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 labor official expects Toyota-Mazda, other jobs to recruit well
By Marian Accardi Staff Writer

Toyota-Mazda and Bocar plan new plants in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County as jobless rates hover at 3.5 percent statewide and even lower in Morgan and other counties, but the state's top labor official believes recruiting should be successful for these high-paying, high-demand jobs.

"High-wage, high-skill jobs usually recruit well, despite low unemployment rates," Alabama Labor Department Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. "These jobs will have high wages and good benefits. Employees from other sectors will likely be willing to shift into new industries if necessary in order to reap these benefits."

Toyota and Mazda announced last month they will invest $1.6 billion in a joint venture to build Toyota Corollas and a new Mazda crossover, with the plants expected to employ about 4,000 people, at an average salary of $50,000, not including benefits. A timeline shows operations to start in 2021.


BioAlabama looking to give new life to economic development with state network
By Michael Tomberlin

BioAlabama is looking to formalize a life sciences network throughout the state to enhance economic development in an important industry that stretches to nearly every corner of Alabama.

The state's industry organization is aligned with the national  Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotech centers and related organizations.

Peggy Sammon, CEO of  GeneCapture Inc. in Huntsville's  HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, is on the BioAlabama board of directors. She outlined plans for BioAlabama to take the lead in helping grow biotech in the state at the  Economic Development Association of Alabama Winter Conference earlier this week.


KTECH puts the love in Alabama workforce training
on February 04, 2018 

Lee Marshall has never worried about her ability to provide the "love" part in "Kids to Love."

A former foster child herself, her  Kids to Love Foundation has loved and cared for more than 200,000 foster children all across Alabama since 2004.

What worried Marshall was what might happen to these foster children when they were no longer children.




Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad business pitch competition begins Feb. 8
Joe McAdory | Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
February 02, 2018

Startups from five East Alabama counties have an opportunity to win a share of $100,000 in cash prizes at the Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad finals this April. However, they must clear their first pitch round.

Eleven teams will have 10 minutes to pitch their ideas before industry professional judges on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Courtyard by Marriott in Auburn. The event is sponsored by BBVA Compass.

After the round of first pitches are made, judges will determine the teams that will advance to the semifinals. The Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad is presented by the Auburn University Harbert College of Business' Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, the City of Auburn, Auburn Research and Technology Foundation and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, or EDPA.


  Video celebrates Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc.'s 20th anniversary 

This "Jobs" video is one in a series that highlights the 20th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz's Alabama plant in Tuscaloosa County and the American manufacturing footprint. 

Located in Tuscaloosa County, the plant is the location production of the Mercedes-Benz  GLE SUV,   GLS SUV , the  C-Class  for the North American market and the  GLE Coupe SUV 

The plant recently celebrated the production of its 3 millionth vehicle. 

The plant employs more than 3,700 and is gearing up for a $1 billion expansion announced last year, most of which is slated for Mercedes-Benz's electric initiative.


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