Alabama. U.S.A. - There are positive signs from Alabama this month that the economic recovery in the USA is sustainable and built on solid ground.
- Alabama’s unemployment rate at lowest rate in seven years
- Inward Investment on the up
- Local businesses are expanding and creating new jobs
- Real investment in Infrastructure projects
- Master plan for R and D , engineering and technology hub
MONTGOMERY, Alabama, U.S.A – Last week, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate is 5.8%, down from January’s rate of 6.0%, and well below February 2014’s rate of 7.2%.
“Alabama’s February unemployment rate is very good news for our state,” Governor Bentley said. “This month’s drop contributes to the 15 month trend we’ve seen with no increase in unemployment. Over two million Alabamians are working – the most since 2008. Our economy supported more jobs in February than it has during the same period since 2008. We also experienced a significant increase in construction jobs, which bodes well for the state’s economic health.”
Preliminary data shows that all 67 counties experienced unemployment rate decreases both month over month and year over year.
“Another economic indicator shows continued improvement: the number of initial unemployment compensation claims filed in February is the lowest it’s been in 40 years. This tells us that employers are laying off fewer workers than they have in decades,” Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “The bottom line is that nearly all of our economic indicators are trending in the right direction, and are finally either nearing or surpassing 2008 levels – when the recession truly began to hit Alabama.”
INWARD INVESTMENT and JOBS
Airgas Merchant Gases LLC, a Pennsylvania-based company that produces gases for industries and medical and research facilities plans to build $64 million plant in Tuscaloosa.
The plant will be built on 10-acre site close to Nucor Steel in Tuscaloosa. Nucor will be a major customer of the gases — oxygen, argon and nitrogen — that the plant will produce and then transport in liquidized form to customers.
Airgas will have a 20-year lease for the acreage from Nucor. Construction is slated to start in September, and Airgas plans to open the plant in April 2017.
The facility will have 28 workers — eight at the plant and 20 truck drivers.
In addition to Nucor, company officials said they hope to serve other customers from the facility, including Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Vance and the University of Alabama.
The plant also could be a catalyst in attracting to the area other industries that use gases in their production processes, company officials said.
The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority have been extremely supportive, coming up with a series of incentives and tax breaks during construction and equipping of the plant.
LOCAL BUSINESS EXPANSION and MORE JOBS
Dorsey Trailer of Elba in Coffee County, Alabama, has revealed expansion plans and the creation of an additional 50 jobs for the one of the city’s oldest industries.
Since 1911, the Dorsey roots have run deep in the area of truck trailer manufacturing excellence and it continues to grow to meet its customers’ requirements, according to Jeff Pitts, owner and CEO of the company. Dorsey offers a wide variety of truck trailers including steel and composite flatbeds, drop decks, extendable flatbeds and drop decks, open top and closed top chip vans and specialty trailers.
“This is a great day for Alabama, Coffee County, and especially, Elba, Alabama,” said Jonathan Tullos, executive director of the Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation. “We are here to celebrate the growth of Dorsey as it makes plans to expand and create 50 new jobs.”
At the same time Koch Foods from Gadsden in Etowah County is expanding a further time. The firm, which in October announced plans to add 80 jobs, will be adding 70 more.
The company currently employs 585, which includes the jobs announced in October and with support from the local Gadsden Council will invest $7.5 million in its chicken processing plant in East Gadsden.
REVITALISED PLANNING FOR THE USA's SECOND LARGEST RESEARCH PARK
Located between the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal and city of Madison, the Cummings Research Park is home to over 300 companies and 26,000 employees specializing in engineering, technology, research and development.
New plans are being put in place to ensure that this strategically important economic engine remains relevant and continues to offer job opportunities and attract businesses and lures new professionals to the area creating a sustainable business environment for generations to come.
NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
Birmingham, Alabama headquartered, Brasfield & Gorrie has been awarded the $83 million contract to build a new greenfield water treatment plant in Huntsville.
The business is one of the nation's largest privately held construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets, including healthcare, commercial, institutional, federal, municipal, industrial, infrastructure, and water/wastewater treatment.
Work will begin this month on the facility for Huntsville Utilities, a release by the contractor said.
“As one of the nation’s leading contractors in heavy civil construction, we look forward to building this project, which will expand Huntsville Utilities’ water supply and relieve pressure from its two existing plants,” said Brasfield & Gorrie regional president, Brian Barr.
The new plant will include a raw water intake structure, 42-inch raw water main pipelines, a conventional settling water treatment plant and a 48-inch finished water main pipeline. When completed, the facility will treat 12 million gallons of drinking water per day, the release said.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.