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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:
Governor Robert Bentley details plans to accelerate job creation, support business
Schools: Funding needed to prepare future workforce
Ozark Material announces expansion
Mercedes Weighs Second North America Plant to Keep Lead
Airbus seeking more engineers for A320 final assembly line in Mobile
Schmitz: Hopeful but realistic about next China trip

 


Governor Robert Bentley details plans to accelerate job creation, support business


MONTGOMERY, Alabama - In his State of the State address tonight, Governor Robert Bentley highlighted efforts to attract additional investment to Alabama and new approaches to assist small business and create new pathways to careers for students.

Governor Bentley told legislative leaders and top state officials that he is not content that unemployment in Alabama has dropped to a five-year low of 6.2 percent, the lowest rate in the Deep South. And even though Alabama has gained more than 59,000 jobs since he took office in 2011, Governor Bentley said more work is needed.

 

Strategic economic development efforts to attract investment from around the world represent one way to create new jobs. Two months ago, Governor Bentley recounted, he was in Tokyo on a trade mission, sitting on a bus next to the chief executive of Otsuka, the Japanese pharmaceutical giant that operates the Pharmavite vitamin plant in Lee County.

 

more...

 

[madeinalabama.com]

 

 

 


Schools: Funding needed to prepare future workforce

By Mary Sell Montgomery Bureau | 

January 14, 2014

 

MONTGOMERY - Top educators in Alabama on Tuesday appealed to lawmakers' desire to create jobs by equating what they do to economic development.

 

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice said with proper funding, the state can "educate ourselves into a new economy."

 

Community college system Chancellor Mark Heinrich spoke about how his institutions can deliver the workforce the state will need in coming years, "with adequate funding."

 

Despite their pitches, there is no way they will receive most of the money they are requesting. Officials were told Monday the Education Trust Fund, which flows dollars to all public education, is expected to have about $134 million in additional revenue in 2015. That can be divvied up among K-12, community colleges and four-year universities. The current-year total education budget is about $5.7 billion.


more....

 

[Decatur Daily]

     

 


Ozark Material announces expansion

By Andy Brown

Jan. 14, 2014

 

Ozark Materials announced on Monday that it will make an additional $2 million investment at its Greenville facility.

 

The company, which first announced in May that it would locate a facility in the former WestPoint Home facility, will produce thermoplastic.

 

Thermoplastic is a polymer that becomes pliable or moldable at a specific temperature, and returns to a solid state upon cooling. The material is used to stripe roads across the state.

 

In May, Lee Gross, president of Ozark Materials, said the company planned to make an investment of $3 million and hire 40 people. Gross said he now expects to hire approximately 80 people once the plant is fully operational.


more...

 

[Greenville Advocate]

 


Mercedes Weighs Second North America Plant to Keep Lead

By Christoph Rauwald
January 14, 2014
 

Mercedes-Benz, the top selling luxury-car maker in the U.S., will likely decide by the end of next year on adding a second North American factory to boost capacity to meet rising demand.

 

The Daimler AG (DAI) brand is considering producing compact vehicles at a new plant in the region to complement an existing Alabama factory, which builds sport-utility vehicles, production chief Andreas Renschler said in an interview.

 

"Market demand is the key driver for the expansion of our production network," Renschler said late yesterday at the North American International Auto Show.

 

Mercedes, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Volkswagen AG (VOW)'s Audi are all adding production in North America to take advantage of sales-growth potential that contrasts with stagnating demand in their home market of Europe. Local manufacturing reduces the effects of the dollar's moves on foreign-exchange markets on non-U.S. companies' earnings.

 

Mercedes, which last year passed BMW in U.S. sales, already expanded in Tuscaloosa in 2013 and will add the next version of the mid-sized C-Class sedan at the factory this year. The plant will also assemble a new derivative of the M-Class SUV, Renschler said in the interview. 

 

 more...

 

[Bloomberg Businessweek]

 

 


 

Airbus seeking more engineers for A320 final assembly line in Mobile
on January 15, 2014 

MOBILE, Alabama - Airbus Americas Inc. is seeking liaison engineer candidates in three categories for its A320 final assembly line at Mobile Aeroplex.

 

The three new engineering positions posted early Wednesday will focus specifically on installation, structure and systems, and each requires a minimum of 10 months training abroad.

 

According to company, liaison engineers provide "critical, time-sensitive engineering support to the Airbus production line, thereby, ensuring that each Airbus aircraft meets the highest standards of safety and reliability."


more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Schmitz: Hopeful but realistic about next China trip

By Lance Griffin

 January 14, 2014

 

Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz is exuberant but cautious about the possibility of job creation as he prepares to go to China for a fourth time in advance of the U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium in March.

 

Schmitz will travel with other Southern mayors Feb. 15-22 to promote the symposium and speak with Chinese executives who have expressed interest in expanding their business into the United States.

 

However, Schmitz said he wants Wiregrass residents to know that while he is hopeful the trips will lead to jobs, nothing is set in stone.

 

"I don't want people to believe we have a deal when we don't," Schmitz said Tuesday. "I am hopeful. We continue to have productive discussions with several people but we don't have anything nailed down."

 

 

 

 more...

 

[Dothan Eagle]

 

 

 


 




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