Top Headlines: FreightCar America shifting work to Alabama, State sets record low unemployment

Alabama plant to benefit from sister plant closing in Virginia
A Virginia manufacturing plant is closing in the fall, putting 200 people out of work. The Roanoke Times reports that Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea announced on Monday that FreightCar America will close by Nov. 11. The rail car maker announced it could save $5 million a year by shifting the work to an Alabama plant, where the company has invested for growth. – AP

State sets record low unemployment of 3.5 percent in June
The Alabama Department of Labor announced Friday that the state has set a new record low in unemployment rate, a new record high jobs count, a new record high employment count, a new record high labor force count and a new record low unemployment count Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced on Friday that June’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is just 3.5 percent, setting a new record low, beating the previous record low of 3.7 percent. – AL Political Reporter

Maryland company eyes $175 million Sumter County project
Bio-mass company Enviva says it is evaluating a $175 million project to build a wood pellet plant in the Port of Epes Industrial Park in Sumter County. It could be several months before a final decision is made. Company officials with Maryland-based Enviva said the project could create approximately 85 full-time jobs and an estimated 180 additional jobs in logging, transportation, and services. –

Birmingham home sales in June up 2.8 percent over last year
Birmingham-area residential sales totaled 1,581 units during June, up 2.8 percent from 1,538 sales in the same month a year earlier, according to the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service. June sales were down 4.3 percent compared to 1,652 sales in May. Results were 8.6 percent above the five-year June average. – ANC

Bill would let Alabama residents reclaim toll money on tax returns
Alabama residents forced to pay a toll as part of a planned new crossing between Mobile and Baldwin County could get their money back at tax time, under a bill sponsored by a local lawmaker. State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) has pre-filed a bill for next year’s legislative session that would create a tax credit for any state resident who pays tolls on a state-owned project. – Fox10TV

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Southern Research, energy companies open Energy Storage Research Center
Southern Research officials, energy companies and other industry leaders were on hand last week in Birmingham to formally open the Energy Storage Research Center (ESRC), a facility on Southern Research’s engineering campus where collaborative efforts will look to boost the development and deployment of energy storage technologies for the next generation. – Energy Storage News 

Ford teases truck lovers with show of force by electric F-150
Ford is trying to show its rabid pickup truck fans that EVs aren’t just for latte-sipping Tesla pilots. In an impressive demonstration of torque, an electric F-150 prototype towed 10 double-decker rail cars stuffed with 42 current-model F-150s, weighing over a million pounds (500 tons) in total. That shows promise that it could beat Ford’s current towing champ, the 2019 F-150 with a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6, that’s rated to tow 13,200 pounds (6.6 tons). – Engadget

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