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:

International Paper to boost investment in Alabama mill to $522.7 million
February 06, 2018

SELMA, Alabama - Memphis, Tennessee-based  International Paper (IP) plans to increase a planned investment in its Riverdale Mill in Dallas County to $552.7 million as it optimizes the facility's product mix and boosts productivity.

In September 2017, IP announced  plans to invest around $300 million at the Selma plant as part of a strategic plan to grow its industrial packaging business.

The additional investment expands on those plans to convert a line making uncoated freesheet, or copy paper, to the production of high-quality whitetop and kraft linerboard, as well as containerboard. These products are important to the packaging industry, which is experiencing a boom due to surging levels of e-commerce.


Tuskegee greets Italian ambassador as city seeks to lure jet trainer project
By William Thornton
Italy gave the Tuskegee Airmen a home. Now an Italian corporation hopes to make its home in Alabama for what could be a transformational project.

Italian ambassador Armando Varricchio visited Moton Field in Tuskegee today, touring the training home of the celebrated World War II fighter pilots. Along with Varricchio was William Lynn III, CEO of Leonardo DRS, the North American arm of the Italian aeronautics and defense contractor.

The company plans to build the T-100 trainer jet for the U.S. Air Force at Tuskegee. But that's if the U.S. Air Force awards the contract for the project. Company officials believe that decision will come this summer.



Foley's UTC plant delivers first 'neo' engines to Airbus in Mobile
UTC Aerospace Systems in Foley reports that it has delivered the first two "neo" engine assemblies to the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Mobile, a milestone for both companies.

The neo designation stands for "New Engine Option," meaning next-generation engines with greater fuel efficiency. They're expected to be increasingly in demand in the future. UTC's Foley plant already prepares the engine assemblies for Mobile-built jets with conventional engines; in 2017 it dedicated  a substantial expansion dedicated to neo engine work.

The demand is there: In December, Delta ordered 100 new A321neo jets, and Airbus CEO Tom Enders said  most of them would be manufactured in Mobile. Kristi Tucker, director of communications for Airbus Americas, said at the time that the Mobile Final Assembly Line (FAL) was expected to deliver its first neo-powered jet in 2018.



Walker County's David Knight receives top Alabama Economic Development Award

A Walker County resident was honored recently by the Alabama Department of Commerce. David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority, was given the David R. Echols Distinguished Service Award by the ADC for exemplary service in economic development.

The award, presented annually at the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) winter conference, is the highest statewide recognition available to the state's economic development professionals.

Knight, in accepting the award, credited the Walker County Development Authority Board of Directors and staff, the City of Jasper and the Jasper Industrial Development Board for providing leadership, funding and support for local development efforts.


Alabama Legislature offers support, recognition to state's iron and steel manufacturing sector
ON FEBRUARY 5, 2018 

Montgomery - One of Alabama's most economically significant industries is the recipient of well-deserved recognition from the Alabama Legislature. Both the House and Senate chambers unanimously approved HJR25, which officially voiced support and recognition of Alabama's iron and steel manufacturing sector.

"Iron and steel manufacturing jobs in Alabama have an average annual wage of over $95,000, and it is estimated that each direct job supports nearly seven indirect jobs," stated Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Birmingham).  "When you look at a state like ours, which has several major mills and employs thousands, that is very significant."

Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Birmingham) introduced the Resolution after gathering a bipartisan group of 56 House cosponsors. Both Representative Mooney and Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) led the resolution's passage through their respective chambers.


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