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:


Hyundai announces record July sales

Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser

August 3, 2015

Hyundai on Monday reported a record July sales month in North America, in part because of a 12 percent jump in sales for the Montgomery-made Sonata.


The company's total sales were up 6 percent over July 2014.


Hyundai Motor America also credited its crossover vehicles for the sales gains.




[Montgomery Advertiser]


Study: Birmingham among best for withstanding inflation

Ty West Managing Editor Birmingham Business Journal
Aug 4, 2015

Birmingham might not have rebounded from the recession with the same fervor as Austin or Nashville, but it does have one big metric in its favor: inflation resistance.

A new study by SmartAsset looked at which metros have withstood inflation the best over the past decade, and Birmingham ranked near the top.


With a 16 percent increase in purchasing power and a 0.6 percent increase in cost of living, Birmingham ranked first in Alabama for inflation resistance. It ranked 103rd nationally.




[Birmingham Business Journal]


Auburn University formalizes collaboration agreement with Korean automotive industry

Special to the News

August 4, 2015 


Auburn University President Jay Gogue has signed a memorandum of understanding with Youngsoo Lee, president of The Korea Institute of Technology, or KITECH, to formalize the joint research efforts of Auburn's faculty and labs with local companies supported by KITECH.


KITECH recently documented collaboration in research and technology development with Auburn University to support the Korean automotive industry. Established in 1989, KITECH is a government funded research and development institute headquartered in Cheonan, South Korea, with several research centers in Korea as well as international cooperation centers in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Germany and Santa Clara, Calif.


"This signing creates a portal for Auburn University that facilitates our collaboration with the local automotive industry, the parent companies in Korea and the Korean government," said Andy Gillespie, Auburn University assistant provost for international programs. "Our King Sejong Institute, in partnership with Keimyung University, is our cultural bridge to Alabama's Korean and American communities, and our new relationship with KITECH will become our technical bridge, building on recent efforts by a number of Auburn's colleges and offices."




[Opelika-Auburn News]




Financial incentive agreements that will help one local company as it grows and assist another as it works to bring its business to the area were approved by the Alexander City City Council Monday night.


The council voted 6-0 to approve a resolution authorizing Mayor Charles Shaw to enter into a project development agreement between the city, Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance and SL Alabama that will offer assistance as the company works to develop a new parking area.


The company, which is an automobile parts manufacturer that makes headlights and assemblies among other items, is adding employees regularly and currently people are parked on grass and dirt areas at peak times.


"By the end of the year SL Alabama will have 932 employees and 155 will be managerial positions," LMAEDA Director Don McClellan said. "They've made a tremendous investment in our community and this will help them tremendously with some space that they badly need."





SPARK pitch competition at BizTech targets Huntsville entrepreneurs
on August 03, 2015 

SPARK, a new series of events at BizTech, will target local entrepreneurs this month in Huntsville.


Each week in August, participants will have an opportunity to present three-minute pitches in specific industry areas, such as energy, cyber, medical and geospatial. Lance Gilbreath, director of community engagement at BizTech, said judges, mentors and venture capitalists will be present during each SPARK event.


"Each week, there will be two chances for you to pitch your business idea before experts in each of the target areas," he said. "Each event a winner will be declared by the panel of judges.



Who are Jefferson County's major employers? Check out listing of nearly two dozen
on August 04, 2015 

It's no surprise that UAB employs more than any other company or business in the Birmingham metropolitan area, but their relative importance to the region's jobs numbers might be startling.


The University of Alabama at Birmingham employed 23,000 workers, according to a 2014 Birmingham Business Alliance report. That's more than the next three businesses combined.


Companies not located in the metropolitan Birmingham area were not on the 2014 list as in previous years. Those included Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC with 4,500 employees and Mercedes Benz U.S. International with a workforce of 3,500.



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