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:

Airbus already producing planes in advance of Alabama grand opening
By Kelli M. Dugan
September 8, 2015

With a new on-site chief and grand opening ceremonies set, Airbus' U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile is ready for takeoff, concluding three years of planning, construction and community buy-in.

Airbus Americas spokeswoman Kristi Tucker confirmed two A321 aircraft are already in production "as we build up to inaugural ceremonies" for the Toulouse, France-based planemaker's first final assembly line on U.S. soil on Sept. 14.

The first of the Mobile-assembled, narrow-body planes is slated for delivery to Jet Blue in the second quarter of 2016, while American Airlines will accept delivery of the second A321 at a later date, Tucker said.


Alabama trade mission to South Africa targets business opportunities

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield will lead a trade and business development mission to South Africa and Tanzania this month that will permit Alabama businesses to explore partnership and export opportunities in a fast-growing region.

Representatives from six Alabama companies will join Secretary Canfield and international trade specialists from around the state on the 10-day mission that officially kicks off in Johannesburg on Sept. 14.

While in South Africa's largest city, the Alabama delegation will participate in "Trade Winds Africa," a conference organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce that highlights business opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Delegation members also will participate in pre-arranged consultations with senior U.S. diplomats representing commercial markets from as many as 19 African nations.


The Unlikely Cities That Will Power the U.S. Economy
September 3, 2015

A decade ago, Richard Myers was the director of the Department of Genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he enjoyed the fruits of a rich endowment and his pick of faculty members and graduate students. So he left behind some befuddled scientists when, in 2008, he left Palo Alto, Calif., for Huntsville, Ala., to launch an independent research lab, the HudsonAlpha Institute.

"'My God, you're leaving Stanford for Alabama?'" Myers recalls colleagues asking. "'What's wrong with you?'"

Huntsville may not seem like an obvious place to base a center for genomics, a branch of biology concerned with DNA sequences that requires expensive hardware and even greater investment in human capital. Alabama ranks in the bottom 10 U.S. states for educational attainment and median income.


Shelton State to host Homegrown Entrepreneurs Conference
Staff report
September 7, 2015 

The third annual Homegrown Entrepreneurs Conference will be Sept. 25 at Shelton State Community College, 9500 Old Greensboro Road.

The conference is sponsored by the Alabama Black Belt Commission's Small Business Development Committee and the University of West Alabama's Small Business Development Center.

Keynote speakers will be Lucy Farmer and Martha Hawkins.
Farmer owns Lucy's Inspired, which reclaims antique architectural hardware to create jewelry.


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