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:

Construction begins on $63 million Golden State Foods facility in Opelika
on March 02, 2016 

Construction has begun on the new 165,000 square-foot, state of the art Golden State Foods meat processing facility in Opelika.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield and Golden State Foods Corp Chairman and CEO Mark Wetterau participated in a groundbreaking ceremony held Wednesday morning at the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.

The capital investment in the facility is estimated to be $63 million. GSF will create 173 new jobs in Opelika.


Alabama 2016 export awards go to 8 companies
Dawn Kent Azok
March 2, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Eight Alabama companies are being honored today with a Governor's Trade Excellence Award for their successful exporting strategies.

Across the state, companies large and small are involved in shipping their products to overseas customers. This year's roster of award winners offers a glimpse of the wide ranging Alabama-made lineup, from high-tech satellite communication systems used by military and humanitarian aid organizations to Southern lumber used in flooring, cabinets and furniture in homes around the globe.

"Exports are an accelerator for Alabama's economy, creating new jobs and expanding trade opportunities for businesses across the state," Governor Robert Bentley said. "The world-class businesses being recognized today are not only creating great 'Made-in-Alabama' products but also showing the global marketplace just how innovative and competitive Alabama companies are."


Birmingham tech salaries stack up well when it comes to purchasing power
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Mar 1, 2016

For many tech executives, recruiting talented workers to Birmingham has been a challenge.

That's not something limited to the Magic City.
Metros around the country have been struggling to fill a tech talent gap that has been widening in recent years. In Birmingham, a number of training courses have popped up to help narrow that gap.

But Birmingham's low cost of living is also a selling point for many employers.That's reflected in the higher salaries offered to Birmingham compared to the salaries for the same position in other cities.


Alabama exceeded expectations for job growth in 2015
By Fitzgerald Washington, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Labor
on March 02, 2016

As we at the Alabama Department of Labor are wrapping up our facts and figures for 2015, and preparing to begin reporting on 2016's progress to date, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs we experienced over the past year, and their impact on our state's economy.

As far as job growth goes, we ended 2015 with a bang! Back in January 2015, economists predicted that Alabama's wage and salary employment would increase by 33,800 jobs.  We surpassed those expectations and added 45,500 jobs from January to December.  Our annual job growth percentage was 1.69%.  We haven't seen a job growth percentage that high since 2006! The number of jobs our economy was supporting in December was 1,968,800 - the last time we supported that many jobs was way back in November 2008.

As a matter of fact, almost all of our economic indicators are back at 2008 levels.  This is important to note because Alabama didn't technically enter the "great recession" until mid-2009.  We were a little late to the party, in large part because our manufacturing sector was able to withstand losses longer than other states were.  So now that our leading indicators are at or close to toward pre-recession levels, we can begin to breathe a little easier. We are, slowly but surely, catching up to the rest of the country, which, due to entering the recession before us, began to see recovery a little earlier than we did.

Maike Sievers Recognized as Leader in the Logistics Industry


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - February 19, 2016. Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the executive's user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, recently announced its 16th annual Pros to Know winners. Included in the winner circle is Director of Engineering, Sales and Marketing at BLG Logistics (BLG), Maike Sievers.

The Pros to Know awards recognize leaders in the supply chain industry that are embracing innovation and embarking on initiatives that will prepare their companies' supply chains for the significant challenges of today's business climate. Sievers supports the broader supply chain goals and the customer's demand for attention to detail throughout BLG's various initiatives. Taking in stride the fast-paced work environment of the 3PL, Sievers focuses on what she believes to be the key to successful operations, noting that an optimally run operation will require technology that supports responsiveness to changing customer environments. "Working for Maike, I continue to be amazed by her ability to be focused and organized despite her many roles and responsibilities at BLG," notes Beth Snelson of the Logistics Planning, Sales and Marketing team at BLG. "I admire her patience and positive attitude while working through challenges, and her respect for individuals on her team."

Sievers has implemented a range of initiatives to secure a stronghold in BLG supply chain operations for her customers. "Optricity is pleased to have the chance to work with BLG and is honored to have had the opportunity to support Maike in one of her many workplace optimization initiatives," says Sheila Benny, EVP of Optricity. "Working by her side to ensure that innovative solutions are implemented, and implemented well, is important to us. We are pleased to see she is being recognized for her efforts and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future."

Sievers's dedication to her roles at BLG and the results of her supply chain initiatives highlight her as a Pro within this industry. "I want to formally commend and acknowledge Maike Sievers for the excellent work she has done," says Roberto Patino, President of BLG. "The level of expertise that she has extended in the automotive logistics industry for the period of twenty years plus can only be termed as far beyond my expectations. Impressed by her remarkable work in performing her executive roles and duties, I am compelled to go on record with praise, for she truly deserves it."
About BLG Logistics
Founded in 1877, 65 merchants founded BLG Logistics under the name Bremer Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft. (BLG), a pioneer in seaport operations and by the 1950's, the first German container port in operation. The BLG Group has developed into a globally-operating logistics company. Customers include the leading German automobile manufacturers as well as strong commercial brands. Globally, BLG LOGISTICS provides around 16,000 jobs. Everywhere BLG operates, the skills of our employees constitute an important factor in our success. Today BLG Logistics is a $1.5Bil company operates three separate divisions: Automotive, Container/Intermodal and Contract Logistics. For more, please click here.
About BLG Logistics USA
In the United States, BLG is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and plays an instrumental role in the supply chains of major automotive manufacturers and suppliers in the US Southeast, with increasing focus on service and agile response for the manufacturing supply chains of major global brands. For more, please click here. 
About Optricity
Optricity utilizes a unique blend of warehousing domain expertise, advanced mathematics, and software engineering skills to deliver Workplace Optimization software, including the highly acclaimed warehouse slotting application, OptiSlot DC™. Optricity's platform of innovative technologies provides clarity and precision for warehousing operations. For more information about Optricity, please click here.
About the Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive's user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. Visit us on the web.

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