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:

Survey: Birmingham ranks as the top city for millennial entrepreneurs
Birmingham Business Journal
Sept. 30, 2015

Attracting young professionals to Birmingham has been a goal of business and city leaders for some time, and the efforts appear to be paying off.

A recent survey by Thumbtack ranked Birmingham in first place for its list of theTop 10 Cities for Millennial Entrepreneurs.
Birmingham has been a hotbed for startups in recent years, as business incubators like Innovation Depot work to cultivate the ideas of the city's aspiring entrepreneurs.


Alabama Innovation Fund awards $4.5 million for promising research

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - The Alabama Innovation Fund has awarded nearly $4.5 million to advance research being conducted at universities and other institutions, providing key support for programs that could generate new ventures and create jobs across the state.

This year, the Alabama Innovation Fund is funding 14 projects at six different universities and two research-focused organizations, with the maximum award reaching $500,000. The projects being supported focus on fields ranging from automotive metallurgy to aquaculture and exercise science.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical to Alabama's long-term economic development plan, and I am proud that the Alabama Innovation Fund supports research at universities across the state," Governor Robert Bentley said.  "These grants are highlighting some of the state's best and brightest researchers from various industry sectors. Each grant represents the potential for new jobs as well as other economic opportunities for the state."


Macon County gets $2.1 million job development boost
Lindy Oller | Opelika-Auburn News 
September 30, 2015

Reducing the unemployment rate in Macon County is the goal of a $2.1 million project that will provide opportunities for residents to train for jobs in the automotive sector.

Sam Munnerlyn, President of Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery, said the college has worked with Macon County officials in the past, and Trenholm officials wanted to make a difference there.

"We've been doing a lot of work in Macon County already with the Macon County School System and (Superintendent) Dr. (Jacqueline) Brooks, so we're very familiar with it," Munnerlyn said. "As an extension of this, we decided to get involved in writing a grant to try and help bring some jobs to Macon County."


AIDT's Alabama Workforce Training Center up and running in Birmingham
By Michael Tomberlin
September 30, 2015

It's taken four decades, but Birmingham now has its own permanent Alabama Workforce Training Center (AWTC) and it's unlike any in the state.

AIDT held an open house earlier this month, declaring the 56,000-square-foot former warehouse at 3500 Sixth Ave. S. open, although it is already training workers for construction, manufacturing and other industries.

Ed Castile, director of AIDT, the state's leading workforce training agency, said although it has been a long time coming, the Birmingham AWTC is a welcome addition to the 11 other AIDT training sites around the state.


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