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:
Evonik plans $113 million expansion, creation of chemical park in Mobile
Education crucial for prepared workforce
2nd job fair for Hillshire
Starting a business in Alabama? Learn about crowdfunding at one of 3 seminars this week
Q & A with Greg Canfield: Alabama commerce secretary talks incentives, unemployment,economic development
Former pro baseball player expands business to Selma
Sisters among first Mercedes Mechatronics graduating class
In era of giant suppliers, startups are winning auto business
Honda's global strategy? Go local
Hyundai chairman vows 'customer satisfaction'

 


Evonik plans $113 million expansion, creation of chemical park in Mobile

on August 11, 2014 

MOBILE, Alabama - Evonik Corp. plans to invest $113 million to transform its Degussa Road facility and surrounding property into a chemical park that could encourage and attract co-location projects from other third-party suppliers and customers.

 

The expansion, expected to be complete by mid-2017, will add 72 jobs with an estimated average annual salary of $53,000.

 

The chemical company already houses two co-location relationships on its Mobile property, and Bonnie Tully, vice president and site manager for the local operation, said at least two more will join the fold by 2017.

 

more....

 

[al.com]

 

 

 


Education crucial for prepared workforce

By Mary Sell Montgomery Bureau | 

August 9, 2014

 

MONTGOMERY - A study on the potential economic impact of increasing the state's high school graduation rate confirmed what local officials said they already knew: A larger and better-trained workforce would mean more jobs.


 

The study, released this month from the Business Education Alliance, concludes raising the graduation rate from the current 80 percent to 90 percent by 2020 - already the goal of the state Department of Education - would be equivalent to landing a major industrial project: an impact of about $430 million a year.


 

Each class graduating at 90 percent would collectively earn $68 million more than a class graduating at the 80-percent rate.

 
more...

 

 


2nd job fair for Hillshire

By Wayne Smith Staff Writer | 

August 10, 2014 

 

FLORENCE - Stephanie Newland said the first Hillshire Brands job fair was a success and expects the same will be true of the second one, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

 

The job fair is only for displaced employees of Hillshire Brands, which announced it will close by the end of the year.

 

The plant employed about 1,100 workers. Layoffs have already started.

Tuesday's job fair is scheduled from 1-6 p.m. at the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum.

 

more...

 

[Times Daily]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Starting a business in Alabama? Learn about crowdfunding at one of 3 seminars this week
on August 11, 2014

North Alabama entrepreneurs and startups have an opportunity to attend one of three free crowdfunding seminars in Huntsville and Decatur this week.


Alabama's new crowdfunding law, which allows someone looking to start a small business to raise up to $1 million toward their initiative, was signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley earlier this year.

The forums will explain the law and how to apply, provide information on raising capital and allow attendees to ask questions.

 

more...

 

[al.com]




 


Q & A with Greg Canfield: Alabama commerce secretary talks incentives, unemployment, economic development
on August 08, 2014 

POINT CLEAR, Alabama - The pressures of Greg Canfield's job include trying to help his boss, Gov. Robert Bentley, make his first paycheck.

 

As the secretary of commerce and the head of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Canfield is charged with recruiting and expanding business in the state.

 

That makes job growth a key task. Bentley's pledge when he ran for governor was to not take a salary until the state reached full employment. The governor is nearing the end of his first term and has yet to draw that paycheck.



more....

 


Former pro baseball player expands business to Selma
By Bryan Henry 
August 8, 2014
  
SELMA, AL (WSFA) - A former pro baseball player, who left the league in 2006, is finally beginning his dream of becoming a businessman.

 

Ashley Freeman made it to the big leagues in baseball earning a spot on the roster with the Colorado Rockies in the early 2000s. Freeman played third base, first base and outfield.

 

He left the game after a wrist injury in 2006.

 

Today, he's competing in another ballgame and much like baseball it's high stakes.

Freeman started Allstar Recycling in Muscle Shoals and recently landed a contract with International Paper in Selma. As a result Freeman will expand his Allstar Recycling business to the city.


more...

 


 

 

Sisters among first Mercedes Mechatronics graduating class


TUSCALOOSA, Alabama - Sisters Stacey and Stephanie Dougherty are among the first Industrial Mechatronics graduating class at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. (MBUSI), the automaker's Alabama operation. They join their father, Scott Dougherty, a Logistics Group Leader with 17 years at the Alabama plant, as members of the MBUSI family.

 

Now Stephanie, 29, is about to start her own family, thanks to the Mercedes Mechatronics program. She met her fiancÚ, Andrew Carlisle, through the innovative training program, and the two are scheduled to marry April 11, 2015. "It changed everything for me," Stephanie said of the Mechatronics program. "I went from not having anything to getting a good job and starting a life with somebody."

 

Graduating from the Mechatronics program has been life altering for the others students as well. The program's 20 graduates were recognized during a recent ceremony at MBUSI's Bill Taylor Institute. Along with their associate's degree and a short certificate, they received full-time employment with MBUSI, which is expanding and adding new models to its production line-up.

 

more...

 

[madeinalabama.com]

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


In era of giant suppliers, startups are winning auto business

Automotive News
August 11, 2014

You may have seen Mark Shaw by now. On morning TV. In YouTube videos. At auto events. Explaining his proposed new auto technology in a TED Talks lecture.

 

Shaw is the guy who dumps mud, chocolate syrup, motor oil and paint onto the hood of a car to demonstrate how his "self-cleaning car paint" lets the mess roll off like it was never there.

 

In demonstrations worthy of late-night TV spots, Shaw is trying to do the same thing countless entrepreneurs have done since the days of Henry Ford -- get a foot in the door of the rich auto industry.

 

It can be a struggle for newcomers and unknowns to win business in an industry where suppliers are consolidating into a few, ever-larger corporations with global factory footprints. But one expert says the window of opportunity is now open a bit wider than before.

 

more...

 

[Automotive News]

 

 

 

 



Honda's global strategy? Go local.
By Kelly Johnson 
August 9 

When financial journalist Jeffrey Rothfeder set out to understand why globalization has failed, he got pulled into the story of Honda, a company that has thrived as a multinational. In more than 60 years in business, Honda has never lost money.

 

Its profit margins are the highest in the industry and its factories among the most productive. Rothfeder talked with The Washington Post about "Driving Honda," in which he explores the enduring culture established by company founder Soichiro Honda, a perfectionist who embraced mistakes as a way to learn and improve. 

 

He also goes inside Honda's plant in Lincoln, Ala., a model of flexible manufacturing. 

The following was edited for length and clarity.

 

more....

 

[Washington Post]

 

 

 


 

Hyundai chairman vows 'customer satisfaction'

By Park Jin-hai

August 7, 2014

 

Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo vowed to significantly boost customer satisfaction as the nation's biggest automaker is being pressured to keep its margin steady amid the rise of its chief Japanese competitors.

Hyundai Kia has recently been enjoying a steep increase in its market share in the United States, which the company has identified as its most crucial market, thanks to an improvement in the quality of its vehicles.

But the chairman believes the conglomerate needs "what's next" for further external corporate growth, and "customer satisfaction" could be the top buzzwords for it.

"Alabama is the place that first manufactured the NF Sonata within U.S. The growth that we have made in the U.S. market over the past 10 years couldn't have been accomplished without the passion and effort that we devoted to producing the first Sonata here," he said at Hyundai Motor's Alabama plant, Wednesday.
 

more...

[Korea Times]
 

 

 

 

 

 




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