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Top News Links: Monday, January 15

Russell Brands sees layoffs in Alexander City

Seventy-five employees of Russell Brands in Alexander City were laid off recently, according to local media reports. The Alexander City Outlook reported the reduction in force left about 250 people at Russell's distribution center in the city. Just six years ago, Russell had some 750 employees at its facilities there. – AL.com

Airbus contemplates shutting down jumbo A380

Airbus SE publicly questioned the future of the A380, saying its flagship aircraft program risks being shut down if the manufacturer fails to win a crucial order from the plane’s main backer, Emirates of Dubai. Emirates is the only airline with enough capacity to take enough planes to keep the program alive, Airbus sales chief John Leahy said Monday in an online presentation. – Bloomberg

Shelby’s stand against Moore credited for plant

Sen. Richard Shelby's stance against failed Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore played a pivotal role in the state landing the $1.6 billion Toyota/Mazda plant, according to the head of the Business Council of Alabama. "With the recent announcement of the F-35 Lightning landing in Montgomery and the decision for Toyota/Mazda to choose Huntsville Alabama this week, only one man made that happen...Senator Shelby," BCA President and CEO William Canary said. – AL.com

Vantage Sourcing bought in Dothan, 100 jobs to be added

New Jersey-based debt collection agency MRS BPO, LLC has acquired Vantage Sourcing, a call center company focused in collections and customer service, near Dothan. The Dothan Eagle is reporting that the company plans to add 100 jobs to the 70 already employed there. According to MRS, the acquisition provides it with a third domestic contact center location with 200-plus seats and customer service clients in addition to its collections business. – AL.com

It’s a day on, not a day off

In 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech in Montgomery, in which he declared, "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" In that spirit, since 1983, the third Monday in January has been set aside as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It serves as a time of reflection and a call to action. In the mid-90s, the slogan “A Day On, Not a Day Off” was promoted to push the importance of service on MLK Day. – NBC

Hexagon acquires Industrial Business Solutions

Hexagon PPM, a leading provider of asset life cycle solutions for design, construction, and operation of industrial facilities, has acquired Industrial Business Solutions Inc., a Utah-based developer of ContinuumEdge software, a one-of-a-kind enterprise platform to enable digital project execution. – News release

UNA Honors Program transitions to Honors College

The University of North Alabama’s Honors Program will now be known as the UNA Honors College. The UNA Board of Trustees approved the move before the end of the fall semester with the changes going into effect once the curriculum is approved. Dr. Vince Brewton, director of the UNA Honors College, said the transition will allow for continued growth in Honors education at UNA. – News release

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