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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:
Mobile lures Illinois-based steel plate company expected to hire 10
Hyundai: Seoul trip isn't to woo new Alabama plant
Rep. Alan Harper of Northport to head Economic Development and Tourism Committee
State to employers: What kinds of workers do you need?
$18 million contract moves LRLAP project closer to full production; work will take place in Troy
Time is Running Out to Register for the Third Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference
Samford's Brock School of Business Students Generate Innovative Ideas in New Entrepreneurship Class
Birmingham GDP Growth Outpaces State, U.S.


Mobile lures Illinois-based steel plate company expected to hire 10

on September 23, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - Leeco Steel quietly opened a Mobile distribution center three weeks ago and has already begun shipping steel plates from the site.


"Mobile, allows us to realize efficiencies in our supply chain and commercial coverage that will ignite further expansion in the Gulf," said Denton Nordhues, president and chief executive officer of the Lisle, Ill.-based company.


Founded as a scrap metal company in 1882, Leeco Steel is part of the O'Neal Industrial Metals Group and maintains one of the largest inventories of carbon, HSLA and alloy plate steel in North America. In addition to its Illinois corporate headquarters and the new Mobile operation, Leeco also operates facilities in Chicago; Oshkosh, Wis.; Wexford, Pa.; Fort Worth, Texas; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Hamilton, Ontario; Monterrey, Mexico; and Santiago, Chile.







Hyundai: Seoul trip isn't to woo new Alabama plant

By Brad Harper

Sept. 23, 2013


State and Hyundai officials say an Alabama delegation's trip to Korea next month is about cultural exchange, not part of a reported competition between Alabama and Georgia over a new auto manufacturing plant.


Gov. Robert Bentley's office said he won't even be on the trip.


"The governor has no trips to Korea scheduled at this time," said Jeremy King, Bentley's communications director.


Business Korea reported Aug. 23 that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal met with Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo to try to convince the company to build a third North American plant in Georgia. The report said Bentley would travel to Korea to meet with the chairman in October and make his case to bring a new plant to Alabama instead.





[Montgomery Advertister]


Rep. Alan Harper of Northport to head Economic Development and Tourism Committee

on September 23, 2013 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama --- Rep. Alan Harper, R-Northport, will be the new chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee in the Alabama House of Representatives.


House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, announced the appointment today.


Harper will replace Rep. Barry Mask, who announced his resignation effective Sept. 30.


"Rep. Harper's career in economic development spans three decades and I'm confident the knowledge and skills he brings to the table will help Alabama continue on its path to being the most business friendly state in the nation," Hubbard said in a news release. 







State to employers: What kinds of workers do you need?

By Brad Harper

Sept. 24, 2013


The state plans to call thousands of Alabama employers over the next few months to find out what kinds of workers they want, and their answers could help reshape education and training programs for years to come.


The Alabama Department of Labor plans to contact manufacturing, construction and utility businesses, digging into their biggest problems with finding and keeping the right people. A state task force made up of business and education leaders is examining the same issues and also plans to finish in December, but the phone survey is a separate push.


"It has not been requested by the task force," said Tonya Lee of the Labor Market Information Division. "It's just something that we see as a hot topic in this state. When I go out and speak that's what I hear, that (employers) can't find people with the correct skills."





$18 million contract moves LRLAP project closer to full production; work will take place in Troy

on September 23, 2013 

Full production on the Long Range Land Attack Projectile is one step closer to starting after the National Warhead Energetic Consortium awarded Lockheed Martin an $18 million contract. 


The contract includes the development of production line tooling, test equipment and manufacturing process plans for work on the advanced projectile. LRLAP's guidance and control unit will be assembled at Lockheed Martin's Ocala, Fla. facility. Final assembly will be performed at the company's Troy plant.


"This contract represents a significant step towards fielding LRLAP to support the Navy's requirement for surface fire support," said Richard Benton, program manager for LRLAP at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Fire support to troops deployed ashore is a critical capabilities gap, which LRLAP fills with precision lethality."












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


 The Conference starts thisThursday!



Seats are filling up. Have you registered?



We are looking forward to seeing you there.







 For more information,

















Samford's Brock School of Business Students Generate Innovative Ideas in New Entrepreneurship Class 



September 23, 2013

For Immediate Release


Birmingham, Ala. - This summer, entrepreneurship students at Samford University's Brock School of Business had the opportunity to take a new class focused on generating innovative business ideas.  During the "Opportunity Recognition" course, students examined emerging trends in several industries, wrote analyses about what they considered important social and technological trends, and participated in online discussions to help them generate ideas for a new business.  They also received $25 each to invest in a start-up business ideas through crowdfunding websites that they thought were capitalizing on important trends.


"Successful entrepreneurship happens when people identify opportunities, decide these opportunities are viable, and then put together the resources needed to start a new business," said Franz Lohrke, Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Brock School of Business.  "Entrepreneurship courses at many universities, though, focus just on the last two steps in the process, like guiding students through the process of writing a business plan to evaluate their business ideas and then help raise money.  This course provided students an intensive experience with the first step by helping them generate innovative ideas for new businesses."


Students researched, discussed and found connections among trends including wearable computing devices, on-line privacy, government product regulations, healthcare and workplace design.  Many decided to invest in crowdfunding projects related to these trends as well as social entrepreneurship projects providing digital access to libraries for people in developing countries or promoting sustainable farming.


Emily Miller, an entrepreneurship major from Pavo, Ga., commented "The course gave me the opportunity to research and invest money in start-up businesses through Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  I realized multiple business opportunities exist in different markets, not only in the U.S. but around the world."


Given its innovativeness, professors at other universities have been interested in how the course was taught.  One indication of this interest came when Lohrke posted a link to the course syllabus on a discussion board for entrepreneurship professors, and more than 650 professors around the world clicked on the link.  Many also provided positive feedback or asked for additional information about the course.


"To train our students to be entrepreneurs and business leaders, we need to offer them relevant and innovative classes," said Howard Finch, dean of the Brock School of Business.  "Especially in fields like entrepreneurship, business schools need to offer cutting edge courses to keep up with rapidly changing trends."


About the Brock School of Business:

Samford University's Brock School of Business has a long history of achievements in business education. The university has offered degrees in business and commerce since 1922. In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelors and masters degrees in business. It was formally named the Brock School in 2007 for Birmingham banker and Samford trustee Harry B. Brock Jr., reflecting his long career in business and his commitment to high quality business and entrepreneurship education. The Brock School of Business holds AACSB Accreditation, the benchmark of quality worldwide and the most widely sought after standard of excellence by U.S. business schools.


Brock School of Business Contact: 

Kara Kennedy, Director of External Affairs,

205-726-4070, kkennedy@samford.edu
















Birmingham GDP Growth 

Outpaces State, U.S. 


Sept. 20, 2013


New Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates show the Birmingham metropolitan area's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.8 percent from 2011 to 2012. The Birmingham area outpaced the national average growth of 2.5 percent and takes the top spot among Alabama's 12 metro economies. Birmingham ranked 57th among the nation's 377 metropolitan areas.


Birmingham saw its GDP increase from $53.5 billion in 2011, to $58.9 billion in 2012. Over that same period, Birmingham's share of the total Alabama GDP rose from 29.9 percent to 32.1 percent. The growth is a clear gauge of employer confidence, as evidenced by continued substantial job growth and capital investments in the Birmingham area, said Brian Hilson, president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance.


"The value of all goods and services produced in the seven-county Birmingham region not only represents almost one-third of the GDP of the entire state of Alabama, it also has a significant impact on the state far beyond the Birmingham MSA," said Hilson. "The breadth and diversity of the Birmingham economy is incredible, with the most significant sectors representing health care and medical research, technology development, finance and insurance, construction, transportation and logistics, and a wide range of manufactured products. The region's GDP growth is a clear indicator of substantial job growth and capital investments by Birmingham area employers, which is a very clear and positive sign for both local businesses and workers."


















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