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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:
Live video, updates from announcement of Bolta's new industrial complex set to bring 350 jobs to Tuscaloosa
EDPA to host 3rd innovation and entrepreneurship conference
Mercedes boss talks new jobs and new models (Driving Alabama
Worlds of Opportunity expected to shatter records, expose 10,000-plus eighth-graders to future careers
WCCT goal 'to prepare students for workforce
Symposium Town Hall set for Tuesday
Time is Running Out to Register for the Third Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference
Huntsville, Mobile listed as two of top 10 cities on the rise
New metal decking industry opens in Sardis City
LAH dives into Florida coast real estate marke


Live video, updates from announcement of Bolta's new industrial complex set to bring 350 jobs to Tuscaloosa 

Staff report | The Tuscaloosa News
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
On Monday, September 23, 2013, the Purico Group and Bolta Werke GmbH announced during a press conference with Governor Robert Bentley and the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority (TCIDA) in Tuscaloosa, AL that they will invest $39.5 million and create approximately 350+ new jobs by 2016 to accommodate future production of plated on plastic automotive parts mainly for Mercedes-Benz U.S.  International, Inc. in Vance, AL, VW in Chattanooga, TN and other premium automotive manufacturers in North America. 

The new plant, a sister company of Bolta Werke GmbH, its first production facility in the United States, will be about 140,000 square feet and production will involve a state-of-the-art plating on plastic line and injection molding equipment. The customer mix will not only bring new jobs to the area but more importantly, due to a variety of customers, stability and future growth opportunities through a diversified product range.

Christian Falk, CEO of Bolta Werke GmbH said that "Bolta's success is based on its ability to produce the high quality standard of the German premium OEMs and its close, long-term relationship with Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen. Due to the positive economic climate of the re-strengthened North American automotive market and the corresponding expansions not only of German OEMs, Bolta's presence in the South Eastern United States is strongly encouraged by its customers and therefore of strategic importance. With a new production facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Bolta will not only be able to support Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen in close proximity, but also valued Tier 1 suppliers like Rehau.




EDPA to host 3rd innovation and entrepreneurship conference
Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal

Job creation and aiding startups move to the next level will be the main talking point at an upcoming conference at the Hyatt Regency-Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover.

The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation said in a news release that it is hosting its third annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference at the Wynfrey on Sept. 26 and 27.


 The event is slated to feature several speakers, including Gov. Robert Bentley, Fast Co. editor William C. Taylor and Ted Alling, aSamford University business school graduate named one of the South's leading young entrepreneurs.


"The conference is about learning to celebrate the small successes that collectively drive an innovation economy," EDPA Vice President Angela Wier said. "For instance, if you look at the early-stage companies in the state that have been successful in bringing in Small Business Innovation Research funding, individually, they may have 13, 50 or 78 jobs.





[Birmingham Business Journal]


Mercedes boss talks new jobs and new models (Driving Alabama)

on September 23, 2013 


Driving Alabama is a weekly look at auto industry news, from the state's car assembly lines to its roadways and beyond.Top story: The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County continues to march toward its upcoming production launch of the C-Class sedan, said Jason Hoff, the new president of the automaker's Alabama operations.

A group of body shop workers trained in Germany last month, and an assembly line group is there now. These employees will help train others in Alabama, and they will begin building pre-production versions of the new C-Class by the end of the year.


The official launch of the car is expected sometime next year, and the plant is adding 1,000 new jobs tied to the C-Class project.


"So far everything is on schedule," Hoff said. "We have some of our first new people in the plant. They have gone through orientation and the first round of training, and now they are in the plant. Most are replacing those that are being pulled out to work on C-Class."






Worlds of Opportunity expected to shatter records, expose 10,000-plus eighth-graders to future careers

on September 22, 2013


MOBILE, Alabama - Police officer. Nurse. Aircraft mechanic. Pipe welder.


The career options available to students graduating from southwest Alabama high schools are as varied as the personalities seeking them, and more than 10,000 eighth graders will get a sneak peek later this week of the job market awaiting them during the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council's fourth annual Worlds of Opportunity.


The two-day event, slated for Wednesday and Thursday at the Mobile Civic Center, attracts students from eight southwest Alabama counties and immerses them in a hands-on interactive career exploration experience led by business professionals representing 12 key south Alabama industries.


"The Worlds of Opportunity exist both for us and for the students," said Russ Golson, ExxonMobil Mobile Bay Operations' superintendent. 










WCCT goal 'to prepare students for workforce'
by Briana Webster
Sept. 21, 2013 

One of the main goals of the Walker County Center of Technology is preparing students to exit high school and enter the workforce.
 WCCT Director Debra Ellis is a driving force behind her center's efforts in making sure those students are receiving the training needed to obtain future jobs and be career-ready. 

According to a statement from the office of Gov. Robert Bentley, "Alabama saw its unemployment rate drop significantly during Gov. Bentley's first two years in office. The unemployment rate for Alabama dropped from 9.3 percent in January 2011 to 6.9 percent in January 2013. Alabama's current unemployment rate as of July 2013 is 6.3 percent."

More and more jobs are being created throughout the state. For example, the addition of the European planemaker Airbus opening its plant in Mobile helps to create a number of opportunities for Alabamians.



Symposium Town Hall set for Tuesday

by Lance Griffin

Posted on September 22, 2013


After reading and hearing about the U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium for several months, area residents will have their chance to ask questions and learn more Tuesday evening.


The first of what is expected to be a handful of Town Hall events is scheduled for Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Dothan Opera House to familiarize residents with the upcoming symposium and to answer questions from the public.


Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz and SoZo Group CEO Raymond Cheng are expected to moderate the event. Part of the town hall meeting will be spent providing a brief overview of the Symposium. The remaining portion will be reserved for questions from the public.


Additionally, the City of Dothan will be seeking volunteers for the Symposium, which will be held Nov. 10-12. Volunteers are needed in several areas including those who are fluent in Mandarin, those willing to volunteer in areas of hospitality and others as well.






  Time is Running Out to Register for the Third Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference!


 The Conference starts Thursday!



Seats are filling up. Have you registered?



We are looking forward to seeing you there.







 For more information,

















Huntsville, Mobile listed as two of top 10 cities on the rise

on September 22, 2013 

Business blog NerdWalletcompiled a list of the top ten cities on the rise in the United States. 

The data is based on the following according to the site:

  • Growth in working-age population: We looked at the growth in percentage of the city's working-age population (16 years old and over).
  • Growth in income: We looked at the growth in median income for workers.
  • Growth in airport passenger traffic: We approximated how popular the city is by tracking passenger movement in the city's airports. This gauges how many travelers, especially business travelers, are coming to the city to find industry and business opportunities.

Huntsville clocked in at number 9 on the list, followed by Mobile at number 10.























New metal decking industry opens in Sardis City 

By Andy Powell

Times Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013 

A new industry in Sardis City that opened this summer has created seven jobs and eventually could employ as many as 30 people, according to owner David Talley.


Premier Metal Deck Forms, which manufactures metal decking for bridge construction, shipped its first product on May 24.


The plant is at 185 Industry Drive. The building had housed Structural Dimensions.


"We're very happy with what we have down there at Sardis City," Talley said.















LAH dives into Florida coast real estate market
Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal

After expanding into Hoover earlier this yearLAH Real Estate plans to open an office this fall to tackle Florida's coastal market - a five-year investment of roughly $840,000.

Maurice Humphries Jr., a principal of Birmingham-based Lawrence-Arendall-Humphries Real Estate Inc., said the firm's first out-of-state office will open Sept. 1 at 3648 W. County Road 30A in Santa Rosa Beach.


Residential real estate in that popular, high-end community - branded simply as 30A - is heating up as buyers from Birmingham and elsewhere look for long-term investment opportunities, he said. In June, the average home sale price was $512,408 for Walton County, Fla., according to real estate research firm FloridaRealtors.



[Birmingham Business Journal]










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