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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:
Shelby to visit Marshall, DeKalb counties
U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville to receive nearly $1 million grant from NASA
Alabama rivers big for tourism
Middle school students get glimpse of career tech
Tourism booming in Montgomery


Shelby to visit Marshall, DeKalb counties

Times Staff Report 
 February 9, 2014

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., will visit Marshall and DeKalb counties Feb. 18 as part of a statewide jobs and industry tour.


At noon, Shelby will be at Mitchell Grocery in Albertville to meet with leadership and employees. At 3:30 p.m., he will meet with leadership and employees at Rainsville Technology Inc.


They will be the 45th and 46th stops on a tour in which Shelby is visiting a business in each of Alabama's 67 counties.




[Gadsden Times]





U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville to receive nearly $1 million grant from NASA
on February 07, 2014 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville announced today it will receive a nearly $1 million grant from NASA to inspire students to enter  careers in the field of science.


The U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Engage and Equip to Empower: Building an S-Stem Generation proposal was selected to receive $998,000 over a four-year grant period. The funding was offered through NASA's Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities.


Deborah Barnhart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, said the money will be used to develop an International Space Station exhibit called Space Station: Science in Orbit.


"This exhibit will allow us to showcase the scientific work being done on the International Space Station," she said. "It will give visitors to the Rocket Center an opportunity to experience what it is like to live and work in space."




 Alabama rivers big for tourism

By Jay Sowers

 February 7, 2014


A variety of topics were discussed during Friday's annual meeting of the Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association, Inc. Montgomery, but for a period of time, the meeting's focus turned to the importance of the rivers within the state to towns and cities, and Selma was a big part of that discussion.

Linda Vice, Director of the Southwest Alabama Office of Tourism and Film, presented a list of interesting communities that can be found along the banks of the Alabama, Coosa and Tombigbee rivers, and Selma was at the top of her list.


"In Selma, you can come right up to downtown Selma with the marina they have there and you can get out and see Civil War and Civil Rights history," Vice said. "People coming from all over the world to see where the voting rights movement truly began and to participate in that, and Selma does not yet know it's own strengths in tourism or river traffic, and when it discovers how those two fit together, it's going to be huge."


Vice said the role of rivers in both the history and future of Alabama tourism is something that has helped groups like CARIA assemble a coalition aimed at protecting the vital waterways.



[Selma Times-Journal]





Middle school students get glimpse of career tech
By Austin Nelson
 February 7, 2014

Middle school students in Alexander City took a trip to Benjamin Russell High School Friday as part of Career and Technical Education Month.


Rebecca Marion, career tech director for Alexander City Schools, said that this is one of many activities this month to promote career and technical education.


"The main purpose was to orient eighth graders with what we have to offer in career tech to make sure they have a great selection of electives for the upcoming year," Marion said.


BRHS has a variety of career tech offerings, Marion said, including Junior Reserve Officer Training, health science, advertising and design, business, personal finance, fish and wildlife, family and consumer science and pre-engineering. BRHS also offers cooperative education programs.


"Career tech offers the United States an array of occupations to rebuild our infrastructure," Marion said. "85 percent of jobs need career and technical education skills."





 Tourism booming in Montgomery

By Scott Johnson
Feb. 7, 2014

Montgomery is taking the lead in tourism growth in Alabama, packing hotels and driving up revenue, according to 2013 statistics released by the Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau.


The city's hotel occupancy grew by 4.9 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year. Mayor Todd Strange said it was the highest increase in the state and about three times the increase seen in the city of Mobile.


Along with that, the demand for hotel rooms grew by 8.1 percent, and the supply grew by 3.1 percent, according to Convention & Visitor Bureau numbers. There also was a 6 percent increase in lodging tax collections.


And Montgomery remains in a solid position to continue attracting people, CVB Vice President Dawn Hathcock said.

The city is not dependent on conventions alone to attract visitors, Hathcock said. It also has an increasing number of sporting events and the continuing attraction of historical tourism.




[Montgomery Advertiser]


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