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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:
First state-built Acura makes strong debut (Driving Alabama)
Pharmaceutical research improves patient care and Alabama's economy (Opinion from Greg Canfield)
McCain looks to more local growth in 2014; New automotive jobs expected to boost economy
Lockheed Martin lands $449 million Air Force contract for work at Troy missile facility
Seeds of the future: Alabama looks for next generation of farmers
Birmingham-based entrepreneurs advance in BBVA Compass contest
State of Alabama to lead business development mission to Southeast Asia

 


First state-built Acura makes strong debut (Driving Alabama)

on January 13, 2014 

LINCOLN, Alabama -- Honda's Alabama auto plant began building the redesigned 2014 Acura MDX last year, and the luxury SUV has made a significant impression in the market.

U.S. sales of the new MDX, which arrived on dealer lots last summer, rose sharply in the last half of 2013, including a 29 percent jump in December. For the year, the SUV's sales rose 4.3 percent over 2012.

 

Meanwhile, the MDX redesign also has won industry accolades, including a finalist spot for the North American Truck/Utility of the Year Award, which will be announced today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It's competing against the Chevrolet Silverado and the Jeep Cherokee.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 


Pharmaceutical research improves patient care and Alabama's economy (Opinion from Greg Canfield)

By Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield

January 12, 2014

 

This is an exciting time to be an Alabamian. I'm not saying this because of our state's long line of consecutive National Championship game appearances - although this is something we're all very proud of. It's an exciting time to be an Alabamian because of the tremendous economic development opportunities that lay ahead of us, as a state.

 

We are better positioned for economic growth than we have been at any point in our history, thanks in large part to Accelerate Alabama, Governor Bentley's strategic economic development plan for the state. The Department of Commerce is in the midst of negotiating more than a dozen potential projects in every corner of the state, and those projects represent a diverse array of industries.

 

Most people are aware of our state's successful history recruiting and supporting high-tech manufacturing jobs, which will continue to be one of the pillars of our economy. However, there are other Alabama development strengths and focuses that are often overlooked, and at the top of that list is research and technology.

 

more...

 

[al.com

 

 

 


 

 

McCain looks to more local growth in 2014; New automotive jobs expected to boost economy
Times Staff Writer 
January 11, 2014
 

Several projects on which the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority has worked for several years will add new jobs to the local economy in 2014, according to Executive Director Mike McCain.

 

McCain said most of those jobs will be automotive related, as are several other projects on which the IDA is working.

 

"It's something that we've really been trying to capitalize on," he said, "because that's one of the few industry segments that are growing right now and where suppliers are locating plants."

 

McCain described 2013 as a good year, considering the economic slowdown that has reduced project activity, and said 2014 "will be better."



more...


 

 

 

 

 


Lockheed Martin lands $449 million Air Force contract for work at Troy missile facility

on January 10, 2014 

Lockheed Martin will continue work on the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Extended Range variant under the terms of two new Air Force contracts.

 

The contracts, worth about $449 million, will allow for production of 340 baseline missiles and 100 ER missiles. JASSM is produced at Lockheed's facility in Troy. The facility has assembled more than 1,400 JASSM cruise missiles for testing and operational use toward a total U.S. Air Force objective of 4,900.

 

"These contracts bring the total number of JASSM cruise missiles on contract to over 2,100, and underscore the U.S. Air Force's and Lockheed Martin's commitment to the program," said Jason Denney, program director of Long Range Strike Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. 

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 


C-Class makes first public appearance at Alabama's Mercedes-Benz plant (photos, video)
on January 10, 2014 

 

VANCE, Alabama -- The redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class made its first public appearance at the German automaker's Alabama plant today, where it joined a caravan of bloggers from around the world on their way to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The chocolate brown C220 BlueTec diesel model was produced in Bremen, Germany, one of four global production sites for the new C-Class.
  

The Tuscaloosa County plant will launch production of the car later this year; it also will be built in South Africa and China.


more...

 

 


Economic development top Dothan priority in 2014

By Lance Griffin

 January 10, 2014

 

Dothan's mayor and its commissioners want to push the turbo button on economic development strategies in 2014, not only to take advantage of the upcoming U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium, but also to take an overall look at the city's industry recruitment strategy.

 

"This is not just about China. This is about telling the world we are open for business," Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz said Friday during a meeting with the commissioners and strategic planner Lyle Sumek.

Economic development has moved to the top of the city's priority list in 2014. 

 

Since the economic recession of 2008, Dothan's top priority had been keeping enough money in the city coffers to maintain core city services. Now, with some steady but slow growth in city revenue, the mayor and commissioners expressed an interest in taking a serious look at how the city and Dothan by Design - the private economic recruitment arm of Dothan - work together to bring jobs to Dothan.

 

more...

 

[Dothan Eagle]


 

 


Seeds of the future: Alabama looks for next generation of farmers


Farming and forestry are big business in Alabama. Combined, they account for nearly 12 percent of all of the state's economic activity.

 

But after generations of change, the state's bell cow industries may need some nurturing.

Over the past half century, the number of Alabama farms has dwindled from about 250,000 to around 60,000. Large farming operations have thrived but many medium-sized, family farms died away, said Alabama Cooperative Extension System Director Gary Lemme.

 

"We've lost the middle," he said.

 

Still, Lemme's optimistic about what's ahead, pointing to the state's strong agricultural assets and the more than 100,000 young people in 4H programs here.

 

 

more...

 

[Montgomery Advertiser]

 

 


 

 


Birmingham-based entrepreneurs advance in BBVA Compass contest

on January 11, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama --  BBVA Compass has announced the finalists in its Great Ideas for Small Business contest on Facebook, a group that includes two Birmingham-based entrepreneurs.

 

The contest launched in October via an app on BBVA Compass' Facebook page. It provides a platform for qualifying small business owners and entrepreneurs to promote their ideas for a chance to win one of two $10,000 prizes to fuel business growth.

 

Forty-six ideas were submitted and narrowed to five based on a tally of Facebook votes and scores by a panel of BBVA Compass judges. The two prizes will be awarded following the final round of voting that ends Wednesday.

 

One Birmingham finalist is Melanie Rainwater for Nutripilot, a web and mobile app tool that helps consumers navigate healthier food choices based on individual nutritional needs and a 2013 Alabama Launchpad winner.

 

more...

 

[al.com]


 

 


 

 

State of Alabama to lead business development mission to Southeast Asia

 

The Alabama Department of Commerce and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce are organizing a trade and business development mission to Southeast Asia set for March 2014. 

 

 The three stops include Jakarta, Indonesia (March 15th-19th), Bangkok, Thailand (March 19th-22nd) and Singapore (March 22nd-25th).  The trade mission will assist Alabama firms in initiating or expanding their exports to these markets through business-to-business matchmaking appointments, market access information and key networking events.  

 

Indonesia and Thailand are the largest economies in the Southeast Asia region and Singapore continues to be an important regional and global trade hub, while Alabama exports to all three countries have shown promising growth in recent years. 

 

 Interested companies should contact Beau Lore, International Trade Specialist with the Alabama Department of Commerce, at 334-242-0450 or beau.lore@commerce.alabama.gov.

 

 


 




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