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:

Something's happening in Alabama that hasn't occurred since 2009
on January 06, 2016 
It appears that Alabama is growing in popularity.

For the first time since 2009, mover Atlas Van Lines said Alabama is now classified as an "inbound" state, meaning more than 55 percent of its shipments are into - as opposed to out of - the state. That's a change from the trend of the previous six years, in which the state's inbound/outbound numbers were classified as "balanced," meaning they were basically even.

The change makes Alabama one of only 12 states where more people are coming in rather than leaving, at least according to Atlas. The most popular states for in-bound movers, were Oregon (64 percent), Idaho (63 percent), North Carolina (61 percent), Alaska (60 percent), and North Dakota (59 percent).

As they say in these parts, y'all come on in.


Airbus supplier Zodiac Aerospace lands at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley
By Kelli M. Dugan

Alabama Robotics Technology Park (RTP): An Innovative Training Center
Area Development Research Desk
 (Workforce Q4 2015)

The AIDT Alabama Robotics Technology Park (RTP) in North Alabama is one of the most innovative training centers in the country. Workers from manufacturers all over Alabama train on the latest robots and automation tools. 

The park currently consists of two buildings, with a third scheduled to have its Grand Opening in the first quarter of 2016. The first training center opened in November 2010. The Robotic Maintenance Training Center is dedicated to teaching technicians to work with and operate on the leading industrial robotics and automation software in the world. The highlight of the facility is the manufacturing floor, which consists of more than 30 industrial robots, an automated welding lab, and a mock-up automated manufacturing line used to explain the purpose of robots in manufacturing to students.

Phase II of the Alabama RTP is the 43,000-square-foot Advanced Technology and Research Development center. Think of this facility as a cutting-edge R&D facility focusing entirely on high-end robotics and automation projects. Some of the early companies involved in Phase II are creating and testing robotics for military and civilian applications as well as first responder needs. In some instances, the 9/10-mile test track can be used for testing drone take-offs and landings as well as remote-control mine searchers. 


BF In The News: Alabama Businesses Celebrate 2015 State Of The Year Award
January 5th, 2016

At least one local business owner wasn't surprised that Alabama took the top spot in Business Facilities' 2015 State of the Year Award, according to a January 4 newscast from ABC News affiliate WAAY 31.

"It's not as surprising if you've been around the state for a while and watched how we struggled in the past," UG White's general manager Mark Still told WAAY 31 reporter Christine Flores. The local shop is based out of Athens and recently opened a new store in downtown Huntsville.

Still says bringing in major developments to the state and the area is helping his and other small business grow as well.


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