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:


Dothan business to spend $15.1M to upgrade facility

by Lance Griffin

Jul 6, 2015


A Dothan business plans to make a $15.1 million addition/upgrade to its facility soon and will take advantage of tax incentives recently approved by the Alabama Legislature if the Dothan City Commission gives its expected approval on Tuesday.


Nutcracker Brands (known locally as ConAgra Dothan), a snack nut provider located on Horace Shepherd Road, qualifies for incentives under the Alabama Reinvestment and Abatement Act voted into law during the most recent legislative session.


Under the bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Lee, R-Dothan, companies that spend $2 million or more to upgrade or expand their facilities will be eligible for tax abatements for all non-educational construction-related transactions, the increased portion of non-educational property taxes that occur as a result of the project and the increased portion of utility taxes due to the project for a 10-year period.




Getting hired at Hyunda: Workers share their stories

Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser
July 7, 2015

Trinae Carter has worked at the Hyundai assembly plant for a decade.


All of that started when the Montgomery native got frustrated at her last job and quit.


"I went to the unemployment office and filled out an application on a Wednesday, and Friday (Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama) called me for an interview," Carter said. "This was my first time ever working in a production plant."




[Montgomery Advertiser]



Innovation Depot planning to launch new 'Velocity' accelerator program

Birmingham Business Journal
July 6, 2015 

As part of a multi-phased effort to build up Birmingham's entrepreneurial sector, Innovation Depot is forming a new business accelerator program for aspiring entrepreneurs.


Innovation Depot CEO Devon Laney said the Velocity program should launch some time in 2016 and will provide startups with industry-tailored advice from resident startups, or Depot Fellows.


"We're going to look at other programs like (the Entrepreneur Accelerator Program) and national programs like TechStars to find if there's a way to incorporate pieces of those programs that work and make them part of the Velocity program," Laney said. "What makes it unique is the fellowship concept, but it will be industry focused so they aren't just giving general advice."




[Birmingham Business Journal]




Southern Research lands $22M grant for HIV research

Birmingham Business Journal
Jul 7, 2015

Southern Research has secured a seven-year grant of up to $22 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for further research into a potential cure for HIV.


The funds will be used to develop and standardize assays that quantitate latent reservoirs of the disease, specifically the Quantitative Viral Outgrowth Assay. According to Southern Research, the QVOA is the best assay for characterizing the latent viral reservoir, which is an HIV-infected blood cell that's invisible to the body's immune system and not sensitive to HIV drugs.


However the QVOA is expensive to produce and therefore inaccessible for many labs. Southern Research looks to expand access to the QVOA while also working with clinical experts to develop alternate assays that could be more efficient.




Toyota road tour makes stop at Huntsville plant
By Staff
 Jul 06, 2015 

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -Toyota engineers had a chance to test-drive the vehicles they helped design and build.

The auto maker's Ever-Better Expedition tour stopped at the Huntsville plant on Monday.


 The tour stops at every company manufacturing and research facility across the country.


Toyota representatives said they are happy with the workforce they have here in the Tennessee Valley.






Former ESCC dean to head Ozark Dale County Economic Development
Ebony Davis
July 6, 2015 

Veronica Crock said an updated strategic plan with input from stakeholders interested in economic development in Dale County will be among her first actions as the new executive director of the county's economic development corporation.

Crock began serving in her new position at the Ozark Dale County Economic Development Corporation on Wednesday. She replaces David Lyons, who left the position in May.


The corporation was established in 2010.


Crock was the dean of Planning, Information Services and Institutional Effectiveness at Enterprise State Community College and the Alabama Aviation Center before accepting her new position. She said she worked with the college for 12 years. She holds multiple education-related degrees, including a Doctorate of Education from Alabama State University.




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