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:


Medical device firm to create 44 Florence jobs in five years

By Bernie Delinski Staff Writer | 

February 5, 2015


FLORENCE - A new local medical device production company that plans to create 44 jobs stands to receive up to $110,000 in local economic-incentive funds.


Elite-Medical LLC would receive the money from the Shoals Economic Development Fund if it provides the jobs over five years, as part of a $6 million investment at a Helton Drive location.


The average annual base salary will be $45,700, company officials said.




[Times Daily]




U.S. added 257K jobs in January; unemployment ticks up to 5.7 percent
February 6 

The United States kept up its breakneck pace of hiring in January, adding 257,000 jobs as workers received wage increases unseen since the financial crisis, according to government data released Friday morning.


The unemployment rate ticked up by one-tenth of a point, to 5.7 percent, largely because so many people - nearly 1.1 million - entered the workforce, some coming off the sidelines after years of discouragement.


The latest data indicates a fully firing labor market that has become the engine for the American recovery. The United States has added jobs over the last year at its steadiest pace in two decades, and January offered fresh evidence that employers are now willing to raise wages and compete for workers.




[Washington Post]



Alabama Workforce Council proposals aim to create pathway to high-wage jobs

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said proposals from the Alabama Workforce Council, a panel that studied ways to advance the state's workforce development efforts, could create a pathway that steers more Alabamians into high-wage, high-demand jobs.


Secretary Canfield said the panel's recommendations come as employers in Alabama are demanding that workers have greater levels of education and skill to carry out complex duties in technology-heavy workplaces. To ensure residents have the proper credentials for 21st Century jobs, Alabama's business leaders and educational officials must collaborate more closely than ever, he added.


"As we focus our economic development efforts more on advanced manufacturing projects and on research and product development operations, we are finding that companies want workers who possess the necessary skills and need only minimal training," Secretary Canfield said. "These high-paying opportunities depend more on technical skills and problem-solving abilities than on manual labor."



Ben Russell agrees to purchase 57-acre sales office complex
By Mitch Sneed
February 5, 2015

Ben Russell has agreed to purchase 57 acres in Alexander City from Fruit of the Loom that once housed the Russell Corporation Sales Office, the Russell Guest House and the Russell Apartments.


The announcement of the agreement in principal came from Russell Lands Inc. Thursday morning, and was met with excitement from local elected officials and business leaders.


The purchase is part of Russell's efforts to help economic development by targeting new businesses that will bring new jobs to the area, according to Russell Lands President and CEO Tom Lamberth.


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