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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:
Dothan expected to land manufacturing facility Thursday
Gov. Bentley says workforce training key to Alabama's economic future
Economic Development Partnership of Alabama aims to improve federal funding prospects for high-tech businesses
Alabama targets aerospace industry ascent with Airbus suppliers, new technologies (video)
Crowdfunding bill could help small biz access to capital
More money to prepare students for growing construction industry
Economic Development Authority working for Advantage Site designation
Communities Collaborate instead of Compete to Market Interstate 22 Property

 


Dothan expected to land manufacturing facility Thursday

By Lance Griffin

April 2, 2014

 

The City of Dothan and Houston County have scheduled an economic develop announcement Thursday that is expected to result in the location of a manufacturing facility in Dothan that will hire more than 100 workers

.

City, county and economic development officials have been in discussions with a manufacturing facility in another state relating to its location in Dothan. Officials are traditionally reluctant to publicly name the manufacturer until the official announcement has been made.

 

The manufacturer is expected to hire 100 workers initially and could hire as many as 175 when full production begins. The announcement is not believed to be connected to the recent U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium held last week. Negotiations with this manufacturer have been held separately.

 

more...

 

 


 Gov. Bentley says workforce training key to Alabama's economic future

on April 03, 2014 

Gov. Robert Bentley emphasized the importance of workforce training and education in improving economic conditions across the state during an appearance at an Alabama Associated General Contractors meeting in Irondale on Wednesday.

"The way you lift people out of poverty is you educate them," he said.

The governor pointed to a handful of key initiatives that are supported by his administration, and that he hopes can have a positive impact on preparing potential members of Alabama's workforce to fill future job openings in this state. 

more...

 

[al.com]


 


 


Economic Development Partnership of Alabama aims to improve federal funding prospects for high-tech businesses

on April 01, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama will hold an April 8 workshop in Birmingham to help small, high-tech businesses secure federal grants.

 

The workshop is part of the launch of EDPA's Alabama Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Assistance Program.  

 

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Innovation Depot, 1500 1st Ave. N. The cost is $50 for Alabama participants and $100 for out-of-state participants.

 

UAB, the Birmingham Business Alliance and Innovation Depot are helping to present the workshop. Register here.

 

more...

[al.com]

 

 


 Alabama targets aerospace industry ascent with Airbus suppliers, new technologies (video)


MOBILE, Alabama - With aerospace executives in Alabama for an industry conference, the state's top economic developers are moving forward with plans to target the Airbus supply chain and pursue projects that involve advanced materials and additive manufacturing, also called 3-D printing.

 

Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said expanding the state's already robust aerospace/aviation sector is a top priority as the Airbus A320 family Final Assembly Line comes closer to completion at Mobile Aeroplex. The $600 million project will make Alabama a major center of passenger jet production in North America.

 

"With Airbus building its first U.S.-based production facility in Mobile, the entire state is poised for growth," Governor Robert Bentley said. "Suppliers can benefit from the same positive business climate that helped us attract Airbus. We're ready to work with companies and partner with them to bring even more jobs to Alabama."


more...

 

[madeinalabama.com]

  

 

 

 

 


 

 

Crowdfunding bill could help small biz access to capital
Antrenise Cole Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
April 2, 2014

A crowdfunding bill to promote raising capital for small businesses has passed the Alabama legislature and now awaits Gov.Robert Bentley's signature to become law.

Senate Bill 44, which passed the Senate in January and the House of Representatives on Tuesday, will provide an opportunity for Alabama entrepreneurs to raise up to $1,000,000 from investors in the state in a streamlined and cost effective process.

 

"Small businesses and startup ventures will be able to advertise and raise capital from Alabama 'main street' investors and may raise such capital with or without a broker," according to a press release from the Alabama Securities Commission. "If the business uses a securities broker, the broker must be properly registered with the Alabama Securities Commission."

 

more...

 

[Birmingham Business Journal]

 

 

 


 

More money to prepare students for growing construction industry
By Honora Gathings 
Apr 02, 2014 
BIRMINGHAM - AL -More Alabama contractors are back to work. They're looking for skilled workers and wanting to build the industry from the ground up starting with high school students.

Local contractors say there are workers but not skilled ones. There's now additional funding for high school programs to give students on the job training.

 

"There's a lot of opportunities to go into construction. It's just raw. We need to find a way to direct these people who are interested in construction," said Billy Norrell, CEO of Alabama AGC.

 

There may not be "help wanted" signs at construction sites. But construction companies are looking to hire. 

The governor's College and Career Ready Task Force is putting hammers into more high school students hands each year. There's been a 30 percent increase in enrollment in tech and dual enrollment programs. At least an additional six million is in the state's budget to expand the program.

 

more...

 

[abc3340]

 

 

 

 


 

Economic Development Authority working for Advantage Site designation

By Penny L. Pool

 April 2, 2014  

The Randolph County Economic Development Authority recently met to discuss Advantage Sites, Airport Appreciation Day, and Project E, a potential industry site.

 

President Sid Hare said he and executive director Cotina Terry had met with Harmon Engineering prior to the meeting. The EDA voted to hire Harmon Engineering to do a Phase I environmental report at an estimated cost of no more than $2,400 as part of the Advantage Site process.

 

Hare said the Advantage emblem on a site is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Most companies are familiar with it and immediately know everything needed to locate an industry is in place. Once Harmon does its work the results will be sent to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama in Birmingham. Then a neutral committee will come down to assess the report and the entire checklist.

 

more...

 

[Randolph Leader]

 

 


 

Communities Collaborate instead of Compete to Market Interstate 22 Property

 

How do rural communities climb the ranks in terms of competitiveness in attracting business? One way is to not compete head-on with your immediate next door neighbor, as ALL benefit when a new or existing employer creates new jobs or invests in new facilities.

 

The towns of Winfield and Brilliant in Marion County have city limits that adjoin and Industrial Parks that practically do the same along or near the newly designated I-22, formerly "Memphis to Birmingham Corridor X."

 

 At their shared Exit 30 on Alabama highway 129 (30 representing the number of miles east from the Mississippi-Alabama border) you will find an easy on and off ramp to access the two communities, two large fuel stop convenience stores immediately south of the interchange, a busy Hampton Inn, plus a total of 461 acres owned by the two cities flanking three sides of the interchange. 

 

These were purchased for the sole purpose of luring manufacturing and distribution facilities and the jobs these would bring for local citizens. Acceleration and deceleration lanes have been completed, utilities are in place and so are high hopes. Just like Guin and Hamilton (the County seat) to the west, Winfield and Brilliant are ready, but are not waiting, as a three County economic development effort (C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance) has been formed as communities have found that working together works. 

 

Three of these Marion County community-owned sites have been awarded AdvantageSite status, the highest "shovel ready" and desirable designation available in the State, and bestowed on only 44 sites State-wide. According to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama,  the AdvantageSite program confirms that documentation critical to the site selection process is  "ready" for prospective industry. 

 

As it is a voluntary renewal program Winfield's certification is currently inactive, as the community held it for four years until expiration. However, the property is unchanged and plans to renew the designation are underway. AdvantageSite designations have also been awarded to new industrial park sites owned by county and/or municipal governments in Fayette and just east of Vernon in Lamar County.

 

Exit 30 is approximately midway between Tupelo and Birmingham. An hour drive will get you in very close proximity to anywhere you want to go in either of these larger metro areas. As a matter of fact, Exit 30 is surrounded by larger metros on all sides and that same hour radius in terms of drive-time encompasses well over 850,000 residents from the heart of Marion County thanks to the new interstate route and various high-quality State highways that connect to it. This means that any workforce demands for local jobs can be found near or not too far away, especially since over half of the regions working citizens drive to surrounding counties for their employment. For the vast majority, they would be excited to apply for jobs closer to their home, in order to reclaim the time and money spent in the daily commute.

 

The newly-branded Gateway industrial Park represents another example of a teamwork approach between two cities to help create local job opportunities as together they now share the largest industrial park in the three-county region, which by flanking three sides of the interchange offers more site configuration options for business prospects. They have also agreed to reduce the asking price of the property to less than that of other sites along the interstate, although all C3 Region communities will not allow price to be a hindrance in making a deal happen, as their development costs are viewed as investments in the future growth of their economies. The hope is that by breaking even or less on the transfer of these properties, the upside of the equation will be a positive gain in the employment and tax base, and new residents to follow the new businesses. Signs were recently erected at all three entrances to promote the fact that "the gate is now open for business" at the Interstate 22 Gateway Industrial Park. 

 

The signs are identical except for the word East, West or North which describes their relationship to the interchange. What the project also signifies is that a lot of work has gone into preparing a desirable location for businesses, more desirable now that a company can go to one exit and see three options or parcels, deal with one sales team, and make their one best deal. What they will find less of is an "us versus them" attitude, which has been greatly reduced throughout the C3 Region, thanks to the unity that led to the creation of the C3 Economic Development Alliance, representing not only Marion, but also the adjoining counties of Fayette and Lamar

 

. For more information about the I-22 Gateway Industrial Park or any of the sites or buildings within these three adjoining and "aligned for progress" counties in Northwest Alabama, please call C3 at 205/468-3213, toll-free at 800-399-7205, or learn more online at www.northwestalabamaeda.org


 




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