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:

Priming the Pipeline for STEM in the South: Student Incentives in Alabama
Dan Carsen, WBHM/SED

Hoover High School junior Griffin Davis is all about his computer science class.
"Honestly, this is probably my favorite part of the day," he says, "because I get to come in here and I get to be on the cutting edge of things. I get to be ... what's next."

He's engineered 3-D-printed parts that'll help drones drop probes into the Cahaba River, and he's helped teach programming to grade-schoolers. That's the type of interest this new class is meant to spark. It's a more accessible version of an Advanced Placement computer science course - sort of like a science class for non-science majors.

 It's meant to be less intimidating than the older, more specialized standard AP course and attract kids from all backgrounds.


Aspiring entrepreneurs will come together for Huntsville business competition
on February 24, 2016

As one of the area's most promising young entrepreneurs, Noah Huber-Feely struggles with finding peers who share similar interests.

The 17-year-old Tennessee home school student and Hop Around Huntsville app developer travels each week to downtown Huntsville to attend Coworking Night with coders, designers, photographers, writers, entrepreneurs and other like-minded members of the tech community.

He will be one of dozens of students to participate next month in 24Hr Generator, a new business competition for youth in Huntsville hosted by nonprofit organizations Rocket Hatch and Village of Promise.


Year 10: Buy Alabama's Best campaign kicks off
Kym Klass Montgomery Advertiser
February 24, 2016

At the 10th annual kickoff of the Buy Alabama's Best campaign - designed to educate consumers on products made in the state - it was noted that people are becoming more interested in who grows their food.

"It's a big deal," John McMillan, commissioner of agriculture and industries, said Wednesday at the Capitol City Club, where retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers from throughout the state gathered. "It makes a lot of difference where the produce is grown."

The campaign, designed to inform and educate consumers on what products are made, produced, manufactured and/or headquartered in Alabama, has raised more than $600,000 in 10 years. A portion of the sale of participating Alabama products during the months of March and September will go to Children's of Alabama to help find a cure for childhood cancer. Beginning in March, retailers throughout the state will support the campaign in their stores, with Alabama product displays, ads, signage, special promotions and will sell Children's of Alabama icons to support the fight to find a cure for pediatric cancer.


Students get hands-on experience at Eastman jobs expo
By Patrick McCreless, Star Staff Writer,
 February 24, 2016 

Wearing a white hard hat, Carly Peoples used the mechanized hook on the end of a long yellow pole to grab a power line Wednesday morning.

It's standard work for an Alabama Power Company employee. For Peoples and her eighth-grade class, it was a learning experience.

The Alexandria High School student was one of hundreds of eighth-graders who attended the first day of the Eastman Worlds of Work Career Expo at the Oxford Civic Center Wednesday. About 2,000 middle school students from Calhoun County, Cleburne County and Munford attended the two-day event, organized by Eastman Chemical Company in Anniston and the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. Local companies and colleges were there with setups that let students get basic, hands-on experience in more than 70 careers.


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