Montgomery Business Journal

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 Reporter's Notebook



David Zaslawsky




Caddell Construction Co. has been awarded three contracts, including two to build U.S. Embassy buildings. Those two Embassy contracts in The Netherlands and Mauritania are worth more than $250 million.

The Montgomery-based company was also awarded a $27 million-plus contract for the construction of a 127,000-square-foot adult detention center in Pascagoula, Miss.



An episode of the television show “Sweet Home Alabama” was shot at the Montgomery Zoo. “We are hopeful this is a step towards more filming to come to the Capital City,” Kathy Faulk, manager at the Alabama Film Office, said in a statement.

The reality show is about 22 men (11 rural and 11 city) competing for a Southern belle.


The Montgomery metropolitan area’s preliminary unemployment rate for November 2013 declined all the way to 5.8 percent after being 6.7 percent in November 2012.

The jobless rate for the City of Montgomery for November 2013 was just slightly higher at 6 percent and has fallen 0.8 percent from November 2012. Montgomery County’s unemployment rate also declined 0.8 percent from November 2012 to November 2013 and is 6.1 percent.


The Poarch Band of Creek Indians gave the City of Wetumpka nearly $2 million to help offset increased costs for fire services, including funds for additional fire department personnel associated with the opening of its Wind Creek Wetumpka casino and hotel.

After the $2 million payment in January, the tribe will pay the city $850,000 a year for the next three years.



Residential home sales in the Montgomery area surged 20 percent last November vs. the same month in 2012. Sales were up about 15 percent through the first 11 months of 2013.

In another positive trend, the housing supply declined from 11.9 months to 10.4 months from November 2012 to November 2013. Although the housing supply increased slightly from November 2012 to November 2013 (4.9 percent) it was still down about 18 percent from the highs in November 2007.


Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. have a sales target this year of about 7.9 million vehicles, a 4 percent increase from 2013. The world’s No. 5 automaker had combined 2013 sales of nearly 7.6 million.


The state’s three automotive assembly facilities set an annual record of 915,000-plus vehicles last year with Hyundai’s plant leading the way.

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s plant in Montgomery produced 399,495 vehicles while Honda’s plant produced an estimated 33,531 vehicles. There are not final numbers for the Mercedes plant, but a company official said the facility topped the 182,000 vehicles produced in 2012.

The three plants combined to produce about 880,000 vehicles in 2012.



Hyundai Motor America announced that David Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales, is the company’s new president and CEO.

Zuchowski, who succeeds John Krafcik, joined the company in 2007 as vice president of sales. He has a 33-year career in the automotive industry.

“I am both humbled and excited to lead Hyundai Motor America into the next chapter by continuing to build on John’s great legacy, and focusing on what matters most – building the highest quality, safest and most diverse fleet of models that customers love,” Zuchowski said in a statement.

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Hyundai Motor America is the sales and marketing arm for the Korean automaker.


Runners will celebrate the Fourth of July in Montgomery in a memorable and unique event – The Color Run. The rules are pretty simple and that’s wear white at the start line and each participant will be doused in different colors at each kilometer mark. That will be five times in the un-timed race.

Activities are planned
before and after the event, including
music and dancing. Each registered participant will receive an official The
Color Run Race Kit, including a T-shirt.

For information, visit



The Business Council of Alabama has presented options to the administration and legislative leaders about expanding the state’s Medicaid program. The organization is just providing some options, according to William J. Canary, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. “We believe that there is always a middle ground on issues of great controversy,” Canary said. “If we didn’t take on this responsibility to offer alternatives on every issue we’re involved in, then we wouldn’t be doing our job.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has rejected expanding the Medicaid program. “This is a very critical issue for our state,” Canary said, about an estimated $12 billion in federal funding for Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2020. “It has a tremendous impact on a number of different areas.”



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