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:


Commerce names Ted Clem director of business development

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - The Alabama Department of Commerce announced today that Ted Clem has been named director of business development, placing the veteran economic developer in a leading role in the agency's efforts to recruit new jobs and investment.


Clem, whose appointment is effective March 1, joined the Department of Commerce in February 2014 as a senior project manager. Since then, he has been involved in projects including Baxter International's plant expansion in Opelika and the new Golden State Foods meat processing facility, also in Opelika. Between them, the two projects involve around $340 million in capital investment and nearly 400 direct jobs.


"In his role as director of business development, Ted will lead the expansion and recruitment efforts of the division and will serve as a valued member of the senior management team for the state's primary economic development agency," said Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield.







Chicken feet to Asia. Leg quarters to Cuba. How Alabama's $15 billion poultry industry feeds the world.
on March 02, 2015 

MOBILE, Alabama -- Stacked onto pallets, stored in containers, and frozen at bone-chilling temperatures, Alabama's chickens feed the world.


Every year, more than 200,000 tons of poultry is exported out of Alabama's state docks in Mobile. It is sent to Hong Kong, Romania, Estonia and Latvia. Alabama chicken makes it way to countries across Latin America, Central America, and the Middle East. 

As much as 50,000 tons of Alabama poultry travels 877 miles from Mobile to Cuba annually. Alabama began shipping the goods to the island nation in 2000 when U.S. government loosened its trade restrictions on medical supplies and food.








Veterans receive gift boxes from local businesses
on February 27, 2015 

About 125 veterans receive gift boxes at the Birmingham VA Hospital today. Wells Fargo Private Bank, Cheeriodicals, an Alabama Launchpad company, and Two Men and a Truck teamed up to assemble and deliver the boxes this morning. The boxes contained a blanket, magazines, toiletries and other treats for the vets.



Over 85 people from all three businesses worked together to make the project happen. The team got together Tuesday evening to fill the gift boxes and this morning Two Men and a Truck delivered the two pallets of gift boxes to the Birmingham VA Hospital for distribution.


This is also the first time the group has delivered gift boxes to veterans. On previous occasions, the gift boxes were given to patients at Children's Hospital.




Panalpina expands controlled air freight network from Huntsville to Brazil

on February 27, 2015

A major air cargo carrier at Huntsville International Airport says it is expanding its controlled air freight network with a new full-freighter service to Brazil.


In addition to scheduled charter flights from Hong Kong to Huntsville, Panalpina announced Thursday it will run flights from Huntsville to São Paulo, Brazil, as a result of a renewed long-term agreement between the company and Atlas Air.


"Our customers in the U.S. have a need for fast and efficient connections to Brazil," said Lucas Kuehner, global head of Air Freight at Panalpina. "The new set up with Atlas Air, where we switched one of our wet-leased aircraft to 200 scheduled charters per year, allows us to meet this demand effectively."










Grand opening held at Business Development Center

By Matt Cole

February 27, 2015


The Marengo County Business Development Center, housed in the former National Guard Armory, held its grand opening and open house Friday.


During the event, the Marengo County Commission, the Marengo County Economic Development Authority and the Marengo County Cooperative Extension Office dedicated the building to former guardsmen who served in Linden.


When operational, the building was named Fort Hill, McManus, Boggs in honor of Lt. Col. Bracey C. Hill, Col. Edwin L. McManus and Col. Thomas H. Boggs, Jr. The entities managing the building now decided they wanted to honor those who served in the building.

"We hope to bring honor to them here by what we do," said MCEDA Director Brenda Tuck. "I hope what we're doing with this building can be replicated across the state."



[Demopolis Times]








More Than Skills: Students learn valuable lessons at Career Tech Center 

Times Staff Writer 
March 1, 2015 

Career tech is about more than learning a trade or skills for a future job. It's about learning leadership and team skills and helping others.

February was Career Technical Month, a time devoted to discussing the importance of technical skills and how they affect students' futures.


So it was fitting that in February, students with SkillsUSA at the Etowah County Career Technical School worked on a community service project for Habitat for Humanity.




[Gadsden Times]



Fitch upgrades Port Authority's docks facilities revenue bonds to 'A-'

on February 28, 2015 

Revenue bonds issued by the Alabama State Port Authority were upgraded this week by Fitch Ratings on account of strong debt repayments and recent revenue diversification. The agency announced that the rating for the Port Authority's nearly $305 million docks facilities revenue bonds would change from "BBB+" to "A-."


Last year the Port Authority reported handling a record amount of products for 2014, with steel volumes posting a 40 percent increase, and iron, steel and forest products ending with a record of 7.3 million tons, Fitch noted.


Coal makes up about half of the Port Authority's revenue, serving a small number group of customers. Birmingham-headquartered Walter Energy and Drummond Company are two of its main contract customers at the McDuffie Coal Terminal.  




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