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:

Canadian auto supplier Kobay Enstel plans Alabama factory

OXFORD, Alabama - Canadian automotive supplier Kobay Enstel announced plans today to create at least 75 jobs over three years at a new facility in Calhoun County.

The Calhoun County Economic Development Council said Kobay Enstel, which stamps metal parts for auto seats, is leasing a 60,000-square-foot speculative building on McIntosh Road in Oxford under a 13-year agreement with the EDC and the City.

"Our mission is to bring jobs to Calhoun County," EDC Chairman Larry Deason said. "These are the kind of skilled labor jobs that we seek, as they match our workforce profile and strengthen our position as a player in Alabama's growing automotive industry."


Big League Projects
March 2016

Winning the contract for a headline project with major economic development impact is less a matter of the lowest bid than offering the  biggest skill set.

"Getting the lowest-price contractor is not always the best value to the owner by the time the job is completed. Having the most qualified contractor for the job is just as important as having the lowest possible price," says Russ Hale, vice president of business development at Birmingham-based Hoar Construction.

Hoar has been among the Alabama contractors most successful in competing for Alabama's biggest new economic development projects and their equivalents in outlying states. 


February 2, 2016
ATLANTA -  Cullman has been named the No. 2 Micropolitan Area in the United States based on corporate facility investment (cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county) by Site Selection magazine. This is an improvement from 2014, when Cullman was No. 3. Local officials with the Cullman Economic Development Agency made the announcement at a luncheon Wednesday morning.

In the magazine's ranking of Top Micropolitans - cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county - Findlay, Ohio, was tops among the nation's 575 micropolitan areas, followed by Cullman, Alabama; Wooster, Ohio; Tupelo, Mississippi and a tie between Shelby, North Carolina and Batavia, New York. Ohio once again led as the state with most Top Micropolitans (19).

"What all of the leading metros and micros have in common is a proactive cluster of corporate and civic leaders who know how to forge connections that make their companies and their communities stronger," said Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection.


Year of Alabama Makers: Food, festivals, cars, craft beer and more
on March 03, 2016 

Alabama's abundance of chefs, food producers, brewers, winemakers, quilters, designers, musicians, writers, artists and automakers will be in the spotlight all throughout 2016 during the Alabama Tourism Department's Year of Alabama Makers celebration.

The state tourism agency launched the year-long campaign this morning at press conferences at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham and at the C&P Mercantile store in Montgomery.

"The Year of Alabama Makers will celebrate everything from Gee's Bend quilts to Mercedes SUVs," Lee Sentell, the state's tourism director, said in a media release. "This is all about the people who are bringing imagination and art together with commerce and manufacturing. Alabama has so much talent, and we want to showcase it."


How Alabama's tech job market is performing
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Mar 3, 2016

The prevalence of technology jobs isn't only local to Birmingham. Across the state, job employment within the technology industry has risen considerably, according to a new report.

According to industry analyst CompTIA's Cyberstates 2016 report, Alabama added 454 tech jobs from 2014 to 2015. The state's total tech job employment exceeds 79,000, ranking Alabama 24th in the country.

The bulk of those jobs are within computer system designs, an occupation that employs 23,000 Alabamians. The job that added the most positions was computer system analysts with an increase of two percent.


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