Top Headlines: Birmingham to host aerospace, auto summit; Lottery bill clears Senate

Alabama sets record with $8.7B in investment, 17,000 new jobs
Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday that companies locating new facilities in Alabama or expanding existing operations invested $8.7 billion in growth projects during 2018, establishing an annual record for the state. These economic development projects, outlined in the comprehensive 2018 New & Expanding Industry Report released today, will generate an anticipated 17,000 new jobs in communities across the state. – Made In Alabama

Birmingham area to host major aerospace, automotive summits in May
Birmingham will host two concurrent international business conventions this May, serving the aerospace and automotive industries. Both events will take place at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, with 200 companies from around the globe expected to participate. Birmingham’s focus on high-tech job growth and the city’s extensive infrastructure will be front and center during the global summit, making it ideal to identify innovative partners to build out the next generation of manufacturing, says Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. – BBA

Lottery bill clears Senate hurdle, moves on to House
A proposal to start a state lottery narrowly cleared its first major hurdle in the Alabama Legislature as senators gathered the minimum 21 votes needed Thursday to get the measure through the state Senate. Senators voted 21-12 for the bill that would put the idea of starting a state lottery to a statewide vote next year. The bill now moves to the Alabama House. – AP

Diversified Gas & Oil makes $400 million acquisition
Birmingham’s Diversified Gas & Oil has completed a $400 million acquisition of gas producing assets in Pennsylvania and West Virginia from HG Energy II Appalachia. The deal involves 107 gross producing wells and related surface rights, which will increase Diversified’s net daily production by approximately 30 percent to more than 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. –

Defense company Mercury Systems shows expanded Huntsville facility
Defense electronics company Mercury Systems offered tours Thursday of its expanded new office and engineering laboratory in Huntsville that develops secure technology for big aerospace and defense companies. The new, 24,000-square-foot facility allows Mercury engineers and technicians to develop and test smaller components of the larger products made for troops in the field by prime defense contractors. –

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University of Montevallo among schools freezing tuition for 2019-20
A fourth Alabama university has announced it will put a freeze on raising tuition for the upcoming academic year. The University of Montevallo announced last week that it would not raise tuition for undergraduate students in the 2019-20 academic year. The move comes after the University of Alabama System announced it would not raise tuition in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Huntsville. –

State lawmakers hail effort to fix Medicare reimbursement problem
Members of Alabama’s congressional delegation are applauding a federal agency’s proposal to tweak the formula used for Medicare reimbursement to hospitals in a move that could increase payments to rural hospitals in the state. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, which oversees Medicate and coordinates Medicaid with the states, announced Tuesday that it proposed adjusting the Medicare Wage Index amid complaints from Alabama’s congressional delegation. –

Austal plans open house for tech-minded students this weekend
Shipbuilder Austal USA will host an open house at Alabama Industrial Development and Training Maritime Training Center this weekend. The open house will be at AIDT, at 360 Addsco Road in Mobile, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, (April 27). The company says students and recent high school graduates interested in a craft career should make plans to attend this event. – WALA

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