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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:
Alabama Launchpad kicking off federal grant assistance program with March 28 workshop in Mobile
Alabama looks to revamp economic development incentives as state faces increasing competition for new jobs, investment
Alabama economy loses 33,600 jobs (blame the seasons), unemployment rate stays flat
Vance-produced Mercedes C-Class going on sale this fall
Workforce development focus of Monday tour
DAS North America holds grand opening for expanded facility
Reshoring is 'manufacturing moving to where it should be'

 


 


Alabama Launchpad kicking off federal grant assistance program with March 28 workshop in Mobile
on March 14, 2014 

 

MOBILE, Alabama - Mobile will host the first of several statewide grant-writing workshops March 28 to help entrepreneurs land lucrative federal funds.

 

The program, designed to bridge the glaring funding gap common to early-stage technology companies, has a complicated but target-specific name: the Alabama Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology TransferAssistance Program. It is an initiative of the Alabama Launchpad program, a pilot program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama intended to help tech-centered startups make the leap from proof-of-concept to the funding needed to jumpstart actual activity.

 

"We see an opportunity to help Alabama companies write more competitive proposals," said Angela Wier, an EDPA vice president.

 

"We believe the assistance will help companies avoid many common pitfalls that cause early elimination from the process," she said.

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 


 


Alabama looks to revamp economic development incentives as state faces increasing competition for new jobs, investment
on March 17, 2014
 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - There's an effort underway to retool Alabama's economic development incentives structure, and it comes as the state faces more competition than ever for new jobs and investment.

 

For years, the South has led the U.S. in enticing companies with tax breaks, cash and perks. But other states are upping their game. For example, in New York, one much-publicized incentive is a tax-free zone that exempts startups and expanding businesses from property, sales and other taxes for 10 years.

 

"It used to be that Southern states had the reputation of being the most aggressive on incentives, but that's changing," said Dennis Cuneo, a former Toyota executive who serves as a site selection consultant for companies scouting new U.S. locations.

 

 

more...

 

[al.com]

 

 

 


 


 

Alabama economy loses 33,600 jobs (blame the seasons), unemployment rate stays flat
on March 17, 2014 

Alabama's official unemployment rate in January was 6.1 percent, unchanged from the December rate and 0.6 percentage points lower than a year ago.

But the total number of paying jobs supported by the state's economy fell dramatically, although job losses are typical in January relative to December.

The Alabama economy lost 33,600 jobs from December 2013 to January 2014, a cut of nearly 2 percent from the total. Private sector jobs shrank by 30,000, a 1.95 percent drop.
 

more...

 

[al.com]

 


Vance-produced Mercedes C-Class going on sale this fall

By Patrick Rupinski
Business Editor
 March 15, 2014

The Mercedes C-Class sedans that will be built in Vance will go on sale in the United States in September, according to a top Mercedes official.

 

Ola Kaellenius, Mercedes sales chief, made the comment during a press interview in France, according to a report this week in Automotive News, a major auto industry trade journal.

Kaellenius is former president and CEO of the Vance auto factory - Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.

Mercedes has added C-Class production to MBUSI this year with the Vance-made sedans designated for sale in North America. MBUSI will begin producing the C-Class sedans for sale by dealers in June, Kaellenius said. MBUSI already has been making C-Class vehicles for employee training purposes, but those will not be sold, according to MBUSI.

 

more...

 

[Tuscaloosa News]


 

 

 


 

 Workforce development focus of Monday tour

Special to the News

March 15, 2014

 

Workforce development is the focus of a tour taking place Monday in Opelika, Phenix City and other east Alabama cities.

 

The East Alabama Workforce Investment Network (EAWIN) is touring five cities this Monday to discuss the newly-formed organization's efforts. The tour begins at 8 a.m. CDT at the Southern Union State Community College campus in Valley, and ends at 3:45 p.m. at Southern Union's Opelika campus. Visits are also planned for Phenix City, Union Springs and Tuskegee.

 

According to a press release, the network's goal is "to facilitate a workforce development system that educates, trains and prepares a workforce to attain economic prosperity for the five county region. ... EAWIN is developing partnerships with K-12 systems in the region and has plans to hold a career expo for students in addition to being a career resource for citizens, students, teachers, parents, business, industry and school administrators."


 more...

 

 


 

DAS North America holds grand opening for expanded facility
By Hannah Lane
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -It's no secret, Alabama's automotive industry has been a major source of new jobs in recent years and Friday came another announcement.

DAS North America held a grand opening for it's new 360,000-square-foot facility in Montgomery County. It's an $86 million investment and will employ at least 440 people -- that's double the original expansion plans.

The company builds car seats for the KIA Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. Currently DAS makes the parts in South Korea and then ships them to Montgomery where workers assemble the seat.

 

By 2015, every single piece will be made and assembled in this building. Originally the company was located in Hope Hull with about 60 employees, but executives say the great work force here in Montgomery led them to expand.


 

more...

 

[WSFA]

 

 

 


 

Reshoring is 'manufacturing moving to where it should be'
By Frank Esposito

SENIOR STAFF REPORTER

 March 13, 2014

 

WESLEY CHAPEL, FLA. - As the top executive of the North American operations of a Japanese injection molder and auto supplier, Melanie Hart has a unique take on reshoring.

 

"What we're seeing is manufacturing moving to where it should be," Hart said Feb. 25 at the 2014 Plastics News Executive Forum in Wesley Chapel, near Tampa. "It's going to where it can be successful and profitable."

"A lot of times, the move [back to North America] is a correction of a bad decision," added Hart, who serves as president and CEO of Bloomington, Ind.-based Tsuchiya North America. "We located in what we thought were great low-cost countries, but costs rose

."

Tsuchiya North America operates in the region as Tasus Corp., a unit of Nagoya, Japan-based Tsuchiya Co. Ltd. The parent firm has annual sales of $1.1 billion, selling primarily into the automotive market, with Toyota Motor Corp. as its largest customer.


 

more...

 

 




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Val Walton
   
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