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 Launchpad selects 2 innovative startups for funding

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Two Birmingham firms prevailed in the latest round of the Alabama startup competition that has pumped millions of dollars into innovative ideas across the state.

The Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition Finale, held Wednesday night at Iron City, featured six teams that made pitches in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.

The winner of the seed track, and the top prize of $100,000, was  INFLCR, which equips innovative college athletic programs with critical social media tools to empower their student athletes to be brand ambassadors on social media.


BOCAR to add more than 300 jobs in north Alabama
For The News Courier
Nov. 16, 2017     

HUNTSVILLE - BOCAR, a Tier 1 automotive supplier, plans to invest $115 million in a new plant to be built in Huntsville in Limestone County. The company will hire more than 300 people, adding to the state's booming automotive manufacturing sector.

BOCAR company leaders made the announcement on Thursday at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber along with representatives of the City of Huntsville and Limestone County.

"We are glad to invest in Huntsville, Alabama, where good infrastructure, talented people and a host of excellent universities will develop our business while contributing positively to the social and economic development of this community," said Gerd Dressler, CFO of BOCAR Group.


Leonardo: Preparations for Alabama T-100 aircraft factory on track
November 16, 2017

VENEGONO, Italy - Executives of aerospace company Leonardo told an Alabama delegation touring an aircraft facility in Italy that preparations for a manufacturing operation in Tuskegee are on track to provide the  T-100 next-generation jet trainer for the U.S. Air Force.

Leonardo invited the Alabama team, led by Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, to the Venegono Superiore factory for a detailed look at how the company manufactures an advanced trainer aircraft similar to the T-100 that is already in service in three countries.

On Wednesday, executives of Leonardo and its partners provided the Alabama group with an update on the T-100 project, which calls for the construction of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with 750 workers at Moton Field, the historic home of the  Tuskegee Airmen.


Workforce development director Jeff Lynn knows what companies want

Jeff Lynn, workforce development director for the Alabama Community College System, preps students for entering the workforce by learning what companies want. And it's paying off.

"We're one of the very few community college systems across the states who are working with Apple," Lynn told attendees at the Opelika Chamber of Commerce Business Over Breakfast meeting Tuesday. "Maybe because Tim Cook went to Auburn, I don't know, but...we'll be the only state that's rolling out some new things we're going to be working on with Apple."

Those things entail virtual reality and augmented animation, he explained. Students using the new technology would be able to project an engine and take it apart, or examine a cadaver, learning how to properly do things before hands-on lab work.


"Tragic loss to the Shorter community": Macon County official Harold Powell Jr. dies in Italy

Macon County official Harold Powell Jr. has died while in Italy on a state economic development trip, according to a statement released by Gov. Kay Ivey.

"It is with great sorrow that I learned today of the passing of Harold Powell Jr. while representing the State of Alabama and Macon County on an economic development mission to Italy," Ivey said. "Harold was a leader in Macon County and the town of Shorter. He was working to position his community to become the home of a Leonardo aircraft manufacturing facility. I send my condolences to Harold's mother, Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell, his father, Harold Powell Sr., his entire family and his many friends."

Powell served as Town Clerk in Shorter, as well as Secretary-Treasurer of the Macon County Economic Development Authority.


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