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:


Alabama cities look for aerospace growth at Paris Air Show

June 18, 2015 


PARIS - With Alabama emerging as the next hub of passenger jet assembly, officials from cities as different as Birmingham and Enterprise traveled to this week's Paris Air Show to position their communities for potential growth in the aerospace sector.


Steve Pelham, chief of staff to Alabama Lt. Governor Kay Ivey, remembers the arc of growth for the state's auto industry, which was essentially non-existent 20 years ago. In 2015, Alabama three automakers are poised to produce a record 1 million-plus vehicles, making the state a production powerhouse in the global industry.


"We're headed in that same direction with the aerospace industry, not only with Airbus but also with Boeing and the continued growth of Fort Rucker and the important role it plays," Pelham said. "You mix all that up, and Alabama is the place to be if you are in the aerospace business."



Why Alabama's unemployment rate increasing slightly is actually good news
By Elizabeth Beshears
June 19, 2015 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL) announced Friday morning that Alabama's unemployment rate for May ticked up slightly, after months of slight but steady decreases. A closer look at the numbers show that, in this case, the increase is actually good news for job seekers in Alabama.


Economists have long struggled with the way the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measures unemployment, arguing it doesn't always give an accurate picture of the health or strength of the economy or hiring climate.


Because BLS only counts those who are actively looking for a job, it completely leaves out would-be workers who have become "discouraged" and haven't looked for employment in the last month.




Marshall engineers 3-D print copper rocket part in NASA milestone
June 18, 2015


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - NASA engineers at Alabama's Marshall Space Flight Center have produced the first full-scale, copper rocket part using additive manufacturing - a milestone for aerospace 3-D printing.


The part is a combustion chamber liner that must operate at extreme conditions during flight. In fact, temperatures on the inside of the paper-thin copper liner wall can reach 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It's kept from melting by recirculating gases on the outside cooled to less than 100 degrees above absolute zero, the theoretical limit of cold.


"To circulate the gas, the combustion chamber liner has more than 200 intricate channels built between the inner and outer liner wall," said Chris Singer, director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Alabama hub. "Making these tiny passages with complex internal geometries challenged our additive manufacturing team."






Boeing celebrates launch of new $6M research and tech center in Huntsville 


Boeing leaders didn't cut the ribbon on their new Huntsville research and technology center Thursday with a giant pair of ceremonial scissors.


The company, joined by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle  and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, used tablets to mimic a virtual ribbon cutting instead.


Jennifer D. Hawton, a communications specialist with the company, said the simulation symbolized the new approach Boeing is taking to developing advanced technology in Alabama and across the U.S. 





Airbus exec on prelude to Mobile production start: 'vision has become reality' 

By Kelli Dugan | 
June 19, 2015 

The wait is almost over.


Three years of planning, construction and anticipation culminate Sunday with the delivery of the first major component assemblies to Airbus' A320 final assembly line at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.


"Since July 2012, Airbus and the city of Mobile have been anticipating the day when aircraft production would begin Mobile. The vision was there. With the arrival of these assemblies, and this special first convoy, we hope everyone can see that without doubt that the vision has become reality," said Ulrich Weber-vice president for the Mobile facility, said.






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