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:
Local workers target of plant
Lawson State takes the lead in a $10 million, multi-state federal transportation job-training
Right-to-work laws build booming Alabama-Japanese connection, employing 12k
Meet PNC's new regional president for northern Alabama


Local workers target of plant

By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer 

September 29, 2014


ATHENS - Asahi Kasei Plastic North America is looking locally for lab technicians, process engineers, advanced manufacturing specialists and business administrators for its new plant.


"We'll start with high school graduates and people who have a partial or full degree from Calhoun or Athens State," Prasad Puttagunta, Asahi Kasei vice president of operations, said Monday.


Construction of the $30 million, 120,000-square-foot plant is expected to begin in late October, with the opening planned for late 2015. The plant will process plastic resin into pellets used in plastic injection molding facilities for automobile components.


The pellets are also used in furniture, pools and spas, and industrial equipment. Initially, the plant will produce about 60 million pellets a year.




[Decatur Daily]
















Lawson State takes the lead in a $10 million, multi-state federal transportation job-training 
on September 29, 2014 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Lawson State Community College will help administer a four-year, $10 million federal grant designed to help train workers in four states for jobs in the transportation industry, including automobile manufacturing, according to a news release today from the school. 


Lawson State is the lead college in a consortium of four community and technical schools in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana - called the Southeastern Transportation Network - that will use the funds to provide skills training and job placement. 


As part of the grant, each school will receive $2 million, and Lawson State will receive an additional $2 million for administrative purposes, according to the news release. 


















Right-to-work laws build booming Alabama-Japanese connection, employing 12k 


30 SEP, 2014


Japanese companies are pouring resources into Alabama at a stunning rate in recent years, accelerating their growth, branching into new sectors of the economy and employing thousands of Alabamians along the way. 


According to several government officials Yellowhammer spoke with on Monday, that's no accident, but is a direct result of Alabama's right-to-work laws and low tax, low regulation business climate.


Representatives from the Alabama Dept. of Commerce recently made the 16-hour flight from Alabama to Japan to attend an annual meeting of the Japan-Southeast US Association and the Southeast US-Japan Association.


The two associations are represented in the U.S. by the seven Southeastern states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida. The purpose of the associations and the yearly joint meeting is to promote two-way trade and investment opportunities. The associations' membership is made up of high-level government officials, corporate executives and is a public-private partnership.






Meet PNC's new regional president for northern Alabama
Antrenise Cole Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
Sep 29, 2014

With a finance degree in hand, Brian Bucher still wasn't sure what career path he would take. In fact, working at a bank was far from the top of his list.


A friend, who was in human resources, convinced Bucher, who currently serves as the regional president of PNC's northern Alabama market, that working at a bank would allow him to meet many different companies in several industries.


"At that time, I thought the last place I ever wanted to work was a bank," he said. "If I wasn't interested in banking, it would be easy for me to move to another position. But I fell in love with it, and I've now been in the industry for 32 years."




[Birmingham Business Journal]

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