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 ranked among top states for business climate
Ryan Phillips Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Nov 2, 2015

Alabama has proven attractive to businesses for its low cost of living - but that isn't all that has executives taking notice.

Site Selection magazine recently unveiled its rankings of the best states for business climate and Alabama ranked 14th overall, primarily due to the appeal of the state to those in c-suites.

Alabama ranked ninth overall in the executive survey category, which compiled executive's opinions of the state based on their business experiences. The survey was the highest categorical ranking the state received.


Auto industry drives state forward
Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser
November 1, 2015

Montgomery has built more than 3 million cars in the past decade. It has also built a new economy, one that's fueled by the suddenly resurgent auto industry.

Alabama's Capital City has long relied on state and military jobs, but everything started changing in 2002 when Hyundai announced it would open its first America production plant here. The $1.7 billion Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama assembly plant makes the company's two most popular vehicles in North America.

A web of auto suppliers spread throughout region over the next decade, feeding parts to the plant as part of its "just-in-time" assembly line model. More than 3,000 people now work at HMMA, building Elantra and Sonata sedans around the clock each weekday. The local supplier network employs even more than the plant itself and regularly add jobs as demand for the cars continue to grow.


UA, UAB to participate in national $5M big data project
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Nov 2, 2015

The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are among universities from around the country tasked with creating regional hubs for big data and science innovation.

The National Science Foundation awarded $5 million in funding for universities to establish big data hubs in the North, South, East and West. UA and UAB, along with Georgia Tech and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are working in the South region.
The South region will focus on using big data in the following areas:


Four things to know about Alabama's September home sales
By Bryan Davis
November 3, 2015

The August national existing home sales report came up short of industry expectations, but year-over-year, Alabama's home sales improved during the month.

The recently-released National Association of Realtors September home sales report painted a much brighter picture for the industry.

Alabama, like the previous month, had positive gains, year-over-year, in most of the major indicators.


Montgomery steps up its economic game 
Chamber announces three key upgrades to Montgomery Industrial Park, making it one of the top sites for business and industry in the Southeast
November 3, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Today the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce joined AT&T, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and elected leaders to announce significant upgrades to Montgomery Industrial Park that will bolster economic development efforts. Owned by Montgomery County and marketed by the Montgomery Chamber, the Park has received an AT&T Fiber Ready designation as well as EDPA's AdvantageSite designation, making it the first industrial park in Alabama to earn both designations. Additionally, Industrial Partners, LLC plans to construct a 160,000-square-foot speculative building on the property.
Achievements such as these are the result of public and private partnerships and the collaborative efforts of Montgomery County, the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery Chamber.
"The County works diligently to bring new industry and job opportunities to our community," said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. "The fact that Montgomery Industrial Park has received these superior designations shows that our hard work is paying off, and more importantly, these kinds of achievements contribute to enhancing our residents' quality of life."
The AT&T Fiber Ready designation helps economic development leaders more effectively position their communities for site selection by emphasizing the availability of high-speed, fiber-based services.
"AT&T is investing in high-speed Internet in urban and rural areas all across Alabama using the latest wired and wireless technologies, and we are proud to highlight the Montgomery Industrial Park as one of many places in Alabama where AT&T's fiber infrastructure is in place and ready to help community leaders drive job creation," said Fred McCallum, president of AT&T Alabama.
To receive EDPA's AdvantageSite designation, community development organizations must provide documentation certifying that a proposed industrial site meets a specific set of standards that make it ready for industrial projects. As an AdvantageSite, Montgomery Industrial Park will be featured on EDPA's buildings and sites database that is used by site selection consultants, state economic developers and companies looking to expand into Alabama.
Montgomery-based commercial/industrial real estate services firm Industrial Partners, LLC has agreed to construct a 160,000-square-foot speculative building that will be expandable to 320,000 square feet at Montgomery Industrial Park. Once complete, the facility will be marketed to companies looking to potentially locate in the Montgomery area. The new building combined with AT&T Fiber Ready and AdvantageSite designations will make Montgomery Industrial Park one of the premier industrial parks in Alabama.
"The great news we've heard today is just another example of the positive things we continue to accomplish because our city, county and business leaders work together for the good of the community," said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. "What we have managed to do, especially in terms of fiber readiness, is a game changer. It will help open the door for new jobs and new opportunities that will have a lasting impact on the River Region."
Montgomery Chamber Chairman-Elect of the Board A. Bruce Crawford added, "It's obviously a plus for Montgomery any time we have the opportunity to announce the potential for new jobs and industry, but what makes this so significant is that we are demonstrating to those looking to do business here that we are on the cutting edge. We are showing them that Montgomery and the River Region are where you want to be."
For more information about Montgomery Industrial Park, click here.

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