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:

Bridgeport residents hope Google data center will 'make people sit up and notice Jackson County'
on August 23, 2015

Misty Flynn moved to Bridgeport, a sleepy community of about 2,700 souls on the Alabama-Tennessee state border, when she was a 12-year-old girl.

Flynn is now a cashier at Charlie B's Grill, a small Bridgeport restaurant empty of customers on a recent afternoon except for her 7-year-old daughter, who was eating an early dinner at a nearby booth.

Before Google announced it would create up to 100 new jobs with a $600 million data center there, Flynn was less optimistic about her future with the diner or in Bridgeport.


EDPA announces technology upgrades to AdvantageAlabama special website

Birmingham, AL, Aug. 24, 2015 -- The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama announces today that its special purpose website, AdvantageAlabama, is receiving technology upgrades this year that allow easier use of the site selection tool.

Launched in May 2014, AdvantageAlabama is a Geographic Information System (GIS) interactive, searchable database that unites Alabama's real property assets and intellectual property assets as power tools for economic development.

Funded by EDPA Partners, AdvantageAlabama was developed as part of EDPA's ongoing commitment to help the state of Alabama remain competitive as the right place to locate or expand a business. EDPA collaborated with the Huntsville-based AEgis Technologies to create the website.

This unique website allows EDPA to take online marketing for potential economic development projects to a cutting edge level.

Currently, about 60 local economic developers are receiving training on how to utilize the database technology upgrades. The training is occurring at sites in Montgomery, Huntsville and Birmingham.

"The technology makes it easier for end users to search properties, and local economic developers to market their properties," said Greg Knighton, a EDPA vice president.

Knighton said further layers of information are on the schedule of work this year that will allow the site to highlight, among other things, Alabama's transportation and healthcare infrastructures, the state's automotive industry and special incentive zones.

Hyundai turns to students to fill jobs
Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser
August 21, 2015

Mason Pierce started taking classes at H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College last August. At the same time, a group of eight other Trenholm students were finishing a paid summer internship program at the Hyundai assembly plant in Montgomery.

The plant extended job offers to three of those interns and has already hired one full-time.

A year later, Pierce is among the second wave of Trenholm students interning at the plant and training for a job that can pay $60,000 to $80,000 a year.


How Alabama is matching workforce needs with state education
By Marie Leech
August 21, 2015

College and career readiness is anything but the latest catchphrase to Philip Cleveland.

As the deputy state superintendent of education in the Office of Career and Technical Education/Workforce Development, his job is making sure students are "college and career ready" when they graduate.

For more than a decade, the federal No Child Left Behind law crippled school districts when it came to preparing them for life outside of high school, educators say. It focused on making sure students were reading and doing math at grade level, at the expense of making sure they were prepared for college or careers.


What's on the schedule for the upcoming Innovation Week Birmingham?
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
August 21, 2014

The second-annual Innovation Week Birmingham is a little more than a week away and the event could attract even more attention than it did last year.

Here's a rundown of the events, locations and times currently scheduled for the week, but even more events could be added in the days to come.

Monday, Aug. 31

Innovation Depot at 10:00 a.m. Ribbon cutting ceremony with the founding partners of Innovation Depot



Birmingham festival helps show the world Alabama's indie film scene
By Daniel Gaddy, Assistant Metro Editor,

When Huntsville director Ben Stark finished the final cut of his movie "Dead Saturday," in March, there was no question which film festival he would go for first.

He and producer Jeremy Burgess submitted the work - a nine-minute thriller starring Eric Roberts - as early as possible to Birmingham's Sidewalk Film Festival, now in its 17th year.

They knew it would be a long shot; event organizers received about 1,300 submissions for Sidewalk17. But, Stark said, "We just wanted to be part of that community."



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