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:

SSAB to move U.S. headquarters to Alabama, creating 60 jobs

MOBILE, Alabama -  SSAB Americas, a division of global steelmaker SSAB, announced plans this morning to relocate the division's head office from suburban Chicago to Mobile, a move that will bring 60 jobs to Alabama.

Since 2001, the company has operated a steel mill in nearby Axis, which employs nearly 600 workers and produces more than 1 million tons of high-quality steel plate each year.

"Mobile is a growing community with a booming economy; we are excited to expand our presence in the area as a trusted employer and community partner," said Chuck Schmitt, president of SSAB Americas.


A look inside Mercedes-Benz's move into Bibb County
Little more than 13 months after Mercedes-Benz began looking for land for two expansions of its Tuscaloosa County operations,  the auto giant was breaking ground in neighboring Bibb County.

Those involved in the search told the story yesterday of how the automaker was able to acquire 278 acres not far from Interstate 20/59 in relative secrecy. They recounted the tale at the Global Supply Chain & Logistics Summit at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel.

The story shows not only how an international company can move swiftly and silently, but also gives a window into Mercedes' plans for its new expansion.



Heavy lifting: How a Mobile dry dock raises a ship
You might have felt like you had to do some heavy lifting on Monday, but unless your name is Atlas,  World Marine of Alabama probably has you beaten.

Over the course of about five and a half hours, the Mobile company guided the Wheeler, a massive U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge, into its even more massive main dry dock, the DD-1, and elevated it roughly 28 feet, so that its hull rested high and dry on a carefully positioned array of six-foot-high support blocks.

Visitors to Mobile's waterfront and boaters traveling the Mobile River see drydocks all the time, sitting there empty or cradling some vessel while it undergoes repair and maintenance work. But Monday's lift at World Marine of Alabama (WMA) provided a relatively rare chance to watch the transition from empty to loaded.



UA creates tech partnership in two Alabama cities
By  Tyler Patchen   -  Health and Technology Reporter, Birmingham Business Journal
The  University of Alabama has partnered with two cities in rural Alabama to create tech and entrepreneurial hubs in the cities of Cullman and Fairhope, Alabama. 

The Technology Villages plan to assist communities in constructing and operating storefront technology-focused incubators by fostering an entrepreneurial culture and developing and resource ecosystems as well as linking  University of Alabama resources with emerging tech companies across Alabama.

"I'm excited about the university's strategic partnerships with Cullman and Fairhope," said UA President Stuart R. Bell. "One of our primary goals as Alabama's flagship is to increase activities that drive economic development for our state. As we reach out to emerging tech businesses in these areas, we look forward to helping small businesses thrive and bolster their local economies."

Macon County Farmers support T-100 Project
By KIM DAVIS Special to The News
12 hrs ago

The Executive Board of the Macon County Farmers Federation, excited about the possibility of a new major aerospace manufacturing company coming to Tuskegee that will create 750 new jobs, unanimously passed a Resolution of Support for the T-100 Jet Trainer Project.

A full house of the local farmers came to Becks Turf Farm for their monthly October meeting. They welcomed Mayor Tony Haygood, Macon County Commissioner Miles Robinson, Macon County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) Vice President Robert Davis and Strategic Consultant Joe Turnham, who introduced the latest details about the T-100 project to the farmers.

Most had heard about the jet trainer. All were enthusiastic about its prospects after Turnham's encouraging remarks.


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