Category: Economy

Jefferson County Commissioners Talk About Distributing Economic Development Efforts to Underserved Areas of the County

Lashunda Scales used a discussion of a possible development in Warrior to remind her fellow Jefferson County commissioners that there are other underdeveloped areas in the county.

Commissioner Steve Ammons agreed. “We have a lot out in McCalla. We don’t have as much opportunity in north Jefferson County. We’re trying to take those opportunities and distribute them,” he said. Read more.

Woodfin to Seek Limits on Dollar Stores as Way to Encourage Grocery Store Developments

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has announced legislation he believes would address the lack of healthy food options faced by a majority of the city’s residents.

A proposed healthy food ordinance will be officially released in coming weeks, Woodfin told the City Council on Tuesday, and will include measures to “limit the development of new dollar stores in our city… as well as open more opportunities for fresh food producers (and) lowering the overall costs for grocers.” Read more.

Ivey Emphasizes Education, Workforce Development and Infrastructure Needs at PARCA Conference

Gov. Kay Ivey told an audience in Birmingham that her administration will focus its efforts on bolstering the educational system so that children will be ready to fill the jobs of tomorrow’s high-tech economy as well as rebuilding Alabama’s infrastructure.

Ivey was the keynote speaker Friday at the annual meeting of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, which met to discuss how the state is doing in its job to help both students going into the workforce and adults moving into different fields adjust to the changing needs of the state’s employers.

“Alabama is in a position to achieve greater success,” Ivey said. “And as we look to our future, more than ever before, now is the time that we must be sure that our workforce is well-equipped to face the opportunities and the jobs of tomorrow.” Read more.

U.S. Steel Revives Furnace Project in Fairfield

WBHM

U.S. Steel Corporation will restart work on its electric arc furnace in Fairfield. The $215 million initiative will replace the former blast furnace at Fairfield Works. The project started almost four years ago, but was put on hold due to poor market demand for steel. Ty West, editor-in-chief of the Birmingham Business Journal, says this is good news. Read more.

Alabama’s Federal Employees Return to Work as Federal Shutdown Is Temporarily Ended

Federal employees in Birmingham and across the state returned to work Monday after a record-setting, five-week partial federal shutdown that affected about 5,500 workers, almost 10 percent of the state’s 50,000 federal employees.

About 120 of these federal employees work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Birmingham, where most of the workers had been furloughed.

A first priority at the office Monday morning was getting employees’ time recorded and approved quickly “so folks can get the past two paychecks,” said U.S. Attorney Jay Towns.

Another priority for employees back at their desks after five weeks was checking and responding to weeks of voice mails and emails. Employees are prohibited from responding to messages or doing any government business while on furlough.

“Folks are happy to be back at work and that the funding lapse is over for now,” Town said. Read more.

This Time It’s for Real, Officials Say After Breaking Ground on a Planned BJCC Stadium

You’d have to excuse Valerie Abbot for feeling a sense of déjà vu when she attended the groundbreaking Thursday for the new BJCC stadium.

The president of the Birmingham City Council had been here twice before when ground was broken to build a stadium near the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.

“I was present for both of them, back when Mayor (Larry) Langford was mayor of Birmingham,” Abbott said. “It was right over there in that other block. This is my third groundbreaking for this structure so I’m glad that it’s finally going to happen.”

Dozens of elected officials and citizens were near the corner of 11th Avenue North and 23rd Street for the latest edition of turning dirt. But this one is different.

This time, it seems that everyone is on board with making the stadium a reality. The difference, Abbott said, is cooperation. Read more.

Grip, Gaffer, Best Boy – Movie Job Titles Have Joined the Scene in Birmingham

Birmingham builder Victor Sellers and fellow stage hand Kevin Sappington didn’t start out to be in the movie business. But with experience in more than 10 made-in-Birmingham movies, the two Jefferson County natives are among hundreds of area residents who find challenging work, good pay and benefits, and chances for new avocations working as crew on the scores of films being made here. Read more.

Ready, Set, Action: Birmingham’s Become a Film-Making Destination That Brings Jobs, Millions of Dollars to Economy

The Magic City is not quite Hollywood, yet.

But Birmingham’s economy is getting a show business-sized boost with millions of film dollars flowing into the local economy. The city’s Red Mountain substituted for the Hollywood Hills, wearing the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in “Bigger,” one of dozens of films made in metro Birmingham in recent years.

Capitalizing on Alabama’s incentive program for film productions, the city is recruiting a growing number of projects, said Buddy Palmer, president and CEO of Create Birmingham and its offshoot Film Birmingham.

From 2016 to 2017, the number of film projects in metro Birmingham increased 200 percent, he said. Three feature films and 24 other projects, including commercials and videos, were produced in Birmingham in 2016. By 2017, when Film Birmingham officially began recruiting projects with support from the city and other sponsors, Film Birmingham assisted 55 projects. Of that total, 30 film productions were completed in Birmingham, including eight feature films.

“In 2016 and 2017, about $32 million in film production activity translated into, conservatively, a $10 (million) to $12 million impact on the local economy,” Palmer said.

In 2018, Film Birmingham assisted 67 projects, including 30 productions, of which nine were feature films, said Jessica Moody of Film Birmingham. Read more.

Grip, Gaffer, Best Boy – Movie Job Titles Have Joined the Scene in Birmingham

Birmingham builder Victor Sellers and fellow stage hand Kevin Sappington didn’t start out to be in the movie business. But with experience in more than 10 made-in-Birmingham movies, the two Jefferson County natives are among hundreds of area residents who find challenging work, good pay and benefits, and chances for new avocations working as crew on the scores of films being made here. Read more.

A Growing List of Movies Have Been Made in Alabama

Film-making is booming in Birmingham and across the state since Alabama began its film incentive program. The movies are as varied as the locations where they were shot. One is a real-time suspense film with chase scenes filmed on Morris Avenue; another is the story of brothers who created Mr. Universe and a fitness empire, filmed in several locations across the city. Then there are family dramas and stories about dirt track racing, football, ultimate fighting and music. See the list of films made in Alabama.

A Growing List of Movies Have Been Made in Alabama

Film-making is booming in Birmingham and across the state since Alabama began its film incentive program. The movies are as varied as the locations where they were shot. One is a real-time suspense film with chase scenes filmed on Morris Avenue; another is the story of brothers who created Mr. Universe and a fitness empire, filmed in several locations across the city. Then there are family dramas and stories about dirt track racing, football, ultimate fighting and music. See the list of films made in Birmingham and in Alabama in recent years.