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:



Grassroots coalition to focus on improving Alabama's transportation infrastructure
By Ryan Phillips Digital Producer-Birmingham Business Journal
Feb 18, 2015

A new statewide coalition backed by prominent business groups has formed to focus on educating the state and the public about the importance of transportation investments to Alabama's economic development efforts.


The Partnership for Alabama's Vision for Economic Development, or PAVED, is a grassroots effort comprised of businesses, community leaders, public officials, industrial recruiters, statewide organizations and others interested in bringing attention to the economic benefits of improving Alabama's transportation infrastructure. 


"An adequate transportation system is vital in keeping our state's economy healthy, growing, and creating jobs," PAVED spokesman and West Alabama Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Page said in a written statement.




[Birmingham Business Journal]




Sen. Shelby pays a visit to Lee County , praises economic development growth

Todd Van Emst/O-A News

February 18, 2015 


U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is impressed by the strides Lee County is making in the realm of economic development.


As a part of his annual county-by-county tour of Alabama , Shelby's latest stop was at Gambro Renal Products hemodialysis dialyzer manufacturing facility in Opelika .


A part of Baxter Incorporated, Gambro announced expansion plans in August 2014 that will more than double the workforce employed at the facility and expand the plant by 230,000 square feet. The project commits a $300 million investment in Opelika , and the growth of the workforce is expected to start in 2016.


With that underway, Shelby said the visit offered him a closer look at how one of the county's newest projects is progressing, adding that he is excited about the 200 new jobs that the expansion will create.






Job shadowing program offers students career insight

Wallace State Media Relations
February 18, 2015

HANCEVILLE - A recent job-shadowing event in the area, organized by Wallace State Community College, provided 618 high school seniors an opportunity to get a glimpse of potential career choices. The event lasted from Jan. 26-30 and Feb. 2 and was made up of seniors from Cullman, Cold Springs, Danville, Fairview, Falkville, Good Hope, Hanceville, Holly Pond, Vinemont and West Point high schools.


Christine Wiggins, Wallace State's Career Coach Coordinator, stopped by various local businesses and industries throughout the week and was more than impressed with what she observed.


"I personally visited five locations and at each stop the students were eager to share with me what they were learning. They all seemed very engaged with the choices they made," Wiggins said. "I hope the job shadowing was a changing point in their lives. I think it helped affirm whether it's something they are interested in pursuing a career in or if it's not exactly what they had in mind, and if they need to start looking at a different direction. Our career coaches are prepared for both of those results in order to help the students with that next step."



[Cullman Times]





Atmore to join Main Street

By Atmore News Staff  /  

February 18, 2015  /   


Atmore, along with several other communities in the southern Alabama region, will be joining together to begin work toward becoming a part of the Main Street Alabama Program.


The communities of Atmore, Brewton, Butler, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson and Thomasville will join Monroeville in becoming Downtown Network Communities of Main Street Alabama.


"The program focuses on organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring," according to the Main Street organization. The program is coming to the smaller communities in the region because of a partnership between Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance and Alabama Power, which has provided a generous grant to fund the program.


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