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:

Blockbuster 2015 sets stage for Alabama growth (video)

From Airbus launching aircraft assembly in Mobile to Google selecting Jackson County for a major data center project, it's been a massive year for Alabama and its economic development team.

In fact, 2015 looks like a year for Alabama's record books, with game-changing developments in important industry sectors, including aerospace, technology, automotive and advanced manufacturing.

Mercedes-BenzGE Aviation and Polaris Industries were among industry leaders announcing large-scale projects in Alabama during 2015.


Shelton State Community College partners with chamber on mobile training lab
By Ed Enoch 
Staff Writer
December 21, 2015 

Shelton State Community College and West Alabama Works hope to have a mobile training lab operational in January.

The mobile training lab outfitted with laptops and audio-visual equipment is envisioned as a way to bring pre-employment training, adult education, industry-specific training, job fairs, recruiting and other applications to students in the West Alabama region.

"We'll be able to roll into a community, unload laptops and provide training right there," said Nicole Dubose, director of training for business and industry for Shelton State.


Unemployment rate up slightly in November
Michael Seale Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Dec 22, 2015

Alabama's unemployment rate returned in November to its September rate, after a small drop in October. The state's unemployment rate increased to 6.0 November, up from from 5.9 percent in October.

The state still remains above the national rate of 5.0 percent.

The unemployment rate for Jefferson County remained unchanged from October to November at 5.4 percent. - an improvement from the county's 5.7 percent unemployment in September. Shelby County remained as the county with the lowest unemployment rate, at 3.9 percent.


Honda Accelerates Sweeping Light Truck Makeover with New Ridgeline Pickup Set for Global Debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show
TORRANCE, Calif - Honda will challenge conventional thinking in the midsize pickup segment with the return of the Honda Ridgeline truck, set to make its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday, January 11 at 1:15 p.m. EST. 

 Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the all-new Ridgeline is the fourth new or significantly refreshed light truck model introduced by Honda in the past 18 months and will hit roads nationwide in the first half of next year.

"We developed this new Honda Ridgeline to offer something new and fundamentally better suited to the way many buyers use their truck," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "Ridgeline will deliver everything you'd expect in a Honda from incredible packaging and fuel-efficiency to top safety technologies and innovative, segment-first features.  We're honored to once again debut the Ridgeline in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show."

Honda began the complete remake of its light-truck lineup in the fall of 2014 with the freshened 2015 Honda CR-V, America's best selling SUV. Earlier this year, Honda launched the all-new HR-V crossover, gateway to the Honda truck lineup, and the third generation of its popular Pilot three-row SUV. In 2016, Honda will continue the strengthening of its light-truck family of vehicles with the new Ridgeline and a fully redesigned Odyssey minivan. 


The University of Alabama's 2016 Economic Outlook Conference will be held January 14th at Embassy Suites in Montgomery

It will be the 28th year for the conference hosted by UA's Center for Business and Economic Research.

Speakers include:
Dr. David Altig, Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Dr. Robert E. Witt, Chancellor of the University of Alabama System;  and Dr. David Bronner, CEO of Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Registration can be done online at the CBER website or by calling 205-348-6191. The registration fee is due by January 11th.

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