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:

Rogersville plant expansion progress, operations expected to begin in May or June
By Tom Smith Senior Staff Writer | 
February 4, 2016

ROGERSVILLE - Joseph Ku said the expansion of a building that eventually will house Rogersville's newest industry, Custom Synthetic Fibers, is right on scheduled.

"Weather considered, everything is going as well as could be expected," said Ku, a company official.

Once in operation, the company will be turning recycling polymer (plastic bottles) waste into recycled fibers that can be used in a variety of other industries.
Custom Synthetic Fibers is leasing the large Shoals Economic Development Authority-owned speculation building on U.S. 72, and already is involved in doubling the size of the plant to 80,000 square feet.


Expo companies optimistic about job prospects for 2016
By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer | 
November 4, 2016

Brewer High School senior Jake McQuillin went to the 15th-annual Career and Workforce Expo on Wednesday with the goal of seeing how he could fit his skills into a career with one of the area's large industries.

McQuillin, who is in his second year in heating and air conditioning maintenance, was one of almost 1,000 area high school students to attend the expo at Calhoun Community College in search of career and education advice and information about job availability from 40 businesses and industries.

"I hope I can get my foot in the door and learn how to work," McQuillin said.


Huntsville adds 1,400 construction jobs as industry struggles with worker shortage
on February 02, 2016

Construction jobs are on the rise in the Huntsville area despite a growing worker shortage across the nation.

The Associated General Contractors of America announced Tuesday the Huntsville metro was among the fastest-growing in the nation last year with the addition of 1,400 new jobs between December 2014 and December 2015.

That's an 18 percent increase for the area, which employs 9,200 workers in the construction industry, up from 6,700 when local employment bottomed out in 2009.


Gov. Robert Bentley receives Alabama Workforce Council recommendations
By Michael Sznajderman

The Alabama Workforce Council formally presented its latest recommendations to Gov. Robert Bentley today, capping months of work and research aimed at better preparing Alabama's workers and students for a competitive, global economy.

In January 2015, the 40-member advisory council presented its first findings and recommendations to the governor, which included expanding funding for career coaches at public high schools; streamlining the coordination and management of the state's workforce development programs; reviewing the structure of the state's Workforce Investment Boards and Regional Workforce Development Councils; and creating a more data-driven process for measuring the effectiveness of workforce initiatives.

Since then, expanded career coach funding has allowed the state to almost double the number of career coaches - from 36 to 68. State lawmakers also approved the consolidation of the state's workforce development operations into the new Workforce Development Division within the Department of Commerce. They also established an independent governing board for Alabama's community colleges, which is expected to help improve workforce development efforts.


State Department of Commerce, Birmingham named among top in economic development
on February 03, 2016 

Birmingham and the state of Alabama have both received attention from a national magazine for economic development efforts.

Both Birmingham and the Alabama Department of Commerce will be among 18 economic development cities and corporations highlighted in Global Trade Magazine's February/March 2016 issue.

Roughly 50 groups of economic development groups and cities applied for the feature, and the magazine's editorial team selected 18. Click here to read what Birmingham submitted and here for what the Department of Commerce submitted.


HMC promotes McCullough to EVP
February 4, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, AL-(Marketwired - February 03, 2016) - Harbert Management Corporation ("HMC") has announced the promotion of John W. McCullough from Senior Vice President to Executive Vice President, and additionally, he has been elected to the Executive Committee of HMC. He will continue in his roles as General Counsel and Secretary of HMC.

Mr. McCullough joined HMC in 2006 as a Vice President and Associate General Counsel. He was appointed to Senior Vice President and General Counsel effective March 9, 2009 and was elected to serve on the Board of Directors in 2014. Before joining HMC, Mr. McCullough was a partner in the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP and Associate General Counsel of a publicly traded client of that firm.

Mr. McCullough is active in the community, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the United Way of Central Alabama and a member of the Board of Trustees of McWane Science Center, a science museum and early learning center in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. McCullough received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Washington and Lee University and received a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.


  Nominations Now Open for the 2016 Alabama Innovation Awards
2015 Alabama Innovation Award Winners
Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, wants to recognize top innovation in the state. Do you know a company or individual that goes beyond the conventional?

You can submit an application for your own company or another company in the following categories:
  • Corporate Innovator of the Year (small company, 1-50 employees)
  • Corporate Innovator of the Year (large company, 50+ employees)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Manufacturing
  • Outstanding Public-Private Partnership for Innovation

All winners will be recognized at the 6th Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference on August 31. 

Watch our video to hear the importance of the Alabama Innovation Awards from last year's Corporate Innovator of the Year (small company) recipient, Craig Parker, CEO Emergency CallWorks.  

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