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:
Governor talks economic development
September Innovation Conference Set to Connect Great Ideas
Dothan leveraging another economic development tool
Fast track: Students build future at Hyundai
The collision of the arts and technology: a conversation with Buddy Palmer of the Birmingham Cultural Alliance
Alabama couple finds recipe for success in sprouted wheat



Governor talks economic development 


Monday, August 18, 2014 

Gov. Robert Bentley visited Arab Tuesday.

The governor began his day at Syncro by introducing himself to local political leaders and signing in as the honorary guest.

He was shown the several different areas of Syncro and the way in which products are manufactured there. Bentley spent a good bit of time asking questions pertaining to the technologies that the plant uses in order to produce its products correctly and efficiently. He was shown new technologies as well as manufacturing processes that Synchro has been using for many years now.

Jeff Huguley, director of manufacturing, gave Bentley an in-depth look at how the electronic manufacturing system works. Syncro's electronic assembly line produces the electrical functions of products such as tower lighting placed on top of water tanks and cell phone towers as well as break control systems for trailers and solar energy panels.

Bentley also spent some time visiting with the men and women who work on the assembly lines for Syncro. He stopped at almost every workstation to introduce himself and shake hands with Syncro employees.




[Arab Tribune]



September Innovation Conference Set to Connect Great Ideas

 August 18, 2014

If you're thinking about starting a business or even expanding one, attending the Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference next month won't be a waste of your valuable time. The worthwhile conference is scheduled Sept. 25-26 in Birmingham.


Alabama Launchpad is a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, a public-private partnership consisting of universities and business and economic development groups. The Alabama Launchpad conference is for new ventures and for existing businesses that want to expand.


Event organizers said the conference will be the state's largest gathering of entrepreneurs, startups, innovative companies, and university leaders. Alabama Launchpad provides a way for individuals to network with experts, investors, and service providers, share ideas, to obtain startup capital, and trade business cards with business, academic, and investment experts.

[BCA Blog]








Dothan leveraging another economic development tool
 by LanceG
Aug 16, 2014

It wasn't long after Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz began trying to recruit jobs on behalf of the city that he learned the old recruitment model had gone the way of the black and white television.


Communities hoping to lure industry couldn't wait around for state incentives or even well-placed nuggets from congressmen. State money is pretty dry and what little remains is being sought by dozens of communities. Congress curtailed earmarks a long time ago.


If Dothan wanted jobs, Schmitz said, it would take local money set aside by the Dothan City Commission.




[Dothan Eagle]








Fast track: Students build future at Hyundai
Brad Harper 
August 15, 2014

Darien Fails hasn't graduated yet from Trenholm State Technical College, but he's already working at one of the most advanced auto plants in the nation.


The 22 year old is a paid intern at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. He and seven other Trenholm industrial maintenance students spend each Friday learning how things work at different areas of the plant, and then they help out with equipment maintenance over the weekend.


"The experience is hands-down the best that you could possibly ask for," Fails said. "Until you actually put your hands on it, you can't really say, 'I understand this, and I know how all of it works.'"


He's getting paid while he learns, and there could be a bigger paycheck waiting at the end of the line.




[Montgomery Advertiser]






The collision of the arts and technology: a conversation with Buddy Palmer of the Birmingham 
on August 15, 2014 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- I sat down yesterday afternoon for a chat with Buddy Palmer, President and CEO of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham


He's a congenial, driven fellow; ex-theater director; believer in Birmingham; and wearer of polka-dot socks.


It's odd for a tech reporter to be talking to the cultural alliance, I know. But they've been coming up a lot in the last couple of weeks in my conversations among the tech folk in the city and I got the feeling that things were changing at this institution which previously focused exclusively on the arts.


That feeling was correct.





Alabama couple finds recipe for success in sprouted wheat

FITZPATRICK, Alabama - Peggy Sutton's business may have started out as a hobby in this rural Alabama hamlet, but today her fast-growing To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. sells its whole grain products to big-name food industry players and health-conscious customers around the world.


In a Bullock County base just off U.S. Highway 82, the company's 22 employees produce 10,000 pounds of organic sprouted flour daily, making the firm one of the top U.S. manufacturers of a product that health-food enthusiasts say is more nutritious than refined flour.


The rising popularity of sprouted grains has powered the growth of the business Sutton launched from her kitchen in 2005 to sell artisanal baked goods. To Your Health now operates out of two buildings, where wheat and other grains are sprouted, dried, and milled into flour. Major customers include Whole Foods Market, Kellogg's, Arrowhead Mills, and Frito Lay.





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Val Walton
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