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:

Alabama among states with the biggest gains for graduation rate
Ryan Phillips Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Oct 19, 2015

Efforts to raise the graduation rate in Alabama appear to working, as recently released data by the Obama administration shows the state leading the way for gains in students with diplomas.

The data showed that the gap is being closed for traditionally underserved students, including low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities and English learners.
Alabama's graduation rate was 86.3 percent for the 2013-14 school year, up from 80 percent the previous year.


How the UAB, Southern Research collaboration AIMTech is progressing
Oct 19, 2015
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal

AIMTech, the joint project between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Southern Research to increase the commercialization potential of various research projects, is off to a fast start with many new products in the works.

But there's one that's further along than others and could prove extremely marketable, which is largely due to Birmingham's booming physical therapy industry.

AIMTech has developed a new training device called the Force-Induced Treadmill, or FIT, that helps improve the balance of those who are recovering from neurological or physical problems that affect walking patterns.


Birmingham solidifies economic partnership with Liverpool, England
Ryan Phillips Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Oct 19, 2015

The city of Birmingham and Liverpool, England, have finalized plans to be sister cities, with cultural benefits but also with an emphasis on economical partnerships.

Mark Jackson, chair of the Birmingham Sister Cities Commission, said in a statement the relationship between Birmingham and Liverpool has been driven by a business development component, which differs from other Sister City programs that are more cultural and educational in nature.
The Birmingham-Liverpool Sister City agreement will be celebrated in a reception will be held Oct. 19 featuring Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, England.The event will be held in the Brook Highland Community at 4109 Ashington Drive at 6:30 p.m


Alabama Power's innovative use of program helped land $100 million auto supplier
By Michael Tomberlin
October 19, 2015

Alabama Power's innovative approach using a 25-year-old economic development program played a critical role in Japanese auto supplier Yorozu selecting Jasper Industrial Park as the site for a $100 million plant that will create 300 jobs.

Alabama Power Economic & Community Development officials worked with the Walker County Development Authority to use its speculative building program. The 50-acre site in 400-acre Jasper Industrial Park was Yorozu's choice for the new auto parts plant that will supply multiple automakers.

"When the Jasper Industrial Development Board purchased the property for the new industrial park, the greatest need was for a prepared site," said David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority. "We approached Alabama Power because we had used its spec building program in the past and wondered if those funds could be used to prepare a site instead of building a speculative building.


Alabama's 10 highest-paying jobs for 2015
Ryan Phillips Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Oct 20, 2015

The health care scene around Alabama is booming, and several different jobs within this sector made it on the list of the top 10 highest-paying jobs in the state.

Alabama continues to show its support for improving the quality of education in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM), which is reflected by nine out of the ten highest paying jobs on the list being STEM related.

The list was compiled by, which took into account data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics pertaining to salary and employment information in Alabama.

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