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:


Canada's Carlson expanding to Alabama, creating 75 jobs

ANNISTON, Alabama - The Calhoun County Economic Development Council announced Monday that Carlson Engineered Composites USA Inc., a Canadian firm that manufactures fiberglass components, plans to expand its operations to Anniston.


The project represents a capital investment of $3 million and will create 75 new jobs in Calhoun County.


The company will be locating in an existing 67,000-square-foot building on Electronics Drive, which will be purchased by the Calhoun County Economic Development Council and leased to Carlson. Operations should begin in the first quarter of this year, according to Don Hopper, executive director of the council.








Opelika lands meat processing plant,175 new jobs

February 17, 2015 


On Tuesday, California-based Golden State Foods announced plans to build a meat processing facility in Opelika. 


The plant will employ approximately 175 individuals and produce hamburger patties for the restaurant industry. The announcement was made in a teleconference at Opelika Power Services.


More information will be posted later on and in Wednesday's Opelika-Auburn News.


[Opelika-Auburn News





Gov. Bentley awards grant to add, preserve jobs in Opp
February 17, 2015

Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $99,292 grant to help preserve 20 jobs and provide 20 more in the city of Opp with the expansion of an aerospace and defense manufacturing firm.


The Community Development Block Grant will fund infrastructure improvements needed by Georgia Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing. The company, which produces parts and products for airplanes and helicopters, is upgrading and expanding the facilities of an Opp business it recently acquired. 

"Whether preserving existing jobs or creating new ones, my administration is dedicated to expanding employment opportunities for Alabamians," Bentley said. "I commend community leaders in Opp and Covington County for their efforts to provide the services needed for economic growth."







BUILDING A BRIGHTER FUTURE: State initiatives stress importance of tech careers on K-12 students

by Adam Smith

Feb. 15, 2015


State and local officials are seemingly more dedicated than ever to ensuring Limestone County students are career-ready at the end of their high school and technical college careers.


Just in the past three years, the state has rolled out a number of initiatives aimed at putting students on the right path to a successful career at industries in North Alabama and across the state.


"There is nothing more important to our state than job creation, and having students who are college and career ready is one of the critical components of economic development," Gov. Robert Bentley said in a statement to The News Courier. "When we recruit new industries to Alabama, one of the bestselling points is our workforce training programs. Alabama's two year colleges are working with area business and industries to create a seamless transition from the classroom to the workplace, and we are able to accomplish this task by providing students with the specialized skills required to meet the needs of future and current industries across Alabama."




[The News Courier]



Not Your Dad's Old Bumper or Paint Job

February 2015

Business has never been better at the REHAU automotive plant in Cullman.


Sales will set a record in 2015, the facility will add at least 120 workers to the 850 it already has, and REHAU will open a $2.5 million technical and research center - the only facility of its kind that REHAU has in North America. And all of this comes on the heels of a $115 million expansion completed early last year.


"This plant will have the best year since production began here in 1996," says 50-year-old Albert von Pelser, manager of the REHAU (pronounced ray-How) plant. "Our main customers - Mercedes, BMW, all of them - are forecasting record numbers for 2015 that we haven't seen since we started supplying parts for them. We actually had to give some business away to create capacity for other business that we got because we're completely maxed out. We'll probably have 25 percent more business in 2015."




[Business Alabama]


Submit your winning idea to help make the Shoals the next big leader in digital technology
on February 17, 2015 

The Shoals needs your help in becoming the next leader in digital technology.


A joint committee from the University of North Alabama, area schools, mayoral offices and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce are inviting students and members of the community to participate in the inaugural Shoals Big Idea Competition, an initiative to engage the public so that northwest Alabama can be relevant in the 21st century.


The Big Idea, a public event to be held at 5 p.m. March 11 in the GUC Performance Center at UNA, is accepting submissions through Feb. 22.


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Val Walton
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