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's October Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low 3.6%

MONTGOMERY - Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced today that Alabama's preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 3.6%, down from September's previous record-tying rate of 3.8%, and well below October 2016's rate of 6.1%.

"We had great news last month, when we announced that Alabama's unemployment rate had tied its lowest ever.  Today, our news is even bigger! Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped even more, registering a new record low!" said Governor Ivey.  "What we are doing is working, and as a result, the people of Alabama are working."

"Additionally, today's numbers show that we currently have the fewest number of unemployed people in history, measuring some 77,000; but that means 77,000 Alabamians, men and women, are still without work. I will persist in my efforts to put every Alabamian who wants to work in a good paying job by recruiting high-wage, high-skill industries to Alabama."


Gemstone Foods is moving into vacant plant
By Tom Smith Senior Staff Writer
FLORENCE - For the first time in nearly three years, there's activity at the old Hillshire Farms processing plant located on South Seminary Street.

The facility has been purchased by Gemstone Foods LLC, which has an operation and headquarters in Decatur, and is owned by an equity company in Jackson, Mississippi.

Workers are in the process of remodeling 75,000 square feet of production space at the Florence plant.


New West Ala. program exposes educators to industry to help prepare students for jobs
By Terri Brewer, Reporter
November 16, 2017

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -A program is getting off the ground in West Alabama, connecting education and industry leaders to make sure students are getting the right skills to be ready for a good job once they graduate.

The Educator Workforce Academy, coordinated by the West Alabama Works workforce development organization, includes superintendents and principals, even at the middle and elementary school levels, to make sure students are starting early on the skills that will make them employable.

For the next year, about 90 superintendents and principals will go into local industries and see first-hand what the jobs involve. West Alabama Works began the academy largely due to the growth of industry in West Alabama and the serious need for qualified workers.



Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED execs honored by Newcomen Society
More than 500 people took part as the Newcomen Society of Alabama this week honored Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED, its chairman Claude Nielsen and president and CEO John Sherman, in Birmingham at the society's annual awards ceremony.

"The Coca-Cola UNITED story is both an inspiring family story and a dynamic business story that could only be achieved in our incredible free enterprise system," Nielsen said.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Birmingham. It is the largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the nation. 



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