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:


6 early-stage startups to advance to Alabama Launchpad Competition Finale
on June 29, 2015 

Six teams successfully pitched their business plans last week and will advance next month to the Alabama Launchpad Competition Finale in Birmingham.


Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, selected six early-stage startups from Huntsville, Auburn/Opelika, Mobile and the Birmingham area out of 10 teams.


 The winners of Friday's event will compete for their share of up to $250,000 on Aug. 27 at WorkPlay Theater in Birmingham.




Google's Alabama data center major boost to state's rising tech sector

By Michael Tomberlin

June 29, 2015


Talk about search engine optimization!

Google's announced $600 million data center in Jackson County may not bring the investment and jobs of an automaker or airplane assembly plant, but economic developers believe the image boost for Alabama's technology sector could be just as significant.


"Google is such a well-known world brand, having the data center in Alabama enhances our state's brand," said Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. "Much like Mercedes and Airbus, having a global project like this helps showcase our diversified economy and proves that Alabama is an excellent place to do business."


Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said Google is a company whose very name lends validity.


"There are few brands more powerful than Google's, and the company's investment in Jackson County sends the message that Alabama is primed for high-tech projects," Canfield said. "Alabama has assembled a formidable auto industry with four top global brands, and we're positioned to become a hub of aircraft production with Airbus. We want to raise Alabama's profile in the tech sector, and we think Google's stamp of approval will help us accomplish that."



Max Home adds jobs in Sulligent

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
Published: 6/26 

SULLIGENT, AL (WTVA) -- Workers at the Max Home Plant in Sulligent say it's a great place to work, but jobs have not always been this available.

"And jobs left the area, and people were leaving the area. The youngsters were leaving the area," Marshall Waller said. 

But now, Waller says many are returning thanks to Max Home which started up here back in February.

"What we were looking for is a place where we can find a workforce where people could sew and do that sewing work which we were having trouble getting in our current area," said Max Home executive Joshua Silver.





State and local leaders, businesses, meet in Anniston workforce development conference

By Patrick McCreless, Star Staff Writer

June 26, 2015


Fontella Jones arrived at Gadsden State Community College's Anniston campus Friday seeking ways to help her fellow workers at Tyco Fire Protection Products advance their careers through education.


The human resources manager left satisfied.


"I got so many business cards," Jones said with a laugh after also receiving a list of free programs her company's employees could use. "Now it's just up to me to put it together."


Jones was one of around 70 representatives from area businesses, along with state and local leaders, who attended a workforce development conference Friday at the Gadsden State Ayers Campus in Anniston.



[Anniston Star]


Fishing is big business in Alabama

By Trent Moore

June 27, 2015


Most Alabama residents are well aware that fishing is a major hobby in the south, but new economic data shows just how much of an impact those anglers have on the local economy.


Auburn University's Dr. Rusty White, who works with the extension program and also teaches courses on fisheries management, spoke at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce's monthly community luncheon about the impact of fishing on the economy, the upcoming bass hall of fame, and how a new fish could cause problems in one of the county's largest lakes.


Anglers spend anywhere between $450 million to $1 billion in Alabama each year on fishing related purchases. Statistics show as much as $3 million is spent per year at Cullman County's Smith Lake, alone. One of the big reasons? Alabama has a very large and unique wildlife climate.




[Cullman Times]


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