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:


Central Alabama Community College partners with 2A s.p.a.

Lindy Oller/Opelika-Auburn News

February 11, 2015 


Central Alabama Community College developed a partnership that goes across international borders.


A press conference was held Wednesday at CACC's Alexander City campus to announce the school's public-private partnership with Italian-based company 2A s.p.a.

CACC, the Alabama Community College System and 2A s.p.a also announced the establishment of the Center for Precision Machining at the Alexander Citycampus, according to a press release from CACC.


2A s.p.a. is a multi-national corporation which elected to establish a presence in Auburn , according to Dr. Susan Burrow, interim president at CACC. The company has offices worldwide.


"There is a significant movement in our nation and our state to educate and train the future workforce," Burrow said.




[Opelika-Auburn News]




UWA, Mercedes-Benz Partner in Training Facility
By: Nick Gunter
Feb. 11, 2015

Sumter County, Ala. The ribbon was cut today on the new University of West Alabama automotive manufacturing training facility. This new facility will be used as a way to increase workforce development opportunities to West Alabamians.


"We are really trying to increase our workforce development efforts and help people increase their knowledge and skills and abilities to get better paying jobs in good industries, provide for their families, and become productive members of their community," said The University of West Alabama President, Dr. Ken Tucker.


The three semester, 27 credit hour program on the UWA campus will give students the knowledge they need to become successful and gain employment.




Calhoun, Toyota seek applicants for advanced manufacturing education-to-work program
on February 11, 2015 

It's time to submit an application if you want to be considered for the 2015-16 class of the Alabama Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education's Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program at Calhoun Community College.


The five-semester program, a partnership of Calhoun, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama and eight other local businesses and industries, is seeking students for its technical associate's degree. Announced in May 2014, the education-to-work initiative currently serves 10 students who earn $13.55 per hour to cover their college expenses and graduate debt-free.


AMT aims to close the gap of unfilled skilled labor jobs in Alabama through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on manufacturing experience. Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in advanced manufacturing upon completion of the program.





Honda debuts redesigned Alabama-made Pilot at Chicago Auto Show

CHICAGO - Honda showed off its redesigned Alabama-made Pilot family SUV this morning at the Chicago Auto Show.


Entering its third generation, the Pilot has received a complete makeover. Honda said the 2016 model has been totally re-engineered and redesigned to offer new technology, advanced safety features, class-leading fuel economy and enhanced utility.


"The new Pilot will continue to be made exclusively in America, at our Lincoln, Alabama facility," Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of Honda, said at the debut at the Chicago Auto Show this morning.


During his presentation, Conrad said the new eight-passenger SUV is "critical to fortifying our light truck line-up."



Unofficial stats show $150 million industrial investment in 2014
By Trent Moore
 Feb 12, 2015

The job market in Cullman is thriving, and officials estimate as many as 700 new positions were created in the local economy in 2014 alone.


Local officials and representatives from several of Cullman County's top industries assembled Tuesday night for an annual industry appreciation event, hosted at Wallace State's Evelyn Burrow Museum in Hanceville.


Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Peggy Smith took the stage to announce some unofficial totals that show Cullman County industries invested approximately $150 million in the community, all while creating as many as 700 jobs.



Homegrown CEO network 1702 aims to build Silicon Valley's 'entrepreneurial ecosystem' in Mobile
on February 11, 2015 

A grassroots, peer network of business leaders sits poised to propel Mobile's entrepreneurial community to Silicon Valleyesque prominence.

Designed to tap the insights of the region's most promising emerging and high-growth companies, 1702 brings together 24 chief executives from the technology, aerospace, manufacturing and consumer sectors to stimulate collaboration on critical aspects of growing a business; drive innovation along the Gulf Coast; strengthen networks; and catapult companies to the next level of success.


"Launching 1702 is all about forming an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will transcend our city as one of the best cities for innovative, world-changing companies," said Vita Capital's Dean Parker, 1702 board chairman and co-founder alongside Swift Biotechnology's Michael Chambers, immediate past-chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce's board.



Alabama Career and Technical Education Month kicks off with community wide events
By Sheri Falk
Feb. 6, 2015
Alabama Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month has officially kicked off and teachers, students, and local communities are now hosting special events to celebrate.

Throughout February, schools statewide are hosting career fairs, college and business tours, job shadowing days, and professional etiquette workshops to honor the impact that CTE is having on students.

Researchers say students with a technical-based background often earn more over a lifetime. "Prime-age" employees (ages 25 to 54) are projected to be more than 60 percent of America's labor force in 2020. Nationally, CTE programs have been shown to reduce high school dropout rates.




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