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:

October 22, 2015

Living in Alabama, you grow accustomed to seeing news reports, commentary, blogs, tweets and other communications about how the state is tops for automotive manufacturing, agriculture and a burgeoning aerospace industry.

Say "tech" and most think Silicon Valley, Austin or Boulder, not necessarily Alabama.

Alabama is working to change that.  The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama is at the forefront for developing a non-manufacturing strategy to further diversify the state's economy. The growth and investment in automotive, aerospace and other industries are critical to Alabama, but the assets within those industries and throughout the state present other opportunities.  One of those opportunities is Information Technology, specifically focused on software publishers and computer systems design.


Georgia-Pacific to invest $110M in upgrades to Monroe County mill
Ryan PhillipsDigital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Oct 21, 2015

Georgia-Pacific on Wednesday announced plans for $110 million in upgrades to its Alabama River Cellulose (ARC) mill in Monroe County.

The investments include replacing one of the mill's two existing wood yards that process incoming logs, upgrading the other wood yard and another major upgrade to one of the mill's pulp-producing machines, the company said in a release.

Jim Hannan, CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific, along with Gov. Robert Bentley, made the announcement on Wednesday at the mill to an audience of employees, local and state leaders, key stakeholders and media.


North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund achieves CDFI certification to help more businesses grow
on October 21, 2015

The North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund (NARLF) is now the only small business fund of its kind in the state now certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institution.

A ribbon cutting was held in June 2015 for Just 4 the Kids Daycare, a recipient of the North Alabama Revolving Loan Fund in Huntsville. (Courtesy)
The NARLF, a subsidiary of Huntsville-based nonprofit organization Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. (NCI), recently received CDFI certification and a $106,150 Technical Assistance award.

NCI's mission is to "strengthen neighborhoods through the provision of affordable housing and fostering of economic opportunities." The group does this by providing microloans to north Alabama small businesses with more flexibility than most regulated financial institutions.


Jobs fair attracts more than 200 people in Perry County
By Bryan Henry
Oct 21, 2015 

PERRY CO., AL (WSFA) -Donna Andrews was the first in line and the first to sign in at the jobs fair at Marion High School in Perry County.
Andrews already has a job in nearby Tuscaloosa County, 50 miles away.
"That's a lot of going so far everyday," Andrews said.
Andrews was one of around 200 or so who visited prospective employers looking for work.


County, Clanton to purchase land for industrial park
By Staff Reports
October 13, 2015

County and city of Clanton officials have voted to jointly purchase about 520 acres of land for an industrial park.

The total purchase of the land would be $2,728,000 with the county and city each paying $1,364,000.

The Clanton City Council voted unanimously in favor of the purchase during a regular meeting Monday, while the Chilton County Commission unanimously voted during a special called meeting Tuesday morning.


Alabama Lean Six Sigma Conference Scheduled for Nov 5-6
The Alabama Lean Six Sigma Conference  scheduled for Nov 5-6, at ADTRAN, Cummings Research Park, Huntsville, will include keynote speakers, industry tours, and networking for continuous improvement, lean, and quality professionals.   A  variety of case study presentations and pre-conference sessions round out the schedule.
Connect with a community of Leaders, Executives, and Practitioners from Aerospace/Defense, Automotive Manufacturing, and Healthcare during the one and half day conference. 
Members of AAIA and AAMA receive a special rate. Early Bird registration closes Friday.  To review event schedule and register, please click here

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