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:

REHAU officially opens Alabama technical center in Cullman 
Sept 2, 2015

Auto parts manufacturer REHAU on Wednesday officially opened its first North American technical center at the company's manufacturing facility in Cullman.

The new 12,000-square-foot facility will serve as an American-based site to handle research and development functions that had been conducted primarily in Germany, according to a release from the Alabama Department of Commerce.

REHAU is based in Switzerland and has continued to grow its presence in Alabama since opening its first plant in Cullman in the 1990s, followed by the opening of a second 20,000 square foot plant in 2007.


Alabama Power among top utilities for economic development
Ty West, Managing editor Birmingham Business Journal
Sept 2, 2015

Alabama Power Co. earned honorable mention in Site Selection magazine's latest list of the nation's top utilities for economic development.

The annual list highlights utilities that play key roles in economic development projects, including their job-creating infrastructure, facility investment trends and innovative programs and incentives for businesses.


Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum unveils plans for major expansion
Dawn Kent Azok | 
Sept 2, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has launched a major expansion, a project that will help the facility maintain its role as the global benchmark for motorcycle collections.

The 144,000-square-foot museum, which opened in 2003 at Barber Motorsports Park, will grow by an additional 85,000 square feet. All five stories will be expanded, and a glass atrium is a key feature of the new space.

Last year, Guinness World Records named the museum as the world's largest collection of vintage and contemporary motorcycles, with 1,398 unique exhibits.


Alabama one of nation's best for small biz hiring
Michael Seale, Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Sept 1, 2015

Alabama is one of the fastest growing states for small business hiring, according to a new study by Intuit.

The state was a leader in August for the Intuit Small Business Employment Index, which measures employment for firms with fewer than 20 employees.

Overall, the number of jobs with small businesses dropped about 5,000 across the country. But Alabama was one of only a handful of states that saw its small business employment increase over the last month. Alabama's SBEI was measured at 95.8, and a review of the entire year shows that the state has shown an increase each month of 2015.


Alan Alexander, Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Sept 2, 2015

Oxford Pharmaceuticals has broken ground on its new $29 million, 120,000-square-foot building off Lakeshore Parkway. 

The company announced it was establishing its first North American presence by expanding to Birmingham last fall in a deal that many Birmingham leaders said was a big win for the city's growing pharma and biotech industries.

The new plant will create 200 jobs, mostly high-skilled positions such as technicians, chemists and research and development managers over the next 10 years. It is expected to employ 61 when it opens in 2016 on 24 acres in Jefferson Metropolitan Park at Lakeshore.


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