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:

Proposed solar farm still on scheduled, work set to begin in late December
By Tom Smith Senior Staff Writer | 
October 19, 2015

FLORENCE - Officials with the Florida-based company planning to develop a solar farm in western Lauderdale County, said the project still is on track and construction is expected to begin later this year.

"The project is moving along well, we are still on the time line we have been working on all along," said Steve Stengel, a communications official with NextEra Energy, which is based in Juno Beach, Florida.

Company officials said they are investing $150 million into the River Bend Solar Project on a 640-acre tract on Lauderdale 62 (Canaan Road), west of the Oakland community.


UAB tops list of 10 best hospitals in Alabama
Ryan PhillipsDigital Producer
Birmingham Business Journal
Oct 19, 2015

Birmingham is known as the health care hub of Alabama, and it should come as no surprise that the city's most notable hospital ranked atop the list of best hospitals in the state. recently compiled its list of the Best Hospital in Alabama, with the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital finishing in the top spot.
The report said 85 percent of patients that used UAB scored it a 9/10, and gave it a five-star rating.


HONDA IS 'DEGA BOUND: New rail hub to distribute vehicles across the nation
By ELSIE HODNETT, Home staff writer
October 17, 2015 

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is switching carriers from Norfolk Southern to CSX, creating a new multi-million-dollar rail hub in Talladega that will distribute Hondas across the nation.

"CSX serves Honda's Ohio distribution, which includes the Marysville Auto Plant and the East Liberty Auto Plant," Honda Manufacturing of Alabama spokesman Ted Pratt said. "CSX also receives traffic in interchange from the West Coast as well as from Honda's Canadian plant in Alliston, Ontario, Canada."

Pratt said the new Talladega rail operation will serve as a critical hub for the distribution of American Honda products nationwide.


[Daily Home]

Commercial Jet Restores Wiregrass Aircraft Industry
October 2015

When Pemco World Air Services Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and announced it would close its operations in Dothan, the impact was felt all across the Wiregrass region. The closure eliminated more than 250 jobs that had been a mainstay since the company set up shop in the early 1990s.

Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Parker says local officials chose to see it as an opportunity, and their attention focused on the half a million square feet of empty hangar space - a World War II-era hangar that needed improvement and upgrading but was still a big asset. 

After a year of shopping this asset and bolstering it with incentives and commitments to infrastructure improvements, Wiregrass officials and their state partner landed Commercial Jet, a Miami-based aircraft company that has reopened the facility with 350 workers and plans to fill more space.


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