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
Area Development ranks Alabama among top business-friendly states
, a national economic development-focused publication, once again ranked Alabama among the top states for doing business. In a new survey, Alabama earned high marks for improved economic development policies, its proven workforce development program, and a long-running shovel-ready sites initiative.
Alabama ranks No. 6 overall in the magazine's 2017 "Top States for Doing Business" analysis, the same spot as the prior year. Alabama has placed in the overall Top 10 of Area Development's rankings every year for at least eight years, underscoring a consistent high-level emphasis on economic development for the state.
In Area Development's new survey, Alabama scored in the Top 10 in 9 different individual categories, which span a wide range of critical economic development issues.
UAH-led Alabama partnership awarded $20 million research grant
A partnership of nine Alabama universities, led by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, have been awarded a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
The five-year grant, part of the NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, will fund the "development of new predictive plasma-surface interaction technologies for the nation's aerospace, manufacturing, energy, environment, and agricultural sectors," according to a statement from UAH.
Other schools who make up the partnership: University of Alabama, Auburn University, UAB, Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Oakwood University, Tuskegee University and the University of South Alabama.
Geneva County opens new career tech center
Sep 19, 2017
Creative problem solving helped save an Alabama National Guard unit in Geneva and will provide students in Geneva County a chance to learn career technical skills.
Tuesday marked the official opening of the Geneva County Regional Career Technical Center. The new center is located in the Geneva National Guard Armory on Maple Avenue. The Guard spent $5 million from a bond issue on renovating the building for improvements necessary to the local unit's mission and to accommodate the new career tech program.
The launch of the facility helped solve problems facing the local Guard unit and the Geneva County Schools. The school system wanted a career tech center, but didn't have the money to build one. The local unit was on the chopping block because of a shortfall in funding to modernize armories around the state. The partnership among the Guard, the Geneva County Schools, and some Alabama community colleges allows the armory to stay open and provides a home for the school system's career tech program. The Geneva County Schools will pay rent to the Guard for use of the building.
Lance Self and ZeroRPM are bringing green technology to idling vehicles
Part of the story of ZeroRPM and CEO Lance Self is perseverance.
It took the Cullman-based company more than a year to develop its idling mitigation technology, and then another year before it began installing its products in U.S. Border Patrol vehicles.
And Alabama isn't usually thought of in national conversations about "green technology," Self said. But that could soon change.