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:

AT&T to make important announcement Tuesday for northwest Alabama
on December 14, 2015 

AT&T officials will be in northwest Alabama on Tuesday to make an important business certification announcement for the area.

The telecommunications company will join the Shoals Chamber of Commerce and area leaders at 1:30 p.m. to announce certification for Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park, Shoals Research Airpark and Rogersville Business Park.

AT&T Alabama President Fred McCallum will attend the event with members of the cities of Florence and Muscle Shoals, Colbert County Commission, Shoals Economic Development Authority and more.


NASA changes Huntsville skyline with soaring new Space Launch System test stand
on December 15, 2015 

When it's finished in 2016, the new rocket test stand NASA showed off at its Marshall Space Flight Center Monday will stand 225 feet tall. That's 15 stories tall, skyline changing for neighboring Huntsville, Ala.

What NASA will hang from Test Stand 4693 is even more impressive: a large section of the cylindrical core of the Space Launch System, the rocket that will carry astronauts back to the moon and beyond in the next decade.

"We're on a journey to Mars and, if you don't believe us, look at what you see back behind us today," Acting Marshall Center Director Todd May told reporters gathered for the first look at the stand. "This is a tangible example of real progress to building the most powerful rocket ever built to take humans back out into deep space ... where we haven't been for 40 years."


Ryan Phillips Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
December 13, 2015

Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE: VMC) on Friday announced that Donald M. James will retire as the company's non-executive chairman and from the board of directors, effective Dec. 31.

J. Thomas Hill, Vulcan's president and CEO, will succeed James as chairman, the company said in a release.

James said with the building materials market expanding, the enactment of a new multi-year federal highway program and the company performing well, now is the right time to complete the succession process the company began a number of years ago that resulted in Tom Hill becoming CEO in 2014.


BL Harbert lands $22M Fort Campbell project
Brent Godwin Commercial Real Estate Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Dec 14, 2015

Brent Godwin Commercial Real Estate Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Birmingham's B.L. Harbert International has been awarded the contract for a $22.7 million special troop battalion facility at Fort Campbell, Ky.

This will be its eleventh project at Fort Campbell. It is the SOF Group Special Troops Battalion facility for the 5th Special Forces Group.

"We are proud to have a strong partnership and continued relationship with Fort Campbell. B.L. Harbert is currently completing a similar project to the new GSTB Facility at Eglin Air Force Base. We look forward to constructing a first-class training facility with the 5th Special Forces Group and are honored to be chosen for the job," said Alex Edgeworth, vice president of the Federal Division, in a statement.


Bentley announces additional funds for hospital project in Clanton
December 14, 2015

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced another round of funding that will bring improved medical care and new jobs to central Alabama.

A $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant will be combined with a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded earlier by Bentley to provide necessary infrastructure needed by Chilton Hospital. The $46.5 million, 30-bed facility, which will be managed and operated by St. Vincent's Health System in Birmingham, is under construction in Clanton off Lay Dam Road near Interstate 65.

The area has been without a hospital since Chilton County Medical Center closed in 2012.


AAIA and BCA Coordinate Efforts for Aerospace Initiative
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - (Dec.11, 2015) - The Alabama Aerospace Industry Association and the Business Council of Alabama announce their agreement to work together for the aerospace industry in Alabama. Each organization individually supports the growth of Alabama's aerospace industry and has for many years.

The agreement signed Dec. 4 by AAIA Chairman Al Sullivan and BCA Chairman Marty Abroms solidifies the desire to coordinate, where possible, and expand the reach and impact of their organizations.

"Through this alliance with BCA, the AAIA will be able to better serve its members as well as the diverse aerospace industry across the state," Sullivan said.
"Establishing alliances with organizations such as AAIA is one of the best strategies BCA employs to make a positive difference for Alabama industry," Abroms said.
The agreement was signed at the BCA's annual board of director meeting at the Harbert Center in Birmingham.

"BCA and AAIA have always been aligned in our commitment to improving opportunities for the aerospace sector and we expect this agreement will take our efforts to the next level," BCA president and CEO William J. Canary said.

            The agreement highlights collaboration areas such as awareness building, business network expansion, state and national communications, and training opportunities, among others. The AAIA and BCA will remain independent organizations with the intent to collaborate when and where possible.

The Alabama Aerospace Industry Association is a private non-profit, industry-led organization of aerospace and defense industry leaders committed to growing business in Alabama.  Formed in 2003, AAIA's mission is to promote the growth of aerospace in Alabama.  The association provides an industry-led voice on opportunities and issues for economic growth.

            The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama's foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.  BCA is Alabama's exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.


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