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:

EDPA leads initiative to bring information technology jobs to Alabama
By Bryan Davis
Alabama could be in store for landing higher-paying jobs during 2016 and beyond.

Thanks to a new initiative by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, jobs in the information technology sector have become a priority for economic developers, as most industries, including Alabama's robust automotive and aerospace industries, are experiencing greater demand for tech jobs these days.

Greg Knighton, vice president at EDPA, will deliver the lunch keynote address at the 16th annual Alabama Commercial Real Estate Conference & Expo, presented by the Alabama Center for Real Estate on Jan. 29. The conference will take place at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham.


Honda shows off Alabama-made Ridgeline in Detroit

DETROIT - The next Alabama-made vehicle made its debut today at the North American International Auto Show - the all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup, which is joining the production line-up at the automaker's Lincoln assembly plant.

Appearing in dealer showrooms in the spring, the second-generation Ridgeline is arriving on the market at a time when light trucks and SUVs are in hot demand. To capitalize on the Detroit unveiling, Honda is featuring the new pickup in a Super Bowl 50 commercial next month.

At today's debut, John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., said the new Ridgeline is equipped with many segment-leading features while preserving elements of the original version of the pick-up, including an in-bed trunk and a dual-action tailgate. One new wrinkle: The trunk bed comes with a built-in sound system and a power source for a flat-screen TV or other devices.


New Alabama gene research targets 'superbugs' and biological weapons
on January 13, 2016 

Could extreme environments hold a key to new antibiotics capable of fighting "superbugs" and biological weapons? A scientific study starting in Huntsville this year will try to find out.

Huntsville company iXpress Genes has won a $100,000 Defense Department grant to analyze the DNA of samples taken from extremely cold, acidic or alkaline environments.

The search is for new metabolic pathways leading to antibiotics that can fight biological weapons such as anthrax and drug-resistant pathogens known as superbugs.


Birmingham's Entrepreneurial District could get a new name
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal

Get 'Ready to Work' at NW-SCC
By Alison James
January 13, 2016

People looking for a new job might want to take advantage of program at Northwest-Shoals Community College's: the Ready to Work Program.

The Ready to Work Program will begin a new student session Jan. 19 for individuals at least 16 years old who are seeking new or more fulfilling careers. Orientation Jan. 19 will be held on the Shoals campus in building 127 with a morning session at 10 a.m. and an evening session at 6 p.m. Prospective participants may attend either orientation session. The class will then meet twice a week for eight weeks with the morning session held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the night session from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The RTW Program, which is free to the community, is operated by the Alabama Community College System's Division of Workforce Development in cooperation with the Alabama Industrial Development Training.


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