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:


Honda kicks off mass production of redesigned, Alabama-made Pilot SUV

on May 21, 2015 

LINCOLN, Alabama - Honda's Talladega County plant today is celebrating the start of mass production for the 2016 Pilot SUV, a redesigned model that will figure prominently into the Japanese automaker's light truck growth strategy.


"We couldn't be more excited and more confident in the capabilities of this vehicle," said John Mendel, executive vice president for American Honda Motor Co.


Mendel, speaking Wednesday during a conference call with reporters, said Honda's Alabama workers are seasoned truck builders.









Auburn University cuts the ribbon on new RFID laboratory

Patrick Johnston | Opelika-Auburn News | 

 May 20, 2015 


It started with a single project and then a basement laboratory.


From modest beginnings, Auburn University launched into the forefront of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Major companies such as Amazon, Target, Avery Dennison and VF Corporation now sponsor RFID research at AU.


On Wednesday, business officials from some of America's top companies joined Auburn students, faculty and staff to cut the ribbon on the university's new RFID lab. The 13,000-square-foot lab is located on East Glenn Avenue, in the former Bruno's grocery store.




[Opelika-Auburn News]





Hyundai has been good for Montgomery, state
May 20, 2015

The powerful transformative effect the $1.7 billion Hyundai plant has had on the Montgomery area can't be overstated.


Celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has impacted the region's economy, education systems and its social and cultural life in beneficial ways and is only poised to grow that imprint.


As the Advertiser's Brad Harper reported on Sunday, the plant has built nearly 3 million cars, setting production records for the popular Sonata and Elantra models and expanding its workforce to more than 3,000 with three round-the-clock shifts.

That's been a positive for the area's labor force, helping particularly during the harshest years of the Great Recession.



What Birmingham is doing right to spur startup success

Birmingham Business Journal
May 21, 2015

The relatively low cost of living, community support and the resurgence of downtown Birmingham are some of the greatest assets Birmingham has when it comes to fostering startup success.


That comes from 20 local entrepreneurs that we surveyed on what the Magic City is doing right, what it's doing wrong and how it can improve as the city's startup scene continues to take shape.


More details of that survey will be made available in this week's print edition, but a sample of the candid responses shows that Birmingham offers a unique location for new companies to begin growing.



[Birmingham Business Journal]



                              Guin area gains major motel 



 The Holiday Inn Guin/Marion County and Grille 22, located at 5750 Alabama Highway 44, Guin, right off Interstate 22 at Exit 26, opened on April 28.


  Opening day was met with much excitement as they hosted a Service Awards Banquet for 3M.  In addition to the Service Awards Banquet, opening week was filled with class reunions, including a 155 person reunion for the Ada Hanna School. 


The Holiday Inn Guin/Marion County is owned by Lodging America at Guin, under the direction of Sunny Sethi.  Mr. Sethi is the son of Dr. S.L. Sethi, the founder of Jackie's International.  The management staff includes:  General Manager Mr. Lauren Rhea, Director of Sales Tammy Brashier, Food/Beverage Manager Karen Cockrell, Front Desk Manager April Sizemore and Executive Housekeeper Samantha Gann.  The Holiday Inn Guin/Marion County employees an additional 40 support staff personnel. 


The Holiday Inn Guin/Marion County is what is termed a full service hotel; a $9.5 million investment, complete with restaurant, lounge, pool, fitness center and meeting/banquet area.  After a long day of traveling or business, you can sit down for a nice meal or have it delivered to your room, enjoy a cool drink, unwind by the pool, and/or keep up with your workout schedule via the fitness room.  The meeting/banquet room is two rooms that have a combined size of 2100 sq ft and is available to rent for special events.


 "This is an excellent, central location for many businesses to hold conferences and meetings," said Director of Sales, Tammy Brashier.  



For more information, please call 205-468-4625.


A date for a ribbon cutting ceremony will be released at a later date.


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