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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:
McCrary speaks about retirement, power, critics and accomplishments
'Rare as hens' teeth': Unlikely partnership bringing hope for Alabama jobs to nation's poorest place
Legislature creates Alabama Workforce Council to advise colleges and schools
Gov. Bentley visits Pike County, praises industry
Inside Ray Watts' collaborative approach to leading UAB
Montgomery Chamber's Ellen McNair receives prestigious statewide economic development award.
Montgomery Airport Authority Retains Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood as Engineering Consultants for Next Five Years
The AlabamaGermany Partnership's Annual Celebration Dinner Set for March 6 in Tuscaloosa


McCrary speaks about retirement, power, critics and accomplishments
on February 14, 2014 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - After more than a dozen years leading one of the state's most powerful and influential companies, Charles McCrary knows what he wants to try next.


"My first plan is I want to experience boredom for a week," McCrary said. "I might even go two weeks."

Alabama Power Co. announced Tuesday McCrary will be retiring at the end of this month and replaced with Mark Crosswhite as the new president and chief executive.


After the announcement McCrary sat down with AL.com to reflect on his time at Alabama Power, praise its employees, respond to its critics, and look ahead to life after retirement and other subjects.








 'Rare as hens' teeth': Unlikely partnership bringing hope for Alabama jobs to nation's poorest place

on February 14, 2014 

CAMDEN, Alabama - When Gov. Robert Bentley announced in 2012 that Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group Inc. would build a $100 million plant near Camden, the state celebrated.


The Chinese company planned to bring as many as 500 jobs to the Black Belt as Alabama was struggling to bounce back from a deep, protracted recession.


But in Wilcox County, one of the poorest places in Alabama and the plant's future home, the reaction was a little more muted.









Legislature creates Alabama Workforce Council to advise colleges and schools
on February 13, 2014 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - The Alabama Legislature agreed Thursday to create a council of business executives to advise state leaders on workforce development issues.


The Senate voted 28-1 to go along with changes the House made in a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Paul Bussman of Cullman. The bill now goes to the governor, who said he will sign it into law.


Bussman's bill creates the Alabama Workforce Council, composed of business and industry leaders appointed by the governor and by other state officials. The group will advise the state's two-year college chancellor and state school superintendent on policies and programs affecting workforce development.  


Supporters said the bill is part of the state's efforts to make sure Alabama has the skilled workers needed to recruit new industries and help existing industries expand.





 Gov. Bentley visits Pike County, praises industry

By Jeb Sharp

February 13, 2014

On a night when industries and employers from around Pike County were honored, it was Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley who stole the show.


Bentley was the featured speaker at the 2014 Pike County Industry Appreciation Evening, which honored local industries such as Lockheed Martin, CGI, Southern Classic Foods and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.


Bentley's speech focused on the economic decisions his administration has made over his first three years in office.


"When I first came in to office, Alabama was having a difficult time," Bentley said. "We had a choice to make. We could either raise taxes on the people of Alabama, or we could work to make government more efficient for the people. We chose the latter path to make government more efficient. And, so far, we've done that. We have saved over $1 billion annually for the state."





[Troy Messenger]






Inside Ray Watts' collaborative approach to leading UAB
Managing editor-Birmingham Business Journal
Feb. 14, 2014

In his spare time, the leader of Alabama's largest employer and Birmingham's economic engine enjoys gardening and deep-sea fishing.


Metaphorically speaking, Dr. Ray Watts did quite a bit of both during his first year as president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which has more than 23,000 employees and 18,500 students.


Watts says he enjoys watching things grow and blossom. After inheriting a UAB that was already on an upward trajectory, Watts has witnessed plenty of growth - from enrollment and new research capabilities to an expanding footprint. With campus leaders rallying around a new strategic plan for UAB, ...




[Birmingham Business Journal]






Montgomery Chamber's Ellen McNair receives prestigious statewide economic development award


Feb. 14, 2014


MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Ellen McNair has received the David R. Echols Distinguished Service Award in Economic Development. The award was presented to McNair by the Alabama Department of Commerce at the Economic Development Association of Alabama Winter Conference in Birmingham.


The award is named in honor of the late David Echols, a senior project manager for the Alabama Development Office, now the Alabama Department of Commerce. Echols is credited with bringing thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investments to Alabama during his career. Additionally, he earned the respect of colleagues throughout the state, region and nation for his professionalism. The award named in his honor recognizes the qualities of excellence for which he was well known.


"It is no surprise that Ellen McNair was selected to receive such a prestigious award," said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board of Directors Leslie L. Sanders. "She has dedicated her career to advancing the economic prosperity of this community, and as a result, the River Region has reaped the benefits of her contributions."


McNair, a certified economic developer (CEcD), has worked in the field of economic development for more than 25 years. In her role at the Chamber, she and her staff have been instrumental in bringing new business and industry to the River Region, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Prior to her current position, McNair served as the first woman project manager at the Alabama Development Office. She was also the first woman CEcD in the state, the first woman president of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and the first woman to lead a major metro area's economic development efforts.


Committed to exceptional service, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce works to improve the economic well-being of the business community and enhance the quality of life of the area through the creation and preservation of jobs.










Montgomery Airport Authority Retains Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood as Engineering Consultants for Next Five Years



MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Montgomery Airport Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously to select Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood (GMC) as the Airport Planning and Engineering Consultants for the next five years. GMC was one of 12 firms that submitted Statements of Qualifications to the Board.


GMC's Airport Planning & Engineering team has worked with the Montgomery Airport Authority on more than 10 different projects over the last 20 years, including more than $15 million in airport improvement projects within the last five years, including the Intermodal Parking Facility, Runway 10/28 Rehabilitation, Charlie Apron Expansion, Taxiway Bravo Extension and Aircraft Arresting System for Runway 10/28.


"I'm extremely proud of our airport planning and engineering team," Al Allenback, GMC Vice President of Airport Planning & Engineering said. "Everyone has contributed a great deal to this effort and that was recognized."


GMC Airport Planning & Engineering

GMC's Airport Planning & Engineering Division offers a complete package of aviation services comprised of everything needed to develop an airport from start to finish, from master planning, terminal and hangar design, runway and taxiway construction, environmental assessments (including wildlife) to geotechnical/GIS studies.


Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc.

Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc. is one of the Southeast's largest privately held engineering and architecture firms. The firm's headquarters is located in Montgomery, Ala., with offices located throughout Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. For more information, visit www.gmcnetwork.comand GMC's Facebook Page.






 The AlabamaGermany Partnership's Annual Celebration Dinner Set for March 6 in Tuscaloosa. 


SCOTT COCHRAN, director of strength and conditioning for the University of Alabama's football team, will speak at the  16th Annual Celebration Dinner of the AlabamaGermany Partnership to be held March 6  at the Bryant-Denny Stadium.


The program will include the Consul General of Federal Republic of Germany Christoph Sander. AlabamaGermany Partnership's Board of Directors also will recognize German companies with recent investments and expansions in Alabama.  Two other awards will be presented at the dinner - Dr. Barbara Fischer Award and Rainer Bauer Award. 


A reception is set for 5:30 p.m. Dinner follows at 7 p.m.


To register for the Annual Dinner please visit: www.alabamagermany.org.


The following day, AlabamaGermany Partnership will host "How to Build a Champion Team" business forum. The business forum will focus on how to overcome today's workforce challenges. For more information contact: director@alabamagermany.org.


About AlabamaGermany Partnership

The AlabamaGermany Partnership is an Alabama non-profit corporation formed in 1998 to "develop and support relationships and friendships between organizations and individuals in Alabama and Germany". The membership of the AlabamaGermany Partnership is comprised of German companies with location in Alabama, companies and entities that want to do business with German companies, academic and cultural institutions with interest in the German culture and language throughout the State. For more information visit: www.alabamagermany.org



Tine Hoffmeister, Executive Director, AlabamaGermany Partnership

Phone: 205.943.4772, director@alabamagermany.org



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