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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:
Alabama unemployment rate falls in November as labor force shrinks
12 state upstarts competing for $100,000 in latest Alabama Launchpad
Highway to Help: Construction begins on final phase of parkway that officials say will aid development
River Region unites to fund $400K park at Maxwell; More projects underway, leaders say
Go off-road with Mercedes-Benz (Alabama-made, photos, video)
CBER's Annual Economic Outlook Conference Set for January 15 in Montgomery

 


 

Alabama unemployment rate falls in November as labor force shrinks

on December 20, 2013 

Alabama's official unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in November, down from 6.4 percent in October and 6.9 percent in November 2012.

But fewer people were employed last month compared to the same month last year. The Alabama Department of Labor estimates that 1,994,571 Alabamians were employed in November 2013, down from 2,003,212 one year prior. 

Despite the decline, the unemployment rate went down because the state's labor force shrank -- only working-age individuals who are actively seeking work count in the rate's calculation. The labor force shrank by about 25,000 people over the last year. 


more...

[al.com]

 

 

 

 


12 state upstarts competing for $100,000 in latest Alabama Launchpad

on December 19, 2013
 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - TheEconomic Development Partnership of Alabama has named the dozen teams that will vie for the next $100,000 in award money.

 

Round three of the Alabama Launchpad Start-Up Competition will see 12 companies that have already convinced a panel of their commercial relevance.

 

For the first time in the Launchpad competition, there are three back-to-back competitions for the "pre-seed" phase for a share of up to $100,000 in award money.

 

The competition is geared to promote, reward and increase the pipeline of high-growth, innovative ventures that have the potential to create and keep jobs in Alabama. The teams will make their first pitch presentations starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 24 at Evonik Industries in Birmingham.

 

 more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 


 

Highway to Help: Construction begins on final phase of parkway that officials say will aid development
By Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Dec 19, 2013

 The sun glinted off Gov. Robert Bentley's shovel as he plunged it into the ground Thursday. He'd traveled a couple of hours to reach this point, but for the residents of Calhoun County, the journey has lasted much longer.

More than a decade.

But at last, the end is in sight. The final phase of the long-awaited Veterans Memorial Parkway nears completion, a goal officials expect will generate economic prosperity in the area.

Construction is set to start in January on the parkway's final 3.7 miles.

Bentley and several state and local officials kicked off the $12.2 million project with a groundbreaking ceremony near U.S. 431 at the northern end of the link. The parkway will connect Interstate 20 to northern Anniston by a route through McClellan. The project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2015. 


more...

 

[Anniston Star]


 


 

River Region unites to fund $400K park at Maxwell; More projects underway, leaders say
By Brad Harper
Dec. 19, 2013 

Maxwell Air Force Base leaders joined River Region officials Thursday in breaking ground for a new $400,000 park on base, a project they said is a symbol of a bigger partnership with a bright future.

 

River Region Freedom Park will include multiple playgrounds, pavilions, picnic areas, a walking track, fitness stations and a youth soccer field for the Air Force families living nearby. It's being funded by donations from public and private entities through the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

 

About half of the total project cost already has been donated, and fundraising continues. Construction starts in January, and organizers hope to finish the project by summer.

 

"Thank you for being here this morning, and welcome to the best hometown in the Air Force," 42nd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Trent Edwards said before unveiling the plans.

 

more...

 

[Montgomery Advertiser]

 


 


Go off-road with Mercedes-Benz (Alabama-made, photos, video)
on December 20, 2013 

 

VANCE, Alabama - From the deserts of Dubai to the frigid Polar Circle, Mercedes-Benz takes its luxury SUVs around the world to face extreme off-road conditions during the models' development.
  

Here in Alabama, at the German automaker's U.S. manufacturing base, that testing continues.

 

Mercedes' Tuscaloosa County plant site has a 2.2 kilometer, or nearly 1.4 mile, off-road track that's built to mimic conditions drivers might face if they venture away from the beaten path.

 

And while it doesn't replicate sand or snow drifts, the track features a combination of winding paths, steep slopes, slippery rollers and a dip in almost 18 inches of water.

 

more...

 

[al.com]


 

 


 

CBER's Annual Economic Outlook Conference Set for January 15 in Montgomery

 

The Center for Business and Economic will host the 2014 Economic Outlook Conference on Wednesday, January 15 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center.   The 2014 conference is the 26th in CBER's annual series of economic forecasting events.  

 

Presenters include David Altig, Executive Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Samuel Addy, CBER Director and Associate Dean for Research and Outreach in UA's Culverhouse College of Commerce.  The luncheon speaker is Tom Broughton, Chief Executive Officer and President, ServisFirst Bank. 

 

Registration is now available.  Go to the CBER website at http://cber.cba.ua.edu to download the conference brochure and access online registration.  Registration closes January 8. 


 




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Val Walton
   
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