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:
Alabama auto industry provides backdrop for regional conference
Canfield addresses economic development at Chamber luncheon
Nanotechnology-Biotechnology Conference to Bring Researchers to UA
Auto supplier backs out of $6.6M project


Alabama auto industry provides backdrop for regional conference

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - For the Alabama auto industry, the needle has been moving toward rapid growth, with production gains, new and redesigned models, job growth, and additional investment.


Consider these facts:

  • More than new 6,600 jobs in Alabama's auto industry have been announced since the beginning of 2013
  • New auto-related investment topping $1.5 billion has been announced in Alabama since the start of 2013
  • Expansions at 82 Alabama auto industry facilities have been announced since the beginning of 2013, while 12 companies have announced new auto-related projects for the state during that time frame
  • Alabama's three assembly plants produced 918,172 vehicles last year, and the number is expected to climb in coming years.








Canfield addresses economic development at Chamber luncheon

By Emily Beckett

October 8, 2014


Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield examined the state's past, present and future in economic development during his speech at the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday.


"I want to give you a sense of where we've been, what we're doing and where we're headed," Canfield said.


He referred to cotton, textile, steel and agriculture as several of Alabama's "principle industries" 75-100 years ago, compared to the state's burgeoning automobile industry today.


Canfield said in 2013, three Original Equipment Manufacturers - Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz) - produced more than 920,000 vehicles, making Alabama the fourth-largest auto producer in the United States.


"We are continuing to grow that market," Canfield said.




Nanotechnology-Biotechnology Conference to Bring Researchers to UA 

Oct 8, 2014 | 


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Approximately 200 researchers from across the state are expected to attend a scientific forum on nanotechnology Oct. 23-24 on The University of Alabama campus.


UA will host the second NanoBio Summit at the Bryant Conference Center featuring a dozen scientists from in-state and neighboring institutions as well as representatives from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Southern Research Institute, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and elsewhere.


The keynote luncheon speaker Oct. 23 is Dr. Andrew D. Penman, vice president of the drug development division at Southern Research Institute, in Birmingham. In this position, Penman leads the preclinical contract research operations in toxicology, bioanalytical sciences, infectious diseases, cancer therapeutics, and immunology. Penman will speak at 12:40 p.m. in the Bryant Conference Center's Sellers Auditorium.











Center for Automotive Research to Play Significant Role during Oct. 10 Agenda

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An exclusive preview of a highly anticipated Center for Automotive Research (CAR)report that lays the foundation for road mapping the future of automotive manufacturing in the South will headlinethe Southern Automotive Conference on Friday, Oct. 10.


With more than 700 individuals pre-registered and a total of 136 exhibit booth spaces sold, this year's SAC figures to be the largest and most successful conference in the seven-year history of the event.

The CAR study for the Southern Automotive Research Alliance (SARA), is the product of a focused effort byAlabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee to identify strategic regional initiativesthat can help expand automotive manufacturing, investment and job creation in the south. Dr. Jay Baron, CEO of CAR, will preview the study at 8 a.m. at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

A roundtable discussion featuring Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield and national automotive industry experts will follow Baron with a conversation about how Southern statescan begin acting on some of the recommendations outlined in the SARA study.

Those suggestions include recruiting talented workers to the automotive sector; increasing research and development in the South; and addressing supply chain density issues.

A key objective of the SARA study is to identify how the region, by working together, can grow its supply base,create additional employment and reduce reliance on outside sources in support of its automotive industry. 


The overall objective is to strengthen the region to improve the overall attraction for increasing employment whileretaining competitive state practices. The report is considered timely by Southern automotive industry leaders due to recent forecasts that indicate continued North American auto manufacturing investment.

Said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, "The automotive industry is one of the targeted industries in our state's strategic plan for economic development. Alabama continues to thrive in automotive manufacturing, as evidenced by the sustained success of our state's OEMs and their suppliers. We look forward to hosting the Southern Automotive Conference in Birmingham, as it allows the state of Alabama to showcase its position as a leader within this key industry sector."

Said Gov. Bryant, "Mississippi remains a strong player in the automotive sector with companies such as Toyota and Nissan, and I look forward to highlighting some of Mississippi's recent successes during Friday morning's discussion. Earlier this year, Toyota Manufacturing of Mississippi reached an agreement to export more than 7,500
Mississippi-built Corollas to 18 countries in Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

 These types of milestone achievements wouldn't be possible without the talented and dedicated workforce in Mississippi, and I am proud of the advancements we continue to make."


Said Baron, "The SARA study drives home the point that the automotive industry in the South will need to work together to continue to thrive as the region faces growing global competition. Previewing this study during the SAC, when so many of the region's key stakeholders are gathered together, did not happen by accident, and we are excited

to share our findings with these constituencies."

Following the panel, Gov. Bentley is scheduled to address SAC attendees on the state of the automotive industry in Alabama.




Auto supplier backs out of $6.6M project

Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser

October 8, 2014

The plant, triumphantly announced less than a year ago as a major step in Macon County's economic recovery, is still empty.


Would-be auto supplier Taesung Alabama announced plans for a $6.6 million manufacturing plant in December amid handshakes and applause from state leaders.


The plant was supposed to open in May and bring more than 70 jobs to an area of Macon County that lost more than 1,200 positions when Victoryland closed.


Instead, the facility sits vacant. Officials said that when Taesung failed to land the supplier contracts it expected, the company pulled out of the project and abandoned the building.

Area developers did not.


Bailey-Harris Construction decided to invest in finishing the building and site work. Now, planners are working to bring in another tenant.




[Montgomery Advertiser]


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