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:

Alabama job market shows signs of life
 Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser
 March 14, 2016

Alabama's unemployment rate ticked down to 6.2 percent in January even as more people entered the job market, according to numbers released Monday by the state.

The jobless rate dropped just one-tenth of a percent from December's seasonally adjusted rate. But it fell despite the fact that the number of people looking for a job in Alabama jumped by more than 8,000.

The labor force - the number of people who are actively seeking work - rose to 2,154,061 in January, the state said. Meanwhile, the number of people counted as employed in January hit 2,019,653, its highest level since Oct. 2008.


ULA scores two Air Force contracts to develop domestic rocket engine
 By Evan Belanger Staff Writer | 
March 14, 2016 

United Launch Alliance landed two of four government contracts awarded for the development of new rocket engines that will phase out U.S. dependency on Russian-built engines for space flight.

If successful, the new engine will help assure the future viability of ULA's planned Vulcan rocket slated for a maiden flight in 2019.

The announcement comes as Congress pushes tight restrictions to block the U.S. military from using any rocket powered by the Russian-built RD-180 engine. Those restrictions come in response to tensions with Russia about Ukraine and Syria and the Pentagon's desire to lower launch costs through competition.


IFDC tour designed to expose young people to another world of agriculture
By Russ Corey Staff Writer | 
Monday, March 14, 2016 

MUSCLE SHOALS - As the president and CEO of International Fertilizer Development Center, Scott Angle is concerned about the future of agriculture in more ways than just developing new and more efficient fertilizer products.

He's concerned about the number of young people going into the business of agriculture. Members of the IFDC Board of Directors also are concerned.

Because of that, they wanted Angle to get IFDC more involved in the community and especially the schools and their agricultural programs such as 4H and Future Farmers of America.


Don't miss the opportunity to recognize top innovation in your community

The deadline to submit an Alabama Innovation Awards nominations ends in just five days, March 20.

Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, is celebrating innovation achievements  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 in Innovation


The awards were created to raise awareness of the importance of innovation-based economic development and to encourage entrepreneurs and inventors to continue and accelerate this important work.

The Alabama Innovation Awards highlight ideas and innovations from all sectors, sizes and types of companies throughout the state. 

Self-nominations are encouraged for all award categories. You can submit an application for your own company or another company.
Don't wait! Submit nominations here

All winners will be recognized at the 6th Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference on August 31. Check out previous winners here.
2015 Alabama Innovation Award winners

2014 Alabama Innovation Award

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