Resicum plans aviation training facility at Selma’s Craig Field

SELMA, Alabama — Governor Kay Ivey announced today that Resicum International LLC, which provides flight training and maintenance support to government, commercial and general aviation customers, plans to open an aviation training academy at Craig Field in Selma that will prepare the next generation of industry professionals from around the world. Resicum plans to invest...

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Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Memorable gifts from rural Alabama

Rural Alabama is home to many skilled and creative artisans, whose work shines brightly during the holiday season. From intricate woodwork to inventive fragrance blends, their products are popular gifts for Christmas and other occasions throughout the year. “There’s an intriguing mix of natural outdoor beauty and modern innovation of entrepreneurial-minded residents in our rural...

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For holiday gift twist, consider an Alabama adventure this year

Think outside the gift box this holiday season. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to high-end entertainment, the ways to experience Alabama are vast and varied, and they also make a perfect Christmas present. Here’s a twist on our annual “Made in Alabama” holiday gift guide, because there’s nothing you can put under the tree. But these Alabama...

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First Solar plans $1.1 billion Alabama manufacturing facility with 700 jobs

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — First Solar Inc. plans to invest $1.1 billion to establish a photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing facility in Lawrence County, creating over 700 jobs in North Alabama, according to an announcement today by Governor Kay Ivey. The new factory is part of the company’s previously announced investment in scaling its American manufacturing...

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Renovated state parks showcase rural Alabama’s advantages

EUFAULA, Alabama — New additions and renovations are under way at several Alabama State Parks, which are showcasing the natural assets and quality-of-life advantages of rural counties. At Lakepoint State Park in Barbour County, recent projects include an archery park and an off-road vehicle course. Both developments, along with newly-renovated cabins, are gaining popularity among...

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Summit: Rural Alabama poised for job growth as project momentum builds

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Growing businesses injected nearly $1.7 billion in new capital investment into Alabama’s rural counties last year in a sign of continuing vitality, according to data released today by the Alabama Department of Commerce in conjunction with a summit for the state’s rural developers. These projects will create over 1,600 jobs in rural...

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Second ‘Made in Alabama’ Showcase features top homegrown products

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Governor Kay Ivey recognized 14 companies and their exceptional homegrown products at the second “Made in Alabama” Showcase at the state Capitol today. Governor Ivey invited the businesses to exhibit their products in the Old Supreme Court Library during a ceremony today. Eleven exhibitors showcased their products, shared their company history, and...

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Microsoft taps Randolph County to lead digital skills initiative in Alabama

ROANOKE, Alabama — Microsoft Philanthropies is teaming with the Randolph County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) on a program that helps job seekers and professionals gain new skills for in-demand roles in the digital economy. The RCEDA received funding from Microsoft Philanthropies to launch the Community Skills Initiative Alabama Region program. A suite of online training...

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ISA Corp. selects Geneva County for glove manufacturing operation

HARTFORD, Alabama — Oregon-based ISA Corp., a manufacturer of nitrile and latex gloves, announced plans today to open a production facility in Geneva County, creating 80 jobs over two years at the location in rural Alabama. ISA Alabama Corp., as the new venture is called, will be located in a 45,000-square-foot speculative building in the...

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Amazon teams with Tuskegee University for advanced training programs

TUSKEGEE, Alabama — Tuskegee University has a new partnership with Amazon that will establish advanced training programs in mechatronics, robotics, supply chain management and logistics operations for students at the Macon County institution. Amazon donated $1.2 million to fund the programs, which will also include scholarships and set up a pipeline for leadership roles at...

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Alabama joins top states in publication’s new site selectors survey

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A national economic development publication reports that site-selection professionals it surveyed have again ranked Alabama among the top states for business, citing a broad range of factors contributing to a fertile growth environment. Area Development says Alabama ranks No. 6 overall in its 2022 “Top States for Doing Business” analysis, the same...

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Ecore plans Alabama manufacturing facility with $25 million project

OZARK, Alabama — Ecore International plans to invest $25.5 million to open a state-of-the-art manufacturing and recycling facility in the Southeast Alabama city of Ozark, where it will create 84 jobs, according to Governor Kay Ivey. Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Ecore specializes in transforming reclaimed materials into high-performance flooring and surface products. The privately held company is...

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Market Wagon provides new way for farmers to connect with customers

There’s a new avenue for Alabama farmers to take their products to market, and it’s providing a growing number of residents with fresh, local food. Market Wagon, an Indiana-based company that has expanded into the Birmingham area, connects farmers and other food producers with consumers via an online ordering and delivery service. Mitch Hungerpiller, owner...

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O’Neal Manufacturing Services plans steel fab center in Fayette with 70 jobs

FAYETTE, Alabama — Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield announced today that O’Neal Manufacturing Services (OMS) plans to invest $5.5 million to open a 130,000-square-foot steel fabrication facility in Fayette as part of a project that will create 70 full-time jobs within three years after operations commence. OMS provides quality carbon steel and aluminum parts for customers...

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Work in rural Alabama spearheads advances for aerospace industry

Rural Alabama is setting the stage for some of the most pivotal advancements in the state’s aerospace and aviation industries. From Lockheed Martin’s plan to boost production of its in-demand Javelin missile in Troy to a pioneering project involving remote air traffic control in Selma, the work happening in Alabama’s rural counties is being felt...

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‘Transformational’ logistics park project kicks off in Macon County

TUSKEGEE, Alabama — Governor Kay Ivey joined leaders of Farpoint Development and the Macon County Economic Development Authority at an event today to mark the launch of an ambitious project to build the Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park, which aims to supercharge economic growth in the Tuskegee region. The groundbreaking ceremony comes as Farpoint...

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Linde plans to build $83 million hydrogen plant in Alabama

McINTOSH, Alabama — Linde, a leading global producer of industrial gases, plans to build a new hydrogen plant in Washington County as part of an $83 million growth project that will have a substantial impact on the community’s economy. Linde said the new plant will reinforce the company’s robust supply network. and allow it to...

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Pioneering remote aviation control tower landing at Selma’s Craig Field

SELMA, Alabama — Craig Field, the airport and industrial park in Selma, will soon become home to the nation’s first Remote Tower Air Traffic Control Center and a unique training academy stemming from a project that could revolutionize airspace control services in the United States. Advanced ATC Inc., an air traffic control academy in Valdosta,...

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Report: 2021 growth projects bringing Alabama $7.7 billion in new investment

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Governor Kay Ivey announced today that economic development activity across Alabama surged during 2021, with a new report showing that projects launched during the year will inject $7.7 billion in capital investment and almost 10,200 jobs into the state’s strengthening economy. The project activity is outlined in the 2021 New & Expanding...

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Macon County logistics park project preps for initial construction

TUSKEGEE, Alabama — Construction is scheduled to begin soon on the first building in a logistics park along Interstate 85 in Macon County that backers say could have a massive economic impact when its three phases are developed. The project, called the Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park, stems from a partnership between the Macon...

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Nature’s Earth Products plans $10.8 million expansion at Pickens County plant

REFORM, Alabama — Nature’s Earth Products LLC plans to invest over $10.8 million in an expansion project that will double the manufacturing capacity of its environmentally friendly products at the company’s facility in Pickens County. The Alabama Department of Commerce announced today that the growth project will add 12 new jobs to the Nature’s Earth...

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Project to build $202 million graphite processing plant in Alabama kicks off

KELLYTON, Alabama — Westwater Resources and its subsidiary, Alabama Graphite Products LLC, this morning officially launched construction of a first-of-its-kind graphite processing plant in Coosa County that will produce an essential material for electric vehicle batteries. The $202 million plant, which is being built in the Lake Martin Regional Industrial Park just off U.S. 280...

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Mercedes gives first look at electric EQS SUV coming to its Alabama assembly line

Mercedes-Benz gave the world a first glimpse today of the 2023 EQS sport utility vehicle, an all-electric luxury ride that will be built at the automaker’s Alabama plant later this year. The world premiere of the EQS SUV comes amid preparations at the Mercedes campuses in Tuscaloosa County, where the EQS and sibling EQE SUVs...

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Across rural Alabama, downtowns are making an energetic comeback

Cities in rural Alabama are seeing a rebirth in their downtowns, with a blitz of new business openings, property renovations and multimillion-dollar investments. Pop-up shops, green spaces, art festivals and social media buzz are among the trends that are helping drive the efforts to bring merchants, residents and visitors back to the heart of the...

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Alabama researchers focus on peanut genome to improve harvests

Peanuts are an important part of rural Alabama’s economy, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is doing innovative research aimed at producing healthier harvests. Scientists at the Huntsville facility have partnered with the state’s farmers and agricultural industry leaders on genomic projects involving peanuts. The work involves an integrated approach, with researchers using input from...

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Tenax plans $1 million in upgrades, new jobs at rural Conecuh plant

EVERGREEN, Alabama — Tenax Corp. plans to invest $1 million on improvements and new production machinery at its manufacturing facility in Evergreen, where it has operated for three decades, according to Conecuh County Economic Development. In addition, Tenax will create eight to 12 additional jobs tied to a new initiative to make the Evergreen facility...

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Mercedes-Benz opens battery factory for Alabama-built electric vehicles

WOODSTOCK, Alabama — Mercedes-Benz today officially opened a new battery plant on the automaker’s Bibb County campus, a few months before the start of production of all-electric Mercedes-EQ vehicles at its Alabama manufacturing center. Mercedes will produce the EQS SUV and EQE SUV in its plant in Alabama, as part of a global push to...

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University programs put spotlight on rural Alabama communities 

Universities across Alabama are engaged in a number of activities that offer promising developments for the state’s rural communities and the key industries that power their economies. For example, Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is the site of a new program that will study diseases among livestock that pose a threat to public health,...

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Rural Alabama project pipeline sparks new growth — and optimism

ROANOKE, Alabama — Bryant Whaley, the top economic developer for Randolph County, is riding the momentum. Despite the disruptions of a global pandemic, this rural county in eastern Alabama has seen three major corporate growth projects since August 2020, creating over 330 jobs. Whaley, executive director of the Randolph County Economic Development Authority, is optimistic...

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Bonnie Plants opens expanded greenhouse facilities after Alabama expansion

UNION SPRINGS, Alabama — Bonnie Plants, the nation’s largest grower of vegetable and herb plants for home gardens, today unveiled a multimillion-dollar expansion and upgrade of the company’s greenhouse facilities in rural Bullock County. Opelika-based Bonnie Plants said the new growing and distribution facilities in Union Springs are designed to strengthen e-commerce operations and improve production,...

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Humminbird kicks off construction on expansion project at Alabama facility

EUFAULA, Alabama — Humminbird, a leading maker of marine electronics products, officially launched construction work on a multimillion-dollar expansion project at its Eufaula facility to allow the company to meet strong consumer demand for its technologies. The expansion project will increase the production and assembly areas at the Alabama plant by 25%. The project is...

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Priester’s Pecans, landmark Alabama brand, plans to harvest future growth

FORT DEPOSIT, Alabama – For more than 85 years, Priester’s Pecans has helped families across Alabama and beyond celebrate the holidays, and the Lowndes County company continues to write new chapters in its storied history. The pecan processor and handmade candy operation is in the middle of its busiest time of the year, as more...

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Fill your holiday table with bounty from rural Alabama

From juicy turkeys to decadent desserts, Alabama’s rural counties can help fill your holiday table with a tasty spread. Small farms, major food manufacturers and longtime family businesses contribute to the bounty, while also being key drivers of jobs, investment and economic growth in their communities. “The companies behind some of Alabama’s most beloved flavors...

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Ferroglobe unit sets plan to restart silicon metal facility in Selma

SELMA, Alabama — Alabama officials announced today Globe Metallurgical Inc. (GMI),  a subsidiary of Ferroglobe PLC, a leading producer of silicon metal and specialty alloys, is moving forward with a plan to restart an idled silicon metal facility in Selma. The Dallas County facility will employ about 100 people and conduct business with 150 local...

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Bet on rural tech jobs pays off with new Alabama HQ for Provalus

BREWTON, Alabama – Provalus, an information technology services firm that seeks to tap talent in underserved communities, has opened a 55,000-square-foot headquarters in Brewton, a small city located in rural South Alabama. Governor Kay Ivey joined company leaders and local officials at a ceremony this week to mark the official opening of the new Provalus...

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Donated Mercedes SUVs add horsepower to auto training programs

VANCE, Alabama – As Mercedes-Benz U.S. International continues to expand its $6 billion Alabama auto assembly operation, the company is also investing in schools and training programs across the state, including those in rural counties. In turn, the schools and training programs are helping to fill the automaker’s worker pipeline, a crucial part of its...

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Distillery spurs vibrancy, new development in downtown Headland

HEADLAND, Alabama – When Lloyd Keel opened a distillery in Henry County three years ago, he envisioned a hobby business built on his longtime interest in making whiskey. As a boy growing up in rural Southeastern Alabama, Keel and his buddies sometimes ran across the remains of Prohibition-era moonshine stills while they were playing in...

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Growth projects bringing 3,000 jobs to Alabama’s rural counties

Economic development activity in Alabama’s rural counties ticked higher during the first half of 2021, building on growth projects that were launched in these areas last year despite the challenges of a pandemic. Preliminary, year-to-date results from the Alabama Department of Commerce show that projects locating in Alabama’s 40 “targeted” counties will generate at least...

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Lockheed Martin opens ‘digital’ hypersonics factory in rural Lawrence County

COURTLAND, Alabama – At a World War II-era Air Force base in rural Lawrence County, defense contractor Lockheed Martin this month opened one of the nation’s smartest factories, where workers will bring to life futuristic technologies to protect the U.S. Lockheed Martin says the 65,000-square-foot structure in Courtland — known as Missile Assembly Building 4,...

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Rural companies make splash at first ‘Made in Alabama’ Showcase

Companies making great products in small corners of the state stepped into the spotlight at the first installment of the Made in Alabama Showcase, an event last week that featured extraordinary homegrown products. Six of the 12 companies honored by Governor Kay Ivey at the Showcase are based in rural Alabama communities — a fact...

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High-impact projects show growth potential of Northwest Alabama region

GUIN, Alabama – Three rural counties in Northwest Alabama are adding new jobs and investments within their diverse industrial bases, and more economic growth is on the horizon for the region. Fayette, Lamar and Marion counties, which make up the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance, last year announced a combined five new projects and three...

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U.K.-based Ferroglobe eyes restart plan for silicon metal facility in Selma

SELMA, Alabama — Ferroglobe PLC, a leading producer of silicon metal, silicon-based alloys and manganese-based specialty alloys, announced today that its subsidiary, Globe Metallurgical Inc. (GMI), is considering plans to restart its silicon metal facility in Selma. GMI said it is working with Alabama and local representatives on the plans. The company is seeking New...

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Humminbird’s Alabama growth project will add 77 jobs in Eufaula

EUFAULA, Alabama — Humminbird, a leading maker of marine electronics products, announced Tuesday that it is creating over 75 jobs at its plant in Barbour County through an expansion project that will help the company meet strong consumer demand for its depth finders. “Humminbird has grown significantly over the last six years and we expect...

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Lockheed Martin apprenticeship program in Courtland preps students for careers

COURTLAND, Alabama — Perla Chavez and Makayla Chambers took different paths to completing Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program (AMTAP) in Lawrence County. Chavez is a recent high school graduate and “techie” who started taking part in robotics and rocketry competitions in middle school. Chambers was a full-time art student pursuing a graphic design...

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Wellborn Cabinet launches $15M expansion, creating 200 jobs in Ashland

ASHLAND, Alabama — Governor Kay Ivey joined the leaders of Wellborn Cabinet Inc. today to formally announce a $15 million expansion project that will ultimately create over 200 jobs at the company’s plant in rural Clay County. Wellborn, a family-owned maker of kitchen and bath cabinets, said the project expands its manufacturing capabilities in Ashland...

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Sweet Grown initiative connects Alabama farmers to local groceries

Sweet Grown Alabama has launched a new effort to help the state’s farmers sell more of their produce in local grocery stores. The nonprofit foundation, which promotes Alabama’s farming industry, is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and five local grocers and distributors across the state. Sweet...

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Westwater Resources plans first U.S. graphite processing plant in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Westwater Resources Inc. announced plans today to build a first-of-its-kind advanced graphite processing plant in Coosa County, putting Alabama at the forefront in the production of an essential material in batteries that power electrical vehicles, electronics and other green energy products and equipment. Westwater said its Alabama Graphite Products LLC subsidiary plans...

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Ashland’s Williams Fire launches $1 million expansion as growth sparks

ASHLAND, Alabama – When the emergency call comes in, the fire trucks must be well-equipped and always ready to roll. For many communities in Alabama and Georgia, Matt Williams is the guy who helps make sure the fire rigs are prepared for the job. His family-owned company in Ashland, Williams Fire Apparatus, has long specialized...

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Mohawk Industries plans to add 130 jobs, yarn production at Alabama plant

ROANOKE, Alabama — Mohawk Industries plans to introduce yarn production at its Roanoke manufacturing facility, creating 130 jobs in the Randolph County community and expanding the company’s investment in the region. “Our yarn facilities are very important, as they start our carpet manufacturing process,” Todd Shail, Mohawk’s senior vice president of manufacturing, said in an...

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Trachte plans expansion at Alabama facility, creating 70 jobs in Vernon

VERNON, Alabama — Trachte Building Systems, an industry-leading manufacturer of steel self-storage systems, announced plans to expand its Roof Mart facility in Northwest Alabama with a project that will create 70 jobs in Vernon over the next three years. Sun Prairie, Wisconsin-based Trachte (pronounced Trock-tee) plans to invest over $11.5 million in building improvements and...

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