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 Robotics Park Phase 3 center readies for training
Author Dawn Azok
April 11, 2016

TANNER, Alabama - There's a new state-of-the-art tool in Alabama's worker training efforts.T

Gov. Robert Bentley and other officials today are cutting the ribbon on Phase 3 of the Robotics Technology Park, an $80 million, 85-acre campus in Limestone County where employees from Alabama companies receive training on the latest equipment from top industrial robot makers and automation software firms.

The RTP is one of Alabama's biggest economic development assets, said Ed Castile, director of the worker training agency AIDT and head of the Alabama Department of Commerce's workforce development office.


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Preparations under way for parts factory
By Patrick Rupinski Business Editor
 April 10, 2016 

Tons of dirt are being moved on a nearly 100-acre site at the Cedar Cove Technology Park in Cottondale.

It's part of the ground work for SMP, the largest automotive parts supplier to locate in Tuscaloosa County since Mercedes-Benz ushered in the state's present-day auto industry more than two decades ago.

SMP will start building its 700,000-square-foot, $154 million factory this summer.


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UNA gets engineering partner at FreightCar 
By Jennifer Edwards Staff Writer | 
April 9, 2016 

FLORENCE - The University of North Alabama's soon-to-start engineering technology program has its first community partner.

FreightCar America has signed on to provide learning experiences and lab equipment for students.

The first group of engineering technology majors will start classes in August. As part of their studies, they'll learn from engineers at FreightCar America.



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Women-owned businesses in Alabama and America growing fast
on April 08, 2016 

The estimate of women-owned firms in Alabama now stands at 153,000 according to a new report.

And according to the sixth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report those estimated 153,000 businesses employ just over 111,000 Alabamians and generate almost $19 billion into the state's economy.

The report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners.


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Manufacturers of the year big, small and in between to be honored
on April 11, 2016 

Spring is a time when many industries hand out awards and on Tuesday Alabama manufacturers, large and small, will be recognized for their work.

The 2016 Manufacturer of the Year Awards ceremony will take place in Montgomery on Tuesday. Sponsored by the Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama, the annual event recognizes manufacturers of the year in the small, medium and large categories.

Started in 2000, the award ceremony has grown into a prestigious annual event attended by state leaders in the world of business and government.


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Red Bay's ACE Assessment to enter Phase II
Katie Crum, Staff Writer
 April 6, 1016

Phase two of Red Bay's ACE Assessment will soon be underway. Phase one of the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) project began in August of last year and will hopefully be completed on Monday, April 18th.

ACE is a non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of providing assistance to select communities in order to strengthen their long-term economic success. Phase one of the program involved as assessment of the overall community. 

The assessment will help officials to determine the strengths and weaknesses of certain areas such as economy, tourism, services, infrastructure, attractions, and quality of life.


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