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:

Hexcel to expand Alabama plant, creating 90 jobs with $200M project
December 13, 2017

DECATUR, Alabama - Alabama officials announced today that the existing  Hexcel Corp. production site in Decatur has been selected by the company for its first integrated U.S. carbon fiber and PAN production facility. When completed and fully operational, the expansion will add about 90 new jobs to Hexcel's existing workforce in Decatur.

The expansion was announced this morning at a ceremony in Decatur attended by Hexcel executives, state officials and local leaders. The project is part of the company's strategic plan to ramp up production of advanced composites to meet increasing demand in the aerospace and industrial markets. Production is expected to begin in 2021.

Hexcel Chairman, CEO and President Nick Stanage said the company conducted a comprehensive study for the project before choosing to expand in Decatur.


Hwashin announces $23 million expansion, set to provide 100 new jobs
 December 13, 2017

Hwashin America announced on Monday its plans for a $23 million expansion at its Greenville facility.

On Monday, officials with the City of Greenville announced that the city would grant a tax abatement to aid the expansion.

The abatement means that the company will be exempt from paying all state and local non-educational taxes, and all construction-related transaction taxes with the exception of those levied for educational purpose or for capital improvements for education.


Target to acquire Shipt in $550 million deal
By  Tyler Patchen    -   Health and Technology Reporter, Birmingham Business Journal
Dec 13, 2017
Target has agreed to acquire  Shipt, the Birmingham-based online grocery delivery platform, for $550 million in cash.

Shipt is one of Birmingham's fastest growing companies and one of its most notable startups. Founded in 2014, the company has rapidly expanded its footprint and emerged as a key player in the grocery delivery industry - raising more than $60 million in the past two years.

Target said Shipt will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and will continue to run its business independently, with employees working out of its offices in Birmingham and San Francisco.


Austal makes first cut on LCS 26, the future USS Mobile
With the press of a button on Tuesday, an industrial cutting machine made fine shavings of aluminum fly off a blank sheet. As those shavings scattered, the future USS Mobile took its first step out of blueprints and into the real world.

There are many more cuts, and welds, to come. Craig Perciavalle, president of Austal USA, said he anticipates roughly a three-year build cycle for LCS 26, the thirteenth Littoral Combat Ship to be built by Austal USA at its shipyard in Mobile. The plate carved Tuesday, about a quarter-inch thick and more than six feet wide by 20 feet long, will form part of the skin of the ship.

For the next year or so, Austal workers will build sections of the ship called modules, and when the company begins to put them together, in about a year, it'll hold a keel-laying ceremony. After other year it'll be ready for christening and launch, and somewhere around late 2020 it'll be ready for delivery and commissioning, Perciavalle said.



From lineman to president: meet Wayne Hutchens, new AT&T Alabama president

AT&T Alabama has announced new president, Birmingham community member, Wayne Hutchens.

AT&T's impact on Alabama is more than $350 million annually to include payroll, taxes, goods and services, corporate giving and volunteer hours. 

From 2013-2015, AT&T invested more than $1.1 billion in Alabama in our wireless and wired networks. As one of the world's largest providers of pay TV, broadband and wireless services, AT&T helps millions around the world connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high-speed internet services.


[ BhamNow]

Register now for UA's 2018 Economic Outlook Conference

The University of Alabama's 2018 Economic Outlook Conference will be held on January 11 at Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center in Montgomery.

It will be the 30th year for the conference hosted by UA's Center for Business and Economic Research.

Speakers include:
Dr. David Altig, Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Dr. David Bronner, CEO of Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Registration can be done online at the CBER website or by calling 205-348-6191 . The registration deadline is January 9th.

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