes, economic downturn, but young leadership, grants paving way
Governor addresses chamber luncheon
News Release -- The Aerospace Alliance to Hold its Annual Fall Summit in October


UWA launches training program to increase employment opportunities in Black Belt

By Staff Reports

Published: August 21, 2013 


LIVINGSTON - As part of its efforts to improve employment opportunities for Black Belt citizens, the University of West Alabama has launched its Applied Manufacturing Technology Certification Program. With successful completion of the program, students will earn the credentials of Automotive Technician Certification and Industrial Maintenance Certification.


The program orientation took place on the UWA campus in Kelley Land Hall, with UWA President Richard Holland, Outreach Services Director Kenneth Walker, and Center for Business and Economic Services Director Billy McFarland welcoming the first cohort of 39 students.


These certifications are tailored to the manufacturing industry and will place candidates on a career pathway to job placement. UWA has partnered with Alabama Power Company and other business and industries throughout West Alabama to ensure participants are trained according to the industry's needs.




[Dempolis Times]



EDA preps for more site work in Kellyton

By Robert Hudson

August 21, 2013

The Lake Martin Economic Development Alliance recently submitted an application calling for further development to the Kellyton Industrial Park.

The EDA submitted an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Mobile District calling for development on a wetlands site near the industrial park located south of U.S. Highway 280 near the eastern border of Coosa County.

"On the south side of the back side of that industrial park, we found that we had some issues as far as wetlands," said Don McClellan, executive director of the LMAEDA.

"This application is to mediate or set aside that area, and it will not be disturbed, so that we can do clearing and grading to prepare lots for companies or prospects that we would like to attract here."

In its application, the EDA states "site development will bring much-needed employment opportunities to an area that has undergone a marked decrease in jobs during the preceding years."





By John Zippert, Co-Publisher
August 22, 2013

The Black Belt Commission (BBC), originally established by former Governor Bob Riley in 2004, continues to meet, operate and make progress for the twelve counties of the Alabama Black Belt region. The Black Belt counties, coming out of an agrarian past, with large Black populations, are among the poorest and economically depressed counties in the state.


The Commission has 13 working committees with mostly volunteer members, who meet regularly. The committees are in the areas of: Agriculture, Communications, Community Development, Culture and Youth, Education, Families, Health, Infrastructure, Marketing and Tourism, Manufacturing, Small Business, Workforce Development and Transportation.


The BBC has three co-chairs: Bea Fornis, Director the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Mayor Sheldon Day of Thomasville and State Senator Billy Beasley of Clayton.




[Greene County Democrat]




Cordova struggles after tornadoes, economic downturn, but young leadership, grants paving way 
on August 22, 2013

CORDOVA, Alabama -- Long before April 27, 2011 brought two tornadoes, devastation and death to Cordova, the Walker County town was struck by a different kind of disaster -- a stagnant economy that left decades-old Victorian style downtown shops and homes empty.


"The storms didn't hit thriving businesses. They hit derelict buildings," said Drew Gilbert, the city's 26-year-old mayor elected in 2012.


After the storms, fires ravaged what was left of the rubble and Cordova earlier this year held a farewell ceremony as the lots were cleared, leaving behind only grassy, dirt filled lots inside the square foundations of what was once downtown.


For residents still rebuilding in the wake of the massive tornado outbreak, the nearly two-and-a-half year recovery effort is frustrating and painful. They see lumber and twisted metal cleared from lots, but wonder when new buildings will take their place.


For Gilbert, the storm recovery -- and the funds available for recovery -- offer Cordova a chance to reinvent itself as a suburban alternative for Birmingham's young professionals.







Governor addresses chamber luncheon
by Rachel Davis
August 21, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley spoke Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County's annual luncheon. 

In introducing Bentley, State Sen. Greg Reed talked about all that Bentley has done for the citizens in Walker County overall, as well as his support in the immediate and long-term recovery following the tornadoes in April of 2011.

"With compassion and skill he came to our towns when times were the toughest, not only did he hug necks and pray with us, but he gave us all the support and resources the State of Alabama had available in our time of most significant need."

Bentley discussed why he decided to run for governor, despite people who asked why he would want the job, given the state's economic trials.






News Release -- The Aerospace Alliance to Hold its Annual Fall Summit in October  


The Aerospace Alliance will host its annual Fall Summit in Huntsville, Alabama, on Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19, 2013. 


This conference will feature speakers presenting on global aerospace industry opportunities in aircraft production and commercial space. Issues to be covered include composites manufacturing, workforce and labor needs, a status update on UAV testing, and site selection.


 For more information including how to register, visit their website at www.aerospacealliance.com.




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Val Walton
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