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:




Construction employment rises 10 percent in Birmingham over last year
Bryan Davis Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
April 2, 2015

Construction employment in Birmingham rose 10 percent over the last 12 months.

According to new data from the Associated General Contractors of America, the Magic City added 2,300 new construction jobs from February 2014 to last month.


The total rose from 23,800 in 2014 to 26,100 this year.




[Birmingham Business Journal]



Alabama Workforce Council issues report, launches website

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - A new era of collaboration between Alabama business leaders and education officials anchors a series of innovative initiatives that take aim at transforming workforce development efforts and improving educational outcomes in the state.


These proposals are detailed in a report prepared by the Alabama Workforce Council, which is now being made available to the public. The AWC, a blue-ribbon panel of business executives, educators and lawmakers, recently presented its 64-page report to Governor Robert Bentley.


The recommendations in the report include:









Hyundai breaks sales record

Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser

April 1, 2015

Hyundai announced Wednesday that it broke its all-time monthly sales record in March, even as the pace of sales growth slowed across much of the industry.


American sales topped 75,000 vehicles last month, up 12 percent year over year, Hyundai said. The Elantra sedan led the way with record sales of nearly 29,000.


The Montgomery assembly plant makes the Elantra and the No. 2-selling Sonata, which racked up 18,340 sales in March. The plant rolled out 32,300 vehicles in February to help meet demand for the two cars and put in extra Saturday shifts to keep the line moving.




[Montgomery Advertiser]





Verizon Wireless hiring 200 full-time workers for Huntsville call center
on April 01, 2015 

Less than a year after announcing it would fill 300 new jobs at its Huntsville call center, Verizon Wireless said it is looking to hire an additional 200 full-time workers in the Rocket City.


The customer service and tech support positions are needed to bolster Verizon's rapid growth, according to spokeswoman Kate Jay. The $44 million call center, which is located at 475 Quality Circle in Thornton Research Park, is Verizon's state headquarters.


"The new positions offer competitive salaries and benefits, including health care coverage that begins on the first day of employment, and participation in the company's 401(k) program with a dollar-for-dollar match of up to 6 percent of an employee's salary contribution," Jay told



Navy funds two more Austal USA-built littoral combat ships; Sen. Sessions to visit shipyard Wednesday

on April 01, 2015 

Austal USA was awarded close to $700 million to build two more littoral combat ships, the company announced Wednesday. The vessels funded complete the 10-ship block buy the firm was awarded by the U.S. Navy five years ago.  


The Navy also provided an option for an 11th ship that could be funded in fiscal year 2016, officials said. Austal is currently one of two shipyards building the littoral combat ship for the Navy.


Lockheed Martin and shipbuilder Marinette Marine are partnered to construct and outfit the steel-hulled Freedom-class ships, while Austal, acting as the prime contractor, builds the aluminum Independence-class ships along with General Dynamics Mission Systems.





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