Top Headlines: Lockheed Martin growing talent, Illumicare named in CNBC Upstart 100

Lockheed Martin growing its own talent with skills program
Starting a new job can require a leap of faith. That was especially true for Jonah Griffin who left the grocery store world to become an advanced manufacturing technician. “It’s been just a constant learning environment. I walked in from a job at Publix,” said Griffin. He is one of the five newest technicians at Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing facility in Courtland, Alabama, freshly graduated from the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program. – WAAY

Birmingham health data company named in CNBC Upstart 100
Birmingham healthcare data company Illumicare has been named in CNBC’s worldwide Upstart 100 list. CNBC said this year’s Upstart 100 list “showcases young start-ups that are building and scaling businesses addressing the rapidly changing technological era we live in.” The list was published on Tuesday. –

Christmas tree growing may be next victim of changing landscape
For a lot of families, going to a farm to cut down their own Christmas tree has been a tradition, but that tradition is getting harder to come by in North Alabama. Almost everything done on a Christmas tree farm is done by hand. “All of the trees need to be shaped twice a year,” says Valley Christmas Tree Plantation owner George Brown, who manages the weeds by walking through every row of trees. “Then you got to plant trees,” he said. “That’s all done by hand.” – WHNT

Birmingham clothing retailer closing after 45 years in Birmingham
A longtime clothing retailer will close its final store this year after 45 years in business in Birmingham. McMillan’s Big & Tall will close its Galleria location, which was the lone store left in the longstanding clothing store chain. Owner Autry McMillan told the Birmingham Business Journal this week he is retiring, after more than 50 years in the clothing business. – Patch

Hotel groundbreaking ignites excitement at Town Madison
The celebration went beyond the start of another new hotel at Town Madison and into another celebration of Town Madison itself. The sprawling mixed-use development under construction in Madison is gradually filling out its acreage, the groundbreaking of the Hilton Garden Inn on the west end of the project. –

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Hashtag giving Toyota grief over siding with Trump on California
Two weeks ago, Toyota sided with the Trump administration’s bid to bar California from setting its own fuel-efficiency and zero-emission rules. The next day, on Oct. 29, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, tweeted, “Toyota, goodbye. The environmental goodwill you’ve built by pioneering hybrid cars has vanished in your choice of Trump over California. #toyotatrump.” And the Toyota-Trump boycott was started. – Electrek

Publishing company declines to print USA’s diversity issue
A company is refusing to publish the diversity issue of the University of South Alabama’s magazine because they say the lifestyles featured are opposed to their Christian values. Interstate Printing said they were “respectfully declining” to publish the issue, which included stories on transgender persons and drag queens. Sara Boone, the editor-in-chief of the student-led magazine, said she was shocked by the decision. – The Blaze

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