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:

Locally made Honda vehicles help company break sales records in 2015
By Patrick McCreless, Star Staff Writer,

Sunny King Honda in Anniston struggled to keep up with demand for vehicles last year and Dan Jordan couldn't be happier.

The general sales manager at the dealership said new models from the Japanese-based automaker, including some made in Talladega County, helped boost 2015 sales.

"I have never seen a car with this much demand," Jordan said of the latest model of the Pilot SUV, made exclusively at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Talladega County. "2015 was a very good year for us."


RTI Plant Expansion
January 6, 2016

Rainsville Technology Incorporated officially broke ground for a plant expansion of over 65,000 sq ft costing $3.5 million dollars. 

This expansion will improve efficiency by relocating and consolidating process and part storage. RTI was represented by Akio Morimoto - RTI President and Shin Sakairi - RTI Executive Vice President. Also attending to show their support and appreciation of Rainsville Technology, Inc. were Alabama State Senator Steve Livingston, Alabama Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter, Rainsville Mayor Nick Jones, Rainsville Mayor Pro-Tem Roger Lingerfelt, Rainsville City Council member Joey Graham, Rainsville Industrial Board Chair D. L. Stiefel, Rainsville Industrial Board member Ralph Hall, DeKalb County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jimmy Durham, DeKalb County EDA Board Chair Dr. John Anderson, DeKalb County EDA Board member/Sand Mountain Electric Co-op Manager Mike Simpson.

RTI celebrated their 15th anniversary this year and it continues to be an honor not only to Rainsville, but the state of Alabama and DeKalb County that they chose to locate their facility here. They currently have 485 associates who daily give back to the community and are recognized as a great corporate neighbor. This was recognized by Honda when they received the Corporate Citizenship Recognition Award for Honda Suppliers.


Sale of Decatur BP plant to AlphaPET's parent company seen as positive
By Keith Clines Staff Writer | 
January 7, 2016 

BP's proposed sale of its 444-employee Decatur plant to an international company with local ties could ease concerns about the plant's future, a local official said.

BP announced Wednesday it agreed to sell the plant at an undisclosed price to Indorama Ventures PCL. Indorama owns AlphaPET, which is a BP customer located on BP's Decatur property.

Jeremy Nails, president and chief executive officer of the Morgan County Economic Development Authority, said local leaders have been anxious about the plant's future since BP's November announcement that it was putting the plant on the market.


Young blood: Alabama construction industry looks to grow next generation of builders
By Bryan Davis

According to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders, the median age for construction workers in Alabama is between 41 and 42 years of age, reflecting an aging construction workforce, while contractors find difficulty in recruiting younger people to the sector.

"As an industry, we are faced with many challenges, but none more important than acquiring and developing our craft labor," said Shealon Layfield, general superintendent of BL Harbert International.  "A large percentage of the current, qualified workforce is nearing retirement age, and bringing in new, skilled craft workers is more critical then ever."

NAHB used data from the 2013 American Community Survey to get the median ages of construction workers in each state. The median age nationwide is 42.


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