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  • 10 Jun 2024 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    Made in Alabama: Alabama auto industry’s rapid growth fueled by billions in new investment

    On September 30, 1993, Mercedes-Benz announced its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, marking a pivotal moment for the state's economic future. Initially investing $400 million and planning for 1,500 workers, Mercedes has since invested over $7 billion and employs over 6,300 people. This decision attracted other automakers, including Honda, Hyundai, and the Mazda-Toyota partnership, solidifying Alabama's reputation as an auto industry powerhouse. Today, Alabama’s five automakers have invested around $15 billion, creating over 50,000 jobs and making motor vehicles the state’s top export. The industry is now focusing on electric vehicles, with significant investments in EV production infrastructure.

  • 10 Jun 2024 4:06 PM | Anonymous

    Made in Alabama: Toyota Alabama to expand production with 350 new jobs in Huntsville

    Toyota is expanding its Huntsville engine factory with a $282 million investment, creating over 350 new jobs. This project raises Toyota Alabama’s total investment to over $1.7 billion, reinforcing its commitment to U.S. operations. The Huntsville plant, Toyota's largest North American engine producer, employs over 2,000 people and assembled more than 770,000 engines in 2023. The new investment will add drivetrain product lines, enhancing production capabilities. Local officials, including Governor Kay Ivey and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, praised the project for its economic impact and job creation, emphasizing Toyota's role as a key partner in Alabama's auto industry.

  • 31 May 2024 5:58 PM | Anonymous

    The International Dual Enrollment Academy (IDEA) launched on May 18th at Miles College, Birmingham, in partnership with Birmingham Sister Cities and Birmingham City Schools.

    The program offers dual enrollment coursework, cultural activities, and travel abroad. The inaugural cohort comprises 25 students from various Birmingham high schools, with 15 selected for a trip to Japan in October based on performance criteria. Stakeholders express enthusiasm for the program, highlighting its potential to showcase Birmingham globally, provide students with a global perspective, and strengthen ties with Japan. 

    See whole article

  • 26 Apr 2024 6:36 PM | Anonymous

    Jasper Mayor David O’Mary highlights the importance of relationships, citing his enduring bond with Mark Jackson, Honorary Consul General of Japan. Jackson's recent visit emphasizes the value of solidifying connections beyond business interests. Their collaboration has attracted Japanese businesses to Jasper, showcasing the benefits of strong ties. O’Mary acknowledges Jackson's proactive role in representing Japan, facilitating investment in Alabama. Jackson stresses the ongoing significance of relationships in attracting Japanese investment to the U.S.

    See the article on Daily Mountain Eagle below.

    DME 4-25-24_front.pdf

    DME 4-25-24_A9.pdf

  • 26 Apr 2024 6:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Japan Times: Tokyo issues strong warning on yen intervention as currency dips further

    Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki's recent remarks suggest Tokyo may intervene in currency markets due to concerns over excessive yen depreciation. Following a meeting with U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Suzuki warned of the impact of a weak yen on import costs. The dollar's recent strength against the yen has heightened concerns, prompting discussions among the three countries. Analysts anticipate potential volatility during Japan's Golden Week holidays, prompting authorities to remain vigilant. Suzuki emphasized Japan's readiness to address currency volatility and did not rule out intervention. The yen's decline is attributed to strong U.S. economic data, raising speculation about the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy.

  • 26 Apr 2024 6:33 PM | Anonymous

    AL.com: 15 Birmingham students will go to Japan under global studies program

    Fifteen Birmingham City Schools juniors and sophomores are set to join the inaugural International Dual Enrollment Academy (IDEA) program, led by Birmingham Sister Cities, Miles College, and Birmingham City Schools. Designed to cultivate global skills, the program includes dual enrollment coursework at Miles College, cultural activities, and a trip to Japan. Participants can earn nine college credits, a stipend of at least $500, and may attend the Sister Cities International Youth Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. Aligned with Birmingham's commitment to exceptional education and global readiness, the program runs from May 6 to December 11, 2024.

    For more information about the IDEA program, click here.

  • 10 Apr 2024 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Business Alabama: Protective Life acquires New York-based insurance company

    Birmingham-based Protective Life Corp., a subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc., is acquiring ShelterPoint Group Inc., a New York-based holding company of ShelterPoint Life Insurance Co.

    ShelterPoint is a provider of disability benefits and paid family leave insurance, which employers are required to provide under New York state law. ShelterPoint also has been actively expanding. Through its relationships with approximately 200,000 businesses, ShelterPoint currently provides insurance and income replacement products to nearly 2 million individuals across the United States.

    ...

    Once closed, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, it will be the seventh deal completed since Protective became a part of Tokyo-based Dai-ichi in 2015. Dai-ichi has more than $463 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, 2023 and serves customers in 10 countries, with Protective as its U.S.-based subsidiary.

  • 4 Apr 2024 8:17 PM | Anonymous

    Alabama leads the nation in car exports, topping $11 billion in 2023

    Alabama has outpaced South Carolina as the state exporting the most passenger vehicles. In the last two years, South Carolina has led the country in car exports achieving $2 billion more than Alabama in 2021 and $3 billion more in 2022. In 2023, however, Alabama pulled ahead and exported more by $1 billion for a total of $11 billion for the year. To read more about this success, visit the site linked above.


  • 27 Mar 2024 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    GMI POST: Toyota to headline SEUS/Japan conference in North Carolina

    This year’s Southeast U.S./Japan Annual Joint Meeting will be sponsored by Toyota. This meeting is aimed at attracting more Japanese investment to the Southeastern United States. This year it will be hosted in Charlotte, North Carolina from October 27 to 29th. For more information and comments from the governor, check out the article linked above.


  • 27 Mar 2024 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    Made in Alabama: Report: 2023 growth projects to inject $6.4 billion into Alabama communities

    Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced over $6.4 billion in investments from companies launching or expanding operations in 2023, reinforcing the state's robust economic growth and job creation. The efforts resulted in 8,095 new jobs across 43 counties, with key sectors like automotive, metals, and information technology driving growth. Rural Alabama attracted significant investments, and foreign direct investment played a crucial role, contributing almost $3 billion and nearly 3,400 new jobs. Top global and domestic brands, such as Miele and Sierra Pacific, continue to choose Alabama for expansion. Secretary of Commerce Ellen McNair emphasizes the state's commitment to creating 21st-century jobs and developing a comprehensive economic development strategy for the future. Governor Ivey highlights the importance of innovation and technology in sustaining Alabama's economic momentum, driving the need for new strategies and bold approaches.

    Click here to see the 2023 Alabama New & Expanding Industry Report.


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