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:



Ivey: Economy, jobs to top agenda for Alabama Legislature

Sara Falligant/Opelika-Auburn News

February 12, 2015 


Economic development and jobs will be at the top of the agenda when the Alabama Legislature begins its regular session on March 3, Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey told a crowd of Alabama bankers Thursday night as part of the Bank Directors' College at Auburn University, hosted by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.


Ivey has served as lieutenant governor since 2011 and is an Auburn University graduate. She previously served as the Alabama State Treasurer, in addition to working as a high school economics teacher and bank officer.


While Ivey spoke about her experience in banking and finance, she focused heavily on what will be discussed during the state's upcoming legislative session.



[Opelika-Auburn News]



Careful What You Wish For? What do Alabama's four major cities see as their target markets for economic development? How choosy are they?

February 2015


Last fall, U.K.-based Oxford Pharmaceuticals announced plans to build a $29 million, 120,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at Birmingham's Jefferson Metropolitan Lakeshore Industrial Park by 2016, creating up to 200 jobs over the next decade.


The announcement came three years after the Alabama Economic Development Alliance rolled out "Accelerate Alabama," a strategic plan to recruit national and international companies in 11 specific industries, including bioscience. 


"Alabama hasn't always done a great job of marketing our bioscience, life sciences and research sectors," says Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield. "Accelerate Alabama has now given us the platform on which to do that." 


Last October, a team of economic developers, trade experts and bioscience firms from Alabama toured several bioscience and life science firms in Belgium and The Netherlands. 




[Business Alabama]




Mobile A320 assembly line on time, budget: Airbus VP awaits 'heart' of facility to start beating
on February 12, 2015 

With its powerhouse operational and construction of three primary structures categorized at "substantial completion," Airbus' A320 final assembly line in Mobile could receive its first shipment of major components from Europe via the Port of Mobile as early as June, company officials confirmed Thursday.


Ulrich Weber, vice president for the aircraft manufacturer's Mobile facility, told members of the media the project remains on schedule to begin incremental production this summer and deliver its first Mobile-assembled A320 family aircraft to JetBlue Airlines in the second quarter of 2016.


"I'm really impressed because everything is working as planned. We are on schedule. We are on budget. We don't have any quality issues. Everything is really running smoothly," Weber told, standing alongside the main hangar while crews worked furiously to prepare the structure to house assembly equipment.



Seven communities in the southwest region of the state join Main Street Alabama
on February 12, 2015 

A campaign to turn downtowns into the economic engines they once were has reached another 7 locales in southwest Alabama.


 The communities of Atmore, Brewton, Butler, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson and Thomasville recently joined the community revitalization program Main Street Alabama.


The economic development program is partnering with the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, a regional partnership between Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, and Monroe counties as well as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.


"We are particularly excited about our growth in the Coastal Gateway region," Mary Helmer, president and state coordinator of Main Street Alabama, said in a news release. "Main Street programs have a catalytic effect and the establishment of Monroeville's designated program just nine months ago has yielded tremendous interest from these surrounding communities."




Six Sigma certification courses offered in 2015 for Alabama industries

The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Center for Management and Economic Research (UAH CMER) works with a wide range of businesses to train employees and to assist in the implementation of Six Sigma methodology as part of a company's quality program.


Through CMER's Alabama Technology Center, Green and Black Belt Six Sigma open enrollment training are being offered regularly in 2015 due to increased interest -- particularly within the automotive manufacturing supply chain. 


Alabama's automotive manufacturing, aerospace and defense industries continue to utilize Six Sigma, a business process improvement system, but now other key Alabama industries such as healthcare, medical, and finance are beginning to utilize Six Sigma as part of their quality programs.







Opelika eyes improvement for Carver-Jeter plan through design summit

February 12, 2015 


Sometimes, a new perspective is all that's needed to take a project to the next level. Mayor Gary Fuller believes this to be the case, as he outsourced potential ideas for the City of Opelika's Carver-Jeter community project during Design Alabama's 10th annual Mayors' Design Summit.


Fuller and four other Alabama mayors teamed with community design experts to tackle the challenges of bringing quality design and planning to their respective communities.


"We were so proud to host Design Alabama here in Opelika ," Fuller said. "We're getting input from de-sign professionals on things that we can do for our Carver-Jeter plan, which we're in the process of implementing. I think we've gotten some good ideas.




[Opelika-Auburn News]

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