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:

Bunge announces expansion of Decatur plant
By Leah Cayson Staff Writer | 
August 20, 2015

Bunge North America today announced an $11.32 million expansion of its Market Street Northeast plant that will create 14 new jobs.

The Industrial Development Board this morning approved the company's request for a 10-year abatement of Decatur, state and Morgan County property taxes of $34,000 per year. It also approved an abatement of sales and use taxes during construction of an estimated $368,000.

The average wage of the new employees, who will be hired by 2017, will be $53,883 per employee, Bunge officials said. Bunge currently has 187 employees at its Decatur plant.


Alabama's July Unemployment Rate is 6.2%
MONTGOMERY - Governor Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama's preliminary, seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate is 6.2%.

"We continue to show strong yearly growth in our jobs numbers as reported by Alabama employers," Governor Bentley said. "Employment is up by more than 30,000, and is at its highest point for the same time period since 2008.  This is a strong indicator that employers are continuing to hire, and we are getting closer and closer to the two million mark - numbers that reflect pre-recession employment in Alabama."

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 30,700 to 1,945,600, with gains in the education and health services sector (+10,400), the professional and business services sector (+5,600), the leisure and hospitality sector (+5,400), and the construction sector (+3,800), among others. The last time wage and salary employment was equal to or greater than 1,945,600 was in July 2008, when it was 1,989,000.


Huntsville small business wins $100K Army contract
on August 20, 2015 

A Huntsville defense contracting small business was recently awarded a $100,000 Army contract to further develop technologies to enable screen size-independent software.

Simulation Technologies Inc. received the Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract for a six-month project that will fund research for the execution of software logic regardless of screen size, the company announced.

The software will allow warfighters to maintain situational awareness as they transition between mounted and unmounted tactical environments.


Selma Snags Sixty
 Hanil E-Hwa brings 60 new jobs and $10 million investment with expansion
Selma Sun
August 13, 2015

 Selma's winning ways continue with the automotive industry, as Hanil E-Hwa Interior Systems Alabama will soon expand, fueled by a ten million dollar investment in its plant at the Craig Field Industrial Park. The expansion will bring 60 new jobs to Dallas County.

The investment and new jobs mark a continued commitment to expansion by Hanil, which primarily manufactures automobile interior products for the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Hope Hull, Alabama.

 During its 10 years in Selma, Hanil E-Hwa has enjoyed great success, earning a Hyundai-Kia 5-Star Award for product quality and earning an international reputation for excellence.

 With the 60 new jobs, the growing automotive industry in Dallas County will employ over 1,000 workers. Honda Lock America employs 450, followed by the projected 435 at Hanil E-Hwa and 126 at Lear Selma (formerly Renosol Seating).

The Selma & Dallas County Economic Development Authority (EDA) prepared and presented Hanil's application for state statutory tax abatements to the Dallas County Commission. Led by Probate Judge Kim Ballard, the Commission approved the application.

Accordingly, Hanil E-Hwa is undertaking a capital investment of approximately ten million dollars to increase the capacity of its Craig Field plant.The expansion and investment are expected to produce 60 new jobs for Dallas County.

"That's one more win for the people of Dallas County," EDA Vice Chairman Andy Stewart explained. "We appreciate their commitment to Dallas County, and we're excited about the immediate growth and our partnership for future success.

 Retention and expansion of existing industries is extremely important. This is one more example of how growth of existing industries contributes to the Selma and Dallas County economy."

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