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:

 GE Aviation readies unique materials factories in Alabama
November 08, 2017

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -  GE Aviation said today that initial personnel and special processing equipment are in place at a new $200 million factory complex in Alabama that will be America's first production center for unique materials used to manufacture ceramic matrix composites (CMCs).

CMCs are poised to revolutionize aerospace manufacturing because of their ultra-lightweight properties and their ability to withstand extremely high temperatures.

The center in Huntsville is comprised of two adjacent factories standing on 100 acres, where silicon carbide (SiC) materials will be mass produced. The plants are critical in enabling GE Aviation to produce CMC components in large volume.


Upcoming call center could bring more tech jobs to Anniston, officials say
19 hrs ago

The developer of a call center opening soon in Anniston says he's excited about what the new jobs will mean for the area, and that there's potential for even more growth once the company opens.  

Todd Davis, an Anniston real estate agent and a developer of the call center project, said Wednesday that in addition to the 150 call center workers Viiz Communications plans to employ, the company has discussed moving other IT development and professional technology jobs to Anniston.

"I'm excited about that. The opportunities are limitless," Davis said.


Inventive Startups Already Rolling
November 2017

Josh Sahib was having a beer at a Tuscaloosa brewery when he came up with an idea for a new company that involved - what else? Beer.

The idea came about while Sahib, 34, and a friend were brainstorming for Alabama's first Startup Weekend event.

"Those are held all across the world - Google is one of the sponsors - and back in September 2014, it was coming to Alabama for the first time and was going to be held in Tuscaloosa," Sahib says.


Revitalization catching on in Alabama town
NOVEMBER 09, 2017 

RUSSELLVILLE, ALA.  Mayor David Grissom appears excited when he see's everything that is happening downtown.

For years, economic development efforts stagnated as just a few open businesses were scattered among several vacant buildings. That's not the case anymore.

In June, the city's first loft apartments were opened.


Leeds steers course to being an Alabama Community of Excellence
By Cary Estes for @Alabama Newscenter

Leeds is a mere 15 miles east of the ever-sprawling Birmingham, and signs of big-city encroachment are steadily popping up along the way. Most notably, Exit 140 off Interstate 20 - also known as "the Leeds exit" - has been transformed in recent years by the addition of the  Barber Motorsports Park and Museum, the  Outlet Shops of Grand River and the 150,000-square-foot  Bass Pro Shops.

Yet, all this modern commercial expansion is just a short drive away from the historic buildings of downtown Leeds and the rustic countryside of the  Leeds Scenic Byway. The task facing city officials is to have the best of both these contrasting worlds. They want to embrace the economic progress that comes with such growth while maintaining the small-town charm and rural tranquility that attracted many people to Leeds in the first place.

With the help of the  Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program, Leeds has chosen to navigate these waters by adopting a Smart Growth planning approach to development. "This is a part of Jefferson County that still hasn't really been developed yet, but it's going to get developed at some point," says Leeds Mayor David Miller, who has held that position since 2012. "So you can either steer the ship or you can get run over by it. What we're trying to do is steer the ship and make sure it's done in a good, positive way."


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