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:

Gov. Bentley's plan to bring broadband access to rural Alabama
on February 10, 2016 

Nearly three dozen Alabama public school systems will take the first step this month to build their own high-speed Internet networks.

It is the first phase of a plan to extend high-speed Internet into rural Alabama announced by Gov. Robert Bentley in his Feb. 2 State of the State speech.

More school districts will follow in 2017 and 2018 until publicly owned networks bring high-speed Internet to thousands of state students who don't have it now, officials say.


Hyundai plant preps for Santa Fe, builds more cars
 Brad Harper
 Montgomery Advertiser
February 9, 2016

Even while gearing up to start building the Santa Fe Sport, Hyundai's Montgomery assembly plant built more sedans this January than during the first month of 2015.

The plant reported Tuesday that it rolled out 30,802 Sonatas and Elantras last month. That's nearly 1,500 more than January 2015.

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has been retooling to add the ability to make crossover vehicles in the next few months. It's spending $52 million on that retooling process but isn't expanding production capacity, meaning that more Santa Fe Sports will mean fewer sedans rolling off the assembly line in Alabama.


Rogers receives Echols Award
February 11, 2016 
By Peggy M. Himburg | 

Goodrich "Dus" Rogers, president and CEO of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority (EDA), was awarded the distinguished Dave Echols Award at the winter conference of the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA).

This award is presented to the economic developer who demonstrates the highest ideals of professionalism and character within the economic development profession.

This award is named in honor of David R. Echols who served as a Senior Project Manager for the Alabama Development Office. He set the professional standard for economic development in Alabama and his legacy continues through this award.  In receiving this award, Rogers joins a unique group of devoted professions so honored. He is the sixth recipient of the award.

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Birmingham ranked among most unexpectedly exciting places to travel
Ryan Phillips Digital Producer Birmingham Business Journal
Feb 9, 2016

Birmingham's appeal has grown over the last several years, with the addition of a new downtown ballpark, new green spaces and a vast revitalization that many believed was not possible.

So, it may come as a surprise to many outside the state that Birmingham was recently ranked among the most unexpectedly exciting places to travel in the U.S.
Lonely Planet's list of these destinations saw the Magic City ranked fourth overall for 2016.


  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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