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6 months ago

Governor Ivey highlights Alabama ranking among top states for manufacturing

Governor Kay Ivey on Friday released a statement highlighting Alabama’s ranking atop “Global Trade” magazine’s list of the best nine states for manufacturing in the nation.

“Alabama has a strong heritage in manufacturing, which remains a key pillar in the state’s growing economy,” Ivey said. “Alabama workers have shown the world that they have the expertise to manufacture high-quality products that set industry standards, and this ranking is more confirmation of that fact.”

There are over 270, 000 manufacturing workers in the state, representing over 13 percent of Alabama’s workforce. That’s the fifth highest concentration in the country, according to data from the National Association of Manufacturers.

“Alabama’s manufacturing workers bring energy and passion to their jobs, and they’re always willing to learn new skills that will enhance productivity,” outlined Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

He continued, “These qualities set them apart from their counterparts in other states and allow them to manufacture a sweeping variety of top-flight products that are in demand all over the world.”

The states named in the “Global Trade” rankings have a “combination of factors, like an existing industrial base, the availability of talent, investment incentives, and favorable tax and regulatory environments.”

Besides Alabama, the states that made the cut were Florida, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio.

Alabama received a glowing write-up from “the authority for U.S. companies doing business globally.”

“The state has seen a continued influx of manufacturing investment—much of it from the international auto industry—and it’s not hard to understand why,” the magazine wrote.

It continued, “Alabama ranks fifth in the nation in auto production, with Toyota, Mazda, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Honda all locating factories here. Vehicles are now Alabama’s number-one export.”

The new Toyota-Mazda plant announcement proved Alabama’s prowess.

“When Toyota and Mazda chose Alabama for a new plant, the state’s package of incentives was reportedly worth over $350 million. The package included jobs and investments credits, capital costs reimbursements, sales- and property-tax abatements, and the building of a training center at the site a state agency,” explained “Global Trade.”

Alabama also has government agencies that understand how to help job creators instead of creating excess red-tape.

“The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) expedites investments by coordinating the work of state and local economic development agencies at the project outset,” the magazine outlined. “Barring any serious issues, all permitting can be completed in 120 days.”

Site selection opportunities are key to Alabama’s ranking, and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) plays a key role in these efforts.

EDPA coordinates AdvantageSite, which is jointly sponsored by the Department of Commerce, the Alabama Power Company, Spire, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

Since 2008, AdvantageSite has fostered 35 projects totaling $1,419,670,000 in capital investment, which has grown 6,435 jobs in the state.

“Pre-certifying development sites tend to attract major projects,” emphasized the magazine, as it highlighted the AdvantageSite program.

Alabama has world-class workforce development initiatives, too.

The magazine noted, “AIDT, Alabama’s workforce development agency, initiates training programs to attract new industries. Training is often provided in mobile training units that meet specific company needs. Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Navistar, and Airbus are among the companies that have benefited from AIDT training.”

While the automotive industry in the state is well-known, Alabama’s aerospace industry is also set to take off, especially with a possible role in the coming Space Force. The magazine pointed out that Alabama already “enjoys a leadership position in aerospace production.”

The selection of Alabama in the ranking of top manufacturing states comes one month after “Business Facilities,” an economic development focused publication, named the Yellowhammer State as the best in a business-climate ranking.

A 2017 Gallup poll also found that Alabama has the highest percentage of “highly involved and enthusiastic” workers in the nation.

All of these rankings come at a time when the state is moving to streamline and improve its comprehensive workforce development program, with many of these functions centralized in the Alabama Department of Commerce. New initiatives include AlabamaWorks and Apprenticeship Alabama.

Earlier this year, Ivey launched Success Plus – a new strategic workforce development initiative that ambitiously targets the addition of 500,000 high-skilled employees to Alabama’s workforce by 2025 – in response to increasing employer demands for the higher levels of talent needed in modern workplaces.

Success Plus aims “to improve access to educational opportunities, create pathways and defined routes that show people how to advance a career, and encourage collaboration among private and public entities.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

15 mins ago

Alabama prep star Maori Davenport drops suit against AHSAA

An Alabama high school basketball star who had been ruled ineligible dropped a lawsuit against the Alabama High School Athletic Association shortly after her senior season ended.

Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan dismissed the suit Wednesday at the request of Maori Davenport’s mother, Tara.

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The Charles Henderson star had sued the AHSAA and director Steve Savarese after she was ruled ineligible for accepting a payment from USA Basketball.

She played for Team USA last summer and received an $857.20 stipend, which was repaid.

The judge ordered Davenport’s temporary reinstatement and the case was twice delayed, meaning the Rutgers signee was able to play the season’s final five weeks.

Charles Henderson was eliminated Wednesday at the Class 5A state regional.

Jim Williams, an attorney representing the AHSAA, says his side did not have a chance to file an objection and “we did not consent to the dismissal.”
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

 

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1 hour ago

7 Things: Mueller probe could be over, Byrne officially the first Republican in 2020 U.S. Senate race, Alabama law forces government to give newspapers money and more …

7. Hate crime hoaxer has been arrested and charged with “filing a false police report

— Reports out of Chicago don’t look good for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a grand jury has returned a felony indictment for what the Cook County district attorney believes was a fabricated hate crime to garner publicity. This is not the first time Smollett lied to the police. He pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement after giving police a fake name in a 2017 DUI arrest.

6. Obama era regulations close a power plant; Alabama Power says employees will get new jobs

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— Alabama Power Company announced the Gorgas Steam Plant in Walker County will shut down, because of mandates put in place by President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on April 15. Alabama Power has said all Plant Gorgas employees will keep their jobs and be transferred to other facilities. Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-4) called this an obvious outcome of the “War on Coal.” He stated, “This is just another example of the ‘War on Coal’ that was prevalent during the Obama Administration and how it deeply impacts rural communities with little concern for those who are hurt.”

5. The State Department says ISIS bride can’t come home to Alabama

— A former Hoover resident and thrice married ISIS bride has been informed that the United States would not welcome her back to the United States. President Donald Trump pushed for that decision and tweeted, “I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear she won’t be welcomed. “Ms. [Muthana] is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the U.S. She does not have any legal basis, no valid passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the U.S.,” Pompeo said.

4. White nationalist arrested with an arsenal and a hit list of Democrat politicians and journalists

— Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, called for “focused violence” and was planning a mass terrorist attack to kill “almost every last person on earth” and “establish a white homeland.” His targets included MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). He also had 15 firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. In court filings, the government said bluntly, “The defendant is a domestic terrorist.”

3. Alabama state law requires advertising in the local newspaper for various state and local entities, this means revenue for papers like the Democrat-Reporter

— A local newspaper embroiled in a racism controversy has benefitted for years from an Alabama law that predates the Internet and guarantees revenue for local newspapers. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) alone spent over $4,000 last year alone. This is only one agency of the state government and one small-town newspaper. It doesn’t factor in other government entities in the area that are required to do business with the newspaper. These laws represent millions of dollars for newspapers guaranteed by archaic state law.

2. It’s official: Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) is running for United State Senate

— Byrne announced his run at a Wintzell’s seafood restaurant in Mobile. Byrne referred to his potential future opponent U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) by criticizing his “radical policies.” Byrne also laid out the fight ahead, saying, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.” Jones responded to the news by hammering Byrne. “Given the results of his losing bid for Governor in 2010, in which he did not even win the Republican nomination, it’s hard to see why they would nominate a career politician like Bradley Byrne now,” Jones stated.

1. After almost two years, the Robert Mueller probe is coming to an end

— Attorney General Bill Barr could be ready to announce the end of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and could submit a final report to Congress soon as well. These are the most obvious indications that the investigation is almost over. While it is unclear how much of the report will be made public, Barr has made it clear he plans to be “transparent” with Congress and the American people.

15 hours ago

Byrne first to officially declare run vs. Doug Jones – ‘Future is too important to sit on the sidelines’

Just down the street from where he grew up, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced Wednesday evening his candidacy for the United States Senate while surrounded by family, friends and supporters gathered at Wintzell’s Oyster House in beautiful downtown Mobile.

Byrne became the first candidate to officially announce a run against the incumbent from Mountain Brook, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). In doing so, Byrne made clear his campaign will focus on his record as a fighter for Alabama’s values, drawing a clear and direct contrast between his traditional Yellowhammer State roots and the “radical policies” being pushed by Jones’ Democratic Party.

In his announcement speech, Byrne emphasized, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.”

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The congressman spoke about the “disconnect” between hardworking, everyday Alabamians and people stuck in the bubble of Washington, D.C.

Byrne urged attendees, “Look in Washington and tell me you don’t see people that have a vision that’s fundamentally at odds with what America is.”

“We need a Senator who will fight with President Trump to defend the Constitution, build the wall, stand up for the unborn, push for lower taxes, make health care more affordable and protect the Second Amendment,” he outlined. “I will fight every day to bring Alabama’s conservative values to Washington.”

Answering questions from reporters following the announcement, Byrne decried the Democratic Party’s embrace of socialism and “[killing] babies as they’re delivered.”

He also warned voters that Democrats should be expected to try and interfere in the Republican primary through “fake news” and  manipulative social media efforts. This comes in the wake of revelations that “Project Birmingham” was orchestrated to aid Jones’ general election candidacy in 2017.

Byrne, a labor-employment attorney by trade, is the former chancellor of the state’s community college system and one-term member of the state senate. He has served southwest Alabama in Congress since January 2014.

The Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama will be held March 3, 2020, with the general election to follow in November.

You can watch Byrne’s announcement speech and hear him answer questions from reporters afterwards here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

16 hours ago

Watch live: Bradley Byrne announces U.S. Senate run against Doug Jones

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is set to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate seat held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) live at the Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile.

Watch live below:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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17 hours ago

Heavy rains swamping Deep South

Heavy rains are causing problems in parts of the Deep South.

Police in Huntsville, Alabama, say a half-dozen roads are blocked by downed trees or utility poles plus water from flash floods.

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Flood watches and warnings cover the northern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia and nearly all of Tennessee is at risk for floods.

Several school systems are delaying classes or closing.

The weather service is predicting as much as eight inches of rain in spots through Saturday, and freezing rain and sleet are possible in western South Carolina.

Forecasters say moisture from the Gulf is mixing with weather systems moving eastward in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

As much as one inch of rain an hour is possible, and the weather service says some areas could get more.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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