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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:
Limestone's steel industry building
Donation by Alabama Power will provide new robots at JSU
Seven teams advance in Alabama Launchpad Start-up Competition
State opens public survey on CTE programs
Macon County industrial sites position area for economic development
'They didn't give up': Three years after closing, Knauf Insulation reopens Lanett plant
Brookwood, Crestmont schools earn honors
Gov. Bentley planning to attend grand opening of $518 million Carpenter Technology metal plant in Tanner
13th BIENNIAL ALABAMA CONFERENCE FOR INVENTORS

 


 Limestone's steel industry building

By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer 

January 27, 2014

 

TANNER - A one-mile stretch of U.S. 31 is quickly turning into alloy steel production and distribution central.

With most key components operational, Carpenter Technology will show off its new facility today during a grand opening starting at noon. Gov. Robert Bentley and Carpenter President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Wulfsohn are expected to attend.

 

The $518 million facility, also known as the Athens operations, is on 230 acres on Thomas Hammonds Road at U.S. 31. The 500,000-square-foot plant will remelt, forge, finish and test steel alloys.

 

The Pennsylvania-based company pushed up the start date to meet demand. Ernie Jones, vice president and general manager of the Athens operations, said the plant's ingot conditioner is conditioning product, and the forging press has pressed its first bar.


more...

 

[Decatur Daily]


 

 


 

Donation by Alabama Power will provide new robots at JSU
By Laura Gaddy
Jan 26, 2014

Students in Jacksonville State University's department of technology and engineering can expect to have new robots to work with by next fall. 

Alabama Power officials on Thursday announced that the company is giving the department $300,000 to buy industrial robots to replace the current 18-year-old models. Students will be able to program the new equipment to do more complex tasks, said Terry Marbut, who heads the department.

"It will help the students tremendously," Marbut said. "When they step out into their job as an engineer in industry, they will already have experience with the exact type of equipment" that they will use in the workforce. 

Julia Segars, vice president of Alabama Power's Eastern Division, wrote in a statement that the company provided the donation because it wants to prepare students for the workforce.  

more...

 

 


Seven teams advance in Alabama Launchpad Start-up Competition

on January 24, 2014 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Seven teams have advanced to the finale of the Alabama Launchpad Start-up Competition, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama said today.

 

The competition, in which teams are vying for a share of up to $100,000 in award money, is geared toward fostering the pipeline of high-growth, innovative ventures that have the potential to create and keep jobs in Alabama.

 

The seven finalists were chosen today from a field of 12 that made pitches in the competition's third round. The final pitch presentations will be made March 21 at Evonik Industries in Birmingham.

 

The competition helps the program realize its goal of creating high-wage careers for state residents, said Greg Sheek, Launchpad Programs director.

 

"We have to make investments in start-ups on a regular cycle throughout the year as ideas emerge and ventures mature into new businesses," Sheek said in a prepared statement. "We cannot expect a harvest if we do not plant the seeds."

 

more...

[al.com]

 

 


 

State opens public survey on CTE programs
By WSFA 12 
Jan. 25, 2014

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Department of Education is asking state residents to take an online survey to measure public opinion on the quality of K-12 public school education, specifically the state's career and technical education programs (CTE).

 

CTE programs are available in schools throughout the state and offer students opportunities to learn valuable career skills.

 

Officials say responses to the survey questions will help the Dept. of Education provide better service to students, parents, and local communities statewide.



more...

[WSFA]

 

 

 

 


 

Macon County industrial sites position area for economic development

Gerri Miller and Jerry Underwood

January 24, 2014 


SHORTER, Alabama - Officials in Macon County believe their county is poised for growth thanks to its strategic location along Interstate 85 and a roster of industrial sites that have strong logistical advantages including rail access.

 

In fact, Macon County this year became the first in Alabama to receive a CSX Select Site designation. CSX says its Select Site program reviews the most capable manufacturing and distribution development properties along its network that can rapidly utilize freight rail service. The program is meant to help communities identify and prepare sites that can compete for new investment and jobs.

 

Macon County's site is a 277-acre property along the Hyundai-Kia automotive corridor along I-85, which connects Montgomery and Atlanta. The Macon County site is one of just a dozen sites in the nation to receive the Select Site designation, according to information on CSX's web site. (A site in Montgomery recently joined the list.)

 

 

  more...

 


'They didn't give up': Three years after closing, Knauf Insulation reopens Lanett plant

on January 24, 2014

LANETT, Alabama -- Even after a depressed housing market forced Knauf Insulation to close its Chambers County plant more than three years ago, company officials said Alabama "didn't give up."

 

And because of this Knauf is reopening the largest insulation plant in the Southeast today, with state officials, and Gov. Robert Bentley, expected to be on hand in Lanett for the restart.

 

"They maintained a dialogue throughout with us," said Knauf CEO Mark Andrews. "When we were looking to grow again, looking to invest, we were welcomed with open arms."

 

Knauf has 40 plants around the world and does about $2 billion in business each year. The Lanett plant, which originally opened in 1988 and employs about 120, is one of four in the U.S. for Knauf and can recycle 835,000 bottles per day. That adds up to about 300 million bottles a year, converted back into insulation.


more...

 

[al.com]

 

 



 

 


 Brookwood, Crestmont schools earn honors

Staff Report

January 23, 2014

 

Brookwood High and Crestmont Elementary schools have been recognized as "banner schools" by the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools.

 

Both schools submitted applications to a committee of school leaders who chose schools that "demonstrate outstanding programs and service to students," according to a news release from the council.Brookwood High School earned the honor for its apprenticeship program with BLG Logistics Inc., a German based company.

 

Eight Brookwood students were selected to participate in the first year of the apprenticeship program. Three days a week, the students received classroom theory instruction from a German trainer and a career technical teacher at Brookwood focusing on health and safety, logistics and warehousing, as well as training specific to Mercedes-Benz and the BLG supply center.


more...

 

[Tuscaloosa News


 


Gov. Bentley planning to attend grand opening of $518 million Carpenter Technology metal plant in Tanner

on January 26, 2014

TANNER, Alabama - Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday will join other state and local officials here to celebrate the grand opening of Carpenter Technology's new $518 million premium metals plant.


Carpenter Technologies manufactures alloy steel products for the aerospace, medical and energy industries.  

The centerpiece of Carpenter's new manufacturing plant, the world's largest press, which is estimated to cost roughly $35 to $40 million, will shape materials using four hammers at temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The company is also constructing a superalloy powder facility across the street from the metals plant. The new facility spans 500,000 square feet, and both operations are expected to create 200 jobs over the next three years



more...

[al.com]

 

 

 


 

 

 

13th BIENNIAL ALABAMA CONFERENCE FOR INVENTORS

 

Inventors and experts from around the region will be getting together February 20, 2014, at The Alabama Conference for Inventors.   The conference will be held at the Jacksonville State University Houston Cole Library in Jacksonville, Alabama.  Sponsors for the event are the Jacksonville State University (JSU) Center for Economic Development, the JSU Small Business Development Center, the JSU College of Commerce and Business Administration, U.S. Small Business Administration, and INVENT ALABAMA.

 

All inventors or potential inventors are welcome and encouraged to attend.   The Conference is aimed at helping eliminate some of the barriers to successful inventing as well as providing inventors with good information to further their ideas.   A variety of topics will be addressed to include: invention scam discussion by the Federal Trade Commission; alternatives for protecting your idea; invention funding alternatives; internet patent search; patent filing considerations from an experienced patent attorney; and learning about Alabama's Launchpad program & how it can potentially help you. Inventors will have ample opportunity to network with their peers and with speakers. 

 

The conference fee is $20 per participant and includes refreshments, and conference materials.  The deadline for registration is Friday, February 14.   For more information about the conference contact the JSU Small Business Development Center at (256) 782-5271 or email sbdc@jsu.edu.   The Conference brochure is available to be viewed and downloaded in pdf format from the JSU SBDC website (http://www.jsusbdc.com/events/).    

 

 

            "The SBDC at Jacksonville State University is a member of the Alabama SBDC Network.  Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.  Contact Suzi Donaldson, JSU, 700 Pelham Rd North (114 Merrill Bldg), Jacksonville, AL 36265. (256) 782-5271."

 

 

 




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Val Walton
   
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