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:


Bill Taylor on economic development, the auto industry, the Alabama worker and why he's leaving EDPA
By Michael Tomberlin

When Bill Taylor took over as president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama in July 2009, he saw it as a three-year stop - a place to share some of the knowledge he had gained after 38 years in the automotive industry.

He has led EDPA for nearly seven years and has announced his retirement for April 1. Steve Spencer, executive vice president with Alabama Power, will succeed Taylor as the new EDPA president.

Taylor, 66, said he believes he has benefited EDPA over the past six years, but he knows he has personally benefited from the experience.


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CNC machining company expanding again in Hartselle
By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer | 
March 9, 2016

HARTSELLE - The Hartselle City Council approved a second tax abatement in 3 years Tuesday for Busche Corp., which plans a $26 million expansion projected to create 75 jobs.

The City Council approved almost $1.4 million in tax abatements for Busche on Tuesday. Busche will receive a one-time abatement of about $632,500 in sales and use taxes for machinery and other equipment purchases. The company will also receive an estimated $650,333 property tax abatement divided over a 10-year period.

The expansion is expected to generate $677,290 in property tax revenues designated for schools over 10 years and another $113,750 in one-time sales and use tax revenues, also for schools.


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Mobile Chamber signs trade memo as gateway to Morocco

CASABLANCA, Morocco - The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce this morning signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Chamber of Commerce in Moroccocalling for the organizations to promote trade and build mutually beneficial business connections.

The development comes on the third day of an Alabama trade and business development mission that began in Spain on Monday before shifting to Morocco. The trade memo was announced at a press conference organized today by the U.S. Commercial Service in Morocco's largest city.

Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber, said the memo formalizes an agreement between the two organizations to collaborate on trade and business promotion to benefit their members.


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Innovate Huntsville Week hopes to shine a light on growing startup movement
on March 08, 2016 

A collaborative project supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem of north Alabama will take place the first week of May in Huntsville.

Innovate Huntsville Week, hosted by the Women's Business Center of North Alabama and BizTech, will kick off with a hackathon by GEO Huntsville on May 2 and end with Will This Fly? and interactive programming at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment on May 7. A two-day entrepreneurial summit will begin May 3, followed by an awards luncheon at Campus No. 805 the next day.

Mayor Tommy Battle issued a proclamation Tuesday declaring May 2 the start of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week in the Rocket City.


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BUILDERS FORECAST A WELCOME CALM

Russ Hale, vice president of business development at Hoar Construction, at the Powell Avenue Steam Plant in Birmingham. Hoar is general contractor for the project to renew the old steam plant as a mixed-use development surrounded by an urban plaza.

A tour of Alabama's larger general contractors' websites reveals construction activity at locations throughout the state, the Southeast and across the United States. Alabama contractors are even doing work internationally in places like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad and Moscow.

It isn't at the peak level of a few years ago, and the skies aren't sunny for all builders. But the state's construction industry has clearly crawled out of the post-recession rubble.
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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







Opinion: NASA's journey to Mars runs through Alabama
Todd May, Alabama Voices
March 8, 2016
NASA is making great strides on the journey to send astronauts farther into space than ever before. And in a very real sense, the first leg of the journey to Mars is happening right here in Alabama. That's because America's next great ship - NASA's Space Launch System - is designed, developed and managed by the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

The first rocket designed to launch astronauts on the journey to Mars, SLS will be the most powerful rocket every built and, with the Orion spacecraft, will move America into a new era of human exploration.

NASA's first uncrewed test flight with the Orion spacecraft atop SLS, called Exploration Mission-1 will pave the way for future flights with astronauts to deep space, and eventually missions to Mars. Flight hardware for EM-1 is currently in production, and this summer the largest rocket fuel tanks ever built will roll off assembly lines at our Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Some will come up the Tennessee River for testing in Marshall's newest test stands that have literally changed the skyline in Huntsville.

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