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:
New Alabama Small Business Commission to aid and attract entrepreneurs and small business owners
Automotive job fair in Tuscaloosa attracts huge crowd
Alabama Governor Sees Autos Leading Charge for High Tech Jobs
The Countdown is on for the Start of the 2014 Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference on Sept. 25-26 in Birmingham


New Alabama Small Business Commission to aid and attract entrepreneurs and small business owners

on September 15, 2014

Alabama just opened its arms a little wider to embrace both new and existing small businesses. On Monday, Governor Robert Bentley announced the creation of The Alabama Small Business Commission, which will serve as an advisory body in developing and promoting economic policies that are helpful to small businesses. The Commission will have its first meeting in October.


"Alabama's continued economic progress depends on the prosperity of our small businesses," Governor Bentley said in a prepared statement. "The creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission will encourage innovation, discuss issues critical to economic growth of small business and promote policies to assist new business start-ups and expansion of existing businesses."


Created by Executive Order 47, The Alabama Small Business Commission will work statewide discussing issues critical to the economic growth of small businesses and promoting policies that will help existing businesses expand and new businesses blossom. 








Automotive job fair in Tuscaloosa attracts huge crowd 

By Angel Coker

Staff Writer
September 13, 2014 

A half-mile line of people stretched around the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy Saturday as over 2,000 job seekers from Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia waited to be interviewed for an opportunity to work in Alabama's auto industry.

West Alabama Works hosted its second job fair Saturday offering 300-400 entry-level jobs in production, service and material handling at 10 participating companies that act as suppliers for Mercedes-Benz, which needs more employees because production recently increased with the addition of the C-Class sedan in June.

"We have processed and we will have interviewed over 1,600 people today. All of the individuals who were not (qualified) to get a job, which were probably another 500-700 that showed up, we actually have them lining up and working with the career center and helping them find a job," said Donny Jones, chief operating officer for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, which partnered with the Region 3 Workforce Development Council to create West Alabama Works.



[Tuscaloosa News]






Alabama Governor Sees Autos Leading Charge for High Tech Jobs

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (TheStreet) -- Michigan may be synonymous with auto manufacturing, but Alabama is nipping at its heels as carmakers continue to expand operations and add jobs in the southern United States.


The latest automaker adding jobs was also the first to build a plant in the state in the late 1990's. Tucked away in the hills of western Alabama is Tuscaloosa County, home to the only U.S. plant of Daimler's (DDAIY_)  Mercedes-Benz. The facility started production of SUVs in 1997.


Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said Mercedes' decision to build a plant has had a profound impact.


"It has changed Alabama from a low-tech manufacturing state to a high-tech manufacturing state and because of Mercedes, other companies have come and now we're one of the largest automobile producing states in the country," the governor said.




The Countdown is on for the Start of the 2014 Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference on Sept 25-26 in Birmingham

Don't Procrastinate, Register Today!


The conference offers:

  • 2014 Alabama Innovation Awards and award winner activities
  • Engaging keynote speakers discussing the importance of innovation in building a sustainable economy across many environments, including rural, metro, big business, small companies, high-tech and low-tech
  • Two panel discussions, one in which some of Alabama's top CEOs will discuss the importance of innovation in business. Another discussion will feature educators and technology leaders to talk about preparing the state's future entrepreneurs
  • One-on-One Mentoring to connect and network with experts, including entrepreneurs, investment bankers and research university presidents
  • An Innovation Showcase spotlighting Alabama-based startups and technologies
  • The opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues during a reception, breakfast and refreshment breaks
  • Start-Up Competition Finale in which six teams compete for a share of up to $300,000 in funding. The competition is so important to help the state's aspiring entrepreneurs gain access to funding and mentors to take their ideas and concepts to actual high paying jobs for Alabama residents.

Scenes from last year's conference:








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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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