Top Headlines: Hangout Music Fest turns 10, Airbus steps up hiring in Mobile

Hangout Music Fest: Something of a miracle turns 10
For 10 years Hangout Music Festival has been hosting a luxury event on the beaches of Alabama – a feat that only seems more impressive following the disastrous Fyre Festival. Hangout was started by entrepreneurs and restaurant owners Shaul and Lilly Zislin. “When they first called me, I didn’t even think there was a beach in Alabama. I was really skeptical that they had not only the vision but the means and the idea to see through this very different experience,” says festival director Sean O’Connell, who has been with the festival since day one. – Billboard

Big Apple, Amazon split over core values
Amazon will no longer build its additional headquarters in New York City. The decision announced Thursday comes after an outcry from local politicians, union leaders and community organizers who had organized weeks of protests against massive financial breaks promised to Amazon, one of the world’s most valuable companies. – APR

A380 or no, Airbus steps up hiring in Mobile
Airbus has announced an end of production for its A380 superjumbo — but it continues to ramp up production for the A320 jets it builds in Alabama, and it’s hiring. The future of the A380 program has been a subject of industry speculation for some time. The gigantic plane never caught on as Airbus had hoped, and by 2018 industry analysts viewed it as being on life support, with enough orders to keep production going but too few to make it profitable. –

Birmingham bank exec now chairman of TVA board
Thirteen months after joining the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Decatur, Alabama businessman James “Skip” Thompson was elected chairman of the TVA board Thursday, effective in May. Thompson serves as president and CEO of Corporate Billing LLC a subsidiary of the National Bank of Commerce in Birmingham and has chaired TVA’s audit committee for the past year. – TimesFreePress

Alabama Commerce Department gets award for Mazda-Toyota
Business Facilities Magazine has awarded its silver award for the 2018 Economic Development Deal of the Year to Alabama’s Department of Commerce for landing the Mazda-Toyota auto plant in Huntsville. The award came in the magazine’s January/February issue and recognizes large scale economic development projects. – 

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Lawson State, Mercedes team up on auto tech education
Mercedes Benz, which already sells cars driven by voice commands, is looking for students driven by auto technology. Mercedes Benz U.S. International in Vance launched the Mercedes Tech Certificate Program Tuesday at Lawson State Community College. The program is looking for its initial class of 30 students to go through the four semester program, splitting time between classes on Lawson’s Bessemer campus and at the MBUSI plant in Vance. – WBRC

New certification program started to boost construction field
A push to replace an aging construction workforce in Alabama is among the reasons for a new certification program being offered through Jefferson State Community College. The school has announced it is offering a 12-month program for students who want to become field engineers. The class is being offered through a partnership with Go Build Alabama, an ongoing campaign of the Alabama Construction Institute. The Alabama Associated General Contractors will be organizing the course that will begin Monday. –

Walk-On’s coming to Birmingham, will employ up to 200
Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar is adding another location in Alabama, and this time, it’s Birmingham. The Cajun cuisine sports bar plans a groundbreaking for next Friday, Feb. 22, at its new location at 6401 Tattersall Park Drive. The 8,500-square-foot restaurant is slated to open in August and will employ about 200 people. –

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