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:
Rail plant job fair Tuesday
Alabama's Honda plant's record year, by the numbers
Competitive accomplishment stems from the classroom at JSU
Automotive supplier Unipres opens plant in Steele


Rail plant job fair Tuesday

By Robert Palmer Staff Writer | 

January 4, 2015


Tuesday will mark an event that many Shoals officials hope is a sign of things to come in the new year.


FreightCar America is hosting a job fair to fill 150-200 positions at its Colbert County plant. It begins at 9 a.m. at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence and continues until 7 p.m.


"In 2014, we had job fairs to place people who had been laid off," Steve Holt, president of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, said. "To start the new year with a company that is aggressively hiring people is a really good way to start the year. I hope we see more of that in 2015."


Individuals are encouraged to fill out an application on the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) website before coming to the job fair. The site can be found at But those who have not done that may do so at the fair.




[Times Daily]





Alabama's Honda plant's record year, by the numbers

on December 31, 2014 

2014 was a record year for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. 


The plant build 361,948 Hondas and Acuras at its 3.7 million square-foot Lincoln facility this year.


Here are the numbers:

"Continued customer demand for the Odyssey, Pilot and Acura MDX provided our team with a very rewarding year for the more than 4,000 associates at our Lincoln facility," HMA President Jeff Tomko said in a statement. "It is the teamwork and dedication of each associate that has enabled us to provide high quality products for our Honda and Acura customers."






Competitive accomplishment stems from the classroom at JSU

by Laura Gaddy

January 1, 2015


JACKSONVILLE - John Norton fiddled with a hand-held controller inside a work room at Jacksonville State University on a recent weekday as two of his teammates, Ryan Wise and Blake Ray, stood by.


At their feet: a robot - no heavier than 120 pounds and enclosed in a metal casing - cast an electric red glow on the concrete floor. The robot, named Optimus Rooster, was designed to kick field goals, lift weights, race along tracks and collect golf balls in a national competition.


At Thanksgiving, the 17-member JSU robotics team traveled to St. Louis with the robot, and won first place in the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering Student Robotics Competition. The robot outperformed machines designed by other university teams to master the same tasks, winning the JSU team's second first-place title since it formed four years ago.




[Anniston Star]




Automotive supplier Unipres opens plant in Steele
Bryan Davis Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
Jan. 2, 2015

A top tier auto supplier has opened its first Alabama facility in St. Clair County.


Yokohama, Japan-based Unipres Alabama Inc. held a grand opening ceremony for its newly-acquired facility in Steele this week, according to a release from the St. Clair Economic Development Council.


Unipres acquired the former Yachivo facility and will begin operating as a premier supplier of metal automotive parts.


"St. Clair County welcomes Unipres to the community," said Paul Manning, chairman of the St. Clair County Commission. "We are always happy to see new companies invest in St. Clair County and make their home here. The investment and new jobs not only open doors for new opportunities for our citizens, but the generations who come after them."




[Birmingham Business Journal]


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