Shoals Economic
Development Authority

20 Hightower Place
Suite 1
Florence, Alabama 35630

(256) 349-5632


(256) 764-3850



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Previous E-Newsletters -- FY 2009 Third Edition

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FY 2009 Third Edition

Available Building Highlights
Meeting Schedule
Previous E-Newsletters


SEDA President Forrest Wright Joins Governor's Trade Mission to Australia

SEDA President Forrest Wright joined Governor Bob Riley; Dennis Richardson, Australian ambassador to the U.S.; and Alabama Development Office representatives Neal Wade, Hilda Lockhart, and Beau Lore on a trade mission to Australia.  This was one of several business and trade recruitment trips conducted annually by the Governor's team designed to attract new jobs and expand Alabama's trade opportunities.
     "The economic relationship between Alabama and Australia has grown tremendously in the past few years. We will work to strengthen these ties because Australia represents a significant growth market for our exports," said Governor Riley.
     "During our initial investigations regarding trade opportunities, we discovered that several local firms already have strong Australian trade ties," said Wright.  "Our primary focus on this particular mission was to strengthen, where possible, those existing Australian ties and to look for new opportunities.  After meeting with numerous U.S. Embassy staffers, we were pleased to learn that Shoals area businesses can access substantial trade assistance through the U.S. Government's Foreign Commercial Service."
     Alabama companies exported $205 million worth of goods to Australia in 2008, making Australia Alabama's 15th largest export market.  During the past year, the top products shipped from Alabama to Australia included vehicles, industrial machinery, electric machinery, and plastics.

SEDA President Forrest Wright to Serve on The University of North Alabama President's Cabinet

     The University of North Alabama welcomed SEDA as its newest member of the President's Cabinet.  SEDA President Forrest Wright will serve as its representative to the Cabinet and will continue to be a strong supporter of the University through community and public service.
     Wright will assist the University President through counsel, communication, and assistance in soliciting sources of private financial assistance.  SEDA's commitment to higher education is vital to the furtherance of the mission of the University of North Alabama and to that of the Shoals Economic Development Authority.

Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park--160-Acre Site Receives AdvantageSite Designation

     The Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park--160-Acre Site recently received the AdvantageSite designation, which verifies that the industrial site has met specific criteria including size, zoning, utilities and transportation infrastructure, and has had Geotechnical, Phase I ESA, endangered species, and other studies conducted.  SEDA worked with the Alabama AdvantageSite Committee, the City of Florence, the Florence IDB, the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Expansion Committee, and the Lauderdale County Commission to achieve this designation. 
“The Shoals Economic Development Authority is certainly pleased that the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park--160-Acre Site has been designated as an AdvantageSite. This is the second industrial site in the Shoals to achieve this designation, which will benefit companies seeking excellent industrial sites with the proper documentation in place,” said Bart Jackson, SEDA AdvantageSite Coordinator.
     The Shoals now has two of the eight AdvantageSites in Alabama:  the Rogersville Industrial Park and the Florence Lauderdale Industrial Park.
     Sponsors of the AdvantageSite program include the Alabama Development Office, Alabama Gas Corporation, Alabama Power Company, EDPA, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association
and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

Mayor Irons Accepts AdvantageSite Plaque

     “The City of Florence is very excited that the Florence Lauderdale Industrial Park--160-Acre Site has been designated as an AdvantageSite. We feel that this is an important designation that will help our community by providing extra value to industrial prospects and are hopeful that this will place our site higher on their list of possible locations,” said Mayor Bobby Irons, City of Florence.

On June 16, 2009 Mayor Irons accepted the AdvantageSite plaque on behalf of the City of Florence.

For more information on the AdvantageSite program, please visit

Applied Chemical Technology Selected Manufacturer of the Year Finalist

     Applied Chemical Technology was selected as one of the finalists for the "2009 Alabama Manufacturer of the Year" award.  "We are very proud of our employees and the quality of work they produce.  It is also an honor to be nominated and become a finalist for this award," said President Curtis Lewey.  Lewey mentioned that the judges were very impressed with the company and asked him to consider applying again next year.
     CONGRATULATIONS to Applied Chemical Technology for being selected as a finalist!

     Governor Bob Riley helped in the presentation of the awards and congratulated the winners in the following categories:

     • Emerging Manufacturer of the Year (in operation for five or fewer years):
       Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC, Montgomery

     • Large Manufacturer of the Year (400 or more employees)
       Teledyne Brown Engineering, Huntsville

     • Medium Manufacturer of the Year (100-399 employees)
       Aker Solutions, Mobile

     • Small Manufacturer of the Year (1-99 employees)
       Vulcan Materials Company, Fort Payne Quarry

     The Alabama Manufacturer of the Year awards are sponsored by the Alabama Technology Network and the Business Council of Alabama.  In order to be considered for this award, a manufacturer completes a detailed application to the Alabama Technology Network.

Barton Riverfront Industrial Park Update

     Industries seeking a new location should consider the Barton Riverfront Industrial Park which has transmission and distribution lines, gas pipelines, gas distribution lines, as well as water and domestic sewer lines on site.  A Norfolk Southern mainline rail runs along the park's southern boundary and a rail ROW is in place to serve acreage in the eastern part of the park.  The Tennessee River runs along the northern boundary and could be utilized for a port.

Listerhill Credit Union Open for Business

   Listerhill Credit Union will have their Barton Branch Grand Opening on Friday, July 24, 2009 The Barton branch is located on the corner of Haley Drive and Titus Road, directly across from National Alabama Corporation.

SEDA Welcomes Sharon Wiese as Newest Board Member

Shoals Economic Development Authority welcomes Sharon Wiese as its newest Board Member representing the City of Sheffield.  Mrs. Wiese is a member of the Sheffield Redevelopment Authority and serves on the boards of the Tennessee Valley Art Association, the Shoals Family Services Center, and North Alabama Housing Services, Inc.
With more than 30 years experience in marketing and advertising, Mrs. Wiese owns and operates Greystone Building and Development, Inc.--a full-service general contracting and design firm.  She holds a degree in Mass Communication and has owned and operated a full-service advertising agency, taught English and journalism, and held marketing managerial positions in the corporate environment.
     A native of Iowa, Mrs. Wiese lived in Mississippi for 20 years prior to relocating to the Shoals 15 years ago.  She and her husband, Bob, have one daughter.

SEDA Services Provided for Existing Industries

    SEDA serves both new industry locating in the Shoals and existing industry already located in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties.  SEDA Existing Industry Coordinator Bart Jackson would like to meet with you to learn more about your business and see what assistance might be available to address your needs.  You can contact Bart at 764-0351 or by email at and he will be glad to schedule a convenient time to meet with you.

Small Business Administration ARC Loan Program

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes an  ARC Loan Program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Since June 15, 2009 businesses have been able to apply for interest-free loans of up to $35,000.  The business loans carry a 100-percent guaranty from SBA to the lender, and can be used to make payments of principal and interest on one or more existing, qualifying small business loans.  No fees are paid to SBA and repayments can extend up to five years.

Shoals Industry - Education Training Alliance Classes

NEW---Powered Industrial Truck Train-the-Trainer Class

     The Shoals Training Alliance is in the process of scheduling a one-day Powered Industrial Truck Train-the-Trainer class.  Please review the outline below and, if you have employees interested in taking the class, contact Lesley Cox, 764-0351, or e-mail

This eight-hour course involves safety training designed to address specific occupational safety and health hazards associated with operating powered industrial trucks. The design of this course follows state and OSHA guidelines permitting the certification of powered industrial vehicle operators.  The information gained in this class will assist those who will be conducting Powered Industrial Truck Training.

Lift Truck Fundamentals; Lift Truck Balance; Stability & Capacity; Pre-Operation Inspection; Safety Guidelines for Operating Lift Trucks; Safe Load Handling Techniques; Refueling Gasoline, Diesel and Liquid Propane Lift Trucks; Battery Charging & Recharging; Powered Industrial Truck Training; Industrial Truck Maintenance; and, Hands-on Performance Evaluations.

Leadership Skills I Class Has 25 Attendees

      The Shoals Training Alliance held its fifth Leadership Skills I class in May.  Twenty-five people from eight local companies in the manufacturing, service, healthcare, and utilities sectors participated in the class.
      Kendall Haywood, AIDT instructor, noted why the Leadership Skills training received such good support from area companies.  "Leadership Skills I is a two-day class that highlights a variety of leadership topics, including communication, teamwork, and motivation.  The class is designed for new leaders or as a refresher for those who have been in leadership roles for awhile.  It is very participatory and class evaluations show it is enjoyed by all."
     Vicky Keys, education director for CHG/ECM/Shoals Hospital said, "The folks who go through the class always come back pumped up and say it's the best training they've ever attended."
     A Statistical Process Control (SPC) class was held June 30 at Northwest-Shoals Community College, with eight participants.  Don Sharp, Tri-Cities Manufacturing, said that the class was just what he needed and, from speaking with others in the class, it also fit their needs very well.

Shoals Manufacturer's Association

     The Shoals Manufacturer's Association (SMA) meets every other month at Cypress Lakes County Club to consider issues of importance for its members and to hear from experts on these issues.  Some of the topics discussed at the SMA meetings include worker's compensation, conservation of energy, ready to work program,  and recycling programs.  The SMA also provides an opportunity to meet and get to know peers from other industries in the Shoals at the bi-monthly lunch meetings.
     Extending membership invitations to Shoals industries.  Manufacturers with ten or more employees are invited to join the SMA.

For more information on joining the SMA, signing up for AIDT Leadership classes, or becoming involved in the Shoals Training Alliance, please contact Lesley Cox, SEDA, at 764-0351or by email at

Available Building Highlights

Tennessee Valley Authority 5-Story Office Tower
Reservation Road
Muscle Shoals, AL  35661

Colbert County
43,500 Square Feet

Tennessee River Office Complex

4050 Helton Drive
Florence, AL  35630

Lauderdale County
12,687 Square Feet

Click here for building form (.pdf) with details about the building

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Meeting Schedule

SEDA Monthly Board of Directors Meetings

August 11, 2009
September 8, 2009
October 13, 2009

Shoals Manufacturers Association

September 9, 2009
November 11, 2009

Shoals Industry - Education Training Alliance

October 21, 2009
January 20, 2010

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Previous E-Newsletters

FY2009 Second Edition E-Newsletter
SEDA President Forrest Wright to Serve on NAITA Board
AdvantageSite Designation for Rogersville Industrial Park
Senator Roger Bedford Receives EDAA Legislature Award
Growth at Barton Riverfront Industrial Park
David Muhlendorf Shoals "Citizen of the Year"
SEDA Welcomes New Staff Member
Shoals Industry - Education Training Alliance Classes
Shoals Manufacturers Association Membership Invitation
Available Building Highlights:  Superior Tool & Die Building (12,930 square feet) and GC Lingerie Building (72,000 square feet)

FY2009 First Edition E-Newsletter
The Shoals Recognized as a Targeted and Prepared Community
SCA Recognizes America Recycles Day; Celebration; Tour of Newest Paper Machine
Southwire Company Announces "12 for Life" Program
SEDA Appoints New Officers for FY2009
National Alabama Corporation Update
Shoals Manufacturers Association Annual Dinner
Shoals Industry Classic Golf Tournament
2008 North Alabama International Trade Association (NAITA) Trade   Education Tour -- Export Solutions:  Improving Your Bottom Line

Available Building Highlight:  Gieske Building (88,000 square feet)

September 2008 E-Newsletter
NAIDA Presents SEDA President with Economic Development Award
SCA Named to 2008 World's Most Ethical Companies List
National Alabama Corporation Event
Shoals Training Alliance Holds Fourth Supervisor Training Class in 2008
Export Finance Seminar Held in The Shoals
SEDA to Co-Sponsor NAITA Trade Education Tour -- Export Solutions
Available Building Highlight:  Warren Properties (18,500 square feet)

April 2008 E-Newsletter
2008 Existing Industry Visitation Program
Southwire Company to Expand in Florence
SEDA Hosts Annual Appreciation Luncheon in Montgomery
National Alabama Corporation Erects First Structural Steel
Empire Electronics Locates in Shoals Entrepreneurial Center
Shoals Training Alliance Holds Supervisor Training Classes
Available Building Highlight:  Warren Properties (18,500 sq. ft.)

December 2007 E-Newsletter
The Shoals Wins CEDA Award from the Southern Economic Development Council
The Shoals Chosen for TVA Valley TaP Program
Shoals Manufacturers Association Annual Dinner (multiple photos)
SEDA Appoints New Officers for FY2008
International Floors of America, Inc. to Expand in Florence
National Alabama Corporation Update
The Shoals Training Alliance Schedules Supervisor Training Classes
Available Building Highlight:  Waverlee Building (162,500 sq. ft.)

Special Announcement
The Shoals Welcomes National Alabama Corporation (multiple photos)

June 2007 E-Newsletter
Shoals Research Airpark Reaches Important Milestone
Listerhill Total Maintenance Center Adding Capabilities
Florence City Schools Rated as a Top School District in the U.S.
Available Building:  Roberson Road Complex (41,920 sq. ft.)


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