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:


Obama in Birmingham 2015: Watch his speech live this afternoon

on March 26, 2015 


It is not every day that a presidential motorcade passes through town and meanders down a winding road in southwest Birmingham.


Today is that day.


President Barack Obama this afternoon will be in Birmingham to deliver an address at Lawson State Community College. Obama's appearance will include both a roundtable discussion and speech on the economy beginning at 2:35 p.m.






Jackson County works to grow existing industry, draw in businesses 

By Laura Christmas

on March 25, 2015


JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Jackson County economic development officials are working to draw industry to the area, and grow existing companies.


Jackson County officials say existing industry is the backbone of the area. "We do work to recruit new industry, but our existing industry provides us with 70 to 80 percent of our new jobs every year," Jackson County Economic Development Authority Vice President Shelia Shepard says.


Shepard says with that in mind the EDA is actively working to help those industries grow. "We do offer quite a few services to our existing industry," Shepard says, "We will work with them on their expansions, we can offer them many of the same incentives that a new that a new company gets when they come to the area."






Birmingham metro area growth continues at slow but steady pace

By Connor Sheets

on March 26, 2015 


The population of the Birmingham-Hoover metro area increased by about 4,100 people to more than 1.14 million residents between 2013 and 2014, a growth rate of just 0.4 percent on the year, according to new U.S. Census data released Thursday. The rate is in keeping with the slow but steady 1.4 percent growth the area has experience overall since 2010, when the population was less than 1.13 million.


more ...




UNA partners with Muscle Shoals, Athens State to teach teachers

By Jennifer Edwards 

on March 26, 2015


More teachers will be filling seats in classrooms this fall.


The University of North Alabama has partnered with Muscle Shoals City Schools and Athens State University to offer graduate-level degree programs to current teachers at a reduced rate.


The UNA College of Education and Human Sciences created four-year partnerships with the other two public education entities to allow groups of teachers to earn master's or specialist level degrees at UNA for $700 per three-hour course. The regular rate for a three credit hour graduate course is $861 plus fees. 







Huntsville fastest growing large metro in Alabama, added 23,500 people since 2010

By Challen Stephens 

on March 26, 2016


Huntsville passed Mobile in the 2010 Census to become the second largest metro area in Alabama, and the area continues to grow rapidly.


The Huntsville metro area, which includes Madison and Limestone counties, reached 441,000 people as of 2014. That's up 5.6 percent or about 23,500 people since the 2010 Census.







Aerospace engineer turns 1830s Alabama log cabin into mixed media art studio 


By The Associate Press

March 26, 2015


Nestled at the foot of Brindlee Mountain, surrounded by trees, is a recently restored 1830s log cabin.


Inside the cabin, bathed in natural light, Leslie Wood creates her fantasy-inspired, mixed media art.


"It has a feel about it I never would've imagined," Wood said. "It's a wonderful place to make art. I'm inspired more to be down there. I spend every free day I have out there."


Wood is an aerospace engineer and subcontractor for NASA. She also is an artist. Wood and her husband bought their home beside the cabin in 2002. Last July, they began restoring the cabin, which now is Wood's art studio. They finished the renovations last week.






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