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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:
Mayors: Trip to Asia was positive
UAH Planning for Regional Vehicle Manufacturing
In Marion County, teamwork pays off with I-22 Gateway Industrial Park
Gov. Robert Bentley to talk business, job efforts during economic recovery tour in Decatur
Birmingham construction company BL Harbert expands with new office in downtown Huntsville


 Mayors: Trip to Asia was positive

By Jennifer Edwards Staff Writer

 April 20, 2014


Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford and Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock are getting their feet back on the ground after a 10-day economic development trip to South Korea and Japan.


The mayors returned Thursday with Forrest Wright, of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, with good reports on the meetings the team had with leaders from three Japanese companies already located in the Shoals.


 In South Korea, the Shoals representatives took part of the state commerce department's "Doing Business with Alabama" convention, which highlighted the benefits of locating in Alabama and the incentives the state has to offer.

Bradford, Haddock and Wright met with the boards and management officials of Koito Manufacturing Company, the parent company of North American Lighting; CBC INGs; and with TASUS



[Times Daily]







UAH Planning for Regional Vehicle Manufacturing Center

by David Wood

April 18, 2014


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Greater research ties between vehicle manufacturers and The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) will result from a regional Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for vehicle manufacturing that has received a National Science Foundation grant to support its planning.


Lead institution Auburn University and partners UAH and Tennessee Technological University are using the grant to plan the creation of the Southern Alliance for Advanced Vehicle (SAAV) Manufacturing Center. The center will have sites at each campus, and the trio of universities is already in discussions with Clemson University, Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama about possible future expansion.


"A vehicle is anything that transports people or products from one location to another," said Dr. Phillip Farrington, UAH's principal investigator and a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management. "That would include automobiles, planes, trains, ships, submarines, spacecraft, missiles, unmanned aerial systems and helicopters."







 In Marion County, teamwork pays off with I-22 Gateway Industrial Park

MARION COUNTY, Alabama - A 462-acre industrial park off the future Interstate 22 stands as a symbol of cooperation in this northwest Alabama county, and officials believe that this teamwork approach will help the region along the state's newest superhighway land new jobs and investment.


Until recently, the Interstate 22 Gateway Industrial Park had a split personality. Actually, the site held two adjoining industrial parks, one belonging to the city of Winfield and the other to the adjacent town of Brilliant. Prospects viewed the parks as disconnected and separate, making them virtual competitors.


"It was always awkward that we had two parks of similar size that share the same roadway access and utilities yet were in two different communities," said David Thornell, president of theC3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance, a partnership uniting Marion, Fayette and Lamar counties.






 Gov. Robert Bentley to talk business, job efforts during economic recovery tour in Decatur

on April 18, 2014

DECATUR, Alabama - Gov. Robert Bentley, who is seeking re-election for a second term, will meet with teachers, residents and business leaders Monday during three public appearances in Decatur.


The Road to Economic Recovery Tour will allow Bentley to discuss state-level job efforts and economic conditions in Morgan County. The governor made a series of stops in Huntsville two weeks ago.


Bentley will begin the Decatur visit with a lunch appearance at Big Bob Gibson BBQ at 11:45 a.m., followed by a 1:20 p.m. appearance at Walter Jackson Elementary School to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week.






Birmingham construction company BL Harbert expands with new office in downtown Huntsville
on April 21, 2014 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Calling north Alabama a "bright spot" in Alabama's economy, Birmingham-based construction company BL Harbert International is launching a new office in downtown Huntsville.


The BL Harbert office is located inside the BB&T building on 305 Church Street and will be led by Regional Manager Adam Stacy. The privately-owned company operates other hubs in Nashville, Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta and Dubai.


"We have worked in the Huntsville area continuously for more than 15 years, and our roots here run deep," said Gary W. Savage, president of BL Harbert's U.S. Group, in a statement. "... Given the positive business environment and the quality of the local workforce, north Alabama is a real bright spot in our state's economy."






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Val Walton
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