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:
Meeting to outline U.S.-EU trade deal and its potential benefits to Alabama businesses
Keeping good secrets is key to Alabama landing new
Thousands of eighth grade students to attend Career Expo in Auburn
What will Polaris make at its new $142 million Huntsville campus?
Main Street Alabama Seeks 3 New Communities for Revitalization Program



Meeting to outline U.S.-EU trade deal and its potential benefits to Alabama businesses
on January 13, 2015 

MOBILE, Alabama -- Local economic developers will host a town hall meeting to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and its potential benefits for the state of Alabama.


The trade deal, currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union, would touch on a wide range of business interests. The U.S. has outlined its objectives, which identifies everything from e-commerce regulations and intellectual property rights; to creating better opportunities for small and medium-sized business to trade with Europe.   


The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce will host the forum at its office at 451 Government Street on Jan. 22. The event starts at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public. A light breakfast will also be served 45 minutes before the meeting starts.






Keeping good secrets is key to Alabama landing new businesses

ANUARY 12, 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  Top secret.


Right now there are 43 economic development projects in the works in Madison County alone, all of them are being handled behind the scenes and considered highly confidential.

But don't bother asking state and local economic developers for more details about the plans. Their lips are sealed.


Keeping the details of possible big moves like the recent Remington Plant addition and Polaris announcement secret is key to landing those big deals.


Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield says few states have a better reputation of keeping good secrets as Alabama does.










Thousands of eighth grade students to attend Career Expo in Auburn

Katherine Haas | Opelika-Auburn News

January 12, 2015


More than 4,000 East Alabama eighth grade students will flock to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum in Auburn Feb. 17-18 to get a glimpse into what the future may have in store for them.


The East Alabama Workforce Investment Network (EAWIN) will host the first-ever Career Discovery Career Expo in an effort to expose eighth graders to potential jobs and associated career paths with an overall goal of creating a workforce that will sustain a thriving economy.


According to Janet Ormond with EAWIN, the idea for the expo came from Al Davis, Region 8 Executive Director of the EAWIN. Davis traveled to Mobile in Sept. 2013 where a similar event was taking place.




[Opelika-Auburn News]



What will Polaris make at its new $142 million Huntsville campus?

on January 12, 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- What kind of off-road vehicles will the new Polaris plant make in north Alabama?


Marlys Knutson, spokeswoman for the Minnesota powersports company, said the $142 million, 600,000-square-foot site west of Greerbrier Road in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County will produce Polaris' RZR and RANGER vehicles.


Polaris, a leader in the powersports industry with annual 2013 sales of $3.8 billion, makes a variety of off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), the Polaris RANGER and RZR side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.


Although the massive Polaris plant will be fully operational by 2017, the company's RANGERand RZR brands will begin rolling off the Huntsville assembly line as early as the second quarter of 2016. Gov. Robert Bentley said Polaris is going "to be right at home here in north Alabama."











Main Street Alabama Seeks 3 New Communities for Revitalization Program



Birmingham, Alabama,-- Main Street Alabama announces application workshops for the upcoming selection of 3 new communities. 


 Workshops will be held in Montgomery on January 20 and Birmingham on January 22nd. Two separate sessions will be held from 9-11 am and 1-3 pm each day. 


 During these workshops, communities will become familiar with the criteria for becoming a Main Street Alabama Designated Community and will explore the assistance Main Street Alabama can offer in making their downtown revitalization program successful using the nationally recognized Main Street Four-Point Approach®. A unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets-from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride.  Applications will only be available at the workshops.


After the workshop, communities interested in pursuing the Main Street Alabama program will meet the following deadlines:


Letter of Intent: 3/30/15                                Applications Due: 5/1/15

Oral Presentations: 5/20/15                          Selection Announcement: 6/1/15


Free online registration is available at


Being selected as one of the three new Main Street Alabama Designated Communities means technical support from Main Street Alabama including a 3 day visit and community presentation from a nationally recognized resource team, board training, public visioning process, strategic planning, market analysis, creation of economic development strategies specific to that community and much more. These tools offer a springboard to success for community revitalization efforts.


Mary Helmer, State Coordinator of Main Street Alabama stated "We have been working in our newly designated communities for almost a year now and have watched our new programs launch, hire directors and form work plans to begin the process of revitalizing their historic cores.  It is now time to add another 3 communities to our fold.   Alabama has a rich inventory of historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts that are eager to implement the nationally recognized Main Street Four-Point Approach®.  We look forward to adding three new communities to the Main Street Alabama roster and watching them grow and succeed.  We are here to bolster their efforts and position them for success." 




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Val Walton
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