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:

State Unemployment Matches Record Low
JAN 20, 2018

Alabama's unemployment rate is holding steady at a record low level.

Gov. Kay Ivey's office says the state's jobless rate was 3.5 percent last month. That's the same as November, when the state matched its all-time low for unemployment.

Ivey's office says the December rate means nearly 2.1 million people were employed overall in the state. That's the most ever, surpassing the December number by about 45,000 residents.


$2.5 Million grant for expansion of Ozark's Alabama Aviation College
By  Press Release: Enterprise State Community College  | 
Jan 19, 2018   
OZARK, Ala. (PR) - Governor Kay Ivey announced that Enterprise State Community College will receive $2.5 million dollars to expand the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark. 

The funds are part of the Alabama Capital Improvement Trust Fund which awards funds for projects that promote economic development and industrial recruitment in the state.

The Alabama Aviation College offers training and coursework in one of Alabama's fastest growing career fields - aviation. Specifically, students are offered programs in aircraft maintenance and avionics technology. The grant funds announced today will be used to renovate campus infrastructure to expand the College's Advanced Composite Training Program and prepare the campus for future program expansions.



University of Alabama launches program for economic development execs
By  Hanno van der Bijl   -  Digital Producer, Birmingham Business Journal
Jan. 22, 2018

The University of Alabama is leading a multi-university program for economic development leaders.

The university is joined by  Clemson University, the University of Southern Mississippi and Texas Christian University to form the Advanced Economic Development Leadership program.

The two-week class will begin with a one-week session in February and another in August.


Toyota CEO on Alabama plant: 'The site itself was important'
Toyota's North America CEO said the Limestone County site for the company's $1.6 billion joint manufacturing plant with Mazda was one of the key components in the decision to come to Alabama.
In an interview with  The Dallas Morning News, Lentz said the company looked at more than 100 sites in 22 states, but  logistics made the decision simple.

"If you look at the different locations, the site itself was important - how flat it was, how close was it was to rail and highways and all that," Lentz told the 



Walmart reveals more detail on distribution center hiring, startup
Here's a fresh hint at the sheer scale of Walmart's new distribution center outside Mobile: Its general manager says that it'll start taking in shipments in early June, but won't start putting wares on outbound trucks until about two months later.

 "We should be completing the building in the month of May," said Barry Westbrooks. "Our plans right now, we'll start receiving some of our merchandise, we'll start that process the first of June. And then we plan to start shipping to other locations by the end of July, first of August."

It's almost as if Walmart is building a dam, and has to let the lake fill in behind it before it can open the spillways.



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