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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:
Imerys to begin a $22.6 million expansion
Suppliers invest in brick and mortar -- finally
Hillshire workers flood fair
FCCTC offering new courses
AstraZeneca Executive Chris Yochim Slated as Keynote Speaker for BioAlabama 2014 Annual Meeting



Imerys to begin a $22.6 million expansion
By Emily McLain
May 20, 2014 
SYLACAUGA - Imerys Carbonates LLC is preparing for a $22.6 million expansion of its existing facility, according to Talladega County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Calvin Miller.

The two-year project entails additions to the wet grinding system and venefication system, which allows for removal of small impurities from the calcium carbonate products the company makes, Miller said. A majority of the capital investment will go toward equipment purchases, he said.

Construction will begin in August and is set for completion in August 2016. Miller said the addition will bring five new jobs with a total annual payroll of $280,800. 

Miller said Imerys has been an asset for Talladega County in attracting additional industries.



[Talladega Daily Home]


 Suppliers invest in brick and mortar -- finally

Automotive News
May 19, 2014 

The dam has broken.


North American vehicle production has grown to the point where it's no longer enough for suppliers to run an extra shift to keep up with customer demand. After years of dragging their feet, companies have no choice but to build or expand factories -- and that's precisely what they're doing.


Just like automakers, suppliers are investing big sums in brick and mortar.


"Nobody anticipated the industry would come back at the rate that it did," said Danny Infusino, Martinrea International Inc.'s head of business development and engineering. The supplier is based in Vaughan, Ontario.

In April, Martinrea began constructing a plant in Riverside, Mo., to make engine cradles for General Motors' plant in Fairfax, Kan., which is 3 miles down the road.


"There is a lot of juggling going on," Infusino said. "The plants are running six or seven days a week."




 Hillshire workers flood fair

By Bernie Delinski Staff Writer

May 20 2014


FLORENCE - Hillshire Brands employee China Robinson looked back at the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum on Tuesday as she walked to the parking lot.


"There's a lot of good workers in there," Robinson said.


She was referring to her co-workers who joined her in a job fair hosted by Hillshire, with assistance from Shoals Economic Development Authority, Shoals Chamber of Commerce and the city of Florence.


The fair, which continues today, is only for Hillshire workers.


Hillshire announced in April the plant will close by the end of the year, leaving about 1,100 workers looking for jobs.



[Times Daily]




 FCCTC offering new courses

By Kellie Singleton

May 20, 2014


As schools across the area are winding down for the school year, administrators and faculty at the Franklin County Career Technical Center are already busy preparing for some new courses that will be offered this fall.


Scott Wiginton, director of the FCCTC, said they will be making some changes that will hopefully enhance the students learning and appeal to an even wider range of students who are interested in career technical fields.


"There was a workforce interest survey sent out for Northwest Alabama that polled industries to see what they were in need of, which is a major thing we in the career technical field have to consider," Wiginton said.

"The results of that survey showed that engineering and drafting were in the top 10 responses of careers or jobs that are needed in our area.


"We want to be proactive and respond to these types of needs so that we are providing a service to our local workforce and to our students by preparing our students for careers that are needed right here close to home.




[Franklin County Times]












AstraZeneca Executive Chris Yochim Slated as Keynote Speaker for BioAlabama 2014 Annual Meeting



Birmingham, AL  - BioAlabama, the life science trade association for Alabama's biotechnology industry, has confirmed Chris Yochim as the keynote speaker for this year's 2014 Annual M­eeting on May 29th, 2014, 8am - 3pm at the Doubletree Hilton Birmingham.


Chris Yochim is the Global Head of External Relations, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy for AstraZeneca. He contributed to the development of numerous marketed products, including treatments for high blood pressure, asthma and schizophrenia.  As the meeting's featured speaker, Yochim will share his insights on partnering, research and commercialization between industry and academia based on his 20+ years of experience.


The theme for the 2014 BioAlabama Annual Meeting is "Bridging the Gap between Corporation and Academics in the Biotechnology Industry". The morning meeting will feature a science symposium with topics focused on: Drug Discovery, Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Genomics.  Ground breaking scientific and corporate presentations from teams across Alabama will be featured including Auburn University, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, The Innovation Depot, University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama.


"BioAlabama is pleased to be hosting Chris Yochim and this exciting group of researchers and innovative companies at this year's annual meeting," said Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., President of BioAlabama.  This meeting provides a great forum for us to highlight the cutting-edge research, development and commercialization coming out of our leading institutions and life science companies.  We are proud to report that the Alabama life sciences industry continues to grow and be recognized globally for exciting contributions to human and environmental health."   

For more information, visit www.bioalabama.com



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Val Walton
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