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:

Lockheed Martin to add 100 new jobs in Huntsville by 2016
on August 11, 2015 

Lockheed Martin is bringing 100 high-paying jobs to Huntsville as it works to consolidate its Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) program by mid-2016.

The global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company said it will consolidate the C2BMC program, which has a presence in Huntsville, Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Baltimore/Washington metro.

Rob Smith, vice president of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), said Lockheed is exiting the Baltimore/Washington area. Consolidating in Huntsville and Colorado Springs will result in significant cost savings from a facilities perspective, he added.


2015 Alabama Innovation Awards winners announced
By Keisa Sharpe
August 11, 2015

They're being recognized as some of Alabama's top innovators. Winners of the 2015 Alabama Innovation Awards have been announced by Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, or EDPA.

Sept. 2, a special luncheon ceremony will be held at the BJCC East Ballroom A from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. for this year's honorees. The event recognizes the important contributions entrepreneurs, startups and innovators make to Alabama's economy and new job growth. In order to win this award, the honorees had to exemplify innovation in the areas of job creation or solving a local or global need.

"We were impressed by the credentials of this year's nominations across all categories," said Angela Wier, vice president of EDPA. "The innovators exemplify outstanding achievement, and we're looking forward to showcasing the winners and their accomplishments at this year's Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference.   The awards are not just a celebration for accomplishment, but they also help EDPA discover companies that contribute to the diversification of the economy and the creation of high-wage careers for Alabamians."


PNC economist: Manufacturing gains lead Mobile's tempered recovery
on August 11, 2015 

Manufacturing gains, cheap gasoline and modest housing progress set a promising - if guarded - tone for Mobile's economy through the close of 2015 and beyond, according to the most recent market outlook released by Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services.

"Mobile is one of the few areas that has more manufacturing jobs now than before the recession. Production jobs were 15 percent higher in mid-2015 than their previous peak in 2008," PNC Assistant Vice President Mekael Teshome, an economist for the southeastern region, wrote in the third-quarter 2015 forecast for Mobile County.

Teshome pointed primarily to the uptick in activity associated with Airbus' A320 final assembly line preparing to enter production at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.


Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $4.9 Million in Investments for Rural Alabama Businesses and Community Infrastructure Projects
WHITE HALL, Ala., Aug. 12, 2015 - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Alabama today to announce $4.9 million in new funding for projects that will protect public safety and health, improve water and wastewater infrastructure and create expanded economic opportunities in rural Alabama.

"The investments that USDA is announcing in Alabama today are vital to protect public health and safety and improve the economic well-being of the state's rural residents," Vilsack said. "USDA is proud to work with Alabama's state and local leaders to make these projects a reality."

While in the state, Vilsack will visit projects that have previously received USDA Rural Development funds. He will participate in the project launch for a wastewater treatment facility in White Hall. USDA contributed a $1,024,000 grant and a $112,000 loan toward the project.


Austal delivers Mobile-built future USS Jackson to U.S. Navy
on August 12, 2015 
Austal USA delivered Tuesday to the U.S. Navy the future USS Jackson, its first littoral combat ship as prime contractor on a 10-ship, $3.5 billion block-buy contract.

"I can't express enough how proud I am to be part of this team of amazing men and women who made this accomplishment possible through their hard work and dedication. This truly is an extraordinary ship built by extraordinary people," Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said during a ceremony held aboard the Mobile-built LCS 6 to celebrate the milestone.

To date, LCS 6 is the third littoral combat ship built at the Australian shipbuilder's Mobile shipyard, with the USS Independence andUSS Coronado already in service.


Investment Leverages BizTech Reboot
August 2015

When Larry and Kim Lewis' company was new, they met with the owners of the BizTech incubator building in Huntsville to see about opening their office there. However, their IT service company, Project XYZ, didn't meet the requirements of the high-tech incubator, so they moved on to another location. 

Fast forward 13 years: Now Project XYZ has become an award-winning company providing solutions in information technology, as well as engineering, logistics and alternative energy, and the Lewises now own the 20,800-square-foot building where they were once turned away. After purchasing the building in November, 2014, the Lewises have changed its name to The Entrepreneurial Center (TEC). While TEC still houses BizTech, Huntsville's longtime high-tech incubator, it's also opening its doors to a broader range of new technology companies and finding its place at the center of the Rocket City's burgeoning startup community.

"BizTech has been here 25 years and has played an important role in building Huntsville's economy, but it hasn't brought in a new client in the past three years," says Bob Ludwig, interim CEO and president of BizTech. "For the past few years, BizTech has struggled to figure out where it fits in the new startup world." 


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