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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:
Mercedes opens massive auto parts hub in Alabama (photos)
Aviation group ready to fly high in Enterprise
Steel fabrication business coming to Sheffield site
University of Alabama start-up and Alabama Launchpad finalist ThruPore earns $150,000 NSF grant
Brasfield & Gorrie completes $4.9 million Trussville project
Soluble Therapeutics gets more funding, working two major collaborations
Walking the Walk: How Vo-Tech Ed Saved a Town

 


Mercedes opens massive auto parts hub in Alabama (photos)

on December 18, 2013 

VANCE, Alabama -- Mercedes-Benz today officially opened a new logistics center at its auto assembly operations in Tuscaloosa County, a massive facility that is expected to handle 2.9 million parts a day.

 

The $70 million building, which covers more than 900,000 square feet, also underscores the growth of the auto industry in the state. It will hold only parts, yet it is about the size of the area that houses one of the plant's existing auto assembly lines.
  

"This is part of the maturing of the auto industry in Alabama," said Dara Longgrear, executive director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority and one of many state and local officials who attended a program marking the opening. "It's fascinating to realize how many parts have to come together for a vehicle to come off the assembly line."

 

 more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 


Aviation group ready to fly high in Enterprise

By Kyle Mooty

December 19, 2013 

 

If you listen to Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell, Santa Claus came a week early to the city, perhaps because the present was so large that it took every elf and every reindeer to make the delivery.

 

"It's big," said Boswell, grinning as big as a five-year-old opening a package under a tree Christmas morning. "This is a great day."

 

The package was a contract signing, guaranteeing the future of 200 high-wage new jobs to Enterprise with the $12 million, 65,000-square foot planned facility of Alabama Aircraft Support. The facility, which is expected to be open by October 2014, is expected to have a groundbreaking ceremony in January.

 

"I can tell you that from an hourly wage standpoint, it's the biggest company we've ever landed when you consider they'll be 200 new jobs starting at $24 an hour," Boswell said.

 

more...

 

[Dothan Eagle]


 


Steel fabrication business coming to Sheffield site

By Russ Corey Staff Writer |

By December 19, 2013

 

SHEFFIELD - It took about two years for Rodney Allen to find a suitable home for his new machine shop and steel fabrication business.

 

He finally found it in Sheffield's industrial park.

 

Allen, who has been in the steel fabrication business for about 25 years, said he plans to hire up to 15 people during a three-year period, with plans to eventually grow that number to 25-30.

 

The Sheffield City Council unanimously approved non-educational tax abatements for the project, which is expected to begin once Allen finalizes the purchase of the 7,500-square-foot building.

 

Susie Heird, vice-president of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, said Allen will be making a $444,850 investment in the project initially, with plans to expand. She said the city will abate about $20,000 in non-educational taxes during a 10-year period.

 

more...

 

[Florence Times Daily]

 


 University of Alabama start-up and Alabama Launchpad finalist ThruPore earns $150,000 NSF grant

on December 18, 2013

 

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama - ThruPore Technologies, a University of Alabamastart-up company, has earned a $150,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop a new catalyst for the petrochemical industry.

 

The company plans to use the grant to help prove through additional research that its catalysts are less expensive to produce and have superior properties to those currently on the market.

 

Martin Bakker, a University of Alabama associate professor of chemistry who co-founded the company with Franchessa Sayler, said the grant will have a ripple effect.

 

"The company will acquire a new, high throughput reaction system to run 24 reactions in parallel," Bakker said. "It will be shared by the students at UA and ThruPore Tech. This means that the students working on the project will become exposed to state-of-the-art instrumentation, as well as being involved in a project with direct industrial relevance."

 

more...

 

[al.com]


 

 


Brasfield & Gorrie completes $4.9 million Trussville project

on December 18, 2013 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Brasfield & Gorrie has completed construction of a new, $4.9 million office and manufacturing facility in Trussville.

 

The 35,000-square-foot project will be home to System Controls Inc. and Electric Machine Control Inc., giving them both a 30 percent increase in manufacturing space.

 

System Controls designs, builds, and services electrical control and other systems for machine or process control throughout the world for the mining, petroleum and gas, automotive assembly, industrial baking, and food processing industries. Electric Machine Control specializing in drives and control systems in pulp and paper, metals, water and wastewater, material handling and other industries.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 


Soluble Therapeutics gets more funding, working two major collaborations

on December 18, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Soluble Therapeutics Inc. has a second cash infusion that will help the company continue its work in protein-based pharmaceuticals as well as pursue two major research collaborations with global and U.S. partners.

 

The company, which is based in Birmingham's Innovation Depot incubator, saidTargeted Technology Fund II in San Antonio provided the undisclosed amount of funding. The investment comes at a year after Soluble received a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

 

Soluble said in a release the new funding will be used towards the company's new research collaborations with a global pharmaceutical contract manufacturing organization and one with a large U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, that could lead to exclusive licensing deals for Soluble's HSC technology.

 

more....

 

[al.com]

 

 


Walking the Walk: How Vo-Tech Ed Saved a Town

By Dean Barber/Barberbiz

Dec. 15, 2013

 

GADSDEN, Ala. - Not long ago, an industrial "prospect" walked into the Alabama Technology Network Center on the campus at Gadsden State Community College.

 

This community in northeast Alabama had made the short list of finalist communities for a site search, but the manufacturing executive was still not so sure if his company's workforce needs could be met here.

Upon entering the building, he immediately saw students programming robots through large windows at the first room to his right, "Hmmm, now that's interesting," he said.

 

At the very next room, still in the entrance foyer, the industry exec peered into another window to see a process control lab. He did a double take and walked inside. "These are the very same process controls that we use in our plants," he said.

 

Bingo.

 

"All of a sudden, he wasn't concerned any more as to our ability to meet his workforce needs," said Mike McCain, executive director of the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority.

 

more...

 

[deanbarber.wordpress.com]

 

 

 




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