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:


Daphne board unveils plans for 30-acre technology park near high school

on April 14, 2015 

The Daphne City Council has begun reviewing a proposal to back a city-seeded, 30-acre technology park that would offer 461,000 square feet of high-end office space on the Eastern Shore.


The city's Industrial Development Board is spearheading the project, dubbed the Daphne Innovation and Science Complex, as the first phase of a 75-acre, master-planned development on the southwest corner of Champions Way and Alabama 181, east of Daphne High.


"The IDB has been working on this project that we feel will create an environment to facilitate construction of Class A office space, create momentum in the market and will enable Daphne to have an appealing product to market and attract companies associated with attractive, high-wage, white-collar job creation," Chairwoman Toni Fassbender told the council during a work session Monday night.






Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin counties see increases in tourism revenues

By Lisa Singleton-Rickman Staff Writer | 

April 15, 2015


Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin counties saw increases in traveler spending last year, a trend that follows statewide increases of 7.3 percent in tourism revenues.


According to a report on traveler expenditures from the Alabama Tourism Department, travelers to Colbert County last year spent $55 million, representing a 21-percent increase in spending on hotels, restaurants, shopping and transportation.


Lauderdale County travelers spent $210 million, a 6.2-percent increase.





[Times Daily]



World Trade Conference focuses on opportunities in Africa

MOBILE, Alabama - Several high-profile speakers will discuss business opportunities in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa at the World Trade Conference on April 21-22 at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort & Spa in Point Clear.


The conference, presented by the Gulf Coast Trade Alliance, focuses on strategies for entering promising African markets and includes interactive panel sessions and one-on-one counseling sessions. Cost is $225 and conference registration is open through Thursday, April 16.


Featured keynote speaker Mninwa J. Mahlangu, the South African ambassador to the U.S., will discuss the region's political climate and consumer growth. Mahlangu has represented his country in many international platforms, including the United Nations and G20 Speakers Conferences.






Career Expo is next Tuesday

Penny L. Pool

April 15, 2015


If you are looking for a job prepare your interviewing clothes and your resumes for the 8th annual Randolph County Career Expo.


It will be next Tuesday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon at the family life center of Trinity Baptist Church, 3501 U.S. Highway 431, Roanoke, across from the Bank of Wedowee Roanoke Branch. Enter through the lower level at the back of the church.


The employers coming represent manufacturing, community service organizations, staffing agencies, military and law enforcement. Thirty-one businesses have signed up so far, and usually more sign up in the last few days.


The Career Expo is open to the public. It is sponsored by The Randolph County JOBS Task Force and Randolph County Economic Development Authority.




[The Randolph Leader]


How Alabama Is Using Barbecue to Sell Itself to the World

Apr 8, 2015


In late February, the state of Alabama's tourism department made a bold declaration: 2015, it said, will be the Year of Alabama Barbecue. The campaign pushing Alabama's barbecue legacy might have sounded like a bit of a stretch: Even a barbecue neophyte might be able to point to Memphis or Texas Hill Country as iconic homes to smoked meat, but Alabama? Not so much.


Barbecue is intensely personal and democratic. Change up the meat, the cooking style, or the sauce, and you've got your own style of barbecue. But barbecue is also a paradox, taking on identities from region to region. In Texas, barbecue means brisket. In the Carolinas, it's whole hog. Memphis has wet and dry pork ribs, and Kansas City offers a little bit of everything (plus burnt ends). In these regions, the big four, the word barbecue means something at once specific and variable.


In Alabama, barbecue means something, too. Trouble is, not many people outside the state - even barbecue obsessives - know what that is. "We really don't have an identity," says restaurateur Nick Pihakis, the younger half of the father-son duo behind Alabama-based mini-chain Jim 'N Nick's. The Year of Alabama Barbecue hopes to change that by exploring the roots and regional quirks of barbecue in the state. Its multi-pronged campaign includes a barbecue trail smartphone app, academic research into barbecue's political history, and a Hall of Fame for the restaurants that have endured the test of time. The goal isn't just to market Alabama barbecue to outsiders (though of course it is primarily that). In the end, some hope the campaign will deepen the very meaning of barbecue in Alabama.







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