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:

Federal grant helps Japanese auto supplier create 150 jobs in Jasper
on March 07, 2016 

A new grant will help one company create at least 150 jobs in Walker County.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in Montgomery said a $300,000 award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will allow the City of Jasper to extend public water and sewer service to the planned Yorozu Corp. facility in Jasper Industrial Park.

The company's $100 million plant will produce metal parts for suspension systems in vehicles built by nearby automotive manufacturers. Gov. Robert Bentley announced the award.


4 changes to anticipate at Cummings Research Park

Cummings Research Park (CRP) is on the verge of a major transformation.

Park leaders discussed several anticipated changes with Tech Alabama just weeks before the the unveiling of a new master plan. The goal of the plan is to improve the look and functionality of the second largest office park in the United States in hopes of increasing occupancy. 

While the specifics of the plan will be disclosed in April, here are some things you can expect.


RSA, Alabama Black Belt Adventures partnership is boosting outdoor tourism in region
By Michael Tomberlin

The hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational opportunities in Alabama's Black Belt region have been an unintentional secret for too long.

Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association (ALBBAA) and the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) are changing that as they promote the region for ecotourism and outdoor enthusiasts within the state and throughout the country.

A series of television ads featuring Ray Scott, founder of Bassmaster, and Jackie Bushman, founder of Buckmasters, extoll the virtues of hunting and fishing in the region. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley even shows up in some of the spots. Arts, culture and barbecue are also threads that run in the ads.


Alabama's near record exports include products made in Dothan
by Ebony Davis
Business Reporter
 Mar 4, 2016

Wiregrass companies competing in new and expanding markets were among companies that helped fuel exports from Alabama to a near-record level in 2015.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Alabama exports totaled $19.37 billion last year, which was just below the all-time record of $19.58 billion set in 2012. According to information compiled by the Alabama Department of Commerce, exports have grown 25 percent since 2010 and 78 percent since 2005.

Total exports from the U.S. were $2.23 trillion in 2015, according to the national commerce department.


Tech school creates simulated workplace program
Times Staff Writer
 March 7, 2016 

A lot of students can't wait to get out of school so they can get a job. Students at the Etowah County Career Technical Center don't have to wait any longer.

Students in several classes are participating in a simulated workplace program, patterned after some programs in West Virginia, Mark Stancil, director of career and technical education with Etowah County Schools, said.

Although they are not actually getting a paycheck, the experience is worth a lot.


Know an innovative company? Deadline approaching to nominate for an Alabama Innovation Award

 Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, wants to celebrate innovation from every corner of Alabama!

This is your opportunity to nominate a business, industry or someone you think should get the recognition he or she deserves. Self-nominations are encouraged.  The deadline for nominations is March 20.
Nominations for the 2016 awards are being accepted 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

Click here to nominate by March 20. Winners will be recognized at the 6th Annual Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference on Aug. 31. This premier event celebrates and recognizes the vital role entrepreneurs, startups and innovators contribute to Alabama's economy and new job growth.

Check out this short video in which Alabama Power CEO and EDPA Board Chairman Mark Crosswhite speaks at the 2015 Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference on the importance of celebrating innovation in the state. 
Celebrating Innovation in Alabama
Celebrating Innovation in Alabama

Harbert Management names new CFO, other leaders
Ty West Managing editor Birmingham Business Journal
Mar 7, 2016

Harbert Management Corp. has promoted a company veteran to chief financial officer and executive vice president.

Sonja Keeton will take the reins as CFO and run the back office operations for Harbert, which has approximately $4.1 billion in assets under management.
Keeton joined Harbert in 1990 and has held several positions at the independent investment firm.


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